The Near Death of Apple 4K TV


#1

Earlier this year Apple announced their 4k Apple TV and it was on my Christmas Wishlist but a funny thing happen after I bought my Sony 4k HDR tv; it had a built-in Android system.

My Sony Android TV has

  • Google Music Play for streaming all my uploaded music
  • Netflix 4k HDR with Atmos surround sound support
  • Amazon prime video
  • and just today I downloaded the free VLC which streams all my movies from my local “My Cloud” and even if the source is only 720p, my TV upconverts all movies to 4k HDR.

so there is little need for the Apple TV now.

oh wait… I still need it for Apple HomeKit for controlling my home lighting.


#2

I’m not sure I buy into the Death thing. There are more than just streaming on the Apple TV.


#3

games - there are some great games but you get better games from PS4, Switch etc.
apps - same thing, better apps on your phone/ipad
home kit - the home kit center can be on your iPad instead so the Apple TV can be removed
photos - viewing photos from your shared library with your iPhone
VLC app - streaming from “My Cloud” now directly on my Sony TV. No need to start up Apple TV.

airplay - this might be the only thing that I don’t get with directly with my Sony TV, however airplay my MacBook is not the greatest as I would prefer to connect my MacBook directly to the TV.

The thing is, if Smart TVs provides everything you need there is very little reason to pay out $250 for another set top unless you have all your movies invested in Apple TV.

For myself, I haven’t started up Apple TV for quite some time now and now with VLC on my Sony TV, there really isn’t any reason to buy the new 4k version either.

However with that said… I really hate the Android driven TV because of the very slow under powered OS. Everything responds about 2-3 seconds later. VLC takes a few seconds to buffer sometimes but that could be the WiFi but together with the UI it really feels like the system doesn’t want to provide the services. In comparison, Apple TV is like the iPad/iphone which snaps attention with a single click of the remote. You can easily fast forward by swiping your fingers on the remote, but this isn’t enough to justify upgrading my Apple TV to the 4k version.


#4

Yes, to each his own


#5

I’ve been an Apple fan since 2010 and for a good reason, all Apple products work seamlessly and wonderfully. Only real Apple users understands how great this is.

Unfortunately for those who are not Apple Fans, they buy into the fact that you can get the same features for a lot less money and in my case, free with TV.

The sad part to this, is that all the features on my TV are really buggy but ultimately they do work. , Just today, I cannot pause the movie that I’m watching because it resets itself to my last cached point instead of continuing from where you paused (I had turned off my TV last night at this point in the movie). You learn to live with it, i.e. just don’t pause the movie.

I really do want to buy an Apple 4k TV just to have a better experience but for $220 Canadian,I’ll wait…


#6

Try Kodi… I find it better than VLC.


#7

much better… now you just removed all reasons to get an Apple TV 4k :frowning:

Thanks


#8

Kodi will access the MyCloud file server, which, IME, gives a better experience than accessing the DLNA server.


#9

I’m pretty sure that VLC was using the Mycloud File Server as well, as the DLNA server is always turned off at my house and even if it was, there should be no files indexed :stuck_out_tongue:

However my Sony Android TV is so underpowered or perhaps filled with adware that cursoring left or right, takes a full second to respond so it is always “click and wait” until the TV responds otherwise you end up selecting the wrong item.

When I say adware, a lot of apps are making money by simulating the user clicking on Ads and they program their apps to do this in the background.

Kodi seems ok but fast forwarding is perhaps too fast if you hold down the right cursor on the remote, Kodi just seems to skip across the movie at 15 minutes increments. So once again, it is click click to fast forward a bit and wait until the movie catches up, otherwise if held down you end up past the end of movie in seconds.

yup… first world problems… whine whine whine…


#10

You can always just click on the progress bar, and jump to where you want to go to. I think you may even be able to jump to an absolute time, using one of the advanced menus…

If adverts in apps are causing grief, uninstall all unnecessary apps. They eat memory, and that causes problems for speed. It’s easy to get ‘app frenzy’, and install all sorts of stuff ‘to play with’, but you need to be brutal about what you actually use, and what is just baggage. If you have installed Kodi, and are happy with it, uninstall VLC.

My views on ‘Smart TV’ are all over this forum… At least your Sony appears to have a fairly vanilla, unlocked Android, with access to apps on the Play Store, not a bespoke OS and tiny, never updated set of obscure/bespoke apps.


#11

VLC will be deleted after I am happy that Kodi is my go to player.

It isn’t because of my app frenzy installation that is making my TV feel bloated but Sony has installed all the apps that they think is necessary with probable kickbacks and I really don’t want to delete/disturb all the pre-installed apps that makes this TV a Sony.

Yes I did choose this Sony model for its android-tivity :stuck_out_tongue: which makes the Apple TV 4k even more obsolete because of the variety of non-garden apps that I can install on my TV.


#12

Repeat; to each their own


#13

Disclaimer:
I do not have ANY kind of “smart” TV. With the exception of the occasional documentary on the History or Discovery Channels, I really have no use for television at all. But that’s me.

However, the “Android Bloatware” issue punched one of my buttons.

I, the quintessential “late adopter”, finally pitched the Noikia phone that I have used while overseas in Europe, and replaced it with a Samsung Galaxy J1-mini - a small, (pocket sized), smartphone with a “whopping” 8GB of internal memory and a place for the two SIM cards I require.

Hmmm… 8 Gigs? Should be plenty of room. I can install a full-blown version of Linux Mint with the Cinnamon desktop and a boatload of essential system utilities in less space than that. Run it full-speed with a graphical desktop too. And that’s on hardware that reached the pinnacle of its existence with XP.

Unfortunately, my “21st Century” Samsung phone consumes more than half of its internal memory with a whole raft of “pre-installed” apps that cannot be removed, and - in most cases - cannot be disabled!

The small amount of memory that is left is rapidly consumed by “updates” that replace code in ROM with patches in internal storage. I can “move” certain apps to the micro SD card I installed - which helps until the next round of updates which move the apps right back into internal memory!

There are a lot of Google apps that I don’t really need - or have unintended side-effects like automatically syncing to my memory-starved phone any pictures (or other content) I might view on the Android tablet I also own. Yes, I can turn that off; but that breaks a lot of other - necessary - functionality.

The few apps I DO want or need - Kewlsoft’s WiFi Analyzer, my Moscow Mass-Transit or Moscow Parking Management apps, or my contact manager - get crowded out by the dozens and dozens of apps I do not want, never use, but cannot delete and, (in most cases), cannot even disable.

The result is a phone that eats batteries and is slow as molasses in February.

I have done considerable research on this topic regarding my Android devices and the only real solution seems to be to root the device and install a custom ROM without all the bloatware - something I really hesitate to do.

I cannot say what is true for the latest crop of (allegedly) “smart” TV’s. However, if they’re anything like other Android devices I’ve seen, I can totally understand the OP’s angst.

What say ye?

Jim (JR)


#14

Samsung have a well-deserved reputation for bunging a whole other layer of bloatware and launcher on top of plain vanilla Android.

My Moto E2 is bad enough with all the baked-in Google stuff that I don’t want (and disable).


#15

No, the solution is to buy a device that isn’t loaded down with preloaded apps by the device’s manufacturer or from the cellular provider. Find a device that runs the stock Android OS. For example some or all Google Nexus phones apparently are stock Android free of most bloatware.


#16

Other than the Google ‘shopping opportunities’ bloatware…

Drive
Play Games
Play Movies & TV
Play Music
Play Newsstand
Google+
Hangouts
Home


#17

If one cannot uninstall them, they may be able to disable them. Like it or not with most if not all stock non custom OS there will always be some stock apps included. Sometimes they can be removed, sometimes not.


#18

I do:


#19

Yes to each their own @whsbuss … although I am tired of all this Apple vs Android mentality as even my own kids shuts me up with “oh you are such an Apple Fan boy” whenever I try to tell them that I no longer spend whole days on upgrading my computer to the next version nor do I stay stuck with an older OS like Windows 7 because Microsoft decided that I needed a tablet interface for my desktop PC that I don’t want.

My Mac OS upgrades takes less than half hour each time and every version is free. I can’t even tell my kids that I haven’t got a virus or adware for the last 7 years without them interrupting me saying “oh I don’t get virus or adware either” except they do because they say things like “I don’t know why my system is so slow, I think I need a new PC” or “I don’t know why all my files are corrupted?” … and I say nothing these days… because at their age of 30, they are always right and their father who has been building PCs since their childhood is now an Apple Fanboy and knows absolutely nothing… yes… I know nothing…

The thing is, at this point in time my Android OS with netflix, google Music Play and all media tools are all FREE and it does its job.

It isn’t really “to each his own” and if I had a choice in getting a Sony TV with an Apple OS versus a Sony TV with Android, then yes “to each his own” would apply because @Bennor and @cpt_paranoia would select the Android Sony TV and I would select the Apple Sony TV despite the fact that I would be locked in Apple’s Garden with probably no Kodi in the App store.

I’m simply going with the flow and not wanting to spend $250 with tax for something that I may or may not use. Right now I hit one button on my remote (power on) and selecting google music play and music starts playing; no fuss no muss. The App remembers what playlist I played last and stays saved with the App. Thus I can use the Netflix app and still come back to my music app with a single click and play.

With my Apple TV (I do have the 4th gen, just not the 4k version), I have to hit Menu and wait for all my systems (TV and receiver) to sync up (turn on) taking about 5 seconds, then I have to cursor over to music which doesn’t cursor because I’m holding the Apple remote upside down 10 seconds, then I have to figure what playlist to play. If I change activities like VLC, I have to choose my playlist again later on because I would have had to back out of music 4 or 5 menus deep.

However with that said… right now I’m listening to my Apple TV 4th gen music and it sounds fuller and clearer?

There are a lot of reasons of buying a Apple TV 4k but for the average consumer who just bought a new Sony 4K HDR TV that has built in Netflix and other media functions, isn’t going to rush out and buy the new Apple TV 4k, or will they? I have no idea but the only reason that I bought the 4th gen Apple TV two years ago was at that time I did not have a smart TV. After buying the Smart TV, I never turned on my Apple TV again and that was a year ago.

Today I’m still debating on whether to get an Apple TV 4k for the following reasons:

  1. AC Wifi. My Sony Netflix sometimes stutters in 4k HDR and it might be possible that I might not be getting the full 4k HDR experience along with Atmos Dolby because of just the standard Wifi
  2. Apple TV up-converting with HDR. I’m fairly sure my Sony TV is doing a wonderful job on the up-conversion but because of the slow Android system I’m a bit dubious on how well it is up-converting.
  3. UI Response. The 1 to 2 second lag on hitting a button on the remote to the time the TV responds sometimes drives me nuts like hitting the power button to turn off my TV. I can literally hit the power button, walk to my desk 10 feet away, sit down and take a sip of my tea before the TV goes click followed by a click on my receiver (linked by CEC). In comparison, I can shut down my Apple TV 4th gen in real-time button click (this is something I use to get with my old TV). I swear that the Apple remote is reading my fingertips.
  4. Apple Music vs Google Music Play? I swear that Google truncates my music (songs ending abruptly) after loading them to Googles cloud. Also since I’m on Google’s free tier are they giving back the full 320kbps that I uploaded?
  5. If I was to subscribe to a streaming service, most likely I would subscribe to Apple since I have the whole Apple family of devices.

Okay I can really tell you that streaming my music from my Apple TV is way clearer than by Google Music Play. Remember that I am using Googles Free tier so knowing how corporations work it doesn’t surprise me that my music might be returning to me in 96kbps format as sometimes I really find myself annoyed at the music and I don’t know why.

I am a great music aficionado and when great music plays from time to time on a random playlist, I would look up from my desk and say “oh wow”. Music coming from my Apple TV has just done that to me twice in the last half hour that I’ve been listening to it. Solid bass that just rocked my living room.

I think what I am going to do is head over to Costco to pick up an Apple TV 4k just for the fun of it and compare it to Android system on my TV. If anyone wants to know how they compare, ask me, otherwise I think I’m going to shut up about this.


#20

@Ralphael

Very nice response. I have Apple TV (4K) for two main reasons 1) I have a Sammy SUHD set and 2) home automation hub for my home. I gave up Netflix a few years back with all their price increases and no recent release movies for streaming. When I want to watch a good movie, iTunes has them and renting at a very reasonable price.