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With the launch of the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, there’s been growing demand for televisions supporting 120Hz output. Now it looks as though Apple is introducing support for 120Hz output ahead on an Apple TV hardware refresh.
As 9to5Mac reports, the latest beta release of tvOS 14.5, which is the operating system run on Apple TV hardware, includes multiple references to “120Hz.” In order for 120Hz output to work, two things are required: a TV with 120Hz support and a HDMI 2.1 port on the device connected to that TV.
The current Apple TV 4K device uses a HDMI 2.0 port, which is limited to 60Hz output at 4K resolution. The most likely reason Apple is introducing 120Hz support to tvOS builds is because a hardware refresh will include a HDMI 2.1 port and therefore allow for 120Hz output on a compatible TV. That in turn would allow for a much smoother interface experience, but also the ability to support games running at 120Hz.
With the growing chip shortages being felt across multiple sectors, it’s hard to predict when new hardware will be introduced right now. The existing Apple TV 4K device is coming up to its fourth birthday, though, so a refresh is certainly warranted if not long overdue. We could see it appear before the year is over, assuming Apple can guarantee the supply of components to meet demand.
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