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Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Monday, November 22, 2010

What is Apple TV and Why Should I Care?

Apple TV has been redesigned to be small in size but big on entertainment. Rent from the largest selection of HD movies, many available the same day they come out on DVD. Watch Netflix titles instantly. Rent TV shows, commercial free in HD. And stream photos and music from your computer to your widescreen TV. Best of all, Apple TV is just $99.

Instant movie and TV show rentals

No more waiting for DVDs or watching stale blockbusters on cable. With Apple TV, you get instant access to the hottest Hollywood titles and new releases, often the same day they come out on DVD. Popular movies are never out of stock and you can rent as many as you want. That’s perfect for those spontaneous movie nights. Search by top movies, title, or genre. Even read a quick movie review, watch the trailer, and check out the latest ratings from Rotten Tomatoes. Once you find what you’re looking for, simply press Play, and in seconds, you’re watching the opening credits with theater-like Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. 2SD rentals start at just $2.99, and HD rentals start at $3.99. You have 30 days to start watching, and once you begin, you can watch as many times as you want in 24 hours.

Tune in to Netflix, YouTube, and more

Stream from the huge Netflix catalog of movies and TV shows, and watch YouTube on the big screen.

From classics to recent Hollywood favorites, Netflix on Apple TV puts even more movies and TV shows within reach of your remote. Apple TV smartly organizes the huge Netflix catalog of HD and SD titles so you can find exactly what you’re looking for in a matter of clicks. When you find something you like, watch it right away or add it to your instant-watch queue. Since Apple TV lets you access your Netflix account directly from your HDTV, you can ditch all the computer-to-TV adapters and skip straight to the part where you press Play.

Instant TV rentals

With Apple TV, anytime is prime time. That’s because you can rent your favorite TV shows: sitcoms, dramas, and reality series — on the spot, completely commercial free and in HD for just 99¢ per episode. Watch a show the day after it airs, or camp out on your couch and catch up on past seasons with a marathon of back-to-back episodes. Once you rent an episode, you have 30 days to press Play. Then it’s yours for the next 48 hours. Watch it once, or replay it as many times as you want for some instant rerun gratification.

Say it’s midseason and you can’t make it home in time to watch this week’s episode of your favorite show. Apple TV keeps track of your favorite shows so the next time you turn on your TV, you can quickly see which season you’re watching and which episodes are new. Select shows with a few clicks of the included remote. And if your viewing list gets a bit long, Apple TV lets you rearrange it any way you want by clicking and reordering shows using the remote.

Read episode summaries, watch previews, and check out viewer ratings before you rent.


You’ve got tons of music on your computer. But the best speakers in the house are part of your home theater system. Apple TV connects them without missing a beat. Your iTunes music library streams directly to Apple TV. So you can sit back, choose a tune, and enjoy the music.

Apple TV and iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

Control Apple TV using your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Download the Remote app for free from the App Store. And with a flick of your finger, you can rent new movies and TV shows, scroll through the Netflix catalog, and browse your media collection. Remote uses the same easy-to-use interface you already use to browse music and video on your Multi-Touch devices. So right away, you know how to navigate. If you want to find something specific, use your device’s QWERTY keyboard to quickly tap out the title instead of clicking letters on the Apple TV screen. Then keep tapping to play, fast forward, rewind, and pause to your finger’s content.

Everything you want to watch, movies, TV shows, photos, and more, streams wirelessly to Apple TV. That way you don’t have to worry about managing storage or syncing to your iTunes library. HD movie and TV show rentals play over the Internet to your widescreen TV, while music and photos stream from your computer. Either way, all you have to do is click and play. Since Apple TV features a powerful A4 chip, it streams everything effortlessly, without frozen screens or stutters. Video looks crisp and clear. And just like watching a DVD, you can fast-forward through opening credits, pause for a popcorn break, or replay a hilarious scene until you memorize every line.

Setting up Apple TV is about as simple as it gets. Just plug the power cord into the wall and connect Apple TV to your widescreen TV using an HDMI cable (sold separately). Since everything streams wirelessly to Apple TV, that’s all you need. Well, that and a comfy couch.

Why Should I Care?

From our friends at

"We have just learned that Apple has added Voice-Over to it's Apple TV Media Receiver. Voice-Over speaks menus and file information, similar to that found on the iPhone and iPod touch. Click on the first button for a video demonstrating Voice-Over.

Click this link to purchase an Apple TV from

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