why we fall for the new Apple TV Box

If there is one market that has not suffered from the health crisis, it is the TV market. When the containment measures followed one another, consumers enjoyed themselves differently than with hopped drinks on the terrace.

Televisions have therefore established themselves in the industrialized countries. According to Omdia, 16.8 million TVs were sold in the US between July and September 2020, a record.

At the same time, the closure of the cinemas drove the studios to broadcast their blockbusters on streaming platforms. The result: the number of subscribers has skyrocketed. Since 2020, cinema has also been made at home.

All planets have therefore been aligned for Apple to renew its Apple TV. And what she did. During its last keynote, Apple unveiled the Apple TV 4K (2021), a smooth evolution of its famous TV box, which sold for € 199 with 32 GB of storage (€ 219 for 64 GB). And yet it still makes us crack.

What is AppleTV?

Apple TV was first presented in January 2007 at the Macworld Conference and is now probably the best-known TV box on the market. Originally, it made it possible to access series and films that were bought or rented on iTunes directly on TV. A revolution back then.

Today Apple TV offers access to all streaming services (Netflix, Amazon, MyCanal, Apple TV +, Prime Video, Molotov etc.) in an optimized interface that Apple has the secret.

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In France, buying a TV box is sometimes questioned as most operators supply boxes that can also launch the most popular streaming services.

However, Apple TV still has a lot of followers. And each new iteration enables Apple to invite itself to new shows despite increasing competition. If some Android boxes tickle Apple, none of them have really managed to hold up the pommée box.

Why is Apple TV so popular? What’s that little extra that makes the difference? We’ll explain everything to you in this Apple TV 4K review (2021).

Apple TV 4K (2nd generation) 32 GB at the best price base price: € 199

Apple TV 4K (2nd generation) 64 GB at the best price base price: € 219

What’s new in Apple TV 4K (2021)

This year, Apple is not revolutionizing the genre and is offering an Apple TV 4K that is very similar to its predecessor presented in 2017. However, a few new features make it possible to improve an already very convincing experience even further.

Before we get back to the new Siri Remote, let’s talk about the technical aspect. The new Apple TV 4K (2021) now offers all current premium standards: 4K, HDR with 60 fps, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos Audio.

Suffice it to say, if you don’t have a TV that meets all of these standards, then the new pommée box isn’t really of interest to you. Apple TV HD, on the other hand, is a good alternative until it gets better.

For those who have a TV that is compatible with all of these technologies, the experience will be even better. IPhone owners can even tweak the colorimetry based on the room the Apple TV is in.

By pointing the iPhone at the screen, the sensors housed in the Face ID module analyze the colors of the screen and calibrate the assembly in order to achieve the best possible image quality. Brilliant.

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Other new features include Thread, a new protocol for connecting home appliances to the same network. From then on, to make Apple TV the central element of home automation? Not yet, but the next version could be.

In addition, there is the integration of the A12 Bionic Chip, which promises better performance. Specifically, the navigation in the interface is even smoother, faster and remains the benchmark in terms of ergonomics. By the way, this new chip ensures great performance in the games offered in Apple Arcade.

Nevertheless, we would have liked a newer component to keep this level of performance as long as possible. Perhaps a question of cost, no doubt of the margin.

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Finally, let’s mention the integration of all the latest connectivity standards: Yes, the Apple TV 4K (2021) has an HDMI 2.1 port and is WiFi 6 compatible.

tvOS, still the benchmark

If the Apple TV is emulated so much, it is, thanks in part to its built-in tvOS software. Apple has managed to refine an already extremely intuitive user interface over the years.

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2021 tvOS is more ergonomic than ever and allows more than just watching movies / series. In the control center (accessible by long pressing the TV button) you can access all profiles of the house. Of course, each profile is completely personalized.

In this menu we can also find all the connected devices in the house. Apple TV will then become a new control interface for home automation.

tvOS puts content at the center of usage. Symbol of this philosophy is the addition of a section of films and series in 4K HDR in order to take full advantage of the new features of Apple TV.

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We will also welcome the symbiosis between Apple devices. The iPhone can be used as a remote control, text input can be done via the phone (a detail for some, but so much easier in everyday life), the HomePod mini, like the AirPods, can be used as a wireless audio output.

In short, whether you like Apple or not, you have to admit that tvOS is a few years ahead of the competition.

Enlarging the Siri Remote

This is THE big novelty in this new Apple TV. Apple is adding a new remote control called Siri Remote to its TV box. Clad entirely in aluminum (100% recycled), it revives the design of the first remote controls.

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For more convenience, the Siri Remote becomes the central remote control of your living room. No more juggling your TV remote with the Apple TV remote. A single press of the power button on the Siri Remote turns the television on on the Apple TV’s home page.

There is no question of completely abandoning the decisions of the previous generation (and completely indulging in the critics). The central button is always tactile and enables navigation in the menus, scrolling forward or backward in the content or displaying context menus.

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For those with a touch allergy, the Siri Remote has physical buttons that you can use to perform the same actions. So it is based on individual taste.

For more intuitive navigation, Apple adds a play / pause button, a mute button, and volume buttons. You can return to the TV / Control Center menu with a specific key.

However, the main attraction of this Siri Remote is the button for the voice assistant. With a simple press (to save the time to pronounce your words) you can take control of the content you’re viewing by voice. Most importantly, Apple TV can scan all of your services: it is therefore quite capable of identifying the content you want to see depending on the services you use.

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For example, say “Watch La Casa de Papel” and Apple TV will automatically launch the program on Netflix without asking for additional information.

The only restriction in France: access to live programs. When asked “Watch Roland Garros on MyCanal”, Apple TV replied that it does not support this function in our geographic area. On the other hand, no problem for the programs in playback, which is certainly not that bad.

Finally, note that the Siri Remote is charged using a lightning cable. In the absence of an autonomy indicator, we opted for weekly recharge.

Apple TV is also a game console

Make no mistake, Apple TV isn’t claiming to replace a next-generation console. Still, it offers a very enjoyable gaming experience for two reasons.

First, it is compatible with most of the bluetooth controllers available on the market. And if you already own a Playstation or Xbox, you can use these controllers to play. Good news: those for next-gen consoles are also supported.

Then the entire Apple Arcade catalog will be available on Apple TV. And if some fanboys are of the opinion that Apple’s service has nothing to do with a console, we will counter that the essence is based on the joy of the game, and in that sense Apple Arcade is proving to be more and more interesting.

The game service Pommé has more and more attractive licenses, some of which are in no way inferior to certain console games. We think, for example, of Ocean Horn 2, NBA 2K21, South of the Circle or the nugget The Pathless.

Apple TV 4K (2nd generation) 32 GB at the best price base price: € 199

Apple TV 4K (2nd generation) 64 GB at the best price base price: € 219

Our opinion on Apple TV 4K (2021): A cinema, at home

The title of our test left no doubt: In our opinion, the Apple TV 4K (2021) is the best TV box currently available. Even more powerful, it is still characterized by its sophisticated, intuitive and very well thought-out user interface.

The new Siri Remote makes the experience even more pleasant and the technical improvements will delight movie fans. Finally, casual gamers can have a few hours of fun with certain licenses available in Apple Arcade.

If you don’t have a TV box (or a slightly outdated box) and want to enjoy the best possible viewing experience, this Apple TV 4K (2021) is for you. If you’ve already got your first 4K Apple TV, it might not be worth the effort.

Apple TV 4K (2021)

€ 199

Design and workmanship

9.5 / 10

Interface and ergonomics

9.5 / 10

Techno-price ratio

9.0 / 10

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