New Apple TV to offer A8 chip, 8/16GB storage, same ports, no 4K, and new black remote

“The fourth-generation Apple TV, set to be unveiled at an event on September 9th and released in October, will feature a mix of new and familiar hardware, according to reliable sources,” Marke Gurman reports for 9to5Mac.

“While the new device will sport a much faster processor than the current Apple TV, a color-matched remote control, and a somewhat larger body,” Gurman reports, “it will lack support for 4K video streaming and have the same basic ports as the third-generation model.”

“The current Apple TV design, first released in late 2010, has 8GB of internal storage for caching media, and the fourth-generation boxes in testing surprisingly range from 8GB to 16GB of storage,” Gurman reports. “We’re also told that Apple is omitting 4K support for content streaming, as BuzzFeed earlier reported, and AirPlay, despite the new iPhones being able to shoot video in that ultra high-resolution format.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: No 4K is a bit of a let down. Finding 4K content is a chore. Right now, we’re mainly stuck with Netflix or Amazon and their limited 4K choices to feed our 4K Sony Ultra HD TVs. Oh, well. Perhaps the hardware is capable and Apple can simply add 4K content at a later date once 4K TVs become more prevalent?


    1. You and me both. Keep at $69 for these specs. To come out with a new product, today, which doesn’t support 4k is foolish. Let’s hope Siri got her act together because the new ATV with Siri integration could prove to be a nightmare.

    1. The disappointment with not supporting 4K also comes from the fact that if they did support it in the next Apple TV, you’d also be very likely to see content available in that format in iTunes right away. I’d upgrade hardware if there was content, but the lack thereof makes it not a pressing purchase as hardware dates itself fast. Apple shouldn’t always wait until the market is matured before getting in because they lose first mover momentum as well as that visceral sense that they are leaders.

      1. Seems strange to leave it so long to update and in the process give much of the ground over to competitors, if there is nothing ground breaking in this update and the price shoots up substantially. Seems to be some contradictions here, especially if the size after 4 years or so actually increases too. Must be something we are missing.

      2. I have a 4K TV and the reception I see over the air waves is better than I see on a 1080p plasma over cable. So I would say 4K support is important even if 4K programing isn’t widely available. I’m looking to cut cable all together.

        1. That doesn’t really make sense. You’re not getting native 4K signal over the air so all this really means is that your 4K TV looked bertter upconverting an OTA image which is always better quality than compressed cable anyway. I don’t think your observation has anything to do with 4k resolution, it has everything to do with a better quality image processor in the TV and probably better quality source content.

          1. OTA is compressed less than cable in most areas, but don’t forget that some high end TV’s actually upsample input data.

            4K TVs, being the newest on the market, will have the best color accuracy and the deepest blacks. Advanced players and monitors will interpolate the data to make even a relatively low quality input look better.

            But even still, Apple is lost if it can’t support the resolution of the mainstream new televisions on the market. “good enough” was not what Apple was about when Jobs ran the show. WTF is Cook thinking?

    2. How many people have the bandwidth to stream 4K? Many internet providers are beginning to charge extra if you exceed 300GB/mo. How many 4K movies would it take to eat that up? The lack of 4K support makes complete sense.

      1. I have 100/10 unlimited in Canada for $85.00
        More than enough to stream 4K and it looks superb.

        Just because YOU don’t have it or aren’t interested doesn’t mean its not for anyone else.

        I wouldn’t mind streaming it through an Apple TV instead of the craptastic TV app…

    1. Your point doesn’t change the fact that 4K is happening, and significantly so. Moreover, it is true that larger screens are better for the viewing experiencing, but 4K content still improves upon 1080p in most scenarios. Disputing this is pointless, as there will always be people who aren’t impressed or interested in the long-term resolution road map (4K, 8K, etc.), and that is fine, but the the larger market will. Most of the top smartphones today have 4K cameras. Good or bad, it is quickly becoming a standard now, and people are simply going to become more and more aware of it and expect it. In a year or two, this debate will be moot, if not already. Will Apple wait until the 5th generation for 4K? That might be 2017 or 18. Very late.

      1. Apple made a business decision based on the fact that 4K is not widely available and that most people cannot stream 4K because their internet connection is not fast enough. That makes 4K streaming a frustrating experience rather than having an Apple experience with HD streaming.

        1. A good point, but this is temporary, and questions remain, however:

          1. Will it support 4K mirroring? The new iPhone is all but confirmed to have a 4K camera.
          2. Will support for 4K be added by way of a software update?
          3. If no to 2, how long until the 5th generation is released? Two years? Three years? By then, it absolutely WILL be a 4K world.

          Many are not interested or aware of 4K, but this is changing fast.

      2. Shooting in 4K does not mean the end result will be in 4K. 4K allows for better stability, and noise reduction. It makes editing in 1080p easier. You can crop, zoom, and add Ken Burns without sacrificing picture quality.

        The price point is important. 4K would require more storage.

    1. These type of comments are asinine… Apple didn’t “lay” anything, these are “reports” (read rumors) about possible specs. A little perspective goes a long way from showing the world what a moron you are.

      1. 50 mbps/$34.99 with TWC is quickly becoming common and handles 4K streaming fine. And yes, the 4K market is developing quickly. In 12 months MUCH will have occurred. A few examples:
        1. The BBC is committed to making 4K a standard in 2016.
        2. 4K Blu Ray licensing started August 24th. The discs will be out before Christmas.
        3. 4K TV prices are dropping faster than the 1080p sets did 12 years ago.
        4. This holiday shopping season is going to have a major impact on consumer awareness of 4K and this will increase demand.
        5. The Roku 4 will support 4K and is due very soon.
        6. Nearly every Netflix now is shot and encoded at 4K. A dozen new shows were just announced.
        7. Netflix is nearly on par in market share and valuation with the major networks.

        Cursory research shows that globally, the 4K infrastructure is evolving quickly.

  1. Let’s hope they relent and support the mkv wrapper as well as do proper decoding of all commercial surround formats (AC3, DTS and the hi-res versions of those). They’ve been significantly behind the competition in this regard. H.265 support would be a real plus.

    I stream a movie maybe a couple of times a year, but have a multi-terabyte media server. Sure would be nice if I could run it through an Apple device.

  2. I think the Apple TV is about to become more than a hobby.

    Not supporting 4K with this upgrade makes sense. It leaves a major feature on the table for next year’s upgrade when there will be far more 4K TV sets and content available to drive sales of 4K capable Apple TVs at $199, while continuing to offer the non-4K model at $149, or offer the 4K model at $149 and the non-4K model at $99.

    Either way the Apple TV will not cross the threshold into material revenue, meaning that unit sales will not be reported.

    1. This model sounds like a $99 Apple TV gen 4.

      There’s a reason it’s bigger and it’s worth $50 more. It has to be storage, a GPU, something else. Siriously, if it’s what they say it is, it’s no better than last years iPhone, without the screen, GPS, motion sensor etc. So value alone suggests either $99 business as usual, or even $69 while EOL Apple TV gen 3.

      Here’s a plot line, there is more than one version. ATV G3+, and the actual ATV G4K, for $149.99. At least we can hope.

    1. That would be a mistake. 4K is here now. Streaming 4K doesn’t need to be real-time, local storage and buffering would enable videophiles with the latest big screens to have the better experience. At the glacial rate that Apple has been releasing new hardware, it seems they have to roll out the hardware right now. So if the hardware is ready, there is absolutely no excuse for the software to not be included as well.

      I think that under Cook Apple has intentionally gone from industry innovator to intentional follower. Apple isn’t keeping up with Roku now. If Apple can’t figure out 4K, then some other scrappy startup will. What a shame that Apple has no leadership anymore.

      1. Um, no. Your narrative is bogus. Recall when Jobs first unveiled the iPhone that many were disappointed that it only supported EDGE and not 3G. This is a business decision and represents no change from Apple’s previous strategy.

        1. You’re comparing a first generation product introduction with a 4th generation product intro ???? Mike is right. Apple will lose the market if they don’t get with the program (pun intended).

  3. The pricing and the 8-16GB of storage doesn’t sound credible.

    It doesn’t sound like it’s that much of a hardware bump to warrant $149-$199, especially when you consider the $99 price a few years ago and the growth rate of the technology.

    8-16GB of storage doesn’t make sense either. Either 3rd party apps are allowed or they aren’t. If they’re allowed both levels are inadequate for anyone who wants apps. I could understand them offering an entry model for people who don’t want apps, but both of these two levels are in a no man’s land. If there are no 3rd party apps, then the storage levels are excessive. And yes, that goes for local storing of media as well.

    1. You are right, the price points are not just for storage or the new CPU. Has everyone forgotten the new remote? It has to have wireless to get to the Apple TV, and with all the features it supposedly has, its probably a form factor like the iPod Touch. The remote is the driver of the higher price.

      1. Well in this article, they don’t seem to be talking about that much more advanced of a remote. Although if the remote is much more advanced, as rumored elsewhere, then the differentiated price/storage points don’t make sense.

        In other words, I could see them charging $149 or $199 and saying here’s this great new remote, but I don’t see a break down between 8GB and 16GB.

  4. I should add, the lack of 4K doesn’t really bother me too much. As much as I would like 4K, that could be an easy upgrade, if not in software, then with new units.

    Everything else though is defining what Apple TV itself is. If at this point Apple is saying no to 3rd party apps, well then, that’s pretty much that. And I don’t see 8-16GB of storage as being very 3rd party app-like.

  5. Wonder about the rumor some time ago (a year?) that it won’t require a wi-fi network to talk directly to an iOS or Mac device, allowing you to use it for presentations, etc… when on the go – just plug HDMI into a TV or projector and screen share or fire up Keynote.

    The small storage size is a bit of a worry if it is gong to be a game server, unless the bulk is streamed with small app footprint on device. I don’t know much about that, and am not much of a gamer, but know many who have been waiting for it to become a gaming platform as well.

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