Apple just announced a new Apple TV streaming box to replace the Apple TV 4K that came out in 2017. The new model keeps the name of the previous model, but comes with a more powerful A12 Bionic chip that allows HDR video to be played at higher frame rates. It is also powerful enough to support 60FPS Dolby Vision playback via AirPlay from a compatible iPhone.
The old Apple TV 4K, Apple’s flagship set-top box for four years, supports both 4K streaming and HDR, including Dolby Vision. It also supports Dolby Atmos sound codecs. But it doesn’t support 120Hz refresh rates, which can be important if you ever want to play serious games on an Apple TV. It also has the most notoriously bad remote.
Fortunately, Apple has completely redesigned the remote for the new Apple TV 4K with an improved, more ergonomic design and more capabilities. The new remote is thicker than the previous model, has a new five-way touch controller in place of the original’s maligned swipe pad, and a proper power button to turn off your TV. The Siri Search button has been moved to the side of the remote, under your right thumb.
Apple hasn’t redesigned the Apple TV box itself – it remains a circular puck that you have to put on a shelf or in an entertainment center, unlike the dongle designs many of Apple’s competitors now use. With a new feature, the Apple TV can optimize the colors of your TV screen using the light sensor on an iPhone.
The new Apple TV 4K costs $ 179 for 32 GB of storage and will be available April 30. A 64GB model is also available for $ 199. Apple is also selling the older Apple TV HD, which is limited to 1080p resolution, with the new remote for $ 149.
All those prices are a lot higher than Apple’s competitors such as Amazon, Google and Roku. Apple is again betting that people will pay for performance and ecosystem in a set-top box and is charging a hefty premium for it.
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