It seems that your requirements parallels mine. I too need the Apple TV for my automation Hub and probably to do the up-conversion if needed. Although I’ll have to see what happens to Apps like VLC on an Apple TV 4K. Does the app do the conversion or do they pass it over to Apple’s library to handle the data streaming and up-conversion?
Netflix has changed a lot since the old days of having no content. Today it nothing but new content since Netflix is footing the bills for new movies. In addition you get Dolby Atmos when it is available. In January I bought my Sony STRDN1080 Dolby Atmos Receiver and Netflix catered to this niche with Okja and the surround sound was amazing since it is object oriented. It is time to check it out with your free month to see what you may have missed. There is nothing like free to check out every movie under the sun.
I would love to see the head-to-head comparison. Don’t let all the nay-sayers spoil your fun.
“. . .to each his own” can be translated two different ways: “bloody well 'naff off because I don’t care about what you think” or “Differences of opinion are what make America great. Just because you have an Apple device and I don’t doesn’t mean your choice is invalid.”
I too have been around the block a few times. For example, I can remember when Virginia Tech implemented a “bleeding edge” IBM 370-158 with (gasp!) a unheard of 64k of high-speed core and (double gasp!) the bleeding edge technology known as Virtual Memory!!!
I lived through the Atari-Commodore wars, and I learned to dislike the “religious” aspect of these battles.
I do not have an Apple device because at the time I got into the PC realm. Apple devices were more expensive than I could afford and the vendor lock-in didn’t appeal to me.
Today, I am primarily a Windows user, though I also use Linux from time-to-time. I stay with Windows simply because it’s what I am familiar with, and I have an extensive array of software for that platform.
Does that mean that your preference for Apple is misguided? No. It’s the pathway your chose. You don’t have to justify it, it’s what you want and it’s what meets your needs.
Since I despise television with a passion that probably borders on OCD, I don’t bother with it. But if YOU enjoy it, and if YOU decide that you prefer Apple’s offerings to those from Sony, LG, etc., then go for it!
I also am a music aficionado, and my answer to that is a computer connected to my Onkyo stereo system with two KILLER speakers in my living room. I spend the coin on a top-flight sound card and connect it to a system that kicks serious butt.
Don’t let the nay-sayers spoil your fun. Go out and get the device you want and if anyone doesn’t like it, tell 'em that it’s just tough-noogies.
This kinda reminds me of “I am not a racist as I have a chinese friend”
and you need at least an iPad Pro now to qualify.
You remind me of an old friend of mine that got into photography and stated that he must shoot all photos in raw format because that would give his mediocre images the best quality. I myself, a photographer that has shot weddings, head shots and everything under the sun for a living, always shoots in jpeg just so I can get more photos per card.
If you wonder about my music aficionado, I just recently bought the Sony NW-A35 mp3 player mainly to match my Sony wh1000xm2 that uses the LDAC codec. My Sony receiver also connects via LDAC to my Sony wh1000xm2. During the day I would just let the music run through my stereo system and at night I would use my noise cancellation headphones to listen privately to music. It brings peace and joy to my life and that is all I need; lossy or not lossy…
Yes I picked up an Apple TV 4k today. Luckily setting up the new Apple was a breeze by swinging my iPad near it. Within minutes my new Apple TV was all set up without a single manual input.
I then turn on netflix… and selected a random movie and the movie came up in 4k HDR… whoa…
how can I tell? The whites are really bright especially the shiny portion of a persons face. Is this a good thing? I don’t know. It isn’t real HDR per se because Apple is just upping the saturation, colours and contrast, however it is a pretty good job but on the other hand it is kinda weird if you ask me. no idea if I like it or hate it… but hey it is kinda neat.
Also the sound quality is so much more clearer. Everything just makes me wonder if I’m really imagining all this clarity and deeper booming bass but yeah all the speakers are all firing in dolby surround sound.
VLC takes my 720p movies and converts everything to 4k HDR. Sharp, crisp and colourful. No Kodi though.
Lastly the UI is quick and responsive making me feel like it is a quality device and yes if I hold the TV button down and select [sleep] everything just shuts down instantaneously.
It is nice for $250
Am I going to keep it? Might as well. It was on my wish list last year and now it is checked off my list.
Do I recommend it? I think if you just spent $2k on a 65" tv and you are an Apple fan you should definitely get an Apple TV 4k to compliment your dumb Android TV. However if you have an Android Phone forget this recommendation, the Apple TV is not for you.
Mediocrity seems to be the norm these days on all products and I do speak with experience and it frustrates me on how they fool me. The difference between one model to another on the Sony TV Product line is usually one or two features and they have a full product range that sells for $800 all the way up to $6000. I bought the middle TV of the whole spectrum and thankfully it works as stated.
The fooling part of this is the Android system included with all the TVs with features from Google Music, Netflix, Amazon Prime and so on. I had thought I was getting a quality product but after comparing it with an Apple TV for the last two days, I am convinced that the music playing is either going through a software digital to analog converter or the hardware DAC is the lowest possible quality.
The other possibility, of course, is Google Music Player of which because I am using the free tier, they are sending my music library back to me at 96kbps.
Lastly they say that slower Wifi signals can reduce my Netflix 4k Quality but it is possible that they just reduce the quality regardless.
I’ve been streaming music from my 43" 4k HDR Sony tv for a year now and once in awhile I get so annoyed at the music and simply shut it down. I am not an audiophile that can tell you the exact reason why something isn’t right, but I am a music aficionado that can tell you that a piece of music sounds terrible or not. It got so bad this year that I stopped listening to a lot of music because they just sounded noisy.
This I do know, the music streaming of Google Music Play in comparison to Apple TV (any generation) with music match is like night and day.
I am currently playing music through my Apple TV and every album in my library sounded great even the ones that I thought were noisy are now clear, bright and full with solid bass. There is no doubt in my mind that the Android OS plus apps bundled with the Sony TV are not optimized for the TV.
Even Netflix playing 4k movies on the Sony TV are not HDR upgraded. The comparison is that the Apple TV 4k up convert everything into 4k HDR giving it a wonderful clarity plus HDR. It isn’t a gimmick like many set-top devices alway pretend to be,
The unfortunate part to this story is that I wouldn’t have bought an Apple TV 4k and most users wouldn’t unless they already have an investment in some Apple Movies/Music.
If I didn’t have an Apple TV 4k to compare, I would have stayed with the current Android set up for the next decade but now that I notice the quality difference in both the 4k HDR quality and Music, I’m just not going back.
Yeah fine, I am just a crazy Apple fan that follows the Apple product line like a sheep… baaaah to you too…
Why? will you buy an Apple TV if there were proof?
yup… hey I spent centuries on the PC and the commodore Pet before that, and before they had hardware DACs, it was the in-thing back then to do a bit-stream to create an analog signal. Even though we have hardware decoding not everything necessarily uses it. By default even VLC GPU decoding is disabled on the PC back in the days… see VLC GPU Decoding..
Android is a generic OS that is used almost like a generic linux system. It is ubiquitous and thus because of this, a lot of times it isn’t optimized just like our WD My Cloud that uses linux.
it is what it is… IOS=Apple Music with music match and Android=Google Music Play with google music storage (I guess).
There is only one receiver for both sources and that is the Sony STRDN1080 receiver. Thus it is either the TV music output or the Apple TV music output. The music is the same library that I uploaded to Google music or Apple Cloud.
I just bought a Sony hi-res Mp3 player and I have been playing my music through LDAC to my W?H-1000XM2 headphones. This thing has specs that makes my wallet bleed, thankfully it was only $300 for this NWA35B mp3 player but… you cannot compare it to an iPhone or Android phone for playing music; my iPhone comes up a little bit short and bit less clearer than the dedicated mp3 player.
Does it make my iPhone obsolete? absolutely not and it is the same for the Android on my Sony TV. The Android TV with its built in Netflix and Google music works just fine…
but it seems that the Apple TV 4k which cost me a quarter thousand, has something unique that my TV doesn’t have and it makes the music sound clearer and more thumpy and it could be the fact that I’m on AC Wifi giving me at least 40MBs versus the whimsy 11MBs with just wifi. It also could be that all my music match music is now 320kbps regardless of the initial quality of the music because some of my music were only 128kbps before uploading.
So yes it could be unfair and with a little bit of tweaking or perhaps a different app, the android would have been just as good.
unfortunately for this consumer… I don’t tweak which is why I am an apple fan. I just want something that just works… with one click…
edit: oh one more thing, the bluetooth remote doesn’t need a line of sight which is wonderful as I no longer need to point my remote at the tv but then again I’m sure Android TVs will have this feature soon.
edit: I had to search the internet to find out how to add the apple TV to my iPhone control panel; the one that I swipe up from the bottom. From there it connects to the Apple TV and allows me to use my iPhone as a remote. Now the reason that I writing this up was I was looking at the iPhone Remote and thought “how come there is no volume control?” and then I thought if I was Apple where would I put the volume control if there was one and my answer would be on the iPhone volume control on the side of the iPhone… so I tried that… yup… the iPhone volume control, controls the volume of my TV. So in using the Apple TV as the main set box, the remote or iPhone controls everything including volume. 1 button puts everything to sleep. 1 button wakes everything up including the receiver and TV. No line of sight for large remotes.
I’m a terrible one for trying to be fair and impartial. Especially when giving advice that other people might use to influence how they spend their money.
It is what you choose. I don’t use either Apple Music or Google Music, on any of my platforms. I use my music collection. If I were to use a streaming service there are plenty to choose from. There is no need to be tied to the service provided by your OS vendor.
The question is: are you taking the analogue signal from the Apple TV, or routing it via the Sony, via the HDMI connection, and thence to the amplifier via the TV’s analogue output?
I’m just trying to explore where the limitation lies. I’d be surprised if the Sony TV has a particularly poor DAC, so I would guess that, as you suspect, it’s an issue with the quality of the audio stream you are getting from Google. Which might be fixable with a small modification of some settings.
I’ve found over the years that functionality over hardware specs cannot be quantified.
I use to be the other guy, the guy that stood on the PC side and scoffed at the Apple Sheep people.
The change came about with an iPad in 2010, filled with all my wedding photos of which I would hand over my portfolio to a prospective bride to let her view my work. That one functionality of a no brainer browsing of photos without having to hand hold a customer through a directory of photos, wins over any laptop with any photo browsing software.
I found out years later when the Apple Kool aid died down a bit that Apple had built up a complete cache of thumbnails of my photos so that my photos are loaded instantaneously; hence probably the reason that WD attempts to build up thumbnails on their WD Cloud (I’m serious about this one as someone at WD said why are the photos loading so slowly?). That cache of thumbnails allows you to swipe, poke and pinch through the photos as though they were live objects. This one feature on the iPad won me over to the other side.
Apple always does this, that extra mile thing.
The funny thing about this was once upon a time I thought the same way which was one of the reasons that I bought the WD Cloud so I had a place that kept my music centralized rather than using a paid service; unfortunately the paid service won .
Of course it began with Apple’s Music Match of which I was really sceptical about them matching my music library with 320kbps tracks for $30/year Canadian, but they match everything one for one and even matched it at 320kbps quality and it freed up my iPhone memory of all my music.
I actually went a couple of years without Music match after the initial year tryout, but the thing is Google Play music is not an integrated function of my iPhone such as if you ask Siri to play a song, it doesn’t search Google Music to find it.
I think I switched back to Music Match when I realized that it no longer needed iTunes to be running on a mac just to get music on my Apple TV. Having my full library of music without an iTunes server running was a big selling point.
I tried getting away from being tied but ultimately I can’t because of the convenience; now Apple’s Music Match is used right across all my Apple products although I am still holding out on the $10/month Apple Music but someday I’ll probably try their free 3 months and then once again I would have to spend that $10/month addiction fee.
My Mac Mini iTunes/Air Video server is being phased out with your suggestion of VLC last year. However I still use Air Video Server to stream my mkv movies from “My Cloud” to my iPhone/iPad.
Apple TV ==> HDMi output to Sony Receiver Sony TV ==> HDMI ARC output from Sony Receiver. Back in the old days it would have been an optical cable from the tv back to the receiver but the new gen now uses the same HDMI out from the receiver to the TV to send back the sound output from the TV calling it the ARC.
I shouldn’t say poor as it has served me over a year without my noticing of the quality but then again I kept fiddling with my receiver thinking it is just an adjustment of the receiver. I just tried comparing one song from Apple TV with the same song from Google Music on the TV and they sounded identical. Go figure.
Now that I have switched back to the Apple TV for my media player needs, there are a lot of features that I had forgotten about, like Siri for selecting music to play.
“Siri play me the top hits from US”, apparently they don’t know about the top hits in Canada.
I have no quarrel with that. But the functionality I want involves me being in control. And I struggle with that in iOS; it likes to be in control. Someone above said ‘to each his own’…
And Alexa probably won’t search Apple music or Google Music, and the Google assistant probably won’t search Apple or Amazon, or…
I hate walled gardens…
Let’s just be thankful some of us still have net neutrality…
Then it’s your Sony Receiver that is providing the DAC; the HDMI audio is digital. The rendering from compressed audio to linear PCM will probably be done by the Apple TV and the Android app on the Sony TV.
So if there is a noticeable difference, it would be due to the quality of the digital source material, or, rather less likely, in the renderer.
I don’t recall recommending VLC; I have used it a bit, but I generally use Kodi for watching recorded video. But it’s not impossible that I suggested it…