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Apple gave its TV 4K set-top-box some love this year by upgrading the internals and revamping its accompanying Siri remote. But it didn’t change the price, which means you’ll still pay at least $179 for it. However, Amazon has a new deal that knocks nearly $20 off the 64GB Apple TV 4K, bringing it down to $180. The base, 32GB model, has been on sale for $169 for a few weeks at this point, but this new deal essentially lets you get the extra-storage model at the base’s original price.
We consider the 2021 Apple TV 4K to be the best high-end streaming box you can get, and it’s even more attractive if you live in the Apple ecosystem. It runs on an A12 Bionic processor, and it supports Dolby Vision and HDR video at 60fps, plus features like AirPlay 3 and screen mirroring. While navigating the interface of tvOS is a zippy experience, most people probably won’t notice a considerable performance difference between the old and new models.
What’s really critical to the new Apple TV 4K is the redesigned Siri remote. Now, we’re not saying the new remote is reason enough to upgrade if you’re happy with your current Apple TV, but it does fix a lot of previous complaints we had. Thanks to a revamped directional pad, the new Siri remote is more prominent and easier to use, making controlling the gadget much smoother. The place is also touch-sensitive, so you can quickly swipe between the TV show and movie options. We also found Siri to be even more useful on a device like the Apple TV since queries tend to be more direct (“Play The Mandalorian” or “Show me some new horror movies”) than they are when calling upon the assistant from an iPhone or iPad.
Speaking of Siri commands, you can also ask the Apple TV 4K assistant to show you video feeds from your security cameras. The set-top box has a HomeKit hub built-in, so you can connect various intelligent lights, locks, and cameras to it. Video feeds from cameras, for example, will show up on your TV in picture-in-picture mode, so it won’t totally interrupt the show you’re watching.
The Apple TV 4K will be a tough sell for some since it’s more expensive than competing streaming boxes (the Roku Ultra is only $100, and often on sale for less), but those who spend most of their time with Apple products will find its conveniences and integrations worthwhile. Plus, Apple’s rolling out spatial audio to tvOS later this year, which means you’ll be able to get full Dolby Atmos sound from the Apple TV 4K when listening with AirPods Pro or AirPods Max. Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.