Apple TV 4K (2022) Overview: Wonderful Streaming However Nonetheless Too Costly

Apple dropped a shock final month when it revealed a brand new Apple TV 4K streaming machine at a beginning value of $129 (£149, AU$219), $50 lower than its earlier model. The brand new field has a quicker A15 Bionic processor beneath the hood and an up to date Siri Distant that swaps out the proprietary Lightning connector for USB-C. The corporate additionally killed off the Apple TV HDa long-overdue mercy for an overpriced field that made little sense.

If these adjustments sound minor, that is as a result of they’re. In utilizing the brand new Apple TV 4K over the previous week, I’ve but to see any actual distinction in comparison with final yr’s machine. Nonetheless, those that have held onto an Apple TV HD, or maybe bought the primary Apple TV 4K a couple of years in the past, will discover and recognize the additional pace of a contemporary chip and may need to improve at this level.


  • Cheaper beginning value than earlier Apple TV 4K
  • Speedy efficiency
  • Trendy, A15 Bionic chip
  • Sturdy app and format assist, integration with different Apple providers

Do not like

  • Nonetheless much more costly than rival, succesful streamers
  • No noticeable apps or experiences to reap the benefits of new chip
  • TV gaming on Apple Arcade stays missing
  • Ethernet is simply on the precept mannequin

For everybody else, the brand new Apple TV 4K stays a wonderful streaming machine total, however it’s nonetheless too costly. If you happen to’re searching for a strong streamer for Netflix, DisneyPlus, HBO Max, hulu and the remaining, you are higher off saving cash and getting one thing just like the Roku Specific 4K Plus or Roku Streaming Stick 4K, Amazon Hearth TV 4K Max or Chromecast with Google TV 4K. All stream in 4K HDR completely effectively and price lower than half as a lot.

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Apple TV 4K (2022) Overview: An Wonderful Streamer That is…


The 2 kinds of Apple TV 4Ks in 2022

Earlier than we go too deep, I believe it is value explaining the 2 various kinds of Apple TV 4Ks. For $149 you get a similar-looking machine that doubles the storage to 128GB and provides an Ethernet port together with assist for the Thread good house commonplace.

Each gadgets assist all the identical audio and video codecs, run the identical apps and have the identical A15 Bionic chip. So Apple would not change what’s in both packaging. You get the machine, an influence cable and the distant. No USB-C cable to cost the distant and no HDMI cable to plug into your TV.

The mannequin I examined is the 128GB model, however for most individuals that do not want wired web or thread, the cheaper 64GB model needs to be tremendous.

  • Apple TV 4K (2022) 64GB
  • Apple TV 4K (2022) 128GB with Ethernet and Thread

Identical black puck, barely smaller

The new 2022 Apple TV 4K versus an older Apple TV box

The brand new Apple TV 4K, left, in comparison with an older mannequin.

David Katzmaier/CNET

The field itself is a bit shorter and leaner than the older Apple TV 4K and HD containers, however it nonetheless appears like a hockey puck. Whereas it would not tuck in behind a TV like a streaming stick, the up to date design needs to be a bit much less conspicuous on a shelf or leisure console.

The machine was a cinch to arrange with my iPhone and 2019 TCL 6 Collection TV. It did not require twiddling with settings to allow Dolby Imaginative and prescient or to permit the distant to regulate the amount and energy on my TV. The Apple TV 4K helps all kinds of codecs, together with Dolby Atmos and HDR10Plus (the latter can also be new for this yr’s model, however hardly a needed improve).

Apple TV 4K streaming box

The brand new Siri Distant for the Apple TV 4K, left, has USB-C as an alternative of Lightning.

David Katzmaier/CNET

The Siri Distant appears equivalent to final yr’s mannequin other than that USB-C charging port. Functionally each are the identical, and there nonetheless is not any distant finder or Discover My integration to find it when it inevitably will get misplaced within the sofa cushions. Rivals Roku and Amazon Hearth TV each provide distant finder options. I suppose Apple TV customers should maintain utilizing instances with AirTags.

learn extra: It is 2022, and I am Nonetheless Dropping My Apple TV Distant

Software program: New chip, comparable expertise

Apple TV 4K home screen

Eli Blumenthal/CNET

The expertise is basically unchanged from prior Apple TV containers. Apps are organized in a grid, much like an iPhone or iPad. Working the most recent TVOS 16.1, Siri now operates within the lower-right nook as an alternative of dominating the show. Apple’s digital assistant works largely tremendous, although at occasions it could nonetheless give me the fallacious end result like taking part in the soundtrack for the Apple TV Plus present Severance as an alternative of the present.

As anticipated from an Apple machine, you’ve entry to a number of Apple providers together with photographs in iCloudthe flexibility to look at content material with different Apple-centric buddies by share play and the requisite apps for FitnessPlus for exercises, AppleMusic different apple arcade for gaming should you pay for these providers.

As for apps, Apple’s TV platform helps practically all the main streaming providers you may need. The apps and streaming providers I’ve used all usually loaded rapidly with the brand new A15 Bionic and labored largely as anticipated. Relative to final yr’s Apple TV 4K, I seen apps opening a couple of seconds quicker, however the improve was nothing substantial.

I do want extra apps like Hulu, Netflix and the NBA allowed for logging in through a telephone or pc versus typing in usernames, however that needs to be a one-time factor. Apple does make it simpler to enter textual content by prompting you to make use of your seemingly close by iPhone at any time when a keyboard pops up in your TV.

The Apple TV 4K can management good house merchandise that work with Apple’s HomeKit, and turning off Philips Hue lights labored with out subject (I haven’t got Thread arrange and subsequently could not check that). The streaming field additionally integrates with HomePod Mini different AirPods, you need to need to take heed to content material on these audio system or headphones. Pairing with AirPods Professional was a snap, and the field acknowledged them instantly as soon as I took them out of their case. Audio switch to the earbuds and later again to my TV (once I put the buds again of their case) was seamless.

Talking of audio, early on in my testing I bumped into a very bizarre bug the place the image appeared however no audio performed when the brand new field was linked to my 2019 TCL TV. I seen this when taking part in Deadpool on Disney Plus, Severance on Apple TV Plus and Home of the Dragon on HBO Max, for instance. Generally merely backing out and restarting the video would repair the problem, and different occasions it could resolve itself after a couple of seconds. It occurred incessantly and throughout a number of apps, nevertheless, which was odd and disconcerting for a streaming participant.

I am undecided what triggered this subject. Testing the machine on different televisions in CNET’s workplace labored with out subject, as did a special HDMI enter on my tv, so this may occasionally have been a brief quirk of the connection to my TCL TV.

Apple TV 4K continues to be no gaming powerhouse

Some of the telling methods to check a brand new processor is with gaming. Apple has had a difficult historical past with gaming on televisionsand that saga continues right here.

To check the field’s gaming prowess, I fired up 2K’s NBA 2K23 Apple Arcade Version and Gameloft’s Asphalt 8: Airborne Plus. When it comes to graphics, these needs to be among the many most intense video games on the arcade platform, which nonetheless appears to be largely crammed with mobile-first video games.

NBA 2K23 Apple Arcade Edition on the new Apple TV 4K

NBA 2K23 Apple Arcade Version on the brand new Apple TV 4K is an enchancment from earlier variations, however it’s nonetheless not console high quality.

Eli Blumenthal/CNET

NBA 2K23 loaded rapidly, and the sport lastly has commentary, bringing some console-like high quality that was missing in earlier editions, however that is the place the similarity ends. In my few video games, the title appears and feels a bit slower than the console model. Even with an Xbox controller paired to the Apple TV 4K, there isn’t a direct passing and animations lack the fluidity and sharpness of the sport on Xbox One, not to mention Xbox Collection S/X.

Face fashions are tremendous, however lack element in gamers’ tattoos like D’Angelo Russell and Marcus Sensible. Normal basketball recreation staples like prompt replays and fast or batch substitutions additionally stay absent, as do 2K23 recreation modes like The Metropolis.

Gameloft’s Asphalt 8 Plus equally loaded rapidly and performed tremendous utilizing the Apple TV’s included Siri Distant. However there is not ray-tracing or different trendy graphical enhancements that may make anybody confuse this title for a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Collection S/X recreation.

All informed, there would not seem like something additional that the A15 Bionic brings to gaming on Apple TV 4K. If something past mild TV gaming is your objective alongside streaming, get a console as an alternative. They cannot solely run higher-quality video games but in addition have lots of the streaming apps you’d seemingly need.

Who’s the Apple TV 4K for?

Siri Remote in front of the Apple TV 4K home screen

Eli Blumenthal/CNET

This was the query I requested on the finish of my prior Apple TV evaluations, and I nonetheless do not have an honest reply any extra satisfying than “It is for Apple followers.”

Apple makes a very good field. It is smooth, quick and greater than able to dealing with all of the fundamentals and even a bit extra, so long as you reside in Apple’s world of Health Plus, Arcade and iCloud Picture Sharing. The AirPods integration is a selected favourite characteristic of mine, particularly once you need to watch one thing on a giant display with out disturbing others round you.

However even with the brand new $129 beginning value, it stays one of the costly streamers accessible, and there is not a lot that takes benefit of the brand new A15 Bionic chip. It’s nonetheless exhausting to advocate the Apple TV 4K when Roku, Amazon and Google make wonderful gadgets for a fraction of the worth.

With streaming providers seeing value hikes different getting costlier, your cash is best spent on a subscription than on a field. If previous historical past is any indication, I would not be stunned to see retailers providing reductions on the Apple TV 4K this vacation season. The earlier 4K mannequin, which began at $179, was often on sale for as little as $99 and the HD mannequin, which retailed at $149, fell so far as $79.

For $129, the brand new Apple TV 4K stays a tough promote in comparison with its rivals. But when its value falls by $30 to $50? Properly, Apple might have a compelling TV product as soon as once more.

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