Apple TV

Apple's fifth-generation Apple TV, launched September 22, 2017.

Apple TV

At a Glance

  • Apple's fifth-generation Apple TV features an A10X Fusion processor and 32 to 64GB of storage, along with support for 4K HDR for the first time.

Features

  • 4K support
  • HDR support
  • Touch-based remote that doubles as a controller
  • A10X Fusion processor
  • 32 or 64GB storage options
  • Deep Siri integration
Updated 1 day ago
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The New Apple TV 4K

In September of 2017, Apple introduced the new Apple TV 4K, its first update to the set-top box since 2015. There are two key technologies at the heart of the new Apple TV: 4K and HDR, both of which bring cinematic quality to everything you watch on the new box.

4K support brings incredible detail to the Apple TV with four times the number of pixels as HD. 4K resolution is defined as 3840 x 2160, while HD is 1920 x 1080. While the 4K Apple TV offers improved resolution, its support for high dynamic range (HDR) is perhaps even more important. HDR brings richer, more vibrant colors and supports a wider range of colors.

As iTunes chief Eddy Cue said on stage when introducing the Apple TV 4K, 4K is about the number of pixels, but HDR is about better pixels. Apple TV 4K supports both the HDR10 industry standard and Dolby Vision, a higher-quality version of HDR with even better color.

The Apple TV 4K is meant to be paired with television that supports both 4K and HDR technology. Without an accompanying 4K television, the Apple TV 4K experience won't be the same. To get the most out of the Apple TV 4K, 4K content is also required.

Apple is offering 4K movies through its iTunes Store, and 4K content is also available through Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and other streaming services. YouTube isn't supported, though, as it uses an incompatible format.

The tvOS interface has been redone in 4K with sharper text, and more vibrant images. Videos captured on the iPhone can be viewed in 4K on the Apple TV, and all of the Apple TV's animated video screensavers have been remastered in 4K. It supports apps like Apple Music and allows the Apple TV to serve as a HomeKit hub and an access point for controlling all of the connected devices in your home.

Inside, the Apple TV 4K is equipped with an A10X Fusion chip, the same chip used in the 2017 iPad Pro models. The Apple TV is twice as fast when it comes to CPU performance and four times as fast when it comes to GPU performance, enabling a whole new class of apps and games.

There have been no design changes to the Apple TV, so it continues to look like a simple black box that plugs into a television using an HDMI cable. There's a new Gigabit ethernet port included, and the USB-C port that was on the previous device has been removed.

It ships with an included Siri Remote for control purposes, and the Siri Remote has seen some slight design tweaks. The Siri Remote is used for navigation, accessing the Siri personal assistant for voice searches, and as a game controller when playing games.

Apple TV 4K runs tvOS 11, the current version of the tvOS operating system, but it will be upgraded to tvOS 12 in the fall.

The Apple TV 4K is available in 32 and 64GB capacities to store downloaded apps and content, with the 32GB model priced at $179 and the 64GB model priced at $199.

How to Buy

The new Apple TV 4K can be purchased from the Apple online store or from Apple retail stores around the world. It is also available from third-party retailers like Best Buy, Target, and Walmart. 32GB of storage space is priced at $179, while 64GB of storage is priced at $199.

Apple is also continuing to sell the fourth-generation Apple TV, which does not support 4K. It is available for $149.

Refurbished fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV models are available for purchase at a discount from Apple's online store for refurbished products. Refurbished Apple TV models are just like new models, come with the same warranty, and have been inspected and guaranteed by Apple.

Best Prices
Apple TV (4th Gen): 32 GB

Hardware and Design

Like the fourth-generation Apple TV, the new fifth-generation Apple TV 4K is a simple, unobtrusive black box that's about the size of the palm of your hand. There's an Apple TV logo at the top, and aside from that, the Apple TV is black on all sides and blends well with any home decor. It's small enough that it fits on any shelf or TV unit, taking up very little space.

At the back of the Apple TV 4K, there's an HDMI 2.0a port, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and a port for the power cord. Compared to the previous-generation Apple TV, the new Apple TV gains the Gigabit Ethernet port (instead of 10/100) and loses a USB-C port that used to be available for things like downloading developer betas and taking Apple TV screenshots.

The Apple TV 4K measures in at 3.9 inches on each of its four sides, and it is 1.4 inches tall. It weighs just under a pound at 15 ounces. Inside, there's a new replaceable fan and a total of eight exhaust ports to support the improved processor.

Processor and Internals

Inside the Apple TV, there's an A10X Fusion chip, which is the same chip used in the 2017 iPad Pro models. The A10X Fusion is a much faster chip than the chip that was available in the fourth-generation Apple TV, with 2x the CPU performance and 4x the GPU performance. The Apple TV also has 3GB RAM to support 4K.

With the new chip, the Apple TV 4K can run much more system intensive games and apps, allowing for games that can take advantage of the 4K display.

For storing games and downloaded content, the Apple TV is available in either 32 or 64GB capacities. Most people do not need more than 32GB of storage, but those who plan to download many apps or games may want to go with 64GB.

For connectivity, the Apple TV 4K supports simultaneous dual band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MIMO and Bluetooth 5.0.

Siri Remote

Sold alongside the Apple TV as an input method, the rectangular Siri Remote features a built in touch surface used as a general "select" button and touch pad, a Menu button, a Home button, a Siri button for activating Siri, play/pause buttons, and standard volume controls. The Siri Remote connects to the Apple TV using a Bluetooth 4.0 connection, and can also control elements of a TV set like Bluetooth using an IR transmitter.

The touch surface on the remote is used as a touch-based navigation method, allowing users to swipe through the App Store, the Home screen, and content within apps, as well as fast forward, rewind, and perform other TV control gestures. It takes up about one-third of the remote.

When held down, the Siri button on the remote activates Siri, and Siri on Apple TV works much like Siri on iPhone. There are two microphones built into the remote so Siri commands can be heard, with Siri relaying information back on the television screen.

In 2017, the Siri Remote has been slightly redesigned. There's a new white ridge around the Home button, which makes it easier to determine which end of the remote is in your hand without needing to look down at it.

At the bottom of the Siri Remote, there's a Lightning port that's used for charging with a standard Lightning cable. The Siri Remote needs to be recharged every few months.

Because there's an accelerometer and a gyroscope built into the Siri Remote, it can be used as a controller for many Apple TV games.

The Siri Remote is only available in a handful of countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, the UK, and the United States. In other countries, there is no built-in Siri support, and the remote is called "Apple TV Remote." Instead of bringing up Siri, the microphone button on these remotes brings up an on-screen search app.

Remote App

Along with the physical Siri Remote, the Apple TV can be controlled using a Remote app that's available in the App Store for the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. The Remote app has a layout that's similar to the Siri Remote, offering virtual controls for navigating the Apple TV interface, accessing Siri, and controlling volume. On the iPad, details about what's playing are also shown in the app.

Bluetooth Accessories

The Apple TV also supports third-party Bluetooth gaming controllers that can be used in lieu of the Siri Remote when playing a game from the tvOS App Store, and a Bluetooth keyboard can be connected.

4K and HDR

4K delivers four times more pixels than standard HD (3840 x 2160 vs. 1920 x 1080) and paired with HDR support, the Apple TV 4K offers brighter, more realistic colors along with much greater detail. Both HDR10 and Dolby Vision are supported, with the latter being the preferred HDR standard because it offers a wider range of colors.

HDR and 4K are both noticeable upgrades over 1080p high definition, especially so when it comes to HDR. 4K (also called ultra high resolution) offers more pixels and with HDR, you get deeper reds, more vivid greens, brighter blues, clearer yellows, and more contrast and color range in scenes with both light and dark elements.

4K on left, 4K HDR on right

The Apple TV 4K requires a compatible 4K television to properly display content at a 4K resolution, and you also need to supply an HDMI cable for connecting the television to the Apple TV. Apple recommends a cable compatible with HDMI and Dolby Vision, and more specifically, an HDMI cable that has a Compatible Dolby Vision mark.

For the best experience, a TV that supports 4K and HDR at 60Hz (50Hz in Europe) is required, but it works with 4K Standard Dynamic Range, 4K High Dynamic Range, and 4K Dolby Vision.

The Apple TV 4K also works with a TV that has a 30Hz HDR refresh rate (25Hz in Europe) but lower refresh rates can result in choppy video, so Apple's recommendation for TVs that don't support HDR at 60Hz is to lower resolution to 1080p at 60Hz and letting the television upscale to 4K.

4K Streaming

To stream content in 4K from iTunes, Netflix, or another source, Apple recommends that customers have a minimum connection speed of 25Mb/s. If an internet connection isn't fast enough for transferring 4K content, Apple downscales the video quality.

Apple does not allow users to download 4K content from iTunes, with 4K content limited to streaming.

Supported Photo and Video Formats

The Apple TV 4K supports H.264, HEVC (H.265), HEVC Dolby Vision, and MPEG-4. As for photos, it can display images in the following formats: HEIF, JPEG, GIF, and TIFF.

Supported Audio Formats

Supported audio formats include HE-AAC, AAC (320Kb/s max), protected AAC, MP3 (320Kb/s max), MP3 VBR, Apple Lossless, FLAC, AIFF, WAV, Dolby Digital 5.1, and Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 surround sound. In the future, Apple may add support for Dolby Atmos.

Compatible Content

The Apple TV 4K can play 4K content from a range of sources. Apple has made deals with movie studios to offer a wide selection of 4K movie titles in iTunes, which are available for the same price as HD movies.

Apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video (released in late 2017) also offer content that can be streamed in 4K.

YouTube offers 4K content but it is not compatible with the 4K Apple TV at this time as Apple does not support the VP9 format YouTube uses for 4K.

The Apple TV 4K is designed for 4K content and the picture looks the best when streaming or playing 4K resolution TV and movies, but non 4K HDR content is compatible. With non-HDR and lower resolution movies and TV shows, the Apple TV upscales the content.

Regardless of your setup and the content you're watching, Apple TV 4K always chooses the settings that are going to give you the best picture.

Apple TV as a Cable Box Replacement

Apple has been working with some cable providers to offer the Apple TV as a replacement for a traditional cable box. CANAL+ in France, Salt in Switzerland, and DirecTV in the US all allow customers to replace their cable boxes with Apple TV, gaining all of the same functionality through dedicated apps. In the fall of 2018, Charter Communications in the US will also begin offering Apple TV 4K to its customers, with Charter users able to access all of their live channels and on-demand programs through an upcoming Spectrum TV app on Apple TV 4K, iPhone, and iPad.

tvOS

The fourth and fifth-generation Apple TVs run an operating system called tvOS, which was built to offer up a simple, easy-to-navigate television watching experience.

tvOS puts content front and center with an app-centric design that includes an App Store, Siri integration, a dedicated TV app for highlighting content from a range of different apps, HomeKit support, and more.

For more on tvOS, make sure to check out our dedicated tvOS roundup, which includes details on the latest version of the operating system.

Apple's Content Ambitions

Apple has been trying to make the television watching experience better for many years, but has struggled time and time again reaching deals with cable companies, movie studios, and other content providers.

Content providers have continually resisted Apple's attempts to create a cable bundle or a set of standalone channel packages because it would disrupt the television industry and upset existing revenue streams. Apple has also refused to settle for less than an ideal experience, making it difficult to negotiate.

Apple wanted to make its own streaming television service, offering a bundle of channels for around $30 to $40 per month, but because it was unable to establish the necessary deals, Apple abandoned that plan.

Instead, Apple has shifted focus to the tvOS App Store, developing it into a platform that provides media companies with the tools to sell content directly to customers while allowing Apple to control the television-watching experience and user interface.

Apple is also following in the footsteps of Amazon and Netflix is pursuing original content.

Original Content Efforts

Apple first delved into original content as a way to promote its Apple Music service, but with over a dozen television shows now in the works, Apple's original content efforts have evolved into something more serious.

Apple is making a deep push into original programming, with the company pursuing high caliber shows like "Stranger Things" and "Westworld." Apple is aiming to invest over $1 billion in original programming in 2017 and 2018.

The company's first original television show, "Planet of the Apps," debuted in June of 2017. Using a "Shark Tank"-style format, "Planet of the Apps" paired app developers with investors and then let the developers attempt to persuade the investors to make an investment.

Apple's second original television show, "Carpool Karaoke: The Series," debuted in August of 2017. The TV show is based on the highly popular "Carpool Karaoke" segment from "The Late Late Show With James Corden," pairing celebrities and musicians together to sing along in car rides. Both of these two shows are available via Apple Music and are used to promote the Apple Music service. Apple renewed "Carpool Karaoke" for a second season, and in May of 2018, made the show available for free through the TV app.

To head up the company's broader push into original video programming, Apple hired former Sony Pictures TV executives Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg. The two lead Apple's video efforts on a worldwide scale, reporting directly to Apple iTunes chief Eddy Cue. Erlicht and Van Amburg have helped produce shows like "Better Call Saul," "The Crown," "Sneaky Pete," and more.

Former Amazon Studios executive Morgan Wandell joined Apple's video content team in October of 2017. Wandell serves as international creative development for worldwide video at Apple. Apple has also hired Channel 4 alum Jay Hunt as creative director for Europe.

Other hires include Michelle Lee, a creative executive under Matt Cherniss, and Philip Matthys and Jennifer Wang Grazier, who handles business affairs for the video team. Tara Sorensen heads up kids programming, Tara Pietri handles legal affairs, and Carina Walker is an international creative executive. All three are former Amazon employees.

Apple iTunes chief Eddy Cue said in February of 2018 that Apple is "completely all in" on original content. According to Cue, Apple has no plans to buy a company like Netflix or Disney because the focus is quality, not quantity. "You need to have a great story," he said. He also confirmed Apple is "making big investments" and that "money isn't an issue."

Apple is said to be aiming to produce television shows with broad appeal that are also tame enough to be shown in an Apple Store. The company wants to avoid content that includes nudity, raw language, and violence. It has turned down pitches that include edgier themes, and it has also had a dispute with "Amazing Stories" showrunner Bryan Fuller over its desire to produce family friendly content.

The first of Apple's television shows could debut as soon as March of 2019.

Apple's original TV shows could be distributed through a new video streaming service, which could also be bundled with an Apple Music subscription and a digital magazine and news subscription.

Apple is rumored to be considering this single subscription service that would offer customers access to original TV shows, Apple Music, and digital magazines (through its Texture acquisition), but these services will also reportedly be available on a standalone basis.

Apple's Upcoming Original TV Shows

Apple first delved into original television programming in 2017 with the release of "Planet of the Apps" and "Carpool Karaoke," but under the leadership of Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, the company has been inking deals for multiple original television shows.

Apple has more than a dozen original series in the works, but release dates are still a ways away so we don't know a lot about each one just yet. Each show and its premise is outlined below.

Amazing Stories

Apple is teaming up with Steven Spielberg's Amblin Television and Comcast's NBC Universal TV production unit to create new episodes of sci-fi series "Amazing Stories." "Amazing Stories" is a science fiction and horror series created by Spielberg that originally ran on NBC from 1985 to 1987. Apple will create 10 new episodes of "Amazing Stories" alongside Amblin and NBC Universal, with plans to spend more than $5 million per episode, its first high-profile project. Spielberg is likely to be an executive producer for the new version of the show.

"Once Upon a Time" co-creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis will serve as executive producers and showrunners on the series.

Morning Show Drama

Apple's second high-profile show will be a morning talk show drama starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston. The show is described as an "inside look at the lives of the people who help America wake up in the morning." Apple has inked a deal for two seasons of the show, which is untitled as of yet.

Witherspoon and Aniston will star and executive produce, and each will earn $1.25 million per episode for the show. "Bates Motel" co-creator Kerry Ehrin is set to serve as showrunner.

Space Drama

Apple in December placed a straight-to-series order for an untitled space drama developed by Ronald D. Moore, who is best known for creating the 2004 reboot of Battlestar Galactica. Apple's new show "explores what would have happened if the global space race had never ended."

Are You Sleeping

Apple has ordered 10 episodes of a drama called "Are You Sleeping," based on a novel by Kathleen Barber and it focuses on a podcast that reopens a murder case, similar to the popular "Serial" podcast.

The novel the show is based on explores how the reopening of the murder case impacts the victim's daughter and disrupts her life. Sarah Koenig, who created and produced the "Serial" podcast, will consult on the series.

The series will star Octavia Spencer, known for her roles in "Hidden Figures" and "The Shape of Water" as Poppy Parnell, a reporter aiming to uncover the truth behind a decades old murder through her podcast.

Aaron Paul from "Breaking Bad" will play murder Warren Cave, whose guilt is in question, with Lizzy Caplan, Ron Cephas Jones (This is Us), Elizabeth Perkins (Weeds), Mekhi Phifer (ER), Michael Beach (Sons of Anarchy), Tracie Thoms (UnREAL), and Haneefah Wood (Nurse Jackie) also set to star in the show.

Home

"Home," Apple's first docuseries, will over a never-before-seen look inside of the most extraordinary homes in the world, delving into the imaginations of the visionaries who dreamed them up and built them. Based on the show's description, it sounds a little bit like MTV's "Cribs" but with more of a design and architecture focus.

Apple has ordered 10 one-hour episodes of the "Home" docuseries, which is produced by Matt Tynauer and Corey Reese of Altimeter Films.

See

"See" is an epic world-building drama that's set in the future, but other than that, little is known about the show so far.

It was written by Steven Knight, known for "Peaky Blinders" and Francis Lawrence, known for this work on three movies from "The Hunger Games" franchise.

"See" will star Jason Momoa in the lead role of Baba Voss, a fearless warrior, leader, and guardian.

You Think It, I'll Say It Comedy

Apple has ordered 10 episodes of a half-hour comedy show based on the "You Think It, I'll Say It" short story collection by Curtis Sittenfeld, which "upends assumptions about class, relationships, and gender roles in a nation that feels both adrift and viscerally divided."

The series was originally set to star Kristen Wiig, but she had to drop out after scheduling conflicts with "Wonder Woman 1984," where she plays villain Cheetah.

Untitled drama from Damien Chazelle

Apple signed a straight-to-series order for a drama series from "La La Land" creator Damien Chazelle. Little is known about the series at this time, as Apple has declined to share details.

Chazelle, who won multiple awards for both "La La Land" and "Whiplash," will write and direct every episode of the series.

Little America

Little America is based on a series of true stories features in Epic Magazine that paint a portrait of America's immigrants. The show will look at "the funny, romantic, heartfelt, inspiring, and unexpected lives of immigrants in America."

The series is being written by Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, known for their award winning film "The Big Sick," and Lee Eisenberg, known for his work on "The Office." Nanjiani and Gordon will also executive produce, alongside Alan Yang, "Master of None" co-creator, and Eisenberg.

Apple officially ordered episodes of "Little America" in June.

Swagger

"Swagger" is a drama series based on the early life and career of NBA star and Golden State Warriors player Kevin Durant. The show was inspired by Durant's experiences as a youth playing basketball, and it will highlight the world of Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball, taking a look into the lives of players, their families, and coaches.

Imagine Television, led by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, will produce alongside Kevin Durant's Thirty Five Media. Both Durant and Grazer will serve as executive producers, while Reggie Rock Bythewood will write and direct. Bythewood is known for his work on "Notorious," a movie that shared the story of Notorious B.I.G., and television series "Shots Fired."

M. Night Shyamalan Thriller

Apple has ordered a psychological thriller written by Tony Basgallop and produced by M. Night Shyamalan, known for movies like "Signs," "Sixth Sense," "Unbreakable," "The Village," and "Split."

The first episode of the series will be directed by Shyamalan. Beyond the detail that it's a psychological thriller, little else is known about the series at this time. Apple has ordered 10 episodes, and each one will be a half hour long.

Central Park

"Central Park" is Apple's first animated TV series, developed by Loren Bouchard, well-known for popular cartoon "Bob's Burgers."

The series is a musical comedy, which was written by Bouchard, Josh Gad, and Nora Smith. It tells the story of a family of caretakers who live in Central Park and end up saving both the park and the world.

Apple has ordered 26 episodes of the show in total, split into two 13-episode seasons. "Central Park" is produced by 20th Century Fox and stars Josh Gad, Leslie Odom Jr., Titus Burgess, Kristen Bell, Stanley Tucci, Daveed Diggs, and Kathryn Hahn.

Isaac Asimov's "Foundation"

Apple is working on a TV series adaptation of the popular sci-fi series Foundation written by well-known sci-fi author Isaac Asimov.

Foundation follows psychohistory expert and mathematician Hari Seldon who is able to predict the future. Seldon creates a group called the Foundation to preserve humanity's collective knowledge ahead of the impending fall of the Galactic Empire.

Emily Dickinson Series

Apple has given a straight-to-series order for a show about the life of famous American poet Emily Dickinson, who is set to be played by Hailee Steinfeld.

The show has been described as a comedic look into Dickinson's world exploring the constraints of society, gender, and family from the perspective of a budding writer who doesn't fit into her own time.

Little Voices

"Little Voices" is a half-hour dramedy from executive producers J.J. Abrams and Sara Bareilles, which has been described as a love letter to "the diverse musicality of New York."

The show will explore the lives of several characters in their 20s as they struggle to find their "authentic voice." The first season will consist of 10 episodes, which will feature original songs crafted by Bareilles.

Shantaram

Apple is working on a TV adaptation of Gregory David Roberts' 2003 novel "Shantaram." Shantaram is a fictional novel that focuses on a character named Lin, who is a convict that flees an Australian prison and then disappears into the city of Bombay.

"American Hustle" screenwriter Eric Warren Singer will serve as showrunner and executive producer. Singer worked on "Only the Brave" and wrote the script for the upcoming sequel "Top Gun: Maverick."

Hilde Lysiak drama

Apple ordered 10 episodes of a drama series about Hilde Lysiak, a child journalist who publishes a newspaper called the Orange Street News in her hometown of Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania.

The show will follow a young girl who moves from Brooklyn to the small lakeside town her father is from, where she unearths a cold case that everyone else in the town had attempted to bury. The story is based on Lysiak's own efforts to report on a murder in Selinsgrove, where she was the first person to expose it.

Calls

Apple has ordered an English-language adaptation of French series "Calls," which began airing in France in 2017. "Calls" is a short-form series that tells stories based on snippets of audio taken from real-life situations with minimal use of visuals.

Many of the "Calls" episodes fall into the horror/mystery genre, with Apple expected to use the general format of the series in its adaptation.

Oprah Partnership

Apple announced a multi-year production partnership with Oprah Winfrey in May 2018. Apple says it is teaming up with Oprah to create original programs that "embrace her incomparable ability to connect with audiences around the world.

Sesame Workshop Partnership

Apple is partnering with Sesame Workshop to create several different television shows for kids.

Sesame Workshop is a non-profit organization that develops educational children's programs such as Sesame Street.

Under the terms of the deal, Sesame Workshop will develop live-action and animated shows, plus an Apple-exclusive puppet series. Content created for Apple will be original and will not include "Sesame Street," which airs on PBS and HBO.

Movie Rumors

Apple is said to be close to inking a deal with Cartoon Saloon for an animated movie, which would mark the Cupertino company's first venture into film.

Cartoon Saloon has not yet developed the movie, but Apple is aiming to secure distribution rights for the United States and other countries. Cartoon Saloon has previously produced Academy Award-nominated animated films including "The Secret of Kells," "The Song of the Sea," and "The Breadwinner."

The Apple TV of the Future

For a long time, there were a slew of rumors suggesting Apple planned to debut a full high-definition television set, spurred by Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs biography, which suggested Jobs wanted to revolutionize the television industry much like he transformed computers, music players, and phones. "I finally cracked it," Jobs was quoted as saying.

 

Rumors reached a fever pitch over the next few years, and in 2012, news hit suggesting multiple television prototypes were in testing. Rumor after rumor continued until 2015, with some even ranging into the fantastical, but no television set ever appeared.

As it turns out, Apple's testing did not result in a product worth manufacturing, and as of 2014, Apple had ceased its work on developing a full-blown high-resolution television set, putting the project on ice.


"I'd like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use," [Jobs] told me. "It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud."..."It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it." Walter Isaacson - 'Steve Jobs'

Apple was reportedly unable to come up with a feature set compelling enough to warrant entry into the highly competitive television market, despite years of research. It is not clear if Apple will revisit its television set project in the future, but it is always possible Apple will reevaluate its plans as technology improves.

For time being, though, Apple is focusing its resources on improving the Apple TV set-top box and the tvOS App Store, revolutionizing television through the integration of content and interface without having to develop an actual television set and enter a brutally competitive market.

Older Apple TV Models

While the Apple TV roundup pertains to the fourth and fifth-generation Apple TVs that have been available since 2015, some people continue to use older versions of the Apple TV.

First, second, and third-generation Apple TVs run a different operating system and do not have access to a dedicated App Store with games, entertainment, and other apps. Instead, these Apple TVs use different channels offered by various content providers, along with several Apple apps like iTunes.

Older Apple TVs continue to function, but are not updated as often as the fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV models, and do not have the same range of content available.

As of May 25, 2018, security changes prevent the first-generation Apple TV from accessing the iTunes Store. Second-generation Apple TV models and later continue to work with the iTunes Store.

What's Next for Apple TV

Prior to the new Apple TV 4K introduced in 2017, the set-top box went two years without an upgrade following the October 2015 release of the fourth-generation Apple TV.

The Apple TV is not a product that Apple refreshes every year, so it may be another couple of years until the next update. As for what that update might include, we haven't heard any rumors as of yet.

Apple TV Timeline

July2018
Roundup Last Updated
June2018