First look: Fourth-generation Apple TV with Siri Remote

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited November 2015
After being unveiled in September, the revamped Apple TV today made its way into consumers' living rooms, along with the all-new Siri Remote with voice input and touchpad. AppleInsider offers a closer look at the brand new set-top box.




Out of the box, the Apple TV itself looks largely the same as its predecessor, though it is slightly taller. Other than that, it's the same sleek, black design that keeps a low profile in your entertainment center.

Around back, the ports are tweaked: A USB-C connector is included for diagnostics and development, and unfortunately Apple has ditched the optical cable. Users who rely on home theater headsets without a high-end receiver, or those who used the Apple TV as an always-on AirPlay music streamer, will be left disappointed.




And despite a higher $149 starting price tag, Apple still doesn't ship an HDMI cable with the Apple TV. While we imagine most users have a spare cable available, this seems like a strange omission for a company that prides itself in user experience.

New to the box, however, is a Lightning cable for recharging the Siri Remote. A wall AC adapter is not included.




The Siri Remote itself is svelte and light and comfortable. Because it connects to the Apple TV over Bluetooth, there is no need for a line-of-sight connection to the device for control.

Up top is the touch surface trackpad, and below it are the menu and home buttons. In the revamped user interface, the menu button returns to the previous menu, akin to a back button in Android, while the home button returns to the home screen.

Double tapping the home button, as with an iPhone, allows users to view open apps. Users can also press and hold the home button to put the Apple TV to sleep.




Finally, there are dedicated buttons for volume, play/pause, and Siri. The remote also sports micrphones on the front and back of the device for Siri input.

Setting up the Apple TV is simple. Plug in the device and it turns on. The Siri Remote should automatically pair when you click the trackpad, but manual pairing is also available by holding a combination of buttons.

Apple has expedited the setup process by integrating other Apple devices into the mix. The system will prompt a user to hold their iPhone, with Bluetooth enabled, near the Apple TV to transfer settings including Wi-Fi information and iCloud account credentials.




In our setup, the Apple TV took a little while to pair with our iPhone, and the setup process failed. On second attempt, with a little more waiting, things went smoothly.

The Apple TV setup process has users agree to the usual range of options, including location services, sending diagnostics to Apple and developers, and agreeing to terms of service. Users can also opt into or out of automatic downloads for the new "Aerial" screensavers, which show beautiful live video of scenic locations.

After that, the new Apple TV is up and running, immediately dropping users into the new home screen. Navigating around, the touchpad on the Siri Remote is responsive and has a satisfying physical click when selecting content.

We'll have much more on the new Apple TV, including our full review, in the coming days.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 77
    It's a great update. All I wish for now, is Siri search for ATV apps.
  • Reply 2 of 77
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member

    The new remote definitely looks more TV like than previous Apple remotes.

  • Reply 3 of 77
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacApfel View Post



    It's a great update. All I wish for now, is Siri search for ATV apps.

    Didn't Tim Cook, in a recent interview, say that the Siri Search API will be eventually be available to developers? My guess is some time next year.  On a side note, It'd be great if the Siri Search API will be available to developers on all iOS devices.

  • Reply 4 of 77

    I just chatted with Apple sales and confirmed the volume buttons on the remote control your TV volume. What they could not tell me is how you program or teach it to operate your TV, or in my case a receiver. They also confirmed that there is no way to mute the audio with the AR. That seems to be a bad design by Apple to make you have to put down the AR to pick up another remote to mute the audio. I would think it could be programmed such that a quick double click of the down volume would mute and a quick double click of the up button would un-mute.

  • Reply 5 of 77
    Regarding the lack of keyboard on the Siri remote and inability to dictate in a text field, can one still use the iPhone/iPad as a keyboard, like you can with the now-old Apple TV?
  • Reply 6 of 77
    taddtadd Posts: 92member
    I recall reading that you were supposed to pair the remote to the AppleTV by plugging the included lightning cable between the AppleTV and the remote. Did the AppleTV come with such a cable?
  • Reply 7 of 77
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tadd View Post



    I recall reading that you were supposed to pair the remote to the AppleTV by plugging the included lightning cable between the AppleTV and the remote. Did the AppleTV come with such a cable?



    Second picture. White cable in the middle.

  • Reply 8 of 77
    taddtadd Posts: 92member
    Originally Posted by tadd View Post



    I recall reading that you were supposed to pair the remote to the AppleTV by plugging the included lightning cable between the AppleTV and the remote. Did the AppleTV come with such a cable?

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jbishop1039 View Post

     



    Second picture. White cable in the middle.


     

    I think it would take a lightning to lightning cable.  The AppleTV does't appear to have a USB socket.  

  • Reply 9 of 77
    Plex is release an Plex Client for Apple TV's new App store.. Will be very nice!

    Their is one there now, but AVOID it, it's not from Plex.. It's some 3rd party guy asking $2.99 for his app.. Probably hoping people will buy his since Plex isn't out with the official client yet.
  • Reply 10 of 77
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tadd View Post

     

     

     

    I think it would take a lightning to lightning cable.  The AppleTV does't appear to have a USB socket.  


    Fourth picture. The connection just above the HDMI connection.

  • Reply 11 of 77
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tadd View Post

     

     

     

    I think it would take a lightning to lightning cable.  The AppleTV does't appear to have a USB socket.  




    Good point haha. Probably a BT pairing then, like the article says.

  • Reply 12 of 77
    taddtadd Posts: 92member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kent909 View Post

     

    Fourth picture. The connection just above the HDMI connection.




    Ah USB-C connector.   So what we'd need is a USB-C to lightning cable?  The cable looks like USB-A to lightning.  Very odd.  

  • Reply 13 of 77
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member

    Really, the back button that goes back to the previous menu is an Android thing.... Seriously... That's a strange comment.

    Guess browsers that had a back button more than 12 years earlier... And many other software before that never existed.

  • Reply 14 of 77
    taddtadd Posts: 92member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Adrayven View Post



    Plex is release an Plex Client for Apple TV's new App store.. Will be very nice!



    Their is one there now, but AVOID it, it's not from Plex.. It's some 3rd party guy asking $2.99 for his app.. Probably hoping people will buy his since Plex isn't out with the official client yet.



    Watching the Getting Started with Plex video.  This is spectacular!    -- thanks for bringing it up!  

  • Reply 15 of 77
    Quote:
    Originally posted by kent909

    <<< They also confirmed that there is no way to mute the audio with the AR. >>>


    Agree that a separate mute button would be good, but hitting the pause button *should* do the trick.
  • Reply 16 of 77
    Looks nice, albeit very dusty ;-)

    Still waiting for mine (Preparing shipment) although I ordered at 9:00am on Monday morning...
  • Reply 17 of 77

     



    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kent909 View Post

     

    I just chatted with Apple sales and confirmed the volume buttons on the remote control your TV volume. What they could not tell me is how you program or teach it to operate your TV, or in my case a receiver. They also confirmed that there is no way to mute the audio with the AR. That seems to be a bad design by Apple to make you have to put down the AR to pick up another remote to mute the audio. I would think it could be programmed such that a quick double click of the down volume would mute and a quick double click of the up button would un-mute.


     

    Can you just say "SIRI- mute"?  (or "unmute")

  • Reply 18 of 77
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    yodamac wrote: »
    Can you just say "SIRI- mute"?  (or "unmute")

    God I hope Siri isn't required to do everything. I have DirecTV so luckily I don't need to use this ?TV remove for everything.
  • Reply 19 of 77
    kent909 wrote: »
    I just chatted with Apple sales and confirmed the volume buttons on the remote control your TV volume. What they could not tell me is how you program or teach it to operate your TV, or in my case a receiver. They also confirmed that there is no way to mute the audio with the AR. That seems to be a bad design by Apple to make you have to put down the AR to pick up another remote to mute the audio. I would think it could be programmed such that a quick double click of the down volume would mute and a quick double click of the up button would un-mute.

    You don't program it. Power, Source Control, and Volume are controlled via the Apple TV to your TV over CEC, which can go by various branding names depending on your manufacturer.

  • Reply 20 of 77
    stompystompy Posts: 319member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by foggyhill View Post

     

    Really, the back button that goes back to the previous menu is an Android thing.... Seriously... That's a strange comment.

    Guess browsers that had a back button more than 12 years earlier... And many other software before that never existed.




    Including all previous Apple TVs. (Return to a previous menu: Press menu.)

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