We’ve heard rumors of a new Apple TV for some time now, but the company is still selling two different Apple TV models, causing some customers to wonder which one to buy or whether to wait for the next generation. Read on as we walk you through what you need to know.
The current lineup
If you want to buy an Apple TV today, you have two options: the Apple TV 4K (5th generation) and the Apple TV HD (4th generation), but none of them are brand new.
Apple TV HD was launched in 2015. So it is a five year old model. While this model is still good for watching movies and TV shows on Apple TV +, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, or even listening to songs on Apple Music, it runs on the A8 chip – the same processor as the iPad Air 2 – and only supports 1080p content.
Apple TV 4K is the best you can get right now as it can play 4K HDR video with Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision support. However, this model was released in 2017. This Apple TV is equipped with the A10X Fusion chip, which is also used by the 2nd generation iPad Pro. It can do more difficult tasks like games, but some people may not want to spend money on a product that no longer has the latest and greatest hardware.
What we know about a new Apple TV
9to5Mac found references to a new Apple TV model in the tvOS 13.4 beta code. The codes show a new Apple TV with the code name ‘T1125’, while the current Apple TV 4K is called ‘J105a’ and the HD model is called ‘J42d’. Internal tvOS files suggest that the hardware is based on the arm64e architecture, which is used for both A12 and A13 bionic chips. We therefore assume that Apple TV of the next generation has at least the A12 chip.
Switching from the A10X Fusion chip to the A12X Bionic or newer should give Apple’s set-top box more performance, especially when playing games, which the company has increasingly focused on with the Apple Arcade. A new processor also means that Apple TV lasts longer when it comes to getting tvOS updates.
Based on a leaked iOS 14 early build of 9to5MacWe know that Apple is working on a new version of the Apple TV remote control. The current elegant Siri touchscreen remote is considered a disadvantage by some users, so Apple may be rethinking the design.
We also heard that the new Apple TV may get HDMI 2.1 with auto low latency mode and increased storage with options for 64GB and 128GB. Both Apple TV 4K and HD are currently available in 32 GB and 64 GB models.
Which Apple TV should you buy?
If you want an Apple TV now, you should go for the Apple TV 4K – starting at $ 179. However, note that this model was launched almost three years ago and a new generation of Apple TV can be announced at any time.
For most people, waiting for the next model may be the best option. This new Apple TV should bring significant performance improvements that are not only critical for games, but should also be kept up to date with the latest apps and features. And even if you don’t plan to buy the latest model, the current Apple TV 4K is likely to get cheaper with the announcement of a new generation.
The only model that is not recommended is Apple TV HD. As mentioned earlier, it can handle streaming apps, but we don’t know how long Apple will keep it up to date as it runs on the A8 chip. Personally, my Apple TV has been slow to do some things in my experience, so be aware of that.
Are you planning to buy a new Apple TV or are you waiting for the next generation? Let us know in the comments below.