The addition of the A12 Bionic Chip provides a significant boost in graphics performance, video decoding, and audio processing. The set-top box now supports high frame rate HDR and Dolby Vision video, enabling fast-moving action at 60 frames per second.
This allows content to play more smoothly and appear more lifelike than on the previous generation of Apple TV 4K. Apple said it’s also working with leading video providers as they begin to stream high frame rate HDR, like NBCUniversal and Fox Sports.
There’s also a new feature that allows the Apple TV 4K to work with iPhone to improve your television’s picture quality. The Apple TV 4K uses the light sensor in iPhone to compare the color balance to industry-standard specifications.
With this data, Apple TV 4K can automatically tailor its video output to deliver more accurate colors and improved contrast tailored specifically to your TV set, and all without having to go into the TV’s settings.
One of the biggest additions to this new generation of Apple TV 4K is a newly redesigned Siri Remote. This device features a new clickpad control with five-way navigation, which Apple says provides better accuracy when browsing content on tvOS.
Users can also scrub their fingers along the outer ring of the clickpad to access a “jog” control, helpful for finding a specific scene in a show or movie. Hoping to address issues with the current Siri Remote, Apple mentioned that the new version sits more comfortably in hand.
Additionally, there’s a separate power button that controls a TV’s power, a separate button for mute, and Apple moved the Siri button to the side of the remote. You’ll also find the usual buttons for volume, play/pause, back, and home.
The new Apple TV 4K will be available at $179 for 32GB and $199 for 64GB. Pre-orders open up on April 30, and the device launches in the second half of May in more than 30 countries and regions.
Apple is also planning to sell the Apple TV HD with the new Siri Remote for $149, and the new Siri Remote will be available separately for $59. It’s compatible with the previous generation of Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD.