tvOS 11 beta includes references to unannounced 4K Apple TV

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apple tv and siri remote
A new Apple TV is on the horizon.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

References to a new Apple TV device have been discovered in the latest beta for tvOS 11, which could indicate that the new set top box is close to a possible launch.

Developers have been combing through the files in tvOS 11 beta 7 after Apple released it this morning it alongside new iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra betas. While the beta doesn’t come with any major new features, one developer discovered it contains some hints about the long-rumored 4K Apple TV.

iOS developer Guilherme Rambo‏, who was behind a number of HomePod firmware leaks that contained info on the iPhone 8, posted a screenshot of an HDR image asset on Twitter that includes the code name ‘J105a’ for the next generation Apple TV.

https://twitter.com/_inside/status/899696239788384260/photo/1

Apple TV goes 4K

The J105 codename was revealed earlier this year in a report by Bloomberg. No one has seen the codename in use in tvOS though until now.

Previous sightings of the J105a codename have been found in the HomePod’s firmware. According to the most recent rumors, the new Apple TV will be the first to support 4K video. The device will supposedly support both Dolby Vision and HDR10 color formats based on previous references unearthed by Rambo.

Apple has already started listing 4K movies in iTunes too which could signify that a release is imminent. The Apple TV hasn’t seen any hardware updates in nearly two years. Early rumors claimed the device could pack a microphone and speaker so that you can talk to it via Siri. That seems unlikely now given the announcement of the HomePod speaker set to launch at the end of 2017.

The grand unveiling of the fifth-generation Apple TV could come at the iPhone 8 keynote which fans expect could happen as soon as next month.