Apple took the opportunity to reveal a new 4K Apple TV alongside its batch of new iPads this morning. It’s only been about 18 months since the last generation Apple TV was released and it seems it’s for this reason this next model is only an incremental upgrade, rather than a of reworking the wheel.
The 2022 Apple TV seems to have maintained a lot of what is great about the streaming box: 4K streaming, the redesigned Siri remote, Dolby Vision capabilities. So, like every annual release of Apple’s it begs the question: is it worth the upgrade?
Let’s break down what’s new about the 3rd Gen Apple TV 4K.
Apple TV 4K 2022: What’s new?
The next generation Apple TV packs some significant advancements under the hood. Here’s a simple breakdown of what’s new:
- HDR10+ support (in addition to Dolby Vision and 4K capabilities)
- A15 Bionic chip (up from the A12 chip)
- Siri Remote with USB-C charging
- Wi-Fi (64GB) and Wi-Fi + Ethernet (128GB) models
There are a couple of significant things to take away from that list, the main of which is the upgrade to the A15 Bionic Chip.
The A15 chip is the same processor that is used in the iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 and, according to Apple, will offer CPU performance that is up to 50% faster than the previous generation and a 30% increase in GPU performance. This will streamline things like gameplay and UI responsiveness.
According to Apple, the new bionic chip also eliminates the need for an internal fan, resulting in a thinner and more compact design.
Some will also be interested in the Siri remote’s charging capabilities. Where the remote was previously powered by a lightning cable, the next generation will now feature a USB-C charging port, continuing to confirm the idea that Apple is progressing towards a USB-C only suite.
The other big change is that Apple is offering its new Apple TV in two different models. One is a Wi-Fi-only model that retains 64GB of internal storage for $219.
The other is an Ethernet-capable model which provides an Ethernet port in the design of the box that can support Gigabit Ethernet for faster streaming and thread mesh networking to connect smart home accessories. The Ethernet model also houses double the storage at 128GB and costs $249.
Is it worth upgrading?
Looking at the list of new features in the Apple TV, they’re good but not great. This is definitely one of those incremental upgrade years across, not just the Apple TV, but all of Apple’s devices.
Performance upgrades like a new processor and HDR10+ support are always a welcome change, but they’re not exactly worth throwing out your old Apple TV for.
Similarly if, for some reason, the Siri remote’s USB-C charging support is all that interests you out of this announcement, you’ll be able to buy the remote seperately for $89.
Really the biggest changes come in the Ethernet model of Apple’s streaming box, which supports a wired super-fast internet connection. But quite frankly we’re hard pressed getting a decent Wi-Fi connection here in Australia, let alone gigabit speeds.
Extra storage is also great and all, but if you’re not downloading a bunch of movies or apps onto your Apple TV locally, it’s not really worth the extra $30.
My read on the new Apple TV which, having not tried it personally, is based entirely on the product announcement, is that it’s not worth shelling out money to upgrade, particularly if you already have one of the recent Apple TV 4K models.
If you’re new to the Apple TV market there’s no reason why you shouldn’t pick up the latest and greatest model, but if you’re still content with your current streaming box, you’re not really missing out on anything with this next generation.
Apple has a further breakdown of its new Apple TV models on its website and you can pre-order them now with availability beginning November 4.
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