Apple TV working in India

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I always wanted to have an Apple TV added to my home theater setup. In addition to renting HD movies and TV shows, I have always wanted to use Airplay to stream media to it over the air from the Apple devices I own. I have an iPad, iPhone 4 & a Macbook Air. I also have a Windows desktop and a Windows laptop. All of these devices can stream media to the Apple TV over my home’s WiFi network.

A few weeks back I had the option to buy an Apple TV from the US. The first question that popped up in my mind was whether the Apple TV accepts 220v power supply or not. On the Apple’sΒ tech specs page for Apple TV, its mentioned “Built-in 6-watt universal power supply”. That didn’t help. So I called in an Apple Store and the guy told me that it works both in the US (110v) and Europe (220v). Good. The next question (based on my experience with Hulu on my computer & Netflix on my Xbox 360) was that if HD rentals would work from outside the US? Since the rental service is not yet available in India (Heck, there is no iTunes media store for India), I wondered if I will be able to use my US iTunes store account from an Indian IP address. I couldn’t find the answer to this question. I anyways decided to go ahead and buy it as even if it didn’t work, i was fine using it only for Airplay.

The moment I got my hands on it, I opened it up and confirmed that the built in 6 watt power supply does accept 110 – 240 V. Unfortunately, its no where written on the packing. Its only mentioned on the apple TV itself at the bottom and you really have to squeeze your eyes to read it. Here, I captured a pic for you. This is the best one out of the 10 odd I clicked:

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The next step was to test if I can rent movies from an Indian IP address. A little digging in the menu system revealed that it is very much possible. All you have to do is set your location to US (or wherever you hold an iTunes media account with a valid credit card attached). To change your location, go to Settings -> General -> iTunes Store -> Location. Here is a pic:

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Once you do that, you can rent and watch movies in HD:

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You can rent and watch TV shows in HD:

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And listen to Internet Radio:

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You can find all the info you need on Apple’s rental policies atΒ their iTunes features page.

Airplay works flawlessly. I stream music all the time from my iPad or iPhone 4 to the Apple TV. If I am watching a YouTube video on any of my iOS device, I can play it on my Apple TV. The Apple TV automatically picks up the HD version of the video (if available) and continues it form the same location. Also, the remote app from Apple is amazing if you have lots of iDevices in your home. In addition to controlling the Apple TV, enabling Home sharing lets you control any of your computer’s iTunes library from the remote app. So I can basically use the remote app on my iPhone or iPad to play a song from my Windows desktop’s iTunes library on my Apple TV. Total Apple nirvana.

Note that Apple TV is not a cheap hobby. The rental price starts from 0.99$ for each episode and goes up for movies depending upon the hype and when you are renting it. But if you do have a good home theater setup, you can surely enjoy the benefits. Also note that Apple TV only does a maximum of 720p. So don’t expect any 1080p content from it. Also, you will need a high speed broadband connection for renting movies and TV shows. We would recommend at least 2 Mbps, but a 4Mbps connection should be optimal for buffer free viewing of HD content.

The Apple TV is available for 99$ in the US and only comes with its power cable and remote. You must purchase at least a HDMI cable to connect it to your TV. If you also have a home theater, you might want to purchase an additional optical cable to enjoy Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.

So all of you who want to use Apple TV in India, go ahead and buy one confidently. Just make sure you have an iTunes Media store account with a credit card associated to make the full use of this mighty little device.

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Comments

22 Responses to this post

  1. Ramesh says:

    I am not sure if one would require a credit card with a US billing address to rent/buy. Will iTunes gift card work. I know for Amazon movie on demand(mod) even with US IP and mod specific gift card balance in account I was not able to get to buy or rent.
    Ramesh

    • Setu says:

      Yes. You are right. iTunes gift card should work as well.

    • Yatin says:

      hey..so basically without a US credit card it wouldnt work in India right?? I have tied using different email addresses et al..but just can seem to figure out the solution..i bot the apple tv here in US thinkin id be able to use it in india…unfortunately nothing works..:(

      • Setu Garg says:

        Unfortunately no. However, if you are still in US, you can buy an iTunes gift card from any store and use it. It’s kind of like prepaid thing here in India :). But confirm with apple store before you buy that it works or not. My guess is that it should work.

  2. Raamkum says:

    How about Netflix? You didn’t tell anything about that? I have registered netflix but strange doesn’t work in India? πŸ™

    • Setu says:

      NetFlix will not work from India. It determines your location based on your IP address and restricts you from playing any content.

      Yes, but I agree, it would have been amazing it were to work from India.

  3. Karan says:

    dude i really liked how u went about this article,.. concentrating on India its rare to find otherwise :p i would be really happy if you could help with with 2 things though
    1) By 2/4 mb/s do you mean indian broadband which is actually 1/8???
    2) What if i already have an Indian app store account? What should i do?
    Thanks.

    • Setu says:

      Yes. I mean Indian broadband.

      You cannot rent movies or TV shows using indian iTunes account. You need a US iTunes account for that.

      • Karan says:

        yeah so what i need to know is how to get an iTunes media account (US one) once i already have an Indian app store a/c ?
        like since you’re really good at this stuff ( i have my MBP and HP authorized two other MBP and one other HP authorized) so please tell me how to go about doing this?

        Also I’m selling either my 1 year old MBP or HP so if your interested πŸ˜›

        Thanks in advance.

        • Chirag says:

          Just use a different email id and select country as US.

          Also, details of laptops?

          • Karan says:

            Okay MBP 160GB HD inside CORE2DUO,
            13inch battery still lasts about 6-7 hours on single charge, Late 2009 model, minor scuff on top otherwise gr8 condition, will be giving some softwares with it.
            HP: DV9000 the big one Core2Duo, Windows 7 midrange, word 2007 in preinstalled, some 200-250 GB HD, only issue is battery, nevr been taken out of house so no damage.

            Email me at: karan_rockz@hotmail.com if u want πŸ™‚

          • Karan says:

            also thanks for the advice πŸ™‚

  4. Chirag says:

    Oh MBP. I thought Macbook Air. I have the same MBP. No point in buying another one πŸ™‚

  5. AMIT K DAND says:

    U CAN MAKE US ACCOUNT BUT U CAN SURE USE IT AS AIRPLAY MORE IN INDIA IF U HAVE I PAD OR I PHONE 4 AND SEE HD VIDEOS OR ALSO USE IT FOR CHILDREN VIEWING APPS IN I PAD 2 WHICH IS COOL.4 MBPS SPEED IN INDIA IS DIFFICULT I FEEL

  6. GuruD says:

    Setu – Thanks for excellent article. I am planning to make it a component of my HT setup in India. Have couple of questions
    1. How was the Video streaming from you local iTunes (MBAir?) & ripped DVD’s in iTunes library.
    2. Did you use it as CD player (Mac playing CD using iTunes and output AirPlayed on appleTV)
    3. What sort of WiFi Router you have?

    Do let me know your experiences around these.

    Thanks for excellent article again. (I don’t have to wait for Pioneer Airplay compatible receiver now can go and by Onkyo or Marantz :))

    Guru raj

  7. Anuj says:

    Hi Setu, need ur help. I just got an Ipad2 & Apple TV from US. I have an Itunes account for India but I am unable to rent or buy movies. If I change the country in my login details to the US, it allows me to preview the content or view the options but doesn’t allows me to download it coz my credit card is not from the US.

    Pls give me a solution to this problem, as I understand you also live in India & have been able to use apple TV successfully in India.

    Appreciate your urgent reply.

    • Setu says:

      Sorry for the late reply.

      Unfortunately, you need a US credit (or debit) card with some balance to rent movies on Apple TV.

      I use my US card to rent content on my Apple TV.

  8. Prashant says:

    How does it work with your regular cable connection? Is it possible to switch between the two easily?

    Also, when you say US iTunes account… I am guessing UK iTunes account will also do right? I have an iPhone and have an Apple Id for the iTunes store in the UK. So I will be able to use that to rent/watch content?

    Thanks for this post.

    • Setu Garg says:

      It is not suppose to be connected to the cable TV. You can connect it to an HDMI port to your TV. So switching should be as easy as changing input on your TV :).

      Yes, and a UK iTunes account will work. Basically any country’s itunes account where media (songs, movies, TV shows etc.) are available for sale.

  9. Juni says:

    Can I connect the apple tv via VGA cable to my LCD monitor??

    • Setu says:

      Apple TV only has a HDMI out port & an optical out port. There is an Apple HDMI to DVI adapter available. You can then use a DVI to VGA adapter, however, I am not sure if HDCP content will play using this method. Plus, you will only have the option of optical out for audio output using this method. So if you do not have a home theater system capable of receiving optical audio, you will probably need to buy an optical to stereo converter.

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