Along with the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, and the new Apple Watch Series 3, Apple also unveiled a new 4K and HDR-capable Apple TV during its keynote on Sept. 12.
The rumors were pretty spot on. The new Apple TV boasts 4K, HDR, Dolby Vision, and several internal upgrades. It was only a matter of time before Apple shifted to 4K from 1080p, especially when its competitors are far ahead in that department.
Why Apple's New Pricing Model For 4K Movies Is A Big Deal
But there were a couple of huge surprises. For one, Apple says it'll convert 1080p films already in a user's library to 4K — at no extra charge. Also, 4K films going forward will cost just as much as Full HD ones. Here's why those things are a big deal:
Firstly, the biggest problem with 4K is the availability of content. Netflix, for instance, has a subscription tier that offers 4K, but it's the most expensive out of all the options. Content is also sometimes scarce. For its part, Netflix has a trove of 4K content, but the list gets slimmer if one includes HDR.
With the new Apple TV 4K, the iTunes movie library will suddenly be teeming with 4K content. This is a big deal even for those who don't have 4K films yet but do own several HD movies. If they ever decide to get an Apple TV 4K, their movies will be upgraded automatically, which is a pretty fantastic incentive.
Their movies will suddenly look sharper, crisper, more vivid, and packed with so much detail. HDR will make movie-watching even better. Colors will pop and picture clarity will be through the roof. Overall, viewing movies in one's living room or bedroom will be much more immersive — for the price of a regular HD film, at that.
4K Is Still A Tough Sell, Though
That kind of pricing stands to make a huge difference. As Engadget notes, 4K is already a pretty tough sell, especially since most people are either fine with 1080p or doesn't see the benefit of shelling out extra just to get 4K content.
It doesn't solve the Apple TV's main problem, though. It's still pretty expensive compared with other streaming devices out there. Roku, by contrast, has decent ones that cost as low as $30. The new Apple TV starts at $179. But when one factors in Apple's new pricing model for 4K content, the set-top box certainly becomes slightly more attractive.
Apple TV 4K Pricing And Availability
Preorders for the Apple TV 4K begin Sept. 15. It will launch Sept. 22, retailing for $179 for the 32 GB model, $199 for the 64 GB model.