Apple TV 4K is the new TV box from Apple and it succeeds the Apple TV 4th gen. Built on the A10X Fusion chip, the same chip that powers iPad Pro, the new Apple TV 4K offers a vivid 4K HDR experience. Apple TV 4K was released at the 2017 Apple Event on the 12th of September.
Here are 18 things you need to know about the new Apple TV 4K:
1. You need to have a 4K capable TV
In order for the Apple TV to play 4K video, you need to have a 4K TV to play it on. So if you don’t have a 4K TV it will set you back an extra £600 to buy one. You also must know that most 4K TV’s already have some or all the features offered by the Apple TV including 4K Youtube App, 4K Hulu App, Netflix App and so on. So, in that case, why do you actually need an Apple TV? The only advantages of having your TV hooked to an Apple TV is the App Store where you can get new games and apps to play on your Apple TV and the fact that you can very easy mirror content from all your Apple devices.
2. The new Apple TV 4K supports Dolby Vision
Apple TV 4K is built to take full advantage of 4K HDR to deliver an amazing experience that makes it incredibly easy to enjoy TV in the highest quality ever. Apple TV 4K supports the following 4K display formats:
- 4K Standard Dynamic Range (SDR): Used for 4K televisions that don’t support HDR10 or Dolby Vision.
- 4K High Dynamic Range (HDR): Used for 4K televisions that support HDR to display video with a broader range of colors and luminance.
- 4K Dolby Vision: Used for 4K televisions that support Dolby Vision HDR to display video with a broader range of colors and luminance optimized for your television.
In order to play HDR 4K Dolby Vision using your Apple TV, you would need a capable 4K TV, Samsung TV’s don’t support this at the moment so you would have to go for an LG TV or Sony.
3. Apple TV 4K is the most powerful yet
The A10X Fusion chip provides a powerful platform for enjoying richer, more interactive games and apps. And you’ll find them all in the App Store for Apple TV. When you add accessories like game controllers and headphones, you can take your experience to the next level.
The new Apple TV 4K is more powerful than most laptops and computers and is built on the A10X Fusion chip, the same chip that powers iPad Pro.
4. Apple TV 4K supports Gigabit Ethernet
If you need extra speed the Apple TV won’t let you down. Though most of the changes to the upcoming Apple TV 4K are internal, one notable change to the exterior is the addition of a Gigabit Ethernet port. Apple in the past heavily pushed connecting to your network wirelessly and included only a 10/100 speed Ethernet port. That meant that you could connect over Wi-Fi 802.11ac and achieve better speeds than if you connected through Ethernet.
With the new Apple TV 4K, you have the option to connect over 802.11ac Wi‑Fi with MIMO, or using the Gigabit Ethernet port. That will help as it requires users to have 15Mbps speeds to stream 4K content.
5. Apple TV Storage Capacity
4K content requires greater storage than HD, but Apple has not increased the amount you get inside its new box. As previously, there are 32- and 64GB options. If you are enjoying a lot of 4K content on the Apple TV 4K, 32GB of storage might not be enough.
6. Apple TV 4K Supports HEVC Decoding
HEVC (H.265) can reduce video bitrate “by up to 40% with same visual quality” compared to H.264 / AVC, according to Apple. Netflix goes even further by saying up to 50% improvement. As you may know, HEVC was designed first and foremost for 4K video but can also be used for HD video. The format is already being used to deliver 4K and HD video via streaming and on disc.
7. Bluetooth Controllers
For lots of games, like Asphalt or Crossy Road, the Siri Remote will be just fine, but there are MFi (Made For iPhone) controllers available to connect to the Apple TV, and if you’re a serious gamer we’d strongly recommend you buy one.
8. Apple TV 4K Wifi improvements
With the new Apple TV, wireless connectivity extends to dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MIMO and Bluetooth 5.0.
9. Siri Remote improvements
The Apple TV 4K Siri Remote has received a minor update. The change is a new Menu button that appears to be a part of the touch surface. This could improve the user experience by providing a bit of asymmetry.
10. 4K Wallpapers
The new Apple TV comes with a set of stunning 4K HDR wallpapers and they look amazing.
11. The new TV App
The Apple TV app lets you browse content from over 60 video services without switching from one app to the next. You’ll find movies and shows. Handpicked recommendations. And soon, live sports.
12. HomeKit Automation
Since Apple TV is always at home, it’s perfectly suited to act as a home hub for all of your HomeKit accessories, enabling remote access as well as automated control (e.g. automatically turning on the lights at sunset).
13. Upgraded iTunes Content
iTunes users will get automatic upgrades of HD titles in their existing iTunes library to 4K HDR versions when they become available. Apple TV 4K will also offer 4K HDR content from popular video services, including Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
14. iTunes Content Prices
4K movies cost the same amount as 1080p flicks on iTunes. So far, buying 4K movies on disc or digital service like Vudu has included a price premium of $10 or more but it appears Apple won that battle, and anyone tapped out after buying a new TV and $179 box will appreciate it.
15. USB-C has been removed
The fourth-generation Apple TV had a trio of ports —HDMI, 10/100 Ethernet, and USB-C. It is unclear what Apple will do to supply direct connectivity for developers and device managers going forward, but network loading of software and configuration profiles seems probable.
This isn’t the first time Apple eradicated ports from the Apple TV. Analog component connectors departed the unit during the shift from the first to second generation, and the optical audio connector was killed when the fourth generation Apple TV debuted.
16. The price of the new Apple TV 4K
There’s not a lot of difference between the price of the new Apple TV 4K and the previous model from a couple of years ago, with Apple clearly keen to encourage consumers to go for the newer model.
The 32GB Apple TV 4K comes in at £179 / $179 / AU$249, and the 64GB option at £199 / $199 / AU$279. Compare that to the 2015 model, which is now £149 / $149 / AU$209, and it makes choosing between them a tough decision.
17. Airplay Upgrades
AirPlay is an easy way for you or your guests to wirelessly share whatever’s on an iPhone, iPad or Mac in dramatic big-screen fashion. With support for AirPlay 2, coming later this year, Apple TV can control multiple AirPlay 2-compatible speakers as well as your home theatre speakers to create the ultimate home music experience.
18. No HDMI cable included
Apple doesn’t include a HDMI cable with the Apple TV. The company does offer a 5.9ft HDMI cable for $20, though, that you can add to your order. Of course, there are cheaper options out there if you’re willing to order separately.