By the end of the year, an Apple TV that competes with Roku and Amazon could be available. In the second half of 2022, Apple plans to release a redesigned Apple TV “that improves cost structure.”
A cheaper Apple TV could be on the way
Apple now offers three Apple TV models. Apple’s 4K Apple TV is available in 32GB and 64GB capacities, with prices starting at $179 and $199, respectively. That’s a good price for what the 4K Apple TV offers. Apart from Nvidia’s Shield family, no other set-top box can match the Apple TV 4K’s support for a wide range of home theater standards and codecs. It’s the industry standard for expert home entertainment installers, and its EDID capabilities are particularly recognized.
It’s past due time.
EDID, or Extended Display Identification Data, basically tells your set-top box, or Blu-Ray player, or other device, what kind of display you’ve plugged it into. Devices that do bad EDID handshakes may try and play HDR content when your TV can’t support it or, worse, think your TV is incapable of HDR and deny you that sweet dynamic range you probably paid for. Roku, Amazon, and a lot of other set-top boxes can be pretty lousy at those handshakes and giving your TV the best quality signal it can handle from any given streaming source. Apple nails it.
Which is a problem for Apple. The company wants to sell its services to you, including Apple Fitness (which only works on Apple devices) and Apple TV Plus. It’s worked diligently with other set-top box providers and TV makers to get those products on their devices, but that’s really not enough to compete with Roku and Amazon, which each have set-top boxes that start at well under $50 and have most of the same capabilities as the $149 Apple TV HD.
But while the more budget-friendly Apple TV HD shares the same crackerjack EDID handling, it lacks all the other goodies that make the 4K a must-buy for home theater nerds. It only supports up to 1080p, and at $149, it’s a terrifically bad buy. Like, you’re better off saving your money kind of bad buy.
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