Watch Google Play Movies and TV Shows on Apple TV

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Both Google Play and iTunes offer family sharing plans, enabling family members to share content. In fact, apart from different prices on some items and rental expiration, the services are remarkably similar. Fan boys may go ballistic about which one is better, but that’s more of a reflection of our consumer-oriented society.

I have to admit, Google’s prices are better overall, with a lot of $3.99 and $4.99 movie rentals. It seems that almost all new releases on iTunes are $5.99 to rent, but I almost always go for their 99 cent movie of the week. My advice — use both! Don’t get hung up on brand loyalty or dwell in either fan boy camp. If you’re rational, you’ll come out ahead.

Create a Google Account

A Google account is central to buying content from Google Play. If you don’t already have a Google account, you must first create one. Using a browser on your computer, tablet or smartphone, go to www.google.com and tap on “Sign in” on the top right corner. A page prompting you to sign in to Google appears. Click on the “Create account” link directly below the log in panel. Follow the instructions to create a Google account. For now, your credit card is not required. You’ll only need it when you purchase content from the Google Play store.

Purchase a Video on Google Play

You can’t buy videos from the Google Play store directly on Apple TV. Apple takes a 30% cut from in-app purchases. Like most content providers, Google bypasses in-app purchasing. This makes it slightly less convenient than iTunes, however it is by no means a burden. After all, if you can save a few dollars on TV shows and movies, it’s worth the additional effort.

If you are using a device with lower resolution, such as an iPad 2, you can’t buy HD content on Google Play. If that’s the case, use a newer device or computer, unless you prefer SD (which is less expensive). You’ll know the video is in SD if there are no options for either format after you click the Rent button. Also, if Google Play recognizes your device as HD compatible, the Buy button will usually indicate that the video is in HD format.

This assumption is slightly annoying. I can’t use my iPad 2 to buy or rent movies on Google Play, because it defaults to SD quality and there is no way to change this. I just use my iPhone 6 or Mac. iTunes allows users to select video quality, regardless of device.

Purchasing content from Google Play is easy. First, open play.google.com in a web browser. You can use a computer, tablet or smartphone. Tap on the Movies and TV tab on the left. Next, search for a movie or TV show. You can also just browse the Google Play store. You’re likely to find some great deals. When you find a video to purchase, click on the Rent or Buy button. Follow the on-screen instructions. You may be prompted to login to your Google account. If this is your first purchase, you must enter payment information.

Watch Your Google Play Movie or TV Shows on Apple TV Without AirPlay

Now that you have made your purchase, it’s time to watch it on Apple TV. First, you’ll need to install the YouTube app. Hold down the Siri button and say “find app YouTube”. This should bring up the YouTube app installation screen. If not, open the App Store and search for YouTube. Next, click on the Install button. Once the app is installed, click on Open or hold down the Siri button and say “YouTube”.

With the YouTube app open, navigate to the Settings screen using the top menu bar. Sign in using the Google account you used to make the purchase. Once you have signed in, go to the My YouTube screen using the top menu bar. Scroll down to Purchases and your rented or purchased video is displayed. Simply click on the video to commence playback and enjoy!

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