The Apple TV 4k streaming media player now has two generations. The first was introduced in 2017 and the second in 2021. You could also refer to Apple TV 4k models as the fifth and sixth generation models if considering all Apple TV versions. The 2017 and 2021 players look exactly the same, and both Apple 4k TV models weigh-in at 15 ounces.
More significant changes are found inside the 2nd-generation model. The new model upgrades the processor to a A12 Bionic chip with 64-bit architecture (from a A10X Fusion chip). This will allow the Apple TV 4k to operate much quicker but also to handle high frame rate video with ease. That leads us to the next upgrade which is the ability to handle 60fps HDR content. Although limited content is available, the video spec provides deeper color in a smoother stream that’s more realistic.
Finally, the Siri Remote (now in its second generation) has made some big changes. The remote has changed the Menu button to a back button, moved the Siri button to the side of the remote, added a mute button and power button, and changed the trackpad to a “touch-enabled clickpad. More on the 2nd-generation Siri Remote.
Apple TV 4k (2017) vs. Apple TV 2nd-Gen (2021)
|Apple TV 4k (2017)||Apple TV 4k (2nd-Gen 2021)|
|Video||2160p (60fps) w/HDR
(Dolby Vision & HDR10)
|2160p (60fps) w/HDR
(Dolby Vision & HDR10)
|Framerate||60fps||4K HDR 60fps|
|Audio||Dolby Digital Plus 7.1||Dolby Digital Plus 7.1|
|Audio Sharing||No||Up to two AirPods|
|Processor||A10X Fusion chip w/64-bit (quad-core)||A12 Bionic chip with 64-bit architecture|
|Memory||2GB||2GB (Not confirmed)|
|Storage||32GB / 64GB||32GB / 64GB|
|Ports/Network||HDMI 2.0a, Gigabit Ethernet, 10/100BASE-T Ethernet, Bluetooth 5.0, USB‑C||HDMI 2.1, Gigabit Ethernet, 10/100BASE-T Ethernet, IR receiver, Bluetooth 5.0, USB‑C, Thread (IPv6-based)|
|HDMI||HDMI 2.0a||HDMI 2.1|
|Bluetooth||Bluetooth 5.0||Bluetooth 5.0|
|Wi-Fi||802.11ac Wi‑Fi w/MIMO; simultaneous dual band (2.4GHz and 5GHz)||802.11ax Wi‑Fi 6 with MIMO; simultaneous dual band (2.4GHz and 5GHz)|
|Third Party Controllers||Yes||Yes|
|Siri Remote Bluetooth||Yes, 5.0||Yes, 5.0|
|Siri Remote Buttons||Touch surface, Menu, TV/Home, Play/Pause, Volume, Siri||Touch clickpad/jog wheel, Power, Mute, TV/Home, Play/Pause, Back, Volume, Siri (on side)|
|Operating System||tvOS 11.0||tvOS 14.0 (Not confirmed)|
|Dimensions||1.4” x 3.9” x 3.9”||1.4” x 3.9” x 3.9”|
|Weight||15 ounces||15 ounces|
|Price||$179 (32GB) $199 (64GB)||$179 (32GB) $199 (64GB)|
Comparison chart Copyright 2021 by HD Report. Please include link back and/or credit to HD Report for usage.
See Apple TV 4k prices on Amazon. Also Read: Our Comparison of Apple TV to Apple TV (4th-gen).
Products on Amazon
Your information isn’t entirely correct.. Audio sharing is available on the 1st gen as my wife and I have been using it for a few months..
Hi RJ, we are struggling to get audio sharing to work on a 1st generation, keeps saying we can only connect one Bluetooth device … any advice?
They should make an Apple TV VPN app.