Apple debuts more powerful and more affordable Apple TV 4K device

Mike Wheatley

Apple has announced a newer, cheaper and more powerful version of the Apple TV 4K. On the face of it, the new edition of the company’s streaming box looks quite similar to the device that launched this time last year, with the same Siri remote control that can be used to navigate the same tvOS 16 operating system.


However, under the hood users will be treated to a more powerful processor than last year’s model, with an upgrade to the A15 Bionic chip that debuted with the iPhone 13 in 2021. That chip also powers the latest iPhone14, and so it’s quite a novel thing for it to arrive in an Apple TV device. Generally, Apple’s TV offerings have always used older hardware. For instance, the 2021 Apple TV 4K is powered by the A12 Bionic chip that launched way back in 2018 with the iPhone X.

According to Apple, the new A15 Bionic will ensure greater responsiveness, faster navigation and snappier UI animations on the updated Apple TV 4K. The company also promises a 30% increase in terms of GPU performance, resulting in smoother gameplay when using the device to play video games. That could be indicative of a more gaming-focused future for the Apple TV, though time will tell.

As for those who already feel the existing Apple TV 4K is fast enough and don’t intend to play many games, there is another benefit. Apple said the new model uses “nearly 30% less power” than the previous generation device. This increased energy efficiency also negates the need for an internal fan to keep the device cool. As a result, the new device is 4mm shorter, making it ever so slightly more compact.

Movie aficionados may also appreciate the addition of HDR10+ support. Similar to Dolby Vision, HDR10+ relies on dynamic metadata to provide better contrast and colour on a scene-by-scene basis, as opposed to the static HDR10 and HLG formats. Of course, HDR10+ content is much less common than Dolby Vision materials, but it is the premium HDR format of choice for Amazon Prime Video, so it’s an update that should be well received by anyone subscribing to that video streaming service. HDR10+ is also the only premium HDR format supported by Samsung’s TVs.

Apple said the new Apple TV 4K is available to buy now, with delivery expected on November 4. It’s priced at £149 in the U.K. and $129 in the U.S. for the 64GB version, which makes it substantially cheaper than the starting price of last year’s device, which went on sale at £169 and $179 last year. For the 128GB version, you can expect to pay £169 ($149). Note that last year, buyers had a choice of 32GB and 64GB options, so increased storage space is another improvement.

We should point out though that the 64GB version only supports WiFi connectivity, whereas the 128GB model adds an ethernet port. Last year, both the 32GB and the 64GB devices supported ethernet, so this restriction may be a disappointment for those who don’t intend to use the device to play games. Movie streaming doesn’t require storage, after all, but can benefit from the ethernet connection to provide a smoother streaming experience.

One last tidbit is that the remote control, though it looks exactly the same, now comes with a USB-C port for charging rather than the Lightning connection. The remote comes with the box for free, and can also be purchased separately for $59 in the U.S. It’s said to be compatible with all previous generations of the Apple TV, including the older Apple TV 4K and the even older Apple TV HD.