Apple announced today that they are coming out with a new version of their Apple TV set top box, one that will play 4k video and video with HDR (High Dynamic Range) as seen on Ultra High Definition Blu-ray. This was a necessary step, as Apple has fallen behind many of their competitors, including Amazon, Nvidia and Roku, who have already introduced set top boxes with these capabilities.
Though 4K video is not the dominant form yet, there are streaming services that provide this high quality material already, including Netflix, which has over 100 titles to choose from. You will need a screen capable of 4K resolution to take advantage of the new Apple TV, of course, but those are also becoming more common.
Apple also seems to be interested in making 4K content themselves, as they have set aside 1 billion dollars in its creative content initiative for 2018. This content may be exclusive to the Apple TV, which wouldn’t be surprising, since Apple is notorious for making closed systems where they control content. Apple was in talks with major studios earlier this year, hoping to sell UHD movie streaming rights on Apple TV for $20 a shot, but the movie studios have been pushing for a higher price, closer to $30, and this is still up in the air.
New, faster hardware in this latest edition of the Apple TV will make gaming a possibility as well, and Apple demoed a game called Sky in their presentation, made by thatgamecompany. Yes, that’s their name.
Price for the Apple TV is unexpectedly reasonable, given the source, at $179. Orders will begin September 15, and they will start shipping out on September 22.
You can read more on the story at Ars Technica.