Apple TV (2015)

7.4/10 AVG.
RATING

  • Apple TV (2015)
  • Apple TV (2015)
  • Apple TV (2015)
  • Apple TV (2015)
  • Apple TV (2015)
  • Apple TV (2015)

The new Apple TV's awesome remote and voice control make it one of the best entertainment devices, especially for anyone who already owns plenty of Apple gadgets.

- David Katzmaier , Cnet 

Apple’s new smart TV box has some some very good bits and puts iTunes, Siri and the App Store on your television – but it feels unfinished.

- Samuel Gibbs , The Guardian 

Specs / Features


Specification

Brand Apple
Warranty 12 months
Release date 9-September-2015

Reviews summary

7.4/10AVG.
RATING
Based on 36 reviews

What's good  

  • Responsive, intuitive remote control
  • More than just media streaming--huge potential for apps and gaming
  • Siri voice controls
  • Simple operation
  • Polished interface
  • Powerful hardware

What's bad  

  • Price
  • Odd on-screen keyboard
  • Lack of gigabit ethernet
  • No 4K support
  • Lack of connection options (HDMI 1.4 only)
  • No external storage support

Once complicated boxes reserved for the tech-savvy, streaming media boxes are quickly becoming a major competitor to traditional television service. While Apple was one of the first to jump into the fray, it has been a while since we’ve seen an update to the Apple TV.

The potentially good news is that wait is now over. With a sleek new design, a completely overhauled interface and a ton of new bells and whistles, Apple is calling the Apple TV (2015) the future of television. But does it live up to the claims? Let’s see what reviewers across the web are saying.

If you’ve seen any of the last few renditions of the Apple TV, you won’t find any surprised in the latest model. It draws from the sleek and minimal aesthetic of Apple’s other hardware presenting you with a glossy black box with a light, the Apple logo and ports on the back.

Show more

While taller than previous models, its overall footprint is the same. So if you’re looking to upgrade, the new model should slide right into your existing setup seamlessly.

Tucked away inside the black box is a 64-bit dual-core Apple A8 processor with 2GB of memory. While not the most powerful chip in Apple’s arsenal, it easily keeps up with the current competition on paper.

Real world performance reviews seem to back this up, with Canadian Reviewer stating, “Opening Netflix and resuming a show or finding something new to watch is way faster on the new Apple TV than it is on other devices, Xbox One and Roku 3 included.”

To ensure you have plenty of room for your favorite movies, TV shows or games, Apple offers a choice 32 or 64GB of internal flash storage. While this might not seem like much space, the included On-Demand Resource technology helps you cram as much as possible into your Apple TV.

It works by only loading the portions of apps, games, TV series and other content that you either use frequently or might use in the near future. The rest is stored on iCloud for quick retrieval when you need it.

iMore spent some time testing the new storage system and declared, “It's an intelligent system that does a lot of work behind the scenes so that we, the humans, don't have to do as much work in front of them.”

Heading around to the back of the box, you’ll find a USB-C port, an HDMI port, the power port and an ethernet port. The USB port is for diagnostics only, so don’t plan on connecting an external drive full of movies or music.

If you’re looking to use your personal media collection, you can stream from iTunes using the Home Sharing feature or setup a Plex Media Server. The latter has received a complete remake for the new Apple TV and is receiving great reviews so far.

One odd point about the box is your Internet connectivity options. Wireless AC with MIMO support should provide a reliable connection. Reviews showed no signs of weak signals or stuttering playback. However, if you’re planning to use a wired network, the 10/100BASE-T ethernet port is actually slower than the wireless option.

You’ll also find connectivity for home theater limited. While the HDMI 1.4 with Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 support offers easy connectivity, you’ll want to ensure your media setup will support the single connection type. Overall, video quality appears sharp and fluid with iMore stating, “1080p 60FPS video provides for rock-solid interface animation and great looking games.“

Navigating the options on Apple TV (2015) is done with Apple’s tvOS 9.1. No more stripped down versions of MacOS or iOS. Overall, reviews of the new interface are very positive. Tools and Toys noted, “The new Apple TV’s tvOS is a gorgeous new coat of paint with a substantial number of new features, all for a good price.” MacWorld UK compared it to previous versions and found, “We definitely prefer this new personalised layout.”

If there was one area of the Apple TV that received consistent praise, it's the new remote. Fully rechargeable using a Lightning cable, a single charge lasts approximately three months. It also includes an accelerometer, gyroscope, touch inputs and Siri integration.

CNet called it, “the best remote on the market.” With just five buttons and a small trackpad, the remote is as straight-forward as it gets. The real functionality lies in the integrated Siri commands.

If you’ve found voice controls frustrating in the past, it seems Apple spent time polishing the system and the results show. Tools and Toys praised the controls, stating, “Siri commands are incredible; it’s voice recognition right out of the sci-fi movies and TV of my childhood.”

When you do need to use the touchpad, reviews indicate that it is up to the task of flipping through apps, scrolling through lists and even playing games with reasonable accuracy. iMore put it through its paces and said, “I can't imagine how long it took to get the feeling just right, but Apple's interactivity team deserves immense credit for nailing it so hard.”

However, there are a few issues that consistently popped up across reviews. The most common being the on-screen keyboard. Instead of your traditional grid layout, Apple opted for a single line keyboard. This is likely due to the remote that we’ll get into in a moment. Unfortunately, while the keyboard sounds good in practice, most reviews mentioned it as frustrating.

This snowballs into other areas, such as searching the App Store and authorizing accounts for apps and services. Know Your Mobile stated, “Search in general across tvOS can use a lot of improvement.” Fortunately, this is something that can be addressed through software updates.

Also, many reviews noted that the tactile click of the touchpad felt cheap--especially when compared to the sleek design of the rest of the hardware.

Of course, there’s a few things missing that people might want in a streaming box as well. If you’re a fan of 4K, you’ll need to look somewhere else. There is also no support for Bluetooth keyboards--though controllers, speakers and headsets are supported. There is no memory card expansion slot either.

Lastly, all reviews noted a definite lack of quality apps outside of the popular streaming providers. While this will likely improve over time, be sure to check availability of your favorite apps or games if they are important to you.

Overall, reviews are very positive. Tools and Toys summarized the media box well when they said, “After sitting down on that couch, the path from first button press to playing episode can always be faster, always easier, always more intuitive. The new Apple TV does just that.”

Canadian Reviewer calls it “an upgrade worth checking out and one that will get better through time as apps and experiences trickle in.”

Finally, CNet weighs in, saying, “Among vehicles for streaming video, the Apple TV is easily the most luxurious you can buy today.”

Reviews (7.4/10 Avg. rating)


GottaBeMobile

Its capabilities know no bounds, and it’s a worthy purchase

from GottaBeMobile
In the end, the new Apple TV is most definitely a huge upgrade over the previous Apple TV model by far, and if money isn’t a huge concern for you, you should absolutely upgrade to it. However, depending on your usage, you might actually be better off with a previous-generation model. If you’re only a casual streaming user who uses Netflix and not much else, then the third-generation Apple TV is probably the way to go, since you can buy one for nearly a third of the cost... Full review
PC Advisor

The potential is far from realised

from PC Advisor
For some people - mainly those with iOS devices and no 2nd- or 3rd-generation Apple TV - the new box is a great media streamer and games machine. However, there's no escaping the high price and limited selection of apps. And if you're not interested in gaming, you're just as well off buying a 3rd-generation Apple TV or Roku for less than half the price. Competition from other gaming media streamers is stiff, too, with Amazon's £79 Fire TV offering more UK catch-up TV as well as similar gaming performance, expandable storage and support for 4K content.. Full review
Cnet

The smoothest streaming TV today, powerful potential tomorrow

from Cnet

Among vehicles for streaming video, the Apple TV is easily the most luxurious you can buy today. It delivers Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Showtime and the rest with more refinement than any of its direct competitors. Its speed and fluidity, its slick remote and its superb voice (er, Siri) search and command are enough to make it a no-brainer upgrade from the old Apple TV for plenty of buyers, especially those with large collections of TV shows, movies and music on iTunes, not to mention games.

For the rest of us, it's a tough call whether it's worth the money to buy now. Roku offers a better... Full review

TechRadar

Understated and subtly smart, but also underdeveloped

from TechRadar
If you have your heart set on an Apple TV, and you don't mind dealing with a few flaws, there's nothing horrifyingly wrong with Apple's new system. For anyone who's already bought into the ecosystem, there's plenty to enjoy with plenty of room for the system to change and grow... Full review
ZDNet

Much improved, but still waiting on the killer apps

from ZDNet
The bottom line is this: you won't go wrong with any of these devices. The Apple TV is getting better and the Roku is still a solid, highly-compatible box. But I also can't encourage you to rush out and spend your cash, especially if you have the last generation of either device... Full review
Tools & Toys

Feels not like a leap into the future, but rather a three-quarter step

from Tools & Toys

Ask yourself this before buying a new Apple TV: does the device provide everything I will need to watch the shows and movies I love? If the answer is yes, or even probably, then right now, you can have a polished television experience that feels like 2015 instead of one that feels like an enhanced version of 1985 (Go with me on it. Even TiVo is essentially just a better way of recording your shows on VHS).

You can flick your way through countless episodes and films in an instant and narrow the selection with reliable voice assistance. You can sit down and, more so than ever befor... Full review

Know Your Mobile

A massive update

from Know Your Mobile
The new Apple TV is the best digital media player I’ve ever tried. That being said, it’s hindered by a lack of quality apps and games, and some frustrating search capabilities. However, all these problems are easily resolvable–and quickly. As the weeks go on more quality apps and games will be released as developers become more familiar with the new platform. Once that happens, the Apple TV is going to rule the market... Full review
The Guardian

Fourth-generation streaming box is not fully baked

from The Guardian
The Apple TV is not fully baked. The video parts are excellent, but the available content is constrained in the UK. The music app is poor, the remote app doesn’t work and other bits are just not ready. Having waited for the best part of three years to release a new Apple TV, why is it not complete? The remote is like marmite, people will either love it or hate it, and while the interface looks fancy, its discovery is poor and it doesn’t introduce anything particularly new... Full review
Canadian Reviewer

Falls short of the game changing device many expected

from Canadian Reviewer
Apple TV (2015) finally sees Apple’s set top box transcend its iTunes roots into larger and more expansive apps, entertainment, gaming and much more. The hardware is finally at a place where developers can take full advantage of the touch and voice features plus is powerful enough to blow up apps and games for larger displays and still perform silky smooth... Full review
iMore

It manages to deliver something truly remarkable

from iMore
The new Apple TV took a long time to get here. Two and a half years long. Yet the version we got is still coming in "hot". There are a lot of incredible ideas here, not all of which are feature-complete. That duality—amazing Siri for video but none for music, a great movie app but no podcast app, a terrific Bluetooth remote control but no software remote and minimal support for multiple controls—is what makes the new Apple TV such a challenge to review... Full review

Darn, there are no reviews yet for this accessory.

Resources


Review Sources Share / Embed

You can share this accessory with friends or embed the reviews widget on your website.

Q&A Forum


No questions for the moment.

Videos