Comparing Every Model of the Apple TV

A simple guide to comparing Apple TV models

Apple TV 4K
image credit: Apple Inc.

The recent models of the Apple TV look confusingly similar: they're all small, pocket-sized devices that look like hockey pucks. Sure, the Apple TV 4K is about twice as tall as the third-generation model, but you might not notice. Just because they look the same doesn't mean they are the same, though.

The differences between the 2nd and 5th generation models, for instance, are huge. And every subsequent model was a big improvement over the 1st generation.

The newest model—the Apple TV 4K, which is the 5th generation—has a number of obvious differences and is a revolutionary update to earlier models. A quick glance at the chart below may cause the 2nd and 3rd generation models to appear identical. They're not, but they're close. The only major difference between the two is that the 3rd generation supports 1080p HD video output, as opposed to the 2nd generation's maximum resolution of 720p.

The 160GB and 40GB 1st generation models, the 2nd generation, and 3rd generation models are no longer available from Apple, but they can still be found used.

This chart helps you understand how each model is different by comparing the features, benefits, and specifications of each Apple TV model. The easy to read and compare chart is designed to help you make the right purchase.

To learn more about these Apple TV models, check out:

Apple TV Comparison Chart

 Apple TV 4K4th Gen.
Apple TV
3rd Gen. 
Apple TV
2nd Gen. 
Apple TV
Apple TV
ProcessorApple A10
Fusion
Apple A8Apple A5Apple A41 GHz Intel
Crofton
Pentium M
Video Storageup to
32GB
64GB
up to
32GB
64GB

N/A
N/A40GB
160GB
Music Storageup to
32GB
64GB
up to
32GB
64GB
N/AN/A40GB
160GB
Photo Storageup to
32GB
64GB
up to
32GB
64GB
N/AN/A40GB
160GB
App StoreYesYesNoNoNo
GamesYesYesNoNoNo
SiriYesYesNoNoNo
Universal SearchYesYesNoNoNo
BluetoothYesYesYesYesNo
Supported FormatsH.264 up
to 2160p,
HDR10,
Dolby
Vision,
AAC,
MPEG-4,
MP3
H.264 up
to 1080p,
AAC,
MPEG-4,
MP3
H.264 up
to 1080p,
AAC,
MPEG-4,
MP3
H.264 up
to 720p,
AAC,
MPEG-4,
MP3
H.264,
AAC,
MPEG-4
Netflix 
Streaming
YesYesYesYesNo
Max.
HDTV
Formats
4K1080p1080p720p720p
InterfacesHDMI 2.0,
Ethernet,
USB-C,
IR Receiver
HDMI,
Ethernet,
USB-C,
IR Receiver
 
HDMI,
Ethernet,
Optical Audio,
Micro USB,
IR Receiver
HDMI,
Ethernet,
Optical Audio,
Micro USB,
IR Receiver
HDMI,
Component
A/V,
Optical Audio,
Anlog Audio,
USB 2.0,
Ethernet,
IR Receiver
NetworkingGigabit
Ethernet,
802.11
a/b/g/n/ac
Wi-Fi,
Bluetooth 5.0
10/100 Base-T Ethernet,
802.11
a/b/g/n/ac
Wi-Fi,
Bluetooth 4.0
10/100
Base-T Ethernet,
802.11
a/b/g/n
Wi-Fi
10/100
Base-T Ethernet,
802.11
a/b/g/n
Wi-Fi
10/100
Base-T
Ethernet,
802.11
b/g/n Wi-Fi
Remote ControlSiri Remote
with touchpad
and mic
Siri
Remote
with
touchpad
and mic
Apple
Remote
Apple
Remote
Apple
Remote
Remote Can
Control TV
YesYesNoNoNo
Use Apple Watch
as Remote
YesYesYesYesNo
Weight0.94 pounds0.94 pounds0.6 pounds0.6 pounds2.4 pounds
Size*3.9 x
3.9 x
1.4
3.9 x
3.9 x
1.3
3.9 x
3.9 x
0.9
3.9 x
3.9 x
0.9
7.7 x
7.7 x
1.1
PriceUS$179
$199
US$149
$199
$99$99$329
$229

* in inches

Another Key Difference: Jailbreaking

If you like to push the envelope with your technology, there's another aspect of the Apple TV that may be important to you: which models can be jailbroken. Jailbreaking is a technique that removes the restrictions and controls Apple applies to its products to let you install your own software and make all kinds of customizations.

Only the 2nd and 4th generation models can be jailbroken. If this is something you want to try, stay away from the original or the 3rd generation. It seems likely that the Apple TV 4K will be jailbroken at some point, too, but that has not happened as of this writing.

As always, though, it bears noting that jailbreaking requires technical skills that the average person doesn't have and can lead to damaging your device and voiding your warranty. If you try it, you're pretty much on your own.