List of the ports and interfaces:
802.11ac Wi‑Fi with MIMO
Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology
USB‑C for service and support
Built‑in power supply
Below are a couple pics comparing the front and back to an Apple TV2 (the fat one is the Apple TV4)
It appears that Apple has decided to keep the resampling to 48khz feature from the older Apple TVs. For audiophiles, this is a major problem since it won’t allow you to put out a standard 44.1kHz (Redbok CD) signal. That being said, I have listen to it for a few hours and it sounds great in my setup.
I also want to mention that I felt the desire to use the music video features a lot more on this platform. The iPad’s implementation of Apple Music videos is awful. There is no full screen mode, instead, it is presented in a small box in the middle of the screen. You can’t even Airplay it to a TV. However, having the feature built into the Apple TV means you get full screen videos right on your TV with great sound quality. In the past, the videos were a worthless feature, but now, I will be using them a whole lot more.
(click on the pics below for larger images)
Home Sharing has podcasts, home videos, and movies included, as well.
This really becomes a headache when you have 16 character passwords that you have to type in when you install an app that requires a password…which is most of them. The Apple TV has Bluetooth which comes in handy for the initial setup, however, from my understanding, you still can’t pair a keyboard with it.
NOTE: I tried to pair a Targus Bluetooth Keyboard with it and it never showed up in the settings.
On the other hand, the new Apple TV does not currently have the Apple Podcast app. I was very surprised and disappointed by that fact, to be honest. Instead of pulling up “MacBreak Weekly” in the Podcast app, the way to get it now would be to get the TWIT app. There are three different TWIT apps on the AppleTV (one of them is currently free). However, I don’t want to install another app on all my devices to get the resume play features.
In short, the lack of the Apple Podcast app is the biggest shortfall of this new Apple TV, in my opinion. I am going to try to get my iTunes library Podcasts up to date (I still have 2011 Hypercritical programs in it) and use Home Sharing for Podcasts instead.
Note: The TWIT app looks great, but I still prefer just having all apps I like show up in one place on all my devices.
I also downloaded a couple games. I tested out Asphalt 8:Airborne and it was a lot of fun using the remote as a controller (more on the remote later).
I should mention that many “standard” apps are still not available. There is still no Plex, Amazon, Pandora, or Vudu available.
Also, I am not sure why, but it seems to feel better in the hand upside down. There is a lot of empty space at the bottom and top, so it feels a bit confusing, when you pick it up, compared to every other controller I have used (I have caught myself aiming the bottom of the remote at the TV a few times). Also, the buttons could use a little more space between them, so it would have, IN MY OPINION, been nice to use that bottom space to make the controller more ergonomic. That being said, I think it was a design choice that makes it look more symetrical. I have to admit that I think it looks great, but I am more concerned with using it than looking at it.
The Apple TV will still let you send the audio from the Apple TV to Airplay receivers, as well. I was hoping that they would implement multi-zone Airplay from the Apple TV to more than one Airplay speaker, but right now, it is still one Airplay speaker at a time.
Note: I get paid commissions for purchases made through any links to Amazon products in this post.
I also want to mention the “Aerial Screensaver" features. I yawned when they spent so much time discussing this feature during the Apple Keynote. However, with Apple Music, I anticipate using the Apple TV quite a bit for music and that typically means that I want a screensaver to save my TV from burn in. In the past, I have always just used Flickr as my screensaver (it is another “coming soon” missing feature), but these beautiful aerial views are a nice change of pace.
Note (12/15): Apple made provided a major updated to the AppleTV, read about it here.
Below is a quick look at the positives and negatives with the current version of the AppleTV (I am sure updates will be coming soon):
Apple Music (Siri integration would make it better)
Apple Music Videos
Siri - great for movies with certain apps
Arial Screensaver looks awesome
Apple Photos and the Apple ecosystem in general
Remote iOS app does not connect to the new Apple TV
Music - 48 kHz resampling (prefer on-the-fly bit rate switching for bit perfect audio)
Podcast app missing
Onscreen keyboard is strange (would prefer more rows)
Lacks bluetooth keyboard pairing
Lacks common inputs/outputs - no SD slot, no digital optical out, no way to connect external drive
Lacks 4k - probably not a big deal for most, but it is a feature that most competitors are adding
Pricey considering the lack of 4k