Apple came up with an update to Apple TV in 2012 last time and the new Apple TV at that time got the stage time with iPad 3. In 2015, Apple announced its new Apple TV where it got to share stage with iPad Pro. What this gives you an idea about is the type of leap between the two generations of this hardware from Apple. However, if you are still using Apple TV 2012 and it performs exactly what you want it to then you must be wondering about the fact that whether you should consider an upgrade at this time or not. Well, we have tried to cover all the aspects of the latest from Apple TV so that you can come to a conclusion as to whether it is worth upgrading or not. Let’s take a look.
Jump To Section:
- Factors Worth Considering To Make An Upgrade
- Who Should Not Upgrade And Continue With Apple TV 2012?
- Who Should Go For The Upgrade And Move To New Apple TV 2015?
Factors Worth Considering To Make An Upgrade
If you find yourself stuck and are unable to decide whether you should upgrade your Apple TV or not then are here a few major factors that you must take into account before coming to a conclusion.
For those looking for an inexpensive option for getting their iOS and iTunes content on TV, Apple has decided not to discontinue older Apple TV. Besides, it will now be available at discounted price too. Besides, coming to latest Apple TV, Apple is providing a couple of different configurations for that as well and both are priced differently without any surprises. Here is a quick look at the prices of available Apple TV options.
- Apple TV 2015 having 64 GB storage – $199
- Apple TV 2015 having 32 GB storage – $149
- Apple TV 2012 having 8 GB storage – $69
It can be noticed here that the prices for the latest Apple TV are set according to the storage whereas the older version uses small storage just for caching the streaming content. If you already have the older version of Apple TV then all you might be interested in here is what new box will cost you for making the desired upgrade.
One major difference between 2012 and 2015 Apple TV is that latest version of Apple TV now comes with App Store. So, this means there will be apps and there will be games that you can enjoy on your New Apple TV.
As far as the Apple TV apps are concerned, you’ll be able to get more of them and they will be better too as compared to what you might already be using. When we say more apps, it means that your choices won’t be limited only to the special partners such as Netflix or HBO. Now, all the developers can come up with their own apps and, if they meet all the guidelines from Apple, get them onto every Apple TV out there. And for better apps, it means that there are no limitations to use JSON templates anymore. Most of the tasks that you could be able to accomplish on your iPhone/iPad will now be possible through Apple TV as well.
It is important to mention here that most of the apps will be related to entertainment and TV, such as TV channels and services. And many might just want to upgrade to the latest Apple TV for apps similar to Plex. As for others, games might be more important. Old version of Apple TV allowed you to AirPlay games while few of them were optimized for the same. As far as the latest Apple TV is concerned, it will now be possible to enjoy your favorite games natively. And, it will simply translate into faster, better, and an even more immersive Apple TV gaming experience.
So, all this debate gives you enough to strongly consider an upgrade. However, there are several other reasons that you might want to consider.
Apple has also made substantial improvements to how you can be able to interact with your Apple TV with the release of the latest version. A completely new version of Apple Remote comes alongside your Apple TV package. Let’s take a quick look at what’s different in the new Remote
- Apple TV 2015: It comes equipped with infrared and Bluetooth, gyroscope and accelerator, rechargeable Lithium-ion battery, buttons for menu, Siri, Home, volume up/down, and play/pause, glass trackpad.
- Apple TV 2012: The remote for Apple TV 2012 features infrared, buttons for menu, select, and play/pause, four-direction pad.
With the old remote you have to laboriously click through the menus whereas new remote gives you precise control. It not just lets you control media playback only but allows for controlling games and apps as well. Just imagine Apple Remote application you have for iPhone/iPad but add to it a lot higher precision level. It will allow you to slide for navigation, tap/click for selection and swipe for scrubbing.
Search & Siri
With older version of Apple TV, you could be able to click a single character in one go into search system that used to be locked into a particular service at any given point. However, with new Apple TV, you can be able to search across whole range of different services at once, like Netflix, iTunes, and more.
Also, your searches can now be performed with the help of Siri, the virtual assistant from Apple. In order to ensure privacy, however, you will have to tap a button for activating Siri and once it is activated, it takes you into a whole new world of tremendous functionality. Here are a few questions that you may love asking your Siri assistant.
- Who directed the movie I’m watching?
- How’s the weather today?
- Fast-forward the movie for five minutes.
- Tell me the scores for last night’s game.
- Launch Rayman.
- What did he say? (It will rewind and turn closed captioning on temporarily!)
- Re-play from the start.
- Turn enhanced speech on, or Turn closed captioning on.
In fact, you’ll even be able to ask Siri to find you all the episodes of your favorite show or a show having a particular guest star. You will definitely and surely love the Siri experience on your new Apple TV.
One important thing to mention with regards to resolution is that Apple TV 2015 doesn’t offer support for 4K (2160p) videos. Whether it’s about low adoption, bandwidth, or HEVC (H.265), it’s been decided by Apple not to get into next-gen resolution standards as of now.
So, here both the new and the old Apple TV offer you the same experience i.e. 1080p at most. However, it doesn’t actually mean that the two are exactly the same and no differences exist.
Frame Rate & Audio Channels
There are extra audio channels and higher frame rate that you get to enjoy with latest Apple TV. Let’s do a bit of comparison here.
- Apple TV 2015: It offers H.264 videos up-to 1080p at 60fps, with High/Main Profile level at 4.2 or below.
- Apple TV 2012: It offers H.264 videos up-to 1080p at 30fps, with High/Main Profile level at 4.0 or below.
Now, what this means is that if you are playing a supported video, you’ll be able to enjoy smoother, silkier action with the latest Apple TV.
- Apple TV 2015: HE-AAC (V1), protected AAC (iTunes Store), AAC (16 – 320 Kbps), MP3 (16-320 Kbps),Audible (formats 2, 3, &4), MP3 VBR, AIFF, Apple Lossless, and WAV;Dolby Digital 5.1 & Dolby Digital Plus 7.1
- Apple TV 2012: HE-AAC (V1), protected AAC (iTunes Store), AAC (16 – 320 Kbps), MP3 (16-320 Kbps), Audible (formats 2, 3, &4), MP3 VBR, AIFF, Apple Lossless, and WAV; Dolby Digital 5.1 surround-sound pass-through
Now, what this means is that if you are playing a supported audio, you’ll be able to enjoy more channels as well as better surround-sound with latest Apple TV.
A major hardware difference that exists between 2012 and 2015 Apple TV lies in chipset that comes inside.
- Apple TV 2015: It comes equipped with 64-bit Dual-core Apple A8 “Cyclone” featuring Metal graphics framework.
- Apple TV 2012: It comes equipped with 32-bit Single core Apple A5.
For older Apple TV, the processing power suffices everything that it has to perform but with the latest hardware from Apple come a lot of new amazing capabilities which really require far better processing power than the previous model.
Apple has also brought a few changes in wired as well as wired connectivity of the devices and it is worth knowing all the changes that Apple TV 2015 comes with.
- Apple TV 2015: HDMI 1.4, 10/100BASE-T Ethernet, Wi-Fi having MIMO, Bluetooth 4.0, USB-C (for service), infrared.
- Apple TV 2012: HDMI, Wi-Fi 802.11n, optical audio, 10/100Base-T Ethernet, microUSB (for service), Infrared, Bluetooth 4.0.
So, Apple TV 2015 doesn’t come with optical audio out similar to the previous model. However, it actually comes with the latest HDMI as well as quick Wi-Fi capabilities. None of the two Apple TV models carry gigabit Ethernet. Nevertheless, they don’t need it either as they aren’t computers.
Both the Apple TV models extend support for Bluetooth, whereas Apple TV 2015 doesn’t offer support for the wireless keyboards yet which was there in previous model. But that is expected to come as an update. New model extends support for the wireless gaming controllers, allowing for 4 players at most at a time.
Who Should Not Upgrade And Continue With Apple TV 2012?
If all you need is AirPlay and some inbuilt channels, and you are not interested in the exciting new features of the latest Apple Remote then you shouldn’t upgrade. Even though you’ll miss out a lot but it won’t matter to you at the end of the day.
Who Should Go For The Upgrade And Move To New Apple TV 2015?
If you’re planning to use your Apple TV for apps & games, Siri and universal search, enjoy using the latest Apple remote, or love to have support for high frame rates as well as audio channels, then upgrading to Apple TV 2015 is strongly recommended for you.
So, that’s all about whether you should upgrade to the new Apple TV or not. However, if you are still not able to decide which way you should go then it would be better to discuss your concerns at Apple TV forums to get some additional help. We were pretty convinced for recommending the upgrade with the entire new bunch of features including apps, controller, Siri, and everything else described above. Do, let us know in comments that what you’ve decided after doing all your deliberation.