November 29, 2022 at 8:54 p.m.
- Apple TV 4K is a device that connects to your TV via HDMI.
- With Apple TV 4K, you can watch movies and TV shows, play games, and run thousands of apps from the tvOS App Store.
- Although Apple launched a second-generation model last April, the company just released a new, updated version on October 18, 2022.
- The newest Apple TV 4k (3rd generation), with its A15 Bionic processor, is considerably improved for a slight additional cost.
What is Apple TV 4K?
Apple launched its very first Apple TV device back in 2007. It was more of a Mac Mini with a specialized user interface than a modern-day Apple TV. It had a hard drive with spinning platters and connected to your cable box to record your favorite shows and movies when they aired.
Realizing that the cable industry was tough to crack, Apple dramatically scaled down its aspirations. The second-generation Apple TV was a tiny hockey puck, even smaller than today’s model.
It didn’t have an App Store. Instead, it came with iTunes apps, Internet radio, Netflix, and a few other streaming apps. Every couple of months, new Apple TV channels would appear. Options were limited, but you could beam just about anything onto your TV with AirPlay.
Fourth-generation models were a giant leap forward, with A8 processors, 32/64 GB storage options, and a tvOS App Store. You could finally play games on your Apple TV, and some were pretty cool. I still enjoy playing Asphalt 8, steering by tilting the remote.
Finally, Apple unleashed its 4K models, refreshing them often and replacing the original Siri Remote with something more user-friendly. Today’s Apple TV 4k, launched in October 2022, features an A15 Bionic processor at an affordable price. Let’s take a closer look at why you should buy the latest one instead of last year’s model.
Why You Shouldn’t Buy the 2nd Gen Apple TV 4K
The tvOS App Store is central to the Apple TV experience. Apple TV isn’t just about streaming TV shows and movies. You can do that with a $15 streaming stick.
Apple TV is about apps. It’s a decent gaming console. Sure, if you’re into your Xbox or PlayStation, it can’t compete. But Apple TV has some genuinely original games you won’t find on any other game console. Even some hardcore gamers with a broader taste may be surprised by the Apple TV experience.
Since apps are central to the Apple TV experience, it’s essential to have decent specs for gaming. Especially with 4K resolutions, you need a powerful chipset to power high-quality gaming experiences.
The newest Apple TV 4K is a three-generation leap in processor technology. Last year’s model came equipped with an A12 Bionic chip. The newest one features the same processor as the base iPhone 14 – an A15 Bionic. That’s a beefy chip for an Apple TV.
The best thing is that there’s only a slight price difference. We’re talking $4, at least on Amazon. The latest 64GB Apple TV 4K costs a little more than last year’s model with the same storage capacity.
They may look the same, but buying last year’s model is a huge mistake. You get a massive leap in processing power for just a few more bucks. It’s an excellent value.
Should I Get the 64GB or 128GB Apple TV 4K?
Apple expects that your Apple TV 4K will always connect to the Internet with some affordable, unlimited service. Unlike an iPhone, there are few download options from streaming services on Apple TV.
Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Amazon Prime, and others don’t let you download TV shows and movies onto Apple TV because it doesn’t make sense. Even if you buy or rent videos from Apple, you can’t download them onto Apple TV. There’s some room for buffering video, but tvOS controls that, not you. Video is almost always streamed on Apple TV, not downloaded.
It makes sense to be able to download Netflix videos onto your iPhone or iPad. We use these portable devices everywhere, sometimes without access to cheap, fast Internet connections.
You can take your iPad on a plane and watch downloaded movies. You won’t do that with an Apple TV. Thus, you can only really use the extra storage for apps. Some games take up a lot of space, but how many will you play at once?
I own a 64GB Apple TV. I’ve installed about 50 apps, yet I still haven’t filled up half of the available storage. Most apps are tiny. The maximum size of an Apple TV app is 4GB, but most are much smaller than that. Of course, that 4GB app can also download extra assets after installation.
If you live in a household with avid gamers, they’ll probably spend more time on PlayStation or Xbox than Apple TV 4K. They’ll probably play a few games on Apple’s device. If you’re more of an occasional gamer, you may only get into a few games at a time. In both cases, 64 GB will serve you well.
64GB seems paltry, but the vast majority of your TV apps will be tiny. Streaming apps like Netflix and Hulu take up megabytes, not gigabytes. You need tons of massive games with complicated graphics to take up 64GB.
Of course, if you start hitting your storage limit, just delete some apps. You can always reinstall them.
Right now, the difference between 64GB and 128GB is so low you should get the 128GB model. We’re talking $25 for twice as much storage. That’s unheard of for Apple. They’re “generous” only because Apple TV is a content consumption device, and they want to profit from services. My advice — take their “generosity.”
You can fare well with 64GB, but since 128GB is just a little more, why not? Apple supports its TV devices with software updates longer than anything else they make. We have a seven-year-old Apple TV 4 HD that’s still supported and works great, although it’s a little slow. All the more reason to get the 2022 3rd generation Apple TV 4K. It’s a massive upgrade for a meager price difference.