Apple TV 4K
Apple’s streaming box gets a pixel-count boost
From $179 From Apple, apple.com Features 4K and HDR output (Dolby Vision and HDR10 supported), A10X Fusion chip, 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MIMO, Siri Remote, 32GB or 64GB storage
Have you been tempted to invest in a 4K HDR TV recently? If you have, the new Apple TV 4K will be an excellent complementary purchase. This latest model can handle 4K content, with HDR10 and Dolby Vision supported, and, depending on the TV it’s connected to, the pictures look sublime, with everything from the interface to the flyover screensavers upgraded to pack in more pixels.
The new box comes in two storage options: 32GB ($179) and 64GB ($199). Apple recently raised the size limit for apps permitted on the box to 4GB, so if you’re thinking of having this as a micro-console for games, consider scaling up to be safe.
Live sports coverage has also been enhanced, with tailored content delivered to you. Plus, you can see live scores, and be notified of exciting moments in games you might like.
We found Apple TV 4K a touch slow when transitioning between apps or calling up different shows, but the interface was snappy when we started to stream. This lag can be irritating, but it was a minor occurrence overall.
Apple TV 4K as a central hub makes a lot of sense. Not only can it control your HomeKit devices, but the ease with which an iPhone or iPad syncs with Apple TV is impressive. Screen mirroring is instant, and makes it really easy to share content on the big screen. Design and performance The look of 4K footage is clear and crisp, and 4K HDR is just amazing if you’ve got the right TV to watch it on. The beautiful contrasts and the sheer quality of the colors on display are mind-blowing. Apple TV 4K is the perfect partner for the latest highend TVs, with the ability to instantly detect what kind of display is on offer and calibrate the output accordingly.
With Dolby Vision and HDR10 on board, it’s a shame that Apple hasn’t added Dolby Atmos surround sound too, though Apple reportedly told The Verge that support is on the roadmap.
It’s great to be able to search Netflix through the service from the Home screen, or to use Siri to dive straight in. Siri isn’t able to find and display 4K HDR movies and shows, just plain 4K ones, but it’s still useful.
Apple has opened a 4K HDR “room” within its iTunes Movies app to make it easier to discover the
The beautiful contrast sand the sheer quality of the colors on display are mind-blowing
content – and many titles you’ve previously purchased in 1080p will be automatically upgraded to 4K versions as they become available. Take control The Siri Remote offers a good balance between being lightweight and well made – it’s comfortable to hold, with a tactile, brushed feel and rounded edges. Its trackpad registers the slightest quiver, and clicks to register a selection. The remote also boasts Siri voice control which is mostly brilliant. Downloading apps, restarting a film, or just flipping to settings are a simple press of the Siri button away. That said, Siri isn’t always accurate, particularly when entering passwords.
Apple TV 4K is designed to work as a music player and a basic console too. Apple has made a big deal about the new games that are coming to the box, with the A10X Fusion chip from the latest iPad Pro also used here, offering better graphical performance.
The remote’s motion control gives Apple TV an instant advantage over other streaming sticks and boxes. While fairly rudimentary, the ability to play tennis games or the fun Beat Sports with actual swings of the hand is great. Apple TV 4K can also work as a HomeKit hub for remote control and automation of smart home accessories. That alone is a good reason to have it.
However, all this can be found on the previous, non-4K model, which is still on sale for $149. The functionality is excellent and entertaining, but it can be had for cheaper if you’re not bothered about 4K performance. Certainly, if you don’t have a 4K HDR TV it’s hard to recommend this for its extra power and high-res output.
The interface’s speed is still not perfect, but it is better. And the App Store definitely needs more titles, yet more appear every day now.
If you’ve got any inclination to upgrade to a 4K HDR TV, this model is the obvious choice. It’s pricey, but it’s slick, works well with an iOS device, and the range of content is good – although it could be better. We’d love to see more powerful games on offer, and an easier way to access 4K HDR content from a variety of providers, although Amazon Prime Video has been promised for the end of the year.
the bottom line. If you want to stream in 4K, this is a very nice (yet costly) add-on to your TV, and an easy choice if you’ll use its broader capabilities. GarethBeavis
A raised ring has been added around the Menu button so you know you’re holding the remote right.