“Today, the economy makes a gain and climbs to…” the voice of a reporter gets muffled into white noise and relegated to the background as my daughter slowly glides by asking, “Dad can I watch an episode of Sabrina, The Teenage Witch?”
“Sure honey. Wait. Did you do your ScootPad?" (Educational Training App for those of you without children or haven’t seen the App)
“Alright then, enjoy your show.”
She grabs the pewter-like Apple TV remote and selects the Netflix app, navigates to her show and chooses the episode she wants.
As you can see from the short story above the entertainment hasn’t changed, rather the medium has made a Quantum Leap. (Yeah, I went there. It’s the geek in me that does that sort of thing.) In short, the past had you dealing with rabbit ears, cable boxes, or satellite dishes to pull a good quality channel. Today with the Apple TV you don’t have to worry about any of that, you just plug in the power and HDMI cable to get the Apple TV on your screen, put in your wifi password to connect to your home network, pay for netflix ($7.99) or HBO Now ($14.99), and then you’re off to the races. Of course, if you’re not interested in paid channels, then you are in luck because the Apple TV has lots of them; here is the full list of channels: Link
So, can the Apple TV replace your cable or satellite subscription? Yes. In fact, let me give you my daily routine with the Apple TV:
6:30 AM (Turn on the CBS News channel & have a cup of joe)
7:30 AM (Leave for work and wife continues to watch till 8 AM)
work till 5:30
6:15 PM (Send calm music from iPhone to Apple TV for light background tunes for dinner. Why use the iPhone? Because the up & down volume can be used to quickly increase or decrease the sound.)
7:00 PM (Family watches Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D or Dr. Who )
8:00 PM (Daughter goes to bed and the wife and I watch a show or movie on one of the 4 channels: Netflix, Crackle, Hulu Plus or HBO Now)
9:00 PM Check the forecast on The Weather Channel
This routine was very similar to the one I had with my satellite service, but the huge difference is that I’m paying $30 instead of $75.
Besides the change in price, the Apple TV has changed the way I consume shows, documentaries, and movies. It used to be that I would have to search on my cable box for the show that I wanted to watch, then set it to record (which most of the time was a week out). Now all I have to do is open up Netflix or HBO (side note: your favorite shows may not be on Netflix, Hulu Plus or HBO), save it as a favorite and I can watch it at my leisure. For shows like The Walking Dead that aren’t on HBO Now, Hulu Plus, or Netflix you can purchase the season through iTunes for $42.99. The price may seem high but it’s still cheaper than paying $75 a month. Plus after buying the season on iTunes, I own it. I can go back and watch it on any of my Apple Devices as many times as I want. (If you have Family Sharing turned on, then all of your family members that are on your account can watch the show as if they bought it.) Here is a link about Family Sharing: Link
Sure, not everything is the same as cable, but why would you want it to be? I certainly don’t miss those filler channels and what seemed to be 10 minutes of commercials between breaks in a show. Hulu Plus has commercials but they are short. Netflix has none, while HBO Now has short clips usually of another HBO show or movie, that starts before the show your watching.
The Apple TV can also shape shift into other things:
AirPlay: Play games, movies, photos, presentations, or mirror what’s being displayed on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or your Mac. Here is a link: Link Let the games begin!
Screen Saver: It can play a slide show with canned National Geographic photos or your personal photos from iCloud. This function makes it a nice mood enhancer or background piece at any gathering.
Podcast: It can play your favorite podcast, Apple Music or iTunes music library. Essentially the Apple TV can be your radio.
Try doing all of that on your cable box.
To sum things up, I cut the cable cord a long time ago and will never go back.