The big picture around Apple’s 4K Mac Pro plan

“Apple has set itself a leadership position within the video and broadcast industry, and the strength of that position will come clear in December when the Mac Pro ships — kick-starting the 4K content creation industry when it does,” Jonny Evans writes for Computerworld.

“Mac Pro will ship in December. It is likely Apple will offer 4K displays made by Sharp for sale through its stores when the Mac goes on sale,” Evans writes. “Mac Pro, Final Cut and other 4K-compatible software tools in conjunction with the emerging Thunderbolt 2 class peripheral products that should surface in 2014 mean pro content creators will soon be in position to affordably create 4K content. The interest shown in the standard by broadcasters and online video services means there’s also an emerging distribution system for such content.”

Evans writes, “Following this logic, it remains clear 4K is an essential element to Apple’s pro hardware plans; it also seems inevitable these plans will extend to UltraHD services via iTunes. All we need are affordable 4K TVs.”

Read more in the full article here.


    1. They likely will, because they know most people will keep overpaying anyway.

      However, just because the majority of the lazy population seems enamored with an imaginary world where cable & satellite companies will offer anything one can desire in pristine quality at a reasonable price instantaneously (what an outlandish fantasy!), it doesn’t mean that the optical disk or flash drive distribution or non-instantaneous uncompressed loading couldn’t work for 4k content.

      I would be entirely happy to use next generation Blu-Ray discs or pay an a-la-carte price for 4k video downloads that need tens of minutes or even a couple hours to download. We can plan ahead.

      Moreover, most anyone with a >50 inch screen from any reasonable viewing distance can still see pixellation on 1080p content. Many people will pay more for another step closer to perfection, just as everyone here seems willing to pay the Apple premium price.

  1. 4K will be great, but before it can be great, there needs to be a push for content. A lot of content will mean consumer sales. No content, who in their right mind will plop $5K for a more or less useless set? Only rich mofos that want bragging rights.

  2. What exactly is Apple selling that makes the new Mac Pro a unique, enabling product for 4K content creation?

    The CPU is made by Intel and the GPU(s) made by AMD.

    I’ll give Apple create for the Aluminum enclosure and heat sink, and lack of PCI Express expansion. But not much else.

    1. The new Mac Pro has 10x the PCI expansion capabilities of the the old model. It is a turnkey monster outclassing any production machine out there. Realize that Thunderbolt is for 4k what firewire was for digital video at the start. Either you have it or you not doing 4K.

      You can drop the engine and tranny from a Corvette Stingray into a 73 Buick but your not going to run it around the Nuremberg ring.

    2. If making a great computer was as simple as slapping a CPU with a GPU, and sticking it into a beige box, then Dell wouldn’t be going private and HP wouldn’t have tried to sell their PC business, and Lenovo wouldn’t be making less than $10 a PC. Yep, those are the top-3 PC mfrs, and 2 have tried to get out of the business in the last 3 years, while the other makes pennies on the dollar.

  3. When I first saw 1080p, I thought that was it.
    I believed the resolution couldn’t go up any more higher. I was wrong.

    When I went to bestbuy, I stumbled upon the sony 4K demo and I was blown away.

    What the article is saying is that content producers will be producing more 4K contents now that it is more easier and affordable with the help of Mac Pro. More content means more companies will make more 4K sets. Eventually, the price will go down and when it finally makes it to a point where consumers can afford it, this will be the new replacement for HD.

    1. The first test of whether 4K is going to catch on is whether movies have a format for being sold in 4K format, whether on physical media or download.

      Download is probably preferred, but the most impractical due to a real lack of good high speed internet in a large part of the U.S. and other countries. Seeing that AppleTV was 720p until not too long ago, I just don’t see 4K downloads happening soon. Cable companies would go bananas.

      Which leads us back to consumers purchasing 4K TVs, 4K Blu-Ray players, and 4K media. It certainly could happen, but it’s yet another complete revamping of the living room when most consumers did so just a couple of years ago. Thus, I see 4K as being slowly adopted, rather than experiencing a maelstrom of sales like HDTVs did a few years ago.

  4. So the first digital cinema projectors were only 720p and I didn’t hear anybody complain about that on a 30ft screen. Now we’re expect to embrace 4K on a 60in screen… spare me!

    1. You are hereby spared. Do not buy a new Mac Pro, and do not buy any 4k resolution monitor of any size. Please leave them for people like me to enjoy.

      As usual, there will always be people who don’t know what they’re missing. That shouldn’t stop Apple from being a step ahead.

    2. You make a good point for the wrong reason. For now 4K is used in theaters. With the new Mac Pro indie movies can made with 4K. This will help build content for the format when it becomes affordable for the average household.

  5. We won’t be upgrading our Mac Pros until they can get the so called best OS in the world to be able to do the most menial of tasks. Searching on a network share that isn’t on an Apple device and without a 3rd party program.
    2 years + and they still haven’t fixed it. I will spend our budget on something that can do a basic search. Unfreakin believable.

    1. So you are upset that a networked PC can’t easily be searched on your mac without a 3rd party program?

      If I understand your beef correctly, I can’t say I’m terribly sympathetic. Perhaps if no 3rd party solutions existed, but Apple makes products that work well in their ecosystem first as a priority and only add extra abilities to work with other company gear as an afterthought and only when it is strategically advantageous to Apple.

      If Mac sales are significantly lower because of the lack of this built in feature then they need to address it. If not, there are 3rd party solutions as you indicated.

  6. BlueRay never caught on in the UK and now it looks like Tesco have abandoned selling BlueRay players altogether. I can’t see 4k catching on anytime soon. Most households remain content with DVD as a playback medium even though they may own a 1080p TV.

  7. The best thing about this new Mac Pro is that it will (hopefully) drive down prices of used Mac Pros. I gots me a 4,1 w/ 8 core Nehalem for $1100 about a year ago, part of a lot sell off. Like finding a bag of money next to the road. The Mac Pros are made so well, beyond vanity and gee-whiz there’s really no point to fork out 3000 clams for the new base model that probably can’t do better than the one I got. Likely when Apple touts 7 teraflops they mean the 12 core model, and who will bet against a $6000 price tag?
    I do like that the new one only sucks half the power out
    of the wall, but I really expected they would start at $1799.
    Maybe Apple could make a few in China to sell for that
    price. I’ll bet this is the last version of the Mac Pro, the model
    will be retired in 3-4 years. And I wager the only reason they made it was it was a pet project of Big Steve’s; plus it’s a good experimental iron-out-the-kinks platform for Apple to bring manufacturing back to the US, not having to answer to huge

  8. you could buy a 16 core HP workstation qualified for Avid last year that could already do up to 8K and natively ingest and work with R3D files without having to wait for background rendering into Apple PooRes codec…. nice of apple to start catching up (not)

  9. 4K is the 4K of 4K. I don’t think it will really catch on until we are talking about 4K 3D. While we are at it, surround sound is really limited as well. I’d like to see a 9.2 base standard.

    Yes folks, 4K is the new 3D. Definitely the HD-DVD of media formats. But I’ll be holding out for 8K. That will be something.

  10. To the topic of the article: Apple has never offered a clear 4k resolution strategy. Apple claims the new Mac Pro can support real-time editing of 4k video, but that’s about it, and it’s certainly not an exclusive Apple capability.

    This month’s current issue of MacWorld described their latest hackintosh running circles around the 2012 Mac Pro at a relatively lower out-of-pocket hardware price. Next year there will be nothing stopping them from doing the same thing with components that will eclipse the forthcoming cylindrical Mac Pro.

    When amateurs are building better machines than Apple, there is a problem. Apple needs to establish a clear value proposition, because Cook’s vision for the Mac isn’t very compelling. Free “productivity” crippleware and overpriced hardware that has relatively few affordable Thunderbolt accessories and absolutely no 4k Apple displays does not excite. Cook has spent way too much Apple effort dinking with subscription-based services and aerobie offices, and WAY TOO LITTLE effort making the Mac platform the best developer platform in the world, with the best value hardware in the world. Be honest, folks. Macs are luxury, not value machines. For work, pros care about horsepower, not the thinness of the edge bezel or the shape of the case. …and Apple has done practically nothing to increase the number of 3rd party developers for the platform. SHAME ON COOK.

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