Could the 1080p Apple TV 4 hint at a 4K Apple TV set?

“The Apple TV set-top box hardware is expected to be updated this summer after 3 years since the last real refresh and a recent price drop from $99 to $69,” Zac Hall writes for 9to5Mac.

“While the last Apple TV upgrade boosted video output from 720p to 1080p, the rumored Apple TV 4 is not believed to support ultra high definition 4K video output featured on newer TV sets,” Hall writes. “It’s not hard to imagine that Apple could be saving 4K adoption for its own UHDTV, not the set-top box (which is not a completely new idea).”

Hall writes, “Ignoring whether or not Apple should enter the actual TV set business, Apple could use the transition from 1080p to 4K as a compelling upgrade reason.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Gene Munster would be beside himself with joy.


  1. > The Apple TV set-top box hardware is expected to be updated this summer…

    I’m not “expecting” any such thing. The focus for Apple TV marketing in the near term is significant new content choices, without the distraction of releasing new hardware at the same time. The price was reduced to $69 to quickly increase the audience before new content choices arrive. It got to buy one. 🙂

    The current model streams 1080p video perfectly, assuming the customer’s Internet broadband is up to the task. If the focus is new content, what more does it need to do? Streaming 4K video is not even practical for Apple and most customers at this point.

    I can even see a “deal” where the current Apple TV mini-box is FREE with one-year subscription the new “Internet TV” package. Like iPhone, except Apple is providing it own subsidy. If that approach works, it would open the door to a complete “4K” Apple TV set (some time “down the road”), partially subsidized using the customer’s content subscriptions. It would make the upfront cost affordable, while maintaining a profit margin that is acceptable to Apple.

    1. I believe an upgraded ATV will indeed be coming this summer (or at least the formal announcement). The hints are everywhere, including hints from Mr. Cook himself. I expect one or more new models will be coming. I’d love to see 4K (or 5K to match the iMac). So, even though you may not be “expecting” one, I am. It’s long past due and I’m looking forward to it.

  2. I think in light of the 5K iMac, I think this new update will support 4K since they already have the technology. What is more important is that they make the App Store for the ATV to support gaming and that new video streaming.

  3. As far as I can tell, his only “reason” is that the upcoming Apple TV box purportedly does not support 4K, therefore they will make a TV that does??

    I’ll be if the upcoming Apple TV *did* support 4K he’d have then written that *that* means they will make a 4K TV.


    1. If Apple is going to wait many years between ATV updates, then they should future-proof it. Releasing new ATV hardware that does not support at least a 4K resolution at 60 Hz minimum refresh rate is DOA. BluRay players and content are around the corner with that capability, in stores this summer. TVs already offer the capability, with built-in downloads of what limited 4K content is available from Netflix and others. It’s just not good to see Apple fall too far behind the status quo.

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