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Do You Need Apple TV With A Smart TV? 5 Answers (2023)

Do You Need Apple TV With A Smart TV

In 2007, Apple released its first version of Apple TV.

Truth be told, they were quite ahead of their time back then.

But as time went on, things changed. 

Nowadays, every TV can just be as smart as the next one with lots of other built-in apps…

So, is it still worth it: Apple TV on a smart TV?

Read on to find out as well as:

  • The 3 biggest benefits of Apple TV.
  • If smart TVs have Apple TV built-in.
  • 5 important facts you need to know about Apple TV.
  • The biggest difference between Apple TV and a smart TV.
  • And a whole lot more…

Do you need Apple TV with a smart TV?

It depends on your preference if you need Apple TV with a smart TV. If you choose to, some smart TVs have the Apple TV app preinstalled. Or you can also buy a Roku TV stick, a Chromecast, or an Amazon Fire TV stick to access the app. If not, you can buy the Apple TV box to access the app.

Do smart TVs have Apple TVs built-in?

Apple TV can be 3 things: the Apple TV box, the Apple TV app, and Apple TV+.

Apple TV box

As mentioned before, the Apple TV box (first generation) was first released in 2007. And they were quite ahead of their time back then.

In 2021 they released their latest TV box: Apple TV 4K (5th Generation). 

It’s basically a powerful streaming device that makes your TV smart. Just like a Roku TV stick (4K), Amazon Fire TV stick (4K), or a Chromecast

Moreover, the Apple TV box comes with a remote control. And once you have the box, you can connect it via HDMI to your TV. 

So, is Apple TV built-in smart TVs? Well, as far as the Apple TV box: No.

’’How can I then access the Apple TV shows and movies and all that…?’’

Good question. You can access it via the Apple TV app.

’’Apple TV app? It’s getting confusing!’’

I understand, even I felt confused at first… But bear with me…

Apple TV app

First, the Apple TV app is where you can access the Apple library. 

And there’s an advantage when you have an Apple TV box, and you log in on the Apple TV app:

With that, you can access your iTunes and iCloud. So, you can check out your music, photos, and movies that you purchased.

You can also mirror your iPhone, iPad, or iMac via the Apple TV box with Airplay. 

For example, if you play a video on your iPhone you can effortlessly stream it to the TV. And it does so in extremely good quality via the Apple TV box. 

Now, say that you don’t have an Apple TV box or simply aren’t an Apple user. Regardless, you still want to access the Apple TV app.

Well, let me tell you…

Apple made it a bit easier for you.

They released the Apple TV app also for different platforms besides the Apple TV box and other Apple devices. 

‘’Yes, just what I needed to hear, but which devices are those…?’’

Among those devices are the Amazon Fire TV stick, the Roku TV stick, and lots more. 

You can find all the devices which can be used with the Apple TV app in this list.

So, back to the question: do smart TVs have Apple TV built-in? 

Well, if you have a smart TV where the Apple TV app can be installed, then: yes.

Apple TV+

Then last but not least, there’s Apple TV+. 

Apple TV+ is a streaming service from Apple and is subscription-based. So, you pay a monthly fee to use it

See at it like Netflix or Disney+, but then with the complete Apple library. This includes documentaries, shows, and movies created by Apple.

You can log in on Apple TV+ via the Apple TV app. Or you can log in online via the website and watch from there. 

So, to answer the question regarding Apple TV+: do smart TVs have Apple TV built-in? 

If your TV has access to the Apple TV app and you have a subscription to Apple TV+, then: yes.

What’s the difference between an Apple TV box and smart TV?

Apple TV box

Apple TV Box

The Apple TV comes as a box. And it’s a very powerful streaming device that makes your TV smart. 

By installing apps on the Apple TV box. Talk about Netflix, Youtube, Disney+, etc. You can stream your favorite shows to your TV.

It’s a high-end streaming device and you’ll notice this because of the image and sound quality.

Pro tip: At the moment they sell the TV box in the HD version for 149 USD and the 4K version for 179 USD. If you can miss that 30 USD difference, then take the 4K version.

The 4K version is better in image quality and that’s worth the extra 30 USD. 

Also, even if your TV is not able to run 4K, still take the 4K versions. 


That’s because it’ll downscale automatically. Therefore showing what your TV is capable of showing on the screen.

For example, you have an Apple 4K TV box but your TV is only capable to show HD. Then, the quality will downscale automatically from 4K to HD. 

And let’s say you’ll buy a new TV in a year or two (with 4K of course)…

That makes you ahead of the game with the Apple 4K TV box.

Makes sense right?

Smart TV

A smart TV has already the hardware installed to install apps, stream photos, music, videos, etc.

You can install apps like Netflix, Youtube, Disney+, etc. 

In this way, you don’t need to buy a separate streaming device to make it smart.

What are the benefits of the Apple TV box?

Streaming quality

One of the biggest benefits of an Apple TV box is the streaming quality. The Apple TV 4K box can stream easily 4K.

It’s also capable of streaming Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.

They make it seem like you’re watching TV like in the cinemas. So, the quality is there.

Apple’s ecosystem and Airplay

Also, if you know a bit about Apple then you’re familiar that they like things in their own ‘ecosystem’.

Therefore, if you have another Apple device, like an iPhone or iPad, it’s super easy to connect with an Apple TV box.

Plus, you can use Apple Airplay to stream content from your iPhone or iPad. That’s straight to your TV without any holdup. 

New improved remote control

Another benefit is the new improved remote control. It’s a bit bigger and heavier than the previous one, which makes it easier to handle. 

Plus, you can activate Siri with the remote. In this way, you can voice control the TV box. For example search a movie by activating Siri and say:

‘’Find new movies in 4K.’’

Or, while watching a tv show and you missed a part in a conversation, you can say:

‘’What did she say?’’

Then it’ll quickly rewind and repeat what you just missed. 

For a complete breakdown of how to use the new remote control, you can check out this video:

Bonus: If you don’t like the grip of the remote control, you can put a case on it. In this way, the grip is more firm, and it’s better protected. You can even add an Airtag in it, so you never lose it.

Why does my smart TV not have Apple TV?

Apple likes to keep things in its own ‘ecosystem’. For example, they have their own Apple Appstore and don’t need to rely on other parties.

Or, if you have an iPhone, you can charge your phone with a lightning adapter. Which is specially made for Apple devices.

And if you have an Apple TV box, you can use the Apple TV app.

This comes in handy…if you’re an Apple user.

However, Apple realized this could have a bad impact on their TV business. 

Because in this way, they missed out on potential customers who don’t take the hassle of buying an Apple TV box.

These customers rather use streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, and other streaming apps 

But to compete with these streaming services and to get more customers, Apple made deals with big TV manufacturers like LG, Samsung, Sony, etc. 

This made it possible to use the Apple TV app on their TVs.

Plus, Apple keeps expanding its use of the Apple TV app. For a complete list of devices where the Apple TV app is available you can find here.

So, hopefully, your device is also there and you can use Apple TV on your smart TV.

Is Apple TV worth it?

The Apple TV HD box is currently sold for 149 USD. While the Apple TV 4K box is currently sold for 179 USD. 

You’ll get a powerful high-end media player with effortlessly streaming. Plus, the colors and sound are extremely good. So good, that it feels like you’re watching TV like in a cinema.

Moreover, you have access to the Apple Appstore with this device and you can use Apple Airplay. 

But, it’s quite expensive for a streaming device if you compare it with a Roku TV stick 4K. Which you can get for around 37 USD. Or an Amazon Fire TV stick 4K for around 29 USD. 

And to use Apple TV+ to the fullest, you still need to pay a monthly fee. So, this also comes on top of the bill.

Therefore, I don’t think Apple TV is worth it. There are cheaper options available to try out first before you fully buy yourself into Apple TV.