5 reasons not to buy an Apple TV

Why shouldn't you buy an Apple TV? Because it has its share of problems. Here are five reasons why you shouldn't spend your cash on an Apple TV.

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  • What is Apple TV What is Apple TV?
  • 6 Where is iPlayer No iPlayer
  • 7 No Xcode No apps
  • 8 No Games No games
  • 9 Chromecast It's expensive
  • 10 No HDMI In Uses an HDMI socket
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What is the Apple TV? Why you should think twice before buying

Apple TV is a set-top box designed by Apple that brings iTunes content to the television. The Apple TV connects to your television via a HDMI cable, and connects to your Wi-Fi router.

Once Apple TV is set up, you enter an Apple ID and password and can stream any content you have bought from iTunes Store to your television. You can also stream iTunes Match music synced to your iTunes Match account (if you are a subscriber). Apple TV has a selection of built-in apps, such as Now TV, Sky News and Netflix that enable you to stream content from these services directly to your television. Finally you can use AirPlay to stream video, music, photos and compatible apps from an iPhone or iPad.

It's worth noting that the Apple TV was last updated in 2012, and we expected to see a refresh in 2014 (so definitely expect to see a new model in 2015).

See also:

Apple TV review

5 reasons to buy Apple TV

New Apple TV 2014 release date rumours

What to expect from Apple TV in 2014

Next »

Next Prev What is Apple TV

Apple TV is a set-top box designed by Apple that brings iTunes content to the television. The Apple TV connects to your television via a HDMI cable, and connects to your Wi-Fi router.

Once Apple TV is set up, you enter an Apple ID and password and can stream any content you have bought from iTunes Store to your television. You can also stream iTunes Match music synced to your iTunes Match account (if you are a subscriber). Apple TV has a selection of built-in apps, such as Now TV, Sky News and Netflix that enable you to stream content from these services directly to your television. Finally you can use AirPlay to stream video, music, photos and compatible apps from an iPhone or iPad.

It's worth noting that the Apple TV was last updated in 2012, and we expected to see a refresh in 2014 (so definitely expect to see a new model in 2015).

See also:

Apple TV review

5 reasons to buy Apple TV

New Apple TV 2014 release date rumours

What to expect from Apple TV in 2014

 

Where on earth is BBC iPlayer?

We can watch BBC iPlayer on just about every single device that's plugged into our television except this one. Just about every console and every other settop box plugs into BBC's amazing iPlayer service. And it's not as if nobody is interested in iPlayer: it accounts for most of the internet traffic in the UK.

Sure, you can use AirPlay to bounce iPlayer content from the iPhone to the Apple TV. And in fact, this omission is kind of a moot point because we now have BBC iPlayer on so many other devices that the lack on an Apple TV doesn't really hurt. But there should have been a dedicated Apple TV BBC iPlayer app years ago.

Read: Apple TV hints & hacks for the ultimate Apple TV setup

 

No apps or developer SDK in sight

Developers would love to get their hands on the Apple TV and start creating apps for it. The only stumbling block is Apple itself, which still hasn't created an SDK (software developer kit) or opened an Apple TV app store.

There's an SDK for Mac, there's one for for iOS, and there's even one for the Apple Watch - and that isn't out yet. So why hasn't Apple released an SDK for the Apple TV? An SDK could give us great games directly on the Apple TV, and the BBC could make that iPlayer app we're waiting on.

 

You can't play games on the Apple TV

Partly this is a spin-off from the no apps problem, but the Apple TV would make a great alternative to games consoles like PlayStation 4 and Xbox 360. Both Sony and Microsoft are trying to charge £54.99 for new games, which is laughable when placed next to the vibrant and low-priced (perhaps too low-priced...) gaming scene for iOS.

Apple has a MFI controller for iPad and iPhone: we wish the company would just extend gaming to the Apple TV.

 

The Apple TV is expensive compared to rivals

The Apple TV is expensive when compared to its rivals. Although the Apple TV had a recent fall in price, and is now only £59, that's still a lot more than the Google Chromecast or Roku.

While the Apple TV offers some additional features, such as AirPlay and iCloud integration, we're not convinced they're worth that much more than a cheap media-streaming option.

Thirteen alternatives to the Apple TV

 

It takes up another HDMI socket on your television

The Apple TV doesn't have HDMI pass-through so it takes up another HDMI socket on your television.

If you really wanted all the features from an Apple TV then this wouldn't be such an issue, but because it just adds a few extra features to the television we find it annoying that we have to give up an HDMI socket for it.

Even modern televisions only have a couple of HDMI sockets, and most have just the one. Even if you have just a set-top box and a game console you will have to go round the back of the television to swap over the cables every time you use it.

This is the number-one reason our Apple TV goes unused for so long, and Apple could fix it by including a HDMI pass-through solution with a HDMI in and out socket (like the Xbox One has). This would enable the Apple TV to sit between your settop box and television, and jump in when it was needed.

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