Minimal Equipment Required for Apple TV

tvOS & Apple TV Apps

My wife and I are both totally blind, and we have no children nor relatives visiting us. We have for years used cable TV connected to our stereo equipment by RCA phono patchcords only. As we consider the purchase of at least two Apple TV setups in our home, we want to buy only the equipment required to run Apple TV. I have heard that a TV set is required to run Apple TV; if that is the case, I'll buy at least one setup to run in our living-room. In any case, I would like to run the audible portion through our conventional stereo equipment; we do not have Surround Sound. We don't have room for it, and we don't have the money to buy a complete unit. Further, I don't like all the menus in many of the complex amps capable of surround sound.
Best Buy told me that the smallest TV capable of working with Apple TV is a 32-inch box. At present, I have one ANCIENT 19-inch TV which we rarely turn on. I do have an iPhone 6, and I have moderate skill using Voice-Over on it.
Bottom Line: What is the minimum equipment I would need for each Apple TV setup in our house? We have Ethernet in two rooms in our house (I'd have to run cable and a switch if I wanted to use the other location preferred by my wife).
Someone at the Apple store in our town even suggested that I might be able to get substantially the same programming material with something like a MacBook or the like.
Any help you can provide will be appreciated as we consider whether to go into Apple TV or perhaps a Mac or MacBook.



Submitted by Steve on Saturday, February 3, 2018


I am in the process of trying to setup a 4th generation Apple TV for my father who is partially sighted (registered blind), so I have an Apple TV here that I can use to answer your questions.
I response to your initial question:-
Firstly the Audio:-
I understand that you have no need of a television as you are totally blind, but need to know what audio connection options are available to you.
The 4th generation Apple TV has no dedicated audio output whatsoever, and the audio output is through the HDMI only. As you have no Soundbars etc, and would prefer to connect to your hi-fi using RCA connectors I would suggest that you need an HDMI audio splitter. These are inexpensive and very compact in size. It takes the HDMI input and passes it through to an HDMI output, but also offers separate audio outputs, usually both optical and RCA are available on the same unit.
I know that these work as I use one myself for my old soundbar that has RCA but not HDMI. They are cheap, small and simple.

Secondly, do you need a TV at all?
I have not tested this yet, but I am perfectly willing to if you still have no answer to your question.
Without prior testing, my thoughts are that once you have the voiceover setup I cannot see why you would need a television at all. In fact, I have seen some button-by-button setup guides for the blind that walk you through the initial setup so far as enabling voiceover. If these guides are good then do we need a TV at all?
The Apple TV4 will need a network connection, either Cat5 or WiFi are both good. If you have the CAT5 wired Ethernet connection, this is a 'no need to do anything more for networking' solution.