Nit Nerds News: Exciting new Apple TV 4K features, new Xbox consoles

Today on Nit Nerds News: New Apple tvOS features that will freshen up existing Apple TV 4K boxes. Updated Xbox consoles are a bit of a letdown for home entertainment. Asus has unveiled some eye-popping new PC monitors.

Welcome to Nit Nerds News, all the need-to-know news about the stuff you watch and the stuff you use to watch it on in just a few quick minutes.

Apple tvOS updates at WWDC 2024

Apple TV WWDC
Apple

Apple’s WWDC 2024 event didn’t introduce a new Apple TV 4K box, but it did unveil some exciting new tvOS features that will enhance your existing Apple TV experience.

Native 21:9 aspect ratio support

Apple TV WWDC
Apple

One standout feature is the native 21:9 aspect ratio support, designed primarily for projector owners with 21:9 screens. However, it’s also a game changer for those using 21:9 monitors. This update eliminates the need for letterbox and pillarbox bars, allowing Apple TV 4K to output 21:9 content in its native aspect ratio while utilizing the full screen. This enhancement solidifies Apple TV 4K’s position as the premier media streaming box on the market.

Enhanced dialogue and subtitles

Apple TV WWDC
Apple

Another significant update is the enhanced dialogue feature, now powered by machine learning and computational audio processing. This feature improves dialogue clarity not just for Apple HomePod users, but also for anyone using built-in TV speakers, HDMI-connected speakers, AirPods, Bluetooth devices, and supported content on iPhone and iPad.

Subtitles are also getting smarter. They will now automatically appear when the show or film’s language doesn’t match the device’s language, when the sound is muted, or when users rewind to rewatch a scene. This update, along with the new Insight feature, brings Apple closer to competitors like Amazon.

Microsoft’s Xbox Announcements

Xbox consoles
xbox

At what many are calling Microsoft’s most impressive Xbox Games Showcase ever, three new Xbox hardware updates were revealed:

  1. A new Series S with a 1-terabyte storage drive.

  2. A digital-only Xbox Series X.

  3. An Xbox Series X Galaxy Black Special Edition with disc support and a 2-terabyte drive.

These new consoles are expected to launch just before the 2024 holiday season. However, some of us were hoping for more substantial hardware tweaks to make the Xbox Series X a comprehensive home entertainment device, complete with native 4K Blu-ray support, advanced disc playback controls, and superior video processing.

Would you be willing to pay around $800 for such a device? Or do you think physical discs are outdated? Let me know in the comments.


This section is sponsored by Hisense

Hisense U9N ULED TV

Hisense U9
Hisense U9N Zeke Jones / Digital Trends

If you like the looks of the Hisense U8N, but you want to go even larger and/or brighter? That’s where the U9N ULED TV comes in. If you missed my coverage from Hisense’s event in New York City, this TV produced just over 5,000 nits peak brightness, which added sparkle to HDR highlights that I had not seen on a TV before. It has an advanced audio system, with dedicated side-mounted speakers, AND it’s got Hisense’s most advanced Hi view X processor, which did a great job cleaning up streaming content so it looked clean on the large 75- and 85-inch screens sizes at which it is available. Frankly, you need to see the U9N in person to really understand how it uses its brightness powers for delivering enchanting entertainment. I think this TV in particular is going to be a fan favorite for sports, thanks to its high brightness, vivid color, and motion resolution.


New Asus PC monitors

ASUS-ZenScreen-Smart-Monitor-MS27UC
ASUS

Asus has introduced some eye-catching PC monitors that are worth noting:

  1. Asus ZenScreen Smart MS27U with Google TV built-in. This monitor includes a Google TV remote, a built-in Google Assistant microphone, and forward-firing 5-watt Harman Kardon-licensed speakers. It even has a handy shelf on the back for your keyboard, mouse, and remote. However, it only supports HDMI 2.0.

  2. Asus ProArt Display 8K PA32KCX. A 32-inch 8K mini-LED monitor with over 4,000 local dimming zones and up to 1,200 nits peak brightness, it’s designed for content creators with 97% DCI-P3 color space coverage and a built-in flip-out colorimeter for self-calibration, promising Delta E accuracy of under 1. A 27-inch model with similarly impressive specs is also available at a lower price point.