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New Apple TV 4K packs A10X punch, HDR

The new Apple TV 4K looks like the 4th-gen model, but packs a bigger punch. (Source: Apple)
The new Apple TV 4K looks like the 4th-gen model, but packs a bigger punch. (Source: Apple)
Amidst all the fanfare of the new iPhone X launch, Apple has given its Apple TV its most potent upgrade yet. Powered by an Apple A10X Fusion hexa-core processor, the new Apple TV supports 4K HDR in both HDR10 and Dolby Vision formats.

The new Apple TV is a device that could easily be forgotten in all of the excitement surrounding the launch of the new iPhone X. The sad thing is, however, that this time Apple may have finally nailed it after having famously declared its set-top-box a hobby for many years. While the previous generation Apple TV was powered by the Apple A8 dual-core ARM-based chip, the new Apple TV 4K picks up the much more powerful hexa-core Apple A10X Fusion chip. This is the same chip that powers Apple’s 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models that could make it the most powerful set-top-box of its kind on the market.

In addition to its capabilities, Apple has staged a major coup by offering owners of the new Apple TV 4K model a free upgrade of the current HD titles in their library to a 4K HDR version. This will happen over time as the 4K HDR version becomes available on the iTunes store. For current Apple TV owners who own either 4K TV or a 4K with HDR TV, upgrading is a no-brainer as a result.

Apple has also said that 4K HDR content from third-party providers like Netflix and Amazon Prime will soon be available on the Apple TV 4K as well. Importantly, Apple is supporting both HDR formats including the open-source HDR10 format and the proprietary (but more sophisticated) Dolby Vision variant. The Apple TV 4K will also upscale existing HD content.

With AirPlay 2 support coming later in the year, users will also be able to control multiple AirPlay 2-compatible speakers along with their home theater speakers from their lounge chair. Improved Siri functionality and App Store support is also included with the latest version of tvOS.

The new Apple TV 4K will start from US$179 for the 32 GB model and US$199 for the 64 GB model. Pre-orders start from September 15 with devices shipping to customers on September 22.


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Sanjiv Sathiah, 2017-09-13 (Update: 2017-09-14)