Apple isn’t just making products, rather it is all about innovation with the best features. It is for this reason people from all around the world prefer Apple products. While it has started itself with Mac and iPhone, it, later on, entered the smart TV market with Apple TV. While it is said to provide great user-experience, we are here to review it in all aspects. Check out the section to know What is Apple TV and find out if is worth the bucks one spends for home entertainment.
What is Apple TV?
Apple TV is a digital media player and micro-console by Apple Inc. The device was first released in the year 2007 and the current model includes Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD. It is a set-top box styled micro-console that comes with a handy remote. It is designed to be an HDMI compliant source device. So, you need to connect it to an enhanced or high definition TV through HDMI cable. It uses the internet or WiFi to bring you entertainment content from different service providers. This device is developed to work alongside other Apple products like iOS and Mac with AirPlay support. It has no integrated controls and thus you should make use of Apple Remote or Siri Remote to take control of the video playback.
Apple TV Variants
Apple stopped selling its older model Apple TVs from first to the third generation. Currently, it is selling only its 4th generation and 5th generation models. All other products have been discontinued while the available models include,
- Apple TV HD
- Apple TV 4K
Both of them are running on tvOS, a new operating system when compared to their older models. Both models have their own features and are available at different specifications and price. In addition to this, they are available at different local storage space.
What is tvOS?
The fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV models come pre-installed with a system software application called tvOS. In other words, it is an operating system in which Apple TV is running. It has an app-centric design with contents front and center. So, it features an App Store that lets third-parties to add their own software on the Apple TV. Additionally, tvOS supports Siri’s voice control, dedicated TV app, HomeKit support, and more.
What to Buy?
While there are only two models available currently, choosing between them isn’t much difficult. You may take a closer look at the features of Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K. With this, you will be able to decide which one to buy.
Apple TV HD
The 4th generation Apple TV model is available since 2015. It was rebranded to Apple TV HD in 2019. In the box, you will find Apple TV HD, Apple TV Remote, power cord, lightning to USB cable, and documentation. It ships with A8 processor with 64-bit architecture, 32GB storage, with tvOS as the operating system. With Apple TV HD, you will be able to experience the Dolby Digital Plus audio. It supports streaming up to 1080p with WiFi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.0.
It is available as a 32GB variant only and costs $149.
Who can buy Apple TV HD?
If you have an HDTV HDMI port and satisfied with HD quality, then get Apple TV HD. Further, you need a wired or wireless connection to start streaming on Apple TV HD. While it seems to be the basic model currently, it lets you watch everything from movies to TV shows, sports, and lots more. It is a budget-friendly option that will go well for those who don’t want to spend too much money.
Apple TV 4K
The 5th generation Apple TV model is termed as Apple TV 4K and was made available in 2017. It has an A10X Fusion chip with 64-bit architecture and looks more similar to the Apple TV HD. The box consists of Apple TV 4K, Siri remote, power cord, and lightning to USB cable. So, you need to get the HDMI cable separately. With Apple TV 4K, you can start streaming in 4K HDR resolution with Dolby Atmos sound effect. It has 3GB of memory and supports 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth with 5.0.
It is available as 32GB and 64GB variants and costs $179 and $199 respectively.
Who can buy Apple TV 4K?
Those with smart HD TV or higher can make use of Apple TV 4K. It works on a wired or wireless connection. You may need an HDMI cable for HD streaming, Dolby Vision compatible HDMI cable for 4K HDR streaming. It is the latest Apple TV entry with which you can stream in 4K HDR quality. So, it will deliver you four times the standard HD pixels. It is quite pricey and you can even decide between the storage options.
What is Apple TV+ on Apple TV?
Apple TV+ is an ad-free subscription service by Apple Inc. It lets you access all the video-on-demand services of Apple with the app. With this, you will be able to stream all the exclusive Apple originals. This service is currently accessible from a wide range of devices. However, those who buy an Apple device will get Apple+ for one year.
What Can you Stream on Apple TV?
Get to know what Apple TV is offering its features in brief.
Stream live or on-demand content, buy or rent movies and shows. It supports a wide range of services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Sling TV, etc.
Music & Podcasts
Access those music and podcasts libraries from iTunes in iCloud. It is compatible with music streaming services like Apple Music, Pandora, and more.
tvOS lets you use the photos that are sync on the iCloud. Also, you can install third-party apps like Lightroom to view, edit and share.
Apps & Games
You can download and install apps and games from the tvOS App Store on your TV. So, you neve have to compromise your playing activity with tvOS.
It has AirPlay support and with this, you will be able to cast or mirror contents from iOS or Mac PC. It is a wireless means of sharing content with compatible devices residing near-by.
Here are the best alternatives which you could use:
Apple TV has far exceeded expectations. It guarantees the users with the best streaming experience in every scene. It is definitely for those who want a theater-like experience at their home. Apple TV 4K is the first-of-its-kind to support both Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision certified smart TV. So, if you expect cinematic experience, then tvOS 4K is the better option. Otherwise, you will have no other choice than choosing tvOS HD.