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Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer



The AppleTV is a line of devices by Apple that allow you to experience content on your TV. Like other media players (Roku, FireTV, Chromecast), the AppleTV allows you to access the libraries of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Now, and others while also allowing you access to the iTunes library of content.

The AppleTV 4K

Announced September of 2017 and going on sale as of September 22, the 4K version of the AppleTV has a native resolution of 2160p and supports both Dolby Vision and HDR10 HDR formats. It's powered by the same A10X that's in the iPad Pro line (1st-gen 10.5, 2nd-gen 12.9).

Here's what the AppleTV line brings to your home theater:
  • Dedicated App Store - Like the iOS app store, find new apps for video streaming as well as gaming, shopping (eh), and other media.
  • Universal Search - Search across service providers to find what you want to watch. Search results include Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, HBO, Showtime, iTunes, and others. It can search across YouTube as well but only as a separate command ("Search YouTube for videos of cats").
  • Siri Controller - The AppleTV remote has a touch-sensitive upper half to help navigate quickly and smoothly around the interface. It also has a Siri button with which you can control the AppleTV, get basic information, search for content, and more (see below).
  • tvOS - the iOS-derived operating system.
  • For the AppleTV 4K: $179 for the 32GB version, $199 for the 64GB.
  • For the AppleTV: $149 for 32GB (refurbs can be had for $129 for 32GB or $139 for 64GB)

The remote itself is worth discussing on its own.


The top "matte" half of the remote is a touch sensor and works exactly like using the Remote app for iOS devices does. Swipe around the menu to navigate. Tap to select. While watching content, pause then swipe to scrub forward and backwards. Or just tap the very left or right edge to skip back or forwards 10 seconds. Swipe down while watching content brings up a secondary menu for subtitles, different audio, and chapters.

Moving down from the touch area, there's a Menu button and a Home (the "TV") button. Menu moves you backwards through the UI. You can press and hold it to take you all the way back to the Home screen. The Home button will do that too with just a tap. Holding the Home button can turn your TV on and off if your TV supports HDMI 1.4 (most TVs sold in the last few years). You can also double tap it to bring up your last used Apps (just like the Home button in iOS).

On the bottom half of the remote are the Siri button, your standard Play/Pause button, and a volume rocker. If your TV supports HDMI 1.4, then you can control your TV's volume with the +/- rocker. It can also control your stereo if you've got a Home Theater setup (but only one volume source can be controlled at a time).

The remote is rechargeable via an included Lightning cable. Apple quotes "months" of usability on a single charge. The AppleTV will let you know when the remote is getting low on battery.

Siri


The AppleTV is Apple's real showcase for how much they've worked on the Siri assistant service. It's now "intelligent" in that you can ask a general question like "Show me some good dramas" and you can follow up with "released in the last year" and it knows how to filter your results. You can also ask for specific content with specific actors or directors.

Siri commands feature prominently in the functionality of the AppleTV. "Play From Beginning" and "Fast Forward Two Minutes" are just the beginning. Siri can also understand more naturally spoken commands like "What did she just say?" and know to rewind 10 seconds. You can also get basic information like the weather and sport scores (just like in iOS).

This is all on top of using Siri to search for more content. Previously, navigating through an AppleTV required untold clicking. Now, you can use Siri to find what you are looking for with your voice. The remote has dual microphones to isolate ambient noises. Searching is now universal so you can see immediately if what you are looking for is only available in iTunes or Netflix or both. Third party apps can also make their content available via Siri.

Additionally, you can use Siri for dictation in search fields. While on a search/text input field, hold the Siri button and say what you want to search for. This also works for usernames and passwords and makes logging in to various services much, much more convenient.

The AppleTV


Announced September of 2015 and on sale as of October 26th, 2015, this AppleTV is the first generation of the current "Siri" AppleTV devices. It is capable of only 1080p resolution and while the internal bits are older (powered by the A8/iPhone 6 chip), the functionality is the same as the 4K model.

Other Features of the AppleTV Line
AirPlay
If you are heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem, AirPlay is one of the best perks. Nearly all current Apple devices and OSX machines can use AirPlay to stream content or mirror their device wirelessly to any AppleTV on the same WiFi network. Super handy to show off that one YouTube video you just saw or show off pictures to a room full of people.

HomeSharing
AppleTVs can only play video files encoded in H.264 or MPEG-4. Previous to tvOS, the only way to get your own video files to play via an AppleTV (without an iDevice middleman ala Plex/Air Video) was to convert it to MPEG-4 and import the converted file into iTunes. Using the same iTunes account on both your iTunes and AppleTV allows you to access your iTunes library and all your video files there.

With tvOS, other apps (like Plex) offer access your own libraries of content, regardless of format.

Single Sign On
A new app/setting to store your (mom's) cable/satellite tv credentials. No need to sign into (and get signed out of) every individual cable app. (So long as the cable/satellite provider plays nice with Apple. Comcast is a big holdout here)

iCloud
All your iCloud Photos and Music are available via the iCloud app. iCloud can also store the setup of your app layout (iCloud Home Screen) and keep multiple AppleTV's synced to display the same apps the same way.

FAQ
Which AppleTV should I get? - Do you have a 4K-capable TV? If no, then the regular AppleTV. If yes, then get the 4K version.

What are some good games to show off the ATV? - Check out the iOS gaming megathread for recommendations.

Do I have to use the Touch Remote to play games? - No. Apple rolled out a standard in iOS7 (MFi - Made for iPhone) to support gaming controllers and any controller MFi-certified will work with the AppleTV. The SteelSeries Nimbus is the standout controller.

Can I still use a Harmony or universal remote with the new AppleTV? - Yes! While the Touch Remote is connected to the AppleTV via Bluetooth, the AppleTV still has an IR port to receive commands.

Can I watch live TV with the AppleTV - Yes and most major streaming TV services (SlingTV/Playstation VUE/DirecTV Now) have really nice tvOS apps.

Additionally, if you have the creditals for a valid cable/satellite account, and if a network's app is in the app store, it could support live streaming. It may be through TV Everywhere - that service where if you enter your current cable/satellite subscription information, you could get access to that app's streaming content. It could also be offered through a network's own service like CBS All Access.

Hard mode: If you have the right hardware, the following setup will allow you to watch live TV without any subscriptions: a OTA antenna, an HDHomeRun tuner, and the Channels tvOS app or Plex app (with Plex Pass). The HDHomeRun will act as a tuner for broadcast TV and re-broadcast that signal over your home network. The Channels and Plex apps can access that signal and display the broadcast as well as pause/play functionality. Both Channels and Plex have a DVR solution (included with a $8/month sub for Channels, included with your Plex Pass sub for Plex). You'll need some kind of always-on computer (or a NAS unit) in addition to the HDHR and antenna. Works just like a TiVo or DVR from the cable company would.


I wish there was a way to go back to the home screen without hitting the Menu button a million times! - There is! I mentioned it above but pressing and holding the Menu button on the remote will return you to the home screen. This happens to be a legacy command from the old iPod days. I've included this answer here because there's still so many people who don't know about this trick. Here's a bunch of other tips and extra stuff the Touch Remote can do:
Menu Button
-Single Click: Goes back to the last screen.
-Hold: Goes back to the Home screen.
-Double Click: Activates the screensaver.
-Triple Click: Enables the Accessibility menu (VoiceOver and Zoom).
Home Button
-Single Click: Goes directly to the Home screen -OR- can send you to the TV app. You can choose your preference in Settings.
-Hold: Puts AppleTV to Sleep along with turning off any HDMI-CEC devices.
-Double Click: Pulls up the app switcher.
Play/Pause
-Single Click: Play/Pause.
-Hold: Sends you to the Apple Music app to whatever the last song was playing.
-Clicking when entering text: Capitalizes (or uncapitalizes) letters.
-Clicking when moving an app: Deletes app.
Home + Menu Buttons
-Holding together will force a restart.

When can I pick one of these up at the Apple Store/Target/Retailer of my choice? - Now!

Will Legacy AppleTV remotes work with the new AppleTV? Yes! Just no Siri, touchpad, etc. But as directional buttons, play/pause, etc. they work fine.

I don't want to enter my iTunes password every time I want to rent/buy something. But I also don't want my child/jerkass neighbor/deadbeat friend to buy some lovely app. Is there anything I can do? - Yes! Go to Settings->General->Restrictions. Turn Restrictions on and set up a 4 digit pin code. Then set the iTunes Store to Restricted. Now you don't have to enter your iTunes password and you are protected against random app/media purchases.

Thwomp fucked around with this message at 14:20 on Dec 6, 2017

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Rick Sanchez
Sep 22, 2004

AIDS!

Nice OP! Thanks Thwomp

Anyone know when they'll have these available to mess with in Apple Stores?

Also, when is the embargo lifted for full reviews?

Rick Sanchez fucked around with this message at 14:40 on Oct 26, 2015

Mahoning
Feb 3, 2007


Nice OP. Ordered my 32GB this morning. Doubt I'll need any more than that.

I love my old AppleTV despite its flaws, so I've been really excited for something new to come out. Will definitely be posting here with my thoughts once I receive it.

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

Rick Sanchez posted:

Anyone know when they'll have these available to mess with in Apple Stores?

Also, when is the embargo lifted for full reviews?

They'll likely have display units out whenever these start to ship so maybe this weekend?

As for full reviews, likely also after they start to ship but only for those outlets that received the developer preview kits. Most reviews won't start appearing until about a week or so afterwards.

I predict that most reviews will settle on this: "Faster and easier to navigate than past AppleTVs, Siri universal search is a great addition, and App Store holds the future of the device but is currently bereft of killer apps."

Thwomp fucked around with this message at 15:34 on Oct 26, 2015

Endless Mike
Aug 13, 2003

Get running
Start pumping your bunions, I'm coming
I'm the dumbest, who flamethrow your function to Funyons
Flame your crew quicker than Trump fucks his youngest
Now face the flame fuckers your fame and fate's done with





Thwomp posted:

I predict that most reviews will settle on this: "Faster and easier to navigate than past AppleTVs, Siri universal search is a great addition, and App Store holds the future of the device but is currently bereft of killer apps."
Verge Score: 8.0/10

I imagine they'll have display units out by Friday (since that's when the first buyers will be getting them), but they're being coy about when they start selling in-store.

ufarn
May 30, 2009


The remote still seems incredibly weird to use as a game controller to me.

BGrifter
Mar 16, 2007

#1 CAPITALS FAN
Available on the App Store


Hmmmmm $199/$269 in Canada. Guess I'm getting the 32gb!

haveblue
Aug 15, 2005




Toilet Rascal

ufarn posted:

The remote still seems incredibly weird to use as a game controller to me.

It will be, but it makes sense that Apple would mandate that all games are playable without having to buy a third party accessory.

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

Here's hoping the TV App Store eventually has a "Best Games Built for MFi" section.

priznat
Jul 7, 2009

Let's get drunk and kiss each other all night.

BGrifter posted:

Hmmmmm $199/$269 in Canada. Guess I'm getting the 32gb!

Yep, same.

Probably just gonna pick one up at the apple store on the weekend just because I get way too much enjoyment of being able to buy with my phone's camera.

Looking forward to seeing how siri will handle a 3 year old demanding to watch Peppa Pig.

Kilometers Davis
Jul 9, 2007

They begin again



How likely is it that I'll be able to head to Best Buy/Target on Friday and grab one of these? I'm cautiously holding off on preordering in hopes I can get one faster from retail.

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

priznat posted:

Looking forward to seeing how siri will handle a 3 year old demanding to watch Peppa Pig.

This is my big question with the universal search. When you ask to find a movie, will it also list everything on YouTube that also matches that movie?


Kilometers Davis posted:

How likely is it that I'll be able to head to Best Buy/Target on Friday and grab one of these? I'm cautiously holding off on preordering in hopes I can get one faster from retail.

No one knows what quantities will be available at Apple Stores on Friday, let alone 3rd party retailers.

priznat
Jul 7, 2009

Let's get drunk and kiss each other all night.

Thwomp posted:

This is my big question with the universal search. When you ask to find a movie, will it also list everything on YouTube that also matches that movie?

My guess is toggle switches for each service to include or not in search results. With Siri being able to search specific ones even if it is disabled in general search by saying stuff like "find me videos of escalators on YouTube" (also a hot subject for videos at my house)

Hm I wonder if you can switch between user accounts easily otherwise my recommendations on YouTube are gonna get really messed up.

mulls
Jul 30, 2013



Reviews embargo will probably lift Wednesday (usually it's two days before shipments go out), so a lot of these questions and more will be answered.

My big hope is the Remote app is updated to let your iPhone or Apple Watch act as a Siri microphone.

canyonero
Aug 3, 2006


Cult of Mac has a sorta review (they call it a review anyway). App Store doesn't seem available yet (read: no Plex).
http://www.cultofmac.com/393941/4th-generation-apple-tv-review/

Remember that you should be able to combine Discover's Apple Pay bonus if you buy in store. Not sure if BestBuy supports Apple Pay yet.

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

Ugh, that review just feels like a rushjob to get it out before anyone else.

The guy is complaining about Siri not working (it's a developer preview and maybe the whole backend service wasn't quite ready?) and appears clueless as to why an IR port is even included. What's the point of reviewing the device when its backend services and major new features (app store, gaming) isn't available to test yet?

That said, if Siri isn't working as intended, it'll be a huge sore point.

Endless Mike
Aug 13, 2003

Get running
Start pumping your bunions, I'm coming
I'm the dumbest, who flamethrow your function to Funyons
Flame your crew quicker than Trump fucks his youngest
Now face the flame fuckers your fame and fate's done with





He needs to find a better phrase to use than "it is unclear."

And really, WHAT POSSIBLE USE COULD AN IR RECEIVER HAVE? BOY, I JUST CAN'T THINK OF ANYTHING!!!

canyonero
Aug 3, 2006


At least he included a section on the screen saver!

Mahoning
Feb 3, 2007


Thwomp posted:

That said, if Siri isn't working as intended, it'll be a huge sore point.

The only thing hardware-wise that could possibly make Siri not work as well as it does on every other Apple device is either the quality of the mic in the controller, or the Bluetooth connection to the device itself. The former is possible but not likely considering Apple's track record with quality components, the latter is not likely considering Bluetooth is otherwise super reliable.

I'd probably chalk it up to either user error or most likely the ATV-specific Siri algorithms not being fully cooked yet, without a ton of user data.

Feenix
Mar 14, 2003
Sorry, guy.


Mahoning posted:

The only thing hardware-wise that could possibly make Siri not work as well as it does on every other Apple device is either the quality of the mic in the controller, or the Bluetooth connection to the device itself. The former is possible but not likely considering Apple's track record with quality components, the latter is not likely considering Bluetooth is otherwise super reliable.

I'd probably chalk it up to either user error or most likely the ATV-specific Siri algorithms not being fully cooked yet, without a ton of user data.

I agree with this. It just doesn't seem likely that Apple would release something with its core functionality essentially broken.

Xabi
Jan 21, 2006

Inventor of the Marmite pasty


Happy to be in the "Big" 32 club. I just hope I can handle the touch remote.

Martytoof
Feb 25, 2003

 
 




The "games must be playable on remote" thing is crappy. I know what Apple is going for, but I'm really hoping they find some way to loosen the restriction.

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

I suspect games that want to require the use of a 3rd party controller will make it pretty clear that "for the best experience, please use a controller" is prominently displayed.

Endless Mike
Aug 13, 2003

Get running
Start pumping your bunions, I'm coming
I'm the dumbest, who flamethrow your function to Funyons
Flame your crew quicker than Trump fucks his youngest
Now face the flame fuckers your fame and fate's done with





Yeah, I'm betting the "restriction" can be pretty easily worked around.

FCKGW
May 21, 2006



canyonero posted:

Cult of Mac has a sorta review (they call it a review anyway). App Store doesn't seem available yet (read: no Plex).
http://www.cultofmac.com/393941/4th-generation-apple-tv-review/

Remember that you should be able to combine Discover's Apple Pay bonus if you buy in store. Not sure if BestBuy supports Apple Pay yet.

They took it down, I'm guessing it went up too early.

Endless Mike
Aug 13, 2003

Get running
Start pumping your bunions, I'm coming
I'm the dumbest, who flamethrow your function to Funyons
Flame your crew quicker than Trump fucks his youngest
Now face the flame fuckers your fame and fate's done with





My credit card has been charged, so maybe they're shipping earlier than expected.

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

canyonero posted:

Remember that you should be able to combine Discover's Apple Pay bonus if you buy in store. Not sure if BestBuy supports Apple Pay yet.
They do.

noirstronaut
Aug 10, 2012

by Cowcaster


I'm a little bit lost, but is the 64GB even realistically fill-up-able?

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

It's anybody's guess right now. There's a lot of functions in place to reduce app size but it remains to be seen how much it'll take to fill these things.

Yeast
Dec 25, 2006

$1900 Grande Latte


64 seems a pretty tall order to fill up for this generation.

By the time massive games and apps are becoming available, we'll be ordering the next gen.

So, probably not essential for the 99%

Feenix
Mar 14, 2003
Sorry, guy.


Yeast posted:

64 seems a pretty tall order to fill up for this generation.

By the time massive games and apps are becoming available, we'll be ordering the next gen.

So, probably not essential for the 99%

On the flip side by the time massive games and apps are becoming available a used ATV4 with more storage might have better appeal/resale value.

Martytoof
Feb 25, 2003

 
 




Don't forget that it seems that for now apps are limited to 200mb on-disk while everything else is served on-demand.

I suspect that's something that will get adjusted up at some point but I wouldn't worry about any one game or app killing most of my storage any time soon.

e.pilot
Nov 20, 2011

MR.FUSION
#TEAMTRASHMILES


I was just in the Apple Store today picking up an iPad and completely forgot to check out the new ATV.

Feenix
Mar 14, 2003
Sorry, guy.


All the bits get delivered the same way... via download... So I'm not sure how it makes a difference overall.

200mb downloaded from the App Store and 2gb downloaded once the app launches is still 2gb and 200mb of bandwidth.


e.pilot posted:

I was just in the Apple Store today picking up an iPad and completely forgot to check out the new ATV.


I don't think you would have seen anything.

Mister Facetious
Apr 21, 2007


You're Goddamned right I support Medicare for all.







Are these things still not worth buying if I live in Canada and don't have cable (No Hulu, Vudu, Amazon Instant, WWE, NHL, etc. etc. etc. )?

Serious question, by the way.

Feenix
Mar 14, 2003
Sorry, guy.


Mister Macys posted:

Are these things still not worth buying if I live in Canada and don't have cable?

Serious question, by the way.

I live in America. I have no cable. I have Netflix. And I have loooots of content via Plex.

I use my AppleTV every night. It's indispensable.

Endless Mike
Aug 13, 2003

Get running
Start pumping your bunions, I'm coming
I'm the dumbest, who flamethrow your function to Funyons
Flame your crew quicker than Trump fucks his youngest
Now face the flame fuckers your fame and fate's done with





Feenix posted:

All the bits get delivered the same way... via download... So I'm not sure how it makes a difference overall.

200mb downloaded from the App Store and 2gb downloaded once the app launches is still 2gb and 200mb of bandwidth.



I don't think you would have seen anything.
It's going to depend on the app, obviously, but they won't necessarily download all on-demand content immediately. The example Polygon used is a game with, say, 10 levels. It will download a tutorial and the first few levels, and then start downloading later levels as you approach them, assuming you ever do. It will also delete unused or less-used data slices if you start to run out of storage. How much this will impact storage use remains to be seen, of course.

mulls
Jul 30, 2013



Also, user-created data like save files must be backed up to iCloud and able to be pulled down later because the system has to be able to delete local user-created data without warning.

Martytoof
Feb 25, 2003

 
 




Mister Macys posted:

Are these things still not worth buying if I live in Canada and don't have cable (No Hulu, Vudu, Amazon Instant, WWE, NHL, etc. etc. etc. )?

Serious question, by the way.

I use my ATV3 every day. Netflix, Youtube, NHL, and MLB until recently.

New one will likely be a lot more flexible since content will essentially be user submitted apps so we'll get Plex, probably Hockeystreams, etc.

There's a bunch of stuff that has Plex channels too that I watch even though I'm in Canada using unblock-us.

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tofes
Mar 31, 2011

#1 Milpitas Dave and Buster's superfan since 2013


Will Amazon video finally be on AppleTV?

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