Apple has announced an upgraded model for their Apple TV hardware. This makes the second upgrade since Apple revived the hardware in Fall 2015 as a combo streaming box, HomeKit hub and mini gaming console.
The first major upgrade is 4k support. This is really no shock given that Apple announced in June that they were going to be supporting h.265 across all devices and uses with iOS 11 etc. Facetime has been using h.265 for a good year because it allows for keeping quality while reducing file sizes but the codec can also be used for increasing quality while keeping file sizes nearly the same, a situation ideal for supporting 4k.
Alongside the increased pixel count for 4k, the Apple TV will also support HDR and Dolby Vision. HDR, or High Dynamic Range, allows for better color quality for images, giving them better saturation of color. HDR also creates more contrast and a higher level of detail. And if anyone has seen a movie recently at a theatre that supports Dolby Vision, you’ve already seem the pure blacks that come from that added support.
Probably the coolest part of the announcement was that Apple would be making 4K versions of previous purchases available at no additional cost as they become available and that 4K movies would not have a bump in price over the 1080p HD. For someone that buys a lot of digital movies, this is huge. Hopefully TV shows will also support 4K with the same pricing scheme. Services that support 4K HDR like Netflix and Amazon Prime will also support Apple TV,
Other enhancements to the Apple TV include additional countries for the TV App and Live Sports support.