Apple TV 4th Generation Review

The new Apple TV has been revamped both inside and out, sporting an entirely new operating system dubbed tvOS that brings it even closer to iOS, along with an overhauled Siri Remote featuring voice input and a fantastic clickable trackpad. But it’s what’s yet to come — namely, the growth of the Apple TV App Store — that will make or break the next-generation set-top box.

The fourth-generation Apple TV comes in two capacities of 32 and 64 gigabytes, priced at $149 and $199, respectively. Both models come with the same black “puck”-like design, though the new model is slightly taller than its predecessors.

With capacity being the only difference between the two models, we feel most users will be content with the 32-gigabyte version. But for our review, we tested out the high-end 64-gigabyte version.

The hardware

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The Apple TV itself remains a low-key affair, meant to blend into a home theater setup and allow users to focus on the content on their HDTV.

Apple still does not ship the unit with an HDMI cable, which while minor, seems like a strange omission for a company focused on ease of use. The new model also ditches a dedicated optical out cable, which will be seen as a disappointment by those who use home theater headphones without a receiver, or who wanted to use the Apple TV as a dedicated AirPlay audio player.

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Pros

  • The Siri Remote with touchpad works great
  • Universal search finally makes it easier to locate content
  • The App Store and iCloud integration are off to a promising start
  • Game controller support is already better than on iOS

Cons

  • Siri doesn’t support the App Store or Apple Music — yet
  • Why no iOS Remote app support?
  • At $149, some may want to wait for more cord cutting incentives
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