Smart TV vs. APPLE TV? (Here’s The Differences)

The foray of Apple into the smart TV market was not surprising.

It was only a matter of time.

Now, they came out with an app that you can install on some smart TVs while promoting a set-top box that turns your TV into a smart TV.

Is a Smart TV the same as an Apple TV?

A Smart TV is any television that can connect to the internet and utilizes apps and programs to help you stream content. Apple TV is Apple’s extension or application that asks you to stream your shows and movies through their platform on your Smart TV.

At this time, Apple doesn’t sell their own physical TVs. However, they do sell computer monitors.

Here are some things you need to know about Apple TV:

What is the Difference Between a Smart TV and an Apple TV?

Smart TV refers to a common term to describe any TV that connects to the Internet to retrieve and stream content from various sources.

Meanwhile, Apple TV is Apple’s way to join the smart TV market as an extension for your TV in order to stream your shows in a higher resolution.

The Apple TV comes in two (2) forms:

  1. The first is through the set-top box, which includes the remote control.
  2. The other is an app found on later models of iPhones and iPads.

The Apple TV box comes in two (2) models: HD and 4K.

To fully utilize its ultra HD capabilities, the 4K model uses the A10X Fusion processor and requires a TV with a screen resolution of 4K.

Meanwhile, the HD model uses the A8 processor and only needs a smart TV with a 1080p resolution.

Are All Smart TVs Compatible with Apple TV?

All smart TVs can use the Apple TV set-top box, through the HDMI port of the TV.

But not all smart TVs have an app or can enjoy the Airplay feature of smart TVs.

Do LG TVs have Apple TV?

Apple announced that the Apple TV app is compatible with select 2019 smart TV models of LG.

These models include the 2019 OLED, 2019 NanoCell SM9X series, all 2019 NanoCell SM85 series, and all 2019 NanoCell SM83.

Also, Apple announced the following LG TVs would have AirPlay compatibility, to mirror your Apple TV app:

  • 2020 UHD UN 8 series
  • UHD UN 71 series
  • UM 6 and 7 series

Note that AirPlay compatibility also covers the LG smart TV models listed before.

Do Samsung TVs have Apple TV?

Apple had announced Apple TV availability on Samsung for the following models:

  • All 2019- 2022 QLED 8K Q9, Q8 models
  • All models of the QLED 4K Q9, Q8, Q7, Qx models from 2018 – 2222
  • All UHD 8, 7, 6 models from 2018 – 2222
  • All FHD/HD 5, 4 models from 2018 – 2222
  • All Serif Series from 2019 – 2222
  • The Frame model from 2018 – 2222
  • The Sero Series from 2019 – 2222

Also, all Samsung QLED 8K, 4K Q7, Q8 and Q9, UHD 6, 7 and 8, FHD/HD series, Serif, and The Frame models are compatible with AirPlay.

Do Vizio TVs have Apple TV?

According to the Apple TV device compatibility page, Vizio is not included among the devices that will have the Apple TV app.

However, Apple announced that Vizio and Sony would be among the compatible devices with Apple TV.

In the meantime, you can enjoy Apple TV on your Vizio smart TV through AirPlay, through the following models:

  • Vizio OLED (2020 models)
  • P Series Quantum X (2019 – 2022 models)
  • P Series Quantum (2018- 2022 models)
  • P Series (2016 – 2022 models)
  • M Series Quantum (2019 – 2022 models)
  • M Series (2016, 2017, and 2018 models)
  • E Series (2016, 2017, and 2018 UHD models)
  • V Series (2019- 2022 models)
  • D Series (2018, and 2019 models)

Do Sony TVs have Apple TV?

Sony does not have Apple TV.

But, like Vizio, Apple had said Sony is part of the brands that will have the Apple TV app in 2020.

In the meantime, you can enjoy Apple TV through AirPlay through the following Sony smart TV models:

  • Z8H Series (2020)
  • A9S Series (2020)
  • A8H Series (2020)
  • X95H Series (2020)
  • X90H Series (2020)
  • X85H Series (2020)
  • X80H Series (2020)
  • Z9G Series (2019)
  • A9G Series (2019)
  • X950G Series (2019)
  • X850G Series (2019 55, 65, 75, and 85-inch models)
  • Z9F Series (2018)
  • A9F Series (2018)

We have an article here about Apple TV demographics (who’s using Apple TV).

Do Panasonic TVs have Apple TV?

Panasonic does not have any smart TV model compatible with Apple TV or AirPlay.

Do Roku TVs have Apple TV?

Apple TV is available on Roku, with the following models compatible with the Apple app:

  • 4K TV A000X
  • TV 7000X, C000X, 8000X
  • Express 3900X, 3930X
  • Express+ 3910X, 3931X
  • HD 3932X
  • Streaming Stick 3600X, 3800X
  • Streaming Stick+ 3810X, 3811X
  • Premiere 3920X, 4620X
  • Premiere+ 3921X, 4630X
  • Ultra 4640X, 4660X, 4661X, 4670X
  • Ultra LT 4662X
  • Roku 2 4210X, 4205X
  • Roku 3 4200X, 4230X

Note that Roku does not have AirPlay.

For all the brands and models listed, the availability of Apple TV also depends on your region.

You may want to get in touch with your customer support of the manufacturer of the smart TV to verify the availability of Apple TV on your device.

What is AirPlay?

AirPlay is the mirroring system of Apple for smart TVs.

Like Chromecast, you can mirror your smartphone or tablet to your TV with this system. But unlike Chromecast, which has an option for an external version, AirPlay is only built into TVs.

You can check your smart TV’s manual if your smart TV includes AirPlay.

Are Regular TVs Compatible with Apple TV?

If your TV has an HDMI port, you can use the Apple TV set-top box.

This gives your regular TV the capacities of a smart TV.

That means you can install apps like Netflix or YouTube on the Apple TV.

What’s the Difference Between the Apple TV Box and the Apple TV App?

The difference between the two is the Apple TV box is a device, while the latter is an app.

The Apple TV box is a set-top box that runs the Apple TV app.

If you want to use the Apple TV but do not have a compatible smart TV, the Apple TV box is your best option to access content from Apple TV.

Also, the Apple TV set-top box lets you install apps like Netflix or Spotify.

What is Apple TV+?

Apple TV+ is a streaming service by Apple that features all-original videos produced by Apple.

You can access this service through your Apple TV app or compatible device.

This service costs around five (5) dollars a month and can be accessed whenever you want to. You can also get a year of free access whenever you buy an Apple TV set-top box.

Think of it like Netflix, except Apple produces all its contents.

What are Apple TV channels?

Apple TV channels are services you subscribe to access different shows on your Apple TV.

They work very much like a channel in a cable subscription, wherein you subscribe individually to these channels.

Some of the channels you can find on Apple TV channels include HBO, History Vault, and CBS All Access.

If you’re an Apple Music subscriber, you can also access your music and podcasts on Apple TV.


What’s the difference between Apple TV, Apple TV app, and Apple TV+?

Apple TV App Coming to Select Sony and Vizio Smart TVs Later This Year

Apple TV App–Supported Devices

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