Apple TV for 2015 reviewed

Finding stuff

The dedicated ‘Siri’ button on the remote is the key to finding the content you want. You press and hold it when you speak, like a walkie-talkie, and release the button when you’re done.

You can ask Siri to find a specific title, genre or even a video featuring a specific actor, director, writer or character.

You can also ask it to ‘Find funny TV shows’ or ‘Show me movies for kids’ or even ‘Find good movies,’ which will take a title’s review score into account. I also asked it to show me ‘movies that rated badly’, and it did.

If you use Netflix or Hulu, Siri will even let you know that the show you’re looking for is available through that app in the search results. You can then choose to watch, say a New Girl episode via your Netflix account, rather then on iTunes, and then click right through to the video without navigating Netflix’s menus.

Apple TV can search into Netflix and Hulu and include them in the results.
Apple TV can search into Netflix and Hulu and include them in the results. Source: Apple

This ‘in-app’ searching feature is only supported by Netflix and Hulu for now, and it should broaden out to other streaming services in the future.

Thankfully, Siri’s voice recognition is quite accurate, and it even understood me when I asked it to find shows with the comedian ‘Aziz Ansari’.

And don’t forget, Siri can be asked about weather forecasts, stock quotes and open apps.

Siri can also connect you to info like forecasts, sports scores and stock quotes.
Siri can also connect you to info like forecasts, sports scores and stock quotes. Source: Apple

The AirPlay feature lets you wirelessly stream content from you Mac, iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad to the TV, and with 802.11ac Wi-Fi network support, there should be less latency than the previous Apple TV. For gamers, you can use your iPhones and iPads as game controllers or 3rd party accessories.

Apple has included a Photos app, which lets you view photos from your Photo Stream on your TV, or tap into shared home video and photo libraries from iCloud.

You can also access your Apple Music collections and play them through your connected living room speakers via the Apple Music app. Here, you can find your ‘For Me’ curated music selections, radio channels including Beats 1, iTunes Match cloud-based collections, along with the 30 million songs from Apple’s Music library.

Apple Music comes to Apple TV.
Apple Music comes to Apple TV. Source: Apple

About the apps

The ability to run apps on your living room TV is a big part of what makes the new Apple TV exciting. Apps can deliver a vast range of content, from videos to games, to information and education. Some apps are ‘TV channels’ in their own right.

And while the Apple TV app landscape will certainly grow and evolve, there are a fair few apps to get you started.

On the video front, you’ll find Stan, 10 Play, TED, Youtube, Vivo, Cracle, Hopster, AnimeLab, and many more including the video channels that were available by default on the previous Apple TV. These are still around, you’ll just need to pluck them from the App Store.

Fitness and sport wise, you’ll find Zova, Streaks Workouts, plus Cricket Australia Live for the latest breaking cricket news and footage, along with American NBL, NFL and MLB.TV apps.

Games make their debut on the Apple TV with choices including Geometry Wars, RayMan Adventures, Asphalt8 Airborne, Guitar Hero, Jetpack Joyride, Crossy Road to get you started.

Lots of great looking games to get you started.
Lots of great looking games to get you started.


While they look fantastic, and will be great fun for the kids, they’re not up to graphical the quality of a PS4 or X-Box One, however, I doubt this is the intention, and the Apple TV is certainly less expensive.

Then there are some handy news and special interest choices including AirBnB, Mashable, Newsy, TripAdvisor, Gilt shopping, Kitchen Stories, Pocket Yoga, Yummly Recipies and others.

Grab your apps from the Apple TV's app store.
Grab your apps from the Apple TV’s app store.

You can use the task switcher to move between apps by double pressing the Home Screen button, and swipe up to close open apps.

For families, the Apple TV supports Family Sharing so you can access app purchases from all family members.

Currently, there are a couple of gaming accessories available including SteelSeries Nimbus Wireless Controller, or the Siri Remote Loop, which tethers the controller to your wrist to prevent it from becoming a projectile during spirited gaming sessions.

A few accessories available for gamers.
A few accessories available for gamers. Source: Apple

And when you’re not watching a flick, playing a game or viewing your photos, Apple has supplied some gorgeous aerial Screen Savers, which are both mesmerising and captivating. These include locations such as New York, San Francisco, Hawaii, London and the Great Wall of China, and will playback depending on what time of day it is.

Other locations will be added over time, and they also make a great backdrop when listing to iTunes music or radio, as you can’t turn the TV screen off when listening to just audio.

Summing up

The Apple TV comes in two configurations, one with 32GB of RAM for $269, the other with 64GB for $349. For most people, the 32GB option will be fine, as the Apple TV streams movies and TV content and does not store it on the device.

However, it does use memory to store apps, along with associated information that apps use, so if you plan on downloading lots of them, then the 64GB model may be the best choice.

The new Apple TV is
The new Apple TV now comes in 32GB and 64GB flavours. Just black though.

Overall, the 4th generation Apple TV is a very good video, TV and movie viewing device, hands down. The Siri remote provides a class-leading way of interacting with your content and apps without having to look down at your hands.

Siri helps reduce the number of button presses and menus between you and that movie or TV show that you want to jump right in to. And lastly, the Apple TV brings a new universe of apps in your living room, and the potential for new experiences that haven’t even been dreamed up yet by app developers.

While the price has increased compared to the previous Apple TV, you are getting quite a bit more for your money. There are less expensive and varied streaming solutions available from the likes of Telstra TV, Google Chromcast, Roku and more, but none are as refined and sophisticated.

If you are already part of the Apple camp and have a healthy iTunes library, then this is an easy choice, and you won’t be left wanting.


Value for money
Ease of Use
Reader Rating0 Votes
Apps and Siri in your living room, fantastic remote and interface
Pricey compared to previous Apple TV