Ap­ple TV 4K 4K HDR set-top box takes your TV into the fu­ture

A step to­wards the fu­ture of tel­lylly

Computer Active (UK) - - Contents -

Ap­ple’s revamped set-top box is much the same as be­fore, but now has 4K and HDR (High dy­namic range) As Ap­ple’s se­nior vice pres­i­dent Eddy Cue ex­plained, 4K is about more pix­els and HDR is about bet­ter pix­els – a wider range of colours makes video look more ‘real’. You’ll only see that on an Hdr-ready TV, but if you’ve got one, Ap­ple will au­to­mat­i­cally upgrade any itunes con­tent you’ve pre­vi­ously bought in HD to 4K HDR when it’s avail­able. You’ll need very fast broad­band to stream 4K smoothly.

If you have a stan­dard HDTV, that’s fine – you’ll just get HD. Strangely, it’s those who do have a 4K HDR TV who may ex­pe­ri­ence prob­lems. Nor­mally, if you plug an older de­vice into these TV sets they’ll try to make its out­put look as good as pos­si­ble. But when you play older con­tent on the Ap­ple TV 4K, it scales it up, giv­ing your TV set a 4K HDR sig­nal. This en­sures there are no glitches with games and the Ap­ple TV’S user in­ter­face, but means ex­ist­ing HD videos may ac­tu­ally look worse. Ap­ple says it’s still re­fin­ing this.

Oth­er­wise, the Ap­ple TV 4K is sim­i­lar to the pre­vi­ous model (now £149; see our re­view, Is­sue 463). It’s ba­si­cally an ipad with no screen, so thou­sands of apps and games on the App Store are de­signed to work with it. If you plan to in­stall a lot, con­sider pay­ing £20 ex­tra to dou­ble the 32GB of stor­age, but you can delete apps tem­po­rar­ily if nec­es­sary. Play­ing videos doesn’t take up any space. Apps also pro­vide a way to use non-ap­ple ser­vices like BBC iplayer, Net­flix and Ama­zon Prime Video.

The Siri voice as­sis­tant, ac­cessed from the mi­cro­phone-equipped re­mote (which also works as a game con­troller), can search across many (but not all) ser­vices to find what you want to watch. The Ap­ple TV app brings pop­u­lar con­tent to­gether more seam­lessly, but it’s not yet avail­able in the UK. You can also play videos, photos or mu­sic from your Mac, iphone or ipad.

It’s all very easy to use, but we’d like to see the prices of films and TV box sets while brows­ing with­out hav­ing to click. VER­DICT: This easy-to-use box will ap­peal to Ap­ple and non-ap­ple users alike, and it sup­ports a de­cent range of con­tent – but 4K HDR isn’t es­sen­tial for ev­ery­one yet AL­TER­NA­TIVE: Nvidia ia Shield TV £179 This An­droid box’s strangely de­signed case is now smaller and also sup­ports 4K and HDR

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