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25 Exciting Things You Can Do With the Apple TV



The Apple TV is a smart TV device that you plug into any TV so that you can stream TV and movies, but it is so much more. There are many things that the Apple TV can do in addition to letting you watch Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu Live TV.

Here are all the exciting things you can do with the Apple TV. You can use all versions of the Apple TV for most of these tasks as the features are similar across all current models. Check out our review of the Apple TV and this guide to help you figure out how much storage you need.

It doesn’t matter if you are a new Apple TV user, a long time fan of the device or simply thinking about buying one and wanting to learn more about what the Apple TV does — there is something on this list for you. If you just added an Apple TV to your setup to cope with being at home more in 2020, this will show you everything you need to get started.

This is what the Apple TV can do.

This is what the Apple TV can do.

The Apple TV streams movies, but you can also use it to turn your TV into a digital picture frame, watch NASA, lose weight with workout apps, as a giant display for your laptop or iPhone, and much more.

The Apple TV starts at $149 at Amazon and Best Buy for the 1080P model (but you can get it for $144.99 at B&H Photo), and there is the Apple TV 4K for $179 at Amazon and Best Buy (which is $169.99 at B&H Photo.

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If you mainly plan to stream videos and use a few of the features listed but don’t think you will need a lot of apps or games, then you won’t need the added storage.

What Can The Apple TV Do?

The Apple TV can do much more than stream movies and TV shows, and Apple continues to add new features with software updates that upgrade your device for free.

Add HBO, STARZ and More to Your Apple TV

You can use the Apple TV as the center of your entertainment as well as the center of your smart home. From gaming to productivity and workouts there is an almost endless number of things that the Apple TV can do.

In many cases, you can do more on the Apple TV than you can on a Smart TV and it gets better software support over the long run with updates throughout the year. Apple normally releases small updates every few months to fix bugs and then adds in bigger features with updates one or two times each year. The updates are free and come alongside iPhone and iPad updates.

Read: Get the Best Gaming Chair You Can Buy

Here’s a look at the coolest things that the Apple TV can do in your house or in your office. This can help you decide if it is worth buying for the entertainment center.

  1. Rent Movies & TV Shows
  2. Use Siri to Start a Show on the Apple TV
  3. Watch Live TV Without Cable
  4. Replace Your Cable Box
  5. Play Party Games
  6. See Your Photos on the TV
  7. Stream HBO, Cinemax, Showtime & Others
  8. Search For Shows with Siri
  9. Mirror your Mac or iPhone to the TV
  10. Stream Music
  11. Watch TV Without Waking Anyone Up
  12. Find Something to Watch When You’re Lazy
  13. Control Your Lights and Home
  14. Educate Your Kids
  15. Get in Shape
  16. Shop and Find New Style
  17. Play Games on the Apple TV
  18. Watch Live Sports on the Apple TV
  19. Control Your TV and Sound System
  20. Use Your iPhone as the Remote to Type Passwords
  21. Watch Affordable 4K Movies and TV
  22. Listen to Dolby Atmos
  23. Connect a PS4 or Xbox Controller to Your Apple TV
  24. Watch Your Security Cameras
  25. Switch Users for Easy Access to Your Content

Updated July 2020 with new software, tips, and new Apple TV deals.

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Rent Movies & TV Shows

Rent Movies & TV Shows

The Apple TV is the center of your home entertainment system. You can stream movies and TV shows from a wide range of services. 

This includes watching new releases from iTunes or watching your favorite TV shows on Hulu Plus. You can use Netflix and other streaming services so that you are covered when it comes to watching old, new, odd and super popular.  

You'll also find CBS News, The Weather Channel, Vimeo, YouTuibe, Facebook Videos, VEVO, PBS and many other apps that allow you to stream videos and movies to your TV with a purchase or with a subscription.   

Last update on 2024-07-14. This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read our disclosure policy for more details. Images via Amazon API



  1. André Tavares

    04/13/2018 at 7:42 am

    Didn’t like this article. From 19 things, 10+ were about the same…

  2. Yuri

    04/13/2018 at 8:10 pm

    I buy iTunes content on my iMac and then stream to the AppleTV via our ethernet router. I’ve never noticed any lag or need for buffering. However, if I’m just renting a movie, I’ll do it on the AppleTV using the same router. I do see buffering at that point, but I doubt that a bigger HDD is going to make any difference.

  3. Victor

    02/10/2019 at 12:15 am

    From your list basically it does nothing.
    All all 21 things on your list are keep repeating over and over…..
    Even an cheap android box will do way more things than that apple tv…..

    • Michael

      02/28/2019 at 7:59 am

      I mean, yes. with android tv you can do the same but will not have that speed level on transitions. anyway as a apple fanboy let me tell you the obvious. Apple TV is pure crap.

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