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Apple TV 4K 2017 vs 2021


Well-known member
Did anyone upgrade from the 2017 model to the 2021 and notice any real world difference?

2017 model’s A10X chip has significantly better GPU performance. I don’t play games so no gain here.
2021 model’s A12 chip has slightly better CPU performance. Perhaps apps launch a little quicker?
2021 model has WIFI6. I use mine hard wired in.
2021 model supports 4K60 HDR. Only YouTube has such content so no value to me.
2021 model has an updated remote. I use a Harmony remote, soon to be upgraded to Control4.
2021 model has Thread support. Not sure if any use to me.

The thing is only $180 but I hate entering the login passwords for all the apps. Do I really want to upgrade?


Well-known member
I upgraded ATV's in both of my zones to the new model on launch. My kids do game on it a bit and it feels a bit zippier, like less frame stutters here and there.

Can't say I actually notice much else honestly. The new remote is far superior, but I often just use my Control4 NEEO's anyway.

Given we go a few years between these devices and it's my main viewing device all-around, it's an auto buy for me to be current regardless what they put out.


Active member
I have four previous generations of AppleTV that are sitting in a drawer now that all our tvs have built-in apps.

I did grab the most recent version as a 4K source for a projector. The AppleTV is hardwired for internet.

The remote is an interesting upgrade with voice commands, and more button functions than the old "sliver," but I would be happy if was easier to wake the system up. I may be missing something, but my Harmony activity doesn't seem to wake the AppleTV up, requiring some button-poking on the remote.

The audio signal seems to be really low as well. It would make sense to adjust it at the receiver level instead of grumbling every time I have to crank the volume up into the 70s.

Calibration with your iPhone camera is fun for a brief moment, but it doesn't seem to have separate profiles for multiple displays.

AppleTV/Projector is how we watch most 4K movies from Netflix, HBOMAX and PrimeVideo unless Dolby Vision is an interest.

Having access to 4K for apps and movie library were the main motivations (nice to have some free 4k upgrades), although we have given arcade and fitness a try, and are revisiting Apple Music's latest offerings. Unbundled, I am not sure arcade and fitness would keep interest very long as I prefer Peloton app and the games seem to be targeted for iPad babysitting. Apple Music has some interesting products with Spatial and Dolby Atmos, but you need some particular connections to take full advantage of their lossless.

If you have an iTunes library, or need to source 4K streaming, it's not much to add an AppleTV as a source for a projector. Hopefully, you can use an iPhone for app passwords. The other tvs in the house are "getting by" just running the AppleTV+ app within the tv.


Well-known member
I purchased the 2nd gen ATV4K to replace my 1st ATV4K yesterday. There is absolutely no difference in performance for me.


Well-known member
well i thought that is why i upgraded, but i looked up the specs and you are correct it did do atmos as well! sorry for the error!


Well-known member
No worries! It is not an expensive device. It’s not a bad idea to have the latest iteration although the differences are negligible. It looks like the 2nd gen supports High Frame Rate (HFR) if that ever becomes a thing.


Well-known member
I don’t use this feature but I discovered a new feature only the 2021 version has . It has eARC on its HDMI output which can extract audio from your display and airplay it to your HomePod or AirPods.