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Apple new tvOS 18 Features for Home Cinema | Still wondering between Apple TV vs Nvidia Player?

tvOS 18 and Apple Home Features
tvOS 18 and Apple Home Features

Apple TV is one of the most consumed Media or OTT Streaming Player for home cinema experiences, especially the ones who are using it with Projector Screens. Unlike Smart TV, a projector-based home entertainment system lacks the access to some of the finest OTT Content like Netflix, Apple TV, Prime Video and Hotstar. And that’s when players like Amazon Firestick, Apple TV 4K and Nvidia Shield TV Pro come to the rescue.


One of the hottest and longest debate in the HiFi and Home Cinema category is the best media source player for Home Theater. With recent upgrades announced for tvOS, Apple TV is expected to put some water to it.


Some of the key features announced at WWDC 2024 are –


1.     Smart Dialogue Enhancement –


Enhance Dialogue Feature in tvOS 18
Enhance Dialogue Feature in tvOS 18

Before we dig deeper in this feature and it’s AI Mix, many TV and Soundbar audio listeners would agree the need of this crucial feature. Increasing the volume for intense low pitch vokals and then suddenly getting a bang sound of a follow-on action sequence which wakes up the neighbours or gets a cold look from the adjacent room members.

With new tvOS, the Dialogue Enhancer gets smarter by leveraging Machine Learning and Computational Audio to deliver greater vocal clarity over music, action and background noise on Apple TV 4K. This feature is available for HDMI Connected Devices (Better with Home Cinema equipments), Airpods, and other Bluetooth-connected speakers or headphones.

 

2.     Support for CinemaScope Screen –


CinemaScope in Standard 16:9 Ratio Screens
CinemaScope in Standard 16:9 Ratio Screens

While this feature may not bring in great difference to TV users; projector users are going to rejoice with this feature. If it’s movies then Cinemascope aspect ratio is the most ideal format as watching movies with black bars on top and bottom (For 16:9 Ratio) is frustrating and constantly reminds you of wasting wall/screen space for nothing.


Anamorphic Lens, Preset Lens Memory are non-economical features available only for few high end models and that’s why for the general market, 2.35:1 (21:9 Ratio) screen is perceived as luxury. All thanks to tvOS new feature of 21:9 support which eliminates the need for these high-end projectors (however you shall still need a selectable 21:9 or 2.35:1 aspect ratio projector) and accessories right at the source of content.

 

3.     InSight for Quick Information –


I always dread for this feature in all the OTT Apps. In case you’re wondering, let me give you an insight too :p Can anyone guess the one feature that differentiates Prime Video from the rest of the lot?

Well, it’s the X-Ray option that provides a quick information (Real and Reel names) of the actors present in a particular scene. Apple has gone couple of steps ahead and added more information about actors, characters, and music from their Apple TV+ movies and shows onscreen in real time.


InSight feature in tvOS is available currently for Apple TV+ users only
InSight feature in tvOS

Additionally, users can simply select an actor to view their background and filmography page, or quickly view the song that is playing in a scene and add it to an Apple Music playlist. I know you must be thinking that it is tedious to scroll information using Apple TV remote. But guess what, it’s Apple and we all know that they are visionaries for a reason, right! They have provided viewers an access to InSight information on their iPhone too when using it as an Apple TV remote.

 

Subtitles allow users to stay engaged with their favorite content. For even more convenience, with tvOS 18 subtitles will now automatically appear at just the right moments. For instance when the language in a show or film does not match the device language (eg. watching K-Series on English language selected device) is now easy. Another scenario is when users mute, or when they skip back to programme, the subtitles continue to stay onscreen.


Subtitle feature in tvOS 18
Subtitle feature in tvOS 18

Apart from these, Apple has announced some new upgrades and better capabilities in tvOS for Apple Fitness+, Apple Music and FaceTime for big screen experience.


While Apple TV is surely ahead in HDMI Settings, Frame Match, Easy Dolby Atmos and Vision settings, the only area where Nvidia wins for some home cinema enthusiasts is the open source Google TV platform with USB Drive slot that shall never be expected in Apple TV and spending on a dedicated Zidoo or Dune is mandatory for watching Hard Drive or Local Storage content.

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