Apple launches Apple TV 4K

Matt Sayer 13 September 2017

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A slate of new 4K content will be hitting iTunes alongside the updated set-top box.

After two years with no upgrades, Apple TV is finally receiving a refresh with the new Apple TV 4K, announced this morning at Apple’s “Meet at our Place” event.

As the name suggests, this new Apple TV model ushers in support for streaming 4K content to compatible TVs. 4K TVs have been dropping in price dramatically over the last year, so it’s no surprise that Apple has decided to enter the market, too.

Apple TV 4K will also support HDR 10, the current industry standard for HDR lighting, and the premium Dolby Vision standard. tvOS will receive a full redesign for 4K, too.

Apple TV 4K will boast four times faster graphics thanks to its new A10X Fusion chip, the same as in the latest iPad Pro.

To complement the new Apple TV, Apple will be rolling out 4K versions of existing and upcoming titles through iTunes, priced the same as its HD content. Any previous HD purchases you’ve made will be upgraded to 4K for free, as well.

When Apple TV 4K hits Australia, it will boast support for all the local catch-up TV services thanks to the new TV app bundled in with tvOS 11 and iOS 11. The TV app is a joint production between Apple and Yahoo7, and will support streaming of content from the likes of SBS On Demand, ABC iView, tenplay, 9Now and Yahoo7’s own PLUS7.

Pre-orders for Apple TV 4K will begin on 15 September. Alongside Apple TV 4K, Apple will continue to sell the 32GB model of the 4th generation Apple TV.

apple-tv-2017

The existence of Apple’s 4K-capable TV set top box hasn’t been a secret for some time now. While it was widely rumoured that the technology giant was looking to update its Apple TV line, last iterated on back in 2015 with a 4K-capable model, it was the existence of code within the beta firmware of the upcoming Apple HomePod speaker that made it all but a certainty, with further confirmation coming from the iOS 11 gold master leak.

4K streaming hardware was a necessary part of the equation to make it 4K-capable, but you’ll still also need a 4K-capable TV and a broadband service capable of operating at quite high speeds in order to actually get 4K content. Services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video all offer selected titles in up to 4K quality, but as an example, Netflix recommends a broadband service operating at 25Mbps or better to enable 4K streaming.

While its party piece is 4K video streaming, the Apple TV 4K is also, like its immediate predecessor, capable of running specifically written tvOS apps, although to date the best of these have been specifically streaming video apps. Apple did have some intention of entering the home console space by stealth with the Apple TV, and while the Apple TV is compatible with “Made for iPhone” controllers, the games pickings are rather slim compared to a full console option.

Apple TV 4K specs

Size
98mm x 98mm x 35mm
Weight
425 grams
Storage
32GB/64GB
Video Out
HDMI
Wi-Fi
802.11ac with MIMO
Bluetooth
Bluetooth 5.0
Infrared
Yes
Ethernet
Gigabit Ethernet
USB
USB-C (for maintenance only)

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