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You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Mac News > New Apple TV preorders begin, shipments start on October 30

New Apple TV preorders begin, shipments start on October 30
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NewsPoster
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Oct 26, 2015, 10:00 AM
 
Preorders for both models of the fourth generation Apple TV have commenced. The major revision to the line, which now includes a sought-after app ecosystem for the device, retails for $149 for the 32GB version, with the 64 GB version selling for $199. Shipments for the Apple TV begin on October 30.

The main appearance of the device has not changed much, having a similar footprint to earlier models, and standing about a half an inch taller. Running on a 64-bit A8 chip, it includes Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MIMO, an IR receiver, and on the back, HDMI, power, and Ethernet. The optical audio port has been stricken from this version of the Apple TV.

The fourth generation Apple TV comes with a new remote control, which includes a glass touchpad near the top that allows users to swipe and navigate the new interface. The remote includes five buttons, including a menu, play and pause, display, and a volume rocker, along with a Siri button to trigger the virtual assistant for voice-based search.

An accelerometer and gyroscope allows the remote to be used as a motion controller in games, and its battery can last for up to three months on a single charge. Only one touchpad remote can be paired per Apple TV -- multiplayer games require iOS devices with an updated remote app.

The Apple TV is running on Apple's offshoot of iOS called tvOS, with developers given access to APIs and software development kit specifically for the device. While it is being used for video apps, it is also able to power games, including Disney Infinity and Guitar Hero, as well as other apps previously available on iOS.
( Last edited by NewsPoster; Oct 26, 2015 at 11:32 AM. )
     
edac2
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Oct 26, 2015, 10:15 AM
 
This might be the wrong product at the wrong time, a first for the post-Jobs Apple. That the new, more expensive AppleTV now includes a "sought-after app ecosystem" might not impress many users since the iPhone already has this covered. Sought after by whom, I wonder? It's also funny that if you pronounce tvOS as a word, it sounds like Tivo's.
     
Mike Wuerthele
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Oct 26, 2015, 10:34 AM
 
We'll let you know. Our review unit is expected on the 30th. The A8 is welcome, but I'm very public in my criticism of not including 4K on this run.
     
mindwaves
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Oct 26, 2015, 10:56 AM
 
Although I will buy the new Apple TV, I am worried about the recent pricing structure of Apple.

New Apple TV is substantially more expensive than old model. New Magic Trackpad is the same. Apple pencil is very expensive, and so is the keyboard for the iPad pro.
( Last edited by mindwaves; Oct 26, 2015 at 11:07 AM. )
{{{ mindwaves }}}
     
Alphaman
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Oct 26, 2015, 11:19 AM
 
Typo: 32GB model is $149, not $169.
     
bjurasz1
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Oct 26, 2015, 11:24 AM
 
I'm reserving judgement. Not fond of the price. Our current Apple TVs (two gen-2s and one gen-3) have severe Netflix reliability issues, so not fond of that. Apple needs to get its Netflix issue solved plus deliver me some great channel Apps before I'll spend that much money. Give me access to motorsports (Moto GP, Indy Car, Formula One) direct through ATV and we'll cut the cord.
     
lockhartt
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Oct 26, 2015, 12:05 PM
 
I'm not sure where the Netflix reliability issues come from, whether it's on Apple, the ISPs that hate to see so much of their bandwidth gobbled up, or some combination. I must admit; however, that after connecting my Apple TV directly to the Airport Extreme (as opposed to wireless connection) I have not really seen any significant issues with Netflix on the Apple TV.
     
HPeet
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Oct 26, 2015, 01:00 PM
 
"The optical audio port has been stricken from this version of the Apple TV."

No audio?? WTF!
     
Mike Wuerthele
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Oct 26, 2015, 01:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by HPeet View Post
"The optical audio port has been stricken from this version of the Apple TV."

No audio?? WTF!
Yup, HDMI only.
     
bjojade
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Oct 26, 2015, 02:09 PM
 
The output of the unit is strictly HDMI. This device has been designed to connect directly into your TV, and that's it. It makes sense on Apple's part to simplify the solution, as the majority of customers would never use the optical audio output. While it would be nice from a flexibility standpoint to offer different audio vs video path options, if only a few of the target customers need it, adding it isn't financially logical.

The good news is that there are a plethora of HDMI audio extraction devices on the market that allow you to plug HDMI in and get analog or optical audio out and still pass through the HDMI signal. The sucky thing is that they are ugly, but you can tuck them away easily enough, so it shouldn't be much of an issue.

As far as offering 4k content, that would mean Apple chasing specs simply for the reason of chasing specs. Reducing the compression on 1080p content would have a far greater impact on the quality of video that you are watching, yet have lower bandwidth requirements than heavily compressed 4K video.

If you are dealing with full quality video, on a 50 inch screen 6 feet away, you will most likely not be able to tell the difference between a 1080P screen and a 4K screen. However, compression artifacts are VERY visible. Uncompressed 1080P would look far better than compressed 4K.
     
robot prom
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Oct 26, 2015, 04:01 PM
 
I'm still waiting on in store pickup. It goes back and forth between "Coming soon" and "Unavailable for Pickup".
     
macjockey
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Oct 29, 2015, 08:26 PM
 
my order shipped this morning! ETA delivery Friday
     
Ham Sandwich
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Oct 30, 2015, 07:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by Mike Wuerthele View Post
We'll let you know. Our review unit is expected on the 30th. The A8 is welcome, but I'm very public in my criticism of not including 4K on this run.
I have been equally scrutinizing on TV since it still doesn't support "4K" (which isn't actually 4K pixels anyway).

But since there still isn't much in the way of (uncompressed) 4K content out there, unless you plan on watching Spiderman 100 times and objectively studying all of the new pixels that you didn't see at 1080p, you're not missing much.

Not to mention, streaming media is so compressed that you see digital artifacts on a big screen, and more easily still with higher gam monitors. And a blu-ray movie disc won't show anywhere as many artifacts. (Come to think about it, even DVD will scale nicely to 1080p since the artifacts are consistent.) Can you imagine how much more compression will be needed for 4K streaming? Unless you're watching all high-speed noise for movies, you're going to see the pixelation. I prefer to stick with blu-rays if I'm going to pay for a movie. Honest.


On a side note, all the streaming compression is turning me off to buying any new big-screen TV since I want nothing less than visual perfection on my screen.
     
   
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