Apple TV 4K 2022 to gain HDMI 2.1 QMS benefits

Mike Wheatley

The soon-to-be-released Apple TV 4K 2022 will add support for HDMI 2.1 QMS compatibility via an update to the tvOS platform later in the year.


A report in The Verge has revealed that there’s “another bit of future-proofing” coming to the new Apple TV 4K with the addition of a new feature known as QMS VRR.

HDMI 2.1 QMS is similar to the Variable Refresh Rate capability found on most new premium TVs. However, it’s not quite the same thing. According to the HDMI organization, Quick Media Switching for movies and video games uses the HDMI VRR mechanism to eliminate blackout periods when an HDMI source device switches its video mode. So long as the resolution remains the same and only the frame rate changes, it means QMS can instantly switch frame rates without any visible impact.

By pairing HDMI 2.1 QMS with the Match Frame Rate function, the Apple TV 4K will be able to seamlessly match frame rates for output in 23.976Hz, 24.00Hz, 50Hz, 60Hz and so on, without any black screen or picture interruption being seen on screen.

The graphic below, provided by the HDMI Organization, illustrates the impact of HDMI 2.1 QMS:


According to The Verge, QMS will not eliminate the blackout when switching between dynamic range modes such as HDR10, HDR10+ or Dolby Vision. It’s also not clear if the earlier version of the Apple TV 4K will get the HDMI 2.1 QMS upgrade.

The new Apple TV 4K was announced last month. It’s an exciting upgrade because it’s a cheaper and more powerful version of the existing Apple TV 4K 2021 that comes with the advanced A15 Bionic chip, which first appeared in the iPhone 13 in 2021. It’s the same chip that powers the Apple iPhone 14, but it’s quite novel to see it in an Apple TV device. Generally, Apple’s TV products have always used older processors. For instance, the 2021 Apple TV 4K is powered by the A12 Bionic chip that first debuted in 2018.

The new Apple TV 4K is also said to be 30% more energy efficient and has no need for an internal fan to keep it cool. That means it’s also slightly more compact. Another benefit is the addition of HDR10+ support, alongside the existing support for Dolby Vision.

Perhaps the best thing about the Apple TV 4K 2022 is the price tag. Apple said the 64GB version will go on sale for £149 in the U.K., with the 128GB model starting at £169. It’ll hit the shops on November 4, so there’s not long to wait.

Apple hasn’t said exactly when the HDMI 2.1 QMS update will arrive, but the promise to deliver it later this year suggests it might be seen in the tvOS 16.2 update that’s expected to roll out next month.