Apple TV Overview Updated April 11, 2022

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September 2010 - April 2022

The Apple TV is Apple’s set-top box that runs tvOS. The company currently sells the updated Apple TV HD first introduced in 2015 and the 2021 second-generation Apple 4K models. Alongside the two products, Apple also has the Apple TV app, which is available for iOS and Android users as well as lots of smart TV owners, and Apple TV+, the company’s video streaming service with exclusive original content.


The first-generation Apple TV was unveiled in September 2006. The product, which would be called iTV, couldn’t have this name since the British terrestrial broadcast network ITV already held the right to the name in the UK and threatened to take legal action against Apple.

Shipped six months later, the first Apple TV had a 40GB HDD, and a 160GB HDD option was later released.

The second-generation Apple TV was announced in September of 2010 and was the first model to run on a variant of iOS. In a smaller, all-black case, it was one-quarter the size of the original Apple TV. The HDD was replaced by 8GB of internal flash storage, enough for buffering purposes. Also different from the first set-top box, this one was only used for streaming content. It also supported output up to 720p over HDMI only.

The third-generation Apple TV was released almost two years later in March 2012. It included the A5 chip and support for 1080p output. As of 2021, the third-generation set-top box still works with streaming services including Apple TV+, Apple TV Channels, Amazon Prime Video, and Netflix.

The fourth generation, or the Apple TV HD, was the biggest revamp to the set-top box in years, and it launched in September 2015. With a brand-new black remote charged via Lightning cable, it introduced the tvOS operating system with an App Store allowing downloads of third-party apps for video, audio, games, and other content. This device includes the A8 processor and support for Dolby Digital Plus.

Two years later, in September of 2017, Apple introduced the fifth-generation Apple TV, or the Apple TV 4K, which supports 2160p output, HDR10, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, and includes the A10X Fusion processor. This model is similar to the fourth-generation model with the only difference being the addition of vents on the base and the removal of the USB-C port.

The sixth-generation Apple TV, or the second-generation Apple TV 4K, was introduced in April of 2021. With a similar design to its predecessor, the main change is the A12 chip and the second-generation Siri Remote.


Currently, Apple sells the fourth and sixth generation of its set-top box.

Apple TV HD (fourth-generation)

Launched in 2015, the Apple TV HD uses the A8 chip with 64-bit architecture. It supports videos up to 1080p and 60 fps. Only available in 32GB storage option, the set-top box uses the second-generation Siri Remote, featuring Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology, an IR transmitter, and a Lightning connector for charging.

These are its ports and interfaces: HDMI 1.4, 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MIMO, 10/100BASE-T Ethernet, IR receiver, USB-C for service and support, built-in power supply.

The fourth-generation Apple TV runs the latest tvOS software, currently on iOS 15.

Apple TV 4K (sixth-generation)

Launched in 2021, the second-generation Apple TV 4K uses the A12 Bionic chip with 64-bit architecture. It supports videos up to 2160p and 60 fps, HEVC Dolby Vision, HDR10, and Dolby Atmos technologies. Available in 32GB and 64GB storage options, the set-top box uses the second-generation Siri Remote featuring Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology, an IR transmitter, and a Lightning connector for charging.

These are its ports and interfaces: HDMI 2.1ax, 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 with MIMO; simultaneous dual-band (2.4 GHz and 5GHz), Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology, IR receiver, and Built-in power supply.

The sixth-generation Apple TV runs the latest tvOS software, currently on iOS 15.

Second-generation Siri Remote

Alongside the new Apple TV 4K, the company introduced a redesigned Siri Remote. It is made of aluminum and rubber buttons. It has a microphone for Siri, an IR transmitter, a Lightning connector for charging and uses Bluetooth 5.0 technology.

In an interview with Apple Vice President of Product Marketing for Home and Audio Tim Twerdahl, the new remote is inspired by the iPod click wheel:

“Once we came up with this circular design we thought it looked a lot like the iPod quick wheel, so what could do that could really help people with their TV using an interface like that? The scrubbing of the video came as such a natural thing, professional editors often use these jog-style controls, which are quite powerful, and it’s really nice to bring this into people’s living room.“

Although it was rumored, the second-generation Siri Remote doesn’t have a U1 chip to help users find the accessory when it gets lost on the couch. According to Tim Twerdahl, the thicker design of the remote chassis means it won’t get lost in couch cushions as much as the previous generation

You can learn more about the second-generation Siri Remote here.

Third-party certified Apple TV Remote

In August of 2021, Deutsche Telekom started offering a third-party certified Apple TV Remote. This is the first company to offer Universal Electronics’ remote control to customers who purchase a new Apple TV 4K directly with the carrier with a Magenta TV subscription.

The alternative Siri Remote from Universal Electronics looks more like a classic TV remote control since it does not have a trackpad and comes with buttons for switching channels and accessing the TV guide. However, it also includes all the buttons needed to navigate through tvOS, including the Siri button and even a built-in microphone.

tvOS 15: what’s new to the Apple TV

Apple released on September 20 tvOS 15, the operating system to the Apple TV HD and 4K (1st and 2nd gen). Here’s everything new with it:

  • For All of You: Browse a new row in the Apple TV app to find something that everyone in the house can’t wait to watch.
  • Shared with You: Movies and shows shared through Messages appear in a new row in the Apple TV app.
  • Spatial Audio: Listen with AirPods Pro or AirPods Max for a theater-like experience with sound that surrounds you.
  • Smart AirPods routing: Get an automatic onscreen notification to magically connect your AirPods.
  • HomeKit camera enhancements: View multiple cameras around the house at the same time on your Apple TV.
  • Room-filling stereo sound: Pair two HomePod mini speakers with Apple TV 4K and enjoy rich, balanced sound for everything you watch.

You can learn more about tvOS 15 here.

tvOS 15.1 features

tvOS 15.1 brings the long-awaited SharePlay feature. With it, you can watch movies, shows, or listen to songs while on a FaceTime call on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac with friends.

tvOS 15.2 features

A month after launching tvOS 15.1, Apple seeded tvOS 15.2. This software brings a new way to view your Memories. Apple Music subscribers can hear songs that combine expert recommendations with your music tastes, and what’s in your photos and videos.

Here is what else is new:

  • Apple TV app: The Store tab is a new all-in-one destination to browse, buy, and rent the world’s best movies and TV shows.
  • Apple Music Voice Plan is a new subscription tier that gives you access to all songs, playlists, and stations in Apple Music using Siri.
  • Siri now includes language support for Dutch and French in Belgium, Russian in Russia, and French, German, and Italian in Switzerland.
  • Screen savers: Enjoy stunning views of Iceland and Scotland. Location details can be found by pressing the clickpad or tapping the Touch surface on your Siri Remote.

tvOS 15.3 features

Different from tvOS 15.2, tvOS 15.3 doesn’t bring changes for the Apple TV, only small improvements and bug fixes.

tvOS 15.4 features

tvOS 15.4 bring some interesting features to the Apple TV hardware:

  • Captive Wi-Fi network support;
  • New “Up Next” queue that can be viewed from the “Now Playing” screen;
  • Revamped Spatial Audio controls with tvOS 15.4;
  • New non-binary, American Siri voice

Apple is currently testing tvOS 15.5.


The Apple TV pricing starts at $149 on the HD model and goes up to $199 on the 4K model with 64GB of storage.

  • 32GB, HD model: $149
  • 32GB, 4K model: $179
  • 64GB, 4K model: $199

Lower prices may be available from Apple’s official Amazon store.

2021 Apple TV 4K release

The new set-top box launched on May 21. Pre-orders started on April 30.

Review Apple TV 4K (1st-gen)

In our opinion article about the previous Apple TV, is its simplicity that people love the most:

The Apple TV is the true TV hub for the streaming era, especially for Apple fans. In many ways, it’s the simplicity of the Apple TV, with an ad-free experience and a range of 4K HDR content, via iTunes Store that makes people still own this product after all this time.


Over at 9to5Toys, you can find the best deals on the Apple TV and other Apple products. Download the 9to5Toys iPhone app to receive push notifications for new deals as well.

Apple TV app

The Apple TV app holds Apple Original shows and movies from Apple TV+. It also includes the Apple TV Channels, with over 30 streaming services ready to be subscribed to within the app.

With personalized and curated content, it’s easier to discover new shows. You can also search for your library while also being able to buy or rent content from the iTunes Store.

Apple TV+

Apple TV+ launched on November 1, 2019. It features Apple’s original TV shows and movies. Here’s what’s on Apple TV+.

At its 2019 September iPhone event, Apple officially announced launch details for its premium TV service: $4.99 per month for a family subscription. Customers who purchase an iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, or Mac can enjoy one year of the service for free.

Since the Apple TV+ debut, Apple has received a total of 950 awards nominations and accolades, and 240 award wins from the Oscars, Critics Choice Awards, Writers Guild Association, Critics Choice Documentary Awards, Daytime and Primetime Emmy Awards, NAACP Image Awards, Peabody Awards, and more.

“Ted Lasso,” “CODA,” and “Wolfwalkers” are three of the most prized shows on the catalog.

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Apple TV Stories Yesterday

How to watch Magic Johnson documentary ‘They Call Me Magic’

Today, Apple debuts two docuseries about basketball. One is called The Long Game, about upcoming NBA hopeful Makur Maker. The most prominent is a four-part documentary on the life of the basketball legend Earvin Johnson, called They Call Me Magic. Both series are streaming now with an Apple TV+ subscription.

Idris Elba to star in airplane hijacking limited series for Apple TV+

Apple TV+ announced today its first project featuring Idris Elba, following the signing of a first look deal in 2020.

Apple TV Stories April 20

Apple taps Sago Mini app characters for upcoming TV+ preschool animated series

Apple has a new original series for kids and families in the works coming to the Apple TV+ platform. From the award-winning Sago Mini World app, “Sago Mini Friends” is a preschool animated series focusing on celebrating gratitude. 

Apple TV+ comedy series Mythic Quest just lost one of its key members as F. Murray Abraham announced he will not return to his role in the third season of the show. The 82-year-old actor known as C.W. Longbotton on the series played an award-winning writer who created narratives for a video game company and owner of the game Mythic Quest.

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Apple TV Stories April 18

A number of reports recently have indicated that Apple is a “front-runner” in the battle of rights to the NFL Sunday Ticket package. This would bring out-of-market NFL games to Apple TV+, and a new report now suggests a deal between Apple and the NFL could already be wrapped.

Notably, this comes after Apple has successfully taken on live sports with Friday Night Baseball on Apple TV+, which started earlier this month.

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Apple TV Stories April 15

Apple TV+ Guide: Every Apple TV show and movie available now

Apple TV+ offers exclusive Apple original TV shows and movies in 4K HDR quality. You can watch across all of your screens and pick up where you left off on any device. Apple TV+ costs $4.99 per month. Here’s every Apple original television show and movie available now on Apple TV+, as well as the latest trailers …

Apple TV Stories April 14

‘For All Mankind’ star Jodi Balfour joins another Apple TV+ original with ‘Ted Lasso’ S3 role

For All Mankind star Jodi Balfour joins the cast of Apple TV+ hit Ted Lasso for Season 3. This is a recurring role in which she will play Jack, a likable venture capitalist.

Apple TV Stories April 13

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Noah Garden, the Chief Revenue Officer at MLB, sits down to discuss the reasoning for choosing Apple’s streaming service.

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Apple TV Stories April 12

Here’s a first look at Apple TV+ workplace comedy ‘Loot’ starring Maya Rudolph

Are you already missing a workplace show on Apple TV+ after Severance? Fear no more, as Loot, starring Emmy Award winner Maya Rudolph, is the newest Apple Original announced by the company. This time, it’s important to say, it’s a workplace comedy.

Via Deadline, Apple TV+ has struck an overall deal with Playtone, the production company headed by Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman.

Under the exclusive deal, Playtone will make new scripted and unscripted television series for Apple’s streaming service. Deadline also mentions that a sequel to the popular Apple TV+ film Greyhound is in development.

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Apple TV Stories April 11

Apple joins the true-crime genre with TV+ ‘Run, Bambi, Run’ original podcast

Watch out, Poppy Parnell! Apple TV+ just debuted its first true-crime podcast called Run, Bambi, Run. The show follows the real-life story of Laurie “Bambi” Bembenek, a Milwaukee police officer who was dubiously convicted of murder before braving a daring escape as part of a years-long quest to clear her name.

Apple TV Stories April 9

Severance season one may be over, but you don’t need to forget about it already. While we eagerly wait for the second season to discover what happened to the beloved characters Dylan, Helly, Irving, and Mark, there are some nice new wallpapers that you can use on your iPhone.

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Apple TV Stories April 8

How to watch MLB Friday Night Baseball games on Apple TV+

Starting April 8, two regular season Major League Baseball games are streaming exclusively on Apple TV+ every Friday. These games are available nationally through Apple TV+ to all subscribers, at no extra charge. If you haven’t used Apple TV+ before, here’s what you need to know to tune in.

Apple TV Stories April 7

During the “Peek Performance” event, Apple announced Friday Night Baseball would be coming to Apple TV+. With MLB games starting this Friday, the company finally unveiled its production details and broadcast team. In addition, new exclusive programs such as Countdown to First Pitch and MLB Daily Recap are also coming to the streaming service.

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A new version of the HBO Max application is now rolling out to Apple TV users, and it promises some major improvements. As reported by Variety, this update will roll out over the next two weeks. WarnerMedia says that the app has been “rebuilt on its next-generation platform,” promising improved stability, new features, and faster performance.

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Overnight, the Apple TV app has began rolling out the new MLB sections for Friday Night Baseball, which starts streaming on Apple TV+ tomorrow.

In the US, and seven other countries, Apple TV+ will stream two baseball games every Friday night. The first matchup is the Mets vs Nationals at 7 PM ET.

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Apple TV Stories April 6

Magic Johnson praises Apple TV+ ahead of docuseries streaming debut: ‘I love their approach’

In an interview with Variety, famed basketball player Earvin “Magic” Johnson discusses his upcoming four-part docuseries with Apple TV+. “They Call Me Magic” releases April 22 on the streaming service and covers the star’s life and career.

Apple TV+ has renewed its mysterious workplace thriller ‘Severance’ for a second season, ahead of the season one finale premiering this Friday.

Although Apple does not release exact viewing figures, Severance does appear to be one of Apple TV+’s relative breakout hits, with word of mouth increasing every week since the season debuted in February.

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Apple TV Stories April 4

The 2022 Oscars is certainly one of those that will never be forgotten, whether it’s for giving the Best Picture award to a streaming service for the first time or the altercation between Will Smith and Chris Rock on stage. But the repercussions of the controversial slap were not good for Will Smith, as Apple TV+ reportedly dropped bids for the actor’s biopic.

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Apple TV+ is already praised for quality over quantity. With more than 200 award wins and almost 1,000 nominations in over two years, Apple TV+ shows are also worth listening to. Here are five productions to check out that are great to watch and also feature banger soundtracks on Apple Music.

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Harrison Ford joins upcoming Apple TV+ comedy ‘Shrinking’ in his first recurring TV role

Across almost all of its projects to date, Apple TV+ has shown that it looks to bring big name Hollywood stars under its wing. And it doesn’t get much bigger than Harrison Ford. Taking on his first major recurring role in a television series, Ford has been cast in the upcoming Apple TV+ comedy ‘Shrinking’.

Apple TV Stories April 2

Apple TV+ continues its prolific rollout of premium series this year with the announcement of Prehistoric Planet. The series has been in the works for approximately three years, hailing from BBC Studios Natural History Unit and executive produced by Jon Favreau.

Prehistoric Planet will stream beginning May 23rd, with one episode released each night of the week. It relies on big-budget CGI to tell a story of the last days of the dinosaurs, narrated by David Attenborough. Watch the trailer after the break …

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Apple TV Stories March 31

Apple TV+ today premieres its newest original series, Slow Horses. The show is an adaptation of the Mick Herron novels, about a division of MI5 that takes in reject spies, who have been taken off the standard job path due to career-ending screwups. The first two episodes are streaming now.

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Apple drops $100M on space race-inspired ‘Project Artemis’ film starring Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans

Just after winning at the Academy Awards this weekend, Apple has struck a deal for the space race-inspired ‘Project Artemis’ movie. According to Deadline, the film is starring Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans with Jason Bateman as director. 

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