Apple TV

You can find thousands of movies and TV shows to buy or rent in iTunes, some of which might even still be in theaters when released for home viewing. You can watch your recent rentals or purchases on Apple TV, or any of your connected devices. If you're having trouble with playback, we have some helpful tips.

How to buy a movie or TV show in iTunes on Apple TV

  1. Open the Movies app or TV Shows app on Apple TV
  2. Select a title.
  3. Select Buy.

    Selecting a movie to buy on Apple TV

  4. Select Buy again when prompted.

    Confirming purchase on Apple TV

The movie or TV show will begin playing automatically.

How to rent a movie in iTunes on Apple TV

  1. Open the Movies app or TV Shows app on Apple TV
  2. Select a title.
  3. Select Rent.

    Renting a movie on Apple TV

  4. Select Rent and Watch Now or Rent and Watch Later.

    Confirming a rental on Apple TV

You'll have 30 days after you rent a movie to start watching it. You'll have 24 hours after you start watching a movie to finish it.

How to troubleshoot issues with movies and TV shows in iTunes on Apple TV

If you are experiencing issues with playing movies you've purchased or rented on Apple TV, you may want to check your wi-fi signal strength.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Select Network.
  3. Check to see how many bars (or dots, in this case) your wi-fi signal is getting.

    Checking signal strength on Apple TV

If your signal strength is low, try moving your Apple TV closer to your wi-fi router, or try connecting it directly to your router with an Ethernet cable.

You can also try force closing iTunes or restarting Apple TV to clear the device of any possible glitches.

How to test your internet connection speed

Speed Testing your download speed

When you purchase or rent a movie or TV show, but it seems to take forever to load, it might be your internet connection. Start by performing a speed test like this one.

Apple recommends that you have download speeds of eight megabits per second (Mbps) or faster for 1080p HD content, six Mbps or faster for 720p HD content, and 2.5 Mbps or faster for SD content.

As you can see from my speed test pictured above, I had to switch my iTunes download settings from HD to SD in order to playback movies on Apple TV without having to wait hours for them to load.

How to switch from HD to SD on Apple TV

If your download internet speeds are sub-par, you may have to resort to switching from High Definition to Standard Definition. It isn't the ideal solution, but it makes content playback possible when your internet speeds are insufferable.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Select Apps.

    Selecting Apps on Apple TV

  3. Select iTunes Movies and TV Shows.
  4. Select Video Resolution.
  5. Select Standard Definition.

    Changing video resolution on Apple TV

One benefit of switching to SD is that you can oftentimes rent and buy movies and TV shows for less than their HD counterpart.

Any questions?

Is there anything about purchasing movies and TV shows from iTunes on Apple TV that you'd like to know more about? Drop it in the comments.

Apple TV 4K


This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy for more details.

Latest And Best Prime Day Deals

The Ring Alarm security system is reaching new low prices for Prime Day
Ring Alarm home security systems

Various configurations of the Ring Alarm are discounted to their best prices yet exclusively for Prime members at Amazon through Tuesday night to help keep your home secure.

The Sonos Beam Prime Day deal includes a $40 discount and 2 $50 Amazon gift cards
Sonos Beam Smart TV sound bar with 2 $50 Amazon gift cards
$359.00 $499.00 Save $140

That's just so much savings in one deal. You'll have to wait for the physical gift cards, but that's basically $100 to spend however you want.

Prime Day dropped this PlayStation 4 console bundle to just $250
PlayStation 4 Slim 1TB console with Marvel's Spider-Man and Horizon Zero Dawn
$249.99 $359.98 Save $110

This deal on the PlayStation 4 Slim console saves you $50 off its regular price while also including Marvel's Spider-Man and Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Edition for free. You'll just need an Amazon Prime membership to snag it.

The newest device in the Echo family, the Show 5, is now down to just $50
Echo Show 5
$49.99 $89.99 Save $40

It's only been on the market since May, but it hasn't escaped the Prime Day price cuts.

Amp up your home security with these huge Prime Day discount on nearly all Ring products
Save on Ring products today only

Whether you need a video doorbell, whole home alarm system, or some lights to brighten a dark area, Amazon has it all marked down today!

These huge price drops on the entire Galaxy S10 lineup might be one of the best Prime Day phone deals we'll see
Samsung Galaxy S10 128GB unlocked Prism Black Android smartphone
$599.99 $900.00 Save $300

We love the Galaxy S10, and we love deals. This combines two of our true loves in one!

Scour Amazon Warehouse's deals to save an extra 20% on tech and more through Prime Day
Extra 20% off Amazon Warehouse

Amazon Warehouse sells a myriad of items in varying conditions, from refurbished to open-box, used, warehouse-damaged, and more. It's a great place to snag a deal, and now Prime members can save an extra 20% off select items at checkout.

There's never been a better deal on the Ring Video Doorbell 2 than this pre-Prime Day offer
Ring Video Doorbell 2 (Certified Refurbished)
$89.99 $169.99 Save $80

Amazon is taking $80 off the certified refurbished Ring Video Doorbell 2, which lets you see and speak with visitors at your front door no matter where you are in the world.

More Prime Day Deals