4k TVs are so advanced, whats the point of Apple TV 4k?

doobydoooby

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 17, 2011
38
15
Genève, Switzerland
I've been using an apple tv for the last few years very happily with my (now) dinosaur-ed old TV. Having bought a lovely new LG 2017 4k tv, the OS on it seems pretty damned good: Netflix, Amazon, Youtube, NAS streaming with Plex, BBC iplayer, etc all in fabulous resolution and the TV seamlessly picks the correct resolution without me having to guess or change settings.

So I'm just wondering since everyone talking on here about the Apple TV 4k must equally have a new TV with an equally good inbuilt OS, what are you all doing by adding an extra box? What is the value that you see, other than adding itunes as a subscription source which is no big deal given all the others out there, and adding some games which equally seems no big deal if you have a proper gaming machine under the telly.

Am I missing something? Genuinely, I expected to hop out and buy a new apple 4k box to fit underneath the new tv and am struggling to see a reason why. Plus I see all these complaints about it not really handling the resolution or the colour stream or the sound particularly well...
 

threesixty360

macrumors 6502
May 2, 2007
303
333
I think if you have an LG TV then you may have a point because that interface is really good. Sony’s Android tv is trash as an interface and I just want to avoid using it.

In all, I have a lot of different ways to view 4k content but all of them have varying problems. Xbox One gives me a voice sync delay that happens randomly and no one seems to have solved. My cable box is ok for tv but not for internet services like YouTube and Vimeo etc...

Android tv is trash.

So the reason for Apple TV is it just has the best, smoothest UI and is integrated with my “digital life”. My podcasts play from when I left off on my phone or iPad. All my content, photos etc.. across all my devices is reflected on the Apple TV. And of all the digital media libraries that you can invest in Apple have proved that they have got your back better than anyone. They’ve never cancelled a service and anything you have purchased since iTunes / movies began is still accessible. I bet that’s not the same for any other company.

For example, to buy a movie on amazon tv through the Xbox or my Android tv means I have to go to the site on my browser in my phone to make a purchase. It’s just too long winded. Apple ID just click and I’m done. And now 4k content is there (and cheaper than anywhere else) then it’s just becomes the system that is the easiest to use and provides the most.
And because of the App Store it’s easier to expand its functionality as well.

Apple TV is a luxury. You don’t NEED it but it’s just quite nice to have. But that is the story of most gadgets nowadays.
 

wnhmasterchief

macrumors newbie
Dec 3, 2010
7
5
I use my Apple TV for my digital movies and TV shows (1,500+, 300+), otherwise my LG TV built-in apps do a fine job indeed (Vudu, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Youtube, etc.)!
 
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Sanlitun

macrumors 6502
Sep 19, 2014
467
348
127.0.0.1
I have sadly found that the Netflix app on my Sony has far superior picture quality than the ATV, especially with HDR shows.

The HDR output from the ATV seems to have a lot of issues and when I use it now it is in SDR only.
 

JeffPerrin

macrumors 6502
Jul 21, 2014
406
376
Just a few reasons:

1. Better interface. (as per 360's post above)

2. Integration with iTunes (buy your movies once and watch them on any device - no hassle)

3. Airplay (easily stream photo & video from your iDevice to your TV)

4. Longterm OS support (It's highly doubtful LG, or any TV maker will update your tv's OS & apps after a year or more. Profit margins are stretched way too thin to put R&D into outdated models.)

5. Privacy & security of your personal data. Selling user data is an easy way smart TV makers can make up for tight profit margins. See: https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2015/02/who-s-the-third-party-that-samsung-and-lg-smart-tvs-are-sharing-your-voice-data-with/index.htm AND https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/vizio-tracked-sold-user-data-millions-smart-tvs-ftc-says AND https://www.theverge.com/2017/2/7/14527360/vizio-smart-tv-tracking-settlement-disable-settings AND on and on...

//
 

richardamp

macrumors newbie
Jan 18, 2013
27
13
In addition to the reasons above, the ATV also offers apps I need that are not on my LG C6...mainly Tablo.

But I do appreciate my TV’s OS now more than ever after seeing how seamlessly it switches the output based on content. I hadn’t realized how nice that was until I used something that didn’t do it (i.e. ATV).
 

johannnn

macrumors 65816
Nov 20, 2009
1,427
816
Sweden
I have the 4th gen TV and I love it. Super smooth and good-looking UI (compared to the buggy TV OS). Apple Music. iCloud Photo slideshows. Podcasts. Homesharing to my videos in iTunes. Great apps/games from the AppStore. Airplay.

To sum it up, I live in the Apple ecosystem so I naturally love that my TV can be part of that.

If other people only use the TV for e.g. Netflix, and may even use an Android phone etc, then I wouldn't recommend an TV.
 

jljue

macrumors 6502
Feb 4, 2011
254
44
Brandon, MS
After DirecTV Now released the Roku app, we’ve mainly been using the built-in Roku on our 4K TV to interface with our apps. The Apple TV interface is nicer and is still here for HomeKit hub, Airplay, and to access our iTunes library, but I still don’t see a need to upgrade to the 4K ATV until we move to the new house (hopefully next year or 2019 at the latest) when we need to expand our setup.
 

vertical smile

macrumors 601
Sep 23, 2014
4,051
5,237
Do the new smart Tvs have games? Serious question.....


I haven't used any recent smart tvs, but the ones I have used in the past had really crappy, and laggy UI for the apps.

Even if that has improved, that was not the worst part of it. The lack of updates to the smart tv apps could cause issues.

I remember my parent purchased a new, expensive Samsung smart TV right before Netflix added the profiles feature. I was letting my parents use my Netflix account at the time. So every time I was at their house, I would check to see if there was an update so they could use profiles, and not use my profile.

It never had an update.

I have read many other similar stories like that, along with the UI issues.
 

coolbreeze2

macrumors 6502a
Sep 24, 2009
622
363
I have a LG OLED TV 4k. According to CNET it's the very best picture quality available and I agree. https://www.cnet.com/products/lg-oled65b6p/review/

Applications like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu are in the webOS of the LG OLD TV 4k and all deliver amazing quality. However, much to my surprise when I watch Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu through the Apple TV 4k applications the quality is slightly better. I don'y why and can't explain it but it is. It appears the Apple TV 4k delivers a little more light and slightly more brilliant color. This could indicate that I have some adjustment not right when using the webOS applications.
 
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archer75

macrumors 68030
Jan 26, 2005
2,815
1,360
Oregon
Audio. Connecting a box to your receiver instead of your TV is going to give you better audio. The ATV also has way more apps than a smart tv. And streaming boxes tend to get updated more often than smart tv's.
For my local rips I use the nvidia shield as it bitstreams just about everything. For internet streaming apps I use the apple tv as it has more apps.
 
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pmau

macrumors 68000
Nov 9, 2010
1,549
791
It's Apple gateway to the iTunes Store.
For them it is irrelevant what your TV can do.
 

MjWoNeR

macrumors 6502
Feb 16, 2010
324
213
Sweden
Had similar thoughts last night actually. I have an old plasma Panny with no real smart features and thought of getting the Apple TV for streaming services, but then I thought I could use the PS4 until I upgrade the TV. Then I could access these services with the TV.

One thing I might miss without the Apple TV is the unified search. It sounds practical.
 

StarShot

macrumors 6502a
Mar 31, 2014
936
345
I've been using an apple tv for the last few years very happily with my (now) dinosaur-ed old TV. Having bought a lovely new LG 2017 4k tv, the OS on it seems pretty damned good: Netflix, Amazon, Youtube, NAS streaming with Plex, BBC iplayer, etc all in fabulous resolution and the TV seamlessly picks the correct resolution without me having to guess or change settings.

So I'm just wondering since everyone talking on here about the Apple TV 4k must equally have a new TV with an equally good inbuilt OS, what are you all doing by adding an extra box? What is the value that you see, other than adding itunes as a subscription source which is no big deal given all the others out there, and adding some games which equally seems no big deal if you have a proper gaming machine under the telly.
Have you updated your LG. I have a 2 year old LG OLED that came with an app for youtube, but one of the updates deleted the app recently (some grudge battle between LG and youtube or so I heard. We're on trip to visit a relative who also has an LG and when I told him about losing the app, he tried to access it on his HD LG and the app is there, but it won't load anymore. I don't think he has his setup for automatic updates.

I can rent 4K movies from my Directv, but the cost of 4K rentals are around $10 or more. Apple TV (iTunes) doesn't charge anymore for renting 4K movies than the usual price of $6. Granted, the cost of the 32GB TV 4K is $179, so it would take some time to make up the difference between renting from Apple verse renting from DTV and DTV might have to match iTunes lower price.
 

coolbreeze2

macrumors 6502a
Sep 24, 2009
622
363
Have you updated your LG. I have a 2 year old LG OLED that came with an app for youtube, but one of the updates deleted the app recently (some grudge battle between LG and youtube or so I heard. We're on trip to visit a relative who also has an LG and when I told him about losing the app, he tried to access it on his HD LG and the app is there, but it won't load anymore. I don't think he has his setup for automatic updates.

I can rent 4K movies from my Directv, but the cost of 4K rentals are around $10 or more. Apple TV (iTunes) doesn't charge anymore for renting 4K movies than the usual price of $6. Granted, the cost of the 32GB TV 4K is $179, so it would take some time to make up the difference between renting from Apple verse renting from DTV and DTV might have to match iTunes lower price.
I when I first unboxed my LG OLED and tried YouTube it needed updating. I allowed the update and YouTube has been working with no problem via the LG application ever since. I just tried it to be sure and it's still working. My software version in About This TV is 03.60.16. Because of what you are stating I will leave automatic updates turned off in case it updates to where I cannot use YouTube.
 

vince22

macrumors regular
Oct 12, 2013
218
127
I when I first unboxed my LG OLED and tried YouTube it needed updating. I allowed the update and YouTube has been working with no problem via the LG application ever since. I just tried it to be sure and it's still working. My software version in About This TV is 03.60.16. Because of what you are stating I will leave automatic updates turned off in case it updates to where I cannot use YouTube.
for me getting rid of Amazon firetv, Xbox S and my collections 4k UHD physical disks, i trusted apple iTunes storage than Vudu in my 65C7P in the long run, ATV4k dolby vision look fantastic, pretty close with 4k UHD physical disk picture quality and is the fastest streaming box for kodi.
 

guptasa1

macrumors newbie
Oct 19, 2017
14
3
For me, the built-in-apps are nice but have audio sync issues that I don't usually get running through a home theater system from AppleTV, so that was the major one. I also just like the Apple interface better, all the available app choices, and airplay. Don't get me wrong - I love my LG, and the built-in-apps are really, really nice; I just like the AppleTV a bit better, and the fewer audio problems are another boon.
 
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doobydoooby

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 17, 2011
38
15
Genève, Switzerland
Have you updated your LG. I have a 2 year old LG OLED that came with an app for youtube, but one of the updates deleted the app recently (some grudge battle between LG and youtube or so I heard. We're on trip to visit a relative who also has an LG and when I told him about losing the app, he tried to access it on his HD LG and the app is there, but it won't load anymore. I don't think he has his setup for automatic updates.

I can rent 4K movies from my Directv, but the cost of 4K rentals are around $10 or more. Apple TV (iTunes) doesn't charge anymore for renting 4K movies than the usual price of $6. Granted, the cost of the 32GB TV 4K is $179, so it would take some time to make up the difference between renting from Apple verse renting from DTV and DTV might have to match iTunes lower price.
Hi, yes I've updated the tv so its completely up to date and the youtube app is present. Moreover actually i would say the youtube app is absolutely amazing, the quality if the 4k stuff on there is fabulous.

Thanks for everyone's comments, I'm aware that at some point down the road LG will probably stop updating my TV and that will be the point at which it will time to buy a set top box but in the meantime it seems i really don't have the need.

For the comment above about audio being superior, the TV actually handles 7.1 and Atmos and will happily output its digital signal via optical cable so while I haven't actually tested it (my soundbar is only 2.1 channel) I think it would output the full audio if need be.

For the query about games on tv, the os of the tv is certainly no good at all for gaming. But if you have a ps4 or something similar then really in my experience over the years I've used the apple tv, neither really is the apple tv...
 

Mac 128

macrumors 603
Apr 16, 2015
5,360
2,904
Just a few reasons:

1. Better interface. (as per 360's post above)

2. Integration with iTunes (buy your movies once and watch them on any device - no hassle)

3. Airplay (easily stream photo & video from your iDevice to your TV)

4. Longterm OS support (It's highly doubtful LG, or any TV maker will update your tv's OS & apps after a year or more. Profit margins are stretched way too thin to put R&D into outdated models.)

5. Privacy & security of your personal data. Selling user data is an easy way smart TV makers can make up for tight profit margins. See: https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2015/02/who-s-the-third-party-that-samsung-and-lg-smart-tvs-are-sharing-your-voice-data-with/index.htm AND https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/vizio-tracked-sold-user-data-millions-smart-tvs-ftc-says AND https://www.theverge.com/2017/2/7/14527360/vizio-smart-tv-tracking-settlement-disable-settings AND on and on...

//
I won't argue point 1, 4, or 5.

However, re: 2, MoviesAnywhere has gone a long way to breaking down the need for iTunes. Even on my ATV 4K I'm pretty much using VUDU to watch most of my catalogue of movies now. I'm not even sure why Apple joined that consortium other than to try and avoid the same kind of lawsuit they got slapped with on iBooks, they may come to regret it, or it may enable more Android users to cross over by transferring their movies easily into iTunes.

As for 3, does LG support Chromecast? If so, most iOS Apps do too now. So AirPlay, while a superior experience is being diminished in necessity simply to stream to a TV.

But here's another negative -- I don't believe LGs webOS is supported by many developers. I believe that Apps like CBS All Acess is not available on webOS, and therefore none of its shows can be streamed natively. That doesn't mean you need a $200 ATV 4K, but definitely an external box for some apps.

Which brings me back to your point 1 -- the ATV interface is great, but more importantly Siri is fantastic. I only wish Siri had more control over detailed settings (as I'd be less upset about the fact the ATV 4 doesn't auto switch video formats), and I wish Apple did a better job of cataloging offerings by the apps, so that Siri could be a trulyeffective program guide for all content offered via the ATV.
 

Mac 128

macrumors 603
Apr 16, 2015
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The youtube app is on my LG. As is all the main apps people use, netflix, amazon, hulu, vudu, plex.
Do you have GooglePlay? How about CBS All Access? Tubi, and any of the Sony apps like PlayStation, & Ultra? All the movie channels like HBO, Showtime, Starz, Epix? Does it support MoviesAnywhere? And how about all the Networks, like FOX, ABC, NBC, CNN, PBS?
 
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archer75

macrumors 68030
Jan 26, 2005
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Do you have GooglePlay? How about CBS All Access? Tubi, and any of the Sony apps like PlayStation, & Ultra? All the movie channels like HBO, Showtime, Starz, Epix? Does it support MoviesAnywhere? And how about all the Networks, like FOX, ABC, NBC, CNN, PBS?
It has google play. It doesn't need movies anywhere. Since it syncs all your movies are in vudu and google play on there. No CBS all access but then I don't use it. No networks but I have a OTA tuner for that. If you look for HBO shows it sends you to the apps that have the shows such as vudu, hulu and others. I don't know what a Tubi is. No playtstation apps.

It has sling tv, fandango now, directv, mlb, gamefly streaming, youtube kids, crackle, pandora, iheartradio, ufc, tablo for my ota tuner.

Apps are also updated regularly.
 
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