Apple TV Plus is the new video-streaming service from Apple.
Finally Apple's TV Plus service has launched in Australia and is set to be an exciting platform for TV and movie lovers alike. But, its not exactly what we expected - like a Netflix or Stan service. Here's what we know so far.
What is Apple TV Plus?
Apple TV Plus is a subscription streaming service to watch Apple's original series and movies exclusively.
Like Netflix, it won't have ads. However, unlike Netflix, it doesn't have a library of licensed shows or movies, nor will it release full seasons of its shows all at once (which is a shocker for those of us that love a good series binge). Many of Apple's series will premiere three episodes followed by one new episode every week. Although there are some series that will get dropped all at once. I guess time will tell if this works out or not.
Apple TV Plus programming sits inside the Apple TV app (which has been conveniently updated automatically on apple devices around the world). In the app's "Watch Now" tab, Apple TV Plus shows sit next movies and shows to rent and buy, as well as other video subscriptions such as HBO or Starz.
A feature I love, is that through this app, you can press the "play a free episode" button and get a taste of the shows before you invest in a monthly subscription. Not only that, Apple currently has the 7 day FREE trial if you want to give the service a little test run.
What's on Apple TV Plus?
Whilst the content is currently a little slim, I can see the potential of the service and the quality of the current line up, including "Morning Wars", starring Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell, "The Elephant Queen" and a coming soon exclusive with Oprah Winfrey, is excellent.
Apple TV Plus will also be part of Apple's family-sharing feature, which allows you and up to five family members to share a plan. Apple originals are available in 4K, HDR and Dolby Vision, and most titles also offer Dolby Atmos sound.
What devices can I use to access Apple TV Plus and how much will it cost?
Along with your favourite Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac etc), you can also watch Apple TV+ on the Apple TV app, on streaming platforms, popular smart TVs (Samsung) and AirPlay‑enabled TVs. Or watch Apple TV+ on the web at tv.apple.com/au.
After your Free 7 day trial, Apple TV Plus subscription will cost you $7.99 per month. Unless of course you purchase any eligible new iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or Apple TV, then you will enjoy a FREE One Year subscription. There is also a Student Plan for students who bundle their Apple TV Plus with their Apple Music plan.
I reckon it's worth at least the 7 day trial to see for yourself if there is some Apple exclusive content that will grab you and keep you hooked.
If you are one of the many Aussies who haven't got themselves a SMART TV (or not every TV in the house is SMART)... You can still get your fave shows via Netflix - here's how.
Using a smart TV is just one of the many ways you can stream services like Netflix and Stan. There’s a number of options that you can use, to get your Netflix fix.
Using Apple TV
Apple TV is a relatively cheap (currently around $239 - $299) way to watch a variety of media from any television with an HDMI port (most from the last 10 years). What I love about using Apple TV to watch Netflix (and other streaming services) is that the navigation through your Apple TV remote is so easy. The app is right there on the home screen and you can browse through the many shows and movies so easily. Plus you get the other benefits that come with Apple TV, such as easy ways to enjoy photos, music and iTunes content on your TV.
Through Google Chromecast
Google's Chromecast option is a cheaper way to access your Netflix (or other content) to your TV (currently around $59). Chromecast is basically a simple way to stream content from a smartphone or tablet to a TV. To stream Netflix through Chromecast, simply plug the Chromecast dongle into the HDMI port in the back of your television and change your TV’s input to HDMI. Then you can "cast" content from your smartphone or tablet to the TV wirelessly. So once you've found your show in Netflix on your smartphone or tablet, simply click on the "cast" icon and the content will show up on your TV.
In my view, the setup of Chromecast is a little more involved and less obvious for the non-techy folks. But once you are up and running its pretty easy to use.
Using a compatible gaming console (Xbox, PlayStation and Wii U)
If you own either an Xbox (360 or One), Playstation (3 or 4) or Wii U, you can already access Netflix. Each of these consoles has an online store where you can download games and applications, including Netflix Australia. Simply download the application from the appropriate store (it’s always free to download), log in with your Netflix account details and you’ll be watching Netflix in no time. The only tricky part here is learning to use your gaming controls, to navigate your Netflix menu's. That can take some getting used to, but this is an otherwise easy way to enjoy Netflix.
Through a tablet or computer
Using the appropriate HDMI cable, (can vary depending on your available ports on your tablet or computer) connect your computer or tablet to your TV with an adapter, change your television to the relevant HDMI input and you should see the screen from your tablet or computer mirrored on the television. Then all you have to do is access Netflix via your web browser or mobile app and you’ll be watching Netflix on the big screen in no time.
There are a number of Netflix compatible devices now being developed such as Blu-ray players and Fetch TV, Netflix have kindly detailed these devices on their website to keep us all in the loop.
Here is the link to find out if your device is Netflix compatible. devices.netflix.com/en/
If you'd like some help getting your Netflix ready devices connected or would like to ask us about our Apple TV + Install Bundle, get in touch with us today.
I get so many questions and calls from customers who just want some help or advice relating to their audio visual technology. I thought it would be a good idea to start capturing some of the common questions and try to provide an online resource for people to get information. So, I hope that you will find some of the information contained in these articles useful. I will try to add as many new relevant subjects as possible to keep you all in the know. I really do want to make AV easy for you too.