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Apple introduces Siri Remote and Apple 4K TV refresh
After nearly four years, the Apple TV 4K finally gets a refresh.
It’s been a long wait for Apple TV fans. After nearly four years and some stiff competition in the streaming device space, Apple has finally unveiled the next generation of Apple TV 4K and a revamped Siri Remote. Powered by Apple’s A12 Bionic chip (found in the iPhone X range, 2019/2020 iPads and more), the new Apple TV 4K is capable of delivering high frame rate (60fps) HDR (High Dynamic Range) and Dolby Vision content from supported streaming services like FOX Sports, NBCUniversal, and Paramount Plus. The added benefit of the A12 chip is that the new Apple TV 4K can also play a full 60fps Dolby Vision video recorded with the iPhone 12 via AirPlay. Alongside the new Apple TV 4K device, Apple announced a new way for every Apple TV owner to improve the colour balance on their TV, which involves using the light sensor in the iPhone to measure the TV’s current balance so the Apple TV can calibrate its settings for the best picture quality possible.
It’s not the Apple TV/HomePod hybrid that’s rumoured to be in development but it’s still a significant upgrade for the ageing hardware.
The other big highlight from the new Apple TV 4K reveal was the revamped Siri Remote for Apple TV. In a bid to improve one of Apple’s most maligned products (even Apple fans hate the TV remote), the redesigned Siri Remote comes with several upgrades, such as a power button to turn your TV on and off, a dedicated mute button, and a side-mounted Siri/voice control button. The click-pad has also been upgraded with five-way navigation and an outer ring for circular jog controls.
Many Apple users were hoping the $899 they spent on AirPods Max would be put to good use if the new Apple TV 4K supported Spatial Audio but there’s no mention of the technology anywhere in the press release or on Apple’s website.
How much does the new Apple TV 4K cost in Australia?
The 2021 Apple TV 4K with Siri Remote is available from $249 with 32GB of storage and $279 with 64GB of storage on Apple's website. That's the exact same price that Apple currently charges for the 2017 Apple TV 4K.
Both storage options come with the new Siri Remote, but it too can be purchased separately for $79 and is compatible with older Apple TV devices.
The one-for-one pricing across generations is welcome but it's still a lot more expensive than the $99 Chromecast with Google TV, which is easily the most versatile streaming device on the market.