There are a number of simple ways to discover which Apple TV you own beyond looking up the Model Number - although that would be the easiest way to find out which you have. Apple TV owners can also use the various internal differences and software capabilities to identify which Apple TV you've got, including tvOS, streaming capabilities, Siri support, app/game availability and more.

It might sound confusing, but it's actually more straightforward than you might think - we talk you through the entire Apple TV identification process right here. 

Identify by model number

Knowing your model number helps differentiate which Apple TV you own. All model numbers begin with the letter ‘A’ and link directly to your specific device. There are three ways to identify your model number: going to the Settings menu, checking the bottom of your unit or looking at the box that the device came in.

Series

Model Number

Year Released

Colour

Apple Remote

Apple TV

(1st generation)

A1218

2007

Silver

White

Apple TV

(2nd generation)

A1378

2010

Black

Aluminum

Apple TV

(3rd generation)

A1427

or

A1469 for Rev A

2012

Black

Aluminum

Apple TV

(4th generation)

A1625

2015

Black

Siri Remote

or

Apple TV Remote

Apple TV

4K

A1842

2017

Black

Siri Remote with touchpad and mic

Firstly, you can identify your model number by visiting the ‘Settings’ section on your Apple TV. Choose Settings > General > About and find the model number.

Secondly, check the external bottom of your Apple TV for the information label. Here you will find the model number of your device.

Lastly, looking at the box that your Apple TV arrived in will allow you to discern which Apple TV you own.

Identify by port and connectors

Each device has specific ports and connectors that are respective to the model, and these can work has helpful identifiers too.

Apple TV (1st generation)

This device has the most connectors and ports out of the five models.

The 1st generation Apple TV contains a power port, a port for HDMI (480p or 720p), a component video port, an Ethernet port, an optical digital audio port, an analog audio port and a USB 2.0 (for service and support).

Networking capabilities include 10/100BASE-T Ethernet and Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n), as well as an IR receiver.

Apple TV (2nd generation) and Apple TV (3rd generation)

With slightly fewer ports and connectors, the 2nd generation and 3rd generation Apple TV are essentially identical. The only difference is the 3rd generation can power more pixels (720p or 1080p) for HDMI versus the 2nd generation’s 720p HDMI limit.

Both models have identical ports: a power port, Ethernet port, optical digital audio, HDMI port and a Micro-USB (for service and support), along with the same networking capabilities - Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n) and 10/100BASE-T Ethernet - and an IR receiver.

Apple TV (4th generation)

The fourth-gen Apple TV (along with the 4K) has only four ports, but that's still one more than the 4K model.

The four ports provide power supply, HDMI 1.4 (720p or 1080p), Ethernet and USB-C connectivity. You'll also find 10/100BASE-T Ethernet, Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n/ac with MIMO) and Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology, which sets it apart from its predecessors.

Apple TV 4K

Lastly, Apple TV 4K, which is currently available for £179, only has three ports: an HDMI 2.0 (2160p), Gigabit Ethernet and a power port. The USB-C port was short-lived, wasn't it?

There's also improved connectivity on offer with Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi (802.11ac with MIMO) and Bluetooth 5.0 available with the 4K variant.

Size and Weight

The five Apple TV models differ slightly in size and weight, which is another easy way to identify which you have.

Model

Approx. Size (mm)

Approx. Weight (g)

Apple TV

(1st generation)

195 x 195 x 28

1100g

Apple TV

(2nd generation)

99 x 99 x 23

270g

Apple TV

(3rd generation)

99 x 99 x 23

270g

Apple TV

(4th generation)

99 x 99 x 33

430g

Apple TV 4K

99 x 99 x 35

430g

The second and third generation Apple TVs are the same size and weight, while the fourth and 4K models are similar. The most unique model in the design department is the original Apple TV, which is approximately 19.5 x 19.5 x 2.8 cm and a whopping 1.1 kg.

Apps, games and Siri

The first-, second- and third-gen Apple TV all come with a range of pre-installed apps that are largely dependent on your geographical location. Those in the US get access to the likes of NBA Game Time, MLB.TV, Hulu and other on-demand services while those in the UK are lucky to get access to Netflix and BBC iPlayer. The issue is that unlike modern Apple TVs, older generations don't feature an App Store or the ability to download new apps and games, so you're stuck with what you've got and, as technology moves on, chances are devs will stop supporting older apps altogether.

The App Store works in conjunction with tvOS, Apple's overhauled Apple TV software which made its debut with the fourth-gen Apple TV in 2015. Alongside enhanced Siri support, a dedicated Apple TV app and more, the App Store provides access to an ever-growing range of apps and games. In fact, the Apple TV has most, if not all, UK-based catchup apps available - and not many set-top boxes can claim that.

If your Apple TV has an App Store, chances are you've got a fourth- or fifth-gen Apple TV. If not, you've got yourself an older model.

Model

Capacity

Netflix Streaming

Games

App Store

Siri

Apple TV

(1st generation)

40 or 160 GB

No

No

No

No

Apple TV

(2nd generation)

n/a

Yes

No

No

No

Apple TV

(3rd generation

n/a

Yes

No

No

No

Apple TV

(4th generation)

32 or 64 GB

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Apple TV 4K

32 or 64 GB

Yes

Yes

Yes

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