Apple has introduced today an updated Apple TV 4K alongside its M2 iPad Pro and redesigned 10.9” iPad. This new Apple TV 4K brings HDR10+ support, new Smart Home features, as well as a Siri Remote with a USB-C port.
Under the hood, this new Apple TV 4K replaces the A12 Bionic chip in last year’s model with the A15 Bionic chip that powers this year’s iPhone 14. Apple claims the A15 brings up to 50% faster CPU performance compared to the previous chip as well as up to 30% faster GPU performance. In addition to the performance benefits, the A15 Bionic chip is also more power efficient than its predecessor.
With HDR10+ support, the Apple TV gains support for the video technology supported by Samsung, Panasonic, and other TV manufacturers. HDR10+ adds dynamic metadata to HDR10 to improve image quality, and it’s an alternative to the proprietary Dolby Vision standard that most TV manufacturers support today.
The Siri remote is unchanged, but it now comes with a USB-C port for charging instead of Apple’s proprietary Lightning port. Apple is slowly but surely removing Lightning from its products, and the redesigned 10.9” iPad the company announced today also comes with a USB-C port.
The Apple TV 4K can also be used to control smart home accessories, and the new model adds support for the Thread mesh networking protocol. This will allow users to connect compatible HomeKit- or Matter‑enabled Thread smart home accessories to the Apple TV.
Later this year, an upcoming tvOS 16 update will also improve how Siri works on the Apple TV. The digital assistant will be able to recognize each user’s voice and provide them with tailored recommendations. tvOS will also add support for Apple’s upcoming iCloud Shared Photo Library feature.
This is a notable change, but the new Apple TV 4K will be available in two configurations: The Wi-Fi-only model with 64GB of storage is priced at $129, and a Wi-Fi + Ethernet model with 128GB of storage is be priced at $149. Both models are available starting today, and they will start shipping on November 4.
As a reminder, the previous Apple TV 4K started at $179.99, and it seems that Apple seems has finally realized that it wasn’t competitive next to the cheap Google Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV sticks. If the removal of the Ethernet port on the base model Apple TV 4K model is unfortunate, it does support Wi-Fi 6, which is better than nothing.