There new Apple TV 4K in the city after Apple announced a revamped streaming box for 2021. New Apple TV 4K (2021) offers small improvements and enhancements to the 2017 iteration, though you might be wondering if it’s really worth the upgrade.
Apple’s drive for home flow has always been a little hesitant. That says it, even with Amazon Fire TV and Roku streaming devices we see new models every year, Apple took four years to upgrade the premium 4K resolution streamer.
The biggest difference is really in the Siri remote control – a controversial issue about the 2017 model that we are happy to notice. But for Apple TV 4K (2017) owners or those considering choosing older or newer models, read our comparison below.
Pricing: same difference
We have also confirmed the pricing for the Apple TV 4K (2021) a $ 179 / £ 169 / $ 249 price tag for 32GB version and $ 199 / £ 189 / $ 279 price tag for the 64GB version.
The previous Apple TV 4K, launched in 2017, has roughly the same price: $ 179 / £ 179 / $ 249 for the 32GB version and $ 199 / £ 199 / $ 279 for the 64GB – so it looks like that UK buyers get a very little £ 10 discount this time. However, the difference is small enough to keep both models at the pricing level.
Apple TV: specifications: what has changed?
The biggest difference to the Apple TV 4K 2021 is the processor that powers the new streaming device. Apple TV 4K 2021 uses the A12 Bionic chipset – which is used iPad (2020) and iPhone XS – more than the A10 used in the 2017 model.
The A12 has been around for a few years now, but it certainly offers an update on processing speeds, which means everything 4K scaling for motion control is improved – helped by increasing the high frame rate HDR, specifically to enhance sports and action movies that can also be streamed from iPhone via AirPlay.
However, the change shouldn’t be seismic, and if your older model is still up and running, we probably don’t recommend upgrading because of that.
High frame rate (HFR) support also only applies to a very limited set of compatible content, so this change is unlikely to affect most of the TV you watch.
You get Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision HDR on both models. Other key iOS features like Apple AirPlay (for streaming to other iOS devices), Apple HomeKit (for smart home), and Siri Audio Assistant all come back naturally – as well as audio sharing to connect the two sets AirPodit.
One major change is the ability to “automatically customize your color balance” smart TV using iPhone. If you have a compatible iPhone (assuming this is limited to the latest models), you can use it to measure the color output of your TV and then calibrate the video output on your Apple TV 4K.
Apple website says that the 2021 Apple TV 4K “now automatically calibrates the content you watch with your iPhone. Just point your iPhone once on the TV screen, then sit down and see how amazing your programs and movies should look.” We haven’t seen this in action yet, although some help in calibrating TV picture settings is certainly welcome for the everyday viewer who doesn’t have the money or the will to get a professional calibration.
Sirin remote control: what’s new?
We got a good look at the new Siri remote that comes with the 2021 Apple TV 4K. It’s a sleek little thing with a “one-piece aluminum construction,” and the Siri button moved to the side. There’s also a “Five-way Directional Button” that can also rewind or rewind when used in a scrolling motion.
However, this new remote also has TV controls, so you can also use it to turn on your smart TV.
It’s quite different from the remote that came with the Apple TV 4K (2017), which used a controversial touch interface that many found fine-tuned. The new remote control will certainly fix this problem and be visually much clearer about the operation and use of its inputs.
Whether you think the remote is a big deal may depend on whether you already own the 2017 model – and it’s worth noting that you can purchase a new Siri remote as a standalone accessory, upgrading your existing streaming interactivity by splashing out on completely new hardware. It is said that the new Siri remote control is available separately $ 59 / $ 79 (probably £ 59) and it will also be compatible with the 2017 Apple TV 4K and lower-tech Apple TV HD.
So should you buy a new Apple TV 4K?
Simply put, Apple TV 4K (2021) is defined higher than Apple TV 4K (2017). It’s also basically the same price, prevents a small discount on a newer model in the UK and comes with a much improved (at least in appearance) Siri remote control. So why not buy it?
Given how small the changes are from the previous, four-year model, we’re surprised we don’t see more hardware maintenance. There’s really nothing here to make a purchase for the 2021 model compared to its 2017 predecessor, and if you have an older model, there’s little incentive to upgrade beyond processing speed.
Add to that the option to purchase the enhanced remote separately, and it’s clear that the smartest move for Apple TV 4K (2017) owners is probably just buying a new accessory.
However, for the best value streaming device, you don’t want to go with Apple at all. Roku premiere and Fire TV stick 4K both offer 4K HDR – streaming in a small format and at a fraction of the price, while Nvidia Shield Pro is the choice option for those who need more functionality and power from home stream. New Chromecast with Google TV The dongle is also only $ 49 / £ 59 / $ 99 and offers a decent mid-level streaming experience.
Apple TV models have the advantage of integrating them with other Apple technologies such as HomeKit and AirPlay. If your entire household already uses Apple products, this may justify a price premium for streaming boxes over the competition.