A lower-cost Apple TV could be happening

A lower-cost Apple TV could be happening

By the end of the year, an Apple TV that competes with Roku and Amazon could be available. In the second half of 2022, Apple will release a new Apple TV “that improves cost structure,” according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in a tweet.

Apple now sells three Apple TV models. Its 4K Apple TV is available in 32GB and 64GB capacities and costs $179 and $199, respectively. That’s a good price for what the 4K Apple TV offers. Aside from Nvidia’s Shield family, no set-top box offers the same level of compatibility for a diverse selection of home theatre standards and formats as the Apple TV 4K. It’s the gold standard for professional home theatre installers, and it’s especially well-known for its EDID capabilities.

EDID, or Extended Display Identification Data, notifies your set-top box, Blu-Ray player, or another device to what type of display you’ve connected it to. Devices that perform poor EDID handshakes may attempt to play HDR content when your TV cannot or, worse, believe your TV is incapable of HDR and deprive you of the lovely dynamic range you most likely paid for. Roku, Amazon, and many other set-top boxes can be terrible at those handshakes and providing your TV with the greatest quality signal it can handle from any given streaming source. Apple does it right.

While the Apple TV HD has the same excellent EDID handling as the 4K, it misses all of the other features that make the 4K a must-have for home theatre enthusiasts. It only supports 1080p, and at $149, it’s a terrible deal. You’d be better off conserving your money instead of making such a terrible purchase.

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This presents a challenge for Apple. Apple tries to sell you its services, such as Apple Fitness (which only works on Apple devices) and Apple TV Plus. It has worked hard with other set-top box providers and TV manufacturers to get those goods on their devices, but it is still not enough to compete with Roku and Amazon, which both have set-top boxes starting at much under $50 and most of the same capabilities as the $149 Apple TV HD.

A $99 or less Apple TV stick with AirPlay 2 support, decent EDID handling, and the ability to tackle Fitness would be far more tempting. This is comparable to the prices of Roku and Amazon’s sticks. It would still be more expensive, but it would be less than $100.

But any less expensive Apple TV device would still have me wondering what the point of the Apple TV HD is. To simply take money from people’s wallets who aren’t paying attention? With its expensive price and lesser resolution output, it does not make much sense as a product at this time. Its price might fall to $100, and a new device with 4K capabilities could replace it in the middle.

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