Tips for getting the most out of your Apple TV

Jaime Vazquez

In addition to Dolby Vision, the Apple TV 4K also supports the competing visual standard, HDR. Many of the leading streaming services, including iTunes, Netflix, and Vudu, offer movies and TV shows in HDR or Dolby Vision.

Apple's streaming box, the Apple TV, has historically always been late to the party -- competitors like Roku, Google, NVIDIA, and even Amazon have dominated the streaming-on-TV market, leaving the Apple TV as a niche device primarily for users with a lot invested in iTunes. But Apple's most powerful streaming box yet, the Apple TV 4K -- coupled with the upcoming operating system update, tvOS 12 -- changes all that.

At long last, the Apple TV 4K can finally fulfill the dreams of Apple users looking to build a dead-simple, fully integrated home theater. It's all here: format support for any video or audio file you have, bleeding edge audio-visual technology, and of course, Apple's legendary ease-of-use. And perhaps best of all, while the Apple TV's home theater chops definitely deserve first billing, Apple's "little streaming box that could" also includes a host of killer features that competitors simply can't match.

Whether you've got an Apple TV 4K already, or you're considering buying one, take a moment to get to know everything it can do for you -- the new feature list is definitely worth a second look. Here's a breakdown of a few of our favorite things to do with an Apple TV 4K.

Enjoy 4K movies in Dolby Vision with Dolby Atmos surround sound. With tvOS 12, the Apple TV 4K is the only streaming box to offer both of Dolby's latest and greatest formats together: Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. Dolby Vision is a video format that competes with High Dynamic Range (HDR) to improve the brightness, colors, and contrast of a TV's picture. Dolby Atmos is a sound format that can create ultra-realistic, object-based surround sound with a properly enabled AV Receiver or soundbar. The bottom line: while you'll definitely need a good 4K TV and the right audio set-up, the Apple TV 4K will bring them both to life like no other streaming box can -- with eye-popping visuals and cinema-quality sound.

Grab a controller and play console-quality titles. While there's usually a big difference between mobile gaming and console gaming, games on the Apple TV definitely blur the line between the two. Surprisingly, many Apple TV games are designed for use with a controller, and unsurprisingly, the Apple TV's video hardware makes every title look incredible. While you won't find many first-person shooters or games for pro gamers, the App Store is full of games ranging from 2D platformers to racing titles for hours of fun.

Control a smart home. Internet-enabled home security systems are just about everywhere these days, and most of the major brands on the market offer Apple TV apps for watching your security video feed. Whether you want to spy on your baby at night, keep an eye on your most prized possessions, or just see who's knocking at your door, an Apple TV can be your personal doorman.

Jaime is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

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