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What is the best Apple TV available?

I spend a lot of time with my Apple TV, whether I’ve got YouTube on in the background while I work, or I’m checking out the home release of the latest Marvel movie in 4K Dolby Vision. It’s how I know that the 32GB Apple TV 4K will be a great addition to your home theater. It offers full support for 4K, high-frame rate HDR, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos and has enough storage for what most people need out of a streaming box. In addition, you can now use your Apple TV to work out with Apple Fitness +, or watch original programming on Apple TV+. Let’s find out what is the best Apple TV to buy.

Best overall: Apple TV 4K (32GB)

The Apple TV 4K is the best streaming box Apple makes, and an updated version was recently unveiled at Apple’s April 2021 Special Event. As the name suggests, it supports 4K content, but it also supports high-frame rate HDR and Dolby Vision, which offer outstandingly vibrant colors on supported content. Dolby Atmos support also allows for an immersive audio experience with supported movies. The updated Apple TV 4K is powered by the A12 Bionic processor, which allows for improved video performance, such as smoother 60fps video.

Included with the Apple TV 4K is the new and improved Siri Remote that contains a circular clickpad control that offers five-way navigation for improved accuracy. It is also touch-enabled, so you can navigate by swiping as you did with the previous Siri Remote. The new Siri Remote also contains a power button for your TV.

Coming in 32GB and 64GB models, you might wonder why the smaller storage size was chosen. Honestly, it’s mostly about price. As a streaming box, the Apple TV doesn’t need to download a lot of video content directly onto the box itself. True, if you want to use many apps, especially games, you might want more storage, but if you mostly use the Apple TV as a video streaming box, save yourself some money and get the 32GB model.


  • 4K HDR/Dolby Vision support
  • Dolby Atmos support
  • Large 4K content library
  • Improved Siri Remote


  • Pricey
  • New Siri Remote does not include a gyroscope or accelerometer

Best overall

2021 Apple TV 4K (32GB)

A balance of storage space and price.

Apple’s 4K streaming box is the best version of this product you can get right now. For most, 32GB of storage should be enough, especially if you’re streaming most of your content.

Best alternative: Apple TV 4K (64GB)

The 64GB version of the Apple TV 4K has the same features as the 32GB version, just double the storage. This is useful if you download a lot of apps, particularly games. If you like playing games on your Apple TV, you might just want the additional storage.

Many great-looking iOS games have made the jump to the TV, especially with the addition of Apple Arcade. Part of Apple’s push for Arcade is the idea that games will be available across its various devices and games being playable offline. For offline play, you’ll need more storage, so the 64GB Apple TV 4K is going to come in handy.

Be aware that the new Siri Remote does not include a gyroscope or accelerometer, which could affect its ability to be used with some Apple TV games. However, this may not matter to most people who play games on the Apple TV, as they are most likely already using a controller or playing games that don’t need both sensors.


  • 4K HDR/Dolby Vision support
  • Dolby Atmos support
  • Large 4K content library
  • A lot of storage for apps and games
  • Improved Siri Remote


  • Expensive compared to similar streaming boxes
  • New Siri Remote does not include a gyroscope or accelerometer

Best alternative

2021 Apple TV 4K (64GB)

Featuring the same 4K HDR support as the 32GB model, the 64GB Apple TV 4K is just as good a streaming box, with more storage for your apps and games. But to get that, you’ll need to be willing to shell out some cash.

Best on a budget: Apple TV HD

Though 4K is becoming more widespread, many people still only have HD TVs, and for them, the Apple TV HD, also known as the fourth-generation Apple TV, is really the best option. It supports the same apps as the 4K models, but it uses less bandwidth on your home network and costs less. It doesn’t support features like Dolby Atmos, but it should work great with a non-Atmos surround sound system when you use your Apple TV with an A/V receiver. Standard surround sound might not be as immersive as Dolby Atmos, but people have been using it for their great enjoyment for years without missing Atmos.

For many, the biggest issue is going to be storage. The Apple TV HD only comes in a 32GB model, so if you do download a lot of apps and games, and you don’t want to shell out for an Apple TV 4K when you won’t really be able to take advantage of it’s biggest features, then you’re out of luck. Also of note is the processor in the Apple TV HD was not upgraded and is still the A8 that first debuted in 2014.


  • Less expensive than Apple TV 4K
  • Almost everything is in HD
  • Uses less bandwidth
  • USB-C port, if you need that
  • Improved Siri Remote


  • Still pricey for an HD streaming box
  • No Dolby Atmos support
  • Only comes in a 32GB model
  • A8 processor is 7 years old.

Best on a budget

2021 Apple TV HD (32GB, 5th Generation)

Apple’s basic streaming box.

If you have no need for a 4K streaming device, or you just want to save some money and don’t care about things like HDR or Dolby Atmos, then the Apple TV HD is still a good, if expensive, streaming box.

Bottom line

The Apple TV 4K is the best Apple TV to get, and most people should get the 32GB model. As primarily a streaming device, you probably won’t need that much storage, but if you need space for more apps and games, you can always pick up the 64GB Apple TV 4K.

What really makes the Apple TV 4K better than the Apple TV HD, which features the same user interface and apps, can be summed up by four features: 4K, HDR, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos. While it’s debatable whether 4K alone is worth the upgrade, HDR, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos are the true upgrades over the Apple TV HD. HDR and Dolby Vision enable more vivid and beautiful colors on compatible content, with Dolby Vision producing the best results. And while the Apple TV 4K may be pricey, there are still several streaming boxes out there that only support HDR10, instead of both it and Dolby Vision, and in my experience, Dolby Vision is noticeably better. Meanwhile, Dolby Atmos immerses you in the sounds of the movie you’re watching, projecting noises realistically using a dome of sound.

If you have a 4K HDR TV and a Dolby Atmos-compatible sound system, you’re definitely going to notice the difference between the Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD, and it’s well worth it to pick up the 4K model.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Joseph Keller is the managing editor at iMore. An Apple user for more than a decade and a half, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

Rene Ritchie has been covering the personal technology industry for a decade. An outspoken analyst and critic, he writes at, podcasts at, and you can find his show at Follow him @reneritchie on Twitter and Instagram.

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