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Apple TV 4K (2022) vs Apple TV 4K (2021): What are the key differences?

Apple TV 4K (2022) vs Apple TV 4K (2021): The tvOS set top box looks the same, but are the big internal improvements worthy of an upgrade?

The look of the Apple TV set-top box hasn’t changed much in about seven years. The hockey puck has gotten a little meatier, and the Siri Remote has undergone a series of big changes.

However, while this year’s model offers an identical design to the Apple TV 4K (2021) – save one small but important change to the Siri Remote – there are major differences inside. Let’s explore them.

The Siri Remote has an important change

As with recent iPad models and future iPhones, Apple has ditched the Lightning port for the Apple TV 4K (2022) Siri Remote in favour of the now standard (soon to be legally standard) USB-C charging solution.

Unfortunately, according to reports, Apple isn’t gracing folks with a USB-C cable in the box. Most Apple users have plenty of Lightning cables already knocking about, so could get by without an additional cable. We’re not sure whether this is the case when it comes to USB-C.


What’s this? A price cut?!

We’ve heard so much about tech prices going up lately, we almost fell off our chairs when Apple told us the price of this year’s Apple TV 4K was actually going down by £20! The 64GB model is now £149, while the 128GB model with a Gigabit Ethernet port for wired connections is now £169.

It’s a fair cop though. The Apple TV range has always been a bit of an outlier price wise compared to rival devices from Amazon, Google, Roku and the rest. According to the noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the next device in the series will be even cheaper.

So do we wait for a more substantial update or dive in while the going’s good?

Apple TV 4K

HDR10+ joins Dolby Vision at the party

The current Apple TV 4K is Team Dolby Vision, when it comes to High Dynamic Range standards, but the new model adds the competing HDR10+ standard to the mix.

Is this a big deal? Dolby Vision itself is backwards compatible with the static HDR10 format. That means if you have a Dolby Vision compatible device, it can play HDR10 content.

However, HDR10+ adds dynamic metadata, can automatically adjust brightness, and achieve higher overall brightness. So, for content supporting HDR10+ rather than Dolby Vision, you’ll receive the benefits of both.

There are plenty of streaming services that do rely on HDR10+, such as Google Play Movies and TV, Hulu Originals, Paramount Plus and Prime Video – although the latter has decided to support Dolby Vision again very recently.

Here’s our what is HDR10+ explainer to help you determine how useful the addition should be.

The new model has a lot more power

The 2022 version of the popular tvOS box now runs on the A15 Bionic processor – a version of the powerful chip Apple uses in the 2021 iPhone 13 range.

It’s also a decent upgrade on the second-gen Apple TV 4K, which ran on the A12 Bionic processor. Apple says it’s up to 50% faster than the previous generation, which will result in snappier UI animations and more fluid gaming performance.

On that note, the GPU performance is also 30% faster than the previous generation. The whole package is also more energy efficient, which is great news for Apple Arcade subscribers.

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