The new Apple TV 4K is getting an extra HDMI 2.1 feature (that you won't be able to use)

The Apple TV 4K is getting an extra HDMI 2.1 feature (that you won't be able to use)
(Image credit: Apple)

The good news: the new Apple TV 4K is getting a new feature! The bad news? It's a feature which isn't supported by any TV in the world.

The feature is called Quick Media Switching (QMS) and is enabled by an HDMI 2.1 socket. It's a derivative of Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), and uses VRR's mechanism to eliminate the brief period of black screen you get when switching between video modes. With QMS, as long as you're only switching frame rate and not resolution, the switch will be seamless with no blackout (or HDMI bonk, as it's also known).

But if you do switch between video modes (from HDR10+ to Dolby Vision HDR, for example), then it's the bonk for you.

QMS will arrive on the Apple TV 4K (2022) as part of a tvOS update later this year, according to reports (via flatpanelshd). As yet, no TV in existence supports QMS, so it's a bit pointless for now. But when sets do start supporting it, the Apple TV 4K will be ready.

The Google Chromecast with Google TV dongle also supports the feature. Talk about being ahead of the game.

Apple announced its latest Apple TV device a couple of weeks ago. It looks just like the previous model, and comes with the same Siri remote, but there are some subtle differences. The device has a more powerful processor, for one, which should open apps faster and help games run more smoothly.

The new model also adds HDR10+ to its feature set, to sit alongside Dolby Vision.

It's on sale now, with prices starting at £149 / $129 / $219.


Apple TV 4K (2022) vs Apple TV 4K (2021): should you upgrade?

How about last year's model? Here's our Apple TV 4K (2021) review

Can the new Apple TV justify its high price against the Chromecast with Google TV?

Joe Svetlik

Joe has been writing about tech for 17 years, first on staff at T3 magazine, then in a freelance capacity for Stuff, The Sunday Times Travel Magazine, Men's Health, GQ, The Mirror, Trusted Reviews, TechRadar and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include all things mobile, headphones and speakers that he can't justifying spending money on.