If you’re looking for one of the new third-generation Apple TV 4K set-top boxes, we recommend opting for the 128GB model. Not for the storage space – 64 GB is more than enough when streaming apps are so small and the gaming experience on Apple TV so mediocre – but because the 64 GB model doesn’t have an Ethernet and Thread network. It’s worth paying $20 for those things and doubling the storage space whether you need it or not.
But it turns out that even if you pay a little more for extra storage, you kind of don’t get it yet. As first noted by FlatpanelsHD in its review, a bug in tvOS 16.1 prevents new apps from being installed once the storage space used exceeds 64GB. If you have a 128 GB model, you can fill it with apps and games until you pass 64 GB, after which you get the error message: “The app cannot be installed because there is not enough space. Please uninstall one or more apps or manage your storage in Settings.” The site says that this bug is not fixed in the latest beta of tvOS 16.2.
We confirmed the site’s findings and loaded our 128GB Apple TV 4K with the biggest games we could find until we crossed the 64GB mark. (As an aside, it’s not easy to see how much space you’ve used in total on your Apple TV. A third-party app is required if you don’t want to manually add app sizes in Settings > General > Storage management.) Sure enough, as long as we had more than 64 GB full, we got an error when installing each new app of any size.
There is a small solution if you are really in trouble. You can queue downloads if they are less than 64 GB and they will complete, potentially putting your total used storage space well beyond that limit. The error only seems to occur when you start a new download while the storage is above 64 GB.
We still recommend the 128GB model as the storage was never the point of spending the extra $20, the extra network support is, and most users probably won’t run into this problem anytime soon. Still, it’s a pretty glaring bug and one that Apple should fix soon. We expect tvOS 16.2 to be released sometime in December, so Apple still has plenty of time to find a fix.