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Which Apple TV should you buy?

Apple isn't always known for having a plethora of choice. But when it comes to Apple TV, there still are two models from which you can choose. OK, two and a half.

We'll make it simple for you, though. The only Apple TV you should buy is the Apple TV 4K.

Why you should buy the Apple TV 4K

When it comes to hardware, you want to spend money as infrequently as possible. And the nice thing about Apple hardware is that (so long as it doesn't spontaneously combust or anything) it tends to last forever. That's especially true in the case of something like Apple TV, which shouldn't really be moving around all that much.

So you'll want to buy the newest Apple TV. That'd be the fifth-generation model, or Apple TV 4K.

You'll never guess why it's called that. ... OK, you guessed. This is the only Apple TV that supports 4K (that's 2160p) resolutions. Even if you don't have a 4K-capable TV today you might in the future. And when you do, you'll want an Apple TV that does 4K.

Along with the increased resolution, you'll get the capability to display things in either HDR10 (which is pretty good at making colors pop) or Dolby Vision (which is even better). If you have the opportunity for Dolby Vision, you take it.

Plus you get the updated processor, and newer Bluetooth spec. It's just a better box.

OK, you've got one more choice to make

So you're going to go with an Apple TV 4K. Now we have to talk storage.

There are two options here. One with 32 gigabytes of on-board storage, and another with 64 gigabytes.

The question you have to ask yourself is how much you're going to be downloading movies to the box, versus just streaming them as you go. I only do the latter, so the 32GB model has been just fine for me.

But if you're going to be using Apple's movie repository and saving things left and right, you might want to go for more storage. Nobody has ever woken up in the middle of the night and said "Ya know, I just didn't need that much storage." You can never have too much storage.

What's the difference? A mere $20. Apple TV 4K starts at $179 for the 32GB model, and is $199 for the 64GB model.

Yeah but what about that one other Apple TV?

No. Stop. We're not going to talk about the fourth-generation Apple TV. The one that's only $149 for 32GB but also has an older processor and only does 1080p resolution.

OK, fine. Here's the difference:

Apple TV 4K Apple TV
Price $179/$199 $149
Form factor Set-top box Set-top box
Release date September 2017 October 2015
OS tvOS tvOS
Supported resolution Up to 2160p (4K) Up to 1080p
HDR10 Yes No
Dolby Vision Yes No
Dolby Atmos No No
Ethernet Gigabit 10/100BASE-T
Storage 32/64GB 32GB
Expandable storage No No
Memory 3GB 2GB
Processor A10X Fusion (64-bit) A8 (64-bit)
Wifi 802.11ac 802.11ac
Bluetooth 5.0 4.0
See at Amazon See at Amazon $69 at Walmart

Spend the extra $30 for Apple TV 4K. It'll be worth it in the long run.