Engadget reviews Apple TV 4K: Finally, no compromises; the Apple TV we’ve been waiting for

“Apple’s long-awaited fourth-generation Apple TV was almost a slam dunk. The only problem? It didn’t have 4K,” Devindra Hardawar writes for Engadget. “That was a notable omission since both Amazon and Roku released streaming players supporting the new format in 2015.”

“Now, Apple is finally ready to enter the ultra-high-definition fray with the Apple TV 4K. But, as usual with 4K hardware, the real star of the show isn’t the resolution bump over 1080p — it’s support for high-dynamic range (HDR) video,” Hardawar writes. “And in typical Apple fashion, they’ve also figured out a few ways to make all of this new technology more accessible than the competition.”

“I’ve only spent a day with the Apple TV 4K so far (our full review is coming next week), but I can already tell that it’s the streaming box I’ve been waiting for,” Hardawar writes. “Also making a reappearance is the slim remote that came alongside the last Apple TV… the new model won’t win over people who didn’t like the last version… There are still potential downsides to Apple’s new set-top box. Its support for surround sound audio tops out with Dolby 7.1 — not the newer and more immersive Atmos format. And, at the moment, Apple isn’t offering any iTunes TV shows in 4K. But those are both things that can change over time with some licensing deals and software updates.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s too bad Apple didn’t see fit to really redesign that horrid Siri Remote, a design abomination* if there ever was one. Virtually every Apple TV 4K review mentions it as a downside. For a premium-priced streaming system, users should expect a premium remote control.

So, each of our Siri Remotes are immediately clad in $6.79 Akwox Remote Cases (we don’t use the supplied wrist straps) that allow us to immediately tell which side is up by touch, correcting one of Apple’s many Siri Remote design flaws. The Siri Remotes are for family members and visitors to use. We’ll mainly be using our Apple Watch, iPhone, and iPad Remote app to control our Apple TVs.

*With the Siri Remote, users can’t tell which end is up in a darkened room due to uniform rectangular shape. The remote is still too small, so it gets lost easily. All buttons are the same size and similarly smooth. Only the Siri button attempts to be different to the touch, but the slightness of its concavity is too subtle to matter; a raised dot on the button would have been much easier for users to feel. The tactile difference between the bottom of the remote vs. the upper Glass Touch surface is too subtle as well; this also leads to not being able to tell which end is up. A remote with a simple wedge shape (slightly thicker in depth at the bottom vs. the top), as opposed to a uniform slab, would have instantly communicated the proper orientation to the user.

22 Comments

      1. It used to have it, now it’s gone. Apple wants you to stream, never mind what you want.

        Anyway, how is it not a compromise? All you’ve stated are that all iOS devices are compromised.

        This is NOT an advancement, having to stream. What if you’re in the middle of nowhere, no internet, and you can’t watch your movies just when you want to the most?

        Also streaming is slow, unreliable, expensive and wasteful. Would you keep a drive that was as dependable as streaming? It also removes you control of your content.

        I prefer the cloud as a peripheral, not being a peripheral to the cloud. That’s mainframe thinking.

  1. For real home theatre enthusiasts, no one uses that remote anyways. Logitech Harmony One.

    Also, there’s an app called Infuse 5 Pro which is roughly $15 which does pass through DTS-HD-MA which I use for my movie collection, none of which are from the iTunes Store. Works like a charm.

  2. I don’t own the current ATV, but to read comments about the Remote are startling. I immediately thought of most recent news per A-Watch/wifi. These two matters make me truly convinced Jony is too far removed and there’s no one else with a Jobsian awareness/insistence the smallest of details matter. Ironically, the two issues aren’t “small” and both should have been countered at the front end of the process. They seem like no-brainers to me.

    1. Don’t think Jony can be held responsible for the wifi problem it’s the look of the software not the functionality he is responsible for. The remote is another matter, I’m amazed it hasn’t been tweaked to remove the more annoying issues as it would hardly be difficult.

    2. The Apple Watch connection issue *is* minor. The watch hasn’t even been released at retail, yet. And Apple is already working on a software fix – it should be simple and released soon. So there is no connection/comparison with the ATV remote design issues.

      The Apple TV remote does remind me of the hockey puck mouse. Apple liked it (or, at least, SJ must have), but its appeal was not apparent to many Mac users (myself included). I used it, but I did not like it.

      Given that the ATV remote has been out for a while, I am surprised that Apple did not see fit to update it. Some of the complaints would have been simple to fix with minor revisions to the housing.

      1. It’s not minor when it’s a problem that should have been easily observed by those tasked with QC. It’s not as if it’s a rare occurrence issue–call it pedestrian actually. It’s also not minor when one considers effects of bad press…even though it’s something AAPL will/can endure.

  3. There are times I really….really….really get bored of MDN’s perpetual bashing of things they don’t like. At some point, MDN needs to get over it.. If their commentary does not impact Apple enough to make a change, then doing it over and over again doesn’t accomplish anything..

    In this particular case the Siri remote, could it be better, sure.. are there options, yes, but its time to get over it…

    1. The reasons Apple is situated as it is relates to an attitude counter to your position, Macinfo. High expectations breed excellence. Letting things slide, or “getting over it,” is the path for mediocrity. Get a bag full of “get over its” and it will start to smell like MS. I get it, AAPL’s the richest company on the planet, TC’s a operations genius and stockholders/followers of AAPL should be happy. But when you go from worrying about the color and placement of wires inside/unseen in a CPU chassis (orig iMac), to a remote that has for years been clumsy and with simpleton “improvements,” expecting better “options,” is in-line…esp if one seeks/wants excellence. The Remote should have been “solved” long ago and the AWatch wifi issue should never have seen the light of day.

  4. I never used apple remote, only use harmony, the option of all previous purchases convert to 4k is the reason for me to update and buy new ATv. I will get some money by selling the old one.

  5. ha ha …. that remote case !! which u posted a link too 😂😂 WTF….. that thing is ugly… it would not get any space in my house. get a grip of yourself, sure the apple remote is a nightmare, but dear lord, that contraption is hideous

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