Written by Nick Heer.

New Apple TV 4K With USB-C Remote

I am tempted to pick one of these up to replace my 2015 HD model which — you will be surprised to learn, reader — is feeling a little old. Apple dropped the price by about $50, too, while doubling the storage in the base model. Sounds pretty good, right?

Alas, it is a little more complicated than that. First, you need to upgrade to the 128 GB model if you want Thread and its better integration with smart home accessories. To be fair, it is just a $20 upgrade and you get double the storage, but even the base model of the previous generation supported Thread. Second, Apple has changed the charging port on the remote to USB-C, but chose this year to exclude a charging cable from the box. Apple now sells a one-metre long USB-C charging cable in addition to the existing two-metre version.1 It is not a big deal; it just feels a bit like a nickel-and-dime move, especially when combined with the feature reductions on the base model. So, while the price may have dropped by $50 in Canada, if you want to use an Apple TV for a smart home base station and you want to match the in-box contents of the now-discontinued 32 GB model, you are spending the same amount as before but getting four times the storage.

Which brings me back to the first sentence: I am tempted to buy one, if only because there is so much interface lag in my present model connected to an HD television that I am surprised its A8 processor could power the iPad Mini 4.

  1. It is not visible anywhere on that store page, but the meta description in the markup confirms it also supports USB 2 speeds for data transfers. $25 Canadian is pretty steep for a crappy USB-C cable that is primarily intended for power, but at least it is braided.

    Also, the remote still does not have an ultra wideband chip in it to make it easier to find. Bizarre. ↩︎