ATV 3 (50$) or 4 (130$)

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by bostero, Apr 23, 2016.

  1. bostero macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2015
    Hello all, I've never had an Apple tv before. I have a mbp and an Iphone 6plus, i'm looking for something to add to my tv. My main use would be netflix, spotify and streaming content from my phone / mbp.
    Do you think that it is worth to pay 130/150 for an apple TV 4 having the 3 at 50$ ?

    Which are the main differences ? (apart from the remote and games)
    Are they supporting different tvOS versions?
  2. benjitek macrumors 6502a


    Sep 23, 2012
    Have you Googled AppleTV reviews for both models, or, searched the MacRumors forums yet? The question has been asked and answered so many times...
  3. jdag macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2012
    If all of the AppleTV standard apps (Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, etc.) and AirPlay are all you want, then a 3 is perfectly fine. If you want to extend to other apps/games, then get a 4. It is less about the hardware and more about the content you'll use.
  4. bostero, Apr 24, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2016

    bostero thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2015
    Thanks @jdag for your answer. I know that this question might have already been asked a several times, but my point is exactly what you are saying. I just want to use it for the 'most common' apps. Nothing strange, and also AirPlay. My concern is about its support, I mean, when will apple stop supporting it, or when is it going to become obsolete. Are they still releasing updates for the 3?
    Of course I could always buy a 4 but given it is 3 times more expensive..
  5. jdag macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2012
    I went to the ATV4 because #1 I like new stuff, #2 I wanted to use Plex, and #3 I got them on sale for $120/ea. I sold my 3 ATV3s for about $45/ea.

    I've been pleased with the upgrade, but honestly, other than Plex, there was not a huge advantage for how I currently use the ATV4 as compared to the ATV3.

    Long story short, I don't think you can go wrong either way. You likely will have less useful life with the ATV3 based on eventual support, but they are relatively inexpensive.
  6. AppliedMicro, Apr 24, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2016

    AppliedMicro macrumors 6502a

    Aug 17, 2008
    Apple TV 3 does not run tvOS. As such, it's a "monolithic" system. You basically get what's included "in the box" (firmware), and that's that. There's a danger of being left out in the cold in case of a software upgrade. Case in point: Google/Apple have previously removed Youtube functionality from some Apple TVs, after some changes backend changes made by Google.

    Apple TV 4 is an "open" and system, due to the App Store. Virtually anyone can make apps and provide them in the App Store (within Apple's terms and conditions), thus extending or providing other than just out-of-the box functionality. Many content providers are taking advantage of that, by providing their own app, including Netflix. These Apps can work standalone, i.e., without requiring any other Apple device op operate. E.g., you just open the Netflix app on the Apple TV with the included remote.

    You might be able to work around Apple TV 3's limitations by AirPlaying content from an iPhone and iPad. This might be inefficient und less convenient though.
  7. Gueeds macrumors regular

    Jul 29, 2015
    It's nice to be able to use Siri on the 4 to search for stuff or enter long complicated passwords. Plus everything is just faster on the new one with newer hardware. If you have a lot of iTunes content, the speed upgrade is totally worth it as the old one just can't handle it.

    Games and other apps are another plus on the 4. Wireless AC for better connectivity is also nice.
  8. 2010mini macrumors 68040

    Jun 19, 2013
    I disagree @jdag there is a huge advantage over the 3rd gen. AirPlay for one is way better on the 4. And the processor is way faster. The AppStore is the greatest advantage. Their are apps available right now that can make the ATV4 a replacement for your Cable Box. Try that with a 3rd gen.
  9. bostero thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2015
    Hmm.. Well as @AppliedMicro says, it is really concerning the lack of 'future' apps. I mean there is no warranty that Netflix, youtube and so will be supported for many years...
  10. jdag macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2012
    Nothing to disagree about. I too believe the ATV4 is better than the ATV3.

    However, the OP indicated specific uses that absolutely do not require an ATV4 (for instance, he did not say he'd use Plex or want games). And, he indicated that pricing is a consideration. For what he needs/wants, either will work.

    I also mentioned that I personally moved from 3 ATV3s to 3 ATV4s and am very happy with the move.

    If I were the OP I would get the ATV4, but that doesn't change the fact that either will get the job done.
  11. -Gonzo- macrumors 6502


    Nov 14, 2015
    Which is exactly how Netflix works on an Apple TV 3.
  12. CarlJ macrumors 68020


    Feb 23, 2004
    San Diego, CA, USA
    I would absolutely recommend the ATV4 over the 3, because the former is a system that will see enhancements in the future, while the latter is unlikely to ever do more than it does out of the box. The new remote is nice, but the App Store makes all the difference. The majority of the use mine gets is Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and Apple Music, but other apps can be very nice. Having an App Store doesn't mean you need hundreds of apps, just the handful you like (e.g. I'm currently listening to SomaFM's Groove Salad through an app called "The Bat Player", and I use "" to watch some of TWiT's video podcasts, and "Infuse" to watch videos from my NAS).

    The new remote gets some controversy, but I like it (in a Griffin "Survivor Play" case, with Apple's "Remote Loop" attached - never as a wrist strap, just as a tail - the combination makes it easy to find, orient and hold). To me, really, the biggest win is the inclusion of volume up/down buttons on the new remote. Once I power up my system with the Harmony remote, I set that aside and just use the AppleTV remote for everything.
  13. Starfia macrumors 6502


    Apr 11, 2011
    Spotify aside (I'm not sure), the 3rd-generation Apple TV does those things just fine. The third-gen's operating system will probably never be updated again, and will undoubtedly lose support earlier than the fourth-gen. I don't think there's any particular way to know when they'll lose Netflix support, for example – I imagine you'll be good for a while if you'd like to save money.
  14. Apollo 13 macrumors 6502a

    May 29, 2010
    you'll be fine with an Apple TV 3. People here are doing scare tactics on you. The APT 3 will support Netflix and Youtube for a very long time. Netflix and Google are not stupid and going to shut out millions of ppl and paying ppl from their service. Do you see all the other old Roku boxes or Fire TV sticks losing those services? the answer is NO. Are these same ppl that are saying this garbage going to ditch their APT 4 when Apple comes out with APT 5 and it had some new OS?
  15. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth

    Yes and unlike tvOS though, Netflix "comes" with the Apple TV 3. And hulu, HBO Now etc... there is nothing to "add" That also infuses my decision as to weather its worth buying, because if makes a huge difference when u reset your Apple device due to issues, u don't wanna download stuff again...

    I tick off all the things i don't want and which i'm left with.... and the only thong to be would be useful would be Apple music on Apple TV 4, Siri and maybe the apps, but this is not enough to qualify me for an upgrade at all. My current Apple TV 3 works fine.

    I take advantage of Apple's 14-day return all the time as a "test bed" so get one and try the things u want..... in a few days or so, u'll know if it's right for you. And if not, u can send it back... I do that with all my Apple products if I need to... I can't tell you how many returns i've done this way........ more than i can count.
  16. richpjr macrumors 68030


    May 9, 2006
    I have an ATV4 and 2 ATV3s and while I like the ATV4 better, I think the ATV3 will do what you want. Clearly the ATV4 is more future proof, but even that I question as it doesn't support 4K - hopefully we get that in the ATV5.

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