Before I go any further, you should know that this article represents just one-half of the apple tv 4k review story. A companion piece will be coming soon that details 13 good reasons why you should think twice before handing over your cash for Apple’s new box of TV tricks.
Apple TV 4K Review: 13 Reasons You Should Buy One
That said, the Apple TV 4K (available in $179/£199 and $199/£199 versions) is undoubtedly a much more interesting device than its predecessor.
Launched almost exactly two years ago, that predecessor instantly felt behind the TV technology curve, despite some worthy interface innovations. This time round Apple has addressed many of its predecessor’s technical limitations – though, as I’ll cover in the upcoming 13 Reasons You Shouldn’t Buy An Apple TV 4K article, the way it implements its new technologies is at times problematic to say the least.
Without further ado, though, let’s get on with exploring the Apple TV 4K’s much-improved good side.
1) It supports 4K
The inability of the previous Apple TV to handle 4K-resolution video was a big problem. Even back in 2015 many households around the world already owned TVs that supported 4K, with its four-times-HD pixel count. It was clear then, too, that sales of 4K TVs were about to explode – especially as it was already becoming hard to buy a new big-screen TV that didn’t have a 4K resolution.
It would, therefore, have been borderline unthinkable for Apple not to provide 4K support this time – and fortunately, the brand hasn’t let us down. In fact, it’s even put 4K in the new Apple TV’s name!
The 4K support covers the v.2.0a HDMI output, its video processing power (which includes a controversial upscaling system for turning non-4K sources into 4K) and a pretty extensive selection of content providers. I’ll be talking about these later in this article.
2) It supports High Dynamic Range.
In case you haven’t heard of it before, high dynamic range (HDR) picture technology allows a TV to produce pictures that contain a much wider range of light from their darkest to their brightest parts, giving you much punchier images that more closely resemble the way your eyes see the real world. And unlike the previous Apple TV, Apple TV 4K supports it.
This is actually at least as important as the new Apple TV’s support for 4K, since despite being a relatively new kid on the technology block, it’s
already become a feature that AV fans love and are coming to expect as a standard partner for 4K on both content and hardware apple tv 4k review.
HDR’s impact on picture quality can be truly transformative – provided, at least, that it’s handled well by both the content created on it and the hardware delivering it.
Again, Apple’s HDR support extends to a number of content providers and is comprehensively handled through Apple TV 4K’s A10X processing chip. The HDR support is not currently exhaustive, though, as we’ll see in the upcoming companion ‘negatives’ article.