Apple tv 4k review

Apple TV 4K Review: The Best Apple TV is Also the Cheapest

As far as Apple products go, the aptly named and often confused Apple TV system certainly flies under the radar. While iPhones, iPads and AirPods dominate the gift registry each year, seeing masses clamber over one another for tech supremacy, the streaming box enjoys a reserved but devoted following. The latest iteration, the Apple TV 4K should really be the model to change all that. Faster, more powerful and loaded with features, the entertainment accessory is finally bridging the gap between consumer technology and in-home entertainment. Most importantly, it’s doing it without the iPhone price tag.

RELATED: Everything Apple Announced at its 2022 Launch Event

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Apple TV 4K | Image: Apple

Upgraded Performance

Unveiled in October, the Apple TV 4K system brings a host of new additions to the fold, all made possible through the introduction of the A15 Bionic chip, which some fans might remember from the iPhone 13. The new processor helps improve computing power, giving a much-needed boost to the product’s navigation and UI animation. After spending a week with the new Apple TV 4K, it’s noticeably better.

Aftermarket platforms like Apple TV are a little hard to quantify when it comes to picture quality, primarily because it relates directly to the resolution of your television, but the latest iteration does a steady job pushing the needle.

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Apple TV 4K | Image: Apple

From the moment you switch on the box, you’re met with an infinitely more streamlined experience. The graphics are smoother, the lag time is seemingly non-existent and the movements feel innately more human than ever before. And it’s not just an Apple thing, either. For the first time, the new TV accessory is open to all, with Apple confirming the box now supports HDR10+, in addition to the existing SDR video and Dolby Vision formats. Putting the acronyms aside for one moment, it simply means that whatever your streaming poison – Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or Binge, will now play in the highest possible format through your Apple TV.

Looking at the spec sheet, Apple claims the new 15 Bionic chip delivers up to 50 per cent CPU and up to 30 per cent GPU performance improvements when compared to the previous Apple TV 4K. The significant boost on the tech side certainly results in a better visual experience, but perhaps most impressively, it does so while consuming nearly 30 per cent less power.

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New Siri remote | Image: Apple

Siri Upgrades

Apple has been plugging Siri, its virtual assistant tool, for years now, so it’s no surprise that it features prominently in the new Apple TV 4K. What is interesting, however, is just how un-intrusive it is. We’ve for long talked about the frustration with digital assistants taking you out of the moment in the big song or hit series, and Apple appears to have addressed this.

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Now, when you ask Siri a question, even during a show, the assistant will deliver information on a small section at the bottom right, allowing you to continue watching seamlessly. Better yet, Apple has also confirmed that Recognise My Voice, a feature that allows Siri to ask for personalised suggestions based on your voice profile, will come later this year. The Siri remote has also been upgraded to include five-way navigation, new gestures added and USB-C charging.

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Apple TV 4K | Image: Apple

Personalisation

On the outside, there is a huge difference between the latest Apple TV 4K and previous iterations. The platform still allows you to navigate through different apps, play arcade games and watch your favourite shows, but if there is one element that has been drastically improved, it has to be personalisation. Through the different user profiles, the new edition can help tailor Up Next lists and recommendations, giving you more of what you (hopefully) want.

After using the new Apple TV 4K, I definitely noticed a few suggestions were off, but I could certainly tell where they were coming from. In most cases, the recommendations that missed the mark also featured actors that were in shows I did happen to enjoy, so the lineage of where things went wrong was fairly straightforward. What I really found useful, however, was the ability to dip in and out of shows across all of my devices.

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Apple TV 4K | Image: Apple

I tend to fluctuate between devices throughout the day, watching a little bit of something on my phone, before moving to the TV or laptop. With the new Apple TV 4K, I can pick up on the big screen right where I left off on the small, meaning the content never stops. It’s a handy addition that makes for an interesting premise, but one I’ve quickly found valuable.

Finally and annoyingly, the SharePlay option is terrific. The ability to share a show with a family member or friend interstate, call them on FaceTime and watch it back in real-time is perhaps as futuristic as entertainment gets, the only downside being accessibility. With many of my family members interstate, it seemed like a perfect option, however, as the only Apple TV user, it was something that didn’t quite hit the mark. Not that it’s anything that Apple needs to fix, I might just have to get better family members.

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Apple TV 4K | Image: Apple

Final Thoughts

Apple TV certainly sits in a weird place on the entertainment spectrum. Not quite stand-alone enough to provide entertainment quality on its own and too feature-driven to be ignored, it’s always landed somewhere in the ‘nice-to-have’ range. With the new Apple TV 4K, it seems the tech giant may have come to the same conclusion. Apple has significantly reduced the price, dropping the 64GB Wi-Fi option to just AUD$219, while the 128GB Wi-Fi + Ethernet model is just AUD$249. Considering the number of features you get to go along with it, Apple is making a good argument for upping your entertainment game.

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Nick Hall
Editor-in-Chief

Nick Hall

Nick Hall is an award-winning journalist and the current Editor-in-Chief of Man of Many. With an extensive background in the media industry, he specialises in feature writing, lifestyle and entertainment content. Nick is a former Mumbrella Publish Awards ‘Editor of the Year’ and B&T's ‘Best of the Best – Journalist’ category winner.

Prior to working at the men’s lifestyle publication, Nick spent two years as a journalist with Inside Franchise Business, focusing on small business, finance and legal reporting.