Apple announces new 4th-gen Apple TV box

Tim Cook announced the new Apple TV saying: "The future of television is apps."

The new box promises "powerful hardware" complete with an A8 processor and Apple's brand new tvOS operating system, based on iOS.

Voice and gesture control feature heavily in the user experience, and both revolve around a new Siri Remote which boasts a glass, touch-sensitive surface and built-in gyroscope and accelerometer.

Press the Siri button and you can filter searches based on your personal preferences. The new Apple TV will search for content on iTunes and other apps such as Netflix and show you where it's available.

MORE: Apple TV hands-on review

The Siri Remote operates via Bluetooth so you won't require line of sight to use it, while Apple claims a single charge (via its Lightning connector) should be good for three months use.

Apple Music is on board too, giving you full access to your music library as well as Apple's Beats 1 radio station.

Apple TV also includes high-def, active screen savers. Video clips move in slow motion and Apple TV swaps between bright and dark scenes depending on what time of day you're viewing.

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However, there's no support for 4K video unlike on the new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, and no indication you'll be able to stream Netflix's 4K content through their app.

tvOS is Apple's new operating system, based on iOS, and made to make it easy for developers to create new apps for the "big screen". Netflix, HBO and Hulu were all trailed at the Apple launch event, as well as a number of games, including some previously console-only games.

Apple has removed the optical output which existed on the previous version so you're now limited to HDMI and ethernet. Connect via HDMI and you'll be able to turn on your TV and cinema system via the Siri Remote.

The new Apple TV does now support Dolby Digital 7.1 via the audio output, an upgrade from 5.1 on the old box.

Apple's new TV box will be available in two versions, 32GB (£129/$149) and 64GB (£169/$199), and will go on sale in late October.

See our Apple TV (3rd-gen) review

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Andy Madden

Andy is Deputy Editor of What Hi-Fi? and a consumer electronics journalist with nearly 20 years of experience writing news, reviews and features. Over the years he's also contributed to a number of other outlets, including The Sunday Times, the BBC, Stuff, and BA High Life Magazine. Premium wireless earbuds are his passion but he's also keen on car tech and in-car audio systems and can often be found cruising the countryside testing the latest set-ups. In his spare time Andy is a keen golfer and gamer.