The Apple TV is to an iPhone what a bottle of fine wine is to a cheeseboard — a match made in heaven. But like a decent bottle of Bordeaux, the Apple TV isn’t inexpensive. These cheap Apple TV deals will make it a little lighter on the old bank account though, bringing pricing down to only $117 for the latest Apple TV HD and just $169 for the top-of-the-line Apple TV 4K.
Apple is also throwing in a free 12-month Apple TV+ subscription — worth $60 — with every sale of a factory-sealed (not refurbished) Apple TV. This, for those unaware, this is the company’s own on-demand streaming service, which is home to a unique selection of original movies and shows starring household names like Jennifer Anniston, Hailee Steinfeld, and Steve Carell.
Today’s best Apple TV deals
- — $144, was $149
- — $169, was $179
- — $184, was $199
Apple TV 4K
Released in 2017, the Apple TV 4K is the latest Apple TV in the lineup. It’s also the most advanced, streaming content in 4K Ultra HD with HDR. Deals on this model are few and far between, and discounts aren’t as considerable as they are on earlier models, but every once in the while an offer will pop up that will see one at the center of your entertainment setup on the cheap.
Of course, the Apple TV 4K doesn’t only work with Apple TV+. It’s compatible with all the usual streaming suspects, like CBS All Access, HBO Now, Hulu Plus, Netflix, and YouTube. Amazon Prime Video and Google Play Movies and TV work as well, but not natively. Instead, these have to be streamed via AirPlay on an iPad, iPhone or Mac.
Apple TV HD (4th Gen)
Designed for HDTVs and not 4K TVs like the Apple TV 4K, the Apple TV is near-identical to the top-of-the-line console in the sense it can tap into the same collection of on-demand content, can be controlled through Siri, and offers one-click mirroring from an iPad, iPhone, or MacBook through AirPlay, with the main difference being it can only stream in Full HD with SDR.
This model was released alongside the Apple TV 4K in 2017 and is the latest non-4K Apple TV, so it’s rare to find it in the discount bin with a significant amount off. As is the case with the Apple TV 4K, though, every once in awhile a retailer like Walmart will hold an “Apple TV sale” that will see it reduced by a few bucks — money better off in your pocket than theirs.
Apple TV (3rd Gen)
Welcome to the reduced-to-clear zone. Launched in 2013, the Apple TV (3rd Gen) was the first Apple TV that could stream content in Full HD. It can tap into the same selection of streaming services as the Apple TV 4K and Apple TV, streaming in Full HD with SDR, and supports AirPlay. So, how does it differ from the Apple TV HD? It doesn’t have Siri or built-in storage.
If you’re shopping on a budget, this is without a shadow of a doubt the best model to go for. It costs $99 new, but it’s not uncommon to find a sealed model in the discount bin for somewhere in the region of $50 to $75. You could even take it home for less if you don’t mind a refurbished model (there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this — in fact, we recommend it).
Apple TV (2nd Gen)
It wouldn’t be fair to talk about cheap Apple TVs and not mention the Apple TV (2nd Gen), the cheapest Apple TV on the shelves right now. It’s not hard to see why, either: This puppy debuted in 2010. It’s still trudging along though, entertaining millions of people per month. Again, it can access all the leading streaming services. The catch? It maxes out at 720p HD.
But for what it costs, if you’re looking to smarten up an HDTV in the basement or a bedroom, it’s the Apple TV for the job. Fortunately, the Apple TV (2nd Gen) is a veteran of Apple TV sales; it’s impossible to stroll past a bargain bin and not see one in there. There are also masses of refurbished models out there, which are worth considering if you’re on a tight budget.
Apple TV 4K vs. Apple TV HD
If there’s a 4K TV at the center of your entertainment setup, then look no further than the Apple TV 4K. Why? Because it can stream content in 4K Ultra HD with HDR — either Dolby Vision or HDR10 — and Dolby Atmos surround sound. The result richer detail, more accurate color, and lifelike audio. The Apple TV maxes out at Full HD with SDR, which is HDTV level.
Like the Apple TV HD, the Apple TV 4K has Siri on board. This is used to do everything from serving up recommended content on the home screen to arming you with the option to search for specific material across all supported streaming services, such as CBS All Access and Netflix, with the mere mumble of a voice command. It can even answer questions.
So the main difference between the Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD is resolution. If you’re going to be tuning into the latest must-see show or movie on a 4K TV, we recommend you opt for the more expensive Apple TV 4K. This would be overkill for a standard HDTV setup though, so if that’s what you’re rocking with then you’ll feel right at home with the Apple TV HD.
Now to throw a wrench in the works. The difference between Full HD and 4K Ultra HD is massive — and that is without HDR. If you’re considering upgrading to a 4K TV in the near future, take home the Apple TV 4K while it’s on sale. It will do all the stuff the Apple TV HD does while hooked up to an HDTV, with the added benefit of 4K HDR when connected to a 4K TV.
Apple TV HD vs. Apple TV (3rd Gen)
We won’t dive too deep into this one as we touched on it earlier, but there’s little between the Apple TV HD and Apple TV (3rd Gen). Both can stream the same selection of content through streaming services like Netflix in Full HD with SDR. The difference? The Apple TV HD looks a little more modern, comes with a new remote control, and has Siri on board and built-in storage.
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