Alongside updated versions of iPad and iPad Pro, Apple this week unveiled a next-generation Apple TV 4K. For those with last year’s 4K model, it’s probably not worth the upgrade – but for everyone else, it’s a big step forward for Apple TV.
It’s faster, smaller, and cheaper than the previous model, making it overall a much more compelling alternative to other TV streaming devices. Here’s what’s new.
The new Apple TV 4K is slightly shorter than the previous model and weighs 50% less. This might not be a pressing concern for a device that isn’t mobile, but the reason behind it is important. That new A15 Bionic chip is so power efficient that it negates the need for a fan, which not only reduces its physical footprint but also its carbon footprint. Nice.
Cinephiles will be pleased to know Apple TV 4K now supports HDR10+ in addition to Dolby Vision, for incredible visual quality. Apple also ditched the Lightning cable on the Siri Remote, upgrading to the universal USB-C standard used for charging iPads, MacBooks, and pretty much every other gadget in your home. The more expensive model (more on that later) includes a Thread radio, which is important for smart home enthusiasts as it enables the use of the Matter standard.
The previous model was no slouch, but its A12 chip is starting to look a little dated, especially for those who use their Apple TV for more than just streaming. This latest version takes a significant upgrade to the A15 Bionic chip seen in the iPhone 13 and iPhone 14, meaning it should be able to handle any graphically-intensive games you can throw at it with relative ease.
In order to better compete with much cheaper streaming devices, Apple has lowered the cost of Apple TV 4K from $179 to $129 for the base 64GB model. Still premium, but a good chunk less premium than before. However, many users will instead opt for the $149 version, which is essentially an Apple TV 4K Pro. That extra $20 gets you twice as much storage, an Ethernet port for wired connectivity, and the aforementioned Thread radio for smart home compatibility.
It’s available to order now, with availability from November 4th.