5 min read

Apple TV 4K 2021 vs 2022: should you upgrade?

Written by
Pavlo Fedykovych
Published on
December 20, 2023
May 29, 2024

When it comes to comparing Apple TV 4k 2021 VS 2022 in 2024 it’s about the necessity of an upgrade rather than determining what device to buy. 4K (second generation) was officially discontinued on October 18, 2022, with the release of a new version so you can’t get it from Apple anymore. But users that still have that model are wondering whether it’s viable to buy the latest generation of Apple TV. Here’s how they stack up against each other. Here’s our Apple TV 4k 2nd gen vs 3rd gen comparison to help you decide.

Apple TV 4k 3rd gen vs 2nd gen the basics

We’re in 2024 and the last generation of the Apple streaming device is Apple TV 4K 2022. The Cupertino company is nailing the media box game by giving users the most advanced tool on the market that is equally good for home use and digital signage purposes.

But what about the 2021 Apple TV 4K? Is it still relevant and usable in 2024 or it’s high time to let it go? Well, the answer to this question is: it depends. There are many ways in which the Apple TV 4k 2021 vs 2022 battle is won by the latest version. However, is it so critical that you have to upgrade straight away?

Let’s go into the detailed Apple TV 4k 2022 vs 2021 comparison to see.

The new processor

In a trend similar to all Apple product launches of recent years, the company has given its Apple TV 4K 2022 a better, quicker processor. 

We’re talking about 2.93 GHz Apple A15 Bionic SoC. It’s superior in any way if you compare it with the 2021 edition. The 5-core GPU (the previous had 4-core) and 16-core Neural Engine (the previous had 8-core) are guaranteed to ensure smooth and seamless performance. 

It’s not to say that the 2021 Apple TV 4K is very much different. The latter is still a great device. However, if speed and durability are something you’re looking for, the upgrade is imminent.

The storage got twice bigger

apple tv 4k 2021 vs 2022 comparsion

Apple didn’t think twice about adding more storage to the 2022 version. With the availability of 64GB and 128GB versions, it is a beast of a digital media box. 

By comparison, the 2021 edition had only 32GB and 64GB of storage. 

The latest version also comes packed with 4 GB LPDDR4X SDRAM which is 1 GB more than in 2021. 

Memory matters when you’re streaming 4K and in this regard, the 2022 device is the one to get.

Added support for HDR10+

Here’s where the primary difference between Apple TV 4K 2021 vs 2022 lies. The latest edition comes with the support of HDR10+. That’s not a deal breaker, though. The previous version supports Dolby Vision which works in many ways similarly to HDR10+. 

Still, if you plan to use Apple TV to watch Google Play Movies and TV, Hulu Originals, Paramount Plus, or Prime Video, HDR10+ is the technology of choice. 

Also, you will have a better picture quality of Samsung screens with the 2022 version as the South Korean company uses HDR10+ by default.

Siri Remote has a major change but remains the same

While not much has changed, it’s still worth noting that Apple TV 4K 2022 comes with the third generation of Siri Remote. Basically, the biggest change from the second version is the USB-C port. Apple started to equip all its devices with this standard ditching the Lightning port. 

Other than that, the 2nd gen and 3rd gen Siri Remotes are almost identical and both support the Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology.

The design is slightly different

Remaining loyal to the minimalist black box look of all the Apple TV versions, the 2022 device becomes lighter and smaller than the 2021 one. Twice lighter. When the 2021 was 15 oz, the 2022 is 7.3 oz. 

Is this fact enough for an upgrade? Probably not. There’s also a difference in the HDMI port versions. The 2022 device uses HDMI 2.1 (an upgrade from 2.0 of 2021). But so far there’s nothing revolutionary different about these two devices looks-wise.

Apple TV 4K 2021 vs 2022: the price difference

Apple surprised everyone in 2022 when it announced the pricing of the newest model. It turned out that the cost was lower than the previous version.

As you can’t buy the 2021 version anymore as it was discontinued in 2022, the Apple TV 4K will cost you $129 for the 64 GB version and $149 for 128 GB. 

The $20 bucks difference between the two looks more favorable in the 128 GB device. That’s the one to buy if you’re looking for a commercial use of Apple TV for digital signage too.

Should you upgrade from Apple TV 4K 2nd gen to 3rd gen?

The answer to that question will depend on the ways you’re using your streaming device. If you’re a home user and have the 2nd gen, it’s probably smart to wait until the 2024 version (if there will be one). As you can see from the comparison, apart from the storage, processor, and HDR10+ support there are no major or groundbreaking changes between the two. Yes, it is quicker. But the 2021 is also quick and maybe for your personal use it’s completely fine. 

However, if you’re looking to use Apple TV as a digital signage device with Kitcast, we recommend upgrading to the latest version as it will ensure smoother performance.

Conclusion: Apple TV 4K 3rd generation is superior to Apple TV 4K 2nd generation in any way. However, Apple TV 4k 2021 vs 2022, their differences are not always justified for a full upgrade for home users. When it comes to digital signage, the 2022 version is a go-to choice for a seamless performance.

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