Apple has just unveiled a long anticipated upgrade to its Apple TV set-top box, which is now capable of playing movies and TV shows at 4K Ultra HD resolution. Tim Cook said TV is at an “inflection point” with the mainstream adoption of 4K. The new Apple TV hardware puts the company on equal footing with Roku, Amazon, and Chrome, all of which already offer devices capable of 4K streaming. The latest Apple TV will be available on September 22nd for $179 with 32GB of internal storage or $199 with 64GB. Preorders start September 15th.
In addition to 4K, Apple is embracing HDR with this latest Apple TV with support for both Dolby Vision and HDR10. These high dynamic range technologies allow for brighter highlights and an expanded range of colors on television sets that also have HDR. The difference can be striking — sometimes even more so than the jump in resolution to 4K.
The Apple TV’s user interface has been redesigned and is now optimized for 4K resolution — as have the screensavers that play when the device is idle — and there’s also a revamped Siri Remote included to go along with it. Apple’s Eddy Cue announced that major Hollywood studios will be bringing 4K movies to the iTunes Store, and customers who’ve already purchased eligible films in HD will automatically be upgraded to 4K HDR at no extra cost. That’s a heck of a deal.
Netflix and other streaming apps will also stream content in 4K, as they already do on other platforms. The Apple TV’s TV app is also being updated with a bigger focus on live sports and news.
The new Apple TV hardware is much more powerful than the prior model; it now features an A10X Fusion processor (the same as what’s currently in the iPad Pro) and 3GB of RAM. That results in CPU performance twice as fast as the last model. Those upgraded internals should allow for smooth playback of 4K content at up to 60 frames per second. They should also make the Apple TV a more capable gaming device. ThatGameCompany, the developer of Journey and other unique titles, is creating a new game called Sky for Apple’s updated set-top box.
Developing. Check out our Apple event live blog for the latest updates!