Three weeks ago I scored a killer deal on a 32GB Apple TV. I took it with me when I went to visit my parents the following week. Years ago I gave them an RCA media streamer so that the could access Netflix, YouTube and a few other services, but they wanted something newer and faster. They heard some bad things about Apple TV and weren’t interested in one. I told them I’d give them my old Roku and bring along my Chromecast and Apple TV for them to try to see which one worked best for them, with the understanding that if they liked the Apple TV they could go out and buy one (or I could find one for them).

Despite the bad things they heard, they actually liked the Apple TV and thanked me for giving them this one. Whoops - slight misunderstanding there; I had to reiterate that this was just a demo to show them what it could do. At the end of the visit I did end up giving it to them, albeit somewhat reluctantly, but I kept that part to myself.

Despite having put dozens of channels on it as well as a few games for my use, when we set it up under my dad’s account he added just*one* channel, Netflix, and wasn’t interested in anything else on offer, even for free. That’s it - one channel. I did have him add a second, but that’s hardly using it to anywhere near it’s capacity/capability. Unlike me, they have cable and a DVR and can watch pretty much whatever they want whenever they want it, whilst I am a cheap-ass cord-cutter that does most of my TV viewing either OTA or via streaming through devices like this.

I have found a possible solution, and this is where my concern comes in. Today I found a 3rd generation Apple TV for $32 and bought it. The pawn shop had it priced at $40, but I know what the dates and prices mean on their tags and politely insisted that they sell it to me at the correct price instead of buying their line of BS. He said they were under new ownership, and I asked “as of when?” since I have purchased lots of items from other locations at the proper, discounted price. He couldn’t tell me a date, and when I explained my purchases at other branches he relented since he knew he really didn’t have a leg to stand on. Knowledge is power, my friends.

Anyway, I think this unit will actually be a better fit for my folks for their rather modest needs, and I’m not saying that for selfish reasons. Unlike me, they will not be using it to play games, stream content from their computers, listen in surround sound (they don’t even have surround sound, just an 11 year old plasma TV and a DVR - that’s it), surf the web or use any of the hundreds of apps/channels like I will, and so that device, dare I say it, is not being used very effectively in their home, and this is unlikely to change in the future. If I give them the 3rd generation unit they can still watch Netflix and dozens of other channels, still view their pictures on the TV, still mirror from their iPads/iPhones, etc. I don’t see them giving up anything that they are currently using that 4th gen box for, things that I will actually do with it.

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So, am I being a jerk for wanting to swap out that newer Apple TV for this slightly older one? How do I broach the subject? Is it worth the risk of offending them, or should I just find another 4th generation for myself at a later date? Like I said, I’m cheap, so buying that previous one was a bit of a stretch for me. Also keep in mind that when I borrowed my dad’s car for an afternoon I topped off his tank at Chevron, forgetting that California gas prices are a tad higher than in Missouri; I usually spend $30 to fill my car, but out there I spent almost $67 to fill with just two gallons more than mine takes, and refused to take money from him for this fill-up (not that this justifies asking to swap these two Apple TV units...)