Review: Fourth-gen Apple TV with Siri Remote and tvOS App Store

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  • Reply 81 of 101
    stillbunny wrote: »
    What's disappointing is that Apple could have delivered something like the ATV4 five years ago when they based it on the A4 and iOS, and developers could have built apps, and there would already be an ecosystem like the iPad's all these years, as the iPad came out that same year. They could have done a bluetooth remote instead of the line-of-sight one, which happens to be the remote I most easily lose. But now, 5 years later, they barely caught up to what Amazon produced 1.5 years ago. But then AppleTV4's new navigation is just inferior to Amazon's from 1.5 years ago; it just isn't any great design solution to the needs of such a box. (I'm not referring to voice-search -- FireTV has always had that.) And it's disappointing that they charge twice as much as Amazon or Roku. After 5 years of waiting, I expected more, so: "disappointment".

    I only use my two AppleTVs for AirPlay; iTunes costs per-view, while Netflix and Prime are a better value to me. And a bonus with Prime is (on iPhone/iPad) I can download streamed episodes to watch offline. I originally got Prime just for the shipping benefit, but then they added a Netflix-like service and their Apple Music-like service, and the value proposition has just kept getting better. I don't know why Amazon Instant Video isn't on Apple TV, but Apple has prevented or removed other company's products from its Stores for various reasons, so it's likely due to one of the companies strategies. But Amazon Instant Video sells or rents most of what's on iTunes, so I don't find a need for iTunes video purchases. You said "for a lot of people...", and I'm only giving my own POV.

    FireTV plays really good (not fantastic) games, like Sev Zero (FPS+tower defense). But I personally prefer to play games on an iPad or iPhone, and if I wanted better games than the FireTV, I'd get a PlayStation or Xbox, not an ATV4.

    Regarding 4K, I have a 6s, about which Apple says: "It takes brilliant 4K video, up to four times the resolution of 1080p HD video." So on that basis, I'd disagree that "4K doesn't matter yet to Apple." It still feels to me that it's AppleTV that doesn't matter enough to Apple; they didn't leapfrog their competitors like I had hoped they would. I am not the only one disappointed that they left 4K out, since Roku and FireTV include it.

    Regarding lack of digital-audio out: For my projector (which doesn't feed out its audio signal) I use a splitter from J-Tech, which takes 4 HDMI inputs, can send any of them to its two HDMI outputs, and includes digital audio out to boot. For my HDTV in another room, I discovered my ole' Samsung has digital-audio out, so I let it switch between AppleTV, Roku, and the DVD player, and then take the TV's audio out into a Sony home theater box. I was sooo happy to find that audio-out.


    1) No, they couldn't have delivered something better 5 years ago. Streaming was barely a thing 5 years ago. I took my Apple TV to visit friends in January 2011 just to stream movies from my laptop using AirPlay.... They were blown away. Let's not get too much distortion about the lay of the land five years back. The original pitch for the redesigned Apple TV was iTunes centric... They launched tv episode rentals, and started to make the iTunes cloud library a thing, to enable streaming. And, oh by the way, it has YouTube and Netflix too. There were fewer services, and fewer people weren't willing to spend money for something they could do on a computer for free. They couldn't have done a Bluetooth remote, unless you'd want it to be dead ALL THE TIME. Trust me, I use their Bluetooth keyboard, mouse and trackpad... They eat AA's. Bluetooth Low Energ is still only a few years old. Also, the silver IR remotes cost $19, and are compatible with Macs as well. They're even older than the ATV2.

    2) Amazon is not on Apple TV because they don't want to be. The new tv App Store is open to all, just like the other app stores... The only condition is that it cannot have a storefront, I.e. Charge for subscriptions/purchases without being billed through iTunes. That's why there's an Amazon streaming iPad app, and a google play video app... They are libraries, not stores. Amazon is the problem in this scenario.

    3) iTunes isn't really pay per view... It's.per title, not view. There are digital copies that come with purchased DVDs, iTunes purchases (going back to like 2005-6, somewhere around then), as well as rentals and tv shows. Whether one uses it doesn't matter so much, what matters is that Apple wants people to use it, so of course it's going to be lynchpin and differentiating feature between their product and all the competition. Again, may not matter to you, but anyone with a decent iTunes video library will find it to be very important. Same as Prime... I think it's a tremendous ripoff, i don't care what they throw in... But that's just me and my situation.

    4) I didn't specify games, I said apps. Zillow, Airbnb, QVC, Gilt, Withings, the list goes on... The breadth and quality of apps that tvOS will have will be the gold standard. I don't care how many decent games a FireTV has. The Apple TV is going to be more than that, in as of today undiscovered and un identified ways just because of the dev community and their focus on Apple platforms.

    5) Correction: 4K streaming via Internet doesn't matter to Apple yet. They just released he new 4K iMacs. They just released the new phones with 4K cameras. They just added 4K to iMovie. So you can see great videos you shoot natively on devices and on their best computers. iTunes doesn't sell 4K. That's where the story begins and ends. When Apples own CDN can handle it, and there's enough momentum behind 4K tv sales, they'll make a great big announcement and go all in on it. That's probably 2 years away though. Sooner would be great. But Apple cannot be underestimated about things like this... 4K media consumption is just not real market right now. The A8 in the iPhone was proven to support 4K, unofficially.... And without the battery and heat limitations of a phone, it could probably be enabled down the road... Maybe. I think a newer version is more likely in a year or two.

    6) Exactly, most equipment has at least one alternate audio pass through. Losing one port isn't the end of the world.

    We're never going to agree. I find most of your positions to be either uninformed. Illogical, silly and/or factually wrong. That's okay though. We don't all have to use the same thing, and competition is good for all consumers. I just think it's hilarious how many people think they know better than Apple. The single company that has proven over and over that it is unstoppable. It gets all the money, great sales numbers, fierce loyalty, and continues to shape the future, yet according to a lot of people, they can't seem to do anything right.

    Apparently Amazon has a much better grasp on this tech thing than Apple does. Sure.
  • Reply 82 of 101
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,678member

    Just got mine, set it up with no issues - it was pretty slick!

     

    Picked through the app store. Plenty of cool stuff. 

     

    I'm really pleased with it so far. Really hoping for a couple of apps to come along:

    -Hockey Night in Canada? Please?

    -A customizable screen saver? Ability to some useful info on the pretty pics?

    -A weather radar? 

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by YodaMac View Post



    So many posts here, but I'm trying to figure out if you can use TWO wireless game controllers with it, instead of the remote. Player one and Player two... Or is everything one player only?

    The Crossy Road demo at the Apple Event included a two-player preview, but I can't quite figure out how to do it with my iPhone.

  • Reply 83 of 101
    levilevi Posts: 344member
    moink123 wrote: »
    It may be worth mentioning that when the keyboard comes up to enter your email when logging into services, a "recent" button pops up that lets you select a recently used email address instead of having to type it out every time. Really convenient if all of your accounts use the same email address.

    Also, any news on how long the Siri remote battery lasts?

    Apple says months. Been using mine since Friday. Still works :-)
  • Reply 84 of 101
    levilevi Posts: 344member
    Does Netflix constantly crash on the new hardware (like the old has started doing within the last year or so)?

    Is YouTube content available? Or has it been deleted from the feature list like it was on the old AppleTV?

    This forced and faked obsolescence is reason for violent revolution.

    Can you specify what you mean by YouTube content? I ask because YouTube quite offering services for Aople TV 2 and below. YouTube works fine in ver 3-4
  • Reply 85 of 101
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 2,066member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jwyatt View Post



    4 out of 5...really? I had high hopes for this but seems half baked and rushed to market. Considering the length of time since the last update and hype surrounding it I'm a little disappointed.



    It's more like 3 out of 5.  Apple only put its foot in the gaming water.  Not powerful enough to compete with XBox and PS4.    Only two players.  And no support for Cable TV or DVR functionality.    They have gone from 1/3 of the way there to 2/3.   Next Year how about doubling the RAM and Putting in an A10 Chip, then I'll be convinced  that this machine is more than just a Hobby.   This is really more about what it can do   than how small they can make it.

  • Reply 86 of 101
    eightzero wrote: »
    The Crossy Road demo at the Apple Event included a two-player preview, but I can't quite figure out how to do it with my iPhone.

    So I managed to get my two Nimbus controllers to connect finally (had to be just inches from the Apple TV) but they BOTH then function as player one. With the Siri Remote working for player two. That's stinks. My wife and I each want to use a better controller. Huh. Hope they can fix this in a future update.
  • Reply 87 of 101
    levilevi Posts: 344member
    No idea. They look the exact same and have the same software. How or why would I know which version I have? I guess it is v2.

    It should show in Settings >General>About
  • Reply 88 of 101
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,678member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by YodaMac View Post





    So I managed to get my two Nimbus controllers to connect finally (had to be just inches from the Apple TV) but they BOTH then function as player one. With the Siri Remote working for player two. That's stinks. My wife and I each want to use a better controller. Huh. Hope they can fix this in a future update.

    I stumbled across some setting involving "Game Center" something I think that has been around for awhile. I've just never used it, other than to make a login for a game I tried a few years ago. But I saw an "invite players" setting, leading me to believe that the second player needs to download the game, make a Game Center account, then somehow get invited to play of the Apple TV. Makes sense, I suppose. 

     

    I'm just not a big gamer. I might try a few things for a few minutes, but it is hardly something that is very important to me. What I do hope is that the gaming stuff catches on and attracts developers and expansion of use of the platform into stuff I do want. There was an app I tried that had several classical music performances, and while it played, it scrolled the musical score on the screen! Very cool, just can't recall the name of the app.

     

    I did think the app store on aTV needs a bit of work. The screen shots were kinda small, descriptions rather terse. Be nice if it could be integrated into the existing iTunes store (or even online in a browser) so you can browse for stuff to try once you get back in front of the TV.

     

    All coming in time. I'm excited for what is coming, but meanwhile, this is a good $150 purchase. Value received.

  • Reply 89 of 101
    levilevi Posts: 344member
    Ground breaking update from v2 to v3 apparently.

    YouTube worked on v2 before. Google quit supporting v2 in the last few months
  • Reply 90 of 101

    I have had limited time on my new AppleTV's.  I thought there were good and bad moments with the set up.  The interface is great.  LOVE the fact that when you are on a different input and press menu on the AppleTV remote it automatically switches to the AppleTV without the need to hit an input button.  Every company should be required to do this but may be limited to certain versions of HDMI...Siri does not work with Music (I haven't investigated this but seems odd).  I absolutely despise the fact that the remote app does not work with this.  The speed increase of the wireless and also processing power is a HUGE benefit of this new device.  All content loads multiple times faster which paints a better experience already.  The new screen savers are awesome.  Apps on a 4k TV are awesome.  Gaming is very convenient.  I am really looking forward to seeing what developers bring to this product.  Sorry for the organization of this but wanted to get everyone my initial thoughts of using this new product.

  • Reply 91 of 101
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TechProd1gy View Post

     

    Apps on a 4k TV are awesome. 


    You realize the ATV4 is limited to 1080p, right?

  • Reply 92 of 101
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by zroger73 View Post

     

    You realize the ATV4 is limited to 1080p, right?




    LOL...Yes bro.  Should have worded more carefully.  The 1080p upscale on my Sharp 80 4k just looks plain awesome.  Really should have just said the games played on my TV look awesome.  That is the real point here.

  • Reply 93 of 101

    So far I like my new AT4. I just tried to go into Netflix last night, what a disaster. I know it's not Apple but a Netflix issue, I can't see grid view of my queue just have to scroll left to right on over 100 things in my queue. Really disappointed in the Netflix app. Other than that I'm pretty happy. 

  • Reply 94 of 101
    yodamac wrote: »
    So many posts here, but I'm trying to figure out if you can use TWO wireless game controllers with it, instead of the remote. Player one and Player two... Or is everything one player only?

    You can use a MAXIMUM of two Bluetooth devices. That could be two game controllers or one game controller and the AppleTV remote.
  • Reply 95 of 101
    nhughesnhughes Posts: 770editor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post





    You can use a MAXIMUM of two Bluetooth devices. That could be two game controllers or one game controller and the AppleTV remote.



    This is incorrect. I have connected two controllers at once, plus the Apple Remote.

  • Reply 96 of 101
    indyfxindyfx Posts: 321member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Red Oak View Post



    What a weak 'Cons' list. Two of three will be solved by software updates shortly



    And, are u too poor to afford $149 to redefine your TV experience?



    Abso-frickin-lutely ---

    I was gob-smacked that the author thought $149 (or even $199) was pricy as a cord cutting alternative?????

    Has he ever looked at a Comcast bill???  Apparently not.

  • Reply 97 of 101
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by IndyFX View Post

     



    Abso-frickin-lutely ---

    I was gob-smacked that the author thought $149 (or even $199) was pricy as a cord cutting alternative?????

    Has he ever looked at a Comcast bill???  Apparently not.




    It's not a very good "cord cutting alternative" considering you cannot access most channels for streaming without logging in with your cable subscription (a fact I noted in the review). And even if you pay for Sling TV, without a native Sling TV app, you're still dependent on AirPlay — something you could do with the $69 third-generation Apple TV. $149 is currently the highest starting price in this market segment, and that's just reality.

  • Reply 98 of 101

    People complaining about no HDMI cable in the box must be living in a different world than I am. I've never received an HDMI cable with any device I've bought from any manufacturer. Add to that the fact HDMI cables are generally fairly large and heavy and wouldn't fit in the box (and, no, we don't need a larger box -- waste not, want not). A 6.5 foot Amazon Basics HDMI cable can be had for $5.49, and I've seen inexpensive ones at stores as well. No, you don't need the gold-plated Monster cables.



    No HDMI cable in the box is a non-issue as far as I see.

  • Reply 99 of 101
    ARRRGGGGGGG. Apple TV still doesn't work with Bluetooth Keyboards. It is a serious pain in the arse to have to keep entering passwords on the alphabet strip.

    Come on Apple. Allow Bluetooth Keyboards like the previous Apple TVs allowed.
  • Reply 100 of 101
    larrya said:
    It's not clear to me yet what the 32GB is for. Just app. storage?
    I think the reason for 32GB or 64GB is purely for Gamer's or if you are the type who purchases Movies and well that uses storage on your device...if you don't have a large library of Movies/Games etc...32GB should suffice imo. 
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