Next-gen Apple TV will not initially support 4K streaming, report says

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited June 2015
Industry watchers expect Apple to release a next-generation Apple TV set-top streamer later this year with a slew of upgrades, but the device might not support 4K high-definition content as some anticipated, according to a report published on Sunday.




Citing sources familiar with Apple's plans, BuzzFeed News reports the fourth-generation Apple TV will not support 4K content streaming at launch.

"4K is great, but it's still in its infancy," said an unnamed source.

In November, a report claimed Apple's latest A8 system-on-chip as found in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus was capable of outputting 4K video. If Apple sticks with convention the chip will likely power a next-generation Apple TV, leading some to believe the set-top box would also offer 4K support.

With 4K video still very much a niche product, however, Apple's supposed decision to not include the tech makes sense. As seen with fledgling services from Netflix, Amazon and Sony, the amount of 4K content available can be considered limited at best. Further, only a handful of expensive televisions are capable of displaying ultra high-definition.

Cost is an issue for both consumers and content providers. As with any cutting edge technology, 4K has yet to benefit from serious industry competition and, with low uptake relative to vanilla high-definition hardware, does not enjoy attractive prices afforded by economies of scale.

On Apple's side, bandwidth support for 4K streaming would put tremendous strain on its existing content delivery network. Apple began migrating downloads to in-house infrastructure last July in preparation of iOS 8, but it is unclear if the network would be able to serve up 4K content. Consumer-grade broadband is also a problem, as many U.S. household connections simply can't handle speeds required for 4K streaming, the report said.

Today's report did not say when the next Apple TV is expected to drop, but BuzzFeed previously pegged a debut at WWDC in June. Apple recently slashed current model pricing to $69, signaling a successor is in the offing.

Related to Apple TV hardware are rumors suggesting Apple looking to launch an online TV service that would serve broadcast television content to Apple TV, iOS and Mac devices for a monthly fee. The company is reportedly negotiating with content providers and may mete out backend streaming responsibilities to third parties, possibly in cooperation with ISPs.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 74
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,834member

    "BuzzFeed News"? That place is a cesspool. How is their drivel any more credible than "Investor Monkey" or Samsung's PR department, for that matter?

  • Reply 2 of 74
    freediverxfreediverx Posts: 1,405member
    The story is not only credible but makes perfect sense. It would be pointless for Apple to support 4K at a time when there is so little content available and so few have the necessary bandwidth to support it. Even with affordable 4K TVs, the timing isn't right for 4K yet.
  • Reply 3 of 74
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,780member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by freediverx View Post



    The story is not only credible but makes perfect sense. It would be pointless for Apple to support 4K at a time when there is so little content available and so few have the necessary bandwidth to support it. Even with affordable 4K TVs, the timing isn't right for 4K yet.



    Yeah but the spec monkeys will freak out.

  • Reply 4 of 74
    jameskatt2jameskatt2 Posts: 706member
    [B]LACK OF STORAGE: [/B]A single 2-hour 4K movie would need 300 GB of STORAGE. Obviously, it would be unrealistic to give each AppleTV a 500 GB Solid State Drive to house the operating system and ONE 4K movie since this would add $200 to the cost of the AppleTV.

    [B]LACK OF INTERNET CAPACITY: [/B]Streaming a single 2-hour 4K movie would also quickly bring consumers past their 250GB Monthly Cable Data Caps. This would add an additional $30 to $50 a month to their monthly internet bills for simply watching a single 4K movie. [I]Most consumers also don't even have the internet capacity to stream a single 250GB movie into their homes. [/I]

    [B]LACK OF COMPUTER STORAGE: [/B]And if Apple added the capacity to DOWNLOAD a 4K movie, consumers will quickly ran out of storage space. Three movies, and your 1 TB hard drive is FULL. Twelve movies and your 4 TB external hard drive is FULL. And what if consumers have to back up their hard drive? That would be at least another 4 TB external hard drive for their miserable 12-movie iTunes collection. Two 4-GB hard drives to house 12 4K movies in iTunes would cost the consumer another $300.

    [B]NEED 4K TV AND 4K COMPUTER: [/B]What about the 4K Television the consumer has to buy? 4K won't play on a standard 1080p computer screen, so a consumer will also have to spend another $1000 for a new computer monitor. Actually, they might as well spring for a whole new computer to handle the data.

    [B]COST: [/B]So the costs keeps going up for consumers wanting 4K video on AppleTV. It adds $200 to the cost of AppleTV. It would cost consumers at least $30-$50 a month more on their internet bill to watch 2 or more 4K videos a month. It would require them to spend another $300 for storage of only 12 4K movies. It would require them to purchase a new 4K TV and a 4K Computer - at least a $3000+ expenditure. Then how much would each 4K movie cost? $50 per movie is very realistic.

    [B]NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME: [/B]4K Video is NOT ready for prime time for the vast majority of consumers. So do not expect 4K Video on the AppleTV. Apple will let others lead the way and make fools of themselves first.
  • Reply 5 of 74
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member
    Not a whole lotta 4K to stream yet anyway.
  • Reply 6 of 74
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member

    Originally Posted by jameskatt2 View Post



    LACK OF STORAGE: A single 2-hour 4K movie would need 300 GB of STORAGE. Obviously, it would be unrealistic to give each AppleTV a 500 GB Solid State Drive to house the operating system and ONE 4K movie since this would add $200 to the cost of the AppleTV.

     

    You're off by a factor of 10, plus or minus.  There *is* a thing called compression these days.

     

    Wikipedia says movies take up about 40GB.

    Go fix the article if you want to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4K_resolution

  • Reply 7 of 74
    nofeernofeer Posts: 2,422member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jameskatt2 View Post



    LACK OF STORAGE: A single 2-hour 4K movie would need 300 GB of STORAGE. Obviously, it would be unrealistic to give each AppleTV a 500 GB Solid State Drive to house the operating system and ONE 4K movie since this would add $200 to the cost of the AppleTV.



    LACK OF INTERNET CAPACITY: Streaming a single 2-hour 4K movie would also quickly bring consumers past their 250GB Monthly Cable Data Caps. This would add an additional $30 to $50 a month to their monthly internet bills for simply watching a single 4K movie. Most consumers also don't even have the internet capacity to stream a single 250GB movie into their homes.



    LACK OF COMPUTER STORAGE: And if Apple added the capacity to DOWNLOAD a 4K movie, consumers will quickly ran out of storage space. Three movies, and your 1 TB hard drive is FULL. Twelve movies and your 4 TB external hard drive is FULL. And what if consumers have to back up their hard drive? That would be at least another 4 TB external hard drive for their miserable 12-movie iTunes collection. Two 4-GB hard drives to house 12 4K movies in iTunes would cost the consumer another $300.



    NEED 4K TV AND 4K COMPUTER: What about the 4K Television the consumer has to buy? 4K won't play on a standard 1080p computer screen, so a consumer will also have to spend another $1000 for a new computer monitor. Actually, they might as well spring for a whole new computer to handle the data.



    COST: So the costs keeps going up for consumers wanting 4K video on AppleTV. It adds $200 to the cost of AppleTV. It would cost consumers at least $30-$50 a month more on their internet bill to watch 2 or more 4K videos a month. It would require them to spend another $300 for storage of only 12 4K movies. It would require them to purchase a new 4K TV and a 4K Computer - at least a $3000+ expenditure. Then how much would each 4K movie cost? $50 per movie is very realistic.



    NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME: 4K Video is NOT ready for prime time for the vast majority of consumers. So do not expect 4K Video on the AppleTV. Apple will let others lead the way and make fools of themselves first.



    great great post---give me content ---this talk of 4k reminds about how we were convinced 3-d was what we needed, no content and 30-40% of people couldn't see "the 3-D "

    this tech salivation spec-gasm must stop(but won't) i love my 720 atv 2 because it GIVES ME ACCESS

    its all about access, content and choice--so lets have it

    also can i get an answer about compression i read somewhere that the 1080 from ?   doesn't use much more data than 720--is that true??

    you know as cable becomes simply a pipe they will recoup losses by charging more or setting data caps    we must be efficient 

     

    ?   needs to get into the content production end create more stuff bypass the cable mess

  • Reply 8 of 74
    4K won't be mass adopted until H 265 is completely out in the wild. That said, 4K capability should be baked into any box released, if for no other reason than a beautiful UI. Streaming photos from a mac, iPhone, etc., - these things are all excellent reasons to have a higher resolution option.

    Expect it in the next - next version of Apple TV.

    Probably another hindrance to 4K adoption is lack of users with wireless AC.

    Can't say I'm not bummed out that it wouldn't be 4k though. We shoot everything 4K now and it's annoying to have to run an HDMI cable from the Mac Pro, iMac 5k, or Macbook Pro just to see our footage in it's actual resolution.

    Right now though the ultimate benefit of shooting 4K is the post production scaling option. It really makes things so much more interesting on the edit.
  • Reply 9 of 74
    Why are so many people overlooking the streaming combination of hevc with 1080p? It uses the next gen codec to improve the hd experience by needing half the bandwidth. That gives better real life results for people constrained by their isp speed or their local network, including wireless. This is the kind of practical benefit that Apple is known for. It just works.
    The timing for this should also line up nicely with the launch of blu Ray ultra, which will give a strong push for hevc support.
  • Reply 10 of 74
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,241member
    "BuzzFeed News"? That place is a cesspool. How is their drivel any more credible than "Investor Monkey" or Samsung's PR department, for that matter?

    Exactly what I came here to say. Is buzzfeed even a remotely legitimate source of anything let alone Apple rumors? It strikes me as a "tourist trap" of the internet.
  • Reply 11 of 74
    9secondko9secondko Posts: 929member
    No 4k is a mistake.

    Especially in this era of an Apple that pushes Retina everything.

    Doesn't matter how many content providers offer content up to 4k.

    What matters is that you are not locked out of that content as a PENALTY for buying Apple TV.

    Ridiculous not to offer the capability.
  • Reply 12 of 74
    If the article said the next AppleTV would do 4K, the naysayers would complain that it's not 8K.
  • Reply 13 of 74
    4K Streaming gonna eat up a boat load of gigs/data
  • Reply 14 of 74

    4K television only exists to get people to buy TVs again, and possibly force people to spend more on movies.  

     

    Just wait for the 4K 3D 48 frames per second movies to come out in the next few years to prove my point.

     

    I love HDTV and I have seen and have been impressed with 4K.  However, I am still buying Standard Definition television from itunes because the price isn't worth the HD to me.  If they bring prices down, I may consider, but until then I don't need 4K, and Apple is smart not to push it.

  • Reply 15 of 74
    paul94544paul94544 Posts: 1,027member
    steven new wrote: »
    4K television only exists to get people to buy TVs again, and possibly force people to spend more on movies.  

    Just wait for the 4K 3D 48 frames per second movies to come out in the next few years to prove my point.

    I love HDTV and I have seen and have been impressed with 4K.  However, I am still buying Standard Definition television from itunes because the price isn't worth the HD to me.  If they bring prices down, I may consider, but until then I don't need 4K, and Apple is smart not to push it.

    I agree 4k is mostly hyperbole and marketing morons salivating at all th extra money"" they tried and failed to convince us that we needed 3d. Jee that was obvious. Yes and all the bandwidth is horrendous. How about making some decent movies , have you looked at all the garbage at the theatre right now omg it's so bad
  • Reply 16 of 74
    I just want apps. In fact I don't even need multiple apps. Just give me Plex and I'll be all over it.
  • Reply 17 of 74
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,285member
    4K, 3D, curved screens - all things that exist more to get you to buy new stuff than provide significantly new value.

    Churn, baby, churn.

    So you are going to view 4k on the same crappy LCD technology that's prevelent today? Crappy tech that couldn't show a high contrast black scene if it's life depended on it? People put up with grey goo (and movies with dark scenes look like crap) and the manufacturers are agitating about 4k?!?!?!

    Ugh. I hope my plasma lasts long enough to get me to OLED or something better. Something without a [email protected]?$#*^ backlight for crying out loud.

    4k - ha! As overcompressed as HD on cable is (just pull a raw uncompressed over the air HD signal to get an idea of what you are missing) I can only imagine 4k would be so overcompressed that HD would look far better in comparison.

    People pushing for 4k are no better than the idiots pining for 30 megapixel cameras in smartphones - not understanding how pixel size has a huge impact on image quality, esp with low light. I wonder if Neil Young is a big 4k proponent too...
  • Reply 18 of 74
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,285member
    sockrolid wrote: »
    You're off by a factor of 10, plus or minus.  There *is* a thing called compression these days.

    Lol - and so it begins. Stupid....
  • Reply 19 of 74
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,285member
    About says it all....

    [VIDEO]
  • Reply 20 of 74
    numba1numba1 Posts: 23member

    Probably in 4 years, when Apple updates Apple TV again, 4k will be passe.

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