Apple used its spring 2021 product launch event to announce the latest iteration of the Apple TV 4K featuring improved cinematic experiences including support of High Frame Rate HDR and a more powerful Siri remote.

The company said the second generation Apple TV 4K streaming media player is designed to integrate TV viewing with greater access to Apple services. The new Apple TV is priced at $179 for 32 gigabytes of storage, or $199 for 64 gigabytes. It’s available to pre-order on April 30, and will launch in the second half of May.

Supported features include 4K High Frame Rate HDR up to 120Hz, along with continued support for Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos sound. The expanded high frame rate capability will allow users to enjoy high frame rate video when and where available including in new streamed gaming titles.

For movie and program watching, Apple TV 4K continues to provide a large selection of streaming content options from services including Apple TV+, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+ and others along with live channels from Hulu, YouTube TV, and Sling TV.

Apple TV 4K Gen 2

The new Apple TV 4K is powered by the A12 Bionic CPU, which is said to speed up the experience and make the activities using the new remote even more satisfying.

The company said the Siri-Remote offers a new touch-enabled clickpad with 5-way navigation enabling “precise control” in clicking titles, swiping through playlists, or using “a circular gesture on the outer ring to find just the scene you’re looking for.”

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The re-designed remote also moves the Siri button to the side, resembling placement of the power button on an iPhone for Siri.

An intriguing new capability enabled by the device is what Apple called “automatic color balancing via iPhone.” This will enable using the light sensor in an iPhone to improve a TV’s color balance settings. The iPhone connects through the Apple TV 4K and takes readings off the TV screen through the internal camera and uses a promity sensor to guide the user with an onscreen target to measure the color balance accuracy of a television and make automatic adjustments.

The new Apple TV 4K runs tvOS 14, powered by the A12 Bionic system-on-chip, which Apple has previously used in the iPad Pro. The upgrade from the former A10X processor is said to enable more powerful “console-like” online gaming using services such as the subscription-based Apple Arcade.

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By Greg Tarr

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