Getting The Most Out Of Your Apple TV 4K

The Apple TV 4K has been out over a year now, but are you making the most of its functionalities? Photo by Max Lewis // CC BY 2.0


It’s been well over a year since the Apple TV 4K came out, and Apple has reported increases in sales due to the higher quality that the streaming device offers. We have a strong bias towards Macs here on this site, but I have to say this is probably the best streamer available on the market. It costs a little more at $179, but for the extra cost, it gives you a top-quality visual and audio experience, as well as loads of features and a neat remote.

The first generation of Apple TVs is now obsolete, but the more recent versions offer way more features. The Apple TV 4K supports most popular video and audio formats, as well as High Dynamic Range (HDR) formats for enhanced color and brightness. With it, you can watch films and TV in brilliant 4K HDR, live-stream your favourite channels and use apps to source additional content. Here are a few ways that you can get the most out of your Apple TV 4K.

Hardware Matters

Of course, if you want to use the Apple 4K streaming box, you will also need a compatible 4K TV, preferably one that has the same HDR support as the box. If you stick to TVs with HDR10 or Dolby Vision then you can’t go wrong.

Another feature that has been introduced more recently to the Apple TV 4K is compatibility with Dolby Atmos speakers and sound systems. This is 3D audio at its best, with a true-to-life sound that moves around you, similar to the one in the cinema, but in your home instead! You can actually feel a plane swooping over your head, or sense danger behind you with the immersive sound that Dolby Atmos brings to your living room. Highly recommended if you want to make the most of your 4K experience.

If you want a more private viewing, you can connect your Apple TV 4K to wireless headphones via bluetooth.

Adding The Apps

Apple TV features the largest collection of 4K HDR movies found anywhere, as well as many of the popular streaming channels that you would expect from a Sky box. Yet to really make the most of your Apple TV 4K, you need to download the apps you want, such as Netflix or Amazon Prime.

Downloading and installing apps is a very simple process. All you have to do is use the search menu, type in the name of the app and then download. You will need your subscription when it comes to apps like Amazon Prime, and you may need to upgrade your account for 4K viewing.

You don’t have to stick to the most popular offers in the app store. There are many apps out there that can bring HDR streaming of your hobbies or interests. For example, if you’re into poker, you can try out the PokerStars Apple TV app, which offers 24-hour streaming of tournaments, cash games and related topics. If you want to practice yoga, check out the Zova Yoga workout, or check out Kitchen Stories for cooking tips and dishes.

Siri Remote

The Siri remote is packed with functionality. Photo by Andreas Lakso // CC BY-SA 4.0

The Siri remote looks really basic at first, but it actually has a lot of functionality packed into that little space. If you want to get the most out of your Apple TV 4K, mastering the Siri remote is essential. Here are a few functions to get you started:

  • Hold the Menu and Home buttons together to restart.
  • Hold down Home to send the device to sleep.
  • Swipe down for options such as subtitles and speaker settings.
  • Tap the top corners of the remote to rewind or fast-forward 5 seconds.
  • Double-click Home to bring up the multi-tasking menu and switch between apps.
  • Swipe down from the multi-tasking menu to close an app.

And don’t neglect the voice commands! Siri has all of the usual capabilities, so you can search for media using basic commands like “Find…” or “I am looking for…”. You can source recommendations by saying “Show me some (genre) movies” or pull up films by using famous quotes such as “May the force be with you”. If all this is too much for you, the Apple TV 4K also works with older Apple remotes or universal controllers.