Earlier this month, Apple announced their new Apple TV 4K. The set-top box comes with several new improvements, especially the support for 4K streaming. The previous Apple TV left much to be desired, so the new Apple TV 4K brings a lot to the table. Now that the embargo has been lifted on Apple TV reviews, several publications earlier today published first impressions of the new set-top streaming box.
Here’s what several publications are saying:
I’ve only spent a day with the Apple TV 4K so far (our full review is coming next week), but I can already tell that it’s the streaming box I’ve been waiting for. While I was mostly positive on the last model, its lack of 4K became a sticking point when I upgraded to one of LG’s 4K OLED TVs last year. I ended up relying more on my set’s built-in apps to enjoy 4K/HDR content, and I only hopped over to the Apple TV when I needed to use iTunes (my preferred platform for digital purchases) or specific streaming apps. That’s no longer an issue with the new box — it can satisfy all of my media needs.
Ultimately, the new Apple TV 4K is best for those who have already bought into the iTunes content ecosystem and were looking to update to 4K, since the previous version didn’t support it.
Unlike the Roku, Apple TV 4K doesn’t allow on-screen purchases from iTunes competitors such as Amazon (coming later this year) or Vudu. And the fact that the box upconverts all video to 4K/HDR — everything from on-screen menus to low-res YouTube clips — is confusing and doesn’t improve image quality of content that wasn’t 4K to begin with. None of those issues are deal-breakers, but any one of them could be reason enough to skip the Apple TV 4K.
The Apple TV 4K aligns itself with the current standards, but where it really shows off is with its single purchase model. Buy an HD movie and it’ll morph into the 4K one when it becomes available – without incurring additional costs. In other words: you’ll always have the best available quality, depending on what’s available and what device you’re watching on. This opens up a world of possibilities for those keen to expand their 4K library on the cheap.