Apple TV 4K preview

With the Apple TV 4's second birthday fast approaching, the fifth-generation was long-overdue. Announced during Apple's September 2017 event the new model comes with a faster processor, 4K and HDR support. The Apple TV 4K is now available to buy.

If you've stumbled here looking for information about the fourth-gen Apple TV - the first Apple TV device to allow users to install apps - we've got plenty of details, including pricing and the best places to buy in our Apple TV buying guide.

Apple TV 4K: UK release date and pricing

Apple's TV 4K is now available to buy. It was released on 22 September.

There are two models, one with 32GB storage and the other 64GB. They retail at £179 and £199 respectively, while the fourth-generation remains on sale at £149. Yep, that's £10 more than its earlier price.

For advice on where to get the best deal, see where to buy Apple TV 4K.

Apple TV 4K: Design and build

In terms of the physical design and build of the Apple TV, very little has changed from its predecessor. The Apple TV series, bar the first-gen device, has featured a similar design and build, although the fourth-gen Apple TV is much chunkier than the rest due to the amount of built-in tech.

The Apple TV 4K has the same dimensions to the Apple TV 4, measuring in at 98 x 98 x 35mm and weighing 425g. It does not bring back the optical port, as we'd hoped.

In fact the only thing that has changed is the controller, which now has a white circle around the menu button.

That's a shame, because one thing it could have improved is the controller's potential for gaming. Using the Siri remote to play games on an Apple TV is a rather frustrating experience, and considering there's a decent collection of games available for tvOS, it's something Apple needs to fix.

There's a bunch of MFI-compatible controllers like the SteelSeries Nimbus for the Apple TV, but we feel like Apple should have followed the route of the Nvidia Shield TV and offer both a remote and a controller with the Apple TV 4K - especially with that price tag. It'd appeal to more audiences, and make the great content available on the Apple TV even more enjoyable.

Apple TV 4K

Apple TV 4K: Features and spec

We had already heard whispers, thanks to data mined from the tvOS 4 beta, that the next Apple TV was set to be the first to offer 4K HDR support for compatible TVs. Indeed, the Apple 4K TV supports 4K, HDR10 and Dolby Vision. (The clue is kind of in the name.)

What's more, Apple has promised to automatically update your HD purchases to 4K - for free.

The fourth-gen Apple TV is limited to 1080p, and while that's not bad, many competing set-top boxes like the Nvidia Shield TV and Google's Chromecast Ultra offer 4K support. Considering that one of the Apple TV's most popular apps, Netflix, has a large catalogue of 4K content, the change makes sense. The 4K Apple TV will also support Amazon Prime Video's 4K content when it arrives, and it should make games look much better, especially when viewed on a 4K TV.

The addition of 4K means the new Apple TV needs an improved processor. Apple has added the A10X Fusion, which is the same chip used in the iPad Pro. It means the new Apple TV is two times faster and offers four times better graphics than the fourth-gen device, which features the iPhone 6's A8 chipset.

4K content requires greater storage than HD, but Apple has not increased the amount you get inside its new box. As previously, there are 32- and 64GB options. If you are enjoying a lot of 4K content on the Apple TV 4K, 32GB of storage might not be enough.

Apple TV 4K: Software

The new Apple TV features tvOS 11. tvOS 11 was initially announced back at WWDC 2017, although Apple barely went into detail about what the software might offer.

As well as the addition of Amazon Prime Video 4K content, when it becomes available, we now know that the new TV app will be coming to the UK before the end of the year.

Since its initial launch in 2016, the service has been limited to users in the US, and allows users to watch TV shows and movies from multiple sources in a single place. It makes the browsing experience much easier as, in theory, you're able to browse from the likes of Netflix, BBC iPlayer and iTunes, all in the same place, providing a holistic view of your on-demand content.

OUR VERDICT

The Apple TV 4K offers a handful of changes, although features like 4K and HDR are more about Apple playing catch-up with the competition than trail-blazing.

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