Buy an Apple TV 4K without a 4K TV?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by levander, May 20, 2018.

  1. levander macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    #1
    Wondering if there’s a reason to buy an Apple TV 4K if I don’t own a 4K TV and don’t currently have plans to buy one.

    It’s just that I’ve already got three of these regular Apple TV’s and am about to buy two more (we’re switching from cable TV to an online TV service, YouTube TV). And five of the same product just seems like a lot to have I guess...

    One reason I’m thinking it’s worth spending the extra $30 is gaming. I know not many games are out yet, but I’m expecting the Apple TV to become a pretty good gaming platform in the next couple of years. Does the upgraded hardware in the Apple TV 4K make gaming better even if you don’t have a 4K TV?
     
  2. vertical smile macrumors 68020

    vertical smile

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2014
    #2
    A few, such as future-proofing, faster HW, but considering the ATV4K is just a little more $ than the ATV4, I would just get it.

    I am not sure if it is still going on, but DirectTV Now had a special that if you would pay for 3 months of their service, you would get a free ATV4k with it, and no obligation to keep the service.

    So you could get the ATV4 at a really discounted price and not ever use the DIrectTV Now service.
    Afaik, currently there is not any apps that require the faster 4K ATV, but that might not be the case in a few years.

    The lack of gaming has been my biggest complaint about tvOS, I hope it improves.
     
  3. levander thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 21, 2011
    #3
    Anything more specific? Like how am I future proofed? I assume I’m future proofed if I every want to play 4K video later on, like if I get a 4K TV. But is there anything else?

    What does the faster HW get me? Does it matter for gaming very much? I don’t expect to be much more than a casual gamer. Although I did really get into Assassin’s Creed multiplayer on a PS3 a few years back.

    An article I read said DirecTV Now just streams channels, it has no DVR in the cloud or locally at your house.so DirecTV Now is pretty worthless to me. 95% of the TV we watch is stuff we’ve recorded.
     
  4. techwarrior macrumors 6502a

    techwarrior

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Location:
    Colorado
    #4
    DirecTV Now just updated to a new version with DVR built in. It (DVR) is a bit limited, but they claim enhancements are coming for more storage, etc.

    Future proofing - main thing is Apple stops supporting older models 3-5 years after it discontinues selling a model. Since they still sell both, this is not an immediate concern. But, the ATV4 will eventually be discontinued (before the 4K), so it is theoretically 2 years closer to end of life than a 4K.

    Given a small difference in price, 4K may be a better long term investment.

    BTW, if you signup for DTVNow with 2 different email\accounts, you can get two 4Ks for the price of 3 months pre-paid service on the two accounts, $105 total for each account with the $35 plan. You can't even get an ATV4 refurb for that low of a price!

    Edit: And at $105 per unit, versus $179, you could cancel both DTVNow accounts when the three months are up and still come out ahead.
     
  5. iSayuSay macrumors 68030

    iSayuSay

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    #5
    I dont have a 4K tv yet. But I have 1080p plasma, 65” and I love it to the death. I wouldnt replace it for anything less than a pixel dimming display (OLED, or upcoming microled at least).

    I also buy Apple TV 4K for the reasons mentioned earlier. Faster hardware, more future proofing, at least 2 years of extra support because I dont replace my set top box too often.

    With ATV 4K there’s a little reason for Apple to further upgrade the hardware. It does 4K60 just fine so what’s the next upgrade? Unless Apple decide to take on PS4 or Xbox gaming, I dont see any significant upgrade later on.
     
  6. vertical smile macrumors 68020

    vertical smile

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2014
    #6
    Everything that @techwarrior mentioned.

    I will also add that as of right now the ATV4 can do pretty much everything that the ATV4K can do except 4K. But, that could change at any moment.

    Of course future-proofing could be when Apple decides to stop updating the ATV4, but it could happen sooner if an app developer decides that their app needs the better hardware and doesn't have an ATV4 compatible version.


    All that said.....

    It is not like the ATV4 is so much cheaper than the ATV4K, and with the DTV Now deal, the ATV4K is pretty cheap.

    The real question should be is why buy an ATV4, when the 4K one is just a little more money, and in the case of the DTV Now deal, it is cheaper?
     
  7. levander thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    #7
    Okay, thanks for all the replies guys! I definitely feel like I have a better idea of what’s going on now than I did after a couple of hours of Googling earlier.

    I am thinking about the DirecTV Now deal. The main problem I can see is how long does it take them to mail me the Apple TV 4K?

    U-Verse upped my monthly bill again (they annoyingly do that occasionally and I have to call to get disco7nts to bring the price back down) and they’re now back to charging me ~200/month and all I’m getting from them is Internet and cable TV. So say that’s $50 for Internet and $150 for cable. If it takes the DirecTV Now people a month to mail me my Apple TV 4K’s, I have to wait a month before I can comfortably cancel U-Verse. And I’ve basically wasted the $150 on U-Verse service that I would have saved by getting the AppleTV 4K deal.

    Anybody know how long it takes the DirecTV Now people to mail you your free AppleTV 4K?
     
  8. techwarrior macrumors 6502a

    techwarrior

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    Jul 30, 2009
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    Colorado
    #8
    I signed up for DTVN when it first launched with ATV4 enticement. I recall it took about 1 week for the unit to arrive.
     
  9. daflake macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 8, 2008
    #9

    Nope... And by the time, if ever, it becomes a gaming unit, there will be a new one made.
     
  10. mikosk macrumors regular

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    Sep 20, 2013
    #10
    I signed up for the DTVN ATV4K deal and got my unit in less than a week. Overall DTVN has gotten a lot better and it's been more stable for me on the Apple TV than on my Roku, but they seem to have solved this on Roku now as well.

    The DVR is out for all customers, 20 hours and keep things for 30 days or pay a little more and get 100 hours for 90 days. It still needs some usability features that are common in all DVRs like extending recordings of certain events, keep only X amount of episodes, and only record new episodes. These will come over time.

    I won't be calling my cable company back, DTVN is a good substitute. They also let you access a lot of cable channel apps to access on-demand content. Between that and their DVR, I can get to all the content I need.

    For gaming, I don't have faith Apple will invest in ATV as a gaming platform. I think Fortnite will be a big tell in the direction of gaming on the ATV. If they bring a full release and controller support, then that's a good sign. If they just stick with iOS, then I think you will get what you get today for gaming.

    But if you are making the jump to streaming, you should take advantage of the DirecTV Now deal. You basically get a free ATV4K even with their lowest $35 a month package. If you don't like it, switch to YouTube TV in three months.
     
  11. x-evil-x macrumors 68040

    x-evil-x

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    Jul 13, 2008
    #11
    I love my Panasonic plasma still. I’ve had 4k TVs and the plasma still looks amazing to me. I won’t sell it till I get an oled also.
    I’ve returned both 4k’s I’ve has because it’s not that great of a difference. Especially comparing it to my plasma. But I haven’t tried an oled in my place yet. Still waiting for better pricing. Maybe by 2020.
     
  12. scouser75 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    #12
    Levander, I asked the same q as you a few months back with the same concerns as you. I now have an ATV 4K hooked up to my brilliant 1080P Philips 21:9 ratio TV. I won't buy a 4K TV until such time someone says "there will NEVER be another 21:9 screen 4K TV".
     
  13. x-evil-x macrumors 68040

    x-evil-x

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #13
    just picked up a 4k appletv and it does seem to load things faster for me and seems just overall better/snappier The processor is a nice upgrade from the 4th gens. I side loaded popcorn time and kodi and everything works well. Its pretty easy to side load with Xcode over the air much easier then the last model with the usb-c cable method.
     
  14. Audit13 macrumors 68000

    Audit13

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2017
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #14
    Love the apple tv 4k for its speed. I was able to get mine from Directv for $73 USD shipped to Canada.

    All of the movies were upgraded to the 4k version, if the 4k version is available, for free too :)
     
  15. cwerdna macrumors 6502

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    Jan 19, 2005
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, California
    #15
    It still is: https://appleinsider.com/articles/1...its-free-apple-tv-4k-promotion-through-june-8. I signed up last night.

    Better act fast. If the article and others like it are accurate, it's only good thru June 8th.
     
  16. Audit13 macrumors 68000

    Audit13

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    Apr 19, 2017
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #16
    If you go through befrugal.com to get the DirecTV Now offer, you'll get $22 in cash back too. I did this and had $22 credited to my PayPal account.
     
  17. techwarrior macrumors 6502a

    techwarrior

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    Jul 30, 2009
    Location:
    Colorado
    #17
    I read DTVN is extending the 4K offer, but requiring a 4 month pre-pay. Still a decent deal.
     
  18. EverOne macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2014
    #18
    That's what i did. Here in Europe is the only way to get Amazon Prime Video and HBO official apps. Ones ported to AndroidTV are a joke
     

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