Apple debuts Apple TV 4K with improved remote, color balancing feature

Daniel Howley
·Technology Editor
·2-min read

Apple (AAPL) on Tuesday debuted an updated version of its Apple TV streaming box, the Apple TV 4K. The latest version of the Apple TV gets an upgraded processor in the form of Apple's A12 Bionic chip, the same chip found in the company's iPhone XS. The update means you'll be able to stream 4K, HDR content with frame rates as high as 60 frames per second.

The base Apple TV 4K starts at $179 with 32GB or storage, while a version with 64GB of storage will cost $199. Both will be available in the second half of May.

Apple's new Apple TV 4K gets an upgraded remote and color balancing capabilities. (Image: Apple)
Apple's new Apple TV 4K gets an upgraded remote and color balancing capabilities. (Image: Apple)

Outside of more powerful processors, the boxes sport two major improvements: a far better looking Siri remote, and the ability to easily color balance your TV without having to dive into your set's settings.

The new Siri remote does away with the old remote's touchpad in favor of a new circular clickpad with a touch-sensitive middle portion that allows you to quickly swipe through long lists of shows. The remote can also now control the power for your entire television, and features a dedicated Siri button on its side.

In addition to the new Apple TV 4K, Apple announced an all-new iMac powered by the company's M1 chip, two new iPad Pros with M1 chips, and Apple's first AirTag tracking device.

The most impressive feature

The most impressive new feature of the update Apple TV 4K, however, might be its slick color balancing capabilities. Rather than having to eyeball your Apple TV 4K's color balance, Apple will now more or less automate the process via your iPhone.

Similar to setting up a new Apple Watch, the Apple TV 4K will display a unique signature on your TV in the shape of an iPhone. By placing your iPhone in front of the signature, your iPhone's camera will read the screen and tell the Apple TV how to adjust its colors.

Apple says the result will deliver more accurate colors and better contrast without having to mess with your TV's settings.

At $179, though, the Apple TV 4K is still far more expensive than Roku (ROKU) or Amazon's (AMZN) streaming boxes. What's more, with Apple TV+ available on more devices, owning an Apple TV seems almost unnecessary unless you're truly wedded to accessing the streaming box's TVOS-specific apps.

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