Apple’s latest streaming device, the second generation of the Apple TV 4K, was released in 2021, four years after the last 2017 model. A reworked Siri remote and a faster processor are the shiniest updates, but is this enough reason to get the 2021 release? We wrote this article to help you understand the similarities and differences between Apple TV 4K 2021 release vs. the 2017 release and decide if it’s worth upgrading.

Apple TV 4K 2021 vs. 2017: Similarities and differences

The most notable improvements on the newest release are a faster processor and a revamped Siri remote, which is a big upgrade for prior users compared to the trackpad-driven controller. Longtime Apple TV fans much welcome this.

The black glass remote bundled with the older Apple TV 4K (2017 release) had a sleek-looking design, but a slippery, imprecise trackpad was its downfall. Previously, users struggled with basic navigation tasks using the older remote.

Here are the similarities and differences in a nutshell:


  • Design
  • Dimensions
  • Weight
  • 2160p, 1080p, 720p, 576p, 480p resolutions
  • Audio output up to 7.1.4 channels
  • Dolby Atmos
  • Dolby Vision HDR
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • AirPlay 2
  • HomeKit
  • 32GB and 64GB storage options
  • Siri voice assistant


FeaturesApple TV 4K 2021Apple TV 4K 2017
Processor A12 Bionic chipset (2.49 GHz Hexa-core)A10X Bionic chipset (2.38 GHz Hexa-core)
Siri remote2nd generation, improved functionality, visually clearer about the function and utilization of its inputs.1st generation, contentious touch interface, fiddly to operate
Price (refurbished)Starting at Starting at

The A12 offers an upgrade to processing speeds for the 2021 release. Overall, everything from 4K upscaling to motion control is improved.

Also, one of the major changes is the ability to automatically tailor the color balance of your smart TV using your iPhone. If you have a compatible iPhone, you’ll be able to use it to measure the color output on your TV screen and then calibrate the video output of the Apple TV 4K.

Revamped Siri Remote: the most significant upgrade

Compared to the 2017 release ‌of the Apple TV ‌4K, there are no design changes to the second-generation ‌Apple TV 4K with just one peripheral exception, the Siri Remote. As it happens, the ‌Siri‌ Remote has been overhauled with a new clickpad and updated buttons that make it more intuitive.

Without a doubt, this remote is a major upgrade worth it, but you don’t need a whole new ‌Apple TV‌ to get a new remote since Apple is selling it on a standalone basis. If you’re fed up with the current remote and want something better, it’s worth considering.

Apple TV 4K 2021 vs. 2017 models

As for the rest of the ‌specifications of the Apple TV, there’s not really anything here to make the 2021 model a must-buy compared to its 2017 predecessor.


If you have a 2017 ‌Apple TV‌ 4K, there’s generally no reason to upgrade at this time unless one of the included features is particularly appealing to you. Still, if you are considering an Apple TV purchase for the first time, the new 2021 model is a good fit for you.

What about going the refurbished route? It will cost less, and you will be able to get a perfectly functional product with a warranty with the exact specifications as a factory-new item.

Refurbished products aren’t the same as “used” products. From the screen of an iPhone to the battery of an iPad, or the charger of an Apple Watch, refurbished Apple products will always have 100% of their parts in complete working condition as their brand-new counterparts do. The difference is the cosmetic condition or refurbished grades.

Check our refurbished Apple TV 4K 2017 to compare real-time prices.

It’s worth noting that refurbished devices undergo a full review, including hardware and software tests and thorough checking of all components.

On RefurbMe, we specialize in comparing the best refurbished Apple deals. In order to maintain transparency about each third-party seller or even Apple Store, we give the full specs on our list of refurbishers. Before your purchase, you can decide which seller has the best warranty, shipping, return policy, and many more.

Good luck!