The fifth generation of the Apple TV, known officially as the Apple TV 4K, pulls Cupertino’s streaming box, last updated in 2015, back to the cutting edge of video. It’ll cost $172 for the base model with 32GB of storage or $199 for the upgrade to 64GB of storage. Preorders start on September 15 and units are expected to ship on September 22. These are the major updates included in the new version.
It Supports 4K and High Dynamic Range (HDR10) Video
As the name implies, the main selling point of the new Apple TV 4K is support for higher-resolution 4K content, as well as other advanced specifications such as High Dynamic Range and Dolby Vision content, both of which boast brighter, more accurate colors (as Phil Schiller says, it’s not just about more pixels, it’s about better pixels). It’s all possible thanks to a massive upgrade in processing power in the form of a new A10X Fusion Chip — the same chip in the current iPad Pro, paired with 3GB of RAM. This is certainly welcome news for those deeply tied into Apple’s ecosystem, but it’s worth noting that owners of other devices, like the Google’s Chromecast Ultra or Roku Premiere, have enjoyed accessing 4K quality content for nearly a year already.
iTunes Now Has 4K Movies and They’ll Cost the Same as HD Movies Now. Legacy HD iTunes Movie Purchases Will Be Upgraded to 4K HDR for Free Too
The iTunes store has, likewise, been updated with 4K content available for purchase. 4K movies will cost the same as regular HD content now, and if you’ve previously bought iTunes content in HD, Apple will upgrade those to 4K for free. That’s a tremendous deal considering the upcharges for 4K content found elsewhere and it’s the biggest advantage the Apple 4K TV has over the competition at the moment.
It Supports 4K Streaming from Netflix and Amazon Prime Video (Soon)
Netflix on the Apple TV is now also in parity with other platforms, supporting streaming of 4K HDR content. Amazon Prime Video and its growing library of 4K HDR content are also coming “later this year,” but we’ve heard that before from Apple.