2021 Apple TV 4K supports thread networking, HDMI 2.1, WiFi 6, and eARC

Apple TV 4K features support for thread networking protocol, HDMI 2.1 output, WiFi 6, and eARC. This is in addition to the powerful new A12 processor that enables high frame rate HDR and Dolby Vision video at 60 frames per second.

Apple TV 4k

Apple TV 4K features modern connectivity features

WiFi 6

The last generation Apple TV 4K used WiFi a/c, while the new one features the latest 802.11ax Wi‑Fi 6 with MIMO. It has dual band support for 2.4GHz and 5GHz, which should allow it to stream the latest high frame rate HDR content without a hiccup.

HDMI 2.1

The new Apple TV 4K now features an HDMI 2.1 port, compared to the HDMI 2.0a port in its predecessor. This allows it to support 4K 60fps HDR video. Just make sure that you have a compatible TV connected to take advantage of the improved video quality.


Thread is a low powered mesh networking protocol based on the Internet Protocol (IP) for smart home devices. Apple had first added support for the protocol in HomePod, and now it is available on the new 2021 Apple TV 4K. There are already many devices available that use this protocol as it is secure, future-proof, and has industry-wide backing.


Apple TV 4K also supports eARC which allows it to send high quality audio from the TV to connected speakers. To use this, set your TV to ‘passthrough’ mode for the best performance, as per Steve Moser. Strangely, Apple TV uses ARC instead of eARC when sending audio to HomePod.

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