You need a satellite or cable subscription to watch some content on the Apple TV. For example, you can watch some ABC content without a subscription, but if you want to watch the ABC network live, you need to enter your cable subscription information. This goes for other channels as well, including Showtime Anytime, Lifetime, ESPN and History among others.
Update: The fourth generation Apple TV will be available for pre-order on October 26, 2015, and it will begin shipping at the end of October.
The fourth-generation Apple TV was announced on September 9, 2015. It features several improvements over the third-generation including Siri, its own App Store for downloading additional apps and games and a redesigned controller. The Apple TV 4 will begin shipping in October 2015.
The Apple TV remote does not have a power button, nor does the box itself, so it isn't readily apparent how to turn it off. There are three ways to do it:
The Apple TV will work with any high definition television that has an HDMI port and is capable of 720p or 1080p. The brand of TV doesn't matter, it is compatible with Sony, Samsung, LG, Vizio, Pansonic, Sharp and all other brand HDTVs, as long as they meet those requirements.
Nothing official has come from Apple about its rumored streaming TV product yet, but many industry analysts believe it will likely debut this fall with the 4th generation Apple TV.
The 3rd generation Apple TV comes with about 60 pre-installed apps and Apple regularly adds new ones via software updates. Some of these apps are free, like TED; some require a cable or satellite provider subscription, like Disney or Showtime Anytime; some require a stand alone subscription, like HBO Now, Netflix or MLB.tv. And, of course, it's free to stream whatever is on your iPad to your Apple TV.
While the earlier models had a small amount of storage, the current Apple TV (3rd generation) has no onboard storage for movies, TV shows, games and apps. It has a small amount of flash memory for buffering, but the vast majority of your content streams from other sources like Netflix, HBO and Hulu servers, your computer, your iPad, iPhone or iCloud, etc.
YouTube updated its data API on April 20, 2015 affecting devices manufactured in 2012. This means the YouTube app will no longer work with older devices like the first- and second-generation Apple TV. Other devices affected include iOS devices like the iPad and iPhone running iOS 6 or earlier and Sony TVs and Blu-ray players.
You do not need a subscription for Apple TV. The Apple TV comes with a plethora of pre-installed apps, many of which are free. You can watch content from networks such as PBS, ABC and CBS for free, and there are apps such as YouTube and TED which also have free content. You can also stream content from your iPad, iPhone and Mac, view your photos and listen to your iTunes library on the Apple TV.