32 GB vs. 64 GB Apple TV 4

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32 GB vs. 64 GB Apple TV 4

Apple TV 4 comes with either 32 GB or 64 GB of internal storage. This article compares the merits of each model.

Apple TV 4 is a huge leap forward. The new Apple TV offers an App Store and gaming capabilities, in addition to video streaming. The device comes in two versions, differing only in storage space. There’s a 32 GB version and a 64 GB version. The difference in price is significant, with the 64GB version costing 25% more.

Apple has a long history of gouging customers on storage. The actual cost difference between the two models is insignificant. The difference between a 32 GB and 64 GB flash drive (wholesale price) is 40 cents. With economies of scale effects (volume discount), Apple pays even less for flash drives. Apple charges customers $50 more for the 64 GB model. They can do this because the 64 GB model has greater perceived utility. It has little to do with the actual cost of the flash drive. It has nothing with the actual utility of an extra 32 GB of flash drive space.

The price difference between the two models is significant. It begs the question, does one really need a 64 GB Apple TV 4? Will the 32 GB model suffice? Although I personally own a 64 GB model, it was the only one available at Costco. I purchased it for $189, which is $11 less than the retail price. Even though I only paid about $40 more for the 64 GB version, in hindsight, I don’t think it was a good value. I didn’t realize how hard it is to actually use that much space.

Apple TV 4 is a Streaming Device

Flash drives are used to store data on a device. If you own an iPhone, you probably have a lot of photos, videos and music. Your iPhone can run out of space quickly, especially if you create HD videos with the camera. Photos can also take up a lot of space. If you travel, you may download music, movies or TV shows for offline use. Being a portable device, it makes sense. You may be taking your iPhone to an area that has no cellular reception. Even if you can get a signal, few people have unlimited data plans. Downloading content to an iPhone conserves cellular data.

Apple TV 4 is a streaming device for the home. It doesn’t have a camera. You’re not going to fill the flash drive with home movies or photos. Unlike an iPhone or iPad, you can’t download iTunes movies on Apple TV 4. In fact, Apple TV doesn’t even cache iTunes videos persistently. If you start an iTunes movie, it will download the movie as you watch it. As soon as you close the Movies app, the video file is deleted. This can actually be quite frustrating if you take a break from watching a movie and accidentally close the Movies app.

Having used Apple TV 4 for several months now, I can honestly say there isn’t much downloading at all. You can’t download iTunes content. You can’t download Apple Music songs. Netflix, HBO NOW, Hulu and every other video service only support steaming. The assumption is that downloads are for offline access. You probably won’t be taking your Apple TV out on a walk. Since Apple TV 4 is an at-home device, the assumption is that it will always be connected to the Internet. Apple designs their products based on broad assumptions, or as they call it, “democratic design”. (continue…)

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