The new Apple TV 4K has HDMI 2.1 but 120Hz is not supported yet

New Apple Tv 4k 2021 Banner
New Apple Tv 4k 2021 Banner (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • The new Apple TV 4K support HDMI 2.1.
  • However, the streaming box is only being advertised for a 60Hz refresh rate.

While the best part of the new Apple TV 4K might have been the redesigned Siri Remote, there are also some other notable features of the new streaming box that didn't get covered in the event.

As spotted by MacRumors, the new Apple TV 4K is the first Apple TV to support HDMI 2.1, the new standard that supports refresh rates up to 120Hz. Apple is currently, however, advertising that the new box can only stream at a 60Hz refresh rate.

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.

9to5Mac speculates that support for 120Hz may be reserved for WWDC as a way to introduce 120Hz Apple Arcade titles with tvOS 15.

It's likely that the company could be saving the 120Hz refresh rate feature to be introduced with tvOS 15 at WWDC 2021. With 120Hz support, gamers and sports lovers could take advantage of a smoother image while playing real-time games or watching live sports.

Of course, those who want to take advantage of a 120Hz refresh rate, if it does come to the new Apple TV 4K, would also need a television with HDMI 2.1. That is not the case for most of us, as HDMI 2.1 televisions just started to hit shelves this year.

In addition to HDMI 2.1, the new Apple TV 4K also supports WiFi 6, the latest WiFi standard, and Thread, which is becoming handy for smart homes.

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.

The new Apple TV 4K will start at $179 with preorders beginning on April 30th. It will be available in the second half of May.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.