It has been more than three years since the Apple TV model with 4K resolution arrived on the market. It was a huge update not only for its higher resolution, but also for its support for HDR and, finally, Dolby Atmos sound.
Since then, user wishes have focused more on platform and content improvements and not so much on the device itself. Apple also launched Apple Arcade, giving us hope that Apple TV could become a gaming platform.
This fact has circulated rumors that Apple may have launched an Apple TV with more powerful hardware to cope with the advanced graphics of titles with a larger entity.
So if you’ve been waiting for the arrival of an Apple TV similar to a video game console, be prepared for disappointment. Other than a few small changes and a new remote, nothing is new.
Should you then buy a new one? It’s still a good option, but if you already own the previous generation of Apple TV, you’re unlikely to find a sufficient reason to upgrade.
When the biggest novelty in a new Apple product is the remote, you know there’s a problem. Many complained that the old controller had poor ergonomics, as well as difficult navigation and unintuitive buttons.
In this way, Apple has renewed the device with a new control with aluminum finishes, which is more similar if possible to the design of the Apple TV and many remotes that we have in the homes of other devices.
It has also become bigger and especially thicker, which has its positive side since it fits better in the hand. The touchscreen has been replaced with a four-way control where you can click each one to scroll through lists and select.
In some ways, it’s much more intuitive and makes the previous edits back, so you can swipe in any direction to quickly flip through the lists.
For example, when playback is paused, you can rest your finger on the outer ring and then move it in a circle to fast forward and rewind movies or music. It’s smart and practical.
The menu button has been replaced with a back button, because that’s actually what it’s used for. The Siri button has been moved to the side. In addition, we have a mute button and a real on / off button. It is very easy to know which button to press.
It sounds good, but it can also be a trap. The new remote control no longer contains a gyroscope or accelerometer. This means that games you could roam in like Nintendo Wii will no longer work! This does not match Apple’s ambitions for Apple Arcade.
The other thing people might have hoped for with the remote is a way to locate it when it gets lost, especially now that we have the AirTags. We are currently unable to use the “Find” service to locate a lost remote.
However, such a feature might be in the works: if you ask Siri to locate the remote, it replies that “there is no Apple TV remote set up in your iCloud account”. Hope this is an upcoming feature.
Image, sound and functions
The other novelty of the 6th generation Apple TV is the improved video output – it has been updated to the modern HDMI 2.1 standard. This will allow you to watch videos in 4K and 8K resolution and at 120 hertz.
It’s a must-have for action games and it was another clue behind Apple’s game plans. But before we get too excited, once we read the specs, we found out that the “high frame rate” Apple advertises is that HDR video can be played at 60 hertz.
Previously it was just SDR video. It is true that it will be great to be able to enjoy HDR videos shot with new iPhones, but compared to what you would expect, it is once again a small disappointment.
The only thing that improves the picture quality is the ability to set the color balance with your iPhone. The process is really simple. Simply enable the feature in your iPhone X or newer settings and then place it in front of your TV screen.
IPhone uses its light sensor to determine if the displayed color matches the color you want. Then, it generates a color profile that allows your Apple TV to compensate for errors in the color reproduction of the screen.
It’s an easy way to get better picture quality on improperly configured TVs. However, since this is a feature of tvOS 14.5, you will be able to perform the same trick for the previous generation Apple TV.
From a sound perspective, nothing new has happened here since tvOS 12 in 2018, when we had Dolby Atmos. It should be noted that Apple TV has supported Dolby Atmos for some time, with Dolby Atmos being one of the newcomers to Apple Music.
What Apple also mentions in passing, but deserves a little more attention, is that Apple TV is now a more competent basic device for the smart home. It has worked as a great HomeKit hub before.
But now it supports Thread, the new open standard for “Internet of Things”. It is a low-power mesh network that allows devices from different manufacturers to collaborate and extend wireless range.
The performance over the wired network is the same as before, but the wireless connection has now been upgraded to Wi-Fi 6. This makes it more suitable for homes with heavily saturated wireless networks and many home devices. . It also coexists better with multiple video streams on the network.
Inside, the older Apple A10X Fusion chipset (the same as the 2017 iPad Pro) has been upgraded to the Apple A12 Bionic (the same as the 2018 iPhone XS). But that’s not something to write home about, as it’s something old, implying that compute performance has increased to 2018 levels.
Since there are no benchmark apps on Apple TV, we selected our iPad Pro 2017 and iPhone XS reviews. It turns out that the power increased from 24% to 34%, but the graphics performance decreased from 22% to 29% according to our tests!
In this way, we get into speculation as to why Apple did this. It is pretty obvious that it is not, and that it was not intended to be an exemplary version. The date for the next gaming-centric model has likely been pushed back.
Meanwhile, the previous model had become surprisingly obsolete for the times we live in. This seems to be logical reasons why Apple wanted to launch a transition model.
Probably for logistical reasons, Apple wanted to stop the production of the old A10X chip and connect the A12 Bionic, more energy efficient, and take the opportunity to update it with new standards.
This is where the new HDMI wireless network, Wi-Fi 6, as well as Thread support in HomeKit come in. It will be the new version of the most basic Apple TV for those who don’t want to. buy a higher model that thinks it supports the games.
In the absence of a higher potential model, it became Apple’s budget model and, to be fair, it looks like it would have been better to take it out of the store without prominent ads to avoid disappointment.
the Apple TV 4K 2021 it is essentially a repetition of what has been seen before. There’s nothing really new compared to the 2017 Apple TV 4K, so if you’re planning on upgrading from that, we don’t recommend it.
Even if you are upgrading from an older Apple TV model, it’s a tough sell, partly because we think something better is coming and partly because you really don’t. need an Apple TV these days, as many TVs offer support for AirPlay and the Apple TV app.
Original article published in igamesnews Sweden.
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