New Apple TV 4K Supports WiFi 6, Thread and HDMI 2.1

In addition to a new Siri Remote and a faster A12 processor, the refreshed Apple TV 4K that Apple announced today has a number of other notable hardware improvements.

Apple unveils the next gen of AppleTV4K 042021 big
The new ‌Apple TV‌ 4K is equipped with an HDMI 2.1 port instead of an HDMI 2.0a port, and it offers support for 4K 60 fps HDR video output. Code recently found in tvOS 14.5 suggested the new ‌Apple TV‌ could support 4K 120Hz output, but that does not appear to be the case.

Along with HDMI 2.1, the new ‌Apple TV‌ supports 802.11ax WiFi 6 with MIMO. Apple has been introducing WiFi 6 support in its newest devices, and WiFi 6 is the newest and fastest WiFi protocol available with improved speeds, expanded network capacity, lower latency, better power efficiency, and upgraded performance in locations with many smart home devices.

The ‌Apple TV‌ 4K is the second Apple device that has built-in Thread support, following the HomePod mini. Thread is a low-power networking technology that offers a secure, mesh-based system able to interface with other Thread-enabled smart home devices for improved connectivity.

Though not mentioned in the ‌Apple TV‌ specifications, the tvOS 14.5 beta suggests that the new ‌Apple TV‌ model supports eARC, which offers a bandwidth and speed boost for sending higher-quality audio from the TV to a soundbar or receiver.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Caution)

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Top Rated Comments

Force332 Avatar
41 months ago
Since I haven’t seen it promoted anywhere, I’m assuming the remote doesn’t have a U1 chip and work with Find My. I’m also assuming the new AppleTV doesn’t support Spatial Audio. Those both seemed like no-brainers to me. Swing and a miss. Especially at that price.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
snow755 Avatar
41 months ago

Don’t forget the new A12 CPU in it.
I wish that was A14X or M1 on A12 is not much of a upgrade over the A10X I think A12X would have been better
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mastercheif91 Avatar
41 months ago

Though not mentioned in the ‌Apple TV‌ specifications, the tvOS 14.5 beta suggests that the new ‌Apple TV‌ model supports eARC, which offers a bandwidth and speed boost for sending higher-quality audio from the TV to a soundbar or receiver.
What? This doesn't make any sense. "Source" devices like the AppleTV or a Blu Ray Player don't support ARC or eARC, it's a feature of the TV.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
connormw Avatar
41 months ago
Biggest thing is the new remote.

Thank god the old Siri remote is going away. The new remote looks great - keeps Siri and touch controls, but makes the touch not required for basic input. The iPod-like scroll wheel for track jogging looks like an amazing upgrade.

Will be buying a new remote for my current-gen 4K as soon as they're available.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ryanmp Avatar
41 months ago
Any word on audio passthrough with this new model? This is essential to make the Apple TV a true home theatre device.

Although I believe it is software that is limiting this rather than hardware.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jdblas69 Avatar
41 months ago

Recently got a newer Samsung TV and it has AppleTV baked in, not really sure what the benefit is as newer TVs that support 4K HDR, HDMI 2.1 already have Netlifx, Amazon etc. built in. For older non-smart TVs I can see the appeal of an Apple TV but a FireStick Lite is $20.
Best benefit for me is Apple TV will be supported with updates for years to come. Most Smart TV manufacturers are not that reliable when it comes to updates and support.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)