What is Apple TV and how to use it
4K TVs have become standard. Today you can buy decent UHD models for less than $ 1000, and many of them support HDR (high dynamic range). Both technologies are of great importance for visual perception. 4K resolution makes everything clearer than HD, but HDR is indeed a huge step forward. The colors become more vivid, additional brightness and more contrast appear, which gives the image a great cinematography.
Apple TV 4 K supports both the entry-level standard HDR10 and the more impressive Dolby Vision technology, which should make the device relevant for at least the next few years.
The device has received everything that can be expected from the next generation of Apple set-top box. It is faster, more stable and smarter than previous versions, has a rich ecosystem of applications and is easy to use.
However, if you recently purchased a high-quality smart TV from a leading manufacturer, it is only reasonable to ask yourself what Apple TV is and whether it is necessary.In the end, the new models have their own interfaces and applications. In this case, Apple TV does not seem so attractive, but it still has a lot of features that even the best HDR 4K TVs lack.
Design and specifications
Apple TV is a neat little black console. It has the same dimensions as the previous model, and it looks almost identical, with the exception of narrow air vents around the base. This is often a sign of a fan, and in fact, the Apple TV comes with a unit that keeps the device cool during loads. But do not worry: according to user feedback, the cooling system is very quiet. I do not hear the slightest buzz or whistle. However, this means that it is necessary to take into account the location of the set-top box - it must be far from carpets or dusty zones in order for the ventilation holes to remain free and clean.
The need for a fan is due to the impressive performance of the Apple TV 4 K. The console is equipped with an A10X Fusion chip, just like the fantastic 10.5 ”iPad Pro and the latest 12.9-inch tablet model.These are real computational monsters in a compact form, like Apple TV 4K, which is caused by the need to increase the resolution of the content. In addition, the console runs applications and games without any problems, it is very responsive.
The device is equipped with an HDMI output and an Ethernet input. Of course, it is not necessary to connect it to the Internet via cable. The prefix supports dual-band Wi-Fi, which copes well with its responsibilities even when streaming HDR 4K video.
Wireless stability depends on the distance to the router, network settings, and even home design. According to user feedback, at a distance of 15 m, the device works more reliably than Chromecast 2.
Apple TV comes with 32 GB or 64 GB of permanent memory. Since it is likely that most of the content is broadcast over the network, there is not much point in paying an additional $ 20 for a more spacious version if there is no intention to install dozens of games at the same time.
Apple TV: what is Siri remote?
This is a remote control console, in the design of which the manufacturer has invested a lot of effort. Even the first model of the console had an excellent remote control, and now this is still true.The only minor difference from the original is the white ring around the Menu button, which makes it more visible and makes it easier to distinguish the buttons by touch.
The remote is thin and light, has 6 buttons and a touch-sensitive touchpad. It is also equipped with an accelerometer and a gyroscope that provides control through rotation and tilting, but they are mainly used in games - the functionality is similar to that of Nintendo Wiimote. The remote control is charged via a Lightning cable and operates autonomously for 6 months.
Navigating the menu using the remote is confusing, so Siri is more useful here than on the iPhone. By clicking the highlighted Siri button, you can ask her what the weather will be like tomorrow, or find out the name of the actress while watching a movie. In this case, you can satisfy your curiosity, without being distracted from watching TV, because the answer is superimposed over the image.
Siri makes it much easier to find what you want in streaming applications or return to viewing something unfinished. Annoying is that the search does not work in all programs - you can easily find what you are looking for in Netflix and iTunes, but the content of iPlayer or Now TV is not displayed.
Siri help is convenient, but not unique. Many smart TVs, such as Amazon Fire TV with GLE Alexa, Nvidia Shield TV and Roku Streaming Stick Plus, offer similar voice command features.Nevertheless, Apple's decision is one of the best, not least because the use of the assistant does not distract from viewing.
In addition, the remote can turn on the TV and adjust the volume using an IR emitter, if it is, of course, compatible.
How to connect Apple TV?
Setting up the console for iPhone owners will not be work. Just turn on the Bluetooth, put the phone near and leave. The Wi-Fi and Apple ID settings are automatically synchronized, so after a few minutes you can launch applications. In the future, you can use your iPhone as a second console or keyboard for input.
All the rest will have to mess with the remote control by entering a username and password using an annoying on-screen keyboard. This can be done with a voice using Siri, but to pronounce such information even in the privacy of their own home, not everyone will decide.
At the final stage of connecting Apple TV, the system will ask whether to include HDR if there is a compatible TV. The device knows which version of HDR is being used and will automatically install the correct one. It is necessary to turn on the TV and everything, starting from the menu and ending with applications and videos, will charm with improved colors and contrast.4K resolution is always enabled, that is, content that does not conform to the UHD format is automatically scaled. However, this is not always the best.
Automatic scaling on one side looks sharper and provides greater detail in dark areas. Even better, Apple TV provides additional contrast, at least compared to browsing through the Netflix app.
But not everything is so rosy. Better content suffers from distracting blackouts around moving objects, as well as block artifacts and halos.
Some problems can be circumvented. In the Apple TV settings, there are options for changing the resolution, refresh rate, and HDR off. By trial and error, you can find the correct setting for the appropriate source, but then you will need to switch back to 4K HDR for better content. Automatic change of settings depending on image quality is not provided.
But all this concerns only low-resolution video. 4K HDR content looks great.
The big advantage of Apple TV is the availability of a collection of videos in iTunes, since a 4K HDR movie costs as much as an HD equivalent.If the account already has a movie, then it automatically updates to 4K HDR. For those who bought their favorite movies each time when switching to VHS on DVD and then on Blu-ray, this is a great find and reason to start collecting your music library in iTunes.
In 2015, the app store did not have anything to brag about. Then the system used by the last two Apple TV was just beginning to evolve, and there was not a lot of choice. Much has changed in 2 years, and now thousands of applications are available, from games and cooking programs to interactive storybooks and fitness assistants. But there are glaring omissions. Amazon Prime Video is the loudest of them, although the manufacturer has confirmed that the application will appear before the end of 2017. However, there is no such information about Spotify. Nevertheless, those wishing to see these applications on the screen can broadcast them from their iPhone or iPad.
Due to the significant graphics power of the A10X chips, Apple TV is a convenient gaming console. Unfortunately, the remote control is not the best game controller.
Many titles transferred from iOS, and this means that a lot of platformers and runners. They need precision controls, without which it is almost impossible to do.Games that require less accuracy (for example, quests) work well. They look great on any 4K HDTV-TV, which maximizes the possibilities of Apple TV. What is a game in UHD, perfectly demonstrate the race Real Racing 3 - they look amazing on the big screen.
To increase manageability will have to invest in a Bluetooth-controller. The prefix is compatible with most of them, and this will significantly improve results in games such as Galaxy of Fire: Manticore Rising or platformers.
The only thing missing from the first versions of tvOS is parental controls. Now there is a “Restriction” option that allows you to control access at the content or application level.
The possibilities of Apple TV applications and games are not limited. The prefix is also the hub of the HomeKit smart home control system. For example, you can ask to dim the lights before watching a movie or turn on the surveillance camera at night. The range of compatible products is small, but their list is constantly increasing.
One of the best set-top boxes finally got the 4K HDR update she needed. If the smart TV is a bit clumsy,then for the user of Apple devices, the 4K set-top box will be an important addition to the home arsenal of entertainment.