The long-awaited Apple TV 4K is fashionably late in joining the market for UHD-capable streaming devices, but it's poised to shake it up like no other product of its kind. Apple's fifth-generation streaming device will make the process of finding and enjoying 4K HDR content easier and more affordable than ever.
It's What Inside That Matters
Visually, the Apple TV 4K and its remote control look no different than those of the previous generation. However, with the tech giant's A10X Fusion chip on board, the Apple TV 4K has twice the processing power — and four times the graphics performance — of its predecessor.
The A10X Fusion is one of the most powerful chipsets around. Also found in the latest iPad Pro, it allows the Apple TV 4K to not only effortlessly deliver UHD (ultra high-definition) video and high-quality video games, but also make lower resolution content look better.
Other key specs of the streaming device include dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity and a Gigabit Ethernet port. You can order the Apple TV 4K with 32 or 64 GB of storage. A Siri-enabled remote control is included with both variants, though you can also control the Apple TV 4K from an iPhone or iPad with iOS 11.
The Apple TV 4K supports both HDR 10 and Dolby Vision — the two leading high-dynamic range formats available today. Best of all, the streaming device requires no fiddling with settings in order to bring you the best content your TV can support.
The new Apple TV runs the tech giant's latest tvOS 11 platform, which gives you access to the best selection of apps in the industry (organized in handy categories that are easy to browse). The latest tvOS also offers enhanced Photos experience, which will allow you to view and share your memories with others better.
Changing the 4K Content Game
Unlike its competitors, which charge a hefty premium for buying or renting an UHD movie, Apple won't ask you for extra money for 4K HDR content in iTunes. If you have an existing collection of movies, you'll get an automatic upgrade to higher resolution for free. When browsing 4K movies in iTunes, you can also see the HDR standard they're offered in.
This is a big deal! A 4K movie rental from other major content providers typically costs about $10, so being able to get the same experience for $6 will quickly save you money and fast. In this instance, Apple is bound to truly disrupt the current state of the market.
Finding 4K HDR content is as easy as asking Siri. Thanks to its universal search feature, the virtual assistant will also assist you in searching for a specific movie or TV show episode, or you can even browse an entire genre. Siri can also help you open apps and games on your Apple TV 4K.
All Your Favorite Streaming Services in One Place
Another important Apple TV milestone will be the arrival of Amazon Prime video in the weeks ahead. This means that you'll be able to — at long last — enjoy Amazon's excellent selection of original content in 4K HDR. The Netflix app for the new Apple TV will support 4K HDR content at launch.
Later this year, you'll also be able to enjoy live sports on the Apple TV 4K and be able to access a variety of sports and leagues directly in your Apple TV app.
The A10X Fusion chip makes the Apple TV 4K deliver a fast and fluid experience, despite the millions of pixels it has to power. Siri voice searches deliver instant results, too.
Gaming on the Apple TV 4K looks impressive, too. Overall, when it comes to harnessing its impressive power into delivering an exceptional user experience, the streaming device sits alone at the top of its class.
The Apple TV 4K is the best streaming device you can buy. It makes enjoying 4K HDR content easier and more affordable than any other option on the market. Apple also deserves a hat tip for taking away the guesswork of finding high-quality content.
To top things off, the device also comes with an excellent selection of apps and games to keep you and your family informed and entertained when a movie or a TV show isn't on.
The imminent arrival of an Amazon Prime video app will address the biggest shortcoming of the previous Apple TV generations. Its upcoming availability will make the streaming device more attractive to an even wider audience of potential buyers.
Speaking of buying, if you're an owner of an older Apple TV and you own a 4K TV, this is the device you've been waiting for. Everyone else shopping for a streaming device should also have the Apple TV 4K on top of their list of choices.
Pricing of the Apple TV 4K kicks off at $179 for a model with 32 GB of storage. We highly recommend that you spend the extra $20 for a 64 GB model, as 4K HDR movies tend to take up quite a bit of space.
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