Apple today unveiled a long anticipated upgrade to its Apple TV set-top box, which is now capable of playing movies and TV shows at 4K Ultra HD resolution. Apple TV 4K is built on the new A10X Fusion chip as well as 3GB of RAM- that’s the same chip that powers the iPad Pro, more powerful than the A8 in the current unit, and more powerful than the A10 in the iPhone 7.
In addition to 4K, Apple is embracing HDR with support for both Dolby Vision and HDR10. These high dynamic range technologies allow for brighter highlights and an expanded range of colors on television sets that also have HDR. Of course, your TV will have to support 4K/HDR but he difference between 4K and HDR can be striking.
Zwift in 4K?
Apple claims its CPU performance is twice as fast as the last Apple TV, and its graphics speed is four times as fast. With all of that power, it’ll be able to handle 4K video at up to 60 frames per second.
Zwift tvOS is currently in Beta and only available via invites only. The current version runs at 720 basic profile at just under 30 frames per second. This can be ok on smaller TV sets but can be noticeably lower on bigger TVs.
Zwifting in 4K is available with ultra high power gaming computers. These computers can run around $500 to few thousands depending on specs. While 720 or even 1080 resolution is fine, running Zwifit in 4K resolution is an incredible experience and a whole different ball game. That’s four times sharper than 1080. 4K gives you a much sharper picture and picks up the finest details in Zwift.
Currently we don’t know if Zwift will make their app available in 4K/HDR. I will have a chance to talk to them during Interbike next week in Las Vegas and hopefully they will let me in on some of their work.
Pricing and Availability
Apple TV 4K starts at $179 (US) for 32GB or $199 (US) for 64GB available from apple.com and Apple Stores, as well as through select Apple Authorized Resellers. Customers will be able to order both Apple TV 4K models beginning Friday, September 15, with availability beginning Friday, September 22.