Apple TV 4K with TV appSource: iMore

What you need to know

  • The next generation of Apple TV could support 120Hz.
  • Code found within the latest tvOS 14.5 beta references the feature.

The next Apple TV could support 120Hz according to code found within the latest tvOS 14.5 beta.

As reported by 9to5Mac, the outlet has found references to support for 120Hz in the code of the latest beta for tvOS 14.5. According to the report, the current Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K cannot support this refresh rate due to hardware limitations so it could be concluded that this feature is reserved for a new Apple TV.

Multiple references to "120Hz" and "supports120Hz" have been added to tvOS' PineBoard in the latest beta release. For those unfamiliar with the matter, PineBoard is the internal name of the system that controls the Apple TV interface, similar to the SpringBoard on iPhone and iPad. These references strongly suggest that Apple is at least internally testing a 120Hz mode for Apple TV.

It's important to point out, however, that the current Apple TV 4K doesn't support 120Hz — even with a software update. That's because the current-generation Apple TV is equipped with an HDMI 2.0 port, which is limited to 4K resolution at 60Hz. To enable 4K resolution at 120Hz, an HDMI 2.1 port is required.

While an Apple TV with a 120Hz refresh rate would be great, it would also require a television that has an HDMI 2.1 port. Those ports are still slowly rolling out to televisions and monitors and should become more standard later this year. So, while a new Apple TV with 120Hz is great, most will not be able to enjoy that until they get a television that also supports it.

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Not many other details are known about the next generation of Apple TV and, while this particular one would be great, it will be more of a future-proofing feature for most.

If you're not too worried about the next generation Apple TV, check out our list of the Best Apple TV of 2021.