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The Apple TV set-top box is a device that allows you to view photos and videos from iCloud on the big screen, listen to music from your iTunes collection, and launch various applications, such as video hosting and streaming.
In 2021, the 4th generation of the “apple” set-top box has already been released. The functions of the new version are very similar to the previous one. The differences are only in small details. In general, the gadget follows the best traditions of the Steve Jobs company - it has a powerful content and a stylish look. Let's take a closer look at the main features of the device.
Pros of the system
Apple TV 4k is a thoughtful and powerful device that has objective advantages.
Ease of use
The tvOS operating system is stable, fast, clean and beautiful. Applications load and work without sagging. You can easily find the necessary sections and functions in the menu the first time.
It is worth mentioning separately that the entire Apple TV interface is presented in 4k resolution. This, at first glance, a trifle, in fact, significantly changes the impression of interaction with the system for the better.
Apps available in the AppStore through the set-top box cover the entire range of possible interactions with the TV - from watching or listening to content to learning and communication.
Turning the TV into part of the Apple ecosystem
To the greatest extent, the capabilities of Apple TV are revealed when interacting with other devices of the company. The TV box can work standalone, but an iPhone or iPad will serve as a good addition to it.
After syncing with your smartphone for the first time, you'll be able to access your iCloud media and Apple Music collections, connect to your home Wi-Fi, and transfer other important settings to your TV. Video views on streaming services will be synced. You can stop the player on the tablet and continue watching the movie on the TV screen from the same place.
The AirPlay protocol in a couple of clicks, within a few seconds, allows you to connect your smartphone or tablet from Apple to the set-top box. With this feature, you can watch family photos on the big screen or listen to your favorite music from your existing speaker system. For the last step, you don’t even have to turn on the TV - Apple TV itself will output sound to external speakers.
A12 Bionic is the reason why apps from the AppStore and games from Apple Arcade launch instantly from the console. The new processor is almost twice as powerful as the one used in the previous version of Apple TV.
A large number of applications
In the AppStore for the TV gadget, applications of all streaming services and most broadcast channels are available. There are online course programs like Coursera, online stores, live sports, and even Tinder. There are also quite a lot of educational applications for children in the Store.
Apple's own streaming service called Apple TV+ offers users tons of exclusive content - series, animation, feature films and documentaries commissioned by Apple.
Yes, the range of software for the set-top box is still much smaller than for the iPhone or iPad. But you will definitely find everything you need to launch on the big screen.
Most Apple devices allow you to work with only one profile. The prefix also allows you to quickly switch between different accounts. So each member of the family will be able to use their media library. Each will have its own set of applications. Recommendations on streaming services will not be mixed.
Neither Android TV nor webOS support split accounts yet. For tvOS, this is another significant benefit.
Integrated game console
Apple Arcade support turns your Apple TV into a complete gaming console. With the popular DualShock 4 and Xbox Controller controllers, users can play all their favorite games from their library on a large monitor. The performance of the gadget remains very high.
The only negative is that the gamepad will have to be purchased separately.
Apple TV acts as a hub for controlling devices that support HomeKit. Air conditioners, air purifiers, sockets, video cameras and many other household appliances work with this system. Through the prefix, they can be turned on, turned off and configured from anywhere where there is Internet.
A thoughtful control panel
The 2022 Apple TV remote has an aluminum body and plastic buttons. The main difference between the Apple TV Remote 4K and previous models is a round touch pad for navigation and control. It recognizes touches and clicks. With its help, you can easily navigate through the menu and select the desired items. In general, the remote sensor resembles a similar panel on older iPods.
There are five more buttons below the main panel:
- back - return to previous items;
- content control - play/pause;
- home - button to go to the desktop;
- oblong volume button.
At the top is the power off and sleep button. Users note the ergonomics of the Apple set-top box control panel. The rounded corners and non-slip surface make the device comfortable to hold. The remote is charged via the Lightning port. The USB-A cable is supplied with the set-top box. Apple TV 4th generation can also be controlled using a smartphone, tablet or smart watch. The desired application appears in the device after the first synchronization.
The TV box is the most affordable device from Apple. This is a big plus, given the fact that the gadget can work autonomously. For relatively little money, you get an entry point into the Apple ecosystem and can use all its useful features.
The advantages of the Apple TV set-top box are not limited to the global functions listed above. The gadget in question contains a few more useful little things.
Apple Music Karaoke
Apple music streaming has a karaoke mode that, when enabled, displays the lyrics of the song being played.
Simply by bringing your iPhone with FaceID to the TV, you can adjust the brightness and contrast of the transmitted picture to the environment. Correction occurs due to a change in the set-top box signal.
Bluetooth-connected speakers or headphones can be adjusted using a smartphone. The sound will not diverge from the image even for a second.
Beautiful High-Resolution Screensavers
MacOS users are familiar with the flashy, eye-catching system splash screens. Apple TV also plays beautiful high-definition videos of cities, national parks, and other places of interest when idle for long periods of time.
Cons of the system
To maintain the objectivity of the review on Apple TV, we will highlight the points that raise questions.
- No Safari.
In principle, no browser is built into tvOS, not even Apple's familiar Safari. This is a significant disadvantage, given that other Smart TVs have pre-installed applications for browsing the Internet.
- Body materials.
The updated console has light, glossy sides. They collect dirt and fingerprints very quickly. In addition, the surface is easily scratched. But for most users, this is not a significant problem, because the set-top box is rarely moved and touched after installation.
- No voice assistant in Russia.
Siri in Russian is not supported on Apple TV, which means that direct voice control of the set-top box is not possible. There are roundabout ways - for example, running Siri on other Apple devices. But the capabilities of the set-top box as a standalone gadget are still limited in this regard.
- Unable to connect two pairs of AirPods.
iPhones with iOS 13 already have the ability to connect multiple sets of wireless headphones. Apple TV lacks such a function yet.
Who needs a prefix from Apple
- Connoisseurs of the company's products.
The TV box perfectly complements other Apple devices. It has proprietary speed and stability, works according to the logic familiar to fans of the brand.
- Families with children.
Many apps on Apple TV are designed for kids. Plus, the multi-account mode allows you to customize the multimedia content for each family member.
- Those who want to make their home "smart".
By 2022, there will be hundreds of HomeKit-enabled devices on the market. The TV box acts as a single control center for such gadgets.
Apple TV is a useful device that outperforms its competitors in many ways. With it, you can have fun, study, work. Best of all, the set-top box reveals itself as part of the Apple ecosystem - working in conjunction with the iPhone, iPad, iPod and Apple Watch. There are two versions of the gadget available on the market - 32 GB and 64 GB. If you plan to play Apple Arcane games, it's better to take a device with extended memory.
Advanced Apple TV specifications - A12 Bionic processor, HDMI 2.1 port and WI-FI 6 allow you to transfer a clear picture to the screen without brakes. The main drawbacks of the system are the lack of localization of the Siri voice assistant and the unavailability of the Internet browser.