With no fanfare whatsoever, Apple has announced a new version of the Apple TV 4K. Perhaps the subdued nature of the launch reflects the fairly subtle nature of the hardware upgrade. As you can probably tell from the image above, the design of the new Apple TV is more or less identical to that of last year's model, and it comes with essentially the same Siri remote (USB-C charging has been added), which navigates the same tvOS 16 operating system.
So what's changed? The headline is a processor upgrade to the A15 Bionic, which was introduced with last year's iPhone 13 and is actually still at the heart of the new iPhone 14. Having a chip that's just one year old is pretty big news for an Apple TV device – the 2021 Apple TV 4K's A12 Bionic launched with 2018's iPhone Xs, after all.
Apple says that the new chip results in "greater responsiveness, faster navigation, and snappier UI animations". Perhaps the apparent 30 per cent increase in GPU performance is more telling, though, as this results in smoother gameplay, potentially indicating a more game-focused future for the Apple TV.
Those of us who feel that the existing Apple TV is plenty fast enough in operation and who don't use it for gaming should still appreciate the apparent extra efficiency of the new model. Apple says it uses "nearly 30 per cent less power than the previous generation". Intriguingly, this increased efficiency means an internal fan is no longer necessary, so the slots on the bottom of last year's model have presumably gone. The new model is 4mm shorter as a result, too.
The bigger news for us AV fans, though, is the addition of support for HDR10+. Like Dolby Vision, HDR10+ uses dynamic metadata to offer better contrast and colours than 'static' HDR formats such as standard HDR10 and HLG. HDR10+ content is less widespread than Dolby Vision content, but it is the 'premium' HDR format of choice for Amazon Prime Video.
The new Apple TV 4K is available to order now, with deliveries starting on 4th November. Pricing starts at £149 / $129 / $219 – surprisingly lower than the £169 / $179 / AU$249 launch price of the 2021 model. That price gets you the model with 64GB of internal storage. The 128GB version will set you back £169 / $149 / AU$249.
Interestingly, the 64GB version is wi-fi only: only the 128GB model has an ethernet port (a Gigabit ethernet port, in fact). This seems a real shame. If you're into the Apple TV for movies rather than games, you don't need 128GB of storage, but you may well want the ethernet port for faster and smooth movie streaming.
For what it's worth, last year's Apple TV 4K had only 32GB and 64GB options, but both had ethernet ports.
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?
More new Apple products! Here's everything you need to know about the new iPad Pro 2022 and new iPad 2022