Apple TV 4k Review – Is it worth the upgrade from the old one?

Buy one at Apple – (affiliate link) – The Apple TV 4k feels the same as the other 1080p Apple TV but it runs at a higher 4k resolution. But surprisingly it lacks a lot of smarts that other 4k players have. See more set top boxes: and subscribe!

00:38 – Hardware overview / pricing
01:19 – Differences vs. 1080p Apple TV
02:01 – No HDMI cable included, buy the right one!
03:29 – Remote control
03:42 – 4k Experience on the Apple TV
04:29 – Setting up 4k HDR manually
04:55 – Does not auto switch resolutions
06:14 – Finding 4k content
07:35 – Free 4k movie upgrades
08:06 – Movies Anywhere Service Recommendation
09:18 – Digital audio support
09:57 – Features Unique to Apple TV
10:18 – Integration with Apple Photos / iCloud
12:19 – iPhone / iPad integration for remote control
13:00 – Apps purchased on iPhone or iPad available on Apple TV
13:18 – Gaming
14:19 – Siri integration
16:10 – Check if your TV apps are enough before buying

The Apple TV 4k is set in its ways – it will always stay at 4k HDR no matter what you play on it – meaning movies and content that are not encoded with HDR in mind may not look as good. Other players activate HDR mode only when needed.

I found that it wasn’t so smart at figuring out what my TV’s capabilities were. I had better luck with the much less expensive Roku Stick that gave me a more in depth analysis of my television’s capabilities.

All in it’s a nice device but I think if you have a fancy new 4k television you might want to check first and see how the built-in apps fare with your favorite media providers.

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Marc Connors says:

Lon great review. Question for you about Plex and 4K HDR….how is that content? Do the colors look vibrant as a Shield or an iTunes sourced video?

Lubomir Georgiev says:

Couple of comments from personal experience:
1. There is a fan in the 4K version, however, it’s almost never on. No way you can hear it..
2. Even if you do not have a 4k TV I would recommend getting the 4K Apple TV if you care about gaming.. The new Apple TV is wayyy smoother in every single game i’ve tried compared to the old 1080p version.
3. Dynamic HDR is supposed to come in iOS11.2

Vladislav Kuznetsov says:

Upcoming tvOS 11.2 solves most of these HDR problems

Wally Vandalfsen says:

I don’t know why we’re always talking about 4K content. There is very little 4K out there. Regular tv is still broadcast in 720 if your lucky.

Stephanie McKeon says:

Sums up my feeling when I bought the 1080p Apple TV. I was shocked at how unApple like the product was, but kept telling myself to hold onto it because Apple will do a lot of cool stuff on it. 2 years later, and for me not much has changed. Other than some games I barely ever use it, plus aside from apps/games I’m not that invested on the Apple TV Ecosystem, so that might be part of the issue as well.

Larry says:

If i were to buy one and it turns out they’re to cheap to put an HDMI cable with it, I would have to consider just how cheap is the TV Box its self. Sorry Apple, I would send it back with a refund. But then again, I don’t patronize Apple, they’re far to overpriced when you compare what the competition has to offer.

Justin Hoskins says:

The Apple TV 4k is actually a lot more powerful than the Nintendo switch.

Kelvin Saggers says:

Movies anywhere . . . . only if you are in the US or Canada

Scott Na says:

Hey Lon thanks for the tip on the Movies Anywhere. just gave it a shot on my Roku and works like a charm for most of my purchased iTunes content.

Lon.TV says:

One note- an upcoming update looks to be adding the ability to match frame rate and HDR settings to the content being played. Also there is indeed a fan inside but it’s not making any noticeable noise. Next week I’ll be looking at cord cutting / cord shaving solutions for the AppleTV

abdul altamimi says:

worth the upgrade? no  

i can’t even steam 4k HDR content, with even cat6 / wifi bolt high speed its freezes and slow.  while shield tv 2 do that smoothly,   , no atmos support, no kodi,   the only thing is good is its fast and smooth. and yes there is an apple logo too.

Ben Salehin says:

Hi lon. Big fan of your videos. This question goes back to a video you posted about a year ago. In regards to a Samsung 4k 6300. I own one and can’t figure out if all the HDMI ports are 2.2 or not. Any feedback would be appreciated

neko77025 says:

I dont understand why people buy anything apple .. All their stuff is overprice and you get so much less.

Morrison Reid says:

I’ll be happy with my previous device- 4k content is far too little to spend on the 4k model-Thanks for the review on the 4k model

WebLeo Leo says:

Nvidia shield tv >Apple TV. Great video. Thank you!

DecrepitRain060 says:

The Apple TV is way better than the switch and nvidia shield tv power wise

pepsicolazero says:

Is very simple Lon if you have a 4k tv yes, if not no

Neurobio Boy says:

For a smaller price, the nvidia shield is way more efficient ! This only worth it if you are an addict in the apple ecosystem. If not, it is too expensive! Don’t get me wrong, the review is excellent. But the product deceived me a lot. I had greater expectations from apple.

Fix Until Broken says:

Not sure why anyone would choose an Apple device when there are so many better devices out there. Roku has dominated this market for a decade.

asf gaming and vlogs says:

Awesome video have been curious about it

ikkuranus says:

By works as good as the previous atv means the remote still sucks and it still has the walled garden crap preventing unsigned apps.

pepsicolazero says:

Xcode 9 lets you sideload apps via WiFi , provenance and Kodi work fine on the atv 4k Lon

Therabbitslayer says:

Never buy Apple. Its over priced and underpowered

Eric Brunhammer says:

I am still using an Apple TV 3 which works just fine for me for watching Netflix and YouTube. The only reason that I am thinking of upgrading to the 4 is that Motor Trend On Demand doesn’t work with the 3.

Spencer Witte says:

no HDMI cable in the box. whats next, no power cable?

BamBasse says:

According to the iFixit teardown it does indeed have a fan.

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