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Should I buy New Apple TV 3 or Refurbishded Apple TV 1 or 2

Smart Box (Intelligent box) for television are quite popular in western countries specially in United States. Interestingly people in India have also welcomed this unique gadget and are infact liking it. Apple recently officially launched Apple TV in India at very attractive price of Rs 7000 and many people are considering purchasing it.

We have already reviewed this gadget, describing all its features, price and installation guide. If you are confused whether you want to buy Apple TV in India, then you surely need to check out our that post. It will help you making an informed decision. Apple TV comes in three variants (or three generations of Apple TV are already launched). So the question is whether you should be buying the latest Apple TV (Generation 3) or an old refurbished Apple TV 1 or Apple TV 2 (which will obviously cost you less).

Another thing is if you already have Apple TV 1/2, then should be upgrading this to Apple TV 3. By the end of this post, you should be able to make a decision.

Below is a comparison between "Apple TV 1" Vs "Apple TV 2" Vs "Apple TV 3"

Apple TV 1 Vs 2 Vs 3

Apple TV 1Apple TV 2Apple TV 3
Its a multimedia device that can display 720p HD movie, play iTunes music on your home theater speakers, view all your photos in HD on your widescreen TV.As compared to first generation this was designed to be smaller and was added with new services like Netflix, YouTube, and Vimeo and it can also stream your pictures from your MobileMe account.Apple's 3rd generation Apple TV improves upon previous models with 1080p playback
It features a 1GHz Intel "Crofton" Pentium M processor, an Nvidia GeForce Go 7300 graphics card with 64MB of VRAM. Same Processor as first generation. No upgrade here.Upgrade to the A5 processor and a new streamlined interface.
Available in 40GB or 160GB hard disk sizes.No Hard DiskNo Hard Disk
Width: 7.7 inchesWidth: 3.9 inchesWidth: 3.9 inches
Depth: 7.7 inchesDepth: 3.9 inchesDepth: 3.9 inches
Height: 1.1 inchesHeight: 0.9 inchesHeight: 0.9 inches
Weight: 2.4 poundsWeight: 0.6 poundsWeight: 0.6 pounds
Color: Silver / WhiteColor: BlackColor: Black
Video codecs supported: MP4, M4V, MOVVideo codecs supported: H.264, MP4, M-JPEGVideo codecs supported: H.264, MP4, M-JPEG
No Media Streaming from iOS DevicesMedia streaming: AirPlay, PC, MacMedia streaming: AirPlay, PC, Mac
No App SupportApps : Netflix, YouTube, MLB.TV, Flickr, VimeoApps : Netflix, YouTube, MLB.TV, Flickr, Vimeo
HDMI output(s): 1HDMI output(s): 1HDMI output(s): 1
Composite / Component combo output(s): 1Not PresentNot Present
Digital optical audio output(s): 1Digital optical audio output(s): 1Digital optical audio output(s): 1

The main advantages of Apple TV1 is that it has hard disk. Apple TV 2/3 are streaming only, ie, no hard drive. Many people used to store movies/music on the hard disk and watch them anytime. Why would use your bandwidth everytime you watch a already stored movie (though you can stream it from your Mac/iPad). Interestingly, some people use Apple TV 1 as a storage device and portable convenient carries. The other things is that they can connect to TV's through Red, Blue, Green Component Cables.

Another interesting this about Apple TV1 is that it can be hacked and used a mini computer (linux) where you can store data and take it with you. Also it consumes very less power (without the need for internet).

About AppleTV1, some people complained that its super flaky and kinda liked AppleTV2. It always starts up when you want to use it, no sluggish menu's, no waiting for a sync to happen before doing anything and it has a much better remote control.

Best thing about AppleTV2/3 is that they are quite small as compared to its older version. ATV2 displays more data, and for reasons that are also technical and spec-related, image quality (bit rate, for example) is superior on Apple TV 2.

Between AppleTV2 and AppleTV3 the only thing is video resolution playback difference (720p Vs 1080p) and off course processor.


If you already have Apple TV 1
- There are many new features in Apple TV 2 and 3 which you definitely miss in your first generation. Plus the cost is not high and it always good to keep yourself updated. Go ahead and buy 3rd Generation Apple TV.
- There is no hard disk in Apple TV 2/3, if you are too much tech savy and have made it a linux computer box then you will miss this option. Don't upgrade!

If you already have Apple TV 2
- There is very minor difference between second generation and third generation (only the 1080p playback vs 720p HD playback). I don't think it makes sense to buy a new device (upgrade) for such a small feature.

If you don't have any Apple TV yet
- Go ahead and buy third version of Apple TV. Its a good device.

If you want to list down any of disadvantage or advantage of any Apple TV1/2/3, then you are most welcome. Please share your views in comment section.

Once you purchase Apple TV, you will face certain issues (which are quite common). We plan to cover a post on these common (and not so common) issues. Make sure you read that post and it will help you make full use of your device.

madhur article :

+ comments + 2 comments

February 26, 2013 at 9:28 PM

What about other products like WD HD PLAYER? AM USING IT and liked it a lot. its small in size too but not available in India.

February 27, 2013 at 6:07 AM

Infact I agree to this.. One should not blindly buy Apple TV, options like Western Digital HD Media Player is another good option.. We will soon review WD HD Player..
Buy the way, when did you purchased this and for how much ?

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