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Cable TV and Satellite still have their place in many households. If you have a large family, Apple TV could prove to be more like a content vending machine. All of the subscriptions and services can add up and cost more than cable. For others, Apple TV can save $1000 or more a year. Let’s take a look at how to get the most out of Apple TV on a budget.
Buy the 32GB Apple TV
Apple TV 4 comes equipped with either 32GB or 64GB of storage space. I bought the 64GB model shortly after it was released, thinking I would need the space. It was also the only model available at Costco. After a few months, reality set in. It would take a long time to fill up Apple TV. Most apps are only a few megabytes. Apple TV streams content and there really aren’t any options for downloading and using the device offline. At most, a few high-end video games may take up 2GB or more of space. There aren’t a lot of these games. You can also remove apps and reinstall them later. You own the app (and any in-app purchases), whether it is installed or not. Just download it again from the App Store. I doubt most people will be able to fill up the 32GB model.
Buy Apple TV at a Discount
Die hard Apple fans are probably dedicated to buying everything from the Apple Store. If you need a lot of hand holding and support, it may be the way to go. The problem is that the Apple Store sells virtually everything at list price. If you shop around, you can find better deals. For example, Radio Shack sold the 32GB model for only $99. The offer only lasted for a few weeks, but that’s an exceptional value, especially considering the Siri Remote alone costs $79 to replace.
There are also some great deals if you are willing to sign up for certain services. DIRECTV NOW will give you a free 32GB Apple TV if you sign on for three months of service. At $35 a month, that comes to $105 for an Apple TV. That’s a great deal on its own, but you also get three months of DIRECTV NOW. If you don’t like DIRECTV NOW, just cancel the service and keep the Apple TV.
Whatever deal you go for, if you’re on a budget, it’s best to avoid the Apple Store. Do a quick search on Google Shopping and you will easily find the best deal. You can even buy a used or refurbished model.
Watch Free TV Shows and Movies on Apple TV
Apple TV doesn’t have to be a content vending machine. There are plenty of services offering free TV shows and movies. Providers like Crackle, TubiTV and even YouTube offer thousands of hours of quality entertainment for free. While there are advertisements, it’s a small price to pay for free entertainment. These TV shows and movies are usually not edited for TV. They are the original, unedited version. After all, they don’t have to cater to the FCC or fit their programs in time slots. Apple TV is superior to cable in this respect. (next page →)