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What else might a new Apple TV set-top box offer in addition to 120Hz support?

As noted by 9to5Mac, there are references of 120Hz support for an update of the Apple TV in the tvOS 14.5 beta code. An upgrade of the set-top box has been expected for some time and this could be an important feature as 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,” notes 9to5Mac. “With a higher refresh rate, the interface would feel much smoother — and games could benefit from this technology as well. This, of course, would also require a 120Hz compatible TV.”

In a December 2020 Bloomberg report, Mark Gurman reiterated his previous prediction that Apple is planning an Apple TV set-top box with a stronger gaming focus, an updated remote and a new processor for 2021.

If/when the revamped device is unveiled, the Sellers Research Group (that’s me) thinks it will sport a A14X-based processor and will come with bigger storage options. I also think that, along with that announcement, Apple will unveil its own game controller that will work with the Apple TV, Macs, iPhones, and iPads.

Of course, it’s possible that Apple could have even bigger plans in mind. The company has been granted a patent (number 10,924,793) for a “generic streaming media device configured as a set-top box” Less likely is a product described in Apple patent (number 10,912,136) for “controlling electronic devices based on wireless ranging” that shows the tech giant is at least considering a remote that could control not only an Apple TV set-top box, but other devices. It would allow you to control an Apple TV-connected television, radios, HomePods, Mac, and apparently even iPads and iPhones by gestures.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the news editor of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.