Getting Most of Apple TV: Things You Can Do

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By Judith Aparri | April 1, 2014 6:56 PM EST

The streaming TV box is currently more crowded. There are Google Chromecast, Roku and many other smaller players. But Apple TV maintains its spot as the most famous gadget in the emerging category. It does many functions and not just streaming Netflix.

Here are some things you can do with your Apple TV as compiled by Business Insider:

Convert Video Files to Apple TV Format

If you have video files in your computer which are incompatible with iTunes, there are softwares to transcode them.

For example, iMovie in iMac, QuickTime Pro ($29.99) and  HandBrake for PC, Linux and Mac. They can simplify video import and export it to Apple TV-compatible. When converted, drag the file and drop into iTunes. Then beam to your Apple TV using AirPlay. For videos from your DVD, try RipIt ($24.95) or HandBrake (which works for PC too). After ripping  your DVD, drag the file and drop into iTunes. Use AirPLay to view on Apple TV.

Listen to Streaming Radio

Apple introduced iTunes Radio in fall, an Internet radio similar to Pandora. This free app lets you create curated stations per genres, songs and artists of your preference.

 Play iPhone games

AirPlay lets you beam content from your iPad or iPhone to the Apple  TV, and play games on the big screen. Only newer versions of the mobile devices work with AirPlay. To go to AirPlay mirroring, ensure your device and Apple TV have the same Wi-Fi network. Then swipe up from the screen bottom to see the control panel, tap "AirPlay" button and select option to mirror everything to your Apple TV. Launch the game and you should see it appear on TV.

Stream Shows From HBO and ESPN

If you are an HBO or ESPN subscriber, launch the HBO and ESPN apps so you can stream shows from both on Apple TV. Not all subscriptions support it though but most major ones do. It doesn't work with all cable subscriptions, but most major companies support it. For these networks, you may not need to use your regular cable box.

 Stream TiVo Shows

Software Roxio's Toast Titanium ($79.99) lets you access TiVO recorded shows and save them to your Mac. From there, drop the videos to iTunes then stream to your Apple TV. You will save space on DVR and not worry about paying for new iTune shows.

Stream Tunes via Your Home Theater

Your Apple TV can let you stream music too through your television. If you have a theater system, it is a great Sonos wireless music system alternative. Also control music for your iPad or iPhone with the Remote app. Just enable Home Sharing on your iTunes and Apple TV. Go to the Settings menu to do that.

 Use an Ethernet cable for a more stable connection

If the Apple TV is near your router, you can connect it to the Internet with an Ethernet cable in lieu of Wi-Fi. Through this, it will perform faster with all the video streaming it will be doing. Slowdowns and buffering files will be reduced.

 Use Your iPhone as a Remote

Apple TV remote is beautiful but minimal to anything that you want. Use your iPhone or iPad instead. Download the remote app and control the TV with your mobile device. This is useful especially when searching for stuff. For example, instead of using the TV remote with its arrow keys, you just type on your device.

Use Your Apple TV on Old Television

Apple TV can work with old televisions but those with newer HDMI ports. If your TV is older, find an adapter to allow the use of composite cables (red, yellow and white ports). HDMI-component adapters sell from $30 to $45 on Amazon.

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