15 March 2021
Next Apple TV may finally support the 120Hz refresh rate for a smoother transition of frames. This is apparent from the tvOS 14.5 beta code that directly mentions the terms “120Hz” and “supports 120Hz.” It is worth noting that the current-gen Apple TV can’t adapt this capability due to hardware limitations.
As the sleuths over at 9to5Mac who first spotted these references point out, a software update to the current Apple TV 4K can’t enable the 120Hz, this is because it is equipped with an HDMI 2.0 port. For the 4K streaming at 120Hz, the TV is required to have HDMI 2.1 port. This means the new change that has been made to the beta is meant for the next-gen TV.
It is currently unclear what the 120Hz refresh rate will be used for. However, the only usage scenario we could think of is smoother gaming. It is possible that Apple is aiming at offering a high-quality experience with its next Apple TV for the gamers, something that the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X offer.
The latest finding syncs with the report from Bloomberg that came in December last year and stated Apple was working on a new Apple TV with a “stronger gaming focus.”
Furthermore, 9to5Mac also pointed out that a source told them in 2019 that a new Apple TV model with an HDMI 2.1 port was under development. So, this is another strong indication towards next-gen Apple TV with 120Hz support.
It is currently unknown when Apple will launch this new Apple TV.