Apple TV is a digital media player developed and sold by Apple Inc. It is a small network appliance designed to play digital content from the iTunes Store, Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, Flickr, iCloud, Disney XD, Disney Junior, Vevo, or any Mac OS X or Windows computer running iTunes on an enhanced-definition or high-definition widescreen television.
In September 2010, Apple announced a second-generation version of the Apple TV. About one-quarter of the size and one-third of the price of the original Apple TV, the new device could stream rented content from iTunes and video from computers or iOS devices via AirPlay. The new version no longer has the hard drive; however, it does have an undocumented internal 8 GB flash storage, speculated to be used for smoother playback of streamed media. All content is drawn from online or locally connected sources. A third generation of the device was introduced at an Apple event on March 7, 2012, with new features such as higher resolution (1080p) and a new user interface. On January 28, 2013, Apple released a third generation “Rev A” which included component changes.
- H.264 up to 720p at 30 frames per second (1st & 2nd generation)
- H.264 up to 1080p at 30 frames per second (3rd generation)
- MPEG-4 up to 720×432 (432p) or 640×480 pixels at 30 frame/s
MPEG-4 video up to 2.5 Mbps, 640×480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats.
- Motion JPEG up to 720p at 30 frame/s
Motion JPEG (M-JPEG) up to 35 Mbps, 1280×720 pixels, 30 frames per second, audio in ulaw, PCM stereo audio in .avi file format.
- HE-AAC (V1)
- AAC (16–320 kbit/s)
- FairPlay protected AAC
- MP3 (16–320 kbit/s, or optionally VBR)
- Audible (formats 2, 3, and 4)
- Apple Lossless
- Dolby Digital (5.1 surround sound pass-through) (aka AC-3)
- Compatible with high-definition TVs with HDMI and capable of 1080p or 720p at 60/50 Hz.
- Requires HDCP when playing protected content.
- A sustained 8 Mbit/s or faster Internet connection is recommended for viewing 1080p HD movies and TV shows, 6 Mbit/s or faster for viewing 720p content, and 2.5 Mbit/s or faster for SD content