What Is The Difference Between Apple TV and Apple TV Plus

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June 11, 2024

Apple’s naming scheme for its TV-related products can be a bit puzzling due to the repeated use of “Apple TV” across devices, services, and apps. Let’s clear things up:

Apple TV+: This is Apple’s subscription streaming service offering original shows and movies.

Apple TV app: This is the application you use to access various streaming services, including Apple TV+, on your devices (iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, etc.).

Apple TV 4K: This is a physical device you connect to your TV to access streaming services (such as Netflix, or Apple TV+ through the Apple TV app).

In simpler terms, you can watch Apple TV+ shows and movies (the service) through the Apple TV app (your access point) on your Apple TV 4K (the physical device).

While this clarifies some confusion around Apple TV, Apple TV+, and the Apple TV app, let’s delve deeper into their key differences to ensure you have a clear understanding.


What is Apple TV+?


Launched in November 2019, Apple TV+ is a relatively new streaming service that follows a subscription-based, on-demand model, where you pay a monthly price and gain unlimited access to the content library. Once subscribed, you can access Apple TV+ directly through the Apple TV app, or online at tv.apple.com.

The service is similar to other streaming platforms such as Netflix, Disney+, or Hulu, except that Apple TV+ only offers one plan currently at $9.99 a month after a 7-day free trial.

Apple TV+ focuses on Apple Original shows and movies made exclusively for Apple. With new releases added each month, the library continues to expand. Some critically acclaimed content can be found on Apple TV+ such as The Morning Show, the Emmy-winning show Ted Lasso, dark comedies like Bad Sisters, Academy Award-winner for Best Picture CODA, and more.

To make it even more appealing, Apple TV+ offers the following benefits:

  • Family Sharing: Share your subscription with up to five family members, giving everyone access to Apple TV+’s award-winning shows and movies.
  • Free Trials: New subscribers can enjoy a 7-day free trial to explore the entire Apple TV+ library before committing.
  • Free with Apple Devices: Get 3 months of Apple TV+ free when you purchase a new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, or Mac.
  • Apple One Bundle: For even more value, consider Apple One. This bundle combines Apple TV+ with up to five other Apple services (like Apple Music, iCloud storage) into a single subscription, with a free trial month.
  • Student Apple Music Plan: Students who subscribe to the Apple Music student plan often get Apple TV+ included for free.

What is the Apple TV App?

apple tv app

The Apple TV app is an all-in-one application for users to watch Apple Original series and films from Apple TV+, live sports, as well as rent or buy thousands of movies and series. Additionally, users can subscribe to add-on channels like Paramount+, Showtime, Starz, and AMC+.

buy movie on apple tv app

The Apple TV app is available beyond Apple products. Enjoy Apple TV+ on your iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV, along with popular streaming platforms, smart TVs, gaming consoles, and a variety of other devices. This includes Roku, Fire TV, Xbox, PlayStation, and more.

What Is Apple TV?

apple tv

An Apple TV is a streaming box that plugs into your TV and turns it into a smart TV, allowing you to use apps like Apple TV app, Netflix, Disney+, and more. If you already have a smart TV, it enables you to run Apple TV’s operating system tvOS on your existing TV.

As of June 2024, Apple sells the Apple TV 4K, the higher-resolution version of the device. The Apple TV HD model is discontinued, but you might find it from third-party retailers. There have also been previous Apple TV generations throughout the years. For a comprehensive history, you can find a list of all Apple TV models here:

  • Apple TV 4K (3rd generation) Wi-Fi + Ethernet
  • Apple TV 4K (3rd generation) Wi-Fi
  • Apple TV 4K (2nd generation)
  • Apple TV 4K (1st generation)
  • Apple TV HD
  • Apple TV (3rd generation)
  • Apple TV (2nd generation)
  • Apple TV (1st generation)

Side-by-side Comparison of the Three

Despite their similar names, these three Apple TV-related products hold distinct features and functions. An Apple TV device can convert your TV into a smart TV, enabling you to access the Apple TV app, choose Apple TV+ content within the app, and enjoy shows like Ted Lasso. However, the Apple TV app offers much more than that. It allows you to explore additional options, such as renting or purchasing movies and series from its store, and access add-on channels such as Disney+, Max, Prime Video, and more.

Don’t let the similar names confuse you! Here is a side-by-side comparison of Apple TV+, Apple TV App, and Apple TV to show the differences in a straightforward way.

Apple TV+Apple TV appApple TV
What it isSubscription serviceApplicationDevice including a TV box and a remote
How it worksSubscription service to watch Apple Original shows and filmsAll-in-one app to watch, rent, and buy movies, series, live sports, and channelsTurn any TV into a smart TV
AvailabilityWatch on the Apple TV app or at tv.apple.com.On Apple devices, smart TVs, gaming consoles, and AirPlay‑enabled devicesApple TV 4K
Price$9.99/month after free 7-day trialFree (with in-app purchases/subscriptions)One-time purchase from $129

Extra tip: How to Download and Save Apple TV+ Titles Forever?

You can download Apple TV+ movies and TV shows to watch offline on Mac, iPhone, and iPad, but the downloads will become unavailable once you cancel your Apple TV+ subscription. If you like this series and want to keep it forever, you can download it to MP4.

Pazu Apple TV+ Video Downloader helps you download any TV shows and films from Apple TV+ to MP4/MKV so you can transfer and play them anywhere you want offline without the Apple TV+ app or browser.

Steps to download Apple TV+ movies and TV shows to MP4

Step 1: Download and install the software on your Mac or Windows computer. Launch the software and it will redirect to the screen where you can log in to your Apple TV+ account.

Apple TV Plus Downloader

Apple TV+ Video Downloader

Download Apple TV+ movies & TV shows to MP4/MKV. 

  • Download Apple TV+ movies & TV shows on Windows/Mac.
  • Download Apple TV+ to MP4/MKV.
  • Preserve audio tracks and subtitles.
  • Fast downloading speed.

Apple TV Plus Downloader

Step 2: After logging into your account, type the show or movie you want to download in the search field and click the search icon.

Apple TV Plus Downloader

Step 3: Click the gear icon on the top right corner to select the video format, codec, audio and subtitle languages, output folder, etc. 

Apple TV Plus to MP4

Step 4: After making all the changes, simply click on the download button. For movies, the downloading starts immediately. For TV shows, you will be presented with all episodes. Select the seasons and episodes you want to download.

Apple TV Plus to MP4 Downloader

Further, if required you can change the subtitle and audio track by clicking on the gear-like icon.

Apple TV Plus audio track
Apple TV Plus subtitle

Click the OK button on the top right corner to close this window, then click the Download button in step 4 to start downloading episodes.

Apple TV Plus to MP4 Downloader

To see all the downloaded items, go to the History tab.

Apple TV Plus to MP4 Downloader