Apple TV Comparison Chart Published

| Product News

Apple has published a comparison chart showing the major differences between its $69 2013 Apple TV and "the new Apple TV" announced on September 9 that starts at $149. Most people will probably call the new model the "4th generation" version.

Excerpt from the chart. Image credit: Apple

Notable items include:

  1. The new (4th gen) Apple TV is capable of Dolby Digital 7.1 output. The 3rd generation model only supported Dolby Digital 5.1.
  2. The 4th gen Apple TV adds 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
  3. The 4th gen Apple has HDMI 1.4 suggesting that, unless there's a facility for a firmware upgrade on already capable hardware, this model really is limited to 1080p.

A learn more link near the top takes you to much more information about the 4th gen Apple TV.

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Still trying to determine which model to buy. How would the extra 32 GB help in the $200 model?


This is conjecture, but if the future of TV is “apps”, then you’re going to need some RAM to store those apps and the associated data.  Also, if you’re into gaming, I’m sure those are going to eat up RAM as well.


Usually when you see comparison charts like this for offerings from the same company, there’s at least a few items that are common between both devices.  Otherwise you make the lesser device look pretty useless, which is exactly how the 3rd gen AppleTV comes across in their own chart.  Apple, would it kill you to add a few common features like:
- Stream all purchased iTunes Store movies, TV shows & songs through it
- Buy all those same things from the iTunes store through it
- Stream stuff from you Mac’s iTunes library through it

Good question ibuck, I’m afraid we won’t get any answers until some people get these in their hands and the TV app store starts filling up with apps.  I expect TV channels won’t need a lot of space but games probably will.  But then there’s the ‘app thinning’ coming to iOS9, which I presume will also apply tvOS, which could radically change the space requirements of our devices.  No one seems to know how much it will affect the capacity of iOS devices yet and I’m surprised more people aren’t talking about this.

My assumption is that the tvOS App Store is going to take off and you’ll never complain about spending an extra $50 and hardly ever worry about space on your AppleTV vs. saving $50 up-front but having to manage what apps are installed after 6 months.


Apparently, the maximum amount of data that any app can use, on the AppleTV 4, is 2.2GB. (More resources can be downloaded and others automatically deleted to make room for the new ones, as necessary.) Even if part of the storage space wasn’t already consumed by the OS and built-in apps, the 32GB could, technically, limit you to about 14 apps.  Assuming 1) that apps (games) for a TV-console will be bigger than those for phones and tablets and 2) the AppleTV will be holding apps for the whole family, the extra memory will likely be very useful.


Like the other iOS devices (phone, pad, watch), the quoted memory amount also has to hold the Operating System, so that’s roughly 4GB already used. I’m also hoping that a larger amount is used for buffering—I seem to hit the limits of how much video is on hand very easily when scrubbing through my TV programs.

Even accounting for these, I’d guess that would leave space for around 10 of the largest apps possible. Since most apps won’t come near that amount, I expect you’ll still be able to fit dozens of apps/channels, and conceivably hundreds on the 64GB model.

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