I am an early adopter of most of the latest and greatest technology. I love connecting with friends, finding people who have the same interests, making my life efficient, and being more effective. I also like devices that end up saving me money. This is the lens that I review all technology through, including the 4th generation Apple TV. I have done a bit of homework and in this blog I would like to share my perspective on how Apple TV will save me money.
When you subscribe to a cable or satellite subscription you are likely paying at least $99 per month and more likely if you have a DVR you are paying another $50+. Add in your subscription to Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime etc., because I have found many of my family and friends are also paying for these services to get better programming than what is on TV. So I ask, why do we still subscribe to cable? I have found that many families like to watch live sports, news, and the latest Disney programming. When you weigh out what we really consume from cable we estimate that we are paying a lot to watch the mouse. I find that our mobile devices in the house are the ones using Hulu or late night TV watching when the kids are finally in bed. When you add in the cost of Apple TV at 32GB version costing $149 and a 64GB model going for $199, I wonder how different is it from our smart tv capability or WII U or blue ray options to connect to online services. What do you really get for your money and will it save you anything or add another way to access the same content you can now?
I am happy to say YES, it can save you a lot of money and with that extra cash you could even upgrade your TV and throw a party. Sound to good to be true? Check this out: For the cost of the DVD or Blu-ray of your favorite season, you can order a Season Pass to a currently airing program. (It’s not just the old seasons and is available the night it is airing.)
Here is what I found on Apple’s Website regarding available programming:
“You get full HD episodes of your favorite shows without commercials the day after they air on cable. Even better, you own the episodes so you can watch them any time from any Apple device.
Many networks like ABC, PBS, ESPN, and Smithsonian have Apple TV apps. They offer many of their programs for streaming through these apps which allow you to watch full episodes and clips from your favorite programs without a cable or satellite subscription.
Apple TV makes it simple to subscribe to and watch free content on the Internet through hundreds of thousands of Podcasts. These free, On Demand program’s offer content the cable networks can’t afford to offer.
Finally, the Apple TV is capable of receiving AirPlay streaming content from other Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, MacBook). If you can find it on the web and play it with those devices, you can stream it to your big screen TV and watch it using Apple TV.
Apple continues to negotiate with other networks so expect to see even more content available in the future”(Jack R. Apple Website).
To put a fine point on this, I wanted to be sure I could watch everything from Detroit Tigers to March Madness to Superbowl. In my research, I found that if you just launch the NCAA March Madness Live app then launch AirPlay from Control Center and whatever’s on your iPhone or iPad will be mirrored to your TV.
HERE COMES THE BEST TIP: SLING.COM
The cheapest option is to get an antenna. Sunday Night Football is carried by NBC and Thursday Night Football is on CBS. Therefore, a TV antenna will provide you with a means to watch the game regardless of which teams are playing for free. But what if you want to watch Monday Night Football Online on ESPN and your local team isn’t playing you can subscribe to Sling.com for $20 per month.
Sling.com also includes LIVE!! Disney channel, HGTV, ESPN, and 23 others. The cost is $20 versus the $100+ you are currently paying for a cable or satellite subscription.
WHAT ABOUT LOCAL NEWS?
“ABC News on Apple TV offers immediate access to live, multi-streaming video and on-demand content, entertainment news, live hourly updates, original programming and video highlights from “Good Morning America,” “World News with Diane Sawyer,” “Nightline,” “20/20,” and “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” 24 hours a day, 7 days a week” (ENBERG, N., 2014). Read more about content on ABC here.
– 24/7 access to live and on-demand video with four separate live video streams to choose from.
– Video news updates on the hour and four to five live reports per day to cover breaking news.
Not only will you have access and could consider canceling your cable or satellite service, but your remote becomes a friend and channel surfing has a smart assistant called SIRI.
Siri can also do follow-up questions,” Walt Mossberg wrote in his review for The Verge. “I asked for movie mysteries, and it showed me a ton. Then I said ‘only the good ones,’ and it edited the list down based on critics’ ratings.”
Siri has a few other tricks: She can search seasons of a TV series by episode, pause or fast-forward playback, and replay a part of the episode if you missed some dialogue if you ask her, “What did they say?”. Siri can not search the App Store, but she will work with Apple Music early next year, like your she does with your iPhone today.
I know another question is what games can I play or what apps will I be able to utilize from my TV? In my experience, just like with the early months after the apple watch release, it will be a hot second and you will have more apps available than you can vet through. “Because Apple TV is a platform that’s new to developers, the current selection of apps is limited and some first efforts seem…not as well-conceived as they might have been,” Paczkowski writes. “But’s that going to change—and quickly. As developers get their hands on this thing and spend some real time coming to understand it, I suspect we’re going to see some great stuff coming down the pipeline.”
So why wait any longer? You can order up your viewing content when you want, save money, and you have Siri by your side. The options are only going to get better with each new software update.