Tuesday, October 18, 2022 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Apple TV 4K 2022

Apple:

Driven by the A15 Bionic chip that delivers faster performance and more fluid gameplay, the new Apple TV 4K features endless entertainment options for everyone to enjoy on the biggest screen in the home. HDR10+ support joins Dolby Vision on Apple TV 4K, so users can watch their favorite movies and TV shows in the best quality possible across more TVs.

[…]

The Siri Remote has the same beloved design and functionality as the previous generation, and adopts USB-C for charging. It is included with the new Apple TV 4K, or can be purchased separately for $59 (US) starting today, and is compatible with all generations of Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD.

The Siri Remote is a lot better than the previous version, but I wouldn’t say it’s “beloved.” Too many of the buttons feel the same, and navigating seems like it should work better.

Hartley Charlton:

The new Apple TV 4K is available in a 64GB configuration with Wi-Fi for a lower starting price of $129, sitting below a 128GB Wi-Fi configuration that also has an Ethernet port and support for Thread networking.

The previous version started at $179 for 32 GB.

Tim Hardwick:

On the previous Apple TV 4K, both the 32GB and 64GB storage options included Ethernet and Thread support.

Dan Moren:

The new models are a few millimeters smaller than the old ones in each dimension and, astoundingly, weigh about half as much (7.5 ounces for the Wi-Fi and Ethernet model vs the previous model’s 15 ounces).

[…]

The lower prices are probably the most welcome aspect of the new Apple TVs, although they’re still at the high-end of the market, where many streaming dongles can be had for $50 or less.

Previously:

Update (2022-10-27): Joe Rossignol:

The new version of the Siri Remote announced today is equipped with a USB-C port for charging instead of Lightning, but there is no USB-C cable included in the box with the new Apple TV 4K. Apple also no longer includes a charging cable with the Siri Remote when purchased separately for $59 through its online store.

Apple today began selling a one-meter USB-C cable with a woven design for $19.

Joe Rossignol:

I can confirm that the new Apple TV 4K is equipped with an increased 4GB of RAM, compared to 3GB in the previous model.

Nick Heer:

So, while the price may have dropped by $50 in Canada, if you want to use an Apple TV for a smart home base station and you want to match the in-box contents of the now-discontinued 32 GB model, you are spending the same amount as before but getting four times the storage.

Benjamin Mayo:

If someone is mad that their Roku or Fire Stick is ad-ridden or behaving laggy, suggesting a $129 solution is now possible — an order of magnitude more palatable than the old $179 price point.

That being said, $129 is still too much for the Apple TV to capture significant market share. I wish Apple went further with stripping down the base model to push the price down more. $99 really feels like the target to hit, and they didn’t quite get there.

Joe Rosensteel:

Apple announced two new Apple TV models today that are sourced from only the finest parts bins. Hewn from a list of things that can be removed from the previous models for a modest discount. Chiseled from a single block of text about there being no reason to buy the 128 GB version before. Only Apple could name one the Apple TV 4K (“Hey honey, don’t we have one of those? Wait, there are three of them?”) and the “Apple TV 4K with Wi-Fi and Ethernet” a product name befitting an Amazon retailer that uses only consonants.

[…]

The justification seemed to be that Apple was offering a premium experience, with premium hardware, at a premium price. Unfortunately, the Apple TV is just a nice experience, not a premium one when it comes to using the device, so fancy materials, sensors, etc. don’t make a premium experience any more than silverware at your table instead of stainless steel flatware.

Fire TV and Roku junk up their interfaces with ads, but Apple also junks up their interface with ads for Apple TV+, Apple Music, and Apple Arcade.

[…]

The directional pad was a huge improvement, as expected, but the jog-wheel scrubbing through the video still doesn’t work in most apps I use. Accidental swipes across the pad still happen, and play/pause gets pushed instead of mute, and vice versa, because we have to have perfect little circles for those.

See also: Todd Vaziri’s remote design.

10 Comments

Alexander Browne

The Siri Remote is a lot better than the previous version, but I wouldn’t say it’s "beloved."

"Beloved" doesn't mean "replacement people accept as better than the one that was so bad that people literally tried to gray-market import a third-party replacement created by a Swiss cable company" to you?

I'm still surprised Apple hasn't made a 4K version that's $99.

Make it something like: A12, Remote w/out Siri or touch interface, 32 GB

I’m genuinely curious why the jog dial feature of the remote — arguable the reason for its design — requires you to tap and hold to activate? It’s so hidden I bet most people don’t realize you can scrub through video timelines like an old iPod jog wheel.

@Nigel I haven’t had a lot of success with that and ended up turning on the accessibility feature to just navigate menus by clicking.

Not all apps support jog dial - like Disney, for one - supports only scrubbing with left/right swipe.

The $129/$149 thing is such a weird decision.

I'm curious about the statistics on Ethernet. I presume relatively few households run Cat 6 wiring from the "router" to the TV anyway. So, sure, leave that out on the lower end. The storage size is also not that important.

But Thread? Wouldn't it be smart of Apple to be able to say "hey, we have a great puck for your living room that also acts as a HomeKit hub, and any 2022 model supports Thread", rather than "well, if you bought the one for $20 less, it doesn't, asterisk dagger double-dagger"?

Why not instead have one model, split the difference, and make it $139?

My biggest surprise was learning that the previous Apple TV had a fan. I own one and had no idea.

I do believe they should either be trying to hit the margin $99 price point and/or get more serious about gaming and make a reasonable first party game controller + put more graphics power on the device. Make it a bit more competitive. As it stands, it’s sort of in a no-man’s land.

I remember reading about how Apple used their remote as teaching material in their on campus Apple school.

Used to be an example och great design. Wonder who designed the first iteration

Tried to do the cord cutting thing with my parents - cheated a bit by aggregating several streaming services with Channels DVR. The biggest problem for them was the gawd awful remote on the Apple TV, and the horrible, conflicting and obfuscated UI choices the limited number of buttons on the remote forces on app designers.

There's no other way to put it - the UI that the limited choices on the remote forces are just clunky. The Apple TV is the epitome of the "Chuck all buttons and damn the ramifications" phase of Apple design that dominated when it came out and its one product that seriously needs some maturity. Remotes have dedicated buttons to short cut you to different sections of applications/systems for really, really good reasons.

Heck screw Apple doing this; they never will. But let third parties have apps that would let me adapt my drawer full of Tivo remotes. There still hasn't been a better remote design by anyone. They fit in the hand, you can instantly tell by feel which way is up, and they have just enough buttons to get what you want done without being overly complex. I think that's the biggest problem - there is zero flexibility in customizing the remote control and it really, really holds the Apple TV back for me.

I really wonder about the pricing. I think even $99 might be a stretch.

I recently had a hard time giving away a few surplus 2nd generation 4k 64 GB Apple TVs that ranged from new (shrink-wrapped box) to very gently used condition. No takers among friends, family, and several dozen tech-savvy employees. It seems that anyone who might have been interested already had Rokus or Fire TV Sticks, and they didn't see any reason to add Apple TVs to the mix, especially if they had access to the Apple TV app on their iPhones/iPads.

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