tvOS code hints at a new Apple TV 4K with 120 Hz playback

Enlarge / The Apple TV 4K and distant.

Samuel Axon

It has been effectively over three years since Apple up to date the Apple TV 4K, and on-line hypothesis a few follow-up hits a fever pitch each time Apple has a product unveiling occasion deliberate. To date, a brand new gadget hasn’t materialized, however code within the tvOS 14.5 beta might trace not solely {that a} new Apple TV is on the best way, however that it’ll assist 120 Hz playback at 4K.

As reported first by 9to5Mac, tvOS 14.5’s PineBoard (the working system’s interface supervisor) comprises references to the phrases “supports120Hz” and “120Hz,” a not-too-subtle indication that the OS will assist 120 Hz refresh charges. And because the present Apple TV 4K solely has an HDMI 2.0 port, which doesn’t assist 4K at 120 Hz (versus the more moderen HDMI 2.1 normal), this discovery appears to counsel that new Apple TV {hardware} is on the best way as effectively.

After all, just a few TVs in the present day assist 120 Hz refresh charges—usually high-end ones favored by avid gamers and made up to now two years. Most TVs nonetheless goal 60 Hz. There’s little or no 120 Hz video content material at the moment out there, although fanatics have speculated that refresh charge might be an actual boon for sports activities content material. Nevertheless, the brand new online game consoles that launched final 12 months—Sony’s PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Collection X and Xbox Collection S—assist 120 Hz playback, which is most well-liked by some gamers for sure very fast-paced and tough or aggressive video games. As these consoles proceed to promote, they might enhance the demand for 120Hz TVs.

Apple might select so as to add 120 Hz functionality to future Apple TV {hardware} for 3 causes: a snappier interface, future-proofing for top frame-rate video content material that will emerge later, and naturally, gaming.

The corporate has been getting extra severe about gaming of late, after years of treating it as a secondary-at-best use case for its gadgets. It not too long ago added dozens of re-released iPhone and iPad classics on Apple Arcade, together with microtransaction-driven video games which have been tailored to be microtransaction-free. Arcade has additionally been securing comparatively high-profile exclusives, like Fantasian, the primary JRPG from the creator of Ultimate Fantasy in a number of years—and possibly his last.

Proper now, Apple’s iPad Professional has a 120 Hz show, however not one of the firm’s different merchandise do. There have been rumors that Apple will deliver 120 Hz to the iPhone lineup this 12 months, although. And as for the Apple TV 4K, a Bloomberg report in December claimed {that a} refreshed Apple TV with an even bigger concentrate on gaming is predicted to launch someday this 12 months.

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