Apple TV (3rd Gen) on 4k TV?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by sonicrobby, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. sonicrobby macrumors 68020


    Apr 24, 2013
    New Orleans
    Does anyone use an older 3rd gen Apple TV on a 4k TV?

    I just bought a 4k, and want an Apple TV to airplay videos onto. Since my use is simple, I dont know if Ill need the Apple TV 4K since I wont be streaming 4k video from my airplay. Would a 3rd Gen Apple TV look bad on a 4k TV? Do I need an Apple TV 4k to airplay even a decent quality? (especially in mirroring my desktop).

    I couldnt find anything on youtube that would show this comparison :(

    Thanks in advance!
  2. HobeSoundDarryl, Jun 14, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    I don't have this setup so this is speculation. The "3" is capped at outputting 1080p. I'm guessing it will still output 1080p and then your TV will upscale that to 4K... probably looking as good as any other 1080i/p source you feed that TV now. I'm confident it will work fine in terms of being able to display whatever you want to display out of that "3."

    However, if you haven't purchased an :apple:TV yet, you are not just giving up on 4K with a "3" but also access to apps beyond the small group built into the "3"... and of course updates, speed, etc. I suggest taking the money you are thinking about spending on an old "3" and scrounging up another $50 or $100 to buy a refurbished 4K or 4... or watching for the DirecTVnow deal to come again to get a 4K for only a little more than $100.

    Even if you are not intending to stream 4K, 4K will still show sharper photos, home movies you may shoot in 4K with your iPhone, etc. And the hardware is faster, still supported by Apple, still getting bug fixes and updates, and so on. Just the app store potential alone should motivate you toward at least a 4 if not the 4K: all it takes is feeling a lot of desire for any one app not on the 3 to make you regret buying a 3. And even if there is no such app now, some much-desired app could show up at any time (but almost certainly will not have a version show up on the 3).

    And if your new 4K TV supports HDR or DV, there's another reason to buy a new model instead of one 2 generations old.
  3. tobefirst macrumors 68040


    Jan 24, 2005
    St. Louis, MO
    I used a 3rd gen until just a few days ago. It worked very well. I had to use my phone or iPad to stream apps that weren't on the 3rd gen, and that was slightly inconvenient, especially when it would drop the connection and I'd have to restart it, but it was serviceable. The quality was very good for the most part. I upgraded solely because of the DirecTV Now deal. I should be able to sell my 3rd gen for what I paid for it 2-3 years ago and offset a good portion of the cost.
  4. vertical smile macrumors 68040

    vertical smile

    Sep 23, 2014
    I do have a ATV3 on a 4K TV and everything above is true. The ATV3 should be perfectly fine on your 4K TV.

    This is where me and @HobeSoundDarryl differ in opinion. This really depends on what this means:

    If the only apps that you would use is on the ATV3, then I would go with that. You can find them for really cheap on ebay. The ATV3 apps are a lot better than the ATV4 versions. The only thing I wish was on the ATV3 was Siri (not counting the tvOS App Store).

    The ATV3 is fast, reliable, and very stable when compared to the tvOS.

    I just recently purchased a ATV4K, and haven't got a chance to use it, but when comparing the ATV4 to the ATV3, the "3" is much faster in my experience.

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3 June 14, 2018