Apple reveals 4K and HDR plans in iTunes, hinting revamped Apple TV may arrive soon

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited July 2017
Users have found that some new releases on the iTunes Store list availability in 4K resolution and high dynamic range, suggesting that support for ultra-high-resolution video formats may soon come to iTunes, along with new Apple TV hardware.




Users who delved into their iTunes purchase history found that recent films Passengers and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them show both owned and rented copies of the films as "4K, HDR." The customer discoveries were first shared on the MacRumors forums.

After the listings were revealed, others on Twitter checked their own iTunes purchase history to confirm. However, there is no actual 4K support on iTunes yet: Files simply download in standard high-definition.

If Apple is preparing to add 4K support for iTunes content, it wouldn't be a surprise, as films and other programs are now becoming available in UHD resolution to support new high-end 4K TVs.




Netflix, for example, streams its new original series in 4K to users with compatible television sets and set-top boxes. And devices like the Xbox One S are capable of reading 4K Blu-rays.

But one major player in the set-top box market lacks support for 4K: the Apple TV. Last refreshed nearly two years ago with the Siri remote and support for the tvOS App Store, the Apple TV maxes out at 1080p high-definition.

Hardware limitations within the current Apple TV prevent it from supporting 4K resolutions with a software update. That means Apple will need to release a new model to play 4K content from iTunes.

A rumor from earlier this year claimed that a new Apple TV with 4K support is in the works. It suggested that beyond adding the higher resolution for compatible televisions, the hardware refresh known as "J105" in testing wouldn't do much else new.

The rumor also mentioned "more vivid colors," which would imply HDR support. Compatible televisions can showcase high dynamic range content with greater contrast and vibrant colors.

Without an Apple TV update, only two products in Apple's current lineup could properly display 4K content: the 21.5-inch iMac with Retina 4K display, and the 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 94
    Hopefully the revamp extends to using a new design for the awful remote control
    caliScot1tmaymacxpressrepressthisalmondrocaanantksundaramclexmangargravarrlolliver
  • Reply 2 of 94
    pujones1pujones1 Posts: 132member
    I'm so ready for this update. I hope it comes with Dolby Vision. That way we have both software and hardware solutions. I'd be willing to pay more for the option. They should definitely add more features too. 
    Scot1repressthisalmondroca1983
  • Reply 3 of 94
    davendaven Posts: 453member
    It would be nice to have a cable and tv tuner in the update with DVR capability where allowed. Something like this:

    https://androidtvbox.eu/wetek-play-set-top-box-atsc-tuner/

    But that would be asking too much of cable companies to give up their lucrative ancient box top rental business. Actually, cable companies could do the same as they did with cable modem rentals. If you rent from them, $12 a month. If you bring your own, $12 a month 'access' fee. Can you see why I dropped cable?
  • Reply 4 of 94
    Scot1Scot1 Posts: 32member
     I've been waiting for this for more than a year 
    gowhitestripes1983
  • Reply 5 of 94
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    I've slowed down on buying movies because of this. How much will Apple/studios charge to upgrade our content? Upgrading our library for free would be awesome and simple.

    A new Apple TV with 4K gaming will be amazing and convince a few gamers to buy.
    gowhitestripeswatto_cobra1983lolliverflashfan207
  • Reply 6 of 94
    cali said:
    I've slowed down on buying movies because of this. How much will Apple/studios charge to upgrade our content? Upgrading our library for free would be awesome and simple.

    A new Apple TV with 4K gaming will be amazing and convince a few gamers to buy.
    I would love the ability to upgrade my library!!  

    I wonder if that is in consideration?  I wonder what it would cost? $1 per title? (I wish)
    polymnia1983jahblade
  • Reply 7 of 94
    TonibarTonibar Posts: 1member
    This sounds great but with more Data comes restrictions from companies like COMCAST which puts a DATA LIMIT on subscribers. They implemented this policy in 2016 and never informed their customers until, like me, went over the limit, which was caused I believe by upgrading my Netflix account. The limit is 1024 GB and they say 99% of their customers never reach which I find hard to believe. So until Comcast is forced to eliminate this policy then a lot of people will never benefit from a new Apple TV.

    jahblade
  • Reply 8 of 94
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 42,836member
    Could anyone with a 4th gen Apple TV (or access to one without having to drive an hour) tell me if you can set timed access on it? It’s absolutely mystifying to me why every single other Apple product can be set to automatically shut off at (or after) a given time, but not the Apple TV. That’d be my only reason to get one, and I’d get one immediately if it was the case.
  • Reply 9 of 94
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 28,793member
    Here comes the "all-day" 4K movie downloads. Woohoo!
    repressthis
  • Reply 10 of 94
    yoyo2222yoyo2222 Posts: 106member
    Could anyone with a 4th gen Apple TV (or access to one without having to drive an hour) tell me if you can set timed access on it? It’s absolutely mystifying to me why every single other Apple product can be set to automatically shut off at (or after) a given time, but not the Apple TV. That’d be my only reason to get one, and I’d get one immediately if it was the case.
    General>'Sleep after' settings are "Never, 15, 30 min, 1, 5, or 10 hours"
    tallest skilrepressthiswatto_cobra1983StrangeDaysjahbladeadm1
  • Reply 11 of 94
    You currently cannot upgrade from Standard Def to HD in iTunes so I doubt you'll be able to from HD to 4K. The studios would argue you can't upgrade physical formats like DVD so why should you be able to with Digital. For $5 a movie I would upgrade everything in my collection to 4K which is over 100 movies. But I guess the studios don't want my money.
    stompyrepressthiswatto_cobrajahbladelolliver
  • Reply 12 of 94
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,070member
    cali said:
    I've slowed down on buying movies because of this. How much will Apple/studios charge to upgrade our content? Upgrading our library for free would be awesome and simple.

    A new Apple TV with 4K gaming will be amazing and convince a few gamers to buy.
    That’s why I buy 4K UHD movies so that I can watch them now on Vudu and whenever Apple decides to finally release a 4K Apple TV I’ll get my first Apple TV. 
    repressthis
  • Reply 13 of 94
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 5,804member
    Hopefully the revamp extends to using a new design for the awful remote control
    Nonsense. I find the Siri remote easy to use and have n ever had any issues with it.
    repressthisjahblade
  • Reply 14 of 94
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 5,804member
    Could anyone with a 4th gen Apple TV (or access to one without having to drive an hour) tell me if you can set timed access on it? It’s absolutely mystifying to me why every single other Apple product can be set to automatically shut off at (or after) a given time, but not the Apple TV. That’d be my only reason to get one, and I’d get one immediately if it was the case.
    The ATV4 never 'shuts off'. It only sleeps. And if you use it as a HomeKit hub like I do you don't ever want it to turn itself off anyway.
    edited July 2017 watto_cobraStrangeDayslolliver
  • Reply 15 of 94
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 5,804member
    Can we settle an ongoing argument about 4K streaming? How much bandwidth is recommended for reliable 4K streaming? I have seen figures of around 20mbps. Now what is the average bandwidth available in the U.S. right now? I myself have a 12mbps DSL line so I am assuming 4K streaming would be useless to me, especially if other devices were consuming bandwidth online at the same time. And while we're at it my DSL line is 1mbps upstream. Using an online bandwidth calculator I figured it would take 120 hours to upload 50GB of my Photos library. This makes cloud computing a non-starter for me and I assume millions of others.
    edited July 2017 sanswatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 94
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,070member
    lkrupp said:
    Can we settle an ongoing argument about 4K streaming? How much bandwidth is recommended for reliable 4K streaming? I have seen figures of around 20mbps. Now what is the average bandwidth available in the U.S. right now? I myself have a 12mbps DSL line so I am assuming 4K streaming would be useless to me, especially if other devices were consuming bandwidth online at the same time. And while we're at it my DSL line is 1mbps upstream. Using an online bandwidth calculator I figured it would take 120 hours to upload 50GB of my Photos library. This makes cloud computing a non-starter for me and I assume millions of others.
    Sorry about your service. It shouldn’t be like that if we had real competition in the US. I’m lucky to have 300/30 so I don’t have those issues. Hopefully soon you can upgrade. 
    sansjahbladelolliver
  • Reply 17 of 94
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 2,975member
    pujones1 said:
    I'm so ready for this update. I hope it comes with Dolby Vision. That way we have both software and hardware solutions. I'd be willing to pay more for the option. They should definitely add more features too. 
    DV seems like something Apple wouldn't embrace, if only because it would require and additional license and royalty, and all movies, including DV, will offer HDR. I suppose it depends on how widely the market embraces it and how many movies end up being released in it. Also, if my TV is any indication, Apple would need a more significant processor to accommodate DV than standard HDR, thus cutting into their margins.
  • Reply 18 of 94
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,355member
    lkrupp said:
    Can we settle an ongoing argument about 4K streaming? How much bandwidth is recommended for reliable 4K streaming? I have seen figures of around 20mbps. Now what is the average bandwidth available in the U.S. right now? I myself have a 12mbps DSL line so I am assuming 4K streaming would be useless to me, especially if other devices were consuming bandwidth online at the same time. And while we're at it my DSL line is 1mbps upstream. Using an online bandwidth calculator I figured it would take 120 hours to upload 50GB of my Photos library. This makes cloud computing a non-starter for me and I assume millions of others.
    I strongly suspect the hold-up for Apple before was the H.265 licensing issue, which is only now getting settled. This next generation codec is really required to have a standards based answer for the over 4x of information in 4K (double the resolution in each dimension plus the increased colour of HDR).  With Apple talking up H.265 at WWDC in regards to iPhone, it was a good sign that AppleTV and iTunes would get 4K this fall.  We might also see HD 1080p use H.265 which will lower bandwidth requirements / storage for existing quality (and / or better quality of encoding). 

    As for b/w required of 4K, I expect 20Mbps to cover all basis (With H.265) with movie content taking less. Apple does progressive downloads - not streaming - for iTunes so it is a matter of time before start rather than if. 
    edited July 2017 StrangeDayslollivertechprod1gy
  • Reply 19 of 94
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 42,836member
    yoyo2222 said:
    General>'Sleep after' settings are "Never, 15, 30 min, 1, 5, or 10 hours"
    Thanks; so they still haven't changed it. For the life of me, I don't get why they won't add scheduling.
    sog35 said:
    So we should go back to 480p because of data caps? lol
    What's your solution for breaking them? We have to break the ISP monopolies in the US, but to do that you have to break Congress itself. Nothing will change except in a collapse scenario.
    edited July 2017
  • Reply 20 of 94
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 5,804member
    brucemc said:

    Apple does progressive downloads - not streaming - for iTunes so it is a matter of time before start rather than if. 
    I don't think that's true any longer. I used to have to wait several minutes before a movie would start playing. I would get a pop up window stating my movies would be ready for viewing in x minutes. You could also see a progress bar as the file downloaded. These days the movie starts playing almost instantly and there is no progress bar which seems to indicate streaming than progressive downloading. 
    edited July 2017
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