Apple TV (stylized as Apple logo black.svgtv) is a digital media player and a microconsole developed and sold by Apple Inc. It is a small network appliance and entertainment device that can receive digital data from a number of sources and stream it to capable TV for playing on the TV screen.
The third generation of Apple TV was introduced on March 7, 2012, incorporating the higher resolution (1080p) video standard. Apple TV is a HDMI-compliant source device connected to an enhanced-definition or high-definition widescreen television via a HDMI cable to the TV’s HDMI port, and the TV is put into HDMI mode. The device has no integrated controls and can only be controlled externally, either by an Apple Remote control device (with which it is shipped) using its infrared capability or by the ‘Remote’ app (downloadable from App Store) on iOS devices, such as the iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad, using its Wi-Fi capability. Its Wi-Fi capability is also used to receive digital content from the iTunes app using AirPlay or directly from iTunes Store, which is then streamed to the TV. It also plays digital content from the iTunes Store, BBC iPlayer (UK only), Netflix, Hulu Plus, Now TV (UK only), YouTube and Vevo, along with the TV Everywhere portals of several cable and broadcast networks, and the video subscription portals of three of the four major North American sports leagues; MLB.tv, NBA League Pass and NHL GameCenter. It plays content from any Mac OS X or Windows computer running iTunes.
Apple TV’s competitors include WD TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Google TV, Android TV, Now TV (UK), and Chromecast, consoles and media hubs such as the PlayStation 3/4, Xbox 360/One and Nintendo Wii/WiiU and late model TiVo DVR systems, as well as internal smart TV systems and Blu-ray players from companies such as Vizio, Sharp, Sony, Samsung, LG and others.