Apple TV (4th Gen): Unboxing & Review

by birtanpublished on February 3, 2021

What's up guys Mike here the Detroit pork and today we're checking out the brand new Apple TV this is also the fourth generation Apple TV and the first major redesign since the last generation the third generation which added 1080p on that was in 2012 so it's been a long time so the fourth generation Apple TV is a bit taller it's more expensive and adds a Siri remote for voice control as well as an a processor and a new operating system called TV OS which is powered by a version of iOS 9 this also finally brings an app store to the Apple TV so this no longer comes preloaded with all

The available apps for the Apple TV you now get to pick and choose so there are two capacities 32 and 64 gig and that's thanks to the app environment which does require some storage and that starts you off at 149 or 199 now the original third generation Apple TV remains for $69 if you want to check that out I did a video on it many years ago which you can see in the description below so in terms of the unboxing we have a big black box wrapped in plastic so the first thing we have to do here is peel it all off lifting the lid of the box the first thing we'll see here is the Apple TV and

The new Siri remote wrapped in plastic so let's grab the Siri remote so the biggest visual change here is the new remote controller they're calling this the Siri remote because it does have voice control the Siri remote is a much more sophisticated device this time it has Bluetooth built in with a gyroscope and an accelerometer so this can now be used as a gaming controller which will show you a bit later the remote itself has a glass trackpad toward the top instead of a directional d-pad that trackpad surface is clickable and has the same texture as a Macbook trackpad

Again this remote is glass so be careful because it will break if you drop this on a hard surface we have more buttons this time so we now have a dedicated home button in addition to a menu button which mostly acts as a back button we also have a series but incapable so it's easier to find of course we have play pause and volume up and down which uses the infrared receiver on the remote controller to control the volume on your AV receiver or your television set now the rest of the Apple controls use bluetooth although the Apple TV does have an infrared receiver so if you want

To you can use a universal remote now toward the top of the trackpad you'll see a microphone and if you flip over the remote you'll find another microphone on the back if a dual microphone set up this remote also has an internal battery which you can recharge with a port at the bottom and they do include a lightning cable at the bottom of the box toward the top you'll find the infrared blaster for controlling your television or your AV receiver along the back just like the previous generation remote we have this all aluminum shell which feels

Really nice and rigid Apple does sell an accessory for the Siri remote it's called the remote loop for $12.99 and it's basically a lanyard for the remote controller that plugs into the Lightning port at the bottom of the remote the idea is very similar to the Wii Remote so for certain games you're gesturing with the remote controller you don't want to lose your remote controller when you're flinging it now the lanyard is adjustable it's only available in black and it's somewhat similar to the iPod loop from the iPod touch a few years ago the connector itself has pins on either

Side so in order to unplug it you'll have to pinch the pins along the side but of course this prevents the liner from unplugging from your lightning connector so peeling off the plastic of the Apple TV you can see it's very similar to the previous generation there's just a black box that's really meant to disappear in your entertainment cabinet we also have some plastic along the bottom protecting the circular pedestal for the Apple TV and then we have another strip of plastic surrounding the glossy edges of the Apple TV which are very easily scratched

Of course on the back we have all of our ports which have been changed here so we have our power port in addition to our HDMI output and we also get our ear from that port which is 10 over 100 instead of a Gigabit Ethernet port but you do have a tow 2.11 AC Wi-Fi with dual MIMO antennas we also have a USB type-c connector replacing the micro USB port on the back that's used for servicing or maintenance of the Apple TV really isn't meant to be used for anything else like storage or something like that gone is the optical output like we saw with the previous generation but of

Course all that can be handled through HDMI next up we need to get to our critical accessories which includes a power cable that's nestled on the right side under the remote controller in this little sleeve which we can pull out under the tray of the Apple TV we'll find some paperwork so of course we have a Quick Start Guide which tells us about the ports and the setup process we also get a set of Apple stickers and right behind that is our regulatory and warranty information and last but not least we have yet another lightning cable for charging our remote controller

And of course like always the Apple TV does not include an HDMI cable which I'll have to supply yourself but you can get pretty cheaply but you can also buy it through Apple now the Apple TV setup has been simplified significantly so all we have to do is select our language and then we have to choose to setup either manually or using iOS 9.1 or newer you can actually use your device over Bluetooth you just have to unlock your phone hold it close to the boxing of course make sure bluetooth is turned on now you'll be prompted on your phone to log into your iTunes and your

ICloud account to confirm setup which will transfer all of those accounts to the Apple TV and those will also transfer your Wi-Fi settings to your Apple TV so you don't have to do all of that on the Apple TV itself you can do it just by syncing to your phone you can also choose to enable location services enable Siri for the Siri remote enable automatic downloads of Ariel's screen savers which we'll explore later this is kind of a video screen saver which is pretty neat you can agree or disagree to send diagnostic and usage information to Apple you can also share app analytics

With the developers and agree to the warranty so you can go ahead and get to the main interface so let's go ahead and check it out so take a look at the interface in detail here it's actually very similar to the previous generation but with the new remote controller with basically kinetics scrolling you can basically flick through the interface really quickly you can see the interface is also much brighter and the icons themselves are actually animated so if I kind of wiggle my finger across the touchpad here you can see there's some dimensionality to the artwork or to the

App icons it's really interesting especially if you go to the Settings button here you can see it actually Wiggles the gears so up top we have all the standard array of apps we have movies TV shows app store which is quite new for the Apple TV we also have photos and music now down below you can see I've already installed some apps but this basically comes with no apps pre-installed it has all the core apps from Apple but no Netflix or Hulu Plus or anything or YouTube I had to install those all from the app store now these are movable so I can tap and hold on

This and relocate it to somewhere else on the screen this is very similar to using iOS and the previous interface now for apps that are installed you can actually uninstall them so for example if I want to uninstall speed test here just happen hold on it and I can go ahead and press the play pause button to delete it delete and there we go so as you can see when I move between these apps in the top row here you do get suggestions up toward the top here now if we go down here of course that goes away so with movies I can go then select it and I can see my top movies

Purchased movies or I can see my wish list so I can add movies to my wish list genres recommended recommended for me based on my viewing habits and I can go ahead and your search if I want so I can use text search or I can use voice search which we'll talk about in the bit now also in the whole screen you can see your recent purchases and your top movies so if I want to select one of these new movies here like inside out of I can go ahead and select it loads it for me and I get a very detailed description of the movie all in one screen and I can scroll through here to

See things like the iTunes extras which I can preview here I can see the ratings we have a new rating system here called common sense which is a little interesting as you can select this and this will tell you what it ranks in terms of consumerism role model violence message drug sex violence or language you can also see the tomato meter and now you can actually read the reviews here which are off to the right you also have a cast and crew here which you can select so if you want to see movies from Amy Poehler go ahead and select it and there

You go we have a list of movies to select from and I'm going to hit the menu button to go back to where I was TV shows is very similar here so we can see a preview of our content on iTunes so if you want to watch The Walking Dead you can go and select it so there we go we get a description of the show we can see the episodes that are available in their pricing and you can buy a season pass if you want we also have our Photos app and this will feed all your fullest from your photo stream so any photos you take with your iPhone or if you sync all your photos to your iCloud account via the

Photos app on your Mac they'll all appear here which is really handy so I can go ahead and select an image here and I can swipe between images and if they're loaded here they should pop right up and of course we have Apple music so the experience for Apple music on the Apple TV is pretty much identical to the experience on your iPhone your iPad your Mac that sort of thing so when you log into your account you can see for you so if you're a subscriber to Apple music you'll see all your 4u content here's all your suggested titles if we go back to the top here we have

News so we can see what's new within the Apple store we have radio so we have our radio stations including beats one we also have my music so all your stored music is available online and then we have our playlists and we can go ahead and search for whatever we want so again if we go to for you we can go ahead and select any title here so for example it's go and select some deadmau5 so we can see our tracklist on the left side and we can go to love this to inform our for use selections we can add this to f1 music if you want you can go to the artists to find more from that user or

From hit hard and you can go the more for more information so if we go to more you can see shuffle play next add to up next so again you can cue up music on your Apple TV as well or start a new station for the radio so if you still like the song here it will start playing it back so we'll start playing back in the background you do get your media controls on screen if you want we can click menu and move away from that and if you ever want to jump back to life to do is go back to the Apple music app go to the top here and you'll see the now

Plane screen so if we go back here takes it to now plane we can also access our content remotely from our computers so right now I'm using Home Sharing through iTunes to access my library on my computer but because I have my music sync to iCloud this isn't necessary so I won't find anything here next up let's take a look at the App Store so the apps are obviously is a huge addition with TV OS so we can now install weather apps we want it doesn't come pre-installed so that now includes games other streaming services music and some apps you wouldn't expect on the TV so if you go

To the top here we have featured purchased and search so under purchased you'll actually see that we have a selection of apps that I actually previously installed on other iOS devices and now there's a TV OS version of them like periscope so I can go ahead and select that they also includes things like Zillow speedtest The Weather Channel some of them have been popping up since I last looked at this so The Weather Channel is new here so my gonna install that and see how that looks so within the App Store you can see your rating a description you can see some

Screenshots of it as well and more information below that you can see the version history so if I want this I can go and click install and we can go ahead and click open so this will launch into the app so thinks I'm in Pontiac Michigan which is close by so that's good enough and so I can see my current weather conditions the hourly forecast and I can scroll through it with my mouse here on the trackpad so you can see our lane you can see even has the same sort of animation although with their own language here 10 day forecast today's forecast through video so there

You go so if your weather right on your TV now going back to featured again you can see a huge variety of apps HBO now Netflix Hulu Showtime YouTube and of course I've already installed some of these PBS CBS watch ESPN etc so anything you are used to having on the previous generation Apple TV is here you just have to go ahead and download it so another unique feature about the apps now on the Apple TV is that Apple no longer dictates how they look you can basically see that the interface is what Netflix wanted not what Apple want it so it's a little

Different but still pretty consistent with the Apple TV experience so in terms of Netflix so for example if I want to go to Star Trek The Next Generation I can see my episode listing here I can add it to my wish list I can read this title stuff like that and I can go ahead and just play the episode if I want checking out YouTube this is something I'm particularly interested in here obviously YouTube allows me to log in to my account so I can see my subscriptions as well as my videos so obviously I can watch my own videos here and I can scrub through it just by swiping across on the

Trackpad it's really precise here I really like this again kinetic scrolling so I can flick to scan faster or gently scrub to the exact moment I want and click the trackpad to get right to that point so again a really nice interface now while I'm playing video I can swipe down from the top to get to more information about this video I can also swipe to the right to get to audio so I can see the language the sound profile or I can select a different speaker system so if I want to send this audio to a different speaker either another Apple TV an airport Express or even a

Set of headphones I can do that here Siri voice control has also been added to the Apple TV which is very welcome here so for example I can just call it content I want Star Trek The Next Generation now the great thing here is that we have a cross-platform search so for major apps like Netflix and Hulu they are also included in the search not just iTunes so I can see iTunes or Netflix or Hulu so if I want to go to iTunes here I can select it takes me to the iTunes Store so there you go I can buy individual episodes or buy the season I can also be less specific I

Want to watch a scary movie so it gives me a list of movies I may want to watch but I want to watch good scary movies I want to watch a good scary movie so it actually uses the rating to rank them here so it follows this up top and there's a few others so if you want to sort of limit your search you can actually do that just by changing your language I want to watch a good science-fiction movie show me movies directed by Steven Spielberg what are the top movies right now I want to watch a good kids movie I want to watch a movie with Patrick Stewart

Well we also get some other familiar Siri functions what's the weather like tomorrow so we get our weather information that pops up in this card which we can swipe up to see full screen show me the MLB scores now I can swipe up to see more information how did University of Michigan do when is University of Michigan play next so as you can see gives me the next game who they're playing against and what time and day so I can swipe down to dismiss that I can also ask it to launch certain apps music app Netflix settings Photos app store YouTube as you can see

It's really fast and that's because the apps are actually suspended in the background so they're ready to jump right back to it voice control also gives us additional controls within playback so for example I could say skip ahead 7 minutes so skips ahead seven minutes and happens really quickly what did he just say so this will replay a segment and add subtitles to tell me exactly what he said and of course that will stop after we get past the point we skipped back who's in this movie so this will quickly give me the cast information for this title and I can

Swipe down to dismiss it incidentally with this trackpad if you click on the left side or right side of the trackpad elect you skip ahead or advance ahead ten seconds now if you want to put your Apple TV to sleep just press and hold the home button this brings up the sleep command and this will also turn off any connected device such as your TV now in terms of gaming on the Apple TV you can use the included remote controller in a number of ways of course does have an accelerometer and a gyroscope so for games like asphalt 8 you can actually use it in horizontal

Orientation and Bay will use it to steer the car then you tap the buttons on it to control some of the functions but for other games you just use the controls on the remote controller to swipe or to gesture or to press buttons in order to interact with the game but for the most part these games are programmed specifically for the processor which is the same processing power within an iOS device like an iPad or an iPhone so don't expect console level gaming here this won't replace your Xbox or ps4 now one of the most compelling features of the

Apple TV returns once again which is airplay of course this is the only device that supports airplay which basically means that we can cast the screen of our iOS device or our Mac directly to the Apple TV now this means we can airplay videos such as YouTube videos or movies from the iTunes Store which then turns our iOS device into a remote controller for controlling that media alternatively you can just mirror the entire display right on your Apple TV so checking out the Settings panel if we go to general you'll see about this device you'll see your model number

Serial number all of that is under here under screensaver this is where we have a really neat new feature called aerial so we have pretty familiar features such as Apple photos my fellows and home surance if you want to share your local photos you can do that but if you want something new and unique you have Ariel so Ariel will actually give you these 1080p videos as your screensaver so they're really nice-looking most of the time they tend to be cityscapes or landscapes or something like that you can also select when these updates so you can download new videos daily weekly

Monthly or never you can also select when this kicks in so you can do 2 minutes 5 minutes 10 minutes 15 minutes or 30 minutes you can also have this click on when you're playing music so if you want to screensaver while your music is playing in the background you can do that as well you can also select when the TV goes to sleep so you can set it to never 15 minutes 30 minutes or one hour so if you have your screensaver going on for an hour you can do that if you want or extend it to even 10 hours you can also completely turn off Siri if you want and you can manage your storage

So you can see what apps are taking up your storage so all of these are apps that you can uninstall this if you want to uninstall them just trash them similar accounts this is where you can log in with your itunes account or your App Store account or your game center account and you can also log into your home sharing account as well or manage your subscriptions right here so if you have your subscriptions such as Hulu you can go ahead and log into your itunes store to manage them under audio and video we have our audio output and you can select different audio sources you

Can do airport for us another Apple TV or set a Bluetooth headphones if you have those connected we have surround sound which you can set to auto or you can enable Dolby Surround or stereo you can also reduce loud sounds which will even out the audio turn off the navigation clicks or sound effects we also have our HDMI output and we have a variety of profiles we can pick from if you prefer we also have a resolution which I leave to auto so it automatically determines based on the connected TV so in my case it's set to 1080p at 60 Hertz but you can

Manually select them as well you can see there's a lot of profiles here and refresh rates you can also calibrate your TV to the Apple TV so we have zoom in over scans so you can adjust your TV to this image to match the Apple TV and you also have your color bars to tune your TV we also have a place so you can turn this on and off you can change the name of the Apple TV you can also have it play purchases from iCloud instead of streaming from your phone so if you've purchased something on iCloud and you start err playing it instead of playing it from your device it will actually

Play it from iCloud you can also do airplay display under scan so if you're having issues mirroring your Mac to your Apple TV you can go here to change some of the settings I just leave it on auto and it does just fine what else have some security settings so if you want to require a password or passcode in order to use airplay on your Apple TV you can enable that and then you can also have it turned on here so you can require device verification in order for them to access your airplay device under remotes and devices we have some options for the touch surface tracking so we can select

Medium fast or slow so I just choose medium that's the default mode we can also go to Bluetooth and pair additional devices such as Bluetooth headphones or game controllers you can also have it learn a new remote so if you buy another remote you can do that we can also enable home theater controls so the Apple TV can actually control your a/v receiver and your TV so for example it can switch to the right input for the Apple TV or turn those devices on when you turn on your Apple TV or turn them off when you turn off your Apple TV you can also enable volume control so this

Will automatically determine what device is connected to the Apple TV and then we'll set the Apple remote control to send the right IR control to turn off the vine or turn down the volume we also have an app manager which is a bit limited only certain app seemed to support app settings here but you can automatically update apps you can go to your music or iTunes app so if you go to music app you can see you can able I Tunes a music library so I have that on repeat music or on soundcheck off and on and about the app under system this is where you

Can check for software updates if you go here you can update automatically if you want or update software now and of course you can also restart or reset from this screen now I know it's a really small detail but one last thing I want to point out are these sound effects of ET vos experience which sounds somewhat similar to the gaming consoles like the Xbox so let's go take a listen so in the end this is a major update for the Apple TV but it is playing catch-up to other set-top boxes of course an app ecosystem is nothing new for set-top boxes neither is voice

Control or remote controllers that work with gaming amps but it's really nice to finally have all these features within the iTunes ecosystems of course if you have a lot of content there if you use an iPhone or an iPad a Roku or Amazon box or any of those other set-top boxes won't really work for you so this is a great accessory for those Apple users who are using iPhones iPads or Macs so they can connect our content to their TV of course the big drawback here is that we don't have 4k yet on the Apple TV but this box is capable of it so hopefully we'll see that very soon in

The future because a lot of set-top boxes in fact most of them now offer 4k video in fact this entire time I've been filming this review on a 4k TV and of course the Apple TV really can't use that resolution yeah alright guys so that's going to for me in this video hope you guys enjoyed it thanks for watching and I'll see you again in the next one

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