Apple TV

Apple TV
If you are heavy into iTunes or the Apple ecosystem, the best solution may be Apple TV. Even if you're not, the variety of content on Apple TV is sufficient for most people.

If, though, you need Amazon Prime or standard Amazon Instant Video content, then Apple TV isn't the best solution. Roku or Fire TV devices would be better suited to those services.

As A Single Solution

Many find that Apple TV by itself is a viable single sources for television content. Most broadcast network shows -- CBS excepted -- are available through a subscription to Hulu, with most new content being available on-demand the next day. Favorite shows that aren't part of the Hulu package can be purchased from iTunes, giving you an even greater selection of content. Live sports from ESPN is available in limited form through WatchESPN. The full ESPN content isn't available on Apple TV without a cable/satellite subscription. CBS content is available through a CBS All Access subscription.

While it is true that the additional purchases and subscriptions will increase your overall cost, you may still Save money overall, depending on how much you save by dropping cable or satellite.

The Lineup

The two versions of the fourth-generation New Apple TV devices are differentiated from each other by the on-board storage. The New Apple TV features Siri, an App Store, and support for gaming. It comes in a 32 GB model for $149, and a 64 GB model for $199. Apple TV supports many of the major streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Showtime, PBS, Sky News, and others. Plus, if you have a cable TV package, you can authenticate USA, ESPN, CNN, and other services for online streaming.

One feature that is often overlooked in Apple TV is the ability to stream iTunes music. If you have music downloaded to a computer running iTunes, you're set. iTunes acts as a streaming server for downloaded content, audio or video. That means if you have a sound system as part of your TV/entertainment system, you can stream directly to it with Apple TV. You can stream from the Web, or from your local iTunes computer.