Most viewers tuned into Apple's event at the Steve Jobs Theater inside the company's new headquarters looking for information about the latest iPhone, or perhaps the third version of the Apple Watch. The fruit-flavored computer company showed off the Apple TV 4K between those products this morning. As one might expect from a streaming box in 2017, most of the attention was on the new device's ability to play back 4K video with high dynamic range color (HDR).
The Apple TV 4K supports both the Dolby Vision and HDR10 standards. The newfound playback capabilities are powered by Apple's proprietary A10X Fusion chip plucked from the recently-updated iPad Pro. The company claims the Apple TV 4K has double the CPU grunt and four times the graphics horsepower of its forebear. The SoC is paired with 3 GB of system memory and either 32 GB or 64 GB of local storage.
Apple also announced that high-resolution 4K movies from its iTunes stores will carry no premium over the existing 1080p content. Furthermore, titles already purchased through iTunes will automatically be upgraded to 4K as they become available. Apple's spokesperson also said that 4K content will be available from third parties, including Amazon.
The Apple TV app for iPhones and iPads will be available outside of the United States for the first time. Availability will expand to Australia and Canada first, and four more countries will follow before the end of the year. Apple announced partnerships with content outlets in multiple countries for regionalized content in the app's new homes.
The presentation also highlighted the Apple TV 4K's ability to go beyond streaming movies and TV shows. The box will be able to display the score and remaining time of sports games as part of its "Watch Now" presentation of currently-available content. A representative from Thatgamecompany (developer of flOw, Flower, and Journey) stepped on stage briefly to highlights its upcoming iOS-exclusive game Sky, which will be playable on the new Apple TV 4K through its support of Apple's Metal 2 3D graphics API.
The Apple TV 4K with 32 GB of storage will cost $179 and a version with 64 GB of space will go on sale for $199. Pre-orders begin on September 15 and shipments start on September 22.
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