For several years, Apple TV has been lagging behind the competition. Now, with the introduction of its fourth-generation streaming device, Apple has burst on the scene with several innovative new features.

Apple TV Hardware

The look of the Apple TV hasn’t changed much. Like its previous version and its competitors (Roku 4 and Amazon Fire TV), it is an almost square black box measuring 3.9 x 3.9 x 1.9 inches. It’s smaller than both the Fire TV (4.5 x 4.5 x 0.7 inches) and the Roku 4 (6.5 x 6.5 x 0.8 inches), but slightly taller than both of those devices.

apple tv review

The back of the new Apple TV has Ethernet, HDMI, digital audio and lightning ports. The device comes with a lightning cable which is used for recharging the remote. This is highly preferable to the watch-type batteries in the previous version. There is a USB-C port, but no microSD slot. It is available in two models:  32GB of storage for $149 or 64GB for $199.

apple tv review

The new Apple TV runs on a new operating system that Apple calls tvOS. This brings a redesign to the interface making it much more colorful and visually appealing.  tvOS also makes the setup extremely easy. Just place your iPhone or iPad near the Apple TV and it grabs all the settings that it needs including Wi-Fi. Of course, you can also do the setup manually.

apple tv review

While this new Apple TV supports resolutions up to 1080p, it does not support 4K like the new Amazon Fire. Although this is not necessarily a deal-breaker right now, such support would go a long way toward future-proofing this device.

Apple has integrated five major services into this new device: iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, HBO and Showtime. There are also apps for many other services like Pandora and MLB. There is no support for Amazon but if you have a mobile iOS device you can play Amazon content on your portable device and throw it to the big screen using Apple AirPlay.


Sandy Berger, respected computer authority, journalist, media guest, speaker, and author, has more than three decades of experience as a computer and technology expert. Her eight books include: How to Have a Meaningful Relationship with Your Computer, Your Official Grown-up’s Guide to AOL and the Internet, Cyber Savers –Tips & Tricks for Today’s Drowning Computer Users, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Better Living through Technology, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to the Internet, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Gadgets & Gizmos, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Online Health & Wellness, and Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Online Travel. Sandy’s newspaper column, magazine articles, feature stories, product reviews, and computer tips can be found at her website, Compu-KISS.