Suspend your reality, and that feeling where you want to compare every new product to the one before it, because that’s just a stupid way to think about most new technology. The new 2022 Apple TV 4K is a perfect example of that. It’s differences when compared to the one before it are bugger all, but it’s an absolute game changer for newcomers or those upgrading from a much older model.
It’s through that lens which I approach this review of the Apple TV 4K in 2022.
What’s new? It’s thinner. A little less girth too, but not dramatically, like it hasn’t shrunk down to the size of the original Apple TV box.
Apple say it’s 20% smaller, and that seems right, but it’s what’s inside – or not – that matters.
For the first time there’s a version without an Ethernet connection, perhaps finally accepting that good WiFi Networks are now mainstream, so the option should be there if you want to save a few bucks ($30 to be precise).
Inside is the A15 Bionic chip which Apple must have in surplus given it’s been retained in the iPhone 14 as well as it’s original launch device the iPhone 13 and 13 Pro series. That chip means apps load around 20% faster, and for those coming from the Apple TV HD models – around 200% faster app launches.
Given the number of games in the Apple TV App Store there’s also a 30% Graphics Processor improvement too.
And, for the greenies, it’s using 30% less energy – that should save the planet!
Dragged kicking and screaming (well actually, without much formal comment), Apple’s Siri remote for the Apple TV is now USB-C charged thanks to Europe too.
The real headline here is HDR10+ support, for the hard core movie and video buffs, plus later this year Quick Media Switching.
I’ll be honest and say I didn’t notice the HDR10+, I just don’t have the eyes for that, but I did notice some snappy app launching, with things like Kayo, Stan, 9Now an Apple’s own apps really feeling slick at launch.
I also noticed a new look sidebar menu which allows all the Apple ID Profiles in your family to sign in, meaning they get personalised recommendations when in apps like Apple TV+ which is important given how well profiles work across those kinds of apps. It would be great to see that linked in with streaming apps like Disney+ and Netflix so you didn’t need to choose profiles when launching those apps.
Overall, it’s amazing. At $219 it’s not the cheapest set top style box for your streaming and entertainment, with the Chromecast with Google TV being the best option at just $99. However, for those wanting more non-streaming apps like games, or those deep in the Apple Ecosystem the Apple TV is literally a no-brainer.
I wouldn’t rush out to upgrade an existing Apple TV 4K, but if you’re an iPhone user and haven’t seen an Apple TV – it’s an outstanding addition to your home entertainment, and if you love your Apple TV but it’s old – update your gear with this cracking device.
On sale Friday, $219 for WiFi only with 64GB, and $249 with Ethernet and 128GB of storage.