Apple iTV may launch for Christmas ’13 with Ultra HD 4K resolution

“If Apple plans to reinvent the way we watch TV in the living room, then it needs to start with a screen resolution that’s better than 1080p, eliminate the remote, and the overall solution needs to be somewhat affordable,” Kevin Parrish writes for Tom’s Hardware.

“That is supposedly the route Apple is taking with iTV, offering not only motion-sensing control functions and Siri-based voice commands, but support for a 3840 x 2160 resolution, or Ultra HD.,” Parrish writes. “In addition to negotiating with content owners, the holdup of Apple’s supposed iTV rollout may be partially based upon where the panels will originate.”

Parrish writes, “One of the Ultra HD panel suppliers Apple is relying on is LG Display, which will be able to mass produce Ultra HD TV panels by the second half of the year. If LG is successful and can meet Apple’s supply demand by the end of 2013, consumers may finally see iTV in time for the holiday shopping season. If not, the launch may be pushed back to 1Q14.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related article:
Apple developing Ultra HD TV controlled by voice and motion for release in late 2013 or early 2014, sources say – March 27, 2013


    1. Exactly. I bought my first HDTV in 2005 and upgraded to an HD Cable box. What did I get? Sure HD channels but most of the time the content was the SD. So I ended up watching programs in a square box in a longer triangle. It took probably 4 years before the content selection was good enough.
      That’s why I have steered clear of 3D TV. I’ll wait for the content to become common. Same goes for 4K.

    1. Yes. He’s been beating that drum for several years. I tend to believe him. Then again, I really would like some sort of Apple iTV. A physical TV. It’s been clear for a long time that Apple is trying to do something with content. As are many other people. I don’t know who is going to win that race? Apple has some real competition to gain control of content delivery. I hope Apple comes out on top. It will dovetail nicely with my new Apple iTV!

      1. It is not about “content providers” but just content when we want by name or genre and with a great interface with very well targeted personal iAds to pay for it (or a pay per show credit card payment system).

      2. A 42″ iMac would just fit into my wall unit. I currently run a 42″ Pioneer plasma (just 720p) and would love one of Panasonic’s newer plasmas, but their better models start at 50″ in the US (but 42″ in the UK!).

  1. Yeah sure.
    *snark on*
    I’ll believe it when a respected financial analyst like Gene Munster predicts a timeframe for the apple television. I mean, until that happens, it’s just a rumor.
    *snark off*

    Actually, this article would make a great generic template to blather on about some Apple thing using simple substitution.
    If Apple plans to reinvent
    it needs to . That is supposedly the route Apple is taking with .

    Let’s see…
    If Apple plans to reinvent a way for Kevin Parrish to store his brain in a jar, it needs to quickly corner the market on tinted Mason jars that are shatter resistant. That is supposedly the route Apple is taking with iBrainInJar.

  2. They will be holding out until the content suppliers are happy to provide their movies and TV shows in ultra HD. This will allow them to avoid the delay in availability of content. End to end integration!

  3. The reason for Ultra HD initially would be for gaming. Any Apple living room display would have to be the ultimate gaming console. In my opinion there is no reason for an Apple living room display to even exist if gaming and apps are not a top priority.
    The popularity of such a product would hopefully incentivize cable and content producer to start pumping it out.

    1. The living room used to be a place that people would converse and socialize. If the ‘living room’ becomes a gaming station, there will be very little socializing and it will become a place for a self centred overgrown kid to monopolize a home and drive his wife and children out of his life.

  4. I just don’t see Ultra HD TV’s being affordable by years end and certainly precious little media. I’ve been waiting to put a large screen TV in my bedroom but to take advantage of UltraHD you need like an 80″ TV, a little much for the bedroom. Guess I should just buy a 47″ or 50″ HD TV now and buy an Apple iTV (if it exists) later when it makes more market sense, like in early 2015.

    1. by that logic, you should buy a Retina iPad for in-bed media to save even more money.

      IMHO, an ultra HD display deserves a dedicated media room with properly-implemented surround sound … and bedrooms are meant for other things.

  5. Apple could easily use a 4k television to link to an upgraded AppleTV with content created from Final Cut Pro and oringinating from a similar source on an iPad or iPhone. Making product around the TV produce or provide the content for viewing as easy as it is today.

    Could be done.

  6. Given Apple’s pricing model, I imagine this TV will be priced higher than credit limit of many card holders. I suspect they won’t have to worry. I’m sure the government will figure out a way to ensure the less fortunate and lazy all get one for free.

  7. The content needs only to come from iTunes.

    Could the killer feature be Apps that run in 4k?

    Ultra HD gaming with iPhones and iPad being the controllers?

  8. Current Ultra HD TVs cost $20,000 – $25,000 each, and that’s without any proprietary Apple software/interface/usability. (Please do NOT call them 4K TVs. They are NOT 4K. The 4K standard — and yes, there has been a 4K standard for over a half dozen years — is a Digital Cinema Standard that is 2160×4096 that has very specific requirements on the colors and frame rates. These new TV systems are twice the vertical and twice the horizontal resolution of 1080p HD. Thus they are properly called Ultra HD. People that use the “4K” designation either don’t know the difference or want to use a “cool sounding buzz word term”.) I don’t see the price of those TVs coming down significantly during 2013.

    I do believe Apple could get into the iTV as a Siri based Ultra HD TV if the cost to Apple for the basic TV hardware were below $3,000. That way Apple could add its own computer hardware interface and software (e.g., Siri and various in house developed apps) and sell it for approximately $6,000 or less and still have decent margins on cutting edge iTVs (rough estimate of < $4,000 for all the components).

    The wrinkle is that no one is going to be producing Ultra HD panels for less than $3,000 for a couple years. Current costs for the hardware is *well* above $10,000 with some estimates running well above $15,000. Could Apple sized production runs lower individual costs by a factor of 4 to 6? In theory, yes. But as this is still very new technology it is extremely unlikely.

    Warning, rant to follow:
    And to those who state that Ultra HD is useless and you don't get any advantage out of it unless the TV is 60" or larger (or really 80" or larger) I respectfully state (NOT suggest, but state, as the statement is truly fact), "You don't know about what you are talking!"

    People have seen a chart on the 'net that purports to show required viewing distance versus various resolutions. People see this chart or hear about it and buy into it without knowing the physics and human optical capabilities. The chart relies on one — and only one — parameter of the human eye, the angular resolution of a single cone or rod. It's a very simple calculation and thus people fall for that being the end all, be all of human vision.

    However, in reality, the average person with good eyesight can perceive visual information at as much a 10 times better than this simple calculation can imply. Hell, slide rules were based on this better resolution as were calipers and lots of scientific instruments of the past 100+ years. If this higher visual capability were not a reality then the vast majority of that equipment for the past century would have been useless. And there are other aspects of visual acuity, such as angular aspects, that come into play too.

    Therefore, the highest resolution in a typical, large home TV (say 50 to 60 inches diagonal) is not HD (1080×1920) or even Ultra HD (2160×3840). If you want to have a display at which an average person cannot percieve a difference from true continuous image (i.e., is a continuous image like a painting rather than pixels like a TV or monitor) then the resolution will have to be on the order of 8,640×15,360 or better.

    Another, real world, way to think about this is high end printer resolution. The very highest end printers put out 2,540 full color pixels per inch — and have been doing this since the late 70s. Pushing resolutions to that range well over 30 years ago was difficult. However, there was an advantage in that at the normal 12-18 inch reading distance images printed that way were virtually indistinguishable from continuous. Also note that this is almost 8 times the iPhone's "Retina" display's resolution.
    End rant

    So, I don't see Apple coming out with an Ultra HD based iTV within the next year or two. I don't even see iTunes or the AppleTV going to Ultra HD within 2013 or 2014. However, I do believe Ultra HD TVs will catch on within the next decade. I suspect that by 2025 Ultra HD TVs will be the equivalent popularity of 1080p HD TVs now. And I do expect Apple to ship an Ultra HD TV related item (if not an Ultra HD iTV itself) long before 2020.

  9. how would siri-based voice commands work if you had the sound up on something you’re watching. could siri accidentally take a command from something it hears from the audio of whatever show you’re watching. i’m sure apple peeps are working out all the kinks.

  10. How many of us have, or are in the foreseeable future likely to have, broadband connections capable of handling twice the data rate of HD video (assuming 50% better compression than existing codecs at no loss in quality) for every TV in our house, on top of our anticipated other household data requirements?

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