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Opinion: Apple’s fourth-gen Apple TV will be worth the $149 gamble

Compared with the runaway successes of the iPod, iPhone, and iPad, the Apple TV living room media player hasn’t had a stellar track record. Despite considerable hype leading up to its early 2007 release, Apple declared the first Apple TV “a hobby” shortly after it hit stores, then began a seemingly endless campaign to figure out what people actually wanted it to do. Three years later, a second-gen version refocused on video rentals and added one major feature — AirPlay — to stream and mirror content from iOS devices and Macs. A tweaked third-gen model added 1080p support after less than two years. The modest changes led Apple TV sales to resemble a bunny hill; even Apple’s atypically aggressive price points couldn’t help the devices match the popularity of Roku, Amazon, and Google rivals.

Next week, pre-orders will start for the fourth-generation Apple TV, and it would be easy to say “pass:” none of the prior versions has been fantastic, and once again, Apple deliberately left out an arguably major feature — 4K Ultra HD support — that competitors jumped on, and will probably topline the inevitable fifth-generation Apple TV. But I’d personally suggest that you consider ordering the new $149 Apple TV anyway. Even though its potential won’t really be tapped until (at least) next year, early adopters are about to have a fun ride as it develops into an amazing new living room entertainment platform…

Why Gamble

If you’ve already used the prior-generation Apple TV, you know the basics of what the new version will do: play videos, music, and photos on your TV, including content streamed from the Internet, as well as AirPlay-streamed content directly from a nearby iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, or Mac. These features alone justified earlier Apple TVs for millions of people, but they were tightly controlled by Apple, and only intermittently augmented with new streaming “channels.” That’s changing.

Based upon tvOS, a TV-optimized version of iOS, the new Apple TV adds several major new features. First, it can download third-party apps and games. Second, it can integrate app-like data content with multiple audio and video streams for a next-generation interactive TV experience. Third, it will be able to serve as a hub for HomeKit accessories, possibly also controlling your TV and home theater setup. In short, the Apple TV is no longer just an audio, photo, and video player… it’s more like an iOS-based game console and (mini-)computer for your TV.


What To Expect: The Hardware

Made entirely from glossy and matte black plastics, the new Apple TV looks just like its two predecessors, only around 50% taller and with two rear port changes. The optical audio output is gone, forcing all audio to go through HDMI, and the (service-only) micro-USB port has given way to a (still service-only) USB-C connector. As iFixit notes, a giant heat sink inside makes it noticeably heavier than before.

The U.S. version of the new Apple TV and some international versions will ship with the new Siri Remote, which is black on top, silver on the bottom. It’s larger in every dimension than the second-generation Apple Remote that shipped with the last two Apple TVs. To make scrolling quicker, Apple has replaced the prior four-direction navigation circle with a small matte glass surface that can be used for navigational swipe gestures and gentler positioning. The glass can be pushed downwards for menu selections, and unlike Apple’s Magic Trackpad 2, it actually clicks. Gyroscope/accelerometer sensors are hidden inside the remote for future games, and not used within the main Apple TV interface.


Four new buttons have been added to enable the Siri Remote to turn your TV’s volume up or down, activate twin built-in microphones for Siri voice input, and quickly return to the Apple TV’s main menu. Using a feature called Home Theater Control, certain TVs (including AnyNet-compatible models) can also be turned on and off using the Siri Remote, which now has both Bluetooth and Infrared transmitters built in for wireless communications. Apple includes a multi-month rechargeable battery this time, and lets you refuel it with an included Lightning to USB cable. Extra Siri Remotes will sell for $79, and Remote Loop wrist straps for under $20.

Third-party Bluetooth game controllers are supported, as are Bluetooth speakers and headphones — all brand-new to this version of the Apple TV. But unlike prior Apple TVs, Bluetooth keyboards are a question mark, and don’t appear to work; for instance, Apple’s just-released Magic Keyboard doesn’t pair wirelessly or when connected via a USB-C adapter.


What To Expect: The Software

As shown in my colleague Dom Esposito’s video below, Apple has substantially redesigned the Apple TV’s user interface with an ambitious, visually appealing set of improvements. Everything’s been whitewashed (or light-graywashed) with a brighter color palette, text has been flipped to Apple’s new San Francisco font, and drop shadows have been added. Translucent panes introduced in iOS 7 have made their way to tvOS, with even better results.

One big change that isn’t obvious from screenshots is speed: the new Apple TV lets you zip rather than plodding through menus, thanks in equal parts to a considerably beefier A8 processor and the more responsive Siri Remote. Additionally, app icons and cover art images now wiggle in 3D thanks to an Apple mandate that developers include 2-5 parallax layers to create depth.


Much of the new UI — notably including some Apple-developed widgets such as Weather and Stocks that aren’t represented with app icons — can be navigated using Siri voice commands. You have to hold down the Siri Remote’s microphone button while you speak to get Siri to “hear” and process whatever you say, releasing the button when you’re done; this takes a little adjustment, but is better than killing the Siri Remote’s battery by having it endlessly listen for (and, like the iPhone 6s, too often ignore) the words “hey, Siri.”


By holding down the mic button, Siri can be activated in the middle of pretty much anything, including videos. You can use Siri for voice-controlled for navigation, “what did they just say?” inquiries, and lookups of information related to whatever’s currently playing. The remote’s touch surface can be swiped to expand or hide panes of information, which serve as partial translucent overlays or fill the entire screen with additional content if you prefer.

An App Store, soon to be opened, will let you add free and paid apps to the new Apple TV. It is highly likely that the device will arrive with only a handful of Apple-developed apps pre-installed, leaving you to choose most of the way you’ll fill your scrolling Home screen with apps.



Other frills in the UI are sparing but occasionally eye-catching. Aerial screensavers stream gorgeous 1080p flyover videos of San Francisco, New York City, Hawaii, London, and the Great Wall of China, displaying different videos based on the time of day and downloading a new bundle of 3-4 videos on your preferred (daily/weekly/monthly) schedule. Each bundle of videos is around 600MB, and there are at least 10 bundles currently on Apple’s servers. New accessibility features make the UI easier to see or hear for users with vision or hearing deficiencies. And integrated calibration screens let you optimize the output for your personal television set or overscan preferences.


What To Expect: Apps and Games

The A8 processor inside the new Apple TV is one year and three generations old, which is to say that it’s already been surpassed in power by the iPad Air 2’s A8X, iPhone 6s/6s Plus’s A9, and iPad Pro’s A9X. But with at least as much horsepower as the iPad Air, iPad mini 2 and 3, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus, the Apple TV will be well-equipped to play new games, as well as thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of games previously released for iOS devices, assuming they’re updated to support the tvOS operating system. Expect the graphics in 3D games to be roughly on par with consoles such as the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and original Wii, and no shortage of ability to handle 2D games of any type.

One note of caution about tvOS games: for all of the Apple TV’s incredible potential as a gaming platform, Apple has continued to ignore (entirely reasonable) requests from serious gamers regarding basic controller issues, such as allowing developers to offer games without support for the restrictive Siri Remote. Multi-player gaming may also be restricted due to simultaneous connection limitations of the new Apple TV’s Bluetooth chip. It remains to be seen whether software and hardware decisions like this, which have upset many within the gaming community, kills the Apple TV’s ability to win over major game developers and their customers.

While apps are a lot easier to code than games, the Apple TV’s living room-focused interface (and potential lack of Bluetooth keyboard support) hint that Apple’s not looking to see it turn into a cut-rate Mac. Basic widgets to extend the functionality of traditional TV features — watching sports, learning about the weather — will appear quickly, as will tvOS versions of Netflix, HBO Now, Hulu Plus, Showtime, and other channels, but don’t expect Apple to endorse creation apps, web browsers, or other Mac mainstays for the platform. At least, yet. Similarly, it will be interesting to see whether compromised apps for walkie talkie-like audio and/or one-way video calling take off in the absence of integrated FaceTime-caliber hardware.

Buy In, Cautiously: Unless Your Broadband Package Is Data-Capped, Go 32GB For Now

The new Apple TV comes in 32GB ($149) and 64GB ($199) versions, each representing a huge jump in storage over the 8GB second- and third-generation Apple TVs. Apple has mandated that app developers implement extreme space-saving measures, limiting the initial footprint of any app to 200MB with the ability to grab up to 2GB of additional content on an as-needed basis. (It’s believed that the new Apple TV will treat in-app content like old models handled video streams, using caches to load and purge extra files as needed — great for reducing storage, bad for broadband packages with data caps.)

If you do the math, and assume the Apple TV will allocate around 8GB of space for Apple’s various apps, you’ll be able to hold around 120 basic apps on the 32GB model, or 280 on the 64GB model, each number shrinking considerably if you have apps (primarily games) with additional 2GB caches. You can choose the best size for your own anticipated needs, but if you only plan to keep this Apple TV around for a year or two, consider going with the smaller one and saving the extra $50 to put towards a future sequel. At that point, your “old” Apple TV might stay with your “old” 2K TV, while the new Apple TV could be paired with a new 4K Ultra HD TV.

What I’m Going To Do

Even though the prior versions of the Apple TV haven’t been mega-hits, the second- and third-generation models have been amongst my family’s most-used Apple devices — handy for everything from watching videos to occasionally putting FaceTime calls up on a large TV. I’m personally very excited about the fourth-generation Apple TV’s potential, and think the next year will be a wild ride for early adopters, though I do think the first two or three months may be somewhat chaotic as developers rush to get their hastily-completed apps and games into the Apple TV App Store. I’ll be buying a new Apple TV the moment they go on sale, and can’t wait to see what developers bring to the new platform.

More From This Author

Check out more of my editorials, How-To guides, and reviews for 9to5Mac here! I’ve covered a lot of different topics of interest to Mac, iPad, iPhone, iPod, Apple TV, and Apple Watch users. I’ve recently discussed how to safely prepare and wipe your iPhone for resale or trade-in, and how to get the best iPhone trade-in price to help buy an iPhone 6s, amongst many other topics.

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  1. yojimbo007 - 7 years ago

    Gamble???…. Its a sure bet !

  2. Inaba-kun (@Inaba_kun) - 7 years ago

    As Cook himself said, the future is apps. So far there’s no sign of Amazon, which is for many an essential service. Nor is the BBC on board, which is a must for UK customers.

    Let’s see how things are 6 months after launch, but right now, I can’t see this challenging the Fire TV.

    • Jassi Sikand - 7 years ago

      The BBC hasn’t ruled out an Apple TV, they just haven’t committed to it yet. And that makes sense since it’s a new product (version). As for Amazon, a) it’s not really an essential service to as many people as you think it is (Prime videos are usually quite old and all of them are on Netflix anyway and as for non-Prime videos, iTunes is the alternative) and b) it’s up to them to build an app. Already, people are boycotting Amazon over their decision. But yes, give it 6 mo b/c I see this challenging the Fire TV (their only successful product – Fire TV & Stick)

      • Inaba-kun (@Inaba_kun) - 7 years ago

        I have both Prime and Netflix, and you’re simpy incorrect to say the libraries are the same. Far from it. There is a little crossover, usually with Disney stuff, but that’s it. The rest are the libraries are largely unique. Plus Amazon is getting into the original content game in a way too. Or maybe you missed the whole Clarkson Top Gear spin off Amazon exclusive thing? Whether you’re a fan or not, expect that to be a massive deal and a driver (no pun intended) of Fire TV sales. They recently won Emmys for their Transparent show too.

        I believe Amazon is he third biggest streamer in the UK, with the BBC no.1 and Netflix no.2. They matter.

    • srgmac - 7 years ago

      The FireTV is light years ahead of the ATV; it has everything you could ever possibly want in a STB entertainment platform, plus 4K support. Apple TV is missing so much it’s not even funny. Everything the ATV has, FireTV has, but better — the ONLY thing FireTV doesn’t have is the Apple iTunes Store…that’s it — so if your library is entirely purchased from iTunes, it’s probably a no-go, as I do not think there is any way to stream content from iTunes on the FireTV; to everyone else — there should not even be a debate. FireTV OWNS. FireTV can do AirPlay from your Mac/iPad/iPhone also; there are a ton of AirPlay apps on the FTV app store. There’s really nothing the ATV can do that is better. Also, Apple leaving out the ATV 3G from the updates and the remote is total nonsense. That is a big middle finger to anyone who has ever supported the ATV.

      • Inaba-kun (@Inaba_kun) - 7 years ago

        Except the Fire TV lacks Now TV, All4, ITV Player, and MUBI. It’s still got a way to go.

      • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

        They couldn’t update the Apple TV 3 to tvOS for multiple reason, most important of which is that it has 8GB of storage which is devoted for caching of a single movie as it buffers the stream. The lack of storage and speed would make it an abysmal experience for the consumer. I mean it has an A5 and I don’t even know how much RAM, 512? Maybe 1GB? Look at how many people complain about iOS 9 on older devices, do you know how laggy the A5 would be running that? The short answer: REALLY BAD.

        Be really unique to have a Siri button and touchpad on a remote for your ATV 3 which can’t use either of those functions.

      • You have no idea what you are talking about but at least its pretty funny that you don’t get how important apps will be.
        Oh my the current Apple TV won’t get update software…what a horrible shock..I mean it was $69 whole dollars.

    • srgmac - 7 years ago

      Hey — I can’t reply to your comment below because of WordPress and 9to5Mac’s insistence on using it (sigh), but just wanted to address this:
      “Except the Fire TV lacks Now TV, All4, ITV Player, and MUBI. It’s still got a way to go.”
      MUBI and ITV Player are indeed available for FireTV. NowTV can be side loaded; the process is very easy to do so.
      Can’t find any info on All4 though.

  3. chrisl84 - 7 years ago

    Wish it had Safari

    • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

      How would you navigate? And without a quick method of typing (which even if they allowed Bluetooth keyboards 99% of people wouldn’t use them) it would be absolutely awful. I have to be honest, the web is really sad. Look at pretty much any website on a big monitor, and you realize that almost none of them are even optimized for 16:9. They’re all condensed in the middle of the screen and the remaining space is wasted or filled with ads, it’s just sad. It would just be exacerbated on the bigger screen.

      • chrisl84 - 7 years ago

        The iPhone app already lets you type directly into Apple TV models currently available with absolutely no effort at all…..and just because YOU dont want it doesn’t mean millions do.

      • CFNoell (@CFNoell) - 7 years ago

        I expect that Safari and other sorts of functionality will expand considerably over time. Apple’s decision to restrict functionality at launch is smart in two ways:
        1. If it had Safari support (or HomeKit) for example, it would be criticized as being clunky.
        2. As it introduces new functionality (say as the HomeKit ecosystem matures) it will get additional publicity and momentum.

      • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

        No, a browser isn’t coming to the Apple TV just as a browser isn’t coming to the Apple Watch, or CarPlay.

  4. You write “Same horsepower as Ipad Air, mini 2 and 3”? All those have A7, no? With only 1G RAM as well. So no I count on more gaming capacity on the new TV

    • Mike Murray - 7 years ago

      I suspect Chrome will find its way to the Apple TV app store.

    • Jeremy Horwitz - 7 years ago

      No, I wrote “at least as much horsepower,” not same.

    • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

      I don’t see why Apple wouldn’t let it use more power seeing as how it has a constant power source…

      I think Apple should design an A9Y or whatever they prefer for marketing for the next Apple TV, and like the A9X is designed for the iPad using more power and substantially more graphical power for the massive number of pixels, the A9Y would be designed with less power-efficiency in mind, and more graphical power in mind. Granted, I’m sure they won’t do this.

  5. Mike Murray - 7 years ago

    It’s my understanding that the hardware offers 4K support, but it is disabled in software because iTunes doesn’t yet offer 4K content. If that’s true then 4K is just a software update away.

    • Inaba-kun (@Inaba_kun) - 7 years ago

      That seems highly unlikely as it would have been a nice selling point. Netflix have been streaming 4K for a long time now, as have Amazon. Both of whom could have provided 4K content for Apple.

      Does the ATV even have the right kind of HDMI port for 4K?

      • Gary L. Wade - 7 years ago

        The specs show it as HDMI 1.4 which could theoretically support 4K.

      • kijijigod - 7 years ago

        4k is still-born under HDMI 1.4. The industry will stabilize on HDMI 2.0a. So be prepared to have to upgrade to a 5th gen tv SOON.

    • Jassi Sikand - 7 years ago

      Untrue b/c the version of HDMI their using doesn’t support 4K. That was a prior rumor that was shown to be untrue. They didn’t offer 4K because even in 2018 there will be only 10% of houses having 4K TVs.

      • Oflife - 7 years ago

        That’s a crazy argument because it is by supporting 4K that that 10% of houses would have reason to upgrade their TVs. I have shot, used and seen 4K on my Dell 27″ 4K monitor, on my MacBook and on various 4K TVs, and it is mind blowingly more detailed than 1080P, so cannot be ignored. Most modern cameras and phones shoot it too, so Apple TV should support it out of the box, on YouTube in particular where a lot of this 4K home shot footage will be uploaded.

    • srgmac - 7 years ago

      This is false; it does not support the HDMI spec for 4K. If you want 4K it’s a no brainer — Get the FireTV.

    • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

      4K is largely pointless currently, because there is so incredibly little content which is available in 4K. Not to mention how few have 4K TVs as yet. Albeit it would’ve been nice, but it’s not really necessary yet.

      What I think? I believe Apple could make a far greater impact on TV picture quality by having all their TV streaming service be in full 1080p with high bit-rate when it launches. That would make an enormous difference for virtually everyone going from cable to their service, because at present, everyone gets very low quality, low bit-rate, non-1080p content from their cable providers. All sports you see are in 720, and all TV in general is just awful artifact ridden garbage, currently. So in my opinion Apple could make the TV experience not just astronomically superior in the UI/GUI, delivery, information, search, etc., but also, and very importantly, far better picture quality.

  6. Cameron Scott - 7 years ago

    In the past, I’ve owned 4 Apple TV’s spread throughout my home. Last year I replaced them with several Amazon Fire Stick TV’s at $19. The new Apple TV starting off at $149 does not have anything compelling to cause me to switch back.

    Airplay was always iffy and crashed continuously. The UI was a pain to scroll through music since you just couldn’t instantly to a given letter like a rolodex. Inability to sort home movies into their own genres and folders. No standard Bluetooth controller included with this update or, as of right now, attachment of keyboard. No across platform sharing of Apps on all iOS devices.

    I have my Plex and Pandra just fine on the Fire Stick. I’ll wait to see what updates this Apple TV software will receive over the next few months but, as of right now, spending 7 times what I paid for a Fire Stick that has been doing what Apple hasn’t for the past year and finally caught up with doesn’t make sense.

    • JBDragon - 7 years ago

      I have a Amazon Fire Stick, It’s SLOW and laggy!!! Other then Supporting Amazon Prime built in, it’s not all that great. PLEX isn’t very good and I use that daily. The better option is a ROKU, Either a ROKU 2 or better yet, a ROKU 3. The Apple TV 3 is faster then a Amazon Fire Stick!!! You can even run the Amazon Prime App on your iOS device and then Airplay to the AppleTV to have Amazon support NOW.

      I got mine for $19 also, but it’s not that price now. It’s like $40 now. I guess there’s a 2.0 version that just came out?!?! how much better?!?! The one I got for $19, I’m not super Impressed with it. it’s better then a Chromecast because at least it has a Interface and a Real Remote, but that’s not saying a whole lot.

      I look at 4K TV’s and I’m not that Impressed. I can’t see a difference unless I’m very close. What has far more effect is the new High Dynamic Colors. Which I’d be just fine with it if came out on 1080P TV’s. Unless you have a 120″+ screen it’s pointless. Most people can’t even tell the difference from a Blu-Ray movie and a DVD movie!!! That’s because they already have to small of a HDTV for the distance they sit. 4K is not going to be any better unless they went a whole lot larger. Generally this is because the WIFE doesn’t want some HUGE TV in the Room and so you settle on some 42″ HDTV sitting 8 or more feet away. 4K is what you’re watching when you go to the Movie Theater. If your TV screen that size? If not, are you sitting 1 foot in front of your 60″ screen? Then 4K is pretty much pointless.

      • kijijigod - 7 years ago

        JBDragon Do you complain about them cotton-pickin’ black bars on the top and bottom of your red-box dvd’s too? What in tar-nation are them pencil-pushers in New York City forcing on us working class Americans anyhow???

    • I’ve never had an Airplay issues and I do it a lot from many different sources. Everything else you said was wrong too.
      Laughable that you think the underpowered Fire TV stick does much of anything very well.
      Anyone who doesn’t understand how important the app store will be is really clueless.

  7. Inaba-kun (@Inaba_kun) - 7 years ago

    “Expect the graphics in 3D games to be roughly on par with consoles such as the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and original Wii”

    The original Wii is a good comparison. Don’t expect X360 or PS3 level visuals from the ATV. On a good day in ideal scenarios the iPad Air 2’s A8X is a closer match for the Xenos and RSX, but it’s still woefully underpowered when it comes to fill rate. It’s also far weaker for compute.

    Of course it’s academic anyway, as you’re not going to be seeing console level titles on the ATV. Storage and control issues as well as the underpowered GPU and CPU make that impossible. An Uncharted game for example is around 40gb, and uses every button on a dual shock 3. It would be amusing if tragic though to see someone selling console levels games on the ATV App Store at console level prices. The race to the bottom in iOS gaming has made such an endeavour completely impossible. When free is the standard price, that doesn’t exactly allow games which cost tens of millions to be made.

    Micro console gaming is a dead end. Google and Amazon have been beating this particular dead horse for years now. Better to make the ATV the ultimate streamer, which absolutely means getting every popular service on board.

    • Jeremy Horwitz - 7 years ago

      The Wii didn’t run at 1080p… or even 720p. Don’t underestimate the value of pixel sharpness.

      • Yeah, I think it will be on par with very early PS3/360 games (2005-07)

      • Inaba-kun (@Inaba_kun) - 7 years ago

        Sure, sharpness is nice, but geometry and shader complexity are more important. Furthermore rending at 720p or even higher will place a huge burden on such a weak GPU. Fill rate is still a major limitation even on PS4 class hardware, let alone a simple mobile GPU. Don’t underestimate compute either.

        By all means call me out if you see games on the ATV which rival AAA content on the PS3 or X360, but I’m extremely confident you won’t be able to. I’ve worked in console game dev for a long time.

    • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

      Go check out hands-on Apple TV 4 demos from the post keynote. Look for the video where the Apple employee is showing off ‘Afterpulse’ which easily rivals PS3/Xbox 360 graphics. It’s a complex 3rd person shooter, not some simplistic style game.

      • Inaba-kun (@Inaba_kun) - 7 years ago

        Please, go and watch some videos of AAA last gen titles, try The Last of Us, Uncharted 3, Bioshock Infinite, or GTA V.

        You will never see visuals at that level on the new ATV. It’s simply impossible. If you think mobile games look as good as last gen console games, good for you, but from a technical standpoint, you’re simply wrong. Sorry.

      • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

        I’ve played the last of us, uncharted 3, and GTA V on PS3, and they weren’t that impressive, now, on ps4, they’re much improved.

        I’m going out on a limb and going to say you didn’t watch the video, you just don’t want your idea that it can’t touch those decade old consoles to not be hurt. That game isn’t a mobile game, sorry to break it to you. Know what else it isn’t? A game which a AAA developer spent tens of millions on.

      • Inaba-kun (@Inaba_kun) - 7 years ago

        Yes I’ve seen Aferpulse. I saw a couple of characters in a simple arena with very little overdraw. It’s exactly the type of thing you shoot for on a GPU with little fill rate and low levels of compute.

        Frankly at this point you are clearly trolling and have no credibility. Naughty Dog games are the pinnacle of both game design and technical excellence. The current gen ports of the Naughty Dog games are largely unchanged, save for some higher textures, the occasional higher density asset, and of course 1080/60. To write off Naugty Dog’s achievements on the PS3 is absurd and puts you in a minority of one.

      • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

        I’ve seen the actual comparisons of them. The ps4 versions of especially 1 and 2 look FAR superior. And yes, naughty dog is great. Well, they’re too stupid to make another fun cartoonish character because they ‘want to focus on realistic characters’ which is stupid to only focus on that. They make great games, but crash bandicoot and jak and Daxter were arguably more fun.

  8. Frederik Kirk - 7 years ago

    If I understand you correctly, you say that the old silver remote will ship in countries without Siri for tvOS. This is not true, the Siri button is just called “search”, but looks the same. I have no doubt that all hardware will be the same, as the speaker holes are present on the “Danish” website under tech specs.

    • Paul Douglas - 7 years ago

      Yeah, that is my understanding as well, I have seen absolutely no evidence the existing remote even works with the new Apple TV, never mind ships with it in some territories. There were some reports at one point that it would ship with a mic-free version of the Siri Remote called the Search Remote but it never seemed credible – what would be the point in the minimal savings when you’d face backlash over requiring people to replace the remote if Siri support was added later? I agree with you, the remote seems to be the same, it’s just there’s no software support for the mic in territories where Siri for Apple TV isn’t available yet.

  9. Tim LeVier - 7 years ago

    Eventually, it will be worth it. If you are a current xBone owner, then the time isn’t right. No need to be an early adopter. Let the apps develop and Apple open up functionality. Then it will be worth it.

  10. degraevesofie - 7 years ago

    I think its worth investing an extra $50 to get the 64GB model. (Remember the 4GB iPhone?)

    • Mr. Mendo - 7 years ago

      I agree. And if/when apple gets their live tv streaming deals done with major networks hopefully we’ll be able to DVR on the apple tv.

  11. RP - 7 years ago

    I am getting one. But I have to admit that I own the current Apple TV and it sits in a box somewhere god knows where, while Chromecast is my go-to dedicated TV watching device. It’s just more convenient to me. I also have Amazon Fire because I want to make use of my Prime membership which doesn’t play well with anyone else. We’ll see how it goes.

  12. kevinpackard - 7 years ago

    I just don’t get the new AppleTV.

    No 4K support. Bummer. I had big plans to pick up a 4K TV after the holidays, to replace my aging Sony Wega. But without a device to deliver 4K, I’m going to hang on to my Sony for a while longer. At least until it blows another bulb.

    But worse is the poor support for Bluetooth controllers. If it is to be a gaming console, doesn’t it need to support at least four (4) controllers?

    • RP - 7 years ago

      Apple is a mass market consumer company. The economies of scale now allow it to build great products investing huge resources.

      The market for 4k is far too small for that.

    • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

      Hardly anyone plays 4 player split screen I doubt. More important for future tvOS versions will be multiplayer using separate Apple TVs/TV sets in the same house on the same network, and multiplayer online endeavors with a major reworking of GameCenter.

      The most limiting part about Apple TV gaming will be that developers HAVE to include Siri remote support currently, which is a turn off for developers, it will cause games to be horrible experiences for customers that download a game which a developer put very crappy limited Siri Remote support for just to get it on the App Store.

      Idiots say ‘well people would download a game that would only be playable with a third-party controller without knowing’. That is something you’d say without thinking for 5 seconds. Apple could add a tag just like they do with ‘Allows in-app purchases’ on the apps that require a third party controller ‘Requires a MFi controller’ and inside the app in details, state that as well. Moreover, upon tapping to ‘Get’ or ‘Purchase’ the app in question, you’d receive a warning stating ‘Requires MFi controller to be played. For more information on MFi controllers visit ‘x” (and a link to the Apple website information page on them would be in this warning).

      Remember how people are warned before they make a purchase on the App Store? Yeah… that. Apple made a mistake in changing that policy and its going to negitavely impact developers but more importantly customers, even though the idea was to help customers.

    • JBDragon - 7 years ago

      You can use Amazon Prime on your iOS device and just AirPlay to your AppleTV. This you can do NOW!!! This works for a number of things, including PLEX. It’s not a nice as built in, but what do you think Chromecast is!!! That’s really not much difference this using AirPlay.

    • You don’t the impact of the app store? Really???

  13. chopingman - 7 years ago

    I have 3 ATV’s so I’m pretty familiar with what they are and what they do. The only thing I use them for is Streaming my own content from a mac mini server to my TV’s and using the optical out to feed a DAC Magic Plus driving a Higher end stereo system. I could care less about voice remote and games. I was really looking forward to this next release as I was sure Apple’s upscaling to 4k was going to be great.
    Well imagine my surprise when I heard no 4k and worse yet, no optical out! Makes it a non starter for me. No way no how.
    For now I’m buying a FireTV 4k and a Roku 4k to see how they do. If their 4k upscaling doesn’t look better than what I’m currently using then the ATV3’s are safe for now. If sometime in the future Apple releases something even remotely current hardware wise I could come back, but for now I’m sticking with the current model which at $69 is a steal.
    Also, you can forget this release ever supporting 4k through some kind of software upgrade unless it has HDMI 2.0. I don’t know if it does, but knowing apple and the 10 cents more it would have cost to put in the box, I’d bet it doesn’t. Without it, no 4k ever, no way, no how.
    Apple’s really dropped the ball here big time. Perhaps someone will release a “must have” app that might cause me to buy one someday, but I fear I’ll be waiting till what ever the next version is. Provided Amazon, Google, and Roku haven eaten Apples lunch by then.

  14. o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

    I want to let the author know that app thinning allows for a 200MB initial download which is reserved for major functionality that doesn’t get purged such as menus, etc., and after that an additional 2GB can be downloaded and remain for a total of 2.2GB per app at any given time. However, Apple allows for 20GB total of on-demand resources for each app. So, assuming it’s a linear type game, the Apple TV actually has a significant amount of potential game size. So if you complete the first 4 levels, and you’re on the 5th level, it could purge the first 4 levels and add the next several, and so on. PS3 and Xbox 360 games took roughly that much storage I believe. Obviously PS4 and Xbox One games take significantly more, 40, even 60GB+ now, especially for lazy developers not optimizing the code.

    • Jeremy Horwitz - 7 years ago

      The author is well aware of this, and has no issue with it, though the impact on real-world use of the Apple TV’s storage capacity (particularly when you have multiple games installed) is going to take some time to settle out.

      • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

        Haha I didn’t mean that in a derogatory way, if that’s how you took it. I doubt most developers will use it effectively, I’m just saying there’s more to it.

      • Jeremy Horwitz - 7 years ago

        Not taken in a derogatory way, but I think that developers are going to use effectively, because it’s a really smart system for managing compromised space. My gut tells me that the first instincts of developers will be to treat the 2GB blocks as ‘natural split points’ for IAPs, and chunk things like last-gen DVD/Blu-Ray titles into episodic content that can be sold for $3 to $5 a pop. It needn’t be this way, but that’s just how the App Store has worked to date.

  15. Personally, I don’t see a point of getting one! I have my 4k tv that can stream at a better quality and supports HDR and both of those things aren’t support by the Apple tv. It’s just not worth it. Apple has been lacking when it comes to technology :(

  16. o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

    I think Apple should make their own new video compression standard. I think it should be given to their content providers to compress all their TV streaming content in very low space, but incredibly high quality, high bit-rate 1080p. The current cable content is delivered in very artifact laden low bit-rate non-1080p. This alone would make Apple TV streaming content inherently far far superior to anything you see on cable.

    I think the platform should be more of an on-demand style than constant streaming, because if you were to have a streaming TV service which acts as it does on cable by simply continuing on the programming order the channel has it set to, it would be incredibly bandwidth burdensome, and it’s part of the outdated system they’re trying to bring into the future.

    These are two facts about TV: Firstly, people don’t want all of the garbage channels they get, rather, they want only a select few of the good channels that they personally like. Secondly, they don’t want to watch all of the programming that a particular channel has, but rather a select few programs that they personally like to watch.

    Having said all that, I think a great way to do it, is to still allow for live programming, but instead of having all these random channels and all their content, you select what you want to watch, and it can be pre-downloaded say ~4hrs before it airs but be unavailable until the regular programming time. This would aliviate poor quality from low bit-rate buffering to keep up with the live stream, and it would also aliviate the massive strain on the servers from which the content is coming. If you have 15 million people streaming a show at the same time, it’s not going to turn out well for many of them.

    So, for example, The Walking Dead airs on AMC at 9:00PM EST on Sunday’s, and some 15-17 million people watch that show at that time, this would be horrific for live-streamed content over the Internet. Instead, these could be downloaded between a ~4hr period before the air time, so not only would you aliviate the massive server congestion, but everyone would have a high quality, high bit-rate, downloaded version which would be ready to be played at its air time, with absolutely no buffering issues, and FAR superior picture quality than anything you see on current cable TV. Once downloaded, if you went to the said content it would give you a time until it airs, and Apple’s TV streaming service app could notify you 1min, 5min, or 10min before it is live, you could be taken to it and ready to watch. On iOS devices and OSX devices you’d get the same notification, etc.. This way, 17 million people can be watching the latest episode of a particular TV show, as it airs, on Apple’s new TV service, with no issues, and far better picture quality and lack of artifacts than anything you’ll see on cable.

    • Wow, I really like the 4hr download of “live” TV prior to airtime. (obviously not true Live TV-sports, for example, but I get the idea)

      The only thing i could see is somehow a hacker or somebody would break into the ATV and pull that movie and somehow strip the “key” and send that out to the internet as an advanced showing…but that’s just a thought and no idea if it could be done.

      BUT, love that thought. Let you have a window to download and watch a TV Show Broadcast in real-time along with regular cable/TV viewers.

    • Jake Mathew - 7 years ago

      Your idea of an “ala cart” TV model allowing users to only pay for the shows they want completely disregards of how TV shows and channels work. If your idea was a reality, 90% of the TV industry would be out of work. You might watch “The Walking Dead”, but if no one is purchasing the other 23 hours of content that AMC is producing, then that show could not afford to be produced, or that channel would probably shut down. Your plan does not have any business model, just purely technical.

      Also, the 4 hour prior download wouldn’t work for the big live events like the Super Bowl, Oscars, Olympics, etc.

      • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

        You have no idea what you’re talking about. The way it is now, AMC is a part of your cable package and you indeed pay for the ability to have that channel, whether you watch only one show, or all. It turns out that they pay for shows by ads, and by the desire to have it included in cable packages. Cable providers pay large amounts for the inclusion of a channel in their package, and obviously the higher the ratings for shows on that, the higher they can negotiate their price the cable providers must pay. They also pay for the shows from ads because take The Walking Dead for example, they make massive money from marketing companies paying to be in that programming slot.

        According to you, no show should ever be canceled because the other shows hold it all together for them. Except anyone who has a clue, knows that shows are canceled all the time because they can’t get the ratings that the executives want for that show to stay around.

        The current model which you’re trying but failing to understand, is changing, and will continue to change because it has to or it will end up costing them money. The more cord cutters, the more desirable it is for the content producers to take their business elsewhere, and not continue to sell it only to cable companies. That’s why you’re seeing more online subscription services and companies even going off with their own subscription service, like CBS is now starting. It’s also why you see some big channels allowing users to watch a show about a week (sometimes a day) after it airs, for free, with ads imbedded, this is because they know that they can get money from these ads from people that don’t have cable watching this show.

        By the way, I never said anything about aka carte TV, I said how people want to watch. I never said you’d be paying only for a single show, that’s not happening any time soon, I said that a fact is that people watch what they want to watch, and generally that’s very few shows per channel. The last thing people want is their bandwidth which ISPs have begun putting data caps to, to be wasted on content they are completely uninterested in. Which I was using The Walking Dead as a simple example of server congestion that would happen with live streaming of a popular show. So, instead you’d choose which shows you like, and watch those (which is exactly what happens now) like for example if you only watch The Walking Dead on AMC, you’d select it to watch each week and a few hours before its availability it would automatically download it, and it would be available at its air date.

        Lastly, of course it wouldn’t work for live events? I really didn’t think I’d have to explain that. Of course sports, awards shows, news, and the like would have to be live… My idea makes everything else work better. The live events etc., would have to be able to support the massive server congestion and would have to compress streams more for worse internet connections, etc..

  17. daniel13336 - 7 years ago

    Will it store my music and photos? I think it’s needed to avoid network lag. In that case, the 64GB version might make sense (I’m not into gaming)?

    • Peter Hillman - 7 years ago

      Then you have a problem with your network. Upgrade to 802.11n or 802.11ac. Apple ditched local storage because it was a pain in the ass to sync data to the original AppleTV. Streaming it on your own network was significantly easier. You must have a slow Wi-Fi network.

  18. According to Apple a Wireless Trackpad should cost only $20 less than this ENTIRE device. Makes sense.

  19. Daryl Edwards - 7 years ago

    I am ready to cut the cord on cable and it seems to me this is a essential device for doing that.

  20. Lois West (@westwheels) - 7 years ago

    Thanks for finally giving information on which size new Apple TV to get!

  21. Peter Hillman - 7 years ago

    The 4K bandwagon…what a joke. If something doesn’t have 4K it is a fail, per the tech nerds. The large majority of the population do not own 4K TVs. People do not throw away a perfectly good 1080p TV just to upgrade, as they do a smartphone. The large majority of programming is still 720p and 1080p. Yes, many people still watch broadcast TV. Heavily compressed 4K content on Netflix and Amazon is not even worth watching. To appreciate the clarity of a decent 4K TV, you have to sit CLOSER to your TV. People are not going to re-arrange their living room to sit closer. They will keep the room the way it is and not notice much of a difference. Most 4K TVs have poor upscalers that make 1080p content look worse. Read about it. Why would anyone upgrade for that, especially since 99% of the content they watch would be 1080p or less. The iPhone has 4K, yes, but so does the 4K and 5K iMacs. The iPhone is a heavily compressed 4K image. Many people do not have the Internet bandwidth for 4K, or they also have limits on how much data they can consume. Blu-Rays are not even 4K. Adding 4K to the AppleTV and increasing the price even higher would piss people off, especially with nothing to watch.

    Take a look at 3D TVs…they are history. The AppleTV must be a fail because it doesn’t have 3D. Why aren’t you guys bringing up that rant? Did all you tech nerds throw out your TV and jump on the 3D bandwagon? Yeah, didn’t think so. Most people here do not even have a 4K TV and they are bitching and complaining about the AppleTV not having 4K. That’s pretty funny considering the second generation AppleTV took off in sales because it was much improved over the first model, yet it only supported 720p. It took Apple two more years to release the 1080p version, years after 1080p content was readily available. The majority of people will upgrade their TV when 1) their existing 1080p TV dies, and 2) when there is more 4K content readily available, like broadcast TV, sports, and movies. By then, the 4K TVs will be even further improved with better screens and hardware. People should really be wanting an OLED TV, which is significantly better than today’s LED LCD technology.

  22. Dan Napier - 7 years ago

    IOS 9.1 is a disaster. There is no reason to upload it. If you do you will no longer be able to search your contacts or search phone contacts. It pretty much eliminates calling anyone while you are in the car. I have tried to backlevel but to no avail. There is apparently no easy painless way to go back to an IOS that works. Killing the ability to search for either contacts or phone numbers is a real deal killer. How could Apple be soo DUMB?

  23. b9bot - 7 years ago

    Yea, I don’t see any gamble here. Apple is always good on making things right if something doesn’t work as advertised. They have many options with firmware updates, TVOS updates, and software updates for the apps. Can’t wait to get one myself.