Apple TV 3

Editor rating

4/5 on Aug 15, 2015

User's rating

218 reviews

PROS

  • Apple device integration
  • Stylish & compact
  • Affordable
  • Easy setup

CONS

  • Need iTunes
  • Limited content
  • Difficult to jailbreak

VERDICT

For an Apple lover, the Apple TV 3 can be a great fit. The media streamer offers you the ease of sharing your content from iTunes and more, and it’s reasonable in price when you consider all of the features you get with it. But, hackers will have issues with the third generation that they didn't have on the Apple TV 2. To use Kodi, the best you can do here is to mirror via AirPlay, which can be roundabout and awkward. If you're not all about Kodi and are a devoted Apple supporter, then the Apple TV 3 will be right up your alley.

Take a look at our massive media streamer round-up post and find out how we rank this product!

Features:

  • Apple single-core A5 chip processor
  • Built-in 6-Watt universal power supply
  • Wi-Fi
  • Connections:
    • HDMI port
    • Optical audio
    • Ethernet (10/100BASE-T)
    • microUSB port
    • Optical audio out port
  • 8GB flash RAM
  • 512MB onboard RAM
  • Bluetooth discovery
  • Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound via pass-through
  • 1 GHz clock speed
  • Apple remote included
  • Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Dimensions: 6.4" x 6.4" x 4.5"

The Apple set-top box is a small box, but it packs a punch with many features. The name is deceiving, though; it's not a TV, per se, but instead streams media content for entertainment purposes, such as from iTunes to your HD television set.

Here are the top features of the Apple TV 3:

Apple Device Integration

When you're in the Apple world, you can expand it even more with the Apple TV. Get the most out of your Apple devices! You can easily integrate your iOS devices with the Apple TV, playing them to your TV using AirPlay.

For example, stream music from iTunes, which you already use, to your Apple TV; you can also watch TV episodes, sports, and movies now on a bigger venue than your iPhone or iPad. Also, grab your personal photos and videos from your Mac or iCloud to play on your Apple TV. With iMovie Theater, you can even watch movies you make on the big (TV) screen. The ability to see your own private content on a bigger screen is awesome.

Stylish & Compact

The Apple TV 3 looks modern and takes up little space on your entertainment stand. There is a good reason the second and third generations look exactly the same; it looks great! Despite being small, though, it still delivers quality viewing to you in 1080p on your television screen.

Affordable

It is $89, which is less than a few other media streaming players, and you get a lot of features. Get access to a range of great streaming and on-demand entertainment from Netflix, ESPN, Hulu Plus, and other popular partners. Get full access to iTunes Radio, which includes 250 music stations of a range of genres, including DJ-curated stations, too.

Easy Setup

A simple two-step process sets up your Apple TV 3. Just plug in the included power cord and connect an HDMI cord from your Apple TV 3 to your television set.

If you want to replicate your settings from your iPhone or iPad onto your Apple TV, just hold it close to the Apple TV, and it will learn your account settings. You can easily use it with your existing home Wi-Fi network or connect the Apple TV to your network via Ethernet.

Some drawbacks of the third generation Apple TV are:

Need iTunes

An iTunes Store account is necessary for buying or renting movies, as well as for buying TV shows and then streaming them. While that's not a big deal if you're an iOS user, you will have to adjust if you're an Android user on your mobile devices and don't yet have iTunes. You will have limits on what you can access for viewing.

Limited Content

Although you get access to Netflix and Hulu Plus, there are fewer options than some other set-top boxes in terms of accessible content. There is a smaller selection of movies and games than Roku 3, for example. You cannot get M-Go, Vudu or Amazon on the Apple TV 3, to just name three service providers.

Difficult to Jailbreak

The third generation Apple TV is more difficult to jailbreak than the Apple TV 1 or 2. Interestingly enough, it is fairly simple to hack the second generation model; this statement is not true of the third generation model. The workaround to get Kodi is to use the peer-to-peer AirPlay Mirroring feature to "mirror" what is on the screen of your iOS device to your television screen. This method can be aggravating to users who do not have iOS mobile devices.

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