Apple TV 4K (2022) vs. Apple TV 4K (2021): What's new with Apple's streaming box?

Apple has made some worthy improvements with the launch of the Apple TV 4K 2022 revision of its streaming set top box.

The biggest upgrade to the Apple TV 4K from 2021 to 2022 is the A15 Bionic Chip, which boosts CPU performance by 50% and GPU performance by 30%. This also makes the Apple TV more efficient, eliminating the need for a built-in fan, which in turn means it will draw less power. Additionally, HDR support goes from HDR10 to HDR 10+, plus returning Dolby Vision features, expanding rich visual quality to more TVs. 

The newest Siri remote charges via USB-C as opposed to the 2021 model's Lightning port. The 2022 model starts at 64GB (WiFi only) with an option for 128GB (the WiFi plus Ethernet model), while the 2021 model comes in 32GB or 64GB. The 2022 comes in a lower retail price point. Though Apple has discontinued the 2021 model, you can still find it at third-party retailers.

Apple TV 4K (2022) vs. Apple TV 4K (2021): Specifications

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The two models certainly look very similar on the outside. In the spec table below, we lay out all of the differences between the Apple TV 4K (2022) and Apple TV 4K (2021).

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Row 0 - Cell 0 Apple TV 4K (2022) Apple TV 4K (2021)
ProcessorA15 Bionic A12 Bionic
Storage64GB or 128GB32GB or 64GB
PriceFrom $129From $110
ConnectivityWiFi 6 or WiFi 6 plus EthernetWiFi 6
HDMI standardHDMI 2.1HDMI 2.1
Dolby VisionYesYes
Dolby AtmosYesYes
Thread supportYesYes
Available from AppleNov 4, 2022Not anymore
HDR supportHDR10+HDR10
Siri remote chargingUSB-CLightning
Cooling fanNoYes

Apple TV Severance

(Image credit: Apple)

The biggest jump is the A12 to A15 Bionic Chip, which will make the Apple TV snappier, more powerful, and energy efficient. Going from HDR10 to HDR10+ will be a treat for the eyes. While the Siri remote hasn't changed much, it does go from charging via Lightning port to USB-C. This may be a portent of things to come for Apple's entire lineup.

Apple TV 4K (2022) vs. Apple TV 4K (2021): Price and availability

Though the starting price of the 2021 model is cheaper, this is somewhat deceiving for two reasons. First of all, that's the discounted Amazon price, not the retail price. Secondly, that's for 32GB of storage. Choose the 64GB 2021 model on Amazon and you're paying the same price that you would for the newer 2022 base model. 

Apple has discontinued the Apple TV 4K (2021), so you can only buy it from other retailers at this time. The 32B and 64GB models are $110 and $130, respectively. You can order the Apple TV 4K (2022) at Apple now, it will arrive and be available in-store starting Nov 4, 2022. The 64GB model (WiFi only) is $129 and the 128GB model (WiFi plus Ethernet) is $149.

Apple Siri Remote (2022)

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple TV 4K (2022) vs. Apple TV 4K (2021): Why does the chip matter?

The 2022 model represents a big jump in power: from the A12 to the A15 Bionic Chip. But what does that mean in the real world? The A15 chip makes the Apple TV more powerful and energy efficient. You'll get up to 50 percent faster CPU performance over the 2021 model. The newer model will be more responsive and navigate faster, with snappier UI animations. Gamers rejoice: You'll get smoother gameplay now that GPU performance is now up to 30 percent faster than the previous model. Additionally, better efficiency means that Apple can eliminate the built-in cooling fans, which means it uses less power overall.

Apple TV 4K (2022) vs. Apple TV 4K (2021): Buying advice

If you already own the Apple TV 4K (2021), it's probably not worth jumping to upgrade to the Apple TV 4K (2022). However, if you're looking to upgrade from an older model or buy your first Apple TV, we would definitely recommend the 2022 model. With the higher performance chip, increased power efficiency, and lower retail price for the same amount of storage, the Apple TV 4K (2022) is the obvious choice.

Karen S Freeman
Contributor

Karen is a contributor to iMore.com as a writer, social media manager, and co-host of the iMore Show. She’s been writing about Apple since 2010 with a year-long break to work at an Apple Store as a product specialist. Before joining iMore in 2018, Karen wrote for AppAdvice and WatchAware. She’s an early adopter who used to wait in long lines on release days before pre-ordering made things much easier. Karen is a wife and mom (and dog mom) who is also a part-time teacher and occasional movie extra. She loves to travel the world and is always looking for portable tech and accessories so she can work from anywhere.