It’s not just new iPhones that were revealed this week – there’s also a powerful new Apple TV on the market
Apple’s recent Special Event unveiled several new products. Though the iPhone 8 and iPhone X were the big stories of the keynote, anyone who owns an Apple TV – or has been thinking about getting one – should be very interested to hear about the developments announced this week. Let’s dive into it.
Finally, 4K video support
Apple has been a little slow to catch up with the competition on this front, but has finally released a box with support for the super-high-definition 4K video standard. 4K uses four times more pixels than regular HD content, and as such is incredibly sharp and detailed.
Add to that support for HDR and you get an amazing viewing experience, with sharper colors and a more realistic picture than ever. Fittingly, the new device is called the Apple TV 4K, rather than the Apple TV 5 as some were expecting.
Free content upgrades
Previously, one of the downsides of owning a 4K television was the lack of content available to watch at such a high resolution. Apple is trying its best to change that and has spoken to a ton of big movie studios to bring their back catalogs to iTunes in 4K.
Amazingly, 4K purchases in iTunes won’t cost any more than regular HD content, and Apple says that all existing HD downloads will be upgraded to 4K at no extra cost. Nice!
Still no Amazon Video
You can also expect Netflix to add plenty of 4K content to its streaming catalog for easy access on the Apple TV, and Amazon will be doing the same with its Prime Video service – though we’ve still got no release date for the arrival of the Amazon app beyond “coming soon.”
Apple’s own TV app, which combines content from multiple sources into one easy-to-navigate TV guide, is finally due to make its way beyond the US. This month the app will release in Canada and Australia, with several other countries – including the UK – receiving the app before the end of the year.
Huge power upgrade
The new Apple TV will be a lot more powerful than previous versions, with the same A10X chip seen in the latest iPad Pro. The upgrade is necessary to power the increased resolution of 4K content, but we’re surpised just how much of a step up it is from the previous generation Apple TV.
All that power will make it a beast for 3D gaming as well as media consumption. At the keynote, thatgamecompany came on stage to showcase the kind of graphical performance now possible on the Apple TV, showing off a beautiful new social adventure game called Sky. It’s due out later this year for both iOS and tvOS.
Price and availability
Apple TV 4K will be priced at $179/£179 for the 32GB version and $199/£199 for 64GB.
The previous model remains on sale for $149/£149, though if you’re considering your first Apple TV we’d suggest spending the extra to future-proof your purchase, even if you don’t yet have a 4K television.
The new models are available for pre-order from Friday 15 September and will start shipping a week later.