Apple just announced its next-generation Apple TV 4K – the most powerful yet, the company says. And with a starting price of $129 / £149 / AU$205, it’s also significantly cheaper than the previous model Apple TV 4K was released in 2021.
The biggest change from previous Apple TV 4K versions is the company’s use of the A15 Bionic chip, which is also used in newer iPhone models and the iPad Mini (6th generation). Another important update is HDR10+, which is now supported along with the high dynamic range formats Dolby Vision and HDR10.
Apple’s new streaming box will be sold in two configurations. One is Wi-Fi only with 64GB of storage. A step-up model offers 128GB of storage and also features Gigabit Ethernet with threaded mesh networking for improved smart home device support.
The company’s press release touted the speed benefits of the A15 Bionic chip, which will boost the CPU performance of the already fast Apple TV 4K by 50 percent. In particular, GPU performance is accelerated by up to 30 percent over the previous version, improving responsiveness and graphics performance when gaming.
Apple’s 4K streamer will also feature a new Siri remote with USB-C charging – a big change from previous generations that used a Lightning connection. According to the company, new features coming to tvOS this fall will improve Siri voice search and control capabilities, with the ability to recognize and respond to different users’ voices so they can simply continue navigating where they are have stopped.
The new Wi-Fi only Apple TV 4K is available to order today for $129 / £149 / AU$205 and the Wi-Fi plus Gigabit Ethernet version for $149 / £169.00 / AU$240. Both models will be available from Friday, November 4th.
Analysis: Another small step for Apple TV 4K
Apple’s unveiling of a next-gen Apple TV 4K amid the planned iPad and iPad Pro announcements caught me by surprise. A new version of the company’s streaming box was expected by the end of the year, but not that far ahead of the Black Friday sales season.
Looking at the list of specs and features for the new Apple TV 4K, I see no pressing need to upgrade from the last version the company released in 2021.
HDR10+ support is an advantage, although 4K movies and TV shows with this HDR format are significantly more limited than those with Dolby Vision and regular HDR10. And the new Siri Remote with USB-C port is another advance, if not entirely unexpected International pressure on Apple to switch from its proprietary Lightning connector to USB-C for charging. (USB-C connectors can also be found on the new iPad models that Apple just released.)
And that’s where my list of welcome Apple TV 4K updates ends. The speed gains brought about by the A15 Bionic chip almost seem like overkill for a device that’s already fast enough and responsive enough – more so than other streamers.
Let’s also discuss what the next-gen Apple TV 4K is missing. There is no support for 8K video output. And while one could argue that 8K content availability is extremely limited, this sort of feature is something you’d expect from a premium product like Apple’s Streamer. While the included Siri Remote now has the more universal USB-C port for charging, there’s no MagSafe or Qi wireless charging option.
Even remote controls are regularly lost between the sofa cushions, right? That’s why it came as a surprise to learn that the new Apple TV 4K’s Siri remote lacks the company’s proprietary U1 ultra-wideband chip. The U1 is the same chip used in AirTags and to use your iPhone for location AirPods Pro 2‘s suitcase – another small item that can easily get lost.
Perhaps the Apple TV 4K’s best new feature is its lower price point compared to previous models, although it’s still high enough that most will opt for a cheaper one instead Roku Ultra or Fire TV Stick 4K max for streaming or simply rely on the apps in the user interface of your smart TV.
Apple’s new streaming device is certainly an upgrade — just not enough upgrade that I imagine everyone will be motivated to buy it.
https://www.techradar.com/news/new-cheaper-apple-tv-4k-with-hdr10-launches-developing New cheaper Apple TV 4K launches with HDR10+, but I expected more