Should I wait to buy an Apple TV?


We’ve just upgraded our TV to an OLED 4K. Obviously, I want to get the best out of it, given the investment.
My question is: Should I upgrade our current Apple TV gen2 to a gen5 Apple TV 4K now or should I wait, bearing in mind that it came out in 2017?



I don’t know if we’ll see a substantial hardware upgrade to the Apple TV 4K anytime soon. It already supports 4K and HDR, so I don’t know that there’s a lot they could add, at least in terms of the TV experience.

What I think is more likely is that when Apple launches their streaming TV service we’ll either see new, lower-cost hardware or a price drop on the current hardware (possibly something like bundling the Apple TV hardware with a year of the Apple TV service).

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I think 2019 will see some big changes for Apple in its TV distribution. The top TV manufacturers are integrating Apple TV content into their televisions, and Apple is gearing up with billions of dollars in shows it’s producing right now. Makes sense that in order to make its content more available, if not ubiquitous, it will make the boxes cheaper and more competitive. Maybe a cheaper 4K stick, maybe just lower prices, maybe tiers (with a new high-end machine including game controllers).

But the current 4K model will probably be good for the next few years of use. If you need something now, get it, and sell it is something significantly more attractive comes along.

FYI in the US Apple is selling refurb Apple TVs for $150 and $170 ($30 off), with full, as-new one-year warranties.

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I think you are correct. If Apple wants to reach a broad audience with their new video service, requiring a $150+ device, or a new TV, to try it out will be a non-starter for a lot of people. I suspect they will need to offer an Amazon FireStick 4K type device for $49.

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Or get their TV streaming service on the Fire Stick (same as they got Apple Music on the Echo).



I don’t know that we’ll see any significant hardware improvements any time soon.

Sure, there might be a cheaper version out later this year, but I don’t see it happening before WWDC or probably the fall.

So I’d go ahead and get (a refurbished) one now if you can benefit from it.

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Thanks for finding this. I hope someone in our community can take advantage of this great offer.

Unfortunately, what’s available in the US Store isn’t there in the European stores. My country store is the Spanish one and ATVs appear VERY rarely as refurbs.



I’m going to fly against the grain a little here. I believe Apple Arcade games will work across iPhone, iPad, Mac and AppleTV. Is the current generation powerful enough to support rich gaming experiences?



No, it’s not if you’re thinking of 3D. It pretty much sucks and games are low frame rate and horrible to play. Mind you, a 3000€ iMac is the same. So, I’m not holding my breath on them releasing anything capable of really immersive gaming anytime soon.

The only devices that are quite capable right now are newer iOS devices, but even the latest iPad Pros only have the graphics power of a 2005 XBox 360.

I’ll be sticking to my XBox One X if I want immersive games.

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Update: Managed to get a 64GB ATV 4K on the Apple Refurb Store (hooray!) for 15% off MRRP. It took a lot of patience, but that finally brought results.



I think this is a common ‘gamer’ fallacy. Graphics don’t need to be bleeding edge to be ‘immersive’. There’s a major flaw in this reasoning.

The XBox 360 was considered ‘immersive’ when it was current gen. The fact that graphics capabilities have advanced does not negate that it was more than adequate for a long time. Ergo the graphics of the new iPad Pros are ‘immersive’. The Nintendo 64 was ‘immersive’. Skyrim runs on the Switch and it’s easily one of the most immersive and engaging games ever made. It loses nothing for being on ‘weaker’ hardware or running at 720p on a handheld screen.

Games don’t even need to be in 3D to be ‘immersive’.

The graphics of the Apple TV are limited, for sure but that does not mean the games are somehow of lower quality or less fun. The conflation of modern graphics with ‘immersiveness’ and gameplay quality is a constant issue in the gamer community.

How can your XBox One X be immersive when compared to an ultrawide PC monitor running 120fps in HDR with DLSS by that logic? It’s not really a meaningful statement. Your XBox doesn’t cease to be immersive just because something new with better technology comes along in six months.

If you wanna say ‘I really enjoy games with cutting edge graphics so those are the games I wanna play’ then I’m 100% with that. You probably aren’t interested in Apple Arcade games at all in that case, and that is fine.

If the Apple Arcade games support the current gen of Apple TVs then the games will run adequately. I haven’t had any real issues with games on the Apple TV. They will look better on more powerful hardware (if they were written to look better on more powerful hardware).

If what you want it access to Apple Arcade games, and you want to play them on your TV you need an Apple TV anyway. If not to play the game on directly then to AirPlay Mirror to. You can wait and see if there’s a new model between now and the end of the year. I’d argue if you’re not hurting to get one right away then at least hold off until WWDC at this point as this is the major event between today and the Apple Arcade launch. If something is coming I’d say it’ll be announced then if at all.

I do my gaming on a PS4 Pro, but not because it’s got the best graphics possible. It’s because it has the best games. You go wherever you can get the games you want to play.

Returning to the original discussion. Apple doesn’t need to produce a cheap TV stick. They might, but they’re already embedding the TV app in new TVs from a number of manufacturers. It seems to me that adding AirPlay, HomeKit, and iTunes support to Samsung and such’s new models is their FireTV stick. it’s just going to come embedded in your new technology no additional purchase necessary.

So if you just want access to TV+ you probably don’t need an Apple TV at all if you’re buying a shiny new screen anyway. The Apple TV then becomes about the App Store and Apple Arcade.



I am still happily running a previous gen Apple TV which gives me Netflix, YouTube and the Film/TV library, most tech does not need to be renewed as often as the manufacturers would like you to.



The problem for me is mainly is that games on AppleTV usually make me feel dizzy because of the low framerate. Sure, 2D games run well and there are some good ones in the App Store. In addition, it is great for kids as most the games are designed for a younger audience in mind, and are are not full of gore like most console titles.



I’d love it if we got an Apple TV with iPad Pro class hardware and that shipped with a proper 16 button controller. Then we could actually see some more diversity of games and some mainstream titles.