Skip to main content

A small reason why Apple TV 4K is the best option for YouTube TV

YouTube TV preview on Apple TV 4K
(Image credit:

Folks are frugal these days, and it's hard to blame them. And let's face it — it's hard to justify $179 for an Apple TV 4K when you can get a 4K-capable streaming stick for $50 or less.

But here's one way that Apple TV 4K stands out compared to the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, or Roku — or even the NVIDIA Shield. (Which remains the best thing you can get with Android TV.)

To be fair, this is a somewhat silly detail. And it's far from a dealbreaker. But I'll argue that it's a another reason (albeit a small one) why Apple TV consistently proves itself as the best streaming hardware you can buy.

If you're one of the 3 million YouTube TV subscribers and you watch it on an Apple TV 4K, you might have noticed that channels all have live previews of what's on as you flip through the guide.

If you also happen to watch YouTube TV on hardware that isn't Apple TV 4K, you might have noticed that there aren't live previews in the guide.

And there's your difference. It's a little surprising to not see the previews on NVIDIA Shield. Its hardware is as powerful as it gets — so much so that you may well still be fine on a second-gen Shield and don't feel a need to upgrade to the latest model (which is about a year old now). 

Again, this is a small thing. A very small thing. Except it's also an extremely useful thing when you're flipping around and have an irrational sense of anger when you land on a channel only to discover that the movie you've seen eleventythousand times and just wanted to distract your brain for a few minutes is in the middle of yet another ED commercial. (The struggle is real.)

It's in those times in which I'm glad I paid a little extra. Or a lot extra. Whatever. It was worth it.

Phil Nickinson

Phil spent his 20s in the newsroom of the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, his 30s on the road for and Mobile Nations, is the Dad part of Modern Dad, and is editor of