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Depending on the model, older Apple TVs can still be useful. Find out what services are still available before recycling.
The fourth-generation Apple TV — later renamed the Apple TV HD — and newer have access to a full App Store for developers to submit apps to. Previous models could only use what was available through an Apple server.
Owners of outdated models who have recently upgraded can still use their aging Apple TVs — at least the third-generation models. Some app providers continue to support the older model, but the list is shrinking.
Eventually, these Apple TVs will stop doing anything other than accepting AirPlay signals, which can still be better than nothing.
Which still works on the third-generation Apple TV
The third generation Apple TV was released in 2012 and it remains reasonably functional. While major services like YouTube and Disney+ are missing from this list, there are still several options for video streaming beyond home sharing.
Apps that still work
There is a long list of apps in Settings -> Main Menu that can be shown or hidden. There are many to choose from, but only a handful still work. We verified that users can still view content.
- apple tv
- CBS News
- CBS sports
- iCloud Photos
- PBS kids
- Prime video
- Red Bull TV
- show time
- Showtime Anytime
- tv shows
- WSJ video
Listed but not working
The following apps can be added to the Apple TV but do not work as expected. If you select this option, a message will appear stating “App is not available. Try again later.”
- Qello concerts
- Sky news
- Trailers – will open, but current trailers are not available
The last third-party app to add itself to the third-generation Apple TV was Amazon’s Prime Video in 2017. Apple released a special update in May 2019 to add the Apple TV app with Apple TV+.
Even if every third-party app ends support for this model, users can still enjoy AirPlay, Home Sharing, and Apple apps. However, as the device ages, Apple will likely end support entirely.
Apple TV (2nd generation)
The second-generation Apple TV heralded the current case design for the Apple TV.
The apps listed above still work, but don’t expect blazing UI speed. Until Apple removes legacy support for the older AirPlay versions, the second generation Apple TV can still receive a signal to output 720p and audio.
Those who want to get a little more out of the device can always look into jailbreaking. This replaces Apple’s software with something specifically designed to run modern video apps. Results vary, processing power is limited by the A4 processor, and users run the risk of bricking the device.