What is an Apple TV and how does it work?

Short Answer
An Apple TV is not a television – it is a little box that you can connect to your TV and it uses the internet to get access all different kinds of Movies, TV shows, YouTube and NetFlix to name a few. You have to have a TV that takes input via HDMI, (so a TV that was bought in the past 10 years), and you need a connection to the Internet. It looks like this:


Longer Answer
So everything in the short answer above but here are some more answers to your questions:

  1. Q) How big is it? A) It is about the size of four CD cases stacked on top of each other – so not big;
  2. Q) Do I have to have an iPhone to use it? A) No – it comes with a small handheld remote control. You can if you wish download the remote app for your iPhone or iPad and that is a handy way to control it, especially if you remote battery is running out;
  3. Q) Is it hard to set up? A) No – if you are able to plug things in and know basic information about connecting to your home wi-fi network then you are good;
  4. Q) What should I think about when I go buy it? A) You should think about where you are going to put it and then figure out how long of an HDMI cable you need.  It does not come with an HDMI cable so you need to buy that as well;
  5. Q) Do I need iTunes to use it? A) No – you can use it without iTunes – however if you want to rent movies it is handy to use iTunes because they have a bunch of movies you can watch (think Rogers on Demand);
  6. Q) Do I have to pay a monthly fee? A) No – you buy it and once you bought it that is that – just like if you bought a DVD player – you pay your money and then you are done;
  7. Q) Do you think it was worth the money? A) Yes – I use it all the time to watch Netflix and occasionally I use it to watch YouTube videos on my TV;
  8. Q) What is Jail Breaking? A) Jail Breaking is when hack into the device and get it to do a bunch of other stuff it does not do normally.  I am not against Jail Breaking – but I have not found any real need to do that – it does enough out of the box.