Enthusiast issues aside, the Apple TV remains one of the top streaming video players on the market. It’s the only TV box that bests the Nvidia Shield TV in performance, has a clean interface devoid of advertising, and integrates tightly with other Apple products and services like Airpods and iCloud Photo libraries. You can see my review of the 3rd generation unit here.
This new edition nudges the platform forward, featuring a more powerful (yet underutilized) A15 processor. While you’ll find a game or two on the platform like Oceanhorn 2 that can show off the prowess of the device, the game library is nowhere near as deep as a Nintendo Switch, Xbox or Playstation.
The new Apple TV is priced competitively vs. other streamers on the market, although Apple pulled the ethernet port out of the lower cost 64GB unit. You’ll need to go up to the 128GB model to get the port which is something I recommend for 4k streaming. The 64GB model also does not have support for the open Matter smarthome standard but the 128GB does.
It handles all of the streaming services I tried well although there does not appear to be any perceptible performance difference vs. the last two generations of the device. The Apple TV is one of the few boxes that can match content properly coming from most popular services, meaning it can switch your television’s display mode to match what the content requires. HDR, Dolby Vision and ATMOS are supported through most streaming apps (with the exception of lossless ATMOS as noted here). This new version also supports the emerging HDR10+ standard which was not available on the prior models.
Should you upgrade from a prior edition? I don’t think there’s enough here to warrant that. I am using the first generation Apple TV 4k now for most of my streaming from subscription services. I like its integration with my Airpods and photo library along with its proper content matching features. The 3rd generation box doesn’t feel much different even though it has a more powerful processor.
But if I were looking for a new box I’d definitely recommend picking up this 2022 version.