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Apple TV 4K Finally Gets Refresh

Apple TV 4K
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple used its spring product refresh Tuesday to unveil the first update of its Apple TV 4K device since September 2017.

The OTT gadget is based on Apple silicon-- the company's own A12 Bionic semiconductor, a 64-bit ARM-based system on a chip that also powers the tech giant's iPhones and iPads. This gives the device the power to become a hub for extracurricular services like Apple Arcade. 

The powerful chip also enables the device to support advanced display standards, including 4K/HDR video at higher frame rates, as well as 60 frames-per-second Dolby Vision playback over AirPlay from a compatible iPhone. 

It's still the most pricey OTT device on the market--the iteration with 32 gigabytes of native storage retails for $180, while the 64 GB version sells for $200.

Apple said it will begin selling the device in mid-May, but it's taking pre-orders starting April 30. 

What's Upgraded

The legacy Apple TV 4K has been Apple's flagship connected TV device for the last four years. It also supports HDR, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos sound codecs. However, the older device doesn't support 120Hz refresh rates, giving the upgrade an advantage for video-gaming. 

The biggest improvement for the sixth-generation of Apple TV is perhaps the redesigned remote control. The new iteration is more robust in profile and includes a five-way touch controller vs. the legacy model's unpopular swipe pad. It also includes a dedicated on/off button for the TV, and the Siri search button has been moved to the side of the remote, accessible by thumb. 

Notably, Apple is selling its legacy Apple TV HD device, with the redesigned remote, for $150. Apple is also selling the remote as a separate accessory for $60. It's not only compatible with Apple TV HD, but the older Apple TV 4K.