The third generation Apple TV is still barely clinging on to life
The third-generation Apple TV still has access to apps like Netflix and Apple TV
Older Apple TVs may still be useful depending on the model. Find out which services are still available before sending them to recycling.
The fourth generation Apple TV — later rebranded to Apple TV HD — and newer have access to a full App Store where developers can submit apps. Previous models were only able to use what was available via an Apple server.
Owners of outdated models that have recently upgraded can still get some use out of their aging Apple TVs — at least the third-generation models. Some app providers continue to support the older model, but the list is shrinking.
Eventually, these Apple TVs will cease to do more than accept AirPlay signals, which may still be better than nothing.
What still works on the third generation Apple TV
The third-generation Apple TV was released in 2012 and continues to be somewhat functional. While significant services like YouTube and Disney+ are missing from this list, there are still several options for video streaming beyond Home Sharing.
Apps that still work
There is a long list of apps in Settings -> Main Menu that can be shown or hidden. There are many to choose from, but only a handful still function. We’ve verified the following will still let users view content.
- Apple TV
- CBS News
- CBS Sports
- iCloud Photos
- PBS Kids
- Prime Video
- Red Bull TV
- Showtime Anytime
- TV Shows
- WSJ Video
Listed, but don’t work
The following apps are available to add to the Apple TV, but they do not function as expected. When selected, a message appears saying “app is unavailable. Try again later.”
- Qello Concerts
- Sky News
- Trailers – opens, but actual trailers are not available
The last third-party app to add itself to the third-generation Apple TV was Amazon’s Prime Video in 2017. Apple released a special update in May 2019 to add the Apple TV app with Apple TV+.
Even if every third-party app ends support for this model, users can still take advantage of AirPlay, Home Sharing, and Apple apps. However, Apple will probably end support entirely as the device further ages.
Apple TV (2nd generation)
The second-generation Apple TV was the herald of the current enclosure design for the Apple TV.
The second generation Apple TV could only output video at 720p
The above listed apps still work, but don’t expect blistering UI speed. Until Apple removes legacy support for the older AirPlay versions, the second-generation Apple TV can also still receive a signal to output 720p and audio.
Those looking to get a little more out of the device can always look into jailbreaking. This replaces Apple’s software with something custom built for running modern video apps. Results vary, computing power is limited by the A4 processor, and users run the risk of bricking the device.
Apple TV 4K (3rd Generation) Review
The Apple TV media hub has been losing ground the last few years to competitors that are nearly as good and dramatically less expensive. Apple seeks to address some of these issues with the third-generation Apple TV 4K, which features a faster processor, a smaller profile, and—most importantly—a significant price cut. The Apple TV 4K starts at $129, which is $50 less than the previous generation and $10 less than the Amazon Fire TV Cube ($139.99). It lacks the hands-free voice control of the Fire TV Cube, however, and still costs more than twice as much as compelling options such as the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K and the Chromecast With Google TV 4K (both $49. 99). Given its premium price and targeted compatibility within its own ecosystem, the third-gen Apple TV 4K remains best reserved for dedicated Apple households.
A Smaller Puck and a USB-C Remote
The Apple TV 4K is a puck-like device with the same rounded corners, matte black finish, and unobtrusively flat profile as the previous version. You easily might think they were the same, but this one is a bit smaller, measuring 1.2 by 3.7 by 3.7 inches (HWD) versus 1.4 by 3.9 by 3.9 inches for the outgoing model. An indicator LED sits on the front, while the back houses the power connector and an HDMI port (and an Ethernet port if you get the $149 Ethernet model).
Internally, the Apple TV 4K uses the A15 Bionic chip, the same processor in the iPhone 14 and an upgrade from the A12 Bionic used in the previous model. The Wi-Fi-only variant includes 64GB of storage, while the Ethernet-equipped version upgrades storage to 128GB. Both models support Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) with 2×2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5. 0, and infrared.
The remote is identical to the previous model save for one upgrade that Apple has slowly begun rolling out across its products: USB-C. The new remote ditches Apple’s proprietary Lightning charging port in favor of the standardized USB-C connector. Otherwise, the remote carries over its one-piece aluminum design with a circular navigation pad near the top and a button that doubles as a touchpad. The power button and pinhole microphone are positioned above the touchpad, while back, mute, play/pause, and volume up/down buttons are below it. The dedicated Siri button is on the right side.
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K
Chromecast With Google TV
Chromecast With Google TV (HD)
Amazon Fire TV Stick With Alexa Voice Remote (3rd Gen)
Read Our Amazon Fire TV Stick With Alexa Voice Remote (3rd Gen) Review
Amazon Fire TV Cube (2022)
Roku Streambar Pro
Roku Streaming Stick 4K
Roku Streaming Stick 4K+
(Credit: Will Greenwald)
Out of the box, the remote can be awkward. For example, the touchpad is overly sensitive. Since you press it like a button to select anything on the screen, it’s easy to unintentionally push the cursor around and select the wrong thing. Also, by default the TV button on the remote opens the Apple TV app instead of jumping to the home screen. Since there’s no dedicated home button on the remote, you have to press and hold the back button to return to the main screen, which feels unintuitive. Fortunately, both behaviors can be reprogrammed in the Apple TV 4K’s settings menu: Under Remotes and Devices, change Clickpad to Click Only and change TV Button to Home Screen.
Simple Setup for iPhone Users
If you have an iPhone (and if you’re considering the Apple TV, you probably do), setting up the Apple TV 4K is incredibly easy, particularly compared with other media hubs.
As long as your iPhone’s Bluetooth radio is on and it’s connected to the same Wi-Fi network, simply hold it near the Apple TV 4K. A prompt will appear asking if you want to set it up. Enter the code that appears on your TV, and your phone will automatically send your Wi-Fi and Apple login information to the media streamer. Just a minute or two after doing this I was looking at the Apple TV 4K home screen with my apps already installed; I never had to enter any credentials through a frustrating on-screen keyboard. That’s Apple’s first-rate integration at work.
Making Sense of tvOS, Apple TV, and Apple TV+
(Credit: Will Greenwald)
There are three overarching aspects of interacting with the Apple TV. At the highest level is tvOS, the platform that powers the Apple TV hardware. tvOS has its own user interface for finding and running apps. Apple TV is one of those apps, but it’s also an entire service unto itself. It encompasses the basics for renting and buying movies or TV shows from Apple’s store, as well as ferreting out viewable content on competing streaming services. Lastly, there’s the Apple TV+ streaming service (found within the Apple TV app), which is where you can discover and watch Apple original movies and shows like Greyhound and Ted Lasso for $6.99 per month. This tiered arrangement could be better defined.
The tvOS interface itself is simple and iOS-like, but with more rectangular icons than square ones. The home screen shows five quick-launch apps (which you can easily rearrange) on the bottom quarter; the rest of the screen space is filled with the selected app’s logo or promotional video or stills. Scroll down from the main screen to browse the rest of your apps, which are scattered about in order of installation, though they can be rearranged to suit your preference. You can also set up folders to organize types of apps (such as games) if you wish, but tvOS won’t do it for you automatically like iOS and iPadOS do.
The tvOS App Store has come into its own. It now offers most competing video streaming services including Amazon Prime Video, Crunchyroll, HBO Max, Hulu, Netflix, Sling, Twitch, and YouTube as individual apps. There are also plenty of music services beyond Apple Music, including Amazon Music, SiriusXM, and Spotify, though YouTube Music is missing. (This last omission is puzzling because YouTube has no fewer than three apps on tvOS, including YouTube TV and YouTube Kids). Naturally, the Apple TV 4K supports Apple AirPlay 2 for streaming directly from your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.
If you like games, you can buy them individually from the App Store or access hundreds through a subscription to Apple Arcade. Few media streamers support games of any kind. Many of the games are mobile ports, but there are some notable gems like Shovel Knight Dig and Wonder-Boy and the Dragon’s Curse, which you can play with a compatible Bluetooth gamepad. However, even with the A15 Bionic onboard, you aren’t going to get PlayStation or Xbox gaming power, and the selection doesn’t come close to that of dedicated gaming hardware like the Nintendo Switch.
(Credit: Will Greenwald)
Apple clearly considers its Apple TV app to be the centerpiece of the Apple TV 4K given its dedicated button on the remote and prominent placement within the tvOS user interface. In fact, the Apple TV app feels more like a complete modern media hub all on its own. It’s odd, because Amazon Fire TV and Google TV both combine browsing apps and content across their own and third-party services. Moreover, neither tvOS nor the Apple TV app offer a live TV guide for free streaming channels or subscription-based live TV services (Fire TV, Google TV, and Roku all do). Apple TV+ (the monthly service) is available separately from a whole host of third-party hardware, including Amazon Fire TV products, Google TV streamers and sets, Roku streamers, and a bevy of smart TVs from LG, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, TCL, and Vizio.
Fitness fiends take note: The Apple TV 4K might be one of the best media streamers for working out. Apple Fitness is available as an app and it provides access to Apple Fitness+ ($9.99 per month), which offers guided exercises and meditations. It can also track your progress by connecting to your Apple Watch.
Last, Apple’s voice assistant Siri is accessible through the Apple TV 4K. You can summon Siri by pressing and holding the microphone button on the remote and then voicing your query. Siri can search for content, open apps, provide weather and sports info, help you find your lost Apple Watch or iPhone, and control HomeKit-compatible smart devices on your network. Siri is about as useful as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are on competing media streamers when it comes to finding content. Even so, it feels held back by the remote. The Amazon Fire TV Cube, for example, offer hands-free access to Alexa via far-field microphones. Apple clearly missed an opportunity here to bake voice access to Siri directly into the hardware.
You can use Siri hands-free with the Apple TV 4K if you connect it to a HomePod or HomePod Mini, but the same can also be said for $50 media streamers like the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K and the Chromecast With Google TV 4K, both of which work with their respective platforms’ smart speakers.
The Apple TV Streaming Media Experience
(Credit: Will Greenwald)
The third-generation Apple TV outputs in 4K resolution and supports high dynamic range (HDR) content in Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+, and hybrid log gamma (HLG). It’s also compatible with Dolby Atmos, along with lossless media formats including Apple Lossless and FLAC.
Despite interface quirks, the Apple TV 4K is downright snappy to use. Switching between apps is quick, and while the tvOS home screen doesn’t offer much to work with compared with the content-rich Apple TV app, it offers rapid access to any individual service or app installed on the device. I had no problems switching between apps and the home screen; for example, jumping from Twitch to Apple TV to YouTube feels brisk. Video loads quickly as well, with most 4K content hitting native resolution almost immediately upon playback.
(Credit: Will Greenwald)
A More Accessible Apple TV?
The third-generation Apple TV 4K is a capable media streamer that’s more appealing than its pricier predecessor. Despite its $50 price cut, however, nearly every other major streaming device is cheaper by a significant margin. While the Amazon Fire TV Cube costs $10 more, it has the added benefits of both hands-free voice control and HDMI pass-through, two features we’d love to see added to the Apple TV. Still, if you primarily use Apple products, the Apple TV 4K is an excellent media streamer thanks to its seamless integration across the ecosystem. For everyone else, the Amazon Fire TV Cube remains our top pick at the high end while any of the 4K-capable options in the $50 price range from Amazon, Google, and Roku are easy to recommend.
Apple TV 4K (3rd Generation)
Fast, responsive performance
Deep integration with Apple devices and services
Apple AirPlay 2
Confusing overlap of Apple tvOS and Apple TV app features
Using Siri requires speaking into the remote
The Bottom Line
Despite a drop in price and a boost in performance, the third-generation Apple TV 4K is still an expensive media streamer that’s best suited for Apple-centric households.
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4 Best Ways to Play Spotify on Apple TV (All Series)
Justin SabrinaUpdated on December 16, 2022
Spotify is one of the most popular music streaming services in the world. This article explains 4 ways to play Spotify music on Apple TV. You can get Spotify music on all Apple TVs (1st, 2nd, 3rd generation, 4th generation) via Spotify app, AirPlay, Spotify Connect, iTunes Home Sharing.
“Does Apple TV 3 have Spotify? How to get Spotify on Apple TV 3rd generation?
Music streaming services have taken the world by storm and Spotify is one of the most representative. Like other popular music streaming services, Spotify users can stream and download over 80 million tracks in 9$.99 a month instead of paying $9.99 for an album. For avid music lovers, this is a big savings. Spotify music can be streamed to mobile devices, tablets, computers, TVs, etc. But it seems a bit difficult if you want to get Spotify songs on older Apple TVs, because the Spotify app is not supported by all Apple Music series. While other streaming services like Pandora have released apps for tvOS, Spotify is an exception. Therefore, you may ask: “How can I0152 play Spotify music on Apple TV 4 ?” or “How do I install Spotify on Apple TV 2?”
The new Apple TV 4 now supports downloading the Spotify app from the App Store. What about old Apple TVs (1st, 2nd, 3rd generation)? Suppose you are an iOS phone user and you have installed Spotify on your device. You need to make sure your iOS device and Apple TV are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. In this case, you can use AirPlay to play Spotify on Apple TV, because Apple’s AirPlay technology allows you to send audio and video content to Apple TV from almost any device, while AirPlay is usually used with iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. This is a very popular technology, but it is a little more complicated. Here in this article 4 effective ways will be considered listen to Spotify Music on Apple TV including all series!
Part 1: Play Spotify on Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD
Part 2: Stream Spotify music to Apple TV via AirPlay (1st, 2nd, 3rd generation)
Part 3 .Play Spotify on Apple TV via Spotify Connect (1st, 2nd, 3rd generation)
Part 4: Get Spotify on Apple TV via Home Sharing (all series) [Easy and Hot]
Part 5. Fix: Spotify app not working on Apple TV 4
Part 1: Listen to Spotify on Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD
Spotify is now available on Apple TV 4th generation (including Apple TV HD) and Apple TV 4K. You can download the Spotify app on your Apple TV 4 or Apple TV 4K from the built-in App Store, you will need to link it to your Spotify account using your mobile phone or computer. Follow the detailed instructions below.
Step 1: Open the App Store from your Apple TV home page.
Step 2. Select the “Search” option on the top right corner of the screen, enter Spotify. Then click “Get” or “Install” next to the Spotify icon.
Step 3. After downloading, open the Spotify app. Click “Login” and you will see an activation code on the screen.
Step 4. Open a web browser on your phone or computer, visit Spotify.com/pair and sign in with your Spotify account. Enter the Spotify code you received on the Apple TV 4 screen and click PAIR.
Step 5. After successful pairing, “Your device has been successfully paired” will appear. Now you can access your music library and listen to Spotify music on n Apple TV 4, Apple TV 4K!
Part 2: Play Spotify on Apple TV via Spotify Connect (1st, 2nd, 3rd generation)
The first method is only available for Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD. The Spotify app is not supported by all Apple TV models. What if you have an older 1st, 2nd, 3rd generation or other series Apple TV? At this time you can use Spotify Connect to play Spotify on Apple TV . Let’s see how to do it!
Step 1: Connect your mobile device and Apple TV to the same Wi-Fi network.
Step 2 Open the Spotify app on your mobile device, play any music tracks or playlist.
Step 3. Click the “Available Devices” icon at the bottom of the screen and click “Other Devices”.
Step 4. Select your Apple TV from the list, and now you can listen to Spotify music and podcasts on your Apple TV!
Part 3: Stream Spotify music to Apple TV via AirPlay (1st, 2nd, 3rd generation)
Another way to play Spotify music on Apple TV 4 is to use the AirPlay function. While older Apple TVs don’t have the App Store, they come with AirPlay like other Apple devices. Apple AirPlay technology makes it easy and convenient to stream audio and video content from one Apple device to another Apple device. Learn how to use AirPlay to play Spotify on Apple TV.
What you need:
1) Apple TV.
2) iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Mac.
3) Make sure your Apple TV and iOS device are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
From iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch
Step 1. Open the Spotify app on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch and sign in to your account. Start playing any song on your iPhone.
Step 2 Go to the Control Center on your iPhone and press the “AirPlay” button.
Step 3. Select Apple TV, and now you can listen to songs from Spotify through Apple TV.
Step 1 Launch Spotify desktop app on Mac, select any song or playlist to play.
Step 2: Go to the Apple menu bar, click Control Center > Screen Mirroring, then select your Apple TV.
Part 4: Get Spotify on Apple TV via Home Sharing (all series)
We all know that Spotify music is DRM protected, so we can only access Spotify songs and playlists through the Spotify app, and we can’t transfer those songs to any other device. To overcome these limitations, you need a Spotify DRM removal tool. Most Spotify users recommend UkeySoft Spotify Music Converter. It can easily convert Spotify music to DRM-free (MP3/AAC/WAV/FLAC/M4A/AIFF) format with 100% lossless quality. In addition, all ID3 tags will be preserved after conversion, and users can easily and quickly find information such as title, artist, album, track number, and other file information.
For built-in Spotify web player and music player, users can login Spotify Free/Premium account on the converter to view, search, listen and download any Spotify song directly!
After conversion, you can transfer the converted Spotify songs to any music player and devices such as iTunes, Apple Music, MP3 players, iOS, Android and more, and then listen to Spotify music on any Apple TV with Home Sharing .
UkeySoft Spotify Music Converter – Convert Spotify Music to MP3
- Remove DRM and ads from Spotify songs, playlists, albums.
- Download Spotify songs, playlists, albums, podcasts for free.
- Support convert Spotify to MP3, AAC, FLAC, WAV, M4A, AIFF.
- Up to 5 times faster speed and batch conversion support.
- Built-in Spotify web music player, no Spotify app required.
- Save lossless quality and ID3 tags, title, artist, album art, title, year, etc.
- Manage your music library – sort Spotify output songs by artist, album, artist/album, album/artist.
- Stream Spotify Music free without ads.
- Supports Windows 7-11, Mac OS X 10.9 or higher, including the latest macOS 13 Ventura.
Free download UkeySoft Spotify Music Converter on your computer first, and learn how to use it for listen to Spotify music on Apple TV 4 without AirPlay .
Next, read the detailed guide for using UkeySoft Spotify Music Converter. First, you need to download and save Spotify songs as local MP3 files, import them to iTunes library, and then play Spotify songs on Apple TV via iTunes Home Sharing.
4.1 Step by Step: Convert Spotify Music to MP3 for Apple TV
Step 1. Launch UkeySoft Spotify Music Converter on your computer
Install and launch UkeySoft Spotify Music Converter on your computer after downloading. Log into your Spotify Free/Premium account to view the songs or playlists you want to keep.
Step 2. Select the output format as MP3
UkeySoft Spotify Music Converter supports multiple audio formats MP3, M4A, AAC, WAV, FLAC, AIFF. The default output format is AUTO M4A, you can change it to MP3 format to play on Apple TV.
Step 3. Import Spotify Music to Converter
In the built-in Spotify web player, you can browse, search and play any Spotify songs, playlists, albums, artists, tracks, podcasts, etc. Select one playlist and click the red “+” sign.
You will see that all the songs in the playlist are loaded into the conversion list, deselect the songs you don’t need.
Step 4. Convert Spotify Music to MP3
Click “Convert” button, the program will start converting Spotify Music to MP3 without losing the original sound quality.
After conversion, you can find DRM-free Spotify music files by clicking History icon > blue folder icon.
after we got the local DRM-free Spotify song, we need to connect the multimedia content on your computer to Apple TV 4. You can import all your converted Spotify songs to iTunes, and then stream those DRM-free Spotify songs to Apple TV with Family Sharing.
Step 1. Import the converted Spotify MP3 songs to iTunes
Open iTunes on Mac or Windows PC first, click File > New > Playlist. Create a new playlist to store Spotify songs.
Then drag the converted Spotify MP3 songs from the output folder.
Step 2: Open Home Sharing in iTunes
Go to File > Home Sharing and select Enable Home Sharing. Enter your Apple ID and password, then click Turn on Home Sharing.
Step 3: Open Home Sharing on your Apple TV
On your Apple TV, go to Settings > Accounts > Home Sharing and select Turn on Home Sharing, then enter your Apple ID and password .
Step 4: Share media content on your computer with Apple TV
Select Computers on Apple TV 4, then you will see the media content on your computer listed on Apple TV. Now you can start playing Spotify music from your computer on any Apple TV model.
Part 5 Fix: Spotify app not working on Apple TV 4
The above methods will help you play Spotify music on Apple TV at will. Sometimes Spotify won’t play on Apple TV 4? Here’s the real fix!
1 # Check the billing status of your Spotify account
Go to the Spotify web browser, log in to your Spotify Premium account, and check if the billing status of your Spotify Premium account is charged correctly.
2 # Update the Spotify app
Only Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD can download and install the Spotify app. If the Spotify app doesn’t work on Apple TV 4K or Apple TV HD, you can update it from the App Store.
3# Force quit and restart the app
Click the App tab on the Apple TV 4K or Apple TV HD home page. Find and select the Spotify app with your remote control, select Info from the menu > Force Logout. Then open the Spotify app again to try playing the song.
4 # Uninstall and reinstall the Spotify app
To solve this problem with the Spotify app, you can also uninstall and reinstall the Spotify app on your Apple TV 4K or Apple TV HD.
5 # Restart your Apple TV
You can force restart your Apple TV. Press and hold the Back and TV/Control Center buttons on the Siri Remote or Apple TV Remote.
6 # Clear Spotify app cache
Your listening history and podcast subscriptions are saved on your Apple TV with which you use Spotify. Try clearing the application’s cache file to resolve this issue. Select the Spotify app from the Apps tab on your Apple TV 4K or Apple TV HD, choose Info > Clear Cache.
7# Check WiFi connection
Streaming Spotify music to Apple TV 4 requires a stable WiFi connection. If your WiFi connection is unstable, playback will be interrupted! Try disconnecting your Apple TV 4’s WiFi connection and reconnecting it.
Now you can easily listen to your favorite Spotify songs on any Apple TV. With the built-in Spotify app on Apple TV 4, you can access millions of songs and podcasts from around the world. But it doesn’t matter if you can’t install Spotify app on older 1st, 2nd, 3rd generation Apple TV to play music, Spotify Connect and Apple AirPlay functions will help you stream Spotify to Apple TV from mobile devices. The best way to enjoy Spotify music on all Apple TVs is to use UkeySoft Spotify Music Converter. This powerful tool allows you to download and convert Spotify songs, playlists and podcasts to simple MP3 audios, so that you can keep Spotify songs forever and get Spotify music on Apple TV 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th generation and any other smart TVs.