Details are scarce, but the new 1080p Apple TV does use a single-core Apple A5 SoC. I'm assuming the video decode engine is identical to what we have in the iPhone 4S today. The chassis design and remote remain identical to the previous 720p model.

Update: Brian beat me to it here with a much more detailed post on the single-core A5 and some discussion about the new iPad.

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  • Guspaz - Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - link

    Of all the devices using Apple's embedded SoCs, the AppleTV is the only one that is gauranteed to permanently be connected to the mains; IE, power usage matters a lot less than the mobile devices. Why, then, the single core SoC? It must be a cost thing.
  • crimson117 - Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - link

    $99 is a tight budget for Apple, even if they expect to make money back with media/app purchases.
  • tipoo - Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - link

    Yeah, cost. If it can push 1080p why use more.
  • scook9 - Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - link

    I am guessing they are using this as a place to use A5 chips that are not good enough for the iPad 2 and iPhone 4s. If one of the core is defective, they can disable it and just use the remaining one instead of having to toss the chip. Helps save cost although frankly I am disappointed why the 2nd Gen AppleTV can't do the same things as this one....
  • solipsism - Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - link

    That's how I interpreted it. I would expect an x-ray to show the same chip across devices.
  • tipoo - Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - link

    That's my guess as well, and why not, if one A5 core can push 1080p content why not use it.

    As for the second gen one I don't think the A4 itself is capable of 1080p content, but it might get a software update for the new UI, we'll see.
  • js1882 - Thursday, March 8, 2012 - link

    The 1080p limitation has something to do with the video hardware. I have XBMC installed on my ATV2 and it can decode 1080p, but outputs 720p. From the XBMC FAQ:

    Question: Does the Apple TV 2nd gen output 1080p video?
    Answer: No. The new Apple TV "hockey puck" is fully able to decode and play your 1080p videos using Apple's secret/private VideoToolBox API for hardware-accelerated decoding, but the video display is currently limited to 720p. The 1080p video is decoded, then down-scaled in hardware to 720p. This is low on the priority list to "fix", as it may be a hardware limitation and the ATV 2 has limited hardware resources (only 256MB RAM, etc.)
  • ThreeDee912 - Friday, March 16, 2012 - link

    Same with the iPod touch. Normally, iTunes would prevent you from syncing mp4 video greater than 720p onto it.

    Using an app called Air Video, it streams MP4s from a directory on your computer to the iPod, or convert other video types on-the-fly. An unintended feature is that it bypasses the resolution checks in iTunes.

    The iPod touch 4G can play most 1080p MP4s thrown at it, but the interface can get somewhat laggy, and that's still outputting to the 960x640 screen.

    I previously had the 3rd gen touch, and it was the same with 720p. It seemed to be able playback some 720p video, but the interface would lag sometimes, or the app would crash.

    The devices obviously weren't designed for that kind of thing.
  • yname - Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - link

    Is 1080p a SW or HW update? If SW, can I upgrade SW on my 2nd generation AppleTV to watch 1080p content?
    If not, I'd be bummed. I bought my ATV in december'11.
  • tipoo - Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - link

    I don't think the A4 chip in the second gen is capable of playing 1080p content, so probably hardware.

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