5 reasons to buy the Apple TV 4K (2022) and 2 reasons to ignore it

Trying to figure out whether to buy or skip the new Apple TV 4K (2022)? As a big fan of the existing Apple TV 4K (2021) – it’s the device I use to stream everything I watch online, I can help you figure out if this recently announced upgrade is for you. agrees.

The arrival of the Apple TV 4K (2022) is a surprise. Apple waited four years to update its streaming box when the 2021 model was released, so we weren’t expecting a new (and similar) model so soon – especially when streaming devices aren’t like iPhones. You don’t update them that often, do you?

That said, with more storage, an A15 Bionic chip, a lower price, and other perks, the Apple TV 4K (2022) isn’t a dud. In fact, its similarities to the previous Apple TV 4K bode well for our upcoming review and where it might land on our list of best streaming devices. That said, everyone is different, so here’s my top buying advice for anyone considering the Apple TV 4K (2022).

Why buy the Apple TV 4K (2022)

You’ve been waiting for a cheaper Apple TV 4K

The Apple TV 4K (2021) and the new Siri Remote

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

As I explained in my Apple TV 4K (2022) vs Apple TV 4K (2021) face-off, the new Apple TV 4K is very similar to the old one. Sure, there are some upgrades (Apple kinda had to do that if it was going to release a new model), but it’s not that different.

That’s why I can say without a doubt that you will love the Apple TV 4K (2022). Or at least I know I will. The 2021 model is already quite fast, with a much cleaner interface than many other contenders for top streaming devices. And now that it’s starting at $50 less than before (at a still steep $129), the Apple TV 4K is definitely a bit more appealing.

You need all A/V standards

Apple TV 4K review (2021)

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

Like Pokemon trainer Ash Ketchum, you want to be the best. And when you realized that the Apple TV 4K (2022) improves HDR support by including HDR10+, you just got a little envy for everyone who beat Apple here. (HDR10+ support is included on all but the cheapest Roku devices, all Fire TV and Cube sticks, and the Chromecast with Google TV 4K and its HD model as well.)

HDR10+, if you didn’t know, uses metadata to ensure the contrast is more specifically matched to the scenes and content you’re watching. Yes, someone uses a “+” sign outside of a new streaming service. We are as shocked as you.

You want the fastest and most stable streaming possible

Apple TV 4K (2021) from behind

You can see the Gigabit Ethernet port in the Apple TV 4K (2021) on the right (Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

Apple is building a Gigabit Ethernet port into the Apple TV 4K (2021), which means you can get download speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps. Simply put, it performs better than the 10/100 Base-T Ethernet ports (which support 10 and 100 Mbps speeds) on the Roku Ultra (more on that below) and the new Fire TV Cube 3rd Gen.

That’s good news if you’re in a fairly large home, or a home where the Wi-Fi is heavily congested with too many devices. Likewise, if you rely on your wired connections for high-quality streaming, you might see Apple’s Gigabit Ethernet as cause for celebration. And since the 2021 model also had this feature, you can find the old Apple TV for $109 on Amazon (opens in a new tab) now and save extra money.

Your current streaming device is too slow

Fire TV Stick with Remote

(Image credit: Amazon)

If you fall into this camp, please contact me at Henry(dot)Casey(at)futurenet.com. Because we need to talk if you find the 2021 Apple TV 4K too slow. The 2022 Apple TV 4K solves this problem with up to 50% higher CPU performance for improved responsiveness and load times, and up to 30% faster GPU performance for better Apple Arcade gaming.

As someone who uses their Apple TV 4K a lot, I never thought “this thing is too slow”. That said, if you have a Fire TV Stick, a Chromecast with Google TV, or a lesser Roku, and you think “this thing isn’t fast enough,” I get it. After testing virtually all of these options, I always felt that some of the cheaper streaming devices needed more power. And often it’s either because they’re in those key/dongle boxes that don’t have the space for a heatsink, or the manufacturer just isn’t investing.

Now, Apple has upgraded the A12 Bionic system-on-chip from the previous Apple TV 4K with an A15 Bionic chip. It’s akin to not only setting the pace for an F1 Grand Prix, but also beating the competition.

You’re out of storage on your Apple TV 4K

The Apple TV 4K (2022) and remote below a tuned TV on the tvOS home screen with a graphic for For All Mankind

(Image credit: Apple)

I’ve only seen this happen once, but you box hitting a wall on the Apple TV 4K (2021) default storage capacity of 32GB. Maybe it’s because it’s my job and I’m always trying new apps. Or because I had too many Apple Arcade games installed.

Either way, Apple is upgrading storage with its new model. The entry-level Apple TV jumps from 32GB of storage to 64GB, while the $149 Wi-Fi and Ethernet model has 128GB. need to think about having to erase a single game, streaming service, or any other type of tvOS app.

Why You Should Skip the Apple TV 4K (2022)

You already own the Apple TV 4K (2021)

Apple TV 4K review (2021)

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

It might be a lower price, but $129 is a lot of money to spend on a decidedly iterative update. Yes, there are a few upgrades here, but none are really worth $129. In particular in this economy. So while I wouldn’t mind getting the Apple TV 4K (2022) to replace my 2021 model, I’m not sure I’d put one on my wishlist.

Right now the biggest internal Apple TV 4K upgrade I can imagine would be the addition of webcam support (which the new Fire TV Cube (2022) improves with its built-in USB port) for SharePlay. You currently have to juggle a second device in hand, and that’s not good.

You care more about streaming than Apple features

Roku Ultra (2020) with remote control

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

Here’s the thing about the Apple TV 4K (2022): beyond Apple integrations such as Apple Arcade and Apple Fitness), it’s still simply a fast and speedy 4K UHD streaming device. If you buy the $149 model, it has an Ethernet port for more stable streaming.

The $99 Roku Ultra, which can be had for $50 less than the Apple TV 4K with Wi-Fi and Ethernet, has the same streaming intelligence as the Apple TV 4K. You get Dolby Vision and Atmos for video and sound quality, the same non-Dolby HDR settings, and 2021 Apple TV 4K support for 60fps Dolby Vision for sports and other fast-paced content.

Apple TV 4K (2022) outlook

On paper, the Apple TV 4K (2022) is what happens if you take the already excellent 2021 model and upgrade it (slightly). Format enthusiasts and business users who need more speed and storage will appreciate this year’s model. I’m excited to get it on board and start testing it, but this Apple TV doesn’t look like it’s reinventing the wheel, especially when it’s still more than double the Roku Streaming Stick 4K, our pick for best streaming device.

That said, those who love their Apple hardware will likely love the upgrade if and when they move from a different platform.

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