Ap­ple TV 4K

Ap­ple’s stream­ing box gets a pixel-count boost

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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.

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