So what is Apple TV? Is it even an actual TV? The answer to that is no. Despite the name of the device, the Apple TV is not an actual television.
An Apple TV is a media streamer. It is a device which plugs into your TV or HDTV. Having one gives you the ability to watch movies, trailers, shows, and home videos right on your TV. You can also stream media from other computers or devices that are connected to your home network.
All of the current Apple TVs have no hard drives, so they have no ability to store data on the device itself. Because of this, you can only stream content.
The major difference between Apple TV and other content streamers, is that Apple TV is built to be compatible with other Apple products like the iPhone, iPad, or Mac. If you have a home video you shot from one of these devices, you can stream it on your television, wireless through the Apple TV.
In 2008, Steve Jobs described what Apple TV is better than anyone else. He said, “Apple TV was designed to be an accessory for iTunes and your computer. It was not what people wanted. We learned what people wanted was movies, movies, movies.”
But that Apple TV of course can play more than movies. You can play MP3 files through it as well as display your photo collections to your family right on the big screen.
AirPlay is the name for being able to steam different media from your other Apple devices using Apple TV. You can even play your iPad games with the screen displayed on your TV so the whole family can watch you play giant Angry Birds.
If you have a lot of Apple devices already, Apple TV is a good choice for a content streaming device if you don’t have one already.