Apple TV on a Budget

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Go for Free Trial Offers

Just about every service on Apple TV offers a free trial. Some of them are quite generous. You can get three months of Apple Music for free. HBO NOW, Netflix, Hulu and others offer free trials. All of the cable-over-the-Internet services offer free trials. In fact, you can cancel your paid subscriptions while you are bingeing on free trials, during your Apple TV “honeymoon”. Not only is it free content, but it’s a great opportunity to test which services are right for you. Just make sure to cancel the trial before the billing date, if you don’t plan on using the service.

99 Cent iTunes Rentals

At $5.99 for most rentals, iTunes tends to be expensive. They do, however, offer some loss leaders. iTunes Movies offers a 99 cent movie of the week. They also have a collection of “Movies You May Have Missed”. These are often popular, critically acclaimed movies that can be rented for 99 cents. Compared to cable pay-per-view, a 99 cent rental is real bargain. You can rent movies directly on Apple TV with just a few clicks.

Rent or Buy Movies and TV Shows from Google Play

A lot of Apple customers tend to stick with Apple products and services, regardless of price or quality. Sometimes this is due to irrational fan boy tendencies. It’s often just easier to go with Apple services and content, as they are integrated into their products. For example, it’s so easy to rent an iTunes movie on Apple TV. It just takes a few clicks.

If you want to save a few bucks, you can try renting or buying movies and TV shows on Google Play. It’s not as convenient as iTunes, but sometimes Google Play is cheaper. They also give you 48 hours to watch a movie after you start playback. You’ll need to make the purchase on the Google Play website. Once purchased, your videos are available directly within the Apple TV YouTube app. You won’t need to use AirPlay to beam them to Apple TV. For more information, please read “Watch Google Play Movies and TV Shows on Apple TV”.

Watch Free TV Episodes on iTunes and Google Play

Both iTunes and Google Play offer free TV episodes. While you can’t watch or follow an entire series for free, it can help you decide whether a show is worth the investment. It’s also free entertainment.

A few years ago, iTunes offered entire seasons of shows for free. I was able to download a whole season of Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods for free. It’s one of the few food shows that I enjoy. I haven’t seen any offers like this lately, but it’s worth further investigation.

Restrict Apple TV Purchases

Apple TV makes it easy to purchase TV shows, movies and apps. With just a few clicks, you can end up spending a lot of money. If you have small children or irresponsible roommates, this can be a disaster. Fortunately, Apple TV has configurable restrictions that can prevent unauthorized purchases. You can also prevent children from watching mature content. For more information, please read “Apple TV 4: Restrictions and Parental Controls”. (next page →)

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