All About the Second Generation Apple TV

The information you need about Apple's second streaming box

The second-generation Apple TV was the successor to the original Apple TV, Apple's first entry into the set-top box/Internet-connected TV market. This article details its key hardware and software features. It also provides a diagram to help you understand what each of the device's ports does.

Apple discontinued the second-generation Apple TV in 2012. Check out our guides on the fourth-generation Apple TV and Apple TV 4K for information on more recent models.

2nd Generation Apple TV
 Apple Inc.

Get to Know the Second Generation Apple TV

While the original Apple TV stored content locally–whether by syncing from a user's iTunes library or via download from the iTunes Store—the second-generation model is almost entirely Internet-centric. Instead of syncing content, this device streams it from iTunes libraries via AirPlay, the iTunes Store, iCloud, or other online services using built-in apps like Netflix, Hulu, MLB.TV, YouTube, and more.

Because it doesn't need it, the device doesn’t offer much in the way of local storage. It does have 8 GB of Flash memory used for storing streamed content, however.

This version of the Apple TV runs a modified version of the operating system Apple uses for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Specifically, the firmware is a variation of iOS 7. Future versions would continue to use a version of iOS until the fourth-generation hardware, which finally got its own framework: tvOS.

Here are some more technical details from the second-generation Apple TV:

Dimensions 0.9 x 3.9 x 3.9 inches (23 x 98 x 98 mm)
Weight 0.6 lb (0.27 kg)
Processor Apple A4
Video Output 720p (1280 x 720 pixels)
Outputs HDMI
RAM 256 MB
Storage 8 GB (cached only)
Connectivity 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Ethernet, Bluetooth, Micro-USB, Optical Audio
Input Devices Apple Magic Keyboard, Apple Wireless Keyboard, Apple Remote
Software Compatibility iTunes 10.2 or later

Anatomy of the 2nd Gen. Apple TV

This image shows the back of the second-generation Apple TV and the ports that are available there.

The back of a 2nd-gen Apple TV
Apple, Inc.

From left to right, they are:

  1. Power Adapter
  2. HDMI port (top)
  3. Mini USB port
  4. Optical Audio jack
  5. Ethernet port