A TV set from Apple that was only a rumor.
Apple TV is a media hub (definition #3 below), whereas Apple TV+ is a video streaming service. The hub came out a decade before Apple TV+. See Apple TV+
A digital media hub that turns a TV into an Internet-connected smart TV. Introduced in 2007 and upgraded over the years, Apple TV offers a wide variety of entertainment (see below). Using Apple's AirPlay, the screen of any Apple mobile device can be sent to the TV via the Apple TV hub. Photos in iCloud can also be streamed to the TV. See AirPlay
, smart TV
and digital media hub
2022 - Wi-Fi Only or Wi-Fi and Ethernet
Providing faster remote control response, Apple TV models are based on connectivity. Apple TV 4K Wi-Fi has 64GB of storage, and Apple TV 4K Wi-Fi + Ethernet has 128GB, along with Thread mesh networking to connect smart home devices. Surround sound Dolby Atmos and Dolby Digital 5.1 and 7.1 are supported.
2017 - Apple TV 4K
In 2017, the 4K hub added support for 4K video content and HDR, and if available, iTunes purchases are automatically upgraded to 4K. A 2K resolution model (Apple TV HD) is also offered. See 4K TV
2015 - Games and Apps
In 2015, downloadable games and apps were added with up to 64GB of flash memory to store them. Siri commands and a trackpad were added to the remote control (see below). The optical output was dropped, and based on iOS 9, the hub's operating system was rebranded "tvOS."
2010-2012 - DVR to No DVR - 720p to 1080p
The first Apple TV had a DVR and both analog and digital outputs (HDMI and optical). In 2010, AirPlay was added but the DVR and analog port were dropped. In 2012, resolution was boosted from 720p to 1080p.
Apple TV Home Screen
The Apple TV hub features a huge variety of free content as well as the paid Apple TV+ service. Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, ESPN and a wide variety of news, sports, games, podcasts, movies and TV shows are offered. The orange icon at the lower left delivers content from computers attached to the home network.
The 10-ounce box lying on top of this CD changer is a second-generation Apple TV. With rumors that Apple was building a TV set, many thought it absurd the company would want to ship 30-pound TVs when this small media hub makes any TV a smart TV.
Fourth-Generation Apple TV HD
Thicker than earlier models, the fourth-generation Apple TV HD (right) is still small. Siri was activated by pressing the remote's microphone button. The click wheel was replaced with a touchpad and later a clickpad (see next image).
Apple TV Siri Remotes
When Siri was added in 2015, the mic button was under the Menu button (left). In 2021, the new remote (right) moved Siri to the upper right side and changed the touchpad to a clickpad, reminiscent of the first iPod. The new Siri remote added mute and on/off for the first time.
USB Type C in the 4G Model
In the fourth-generation Apple TV, a USB Type C port (red arrow) was added to connect to a Mac for developer testing and screen recording. However, in the next generation, Type C was eliminated, opting for wireless instead.