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Perfect for iPhone users: the new Apple TV 4K has a lot in the box

Perfect for iPhone users: the new Apple TV 4K has a lot in the box

Perfect for iPhone users
The new Apple TV 4K has a lot in the box

By Klaus Wedekind

If you have a more modern TV, you usually don’t need a streaming box for Netflix & Co. The new Apple TV is no exception, but thanks to its high level of comfort and a few extras, it’s a very entertaining option. especially for die-hard Apple users.

Not too long ago, external streaming devices were coveted accessories for TVs that weren’t so smart. In 2015, for example, the in-house Fire TV Stick was the best-selling product on Amazon.de. But Apple was in the streaming business long before, with the first Apple TV being introduced in 2007.

15 years later, the third generation with 4K resolution has been released and the demands have changed. Most modern televisions no longer require a set-top box for Netflix & Co. But the new Apple TV 4K has a few extras in store, especially for convinced Apple users, as the ntv.de practical test showed.

smaller but stronger

Apple has left the design unchanged, but the small jet-black case has become a bit more compact at 9.3 x 9.3 x 3.1 millimeters. The aluminum-cased remote with black buttons is much sleeker, and in the new edition it charges via a USB-C socket instead of a Lightning connection.

The remote control with Siri button.

(Photo: Apple)

But you don’t have to use them. You can replace it with an iPhone or iPad and in the test, the Apple TV 4K immediately accepted the Samsung TV remote without further comparison.

If you like to talk to Siri for control and search, you prefer to use the aluminum Apple, which has an additional button for the digital assistant on the right side. After an update, Siri should be able to recognize the voices of different users and adjust its results and suggestions accordingly.

Excellent photo

What you can’t see: An A15 chip is now at work inside, and in addition to Dolby Vision, the device now also supports HDR10+. This makes it more interesting than its predecessor, especially for Samsung televisions, since the Korean manufacturer relies on this HDR standard.

Basically, the new Apple TV delivers a great picture on 4K screens, even if it’s only displayed in simple HDR10. There are no jerks or bobs, everything looks wonderfully fluid and jagged. Streaming apps also work much faster than on the TV used in the test.

For best results, you can have the image automatically adjust for content and dynamic range. iPhone owners can also use their smartphone to perform color matching with the True Depth Camera. An upcoming update should also allow the box to automatically adapt to changing frame rates without the screen briefly going black. However, so far no TV has mastered the so-called QMS VRR.

exceptional tone

The Apple TV 4K also offers excellent performance in terms of sound. Master all current standards, including Dolby Atmos. In testing, the set-top box demonstrated that with the Sonos Beam 2 soundbar in a surround network with two Sonos One speakers and a Sonos Sub Mini. In addition, Sennheiser’s new Ambeo top soundbar (review below) was able to demonstrate its Atmos qualities with the device.

apple-tv-4k-ports-with-ethernet-221018.jpg

The more expensive variant has a Gigabit Ethernet port.

(Photo: Apple)

Apple users can connect two Homepod mini as a stereo pair, and of course, Apple headphones connect in no time. With compatible Airpods, it’s also possible with 3D audio to adjust the sound so that it also appears to come from the direction of the TV when you turn your head.

Soundbars with 3D sound capability may be a good reason to buy a new Apple TV 4K. Because Dolby Atmos requires HDMI 2.1 (eARC) connections, which only very modern TVs have. However, with an HDMI switch, it is possible to route sound directly from the decoder to the speaker.

playing with controllers

The A15 chip can show its strength especially in games from Apple’s Arcade range. An Xbox or Playstation controller can be easily attached, so you don’t have to mess around with the remote. The Apple TV 4K can’t keep up with the consoles, but there are some very good games in the portfolio, especially for kids.

The set-top box has other benefits for Apple users: It can control HomeKit devices in the networked home, conjure up iCloud photos on the screen, or show Apple Fitness+ workout videos.

So there are some good reasons for Apple users to choose the new Apple TV 4K. However, the fun is quite expensive. The standard model with 64 gigabytes (GB) of memory costs 169 euros. For 20 euros more you get a device with 128 GB and an additional gigabit LAN connection. This variant also supports threaded networks and the cross-platform smart home standard. affair.