Looking to buy an Apple TV for your new home or as an add-on to your home theatre system? The fourth-generation Apple TV was introduced into the market last year but in 2016 it is the rage. Apple TV stands today as one of the premium devices on the market. With a polished interface and slick touchpad, the device easily distinguishes itself from its competitors. While it clearly trumps the competition in many aspects, it does have some limitations as well. Let us take you step by step through its features as well as the pros and cons to help you make the right choice.
- The main feature that differentiates the fourth generation Apple TV from previous iterations is that it allows you to install apps from the app store. The device comes with several features that are quite appealing.
- It includes a USB-C port, Bluetooth, HDMI, and 10/100Mbit/s Ethernet. It lacks the optical audio output, present in previous models. The HDMI port is part of the 1.4 model, meaning that it cannot support 4K screen resolutions.
- The current system has support for 1080 video playback. This is a good resolution for streaming HD content and quality.
- The device also comes with 802.11ac Wi-Fi, which is sufficient to stream content over the internet or home network.
- Apple TV comes with a Siri remote, simply use your voice to find what you want to watch or use the touch Surface to navigate.
- The device is powered by an A8 processor. This is the same processor found in the iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6. It also has 2GB RAM, which is more power to run apps and games as compared to the older generation devices. Apple TV comes with either 32GB or 64GB storage.
- Apple TV delivers one of the best video experiences and comes with a very attractive interface.
- The device is quite responsive and fast.
- The device comes with a voice assistant capability that allows you to do a voice search and make commands.
- The app ecosystem has a wide selection of options, allowing you to customize your experience.
- Apple TV also supports various video providers such as YouTube, Netflix, and Vimeo.
- The interface has large icons, making it easy and seamless to go through content while browsing. If you prefer using a smartphone to control the device, there is a huge selection of apps on the App store that give you this access.
- Apple TV also has a home sharing feature that lets you watch movies from your laptop or PC iTunes collection. It allows you to play videos on your computer by clicking the ‘AirPlay’ button on iTunes, that sends the content to your Apple TV. You can so stream content from iCloud including your pictures, music, and videos.
- A major limitation of the Apple TV is its pricing.
- The lack of 4K support is also a limiting factor.
- The device is best enjoyed if you have other iOS devices. For example, you cannot use an app to control the Apple TV unless you have an Apple device.
- The on-screen keyboard is a little clumsy, and it can be tricky to type words while using the device.
Overall, Apple TV is an excellent media streamer in the market. Despite its premium price and limited choice of apps, it has many features that distinguish it from others. For those with iOS devices, the 4th generation Apple TV is an excellent gaming machine and media streamer. It has an appealing interface and comes with many innovative features, such as the ‘Siri’ remote, that allows you to use your voice to navigate the interface.
- 4K High Dynamic Range (Dolby Vision and HDR10) for stunning picture quality
- Dolby Atmos for three-dimensional, room-filling sound
- A 10X Fusion chip for ultra-fast graphics and performance
- Voice search by asking the Siri Remote
- Use AirPlay to view photos and videos from your iPhone and iPad on your TV
Even though the Apple TV is an excellent option for anyone looking for a streaming device, there are other options such as the Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire Tv etc. Roku 4 is probably the closest comparison to Apple TV, though not as stylish as the Apple TV. The channels that are available on Apple TV can also be accessed on the Roku device at a slightly lower price.
- Licencing limitations mean that most content and apps will work only in the UK
- Setup is easy with the included HDMI cable, simple remote and intuitive home screen
- Enjoy live TV, news, sports, movies and TV episodes on thousands of free and paid channels like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, ITV Hub, All4, My5, Apple TV+, BT Sport, Prime Video, NOW and many more
- Stream big. Stream free. Enjoy The Roku Channel with tons of movies and Roku Originals, fresh original series exclusively available on Roku devices
- Easily search across top channels to see where you can stream shows for free or at the lowest cost
There are several accessories that can be purchase together with the Apple TV to enhance your TV watching experience. A good HDMI cable such as the 3M version that is specially made for the Apple TV is a great investment, and comes in beautiful gold colour. It costs about £19 on Amazon, and you can buy it from the link below.
- Multi-functional support - Syncwire HDMI cable supports Ethernet, 3D, 4K video and Audio Return Channel (ARC) and hot plugging. Superior for all 2.0 Standards devices as well as being backwards compatible with previous HDMI Standards (v1.4 & v1.3).
- Universal Compatibility - Syncwire HDMI to HDMI cable allows you to share an Internet connection among multiple devices without the need for a separate Ethernet cable. Easily connects your TV to your Blu-ray players, Fire TV, Apple TV, PS4, PS3, Sky HD, Xbox one/ 360, DVD, computers and other HDMI-enabled devices to TVs, displays, A/V receivers and many more.
- Mirror or Extend your computer - Under mirror mode, you can enjoy the movies or play games on HDTV which displays the same content as your computer desktop; Under Extended mode, each display simply gives you more desktop room and they’re separate.
- High Speed & Transmission stability - Category 2 Certified,18 Gbps / 4K Video at 60 Hz, 2160p, 1080p, 48 Bit Deep Color. Gold-plated connectors and durable PVC outer layer protect against outside interference, ensure the purity of the digital signal, and provide the truer sound, picture.
- Premium Support - Fast and easy-to-reach Customer Service and 24/7 email support for your peace of mind.