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Thursday, 12 October 2017 | MYT 8:00 AM

Higher resolution at no extra cost: The new Apple TV 4K

Apple's new streaming television box, the Apple TV 4K, supports content in 4K HDR resolution and also drives down the cost of that content.

4K resolution offers four times as many pixels as HD content, while HDR (high dynamic range) offers a wider range of colours. Apple's new box supports both HDR standards, namely HDR10 and Dolby Vision.

Modern TVs have long been able to display ultra-HD with around 8 million pixels, but the actual content has been lacking. Another factor holding back demand for 4K movies and TV has been the higher price to buy or rent them.

However, Apple is now offering 4K content at no extra cost compared to the HD versions. The iTunes Movie app offers around 120 4K movies. So far, there are no 4K TV series available.

Movies already purchased in HD in iTunes will also be upgraded to 4K for free once those versions become available.

Apple promises to expand the stock of 4K movies on an ongoing basis. However, at least initially, iTunes won't be able to offer any 4K movies from the Disney empire - presumably because the US company, which owns Pixar, Lucas Films and Marvel, is planning its own 4K streaming offer.

An Amazon Prime Video app is coming later in the year and Netflix also runs on the box in 4K HDR.

Like its predecessor, Apple TV 4K can be operated via Siri voice command. For example, you could say, "Show me all 4K movies."

The box has been upgraded with a gigabit ethernet connection. A wireless WLAN can now use the 2.4 and 5 GHz frequency bands simultaneously, assuming the router conforms to the ac standard.

Little has changed about the remote control that comes with the box, even though the original was harshly criticised by users. The menu button is now surrounded by a white ring to make it more visible. The box can also be controlled via an iPhone app.

The Apple TV 4K costs €199 (RM990) with 32GB of memory and €219 (RM1,090) with 64GB of memory.

Overall, the device offers a future-proof solution for 4K streaming and offers better value for money than other suppliers of ultra-HD content. — dpa