So, if you can’t tell, I am really true such as Siri Remote. But, overall, the new Apple TV 4K isn’t a dramatic departure from the 2017 model. Its A12 Bionic processor allows it to display Dolby Vision and HDR video at 60FPS, but that’s not an upgrade that many will notice. Aside from a few videos in the Red Bull app, the long -running Dolby Vision content is very simple there. And great films that use technology, like The Lee Gemini Man, not available in their full framerate on iTunes.
Moving around the Apple TV interface and launching apps felt a bit easier than the last model, but didn’t notice as much as it did. Some of that zippiness may be due to the fastest Wi-Fi 6 networking, but I haven’t found any cause of loud bumps while actually loading videos. There’s also potential for the A12 Bionic to run games faster than the previous A10X Fusion chip, but I haven’t heard from any developers excited to tap into the new hardware. Since it supports HDMI 2.1, the Apple TV could hit 120Hz in the future as well. That could lead to smoother gameplay for some titles.
It’s worth remembering that the A12 Bionic itself is quite a bit old. It originally appeared on the iPhone XS in 2018. So, let me say it too: If you already have the ultimate Apple TV 4K, there’s very little you need to get in this new box.
However, for newcomers, the Apple TV interface is still a good push. It’s pretty much the same as Amazon and Roku’s – launching apps and selecting videos is pretty basic, after all – but there’s an extra layer of polish that I’m grateful for. Think of it like the difference between Mac OSX and Windows XP in the 2000’s. The grid icons on the Apple TV look much nicer, and I’m grateful to be able to return to a show or movie through the TV app. Multitasking is something the Roku has never been able to do, while easily hopping between different apps and streams to the Apple TV. You can even throw videos in a photo-by-photo window as you navigate other apps.
Naturally, Apple TV also makes a lot of sense for iPhone and iPad owners. Beyond AirPlay and screen mirroring, you can also use iOS next to the Apple TV to type text fields. Especially useful if you have long passwords, or if you store them with a password manager.
For the most part, streaming video on the Apple TV is as good as any other 4K / HDR streaming box. But Apple is also taking a different route to show off high -dynamic content: It forces your TV to constantly maintain HDR. That helps to alleviate the annoying flip that occurs every time the TV switches between different dynamic modes, but it can lead to some issues showing the oldest standard dynamic range In my set. 8-series TCL, the Apple TV defaults to 4K Dolby Vision at 60Hz. I didn’t notice there were issues while watching older sitcoms like rejoice and More enthusiastic, but it’s one thing many users complained for many years.
After a number of complaints in 2017, Apple finally offered the ability to automatically match rate and dynamic coverage, instead of forcing HDR. But that won’t work for every app, unfortunately. Right now, I consider it an issue that needs to be looked at, but it doesn’t have to be a deal breaker.
While you get more precise control over your video settings with a Roku Ultra, you’ll also forget about one of Apple TV’s most versatile features: Siri. On iPhones and iPads, Apple’s virtual assistant sometimes has trouble executing my commands. But with a more limited box placed at the top, where I had to find something to look at, Siri ended up being much more useful than the ones offered by Roku or Amazon. Finding shows and movies only takes a few seconds, and overall, the Siri Remote does a good job of listening to what I’m trying to say. Siri can also help you find new things to watch, or you can ask her to play the latest episode whatever you want.
You can also use the Apple TV as a HomeKit hub, allowing you to control things like smart lights when you’re not at home. Personally, that’s not something I end up using a lot, but I love the ability to instantly view my Arlo security camera feeds. If I ask Siri to “show me the door downstairs,” I’ll give it a clear view of the camera in seconds. Those videos pop up in PiP windows at first, but you can also enlarge them to fill your TV screen. The new Apple TV also supports Within the pattern of the wise house, such as the HomePod Mini, which allows you to create a mesh IoT network with other devices. However, that’s more about validation in the future, as there aren’t many products powered by Thread yet.
on $ 179 for the 32GB model, and $ 199 for the 64GB version, the Apple TV still seems like a hard sell for most. That’s true when you consider that the Roku Ultra, the company’s most powerful device, typically costs $ 100 (and it sold for $ 70 at the time of this review!). But there’s a reason I keep coming back: it’s easy to use, and has a ton of benefits for iOS users. At the very least, I no longer have to make excuses for being remote.
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