California,Sept13:Apple is refreshing its set-top box.
The company on Tuesday unveiled a new Apple TV that features an improved picture quality with 4K for higher resolution videos and high dynamic range for a wider range of colors.
As part of the announcement, Apple senior vp Eddy Cue said that the company has struck deals with the Hollywood studios and streaming services like Netflix and Amazon to bring their library of 4K movies and TV shows to iTunes. Titles in 4K will cost the same price as titles sold in HD. Previously made purchases will be upgraded when available.
The new 4K capabilities will only work for customers who have purchased TV sets with those capabilities, a market that is still small.
Other updates include a revamped TV app that will place an emphasis on sports by showing games that are live, along with their score and time left in the period. The revamped app will also be available on iPad and iPhone. Further, the app will become available in more countries — including Canada and Australia — after its U.S.-only launch last year.
Apple does not break out sales of the set-top box, a product that languished for several years before it unveiled a redesigned device in 2015. But research firm eMarketer reported in July that Apple TV was the fourth most-popular set-top box behind Roku, Chromecast and Amazon’s Fire TV. The company estimated that Apple would have 21.3 million Apple TV monthly users by the end of 2017.
The Apple TV with 4K starts at $179. It will be available to pre-order on Friday and to buy on Sept. 22.
The announcement, made inside the Steve Jobs Theater at its new Cupertino, Calif., headquarters, was part of Apple’s annual product event, which also included news about a new iPhone 8 and an updated Apple Watch.