Apple has announced an updated version of the Apple TV that’s capable of handling 4K content.
As was the case with most of Apple’s lineup this year, several details about the Apple TV 4K leaked out before the official launch.
The Apple TV 4K boasts a three-core A10X Fusion chip, which is similar to the one found on Apple’s current-gen iPad Pro tablets, backed up with 3GB of RAM.
This represents a significant leap from the previous model, which got by with an A8 processor and 2GB of RAM. According to Apple, CPU performance is doubled, while graphics performance is quadrupled.
The bump in specs makes sense, considering 4K video is a lot more computationally expensive to decode.
It also suggests Apple is increasingly looking at the Apple TV, not merely as a place to passively watch content, but also to play games and use apps.
The added ‘oomph’ in the silicon department will mean that the new set-top box will be better equipped to play more demanding games, at even higher resolutions.
Moving on, the new Apple TV 4K supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision for HDR viewing. This means brighter, more vivid colors.
Apple has also brought a raft of 4K content from providers and studios like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Lionsgate, Paramount, and more.
Punters will also be able to upgrade their existing iTunes content to 4K free of charge, and content will cost the same as standard HD content.
The addition of 4K content is long overdue. Apple has lagged behind its biggest rivals in this space, namely Roku and Amazon, both of which offer streaming devices capable of handling ultra HD video.
It’s also worth mentioning that the new Apple TV 4K is just one part of Cupertino’s plan to dominate our living rooms. It’s investing cautiously in TV content, perhaps in a bid to, one day, catch up with Netflix and Amazon.
Apple is also bringing partnering with smaller media companies, in order to bring local content and sports coverage to the new Apple TV 4K.
Aside from movies and games, the Apple TV 4K will let users access information at a glance, including sports scores. iPhone and iPad users will be able to stream photos, control Apple Music on the TV through their mobile devices, and access homekit accessories.
The 32GB Apple TV 4K will cost $179, with its larger 64GB sibling will retail for $199. The original Apple TV is now going for $149.