Apple TV hopes to flood the streaming television market with the introduction of their revamped device, available in October. Priced at $150, it’s the most expensive version of this technology on the market.
Powered by Siri voice search, Apple TV makes it easy to move through Hulu, iTunes, and Netflix. One of the distinguishing features comes from Apple’s partnership with the Gilt Groupe and the inclusion of the Gilt shopping app. It’s a benefit derived from the support of innovative investors like Anton Levy, managing director of General Atlantic and Gilt Groupe board member.
Apple TV is competing with Roku, Google, and Amazon, and these competitors have a strong hold on the market, serving gaming, programing, and shopping experiences to a mostly loyal customer base.
The clickable remote with a touch screen makes shopping on Apple TV with the Gilt app a social experience. Instead hunching over a handheld screen, users will be able to shop from the comfort of a couch and get input from friends and family when they’re making their purchases. But will the addition of social interaction increase sales or decrease them?
Often, online sales are made when we’re alone with our digital device. Adding an audience might make us more cautious when we shop. Instead of encouraging us to spend more, our companions might add the brakes to our impulses we usually can’t control when we’re on our own.
If you’re interested in testing the streaming media waters, here are some of Apple TV’s competitors:
Amazon Fire TV
Amazon’s Fire TV is currently unavailable. Apparently there’s a new release coming shortly, and the company is touting its improved hardware, more channels, games, and apps. Reviewers point out that much of the promised content from popular apps like FOX Now and FX Now is still unavailable—but has been available on Apple TV for months. It’s a good choice if you stream a lot of Amazon content.
Google Chromecast doesn’t have a remote since it’s designed to mirror what you see on your tablet or phone. You plug the device into your TV’s HDMI port, which makes it very portable. It’s a good choice if you’re comfortable working with technology interfaces. Some people might find it a bit too complicated.
The Nexus Player has an attractive design sets this device apart—it’ll look good in your living room. Equipped with voice control, it can cast from smartphones, tablets, and computers. It’s the right choice if you use Google Play and like the Android TV operating system.