The 64 GB Apple TV is the best you can buy today. It lets you use all the apps and games on the App Store, and stream all the content from iTunes, Netflix, HBO, and more, all from a tiny box that can fit just about anywhere.

Ritchie Ritchie Rene Ritchie has been covering Apple and the personal technology industry for almost a decade. Editorial director for Mobile Nations, analyst for iMore, video and podcast host, you can follow him on Snapchat, Instagram, or Twitter @reneritchie.

Update: Content providers from AT&T DirectTV Now in the U.S. to Bell Fibe in Canada are beginning to provide Apple TV and apps in place of β€” or as extensions to β€” traditional set top boxes. You can then add more Apple TVs and apps to get your content in more rooms. Which Apple TV model should you get though? Read on!

Best overall

64 GB Apple TV

64 GB Apple TV 2015

See at Apple

With the latest update, Apple TV has gone from hobby to hot. It supports the App Store now, which means it can run apps and play games β€” at 1080p 60fps β€” take that consoles! It can also stream content from iTunes, Netflix, HBO, and more, and with the Siri Remote, it can do it all at the sound of your voice. That includes "Show me action movies from the 80s... only the kid friendly ones" and "what did she say?", where it will jump back 30 seconds and temporarily turn on subtitles. There's also Dolby 7.1 for audiophiles, and the ability to broadcast the screen from your iPhone, iPad, or Mac, making it perfect for the living room and the board room. With 64 GB of storage, and Apple's clever on-demand storage, there's also room for everything you throw at β€” or download onto β€” it.

Bottom line: If you've always wanted a big screen iOS device, the Apple TV will turn your television into just that.

One more thing: The new Apple TV also supports game controllers for that full-on console feeling.

Why the 64 GB Apple TV is the best

When it comes to content, more isn't just more β€”Β it's better.

Apple went years without updating the Apple TV, then updated almost everything about it in one fell swoop. The biggest part of that is apps. Just like iPhone and iPad, Apple TV now has an App Store all its own. That means not only can you stream iTunes, Netflix, ABC, CBC, BBC, and more, you can download everything from exercise and shopping apps to the casual and hardcore games.

Nilay Patel called it the "best of television's present" on The Verge:

The streaming boxes on the market right now all compete to do very few simple things: get everything you want to watch in a single place, make it all easy to search and discover, and get out of the way. And the Apple TV does that as well or better than anything else on the market.

David Katzmeier was even more enthusiastic on CNET:

Apple TV's awesome remote and voice control make it one of the best entertainment devices, especially for anyone who already owns plenty of Apple gadgets.

To understand why the 64 GB version is the best, we need to look at how Apple TV works. With Apple TV, Apple introduced On-Demand Resources (ODR). If you go to watch a movie or get a game on your TV, the last thing you want to see is an error saying you're out of disk space and telling you to go delete something old before you can download something new.

So, ODR manages all that in the background. As you download new stuff, ODR deletes old, infrequently used stuff. That includes levels and cut scenes in games you've already completed, and content you watched a long time ago and haven't returned to since. Think of it as a super-smart, next-generation cache.

That might make it sound like you can get away with less storage and not need more. For some people, especially those with high-speed internet connections and no or very high data caps, that'll be true.

For most people, though, having more content available locally will still be the best experience. When you watch a movie this week, it might still be available immediately to show your friends next week. When you download a bunch of games, they'll all be ready to play, right away. Plus, you won't have to worry about wasting as much data on re-downloads.

And that makes the 64 GB Apple TV the best experience.

Best for streamers

32 GB Apple TV

32 GB Apple TV 2015

See at Apple

If you are one of the lucky people who enjoy a very high-speed internet connection and no or effectively no data cap, or your simply don't watch or play a lot of content, then you can save yourself some money and get the cheaper 32 GB Apple TV. It's otherwise identical in every way, so you won't miss out on anything. You'll simply need to re-download more and more often than you would with the 64 GB model.

Bottom-line: If you want to save some money and don't mind having to re-download content more often, the 32 GB Apple TV is for you.

One more thing: If you're using Apple TV for work presentations or home automation control, the storage size won't mean as much to you.

Best on a budget

Apple TV (2012)

Apple TV (2012)

See at Apple

Update: Apple no longer sells the 2012 model but you can sometimes find it on clearance or for resale. Since it will no longer be getting updates and services may stop working, we can no longer recommend it and will remove it in the next update. For now it's best to think of it as a super-cheap AirPlay terminal for an extra TV or office room.

Before Apple introduced the new Apple TV, they dropped the price of the old Apple TV significantly. It makes sense, since the old Apple TV doesn't have Siri or access to the new App Store, which means no voice control, no apps, and no games. It does still have access to iTunes, though, and to built-in versions of Netflix and many other streaming services. So, if all you want is an Apple streaming device to watch on your TV, use for AirPlay in your office, or take with you on the road, the 3rd generation Apple TV is your cheapest option.

Bottom-line: If you don't need apps, you can get away with the 3rd generation Apple TV.

One more thing: The 2012 Apple TV has an optical audio out, so if that's important to you, it's your only option!

Conclusion

If you don't care about iTunes, you can look at alternatives like ChromeCast or FireTV. Otherwise, if you want the best set-top box Apple has to offer, you want the 64 GB Apple TV.

Best overall

64 GB Apple TV

64 GB Apple TV 2015

See at Apple

With the latest update, Apple TV has gone from hobby to hot. It supports the App Store now, which means it can run apps and play games β€” at 1080p 60fps β€” take that consoles! It can also stream content from iTunes, Netflix, HBO, and more, and with the Siri Remote, it can do it all at the sound of your voice. That includes "Show me action movies from the 80s... only the kid friendly ones" and "what did she say?", where it will jump back 30 seconds and temporarily turn on subtitles. There's also Double 7.1 for audiophiles, and the ability to broadcast the screen from your iPhone, iPad, or Mac, making it perfect for the living room and the board room. With 64 GB of storage, and Apple's clever on-demand storage, there's also room for everything you throw at β€” or download onto β€” it.

Bottom line: If you've always wanted a big screen iOS device, the Apple TV will turn your television into just that.

One more thing: The new Apple TV also supports game controllers for that full-on console feeling.