Apple TV 4K (2017) vs. Apple TV 4K (2021)

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Apple’s newest iteration of the favored Apple TV streaming machine is because of hit cabinets this Could. First launched to shoppers in 2007, the Apple TV connects you to all of your favourite streaming providers, like Apple TV+, Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and extra. Photograph sharing via iCloud, AirPlay 2 casting from iOS units, and gameplay via the Apple Arcade are only a few of the opposite standout capabilities of the machine.

Meant to switch the Fifth-generation Apple TV 4K launched in 2017, which added UHD and HDR help to the streamer, Apple’s Sixth-gen 2021 streaming hub brings a handful of latest tech to the desk. That mentioned, when you’re contemplating including an Apple TV to your media room or are questioning whether or not it is best to improve your older mannequin, we’ve put collectively this side-by-side comparability of the Apple TV 4K (2017) and the Apple TV 4K (2021) that can assist you determine.

In the event you’re on a funds or questioning if the older Apple TV HD will do the trick, we’ve additionally put collectively an Apple TV 4K vs. Apple TV HD comparability, too. 

An identical hubs, new distant

5 years between {hardware} releases would lead many to imagine that the most recent and best mannequin would look drastically totally different. That’s merely not the case with the Apple TV 4K. Each generations look precisely the identical, measuring 3.9 inches huge and 1.4 inches from prime to backside. When it comes to colour, there’s just one — black. Connections on the again of each models embody energy, HDMI, and an Ethernet jack for non-compulsory community gear hard-wiring.

The key design distinction between each generations is Apple’s redesigned Siri distant. Packaged with the 2021 Apple TV 4K (and bought individually for $59 as a backward-compatible distant), the revamped distant boasts a brand-new look. Clad in 100% recycled aluminum, it’s sleeker and a hair longer than the earlier technology, and it contains a five-way directional pad, contact controls, energy and mute buttons, together with a side-facing Siri button for these annoyed by unintentionally hitting it on the previous model.

Apple TV 4K (2021) Siri remote

Evaluate that to the Fifth-gen distant’s touchpad-only design that compelled many a person to swipe and faucet via on-screen menus. At instances it was simple, however the oversensitive pad might rapidly turn out to be a nuisance. We’re betting the brand new distant’s added directional pad will care for that situation. Apple’s Sixth-gen distant additionally provides Bluetooth 5.0 and CEC help for appropriate units, permitting you to do issues like energy your TV on and off and alter the amount in your A/V receiver utilizing simply your Apple TV distant.

Winner: Apple TV 4K (2021)

An identical person interface, improved efficiency

Each the 2017 and 2021 Apple TV 4K are constructed upon the identical working system, Apple’s tvOS 14 (based mostly on iOS 14.4). The Apple TV residence display options rows and columns of your favourite apps, really helpful content material, in addition to images, video games, the Apple App Retailer, and basic machine settings. Including sure apps to the customizable prime row permits you to watch previews of really helpful motion pictures, TV reveals, music movies, video games, and images proper on the house display. Navigating is so simple as swiping or directional-padding your manner via the on-screen apps and choices. As soon as the app or merchandise you need to open is highlighted, choose it to launch the service. It’s also possible to use your distant’s Siri button to open apps and navigate round your Apple TV utilizing voice instructions.

When it comes to total efficiency, the 2017 Apple TV 4K is powered by Apple’s A10X Fusion chip. The 2021 mannequin rocks Apple’s all-new A12X Fusion chip. This implies quicker frame-rate help throughout all video playback, faster load instances, and smoother navigation. The most recent Apple TV additionally boasts an HDMI 2.1 output and help for Wi-Fi 6 for an improved streaming expertise, app to app. Due to the quicker chipset on the 2021 mannequin, HDR can now be considered at 60 frames per second, as in comparison with solely 30fps on the earlier mannequin. Each models characteristic native help for HDR10 and Dolby Imaginative and prescient.

One other profit for video connoisseurs is the addition of HDR image tuning, native to the 2021 mannequin and out there via a software program replace on older Apple TV {hardware}. Much like skilled TV calibrations, the characteristic permits you to use a appropriate iPhone (iOS 14.5 or later) to measure your TV’s colours towards your Apple TV’s picture output. The top consequence: A well-balanced picture, brimming with colour and acceptable brightness ranges.

Winner: Apple TV 4K (2021)

Good residence command middle

apple tv 4k event announcement up next

Each the Fifth- and Sixth-gen Apple TVs can be utilized as command facilities to your residence’s Apple HomeKit good ecosystem. You should utilize the streaming hub to view dwell video out of your property’s web-connected good cameras, lock and unlock appropriate good locks utilizing the Siri distant, alter good thermostat temperature settings, and extra.

AirPlay 2 is offered on each Fifth- and Sixth-gen Apple TVs, permitting you to wirelessly forged video, images, music, and your appropriate iOS machine display to your Apple TV, letting you view and take heed to content material via your TV and residential theater system.

Winner: Tie

Worth and guarantee

The 2021 Apple TV will promote for a similar worth(s) because the 2017 mannequin. That’s $179 for 32GB of storage and $199 for the 64GB model. Apple gives a one-year restricted guarantee on Apple TV units, with extra AppleCare plans out there on the time of buy. With the discharge of the 2021 Apple TV 4K proper across the nook (pre-orders begin April 30), Apple has already introduced it’s discontinuing the 2017 Apple TV 4K. Which means when you look onerous sufficient, you would possibly have the ability to begin nabbing the 2017 mannequin at end-of-life and/or refurbished costs (whereas provides final).

Worth-wise, Apple nonetheless calls for greater than the opposite man. Aggressive 4K streaming hubs from corporations like Roku, Amazon, and Google are typically inexpensive than Apple {hardware} whereas providing quite a few the identical key perks, like apps, video games, UHD, and HDR help. That mentioned, when you’re Apple-or-die, forking over a number of further {dollars} for Apple’s stream field in all probability received’t imply that a lot to you and yours within the grand scheme of issues.

Winner: Tie

The decision

Do you have to improve out of your present Apple TV 4K to the 2021 mannequin? Most likely not. Other than a slight enhance in efficiency and a brand new distant (which you should purchase individually), the basics of each the 2017 and 2021 fashions are primarily the identical. In the event you’re shopping for your very first Apple TV, nevertheless, we’d advocate choosing the 2021 mannequin. You’ll internet your self all the most recent {hardware} perks and the HDR calibration device for a similar worth because the earlier technology.

If both technology of the Apple TV 4K sends you into sticker shock, worry not. Try our roundup of the very best streaming units to seek out the {hardware} and worth level that higher aligns with you and your pockets.

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