Here's everything we know about Apple TV 4K, including the specs, features, release date, and price. For more information, don't forget to check out our Apple TV 4K review.
When will the new Apple TV be released?
Apple's TV 4K is now available to buy from Apple. It was released on 22 September.
How much will Apple TV 4K cost?
The Apple TV 4K is available in two models with different storage sizes:
- 32GB (£179)
- 64GB (£199)
It's also available from various third-person retailers. For advice on that front, see where to buy Apple TV 4K.
Apple is also continuing to sell the previous fourth-gen Apple TV in a 32GB model at £149 - a slightly cheeky £10 price rise from what it was before the 4K version released.
What are the new features?
Although the news Apple TV looks similar to its predecessor beyond some very subtle tweaks to the Siri remote, there's a lot of new stuff under the hood.
4K and HDR video support
The new Apple TV will be capable of playing 4K content, as well as offering "more vivid" colours thanks to the support for HDR (high dynamic range) through Dolby Vision and HDR10.
That means support for substantially higher resolution content, which naturally requires content to go with it. Apple says it has worked with every major Hollywood studio to ensure access to 4K films and TV on iTunes, along with 4K content from Netflix, and Amazon Prime later in 2017.
The Verge has pointed out, however, that Apple TV 4K supports three major hardware-accelerated video codecs: H.264, HEVC (H.265) and MP4. That means it does not support the VP9 format favoured by 4K YouTube streams, and any content from that platform will be upscaled from 1080p on the box.
MacRumors also reported that the Apple TV 4K will only be able to stream 4K content - you won't be able to download it. This means you'll be able to download HD movies locally onto the device, but the same doesn't apply to 4K. You'll need a stable internet connection to stream it.
From a user point of view this isn't too bad as most of your TV watching will happen in the comfort of your home. But the knowledge that you can't download and keep anything in 4K might put people off who can't see the value of simply streaming.
The Apple TV 4K will also automatically detect the capabilities of your TV to optimise setup and output the highest possible resolution, including a video scaler to make regular HD content look better on 4K TVs.
Apple also confirmed that 4K content on iTunes will cost exactly the same as its HD equivalents, and that anyone who's already bought HD films and shows will have them automatically upgraded to 4K for free.
A leak just days before the 12 September event suggests that Apple will require users to have a 15Mbps internet connection to take advantage of 4K, with automated troubleshooting responses warning: "Your internet connection speed might have dropped below 15Mpbs, or there could be a problem with your home network."
The Apple TV 4K runs on the A10X Fusion chip, the same chip as the new iPad Pro, which Apple says should offer more than double the CPU performance, and more than four times the GPU performance.
Alongside the hardware changes, there have been a number of software changes to the Apple TV, which will run on the new tvOS 11 and use the new TV app.
tvOS is the version of iOS that works on the Apple TV. It was introduced with the Apple TV in 2015 and brought with it the Apple TV Store.
An update to tvOS is arriving on 19 September 2017 alongside iOS 11. It's been in beta over the summer, and tvOS 11 launches just before the new Apple TV in September.
The main new features include automatic AirPod pairing, Home Screen Sync, and automatic appearance shifting depending on the time of day - take a look at our tvOS 11 roundup for more information.
The other big software change is Apple's TV app, and the latest version will be available in the UK on Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad by the end of the year.
The app will include streaming content from a variety of channels, along with live sports coverage directly from within the app - though that's currently for US fans only, with no word on when it might come to the UK.
You'll also be able to use the TV to view photos and videos on your TV screen, listen to music through Apple Music, connect to multiple AirPlay 2-compatible speakers, and use it as a hub for all of your smart HomeKit gear.