Ambushed between the launches of the iMac 2021 and the iPad Pro 2021, we have the new sixth generation Apple TV 4K. A digital decoder which after almost six years is finally renewed and it brings many improvements. One of the executives responsible for creating it spoke in an interview about what it means, what’s to come in home audio, and the path to the new Siri remote.
EARC audio output from TV to HomePod
Tim Twerdahl, Apple’s vice president of audio and home product marketing, sat down for an interview on Canadian website MobileSyrup. In She talks about how did you get to this Apple TV 4K and what that entails, as well as other details. Among them it refers to the latest beta of tvOS 14.7 and a very cool feature:
We’re excited about HDMI 2.1 for other reasons. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but we just released a beta with eARC and the ability to have other audio sources connected to your TV to use Apple TV and stream to HomePods and we’re committed to creating great home audio products. We are excited about this aspect of HDMI 2.1.
There is a lot to unravel in this paragraph. The HDMI 2.1 eARC standard provides access to Dolby Atmos and DTS X formats, where the first is the one the company uses as the new Apple Music format. The standard was introduced last year and the first compatible products are already starting to be found.
Thanks to HDMI 2.1, we will be able to transmit the sound coming from the TV to the HomePod via the Apple TV. Whatever its origin and as long as we use a TV with eARC or ARC, an HDMI 2.1 cable and this Apple TV model
The new Siri remote and other home audio products
Twerdahl also mentions that Apple is engaged in launch new home audio products. It’s a vague statement, but one that gives us hope for those of us hoping to see a worthy successor to the original HomePod. This speaker was discontinued over two months ago, but it is still on sale as it is still in stock.
The mention of new home sound products coincides with that of HDMI 2.1, so they could be related. But, as we know, the HomePod doesn’t have any type of audio input or output, so a new model should integrate it
Regarding the Siri Remote, Twerdahl points out one point to consider: how our use of Apple TV has changed over the years. According to the executive, this digital decoder it is also distributed among television providers, which in turn stream live content. For on-demand content, the pause button has the same effect as mute. However, this does not happen when watching live content.
For example, we now have a button for everything. They also added a power button to be able to do everything with one command. And finally, they confirm that the four-way cross member with the accept button is the number of users who have become accustomed to using their TV. So they also added it with its touch sensor.