Apple TV in Malaysia: Should You Buy it or Not?

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Apple TV was launched in Malaysia in June, 2012, soon after the Malaysian iTunes Store opened.  The Apple TV device may look sleek and attractive but other companies are developing similar devices, vying for the lead spot.  Additionally, Apple TV is more limited in Malaysia than it is in the United States.  Even though many of us in Malaysia still choose Astro dominated services, such as Astro B.yond,  Apple TV is certainly a product you should consider buying, especially if  you’re an Apple fan.

SEE ALSO: 9 Cool Things You Can Do with Apple TV in Malaysia

So What is Apple TV?

Apple TV is a small box-type device that can play content from online and local sources (e.g. computers, iPad, iPhone) through the TV screen.  Apple TV is essentially an intermediary device for playing media content.

Basically, if you have always wanted to watch content from online or from your computer on a large flat-screen TV, rather than your small laptop screen, then Apple TV is the product for you. This device also does an excellent job at maintaining image quality.   Note that this device is specifically designed for playing media content through your  TV – not through your iMac or other Apple computer screen.  Here are some key features to know about  Apple TV:

  • Watch high definition video content (1080p)
  • Play YouTube and Vimeo videos
  • View photos and/or listen to music from your iCloud (online storage device via Apple, which can be accessed and managed through other mobile and computer devices)
  • Use AirPlay to stream content from your iOS devices (e.g. iPhone, iPad, Macs) to Apple TV.  This then allows you to view content on the big screen TV from you devices. (Note: Apple TV does not connect directly to these devices through a physical cord, etc.  It can only connect through WiFi means)
  • You can also  sync Apple TV with your local desktop or laptop. Then you can stream videos, images and audio files from the computer to display on the TV (via Apple TV). However, you will need iTunes and you need a Mac that was manufactured after 2011 for smooth streaming.


How Does Apple TV Work

You connect the Apple TV device to your TV and sound system with HDMI cables, and you connect your Apple TV device to the internet through Wi-Fi or ethernet.  Additionally, you can wirelessly connect your iOS devices (e.g. iPhone, iPad) to appear on the TV through the Apple TV device using the AirPlay technology.

Surprisingly, the Apple TV does not come with HDMI cables. So, you’ll need to purchase HDMI cables to connect the device to your TV, and the HDMI cables cost RM 79 on the Malaysian Apple online store.

Not all formats or codecs are supported by Apple TV – the most popular video format not being supported is MKV. If you have a converter that can convert content into Apple TV compatible formats then you are in luck. Malaysians are advised to check out Apple TV features and supported formats before purchasing.


Where to Buy an Apple TV in Malaysia?

The best place to buy an Apple TV in Malaysia is probably the Malaysian online Apple Store, where it is priced at RM349. People in Malaysia can get the latest version of Apple TV – 3rd Generation and shipment is completely free.

You can also buy this device from certified Apple authorized resellers, like Machines, and you can find a host of online resellers on


Apple TV in Malaysia is Not as Good as Apple TV in America

Apple TV is an appealing product but it is better in the United States than Malaysia. Below we’ve compared the product in the two markets to help you decide whether you really want an Apple TV in Malaysia.

Less Content Options in Malaysia.  Although the physical device is the same in all countries, and Malaysia even has access to the iTunes Store, a lot of content is still blocked for Malaysia. For example, Apple TV users in the US can stream content from sites like Netflix, Hulu+, NHL, etc. which is blocked to users in Malaysia. On the bright side, you can jailbreak 1st generation and 2nd generation units to get unlimited access. Furthermore, if you have an American credit card and address, you can create a American iTunes account to access content that is not available to Malaysian accounts.

Expensive Movies and Shows for Malaysia. Another drawback is the comparatively high cost of renting movies and shows on iTunes for the Apple TV. People in Malaysia will likely find these movie prices to be ridiculously expensive – a movie can easily cost US$19.99 (RM 60+) to purchase or US$4.99 (RM 15+) to rent, which are significantly higher than the Malaysian DVD shops or some alternative online options.

New Apps and Features Can be Slow to Adopt in Malaysia. In America, a couple of new applications were recently added to Apple TV: HBO Go and WatchESPN. These services were just launched on Apple TV on June 20, 2013. However, they are not available to Malaysian users and it may be a long time before they even come to market here.

Apple TV is a powerful product with some cool features, but it also has its limitations in Malaysia.

Learn more about Apple TV on this page of the Apple website for Malaysia.

What are your thoughts about Apple TV in Malaysia? Would you buy one? Why or Why Not?  Better yet, do you already have one and, if so, what are your thoughts?



SEE ALSO: All Recent Apple Stories

Photo credit: Rob Boudon / / CC BY

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By the way, Astro is the reason why Hulu or Netflix will never become available in Malaysia. Of course, they will always claim it is for the reason of censorship. It is the government protecting their cronies over and over again.

Ben Hock Seng

I also think the movie studios don’t help Netflix expand internationally. So many of the studios have antiquated regional restrictions. When Netflix purchases licenses for movies and shows it’s for specific regions. Thus, it makes it more difficult to launch into foreign markets.

Tiann Nerng Chong

I was just wondering, is it possible to access Netflix / Amazon Prime etc if I use an Apple TV in Malaysia, but using a DNS./ VPN?

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