The best Apple TV device

Internet & Streaming

Turn your TV into a streaming super machine with an Apple TV device, which gives you 4K or HD quality.

Which Apple TV devices are best?

These streaming Apple TV devices use Apple’s latest technology with an easy-to-use interface and an elegant design. These devices will set you back more than other brands’ counterparts but can often deliver more bang for their buck.

Apple TV devices are an excellent addition for Apple fans, seamlessly integrating with iPhones, iPads and even MacBooks. It gives you arguably the best streaming experience of any device, allowing you to connect with download and rental services using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Apple TV devices are fast and have an enjoyable interface.

What to know before you buy an Apple TV device

All streaming devices are different, and Apple TV devices are no different. You’ll want to find a device that works for your lifestyle needs and viewing habits, whether you want to stream music or the latest blockbuster film in 4K quality.

Apps and Airplay

While you can stream with the most popular apps, you won’t be able to download direct competitors of Apple, including Amazon Prime and Spotify apps. You can, however, use another device to stream Amazon videos to your TV using the Airplay functionality. If you’re working primarily off the Apple TV device, you’ll be limited to buying and renting music and content through Apple-supported apps.

Only Apple-run devices can access AirPlay. If you’re a diehard Apple user, this won’t be an issue. You’ll need to have an iPad, iPhone, or Mac connected to the same Wi-Fi as your Apple TV device.

HDMI

Your Apple TV device will not come with an HDMI cable, but it’s the only option for video output. Make sure you have an HDMI cable or buy one when you’re purchasing your Apple TV device. Alternatively, you can get by with an HDMI converter.

Internet connection

You’ll need to have a reliable internet connection to stream content on your Apple TV device. For SD streaming, you want to have internet of at least 3 megabits per second, jumping to 25 megabits per second for ultra-HD and 4K.

Features to look for in an Apple TV device

Siri Remote

There are two generations of the Siri Remote available, and it recently underwent a significant upgrade. If you want a better user experience and an intuitive remote, choose an Apple TV device with a second generation Siri Remote.

Image quality

Aside from the Siri Remote, the most significant difference you’ll see between various Apple TV devices is their image quality. They all offer at least 720p HD video streaming, but the newer (and more expensive) models support up to 4K video. You want to make sure you have the correct internet speed to support a higher quality Apple TV device before making your purchase.

How much can you expect to spend on an Apple TV device?

Apple TV devices are amongst the most expensive of any streaming device, costing considerably more than its competitors, like the Amazon Fire Stick. You can expect to pay $130-$220 for an Apple TV.

Best Apple TV device FAQ

Do I have to pay a monthly or yearly fee for my Apple TV?

A. Once you’ve bought your Apple TV device, you don’t have to pay any additional fees for operating the system. You will need to pay for streaming apps like Netflix and any movies you rent or purchase through iTunes. You’ll want to make sure you’ve got a valid credit card attached to your Apple account for purchases and to pay for any streaming systems.

Can I stream Spotify to my Apple TV?

A. Apple TVs can only download specific apps with certain exclusions. You can still access these programs using the AirPlay function on your Apple TV, but this will require you to use an Apple device connected to the same Wi-Fi source as your Apple TV. 

What is the best Apple TV device to buy?

Top Apple TV device

Apple TV 4K 2021 (32GB, 5th Generation)

Apple TV 4K 2021 (32GB, 5th Generation)

What you need to know: It has a powerful processor and the latest audio-visual technology, making it the most powerful Apple TV device.

What you’ll love: It plays HDMI 2.1 with HRD 2160p video and custom picture calibration. The A12 processor can handle gaming and 60fps video. It comes with a second generation Siri Remote that has a touch-sensitive and jog-capable click pad.

What you should consider: It’s one of the most expensive streaming devices, but it gives you the best experience.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Apple TV device for the money

Apple TV (32GB, 4th Generation)

Apple TV (32GB, 4th Generation)

What you need to know: This older 2017 model has an older processor, but it still delivers a high-quality sound and picture experience.

What you’ll love: It pairs with your devices using Bluetooth 5.0 and offers HDMI 2.0 for up to 2160p resolution. The A10 processor gives you faster performance. This Apple TV device comes with a first generation Siri Remote with a touch surface.

What you should consider: The first generation Siri Remote is less intuitive, and this version of Apple TV lacks the same picture and sound quality as the 2021 model.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Worth checking out

Apple TV HD 2021

Apple TV HD 2021

What you need to know: This option is similar to the older HD model but with a new Siri Remote.

What you’ll love: Offers HDMI 1.4 at 720p or 1080p with Wi-Fi connections and Bluetooth 4.0 pairing. It runs on an A8 processor with a USB-C troubleshooting port. 

What you should consider: While it doesn’t cost as much as the 4K version, it has an older processor.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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David Heiling writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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