Good News Received Apple TV 32 GB - Brief Review and Pics

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20 Jul 2014
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Hey Guys,

As you might already know I ordered an Apple TV on Amazon recently. I received it yesterday. I was playing around with it for some time and I think I'm at a point to do a brief review. Let's go!

What's in the box:

Apple TV 32 GB, Apple TV Remote, Power Adapter and cord, USB-Lightning cable, couple of user manuals. Sadly, Apple didn't bother to include an HDMI cable and I had to use one of my spare cables to connect. How is that for a 17k product! #JustAppleThings



Design and Build:

The box feels absolutely sturdy! It feels premium and oozes Apple's pride all over it. It is like a finely crafted rock in our hands! On the other hand, the Remote is exactly the opposite. It is so tiny that you might forget it's present in your hand! I was aware of this, and I already ordered a cover for the remote. Apart from these, the power cord, adapter, and lightning cable are all of the premium quality.




Setup is as easy as it gets if we have an iPhone. Just follow the prompts and you are set in under 2 minutes. As soon as the setup starts, we are asked if we have an iPhone and if we do, we just need to unlock it to see the prompt waiting for us (Bluetooth should be on). All the settings including Apple ID, Wi-Fi, etc. are transferred within a minute and the home screen shows up.





Software/Siri and Remote:

As with all Apple's products, It's brilliantly optimized. Sometimes, we might be slower to react than the device itself, that's how good it is. I have been using the Fire Stick HD and an XStream box for some time. You mostly have to wait for your voice commands or remote commands to work on those devices. That is exactly why I can immediately notice the difference between those devices and this. It comes with tvOS 13.6 out of the box and there was an upgrade to 14.1.

But, there is a catch! We can't use Siri commands in India on this device. There is a workaround i.e. we can use an App Store account of the US/UK origin. However, it's not as good as an experience as the native account integration. For instance, Apple TV app content is mostly irrelevant for us once we have the country. The only streaming service that integrates into the Apple TV app is Amazon Prime Video. This is really poor from Apple. After charging more than the US price of 179$, they are still not providing the full UX experience to the Indian users.

Also, the touch remote feels over sensitive. We end up scrolling more than what's required in few cases and it gets quickly annoying. But Siri voice commands come to the rescue here if we manage to use the workaround. But still, I think this is a drawback.




Streaming Quality:

I have only one word, AMAZING!! You will know it only when you use it after using those other devices like XStream and Fire TV Stick (I'm not sure about the 4K Fire Stick, as I haven't used it). There is absolutely no buffering on this device. It is properly utilizing my 150 Mbps connection to play whatever I ask it to play, without any lag whatsoever! And the audio quality on my Home Theater is just brilliant. All the apps are producing excellent Dolby audio. As this is the main purpose of buying it, I'm very satisfied in this area. However, I faced a few issues with Disney+Hotstar streaming. The forward/rewind controls didn't work properly on it. There is no such issue on the other streaming apps like Netflix/Amazon Prime Video. I think it might be an issue with that specific app.

Mobile Controls:

As soon as Apple TV is set up, it starts showing up in the control center of the iOS device (Wi-Fi should be on). Clicking it brings up the remote app. The integration is very good. There is no need to use the remote if we have our mobile in hand.



Apple TV+:

1 Year worth of Apple TV+ subscription is free with every Apple TV device. I claimed it. However, if we change our App Store account's country to use the Siri commands, we can't use the Apple TV+ subscription, as that will be gone. We need to switch back to the Indian account to use it. So, again, that's a drawback!



To summarize,

What I like:

1. Excellent Streaming Video/Audio Quality
2. Software optimization and performance
3. Sturdy Build
4. Free Apple TV+ subscription for a year
5. Ease of use with an iPhone

What I don't like:

1. Lack of Siri integration in India
2. Touch remote is very small and sometimes over sensitive

Overall, I'm satisfied with the device. I think it's arguably the best streaming device in the market, despite lacking Siri/Apple TV integration in India, just for its sheer performance and software optimization. However, it would be great if Apple could provide this under that 10k bracket so that many more people can enjoy and admire its capabilities, although we know Apple hardly cares about our price concerns! Anyway, thanks for reading and I would be happy to assist you with any questions you may have on this device!
Thanks for detail review.
One question for video app smooth running like fire tv? No blurred issue in prime video app?

Fire tv 4k streaming quality excellent...
I have never used any Apple products, would it still be okay to buy Apple TV?
Thanks for detail review.
One question for video app smooth running like fire tv? No blurred issue in prime video app?

Fire tv 4k streaming quality excellent...
Yes, No issues.
I have never used any Apple products, would it still be okay to buy Apple TV?
Yes, but it would be even better if you have an iPhone!
Congratulations bro!! Can you elaborate more about the Netflix experience on it? I have used Fire TV Stick HD , 4K, MI Box 4K and found that it is best on Fire TV stick 4K version.
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