Is Apple TV 4K compatible with all TVs or work on non-4K TV?


Is Apple TV 4K compatible with all TVs? The brand of TV doesn’t matter; you can use Samsung, Sony, LG, Sharp, Vizio or whatever other brand you have, as long as it meets this requirement. To be compatible with the Apple TV, your TV has to be an HDTV capable of 1080p or 720p resolution (supposedly the 4th generation Apple TV will be capable of 4K resolution, so you would need a 4K Ultra HDTV in order to view that resolution, but it will also work on 1080p and 720p). Your HDTV will also have to have an HDMI port, as you connect the Apple TV to your TV with an HDMI cable. requirements.

We independently review everything we recommend. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Lean how we earn commission

Apple TV 4K best price US

Apple TV 4K best price in UK

The Apple TV 4K can handle all 4K resolution content, with HDR10 and Dolby Vision supported, so the main new standards are covered – and (depending on the TV you’ve connected it to) the pictures look fantastic. From the flyover screensavers to the menu interface, everything packs in more pixels and looks sharper for it.

Package contents

  • Apple TV 4K
  • Siri Remote
  • Power cord
  • Lightning to USB cable
  • Documentation

Apple TV 4K specifications


  • Is Apple TV 4K compatible with all TVs – Apple TV is compatible with HD and UHD TVs with HDMI3
  • Apple TV is compatible with Bluetooth keyboards4
  • Size & weight
  • Apple TV 4K : Height: 1.4 inches (35 mm), Width: 3.9 inches (98 mm), Depth: 3.9 inches (98 mm), Weight: 15 ounces (425 g)1
  • Remote : Height: 4.88 inches (124 mm), Width: 1.5 inches (38 mm), Depth: 0.25 inch (6.3 mm), Weight: 1.59 ounces (45 g)1

Processor : A10X Fusion chip with 64-bit architecture

System Requirements

  • Purchases, rentals, and Home Sharing require an Apple ID that you use for the App Store and other Apple services.
  • Requires 802.11 wireless, Ethernet network, or Broadband Internet access
  • Requires 4K and HDR TV for 4K and HDR streaming
  • Requires acceptance of the software license terms at
  • Requires HDMI cable (sold separately)

Siri Remote

  • Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology
  • IR transmitter
  • Accelerometer and three-axis gyro
  • Lightning connector for charging
  • Rechargeable battery providing months of battery life on a single charge (with typical daily usage)
  • Charging via USB to computer system or power adapter (sold separately)
  • Ports & Interfaces
  • HDMI 2.0a3
  • 802.11ac Wi‑Fi with MIMO; simultaneous dual band (2.4GHz and 5GHz)
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology
  • IR receiver
  • Built‑in power supply

Video Formats

  • H.264/HEVC SDR video up to 2160p, 60 fps, Main/Main 10 profile
  • HEVC Dolby Vision (Profile 5)/HDR10 (Main 10 profile) up to 2160p
  • H.264 Baseline Profile level 3.0 or lower with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps per channel, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats
  • MPEG-4 video up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 fps, Simple profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats

Audio Formats

HE-AAC (V1), AAC (up to 320 Kbps), protected AAC (from iTunes Store), MP3 (up to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Apple Lossless, FLAC, AIFF, and WAV; AC-3 (Dolby Digital 5.1), E-AC-3 (Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 surround sound), and Dolby Atmos

Photo Formats


Is Apple TV 4K compatible with all TVs?

Yes, if your TV has HDMI input. Most any current tv (needs a HDMI input jack on the back to connect your apple tv to, using a separately purchased HDMI CORD. Also recommend a tv with high definition (1080p or higher). Will work with lower def models, but not as enjoyable to watch.

Just buying a 4K-capable source does not magically make an HD TV play 4K. This will be obvious to some readers, but I know from experience that it’s quite common for consumers to not understand that 4K sources only work properly with screens that have a matching native 4K resolution. The same goes for high dynamic range.

If you don’t have a 4K TV yet but expect to get one soon, then obviously the Apple TV 4K is worth considering. If, however, you’re perfectly satisfied with your HD TV and expect to stay that way for some time yet, the Apple TV 4K doesn’t offer enough compelling new features beyond its 4K/HDR support to justify its extra cost over and above the still-available and cheaper 4th-gen, HD-only Apple TV.

Can Apple TV 4K work on non-4K TV?

Yes, It should automatically recognize your TV and set itself up accordingly. But it is recommended you don’t need the new Apple TV 4K (yet, anyway), if you don’t have a 4K TV. The new Apple TV will work on non-4K displays, too, but I’d just recommend getting the less expensive previous generation ($149 vs. $179 for the 4K model), unless you’re considering upgrading to a 4K TV in the future.

You can find helpful tips in Apple Communities.

Does it support YouTube 4K HDR or Amazon Video app?

While Apple hasn’t done a bad job generally of making a decent amount of 4K HDR content available from the Apple TV 4K’s launch, there are a few problem areas. Perhaps the worst of which is the lack of support for HDR or 4K playback from the world’s biggest video content platform, YouTube.

As reported in more detail in this separate story, this is because YouTube uses the so-called VP9 compression format for its 4K HDR streams – a format the Apple TV 4K doesn’t support. Apple’s box sticks with the alternative HEVC streaming compression format.

Of course, if your Apple TV 4K has set itself to output 4K HDR, then it will automatically convert HD, SDR YouTube content to 4K HDR. You will not, though, be watching true native 4K HDR content – and not even the best conversion systems are any substitute for a real 4K HDR source.

Should you buy Apple TV HD (Apple TV 4K vs Apple TV HD)?

You might think that the Apple TV HD is worth it despite the less powerful internals thanks to its lower price. However, with only a slight price difference between the two, it has become increasingly difficult to recommend the HD version. Gamers and anyone with a 4K television should bypass the HD model altogether. If you don’t own a 4K tv, consider buying one; you’ll be happy you did.

If you aren’t into gaming, don’t have a 4K television (and don’t plan to get one anytime soon), the HD is still great to have. After all, the set-top boxes offer identical content. Otherwise, go with the 4K model. Gamers should buy the 64GB model.

Compare Apple TV 4K vs Apple TV HD

Apple TV 4KApple TV HD
Max resolution2160p (4K)1080p (HD)
Dolby VisionYesNo
Dolby AtmosYesNo
Voice controlSiriSiri
Apple TV PlusYesYes
tvOS 13 compatibleYesYes
CPUApple 10X FusionApple A8
BluetoothBluetooth 5.0Bluetooth 4.0

Should you buy it?

Amazon’s 4K-capable Fire TV costs just $89.99 by comparison; Roku’s 4K-capable Ultra 4K streamer costs $129; Google’s Chromecast Ultra costs just $69 (£69); and even the Nvidia Shield now only costs $179 – and that’s pretty much a gaming PC as well as a 4K HDR video streamer.

With a starting price of $179 (£179) for a 32GB version that rises to $199 (£199) if you fancy 64GB of storage, the Apple TV 4K is seriously expensive by video streamer standards.

Editor’s recommendations

Lead Content Editor
Lead Content Editor

I enjoy creating stuff and giving back to my community. My days are spent producing content for brands who need an internet presence and for things that I adore. I bring with me six years of experience generating content and obtaining leads from untapped markets. I concentrate on the qualities and advantages of the goods that add value for my audience. After reading my reviews, anyone who want to purchase a product from me are given my honest and open recommendation. I integrate my reviews with those of actual people to make the content authentic and accurate. Please take a moment to contact me if you see any deviations; I always value and appreciate hearing from my readers.

Articles: 1412