Apple TV is a small black plastic box that connects to your television set with a HDMI cable (it is not an actual TV).

It then connects to your home wireless network and gives you the option to access streaming services like Netflix or Now TV, watch videos on YouTube and listen to music.

You do not need a special “Smart TV” because it works on any television set. You also don’t need an iPhone or iPad to use it, simply an Apple ID.

Apple TV gives you the option to use services such as Netflix. You still need to subscribe to those services, but Apple TV is a one-off purchase that lets you use them on your existing TV.

Features and benefits

You can watch streaming TV, listen to Apple music, use social media and other apps, play games and view your own photos and videos from your Apple devices.

Apple TV comes with VoiceOver and is easy and accessible to set up. With a Siri remote you can search for content and make selections using your voice, bypassing any on screen display. It is compatible with lots of braille displays. There are a range of built in colour filters, bold text options and enhanced contrast that you can adjust to suit your eye condition. And they are all easily switched off, so another family member can use the Apple TV in their own preferred way.

Click here for a useful video that demonstrates the accessibility features of Apple TV


Anything else?

The basic model costs about £139. The top of the range Apple TV 4k costs £189. It’s supposed to upscale the picture, make it sharper in HD and gives you greater storage space for your own pictures or video. There are alternatives like Amazon Fire TV which are cheaper, but may not have the same accessibility built in.

How to use Apple TV:

  • Connect Apple TV via HDMI to your TV or AV-Receiver (you’ll need your own HDMI cable – it doesn’t come with the device)
  • Note the number of the port you have used (for example, HDMI 1, HDMI 2)
  • Make sure the appropriate port is chosen on your TV or AV-Receiver so that you can hear audio coming from it once it’s booted.
  • Use your television remote to switch to that input.
  • Connect the power to the Apple TV and wait for it to boot.
  • Once finished, it will announce to you to press the lower right button three times to enable VoiceOver.
  • Once done, the setup process is spoken too. If VoiceOver is enabled, it will speak all of the on-screen menu items as you scroll through them.

Find out more about Apple TV.

Updated January 2022.