1670552068 origin 1

Apple TV 4K (2022) review: An even better streaming box for less

origin 1

At first sight

Expert evaluation


Ad-free, uncluttered interface Performance is faster than ever AirPlay, AirPods, and iCloud integration is nice to have


No remote search function Dual home screens can be confusing Remote gesture controls, while useful, may be confusing for some users

Our verdict

Apple’s new streaming box gets a lower price tag without losing what made previous versions great.

Price at time of review


Today’s best prices: Apple TV 4K (2022) (64GB)

Adorama retail price $129.00

View the deal


View the deal

origin 1


View the deal

Price comparison of over 24,000 shops worldwide

Apple has always made great streaming boxes, but with one caveat: they’re a lot more expensive than the competition.

That’s not the case with the 2022 Apple TV 4K, which at $129 is no longer out of bounds with other high-end streamers. Despite being $50 less than last year’s model, the new Apple TV doesn’t sacrifice what made previous versions great: It still offers fast performance, an ad-free Home screen, and a helpful menu for sorting through streaming options.

Owners of last year’s Apple TV 4K can skip this release, which doesn’t offer enough new features to merit an upgrade. But for people in need of a new streaming box, the third-generation Apple TV 4K cements its place at the top of the charts.

This review is part of TechHive’s in-depth coverage best media streaming devices.

Choose your box

The 2022 Apple TV 4K is still a piece of black plastic that connects to the TV with an HDMI cable (sold separately), only now it’s a bit shorter and lighter than the previous model as it no longer has a cooling fan. cooling inside.

Apple has also upgraded the processor to an A15 Bionic, though the difference is barely noticeable even compared to 2017’s Apple TV 4K in side-by-side tests. Most apps took exactly the same amount of time to load (at worst, the previous model’s load times were a second or two behind), and jumping into the Apple TV’s recent apps list looked the same on both devices. The new chip only solidifies Apple TV 4K’s lead as the snappiest streaming box you can buy.

origin 1Using the recent apps menu, invoked with a double-tap on the Home button, is faster than ever.

Jared Newman / Foundry

The other main improvement of the 2022 model is HDR10+, which can adjust color levels frame-by-frame on TVs compatible with HDR10+ content, Amazon Prime Video being the main provider right now. Dolby Vision, which is more widely adopted (Samsung TVs are a notable exception), also continues to be available, along with Dolby Atmos object-based surround sound. Even the new Apple TV support a feature called QMS VRRwhich can match the frame rate for content without showing a black screen, but that’s entirely about future-proofing, as currently no TVs offer the feature.

origin 1The entry-level Apple TV 4K no longer includes an Ethernet port.

Jared Newman / Foundry

For this review, I priced the $129 entry-level Apple TV 4K, which includes 64GB of storage, double that of the previous model, but lacks an Ethernet port. For that, you’ll need the $149 model, which can also control smart home devices that use the Thread networking protocol.

Thread support is another future-proof case, as currently few smart home devices support it. It’s also not essential since other devices can also act as a Thread routerand that you can still control HomeKit devices and perform Siri routines with any Apple TV model. For most users, the entry-level Apple TV should be fine.

Almost the same remote control

origin 1The new Siri Remote has the same design and USB-C charging.

Jared Newman / Foundry

The new Apple TV’s Siri Remote is nearly identical to the 2021 version, with an aluminum casing and a proper directional pad, but with one important difference: it uses USB-C for charging instead of a Lightning connector.

While the remote is as stylish as ever, it still somehow favors form over function. The home, back, play and mute buttons are all the same size and shape, with just a slight dimple on the back button to help distinguish it, and the Siri voice control button’s lateral placement makes it easy to overlook. Apple has also sensed another opportunity to integrate a “Find My” feature as seen on Ultra Year. That’s a shame given how easily the remote slips between the sofa cushions.

The directional pad’s gesture controls, meanwhile, can be tricky to master, even though swiping the D-pad is the quickest way to scroll through menus or fast-forward through videos. For some less tech-savvy visitors, I had to disable gestures entirely.

That said, Apple TV’s A/V controls are excellent. The device automatically recognizes most TVs, so you can control volume and power without any additional setup, and it can change the volume on external soundbars or receivers via HDMI-CEC or infrared. If Apple’s automatic setup fails, you can even manually program the remote’s volume buttons.

origin 1Apple TV lets you dictate your login details letter by letter.

Jared Newman / Foundry

Apple TV is also the only streaming player that supports speech for any input field, including usernames and passwords. Being able to dictate every number and letter of your password is much quicker than flicking through the on-screen keyboard, and it’s sneakily one of the Apple TV’s most delightful features.

Choose your home screen

origin 1Apple’s TV app keeps track of the shows you’re watching and lets you add new ones to the list.

Jared Newman / Foundry

Software-wise, the Apple TV is unique in that it essentially offers two home screens.

By default, clicking the Home button takes you to Apple’s “TV” app, where you can quickly pick up the shows you’ve been watching, get suggestions on what to watch next, and search for a list of live sports. When you watch a show in a supported app, it automatically appears in Apple’s “Up Next” menu, and selecting a show from here takes you to the corresponding app to start playing. While the TV app is a little too aggressive in promoting Apple TV+ content, it’s still a useful way to stay up to date with what you’re watching from many different streaming sources.

Pressing the Home button a second time takes you to a more traditional grid of apps, refreshingly free of banner ads or other annoying intrusions. From here you can sort apps into folders, and some apps will give you suggestions on what to watch when you put them in the top row. By going to Settings > Remotes & Devices, you can set Apple TV to ignore the TV app and instead take you straight to the app grid.

origin 1Without banner ads, the Apple TV app grid can really stretch its legs.

Jared Newman / Foundry

While I appreciate Apple giving users that choice, it should really bring some sort of app queue to App TV as well. Some apps, like Netflix and YouTube, don’t display any content within the TV app, so it would be nice if you could launch them without loading a completely separate menu.

As with previous Apple TVs, you can also navigate by voice with the Siri button on the remote. Siri supports sophisticated searches like “Harrison Ford action movies” or “new Netflix comedies,” and can launch movies or shows directly into a variety of supported apps. The only notable downside to Voice Control is that it can’t tune into live channels from YouTube TV or Hulu + Live TV, the two most popular live TV streaming services.

Apple’s extra benefits

While you don’t have to be an Apple diehard to appreciate Apple TV 4K, being connected to the company’s ecosystem has its perks.

Most notable is the AirPlay support, which lets you stream music and videos to your TV from an iOS device or Mac. While AirPlay is also available on Roku players and some recent smart TVs, only Apple TV supports AirPlay video viewing in picture-in-picture mode. It also lets you stream audio from the box to other AirPlay speakers, which can be useful for playing TV audio to multiple speakers throughout your home.

origin 1Apple TV’s picture-in-picture mode works with any AirPlay video source.

Jared Newman / Foundry

Apple TV also works well with iCloud Photos, so you can view personal photos in screensaver mode; plus, it has native apps for Apple Podcasts, Apple Music, and Apple Fitness. Apple Arcade subscribers can even connect a game controller to play on the big screen.

And while Apple TV can play audio through any set of Bluetooth headphones or earbuds, the pairing process is easier with AirPods: just open the AirPods case, long press the Home button, open the audio device menu, and select earphones from the list. With two sets of AirPods or Beats headphones, Apple TV can allow two people to listen privately at the same time. (Roku is the only other platform that supports private listening for more than one user, via the Roku mobile app.)

origin 1Apps on Apple TV need to get your permission before sharing tracking data with third parties.

Jared Newman / Foundry

Also worth noting: the same App tracking transparency feature from iOS are also available on Apple TV, which means apps need to get your permission before they can share tracking data with third parties. While this doesn’t stop the apps themselves from collecting information about you for advertising targeting purposes, it does give some control back to users in ways other platforms don’t.

Apple TV 4K against the competition

Even if you ignore those Apple-centric perks, the Apple TV 4K is the best high-end streaming box for the money.

Its interface is less cluttered than other platforms like Roku, Fire TV, and Google TV, with no ads filling up your home screen. Its performance is also unmatched, and its voice search features are surprisingly useful given Siri’s less-than-great reputation. Meanwhile, the new starting price of $129 is lower than $140 Fire TV Cube and it’s not too far from the $100 Roku Ultra.

While the remote still has a bigger learning curve than those devices, and Apple’s TV app could use some polish, those are minor complaints given everything the device has to offer. The result is a streaming player that feels less like a splurge and more like a good buying decision.