Apple TV+ launches on November 1, 2019 in over 100 countries. Here’s what you’ll need to know to get started.
First, Apple TV+ is Apple’s new original content streaming service. For a list of shows in production, see our guide: “Apple TV+ Guide: All of the Original Video Content [Update]”
How to Watch?
According to Apple’s tech note, you’ll be able to use the Apple TV app to watch on just about every Apple device. That includes iPod touch, Apple TV 3rd gen (with its latest update), Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K, iPads, iPhones, and Macs. The list also includes smart TVs that have agreed to include the Apple TV app. You can even go to tv.apple.com in a Chrome, Firefox, or Safari browser.
Will Apple TV+ Support 4K/UHD & HDR?
Yes. Apple says:
You can watch Apple Originals in 4K HDR/Dolby Vision and most titles also offer Dolby Atmos sound.
You’ll need a special speaker setup to exploit Dolby Atmos.
If a device supports Dolby Vision, that means it supports 4K/UHD. 9to5Mac has provided a list of devices that support Dolby Vision.
What if a Device Doesn’t Support 4K/UHD?
Not all Apple devices will support 4K/UHD video and even fewer will support Dolby Vision. Apple says that all content will be in, at best, 4K/UHD/HDR, but your device may have to (automatically) elect to receive lower resolution.
Apple has another tech note that explains.
In the Apple TV app, icons that appear on a movie’s product page indicate the highest quality format that the Apple TV app offers. When you buy or rent a movie from the Apple TV app, the movie automatically plays in the best quality format available for the device that you’re using.
Because you’ll subscribe to Apple TV+ via the Apple TV app, the same rule should apply. Also, you should generally have an internet speed of 15-20 Mbps or more to support 4K/UHD/HDR video.
How to Subscribe?
Apple’s tech note “About Apple TV+” explains the sign up process. If you bought a qualifying Apple device after September 10, 2019, you’ll get one year of Apple TV+ free. This Apple note has extensive information on the offer: how to activate it plus terms and conditions. I noted this:
Upon claiming the offer, you commit to a monthly subscription that starts immediately after the 1 year free, and automatically renews until cancelled.
So you’ll have to take action to cancel, if that’s what you want to do after a year.
Questions? I’ll try to answer in the reader comments below.