Apple released a slew of new products last night, and we’ve already covered some of the big hitters such as the M1-powered iMac 2021 and the iPad Pro 2021. But amid the excitement, the Cupertino-based company also announced—at long last—a successor to its set-top box: the Apple TV 4K. Like many of Apple’s products, its name remains unchanged, although there have been a number of significant changes made.
Now, the Apple TV 4K will come with the A12 Bionic chip under the hood, the same chipset that was first debuted on the iPhone Xs series. This means that Apple’s TV box will now support high frame rate HDR, as well as Dolby Vision video at 60fps. In fact, videos shot on the iPhone 12 Pro can now be streamed via AirPlay onto the new Apple TV in 60fps Dolby Vision. The new processor should also offer improved raw performance, which means that you’ll have more power under the hood for Apple Arcade.
What’s also really interesting here is a new feature on the Apple TV, one that will work in tandem with an iPhone. In a nutshell, the Apple TV will work with an iPhone and its light sensors to improve your TV’s picture quality, with these sensors used to calibrate the TV against “industry-standard specifications”.
“Using this data, Apple TV automatically tailors its video output to deliver much more accurate colors and improved contrast — without customers ever having to adjust their television settings.”
And yes, Apple has finally introduced a new design for the Siri Remote. In place of the finnicky swipe pad of its predecessor, Apple has gone for a clickpad control with five-way navigation, while it still retains touch controls for “fast directional swipes”. You’ll also be able to scroll through a movie or show by using the outer ring of the clickpad in a circular gesture, Apple says. And of course, there is a dedicated button to bring up Siri, now located at the right side of the remote.
Besides that, the Apple TV 4K looks practically identical to its predecessor. It’s still the same square-shaped box with rounded edges, which means that you’ll need to clear (a little) space on your TV cabinet for this. In contrast, competitors have adopted a smaller, dongle form-factor for their own devices such as the Chromecast with Google TV and the Mi TV Stick.
Plus, the Apple TV 4K—as expected—is significantly more expensive that its competitors. Pricing starts at USD 179 (~RM737) for the 32GB variant, while you can also pick up the older Apple TV HD paired to the new Siri Remote for USD 149 (~RM613). Sales will open from the 30th of April 2021 in the U.S. Also, if you’re keen, you can also pick up the new Siri Remote on its own for USD 59 (~RM242)—it’s compatible with both the previous gen Apple TV 4K, as well as the Apple TV HD.
So, what do you think? Is this enough of an improvement? Would you get this over cheaper, Android TV alternatives? Let us know in the comments below.