First look: Apple TV 4K with tweaked Siri remote design

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited September 2017
If you owned the previous fourth-generation Apple TV with Siri remote, you'll be hard pressed to find any differences with the new fifth-generation Apple TV 4K, aside from a white, raised ring around the Menu button on the remote.




While you can't really tell in pictures, the ring around the Menu button is slightly raised above the rest of the button (but is a part of the button, so it all presses in).

This is helpful when picking up the largely symmetrical remote, allowing a user to feel for the appropriate button and figure out orientation in the dark, much like the raised bumps on the 'F' and 'J' keys on a keyboard let users know where to place their index fingers for typing.




The only other external change to the hardware is on the back of the Apple TV itself, where Apple has removed the USB-C diagnostic port.

The set-top box retains an ethernet port, which has now been upgraded to full gigabit. It also maintains an HDMI port as well as power, and there is no optical audio output.




Also in the box is a Lightning cable, which is used for recharging the Siri remote, and a power cable.

Setting up the Apple TV is about as simple as can be -- tvOS prompts the user to hold their iPhone near the device with Bluetooth enabled and home Wi-Fi connected, and the pairing process begins almost instantaneously. If you have a previous fourth-generation Apple TV and have home screen sync enabled, your TV apps and games will all automatically download and organize in the same way they were before.




Powered by the same beefy A10X chip as the latest iPad Pros, the new Apple TV 4K feels snappier when navigating and launching apps. And services like iTunes and Netflix offer gorgeous 4K content with HDR, taking advantage of newer television sets with high quality picture capabilities.

AppleInsider will have much more on the Apple TV 4K in the coming days and weeks, including our in-depth review.


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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,706member
    But, but Google 4K! But, but Atmos! But, but, 4K downloads. And no optical out and no USB for external storage, and no Safari browser and... Just file thirteen this thing, Apple. The AI tech experts have pronounced it DOA, not worth even considering.
    edited September 2017 repressthiswatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 2 of 25
    ClarityToSeeClarityToSee Posts: 34unconfirmed, member
    Have been looking forward to a more beefier  4K HDR Apple TV for a long time now.  Can’t wait to get my hands on it as we AirPlay and stream everything. 100% use of our TV in the house is as described above as we have had no cable TV or DVD player for about six years now. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 25
    They also changed the bottom of the Apple TV adding vents for airflow I assume to keep the a10x cool
    repressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 25
    Went to a local Apple Store and tried out the remote, the ring definitely makes it easier to orient the remote. I also wanted to play a 4K movie to see the sharpness, and of course they didn't have any sample purchases. So I tried the trailers in the 4K category, unfortunately the trailers weren't in 4K and I could clearly see blotchy patterns with 1080 detail, the UI was clearly in 4K and super sharp but no real 4K demo. It seems the Apple TV demo units are not well represented.
    calirepressthisanantksundaramwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 25
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Well my wishlist consists of things that would benefit everyone.

    an M-processor for detecting motion. Will be great for games and fitness apps.

    Taptic Engine for smooth feedback and gaming.

    3D touch for functions and (again)gaming.

    I was looking at the ring on my iPhone when it hit me...
    I believe that ring on the Apple TV Remote was originally placed for TouchID which may have been cancelled last minute. 

    sog35 said:
    I remember all the people who said the remote had no symmetry problems.....
    This complain in every TV discussion...
    why don’t you guys get a remote cover? They’re awesome looking, customize your remote, add protection and fix the orientation problem %100.

    There’s some with straps, magnets, bumpers for protectinon and some even glow in the dark!




    repressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 25
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,107member
    Picked up the new Apple TV today. After a bit of frustration getting Dolby Vision to work (turns out the HDMI cable was the issue) I love the upgrade. Interface is ultra sharp and noticeably faster/smoother. I really like the menu button ring, kind of envelopes your thumb as the button is concave and makes it much easier to press without looking. Looking forward to apps that take advantage of the much improved CPU. All in all a great upgrade, and with the huge increase in power great long term potential. 
    repressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 25
    Got mine today along with my AW3 with cellular and am thrilled!
    edited September 2017 watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 25
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,549member
    The new Remote is a simple an elegant solution that is working, for me. Since I naturally use my thumb as way to determine the direction the Remote is facing, the raised Menu ring makes it clear as soon as I pick it up. Before, I'd have to feel above where my thumb naturally resides to determine the orientation without looking, even with a black hair tie wrapped on the bottom half which would accidentally affect the controls on the touch panel. This is a welcome change, not to mention a welcome drop in price for those that want a new Remote but not a new Apple TV.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 25
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,549member
    slurpy said:
    Picked up the new Apple TV today. After a bit of frustration getting Dolby Vision to work (turns out the HDMI cable was the issue) I love the upgrade. Interface is ultra sharp and noticeably faster/smoother. I really like the menu button ring, kind of envelopes your thumb as the button is concave and makes it much easier to press without looking. Looking forward to apps that take advantage of the much improved CPU. All in all a great upgrade, and with the huge increase in power great long term potential. 
    Just wait until those Dubai at night screensavers pop up.
    guyrwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 25
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,107member
    Soli said:
    slurpy said:
    Picked up the new Apple TV today. After a bit of frustration getting Dolby Vision to work (turns out the HDMI cable was the issue) I love the upgrade. Interface is ultra sharp and noticeably faster/smoother. I really like the menu button ring, kind of envelopes your thumb as the button is concave and makes it much easier to press without looking. Looking forward to apps that take advantage of the much improved CPU. All in all a great upgrade, and with the huge increase in power great long term potential. 
    Just wait until those Dubai at night screensavers pop up.
    Yeo, saw it, it's stunning. As are all the others in 4K. Now I feel I need a bigger screen, 55" doesn't quite cut it :pensive: 
    Soliwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 25
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,003member
    On my 4th generation remote I stuck a felt pad on the back's lower half so in the dark I always know which was it is oriented.
  • Reply 12 of 25
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    MacPro said:
    On my 4th generation remote I stuck a felt pad on the back's lower half so in the dark I always know which was it is oriented.
    Just get a protective case. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 25
    Glow-in-the-dark duct tape cut down to size for the bottom of the remote is an inexpensive solution that is both tactile and visual. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 25
    sog35 said:
    I remember all the people who said the remote had no symmetry problems.....
    It didn't. The volume button on the right was already asymmetrical. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 25
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,549member
    sog35 said:
    I remember all the people who said the remote had no symmetry problems.....
    It didn't. The volume button on the right was already asymmetrical. 
    That’s great if you’re left handed, but since most people aren’t, the new Menu button ring makes it much easier to position the remote by feel without accidentally scrubbing the content by accidentally touching the capacitance sensor.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 25
    Went to a local Apple Store and tried out the remote, the ring definitely makes it easier to orient the remote. I also wanted to play a 4K movie to see the sharpness, and of course they didn't have any sample purchases. So I tried the trailers in the 4K category, unfortunately the trailers weren't in 4K and I could clearly see blotchy patterns with 1080 detail, the UI was clearly in 4K and super sharp but no real 4K demo. It seems the Apple TV demo units are not well represented.
    The UI is also rendered in 4K, so if there is an AppleTV 4th gen next to the 4K you should be able to see the difference.

    Also, you can switch from 4:2:0 to 4:2:2 for some additional clarity if your TV and cables can handle it. Made a noticeable difference. My TV screen is too small 48” to really benefit much from 4K but the HDR is stunningly better. With the new AppleTV 4K I can skip using the horrible built in Roku UI.

    Edit: Also Netflix charges an extra couple of bucks for 4K HDR but again, I think it is worth it.
    edited September 2017 watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 25
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,376member
    jdb8167 said:
    Went to a local Apple Store and tried out the remote, the ring definitely makes it easier to orient the remote. I also wanted to play a 4K movie to see the sharpness, and of course they didn't have any sample purchases. So I tried the trailers in the 4K category, unfortunately the trailers weren't in 4K and I could clearly see blotchy patterns with 1080 detail, the UI was clearly in 4K and super sharp but no real 4K demo. It seems the Apple TV demo units are not well represented.
    The UI is also rendered in 4K, so if there is an AppleTV 4th gen next to the 4K you should be able to see the difference.

    Also, you can switch from 4:2:0 to 4:2:2 for some additional clarity if your TV and cables can handle it. Made a noticeable difference. My TV screen is too small 48” to really benefit much from 4K but the HDR is stunningly better. With the new AppleTV 4K I can skip using the horrible built in Roku UI.

    Edit: Also Netflix charges an extra couple of bucks for 4K HDR but again, I think it is worth it.
    I love everything about the new Apple TV 4K -- EXCEPT -- and this is a big one -- the fact that Apple forces all content through one format resolution, and cannot be set to pass through a native signal, nor automatically adjust to the proper setting for a native signal. And this sadly may be a deal killer for me. 

    Apple asks you out of the box during setup whether to try HDR -- which of course everyone wants to do, because that's what Apple is selling: "spectacular HDR". But this sets the ATV to 4K HDR and upscales and converts all sources to 4K HDR, whether originally encoded in HDR or not. I'm also not thrilled with Apple upscaling everything to HDR either. As a result, Apple is forcing my TV to think everything is a 4K HDR signal, and so my TV performs none of the usual tricks it uses to improve a picture. And since most sources aren't real HDR, my TV doesn't know that, so it applies my carefully calibrated settings to present the HDR content, which in many cases os completely wrong. Bypassing it is rarely better, and often worse. 

    The ONLY way currently to see the source material in the proper format is to turn off 4K HDR. But then, whenever I watch a movie in HDR, I not only have to know how it's encoded, but also have to tunnel down through several menus and select the correct settings. Basically the default is 4K 60Hz HDR. I've got it set to 4K 60Hz SDR now for most non HDR content. But when I watch a 4K movie, I want it set to HDR, so into the settings I go. I had hoped that Siri would be able to do this, but no dice -- she just tries to show me movies she thinks I'm looking for. I also want to be able to view 1080p content in it's native source to let my TV upscale it -- not only be cause my TV has a state of the art upscaling engine, that so far seems to do a better job than ATV, but it also allows me to adjust the picture dimensions, something I can't do with a native 4K signal. And the jury is still out on how well the Apple TV handles 24p, vs. my TV.

    Bottom line is, this really fantastic device, may be going back to Apple before the return window closes, especially since it doesn't yet have the Amazon App, and I'm using the built-in Android TV App currently. Hopefully Apple will fix this, but I sort of expect they won't. They've been doubling down lately on some of these decisions like this, and it's sort of unthinkable that they left it off to begin with. Most people with 4K TVs now, bought them for a reason, so if Apple isn't catering to them, then they're likely planning for the 4K TV Holiday upgrade that's coming this Christmas, and the masses of customers who aren't as discerning as those on the front lines of picture perfection. Not that I am, but I don't want non-HDR content altered to emulate it, when it wasn't intended or mastered that way.
    raulcristian
  • Reply 18 of 25
    I love everything about the new Apple TV 4K -- EXCEPT -- and this is a big one -- the fact that Apple forces all content through one format resolution, and cannot be set to pass through a native signal, nor automatically adjust to the proper setting for a native signal. And this sadly may be a deal killer for me. 

    I have to say I’m my case this is a plus.  My 4K Tv (Philips Ambilight from 2016) is shockingly awful at upscaling, so the new 4K makes everything, even ancient SD content look immeasurabley better.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 25
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,376member
    durosity said:
    I love everything about the new Apple TV 4K -- EXCEPT -- and this is a big one -- the fact that Apple forces all content through one format resolution, and cannot be set to pass through a native signal, nor automatically adjust to the proper setting for a native signal. And this sadly may be a deal killer for me. 

    I have to say I’m my case this is a plus.  My 4K Tv (Philips Ambilight from 2016) is shockingly awful at upscaling, so the new 4K makes everything, even ancient SD content look immeasurabley better.  
    And that's why it should be an option. What ancient SD streaming content are you watching?
  • Reply 20 of 25
    cali said:
    Well my wishlist consists of things that would benefit everyone.

    an M-processor for detecting motion. Will be great for games and fitness apps.

    Taptic Engine for smooth feedback and gaming.

    3D touch for functions and (again)gaming.

    I was looking at the ring on my iPhone when it hit me...
    I believe that ring on the Apple TV Remote was originally placed for TouchID which may have been cancelled last minute. 

    sog35 said:
    I remember all the people who said the remote had no symmetry problems.....
    This complain in every TV discussion...
    why don’t you guys get a remote cover? They’re awesome looking, customize your remote, add protection and fix the orientation problem %100.

    There’s some with straps, magnets, bumpers for protectinon and some even glow in the dark!




    Why should I have to get a cover for my freaking tv remote? Why can't Apple just make a normal remote instead of trying to be a fancy and making it very uncomfortable and difficult to use? The aluminum backing is a HORRIBLE design choice. It makes the remote extremely slippery, which makes it hard to handle, which makes its very hard to use and I'm not alone in this discussion so I don't really care if you don't have issues with it. You can't find the buttons you need in the dark and using the remote in general is a poor experience overall.
    edited September 2017
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