Apple TV 4K won't play 4K YouTube videos because of missing Google codec

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
While the Apple TV 4K can play 4K videos from sources like iTunes and Netflix, that support is conspicuously missing from one of the most popular tvOS apps, YouTube.




YouTube videos are limited to 1080p, according to early reviewers such as The Verge. The issue appears to be Apple's decision not to support Google's VP9 codec, despite it being open and free to use. The same problem prevents 4K YouTube videos from playing in the Mac and iOS versions of Safari.

Apple reportedly has no timeframe for when -- or if -- it will add VP9. The Apple TV relies on H.264/HEVC, the company's preferred video format across all its devices.

The lack of 4K YouTube video could be problematic for Apple, since that service has a growing library of 4K content, and rival devices like the Roku Ultra, Chromecast Ultra, and Amazon Fire TV do offer the higher resolution.

The new Apple TV is also missing support for Dolby Atmos surround sound, despite simultaneously pioneering Dolby's Vision HDR format. In that case however, Apple has promised a software update.

The Apple TV 4K ships this Friday, starting at $179 for a 32-gigabyte model.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 87
    That is incredibly stupid of Apple to refuse to support free open standards.
    repressthisbradipaoviclauyyc
  • Reply 2 of 87
    C'mon, Apple. Do the needed negotiations/due diligence to make sure things play nice with at least the top handful of software partners that your users really use, before releasing a major software update.

    Btw, in my organization, people have been told to not upgrade to iOS11 because it cannot send mail via Outlook/Exchange. Quoting from the memo, "...An error appears stating "Cannot Send Mail. The message was rejected by the server." Apple is working to resolve this, and expects a fix soon. [XYZ] recommends NOT upgrading to this version of iOS at this time."

    Pathetic.
    edited September 2017 xzuScot1repressthis
  • Reply 3 of 87
    netrox said:
    That is incredibly stupid of Apple to refuse to support free open standards.

    Or maybe Google is not following the open standard as well as they should thus the reason it does not work with Apple built in codec. Apple is using the standards that are currently available, sometimes a controlled standard is better than an open standard which allows people to do was the like
    AvieshekSolimacseekerStrangeDaysmdriftmeyerrepressthistallest skilbrucemcBluntwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 87
    Who died and made GOOG the final arbiter of all that is video?
    macseekermdriftmeyerrepressthisbrucemcwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 87
    C'mon, Apple. Do the needed negotiations/due diligence to make sure things play nice with at least the top handful of software partners that your users really use, before releasing a major software update.

    Btw, in my organization, people have been told to not upgrade to iOS11 because it cannot send mail via Outlook/Exchange. Quoting from the memo, "...An error appears stating "Cannot Send Mail. The message was rejected by the server." Apple is working to resolve this, and expects a fix soon. [XYZ] recommends NOT upgrading to this version of iOS at this time."

    Pathetic.
    Hmmm...I have multiple IOS 11 devices deployed using security profiles installed via an MDM server in our organization to access mail (sending and receiving) on an Exchange 2013 server and it appears to be working flawlessly. Just providing anecdotal evidence that it isn't failing to work with Exchange in all organizations.  It is possible your company's config is causing the issue. 
    Solirandominternetpersonrepressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 87
    C'mon, Apple. Do the needed negotiations/due diligence to make sure things play nice with at least the top handful of software partners that your users really use, before releasing a major software update.

    Btw, in my organization, people have been told to not upgrade to iOS11 because it cannot send mail via Outlook/Exchange. Quoting from the memo, "...An error appears stating "Cannot Send Mail. The message was rejected by the server." Apple is working to resolve this, and expects a fix soon. [XYZ] recommends NOT upgrading to this version of iOS at this time."

    Pathetic.
    Outlook is working fine on iOS 11 on my iPhone SE
    Solirepressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 87
    Maybe the owner of YouTube should address this which is not Apple. Just saying.
    edited September 2017 StrangeDaysmacseekermdriftmeyerrepressthiswatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 8 of 87
    C'mon, Apple. Do the needed negotiations/due diligence to make sure things play nice with at least the top handful of software partners that your users really use, before releasing a major software update.

    Btw, in my organization, people have been told to not upgrade to iOS11 because it cannot send mail via Outlook/Exchange. Quoting from the memo, "...An error appears stating "Cannot Send Mail. The message was rejected by the server." Apple is working to resolve this, and expects a fix soon. [XYZ] recommends NOT upgrading to this version of iOS at this time."

    Pathetic.


    We seen this problem in the past with outlook and exchange servers not working with new release of iOS thus the reason I usual hold off. The fact that Microsoft is migrating users and companies to 365 for mail could be the issue verses a true exchange issue or something they have done on the 365 side. I can tell in the last week I had lots of serious issue with 365 and had an actual MS tech support person (verse the local support people) on the phone for 3 hours this week trying to resolve my issues. Only to find out it was 365 server side issue they changed something which caused problems with OneDrive for Business to stop syncing properly and corrupting files or not allowing them to save properly. End up having to create an entirely new user profile and setting up my account again.

    Do not be so quick to blame Apple since MS is notorious for blaming everyone else for problem they have on their end. In this case it maybe  be easier for Apple to fix verse MS trying to fix and breaking something else.

    macseekerScot1longpathpatchythepiratemike54watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 9 of 87
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,616member
    Because something you make it open tech doesn't mean the best technology. Companies do all the time to promote their own home grown tech by making open which they have long term goal of leveraging it. Like Google made android open but still control many aspects than utilize that platform for tight integration of their apps Gmails,youtube,etc which than used to promote Advs revenue.
    edited September 2017 StrangeDayslongpathmike54Bluntwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 87
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,263member
    maestro64 said:
    netrox said:
    That is incredibly stupid of Apple to refuse to support free open standards.

    Or maybe Google is not following the open standard as well as they should thus the reason it does not work with Apple built in codec. Apple is using the standards that are currently available, sometimes a controlled standard is better than an open standard which allows people to do was the like
    I'll tell you this much, Google doesn't even support HDR on its YouTube App provided for Android TV on my Sony 900E. The latest update pretty much took away options to easily determine what picture resolution I'm getting as well ... It says 4K but looks like 1080p at best in many cases ...
    longpathllama
  • Reply 11 of 87
    crosslad said:
    C'mon, Apple. Do the needed negotiations/due diligence to make sure things play nice with at least the top handful of software partners that your users really use, before releasing a major software update.

    Btw, in my organization, people have been told to not upgrade to iOS11 because it cannot send mail via Outlook/Exchange. Quoting from the memo, "...An error appears stating "Cannot Send Mail. The message was rejected by the server." Apple is working to resolve this, and expects a fix soon. [XYZ] recommends NOT upgrading to this version of iOS at this time."

    Pathetic.
    Outlook is working fine on iOS 11 on my iPhone SE
    I'm using Mail on iOS 11 with an O365 account and its working just fine. 

    I am telling my organization not to upgrade to iOS 11 on their iPads at this point as I don't have Casper (our MDM) updated to support iOS 11. I will push it when were ready from Casper. I also don't want them upgrading so it doesn't kill our wifi network during the day. 
  • Reply 12 of 87
    Question for developers out there.  Is there any reason the YouTube app couldn't include a software decoder?  I am not up to date on the rules for the app store, but I know Netflix is using VP9 for mobile videos(at least on some platforms) to save on bandwidth in addition to YouTube.  And only the most recent Qualcomm and Exynos chips have hardware decoders for VP9.  I would think it would be possible for the Youtube app to be updated to include software decoding of VP9, much lesser chipsets than Apples A series are capable of this.
    repressthisbradipao
  • Reply 13 of 87
    Google hasn’t updated their YouTube app for AppleTV since May 2016. My main issue with the app is that it doesn’t refresh subscriptions automatically. You have to go back and forth between screens until it finally does an update.
    repressthisfirelock
  • Reply 14 of 87
    C'mon, Apple. Do the needed negotiations/due diligence to make sure things play nice with at least the top handful of software partners that your users really use, before releasing a major software update.

    Btw, in my organization, people have been told to not upgrade to iOS11 because it cannot send mail via Outlook/Exchange. Quoting from the memo, "...An error appears stating "Cannot Send Mail. The message was rejected by the server." Apple is working to resolve this, and expects a fix soon. [XYZ] recommends NOT upgrading to this version of iOS at this time."

    Pathetic.
    It's a pity that your organization, misinformation is being promulgated as fact. I have zero issues sending email from my company-issued 5S, running iOS 11, via MS Exchange Server. I certainly am not getting any kind of "Cannot Send Mail" error. What version of MS Exchange Server is your organization running?
  • Reply 15 of 87
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,322member
    Avieshek said:
    Maybe the owner of YouTube should address this which is not Apple. Just saying.
    They can't force Apple to use an industry standard, even if it is free, stable, vetted and common.
    edited September 2017 viclauyyc
  • Reply 16 of 87
    Outlook is working fine on iOS 11 on my iPhone SE
    Messages is buggy as hell, though. I keep getting the last message getting caught under the keyboard bug.
  • Reply 17 of 87
    Google and Apple. Enemies till the end...at everyone else's expense.
  • Reply 18 of 87
    A small correction here.

    Regular (SDR) Youtube 4K videos are available in H264.
    Only HDR 4K videos seem not to be.

    For example, I could download a 4GB 30 minutes 4K Youtube video in 3 minutes using the free 4K Video Downloader app.
    The downloaded video is H264 encoded and SDR (BT.709).

    And since my 2012 retina MacBook Pro cannot encode H264 4K at 10x, no transcoding occured.
    The video is here:

    Note that the video I download is SDR (with the BT.709) color space, and not HDR although the video is supposed to be available in HDR.
    (I believe H264 does not support HDR and BT.2020)

    It is very possible and likely that Youtube serves 4K HDR video exclusively in VP9, but 4K SDR video seems also available in H264.

    And could be enabled on the Apple TV 4K without the need for VP9.

    And Google could very well implement a software VP9 decoder in is tcOS Youtube app if it wanted to.
    I am quite sure the A10X Fusion would be more tahn enough to decode 4K HDR VP9 video.
    lkrupprepressthisbradipaoviclauyyc
  • Reply 19 of 87
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,451member
    sog35 said:
    tomeone said:
    Google hasn’t updated their YouTube app for AppleTV since May 2016. My main issue with the app is that it doesn’t refresh subscriptions automatically. You have to go back and forth between screens until it finally does an update.
    Also it does not refresh watched videos either on subs. really annoying.
    So fire Tim, right?
    repressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 87
    gatorguy said:
    Avieshek said:
    Maybe the owner of YouTube should address this which is not Apple. Just saying.
    They can't force Apple to use an industry standard, even if it is free, stable, vetted and common.

    Exactly. Google can’t force their garbage on people since they don’t rule the Internet (like they seem to think).

    We don’t need another standard created by Google when there’s a perfectly good industry standard already out there in wide use (HEVC).

    Good on Apple for supporting the better system and not allowing Google to act like Microsoft by imposing “their” standards on the rest of us.
    macpluspluspatchythepirateiqatedoBlunt
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