Skip to main content

Apple is reportedly testing the next-gen Apple TV featuring 4K, possibly HDR

Apple TV (2015)
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends / .
Despite being one of the original streaming media players on the market, the Apple TV has been anything but forward-thinking in recent years. While other players focus on features and picture quality, the main thing the Apple TV has to offer is tight integration with the rest of the company’s ecosystem. A new model of the set-top box could be on the way, but so far it isn’t really looking like things are going to change all that much.

Apple is reportedly testing testing the fifth-generation model of the Apple TV, according to Bloomberg. Code-named J105, the latest model is said to finally bring support for 4K Ultra HD resolution, as well as “more vivid colors.” While this could mean High Dynamic Range (HDR), details are currently scarce.

Outside of a bump in resolution and possibly better color, the updated set-top box doesn’t seem to bring much new to the table. While this will be a welcome upgrade for Apple TV users who simply want a box that works better with their new TV, it likely won’t lead the Apple TV to wildly higher sales, nor does it fit with the lofty goals Apple reportedly had for the device originally.

Earlier this month, Apple hired Timothy Twerdahl,. former director and general manager of Amazon’s Fire TV unit. That the company is said to be testing the device means that Twerdahl couldn’t have had much influence over the design of the product. Whether the unit Apple is said to be working on will be enough to persuade customers to hold out for a future model that offers a major upgrade in functionality remains to be seen.

There are no firm details as to when this fifth-generation Apple TV could be available for purchase, but Bloomberg’s sources say it could arrive as soon as this year. Would the company be better served by shipping later and adding more features? Possibly, but considering that 4K was already gaining traction when the current-generation Apple TV launched, Apple may feel the pressure to get a more 4K-capable version out as soon as possible.

Editors' Recommendations

Kris Wouk
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Kris Wouk is a tech writer, gadget reviewer, blogger, and whatever it's called when someone makes videos for the web. In his…
VPNs are coming to Apple TV in tvOS 17
VPN listing in the Apple TV App Store.

As is often the case with Apple's major press releases, some of the more interesting (if obscure) details often are tucked away toward the end, or even in the footnotes. Case in point: Support for third-party VPNs is coming to Apple TV when tvOS 17 is released this fall.

For most normal folks, that's probably not a huge deal. You plug in your Apple TV at home or wherever, and it just works. But for some folks, it's going to open up a world of fun.

Read more
Apple TV’s multiview feature now out of beta and live for all
Apple TV's multiview feature as seen with Friday Night Baseball.

After spending a few weeks in beta form, Apple TV's multiview feature is now live for everyone for Major League Soccer matches and Friday Night Baseball games.

The Apple TV app now has a multiview feature on Apple TV hardware running the tvOS 16.5 beta. Phil Nickinson/Digital Trends

Read more
Apple TV’s multiview feature is now live in beta
Apple TV's multiview feature as seen with Friday Night Baseball.

A new multiview feature — by which you can watch multiple games at one time — has hit the beta track of the Apple TV operating system. It previously was hinted at in code, and it's now available for actual use.

Again, you'll have to be on the beta track of the Apple TV operating system for this to work at all, and as of right now, that's tvOS 16.5. But once it's enabled, it's a pretty simple process to add additional games, and flip between any of them using the Siri Remote. It wasn't immediately clear if Apple's implementation would be available to other applications, or if it would be kept just within the Apple TV app for now.

Read more