You don't necessarily have to subscribe to the Apple TV +, but every streaming service app, including the Apple TV +, will show you a huge number of recommended titles, with or without subscription. It's annoying, but it can be a hint for those who aren't sure whether to join a particular service. For those who haven't tried the Apple TV +, a three-month trial viewing is included as a bonus when purchasing.
New remote control
If you have a first-generation model of the Apple TV 4K released in 2017 and are happy with its performance, you don't need to replace it with a second-generation model. However, the content of the product has been improved to some extent. If you have the latest 4K TV, you'll enjoy the benefits of a second-generation model.
Apple's A12 Bionic, which the second-generation model has, isn't the latest chip, but it's enough to boost overall performance. When I tried it, I didn't feel any delay in browsing or switching apps. It also supports HDR playback at high frame rates up to 60fps (60 frames per second), and is the best performer on most 4K TVs.
For users who have had trouble calibrating their TVs, Apple TV 4K has a built-in tool that leverages the iPhone's built-in sensors. The setting requires an iPhone with face recognition function of iOS 14.5 or later.
First, go to "Video and Audio" from the Apple TV settings screen and select "Color Balance". The light sensor built into the iPhone automatically adjusts the screen color according to industry standards. I tried it on a newly purchased TV and it didn't change dramatically, but it did improve. However, this feature doesn't work on Dolby Vision-enabled TVs.
If you have a smart home device that supports HomeKit, you can talk to Siri from the remote control of your Apple TV and operate it. Since Apple TV is compatible with the wireless mesh communication network "Thread" that links smart home devices in the cloud, smart locks, lighting equipment, and security cameras at home can be instantly connected to Apple TV.
The remote control is also new. Good news for users who haven't been happy with their remote controls. Unlike the old type, the color of the button and the remote control body are different, so you can clearly distinguish the button even in a dim place.
The dial part can be operated by pressing or touching, and it also has a power button and a mute button. You no longer have to operate multiple remote controls at once. If you have a first-generation Apple TV 4K model or an Apple TV HD, you can buy just the remote control for $ 59 (6,500 yen in Japan).
And with the wireless earphones "AirPods," you don't have to disturb your partner sleeping next to you. I'm grateful that you don't have to connect wired earphones to the remote control like Roku. The Apple TV itself is larger than most Roku models and the Google Chromecast, but it doesn't stand out when placed on a TV stand, and its black appearance should fit in most places.