Could I get any use from Apple TV?

ssledoux

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Sep 16, 2006
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I had an Apple TV years ago when we had satellite internet (that sucked), and gave it to my SIL when we ditched the satellite.

Well, we got new satellite internet like a week ago, and it’s a LOT better than it used to be.

I’m wondering if I could benefit from an Apple TV now. What all can I do with something like the 4th gen (thinking of a refurb)?
 

techwarrior

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Jul 30, 2009
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Kind of depends on a lot of factors.

I love ATV4, I use it for OTA channels via the Tablo DVR\App to watch local broadcasts, Airplay from my iDevices, and watch a host of things on Hulu, Netflix, Prime, etc. 100% of my video viewing is through AppleTV, or iOS devices.

That said, Apple just announced some big changes coming soon. See more about it here:
https://www.apple.com/apple-tv-app/

It is beginning to look like Apple is more interested in selling services than ATV boxes. Not that they will discontinue the ATV line, but they will need to come up with some unique functionality to differentiate from lower priced devices from Roku, Amazon, etc. Even if they do eventually abandon the box, they will support it for several years, but my bet is, they will come up with some uses that are unique for Apple users, maybe FaceTime conferences, maybe something else.

A refurb ATV4 is a great way to go, saves a lot. But, I suggest buying from Apple Return store as many sellers on Amazon and eBay take units in trade, wipe them, shine them, and sell them as refurb. Apple basically makes them new again and includes a 12 month warranty, same as new. If you have, or expect to have 4K TVs, go with the ATV4K.
 

Longkeg

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Jul 18, 2014
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The ATV can stream locally stored content and mirror iOS and Mac screens via your home network. But it’s at its best when it has lots of bandwidth to stream all kinds of goodies from the internet.

Streaming HD content from the internet can eat up a lot of bandwidth in a hurry. Is there a data cap on your satellite internet plan? What kind of download speed are you getting?
 

ssledoux

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Sep 16, 2006
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I was definitely looking at Apple store refurbs - I’ve bought quite a few things over the years from there.

As far as my internet, I have no cap, though it will slow me down after 120 gigs or something. Well, it’ll “prioritize” me after other customers who haven’t met their limit.

Right now my speeds aren’t super fast because I bought the second lowest plan, but I’m gonna bump to the 2nd highest after summer, so my speeds will increase. I don’t quite remember the download speeds I have now but I think it’s only 25-30mbps. Of course that’s at least double what I get with my att lte, so I’m thrilled, but it’ll only stream 420 I think.

That’s why I’m not super worried about streaming movies at this point but wondering about other things I could do like from my phone or iPad.
 

ssledoux

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Also, I need to know which Apple TVs are which. I see there’s a 5th gen - is that the 4K? It’s hard for me to tell what’s what.
 

chrfr

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Jul 11, 2009
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Also, I need to know which Apple TVs are which. I see there’s a 5th gen - is that the 4K? It’s hard for me to tell what’s what.
The 4K would be considered the 5th generation and is the most recent model.
 

BODYBUILDERPAUL

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Feb 9, 2009
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Have a look at the Apple TV website on Apple.com

It's the best way to learn about Apple TV without even needing to ask questions as the site is so beautifully laid out.

4th Gen Apple TV is dated now - 2015 with the old A8 processor. The 4K model is far superior with its A10X chip. Even if you don't plan on streaming 4K which you probably will in time as you only need 25mbps upwards speed.

For the price of a decent pair of sneakers or nice shirt, the Apple TV 4K is damn great!
 

ssledoux

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Sep 16, 2006
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Have a look at the Apple TV website on Apple.com

It's the best way to learn about Apple TV without even needing to ask questions as the site is so beautifully laid out.

4th Gen Apple TV is dated now - 2015 with the old A8 processor. The 4K model is far superior with its A10X chip. Even if you don't plan on streaming 4K which you probably will in time as you only need 25mbps upwards speed.

For the price of a decent pair of sneakers or nice shirt, the Apple TV 4K is damn great!
Thanks! I just didn’t know if the 4K would do lower res. I mean we don’t even have a 4K TV. I don’t know much about all that kinda stuff either. I just want to turn stuff on and watch it. ;-p
 

techwarrior

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Jul 30, 2009
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The ATV4K will scale down to your TV resolution capability. It might be a tad overkill but buying an ATV4K would future proof your entertainment system, both in terms of TV\Sound System upgrades, and longer support life (ATV4 support will stop before the ATV4K). 4K TV prices are dropping and content is becoming readily available on a lot of services.

4K resolution 4K resolution is 3840 x 2160 pixels, while 1080P is 1920 x 1080 pixels, roughly 2x sharper image. Also, ATV4K supports Dolby Atmos which is a 3D kind of sound immersion. For intense action movies, the room will seem to come alive with sound. But you would also need a sound system capable of Atmos.

In a small room with a large TV, 1080P may look grainy compared to 4K. In a larger room where you view from a greater distance, not as noticeable. The difference might be similar to SD vs HD (480 vs 1080) at a close viewing distance, or 720 vs 1080 at a greater distance. Is 4K essential, no. Is it nice to have, sure. If you are happy with what you have, don't go out of your way to upgrade everything.

Again, be it for video or sound, the ATV4k future proofs your system better than ATV4. The price difference is probably not much on refurbs, but I only see ATV4 on the Apple Refurb store right now. 4K will likely occasionally appear in the refurb store, so you will need to watch for it if you want to go that route.

If your grandkids like gaming, 4K might be a better fit, it has a faster processor. Otherwise, for casual viewing, not a significant difference.
 
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BODYBUILDERPAUL

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Thanks! I just didn’t know if the 4K would do lower res. I mean we don’t even have a 4K TV. I don’t know much about all that kinda stuff either. I just want to turn stuff on and watch it. ;-p
Oh yes, it'll do lower res very nicely! I'm sure that you'll find it a highly pleasurable experience. Apple TV is the only method for watching the big screen that I use and I find it a truly stress free, beautiful way to watch film or content from my MacBook or iPhone. In 2012, I cut the cord with satellite TV, throw out DVD players etc and went the ATV / iPhone route for sending anything to the TV and havn't looked back since :) For me, it's all about multi platform :)
 
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ssledoux

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Sep 16, 2006
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The ATV4K will scale down to your TV resolution capability. It might be a tad overkill but buying an ATV4K would future proof your entertainment system, both in terms of TV\Sound System upgrades, and longer support life (ATV4 support will stop before the ATV4K). 4K TV prices are dropping and content is becoming readily available on a lot of services.

4K resolution 4K resolution is 3840 x 2160 pixels, while 1080P is 1920 x 1080 pixels, roughly 2x sharper image. Also, ATV4K supports Dolby Atmos which is a 3D kind of sound immersion. For intense action movies, the room will seem to come alive with sound. But you would also need a sound system capable of Atmos.

In a small room with a large TV, 1080P may look grainy compared to 4K. In a larger room where you view from a greater distance, not as noticeable. The difference might be similar to SD vs HD (480 vs 1080) at a close viewing distance, or 720 vs 1080 at a greater distance. Is 4K essential, no. Is it nice to have, sure. If you are happy with what you have, don't go out of your way to upgrade everything.

Again, be it for video or sound, the ATV4k future proofs your system better than ATV4. The price difference is probably not much on refurbs, but I only see ATV4 on the Apple Refurb store right now. 4K will likely occasionally appear in the refurb store, so you will need to watch for it if you want to go that route.

If your grandkids like gaming, 4K might be a better fit, it has a faster processor. Otherwise, for casual viewing, not a significant difference.
Thank you! I think we will likely replace our main TV with a 4K when we do replace it; just not sure that’ll be real soon. My grandkids don’t really game on a system at this point; they have iPads. I would love to get them a Nintendo Swtich at some point, as the only system they’ve messed around with is an original Wii. Yeah, we’re behind the times a bit in that area. ;-p