Bottom line: The new Apple TV 4K features several improvements, including a more-modern A15 Bionic chipset, a Siri remote that charges through USB-C instead of Lightning, and support for HDR10+. Unfortunately, support for DTS audio codecs is still missing, with Dolby alternatives, including Dolby Atmos, being the only options.
Apple just announced its 3rd generation Apple TV 4K digital media player with better internals, more storage, and, surprisingly, lower pricing. It also adds support for HDR10+, meaning that it now supports both major formats for delivering dynamic metadata HDR content (most TVs support either Dolby Vision or HDR10+).
The new Apple TV 4K is available in two configurations. A Wi-Fi-only model comes with 64 GB of storage. A higher-end variant adds a Gigabit Ethernet port, has 128 GB of storage, and supports the Thread mesh networking protocol. The latter allows users to easily connect and control HomeKit and third-party smart home products (with support for the Matter standard) from the Apple TV.
Both models feature Apple's A15 Bionic, a chip that debuted in the iPhone 13 lineup. The company claims CPU performance is up 50 percent compared to the A12 found in the previous-gen Apple TV 4K, while GPU performance sees a 30 percent bump. The A15 still gives chipsets found in today's flagship Android handsets a run for their money, so playing games on the new Apple TV shouldn't be a problem.
Another welcome change is that Apple's third-gen Siri remote now uses a USB-C port for charging instead of Lightning. It is compatible with all previous generations of the Apple TV 4K and the Apple TV HD from 2015. The new remote comes packaged with Apple TV 4K, but it is available separately for $59.
The new Apple TV 4K ships on November 4, but users can preorder it today. Pricing ranges from $129 for the 64 GB Wi-Fi-only model to $149 for the 128 GB Wi-Fi + Ethernet variant. These prices are a pleasant surprise, considering last year's model came in at $179 for just 32 GB of storage.