Don’t purchase Old Apple TV

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Photo: Catie Keck

Please don’t just pay for a small savings on an older Apple TV. Hear me. Hear me out. Hear me out.

This week, Apple unveiled its Apple TV box of sixth generation, a 4K device with a new processor and spec upgrades, making it the best streaming option. However, Apple is still selling its even older 32GB Apple TV HD box, although it is wipping off its previous 4K box from its primary buying channels (you may still snag a renovated one).

The $149 HD discount – launched initially in 2015 – and the new $179 4K streaming box amount to $30 for the same capacity of 32GB. Wait, what? Wait, what?

It is unclear how long Apple intends to continue to support software updates for a five-year-old streaming box. However, the difference between these two boxes makes the HD box seem like a flash, even though it should commit to updating in years ahead (even if that fancy new Apple TV calibration feature is coming to older boxes as well, which it sounds like it is).

Bluetooth 5.0 supports the new box and Bluetooth 4.0 supports the 2015 box. Yet, the old HDMI 1.4 is supported, while the newest HDMI 2.1 is supported. Hell, even the Apple TV 4K box 2017 is purchased – at Best Buy, you can still find it with the same price as the new brand box, that has more features, which will take you to at least HDMI 2.0.

So, what about people who haven’t got 4K televisions? I would argue here that cost savings are so insignificant that your box’s assets are really important. Who is to say that two or three years afterwards, you’re not upgrading to a 4K TV? If you want to take advantage of high visual goodies on your next display, wouldn’t you have a stronger device that supports next generation data than you will need to replace one?

The best thing we can do in terms of consumers is to try our gadgets in the future so that we don’t have to replace them so fast — and I guarantee you get more miles out of this brand new Apple TV 4K model than out of one that has been around for six years. The difference of $30 can sound like a deal, but if the box stops updating software it needs to work properly, you will end up regretting it laters.