New Apple TV 4K uses iPhone sensors to auto-calibrate and boost picture quality

Apple's new Apple 4K TV with A12 chip and high frame rate support
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has taken the wraps off its Apple TV 4K 2021. The latest version of Apple's video streamer includes a host of new features including high frame rate HDR support with Dolby Vision at 60 frames per second (including over AirPlay) and an all-new Siri Remote.

It's powered by a new chip, the A12 Bionic, which debuted in 2018's iPhone XS, XS Max and XR. Apple boldly claims using the A12 brings "a significant boost in graphics performance, video decoding, and audio processing" to the video streamer.

But the most eye-catching addition is a new colour balance feature that uses your iPhone's sensors to optimise the video output for your particular TV. More specifically, it uses the light sensor in the iPhone to compare the colour balance to "industry-standard specifications used by cinematographers worldwide". The Apple TV 4K then automatically tweaks its picture output to allegedly deliver more accurate colours and better contrast based on the measurements it takes from your TV.

It's certainly an interesting take on picture calibration, but we'll have to see it working in the flesh to decide whether Apple's method does actually make a difference and can actually improve picture quality.

Apple's Siri Remote has been overhauled and is all-new for the Apple TV 4K 2021. It features a new clickpad control with five-way navigation which is also touch-enabled so you can swipe your way through menus. The outer ring of the new clickpad also works as a jog wheel, so you can slide your thumb around the edge to skip through video content.

Finally, another new feature that's been added is the ability to use the remote to control your TV's power and volume.

If you already own an Apple TV 4K you can buy the new Siri Remote separately for £55. It also comes as standard with the Apple TV HD, also known as the fourth-generation Apple TV, which launched way back in 2015. This new combination costs £139 ($149, AU$209).

The 2021 Apple TV 4K is available in 32GB and 64GB variants for £169 ($179, AU$249) and £189 ($199, AU$279) respectively. You'll be able to pre-order from the 30th April, with the device going on sale during the second half of May.


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Read our Apple TV 4K review

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.