Apple begins production of Apple TV 5 with ‘dramatically improved’ performance, new functions

“The fifth-generation Apple TV will come into trial production in December and volume production in the first quarter of 2016, with Apple for the first time adopting a heat-dissipation solution for the set-top box to handle the device’s new CPU, according to sources from Taiwan-based supply chain makers,” Aaron Lee and Joseph Tsai report for DigiTimes.

“Apple is planning to adopt a new CPU for the fifth-generation Apple TV to dramatically improve the device’s hardware performance and will add new functions to help it no longer serve only as a set-top box,” Lee and Tsai report.

“Production is outsourced to Quanta Computer,” Lee and Tsai report, “instead of its existing [Apple TV 3 and 4] partner Foxconn Electronics.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: 4K UHDTV (2160p).

Apple should have future-proofed the Apple TV with 4K capability and no amount of apologists will be able to change the fact that, to the general public, Apple looks to be greedily setting up planned obsolescence with the current Apple TV by omitting 4K capability.

After all, if Ultra HD doesn’t matter, why do iPhones shoot in 4K and why have iMacs been upgraded to 4K and even 5K models?

All that said, the Apple TV is a relatively low-priced device and offers much, much more than just simply replaying video. 1080p is perfectly acceptable, will keep bandwidth demands lower for any Apple streaming service that may someday actually appear, and upgrading to 4K Apple TV units next year shouldn’t be all that expensive (especially if you simply sell your current Apple TV unit(s) and apply the proceeds). For the App Store, the Siri Remote and all it can do, and everything else the Apple TV currently offers, we highly recommend the device. It’s awesome, even in its spotty and unfinished state! We’ll just get our 4K content from the Netflix app built right into our Sony 4K TVs instead.

Now, cue the inevitable “4K doesn’t matter” comments from those who don’t yet own 4K Ultra HD TVs. We remember hearing the same exact type of comments when HD TVs first hit the market.MacDailyNews Take, November 12, 2015

Jeremy Clarkson confirms new post-Top Gear Amazon Prime show will be in 4K – November 20, 2015
Why Apple TV doesn’t need 4K Ultra HD video – November 12, 2015
Apple TV and the 4K Ultra HD conundrum – October 8, 2015
Amazon embarrasses Apple with new 4K Fire TV box or something – September 17, 2015
Amazon unveils $100 Fire TV box 4K video support, Alexa voice control – September 17, 2015
With the all-new Apple TV, Apple changes the game, yet again – September 14, 2015
Analyst: Apple TV streaming service on the way, could cost at least $40 a month – September 14, 2015
Local media streaming app Plex coming to Apple TV – September 14, 2015
What Apple got right in Apple TV’s user interface – and what needs work – September 11, 2015
New Apple TV has the potential to do for television what iPhone did for mobile phones – September 11, 2015
Apple preps to conquer living room with all-new Apple TV – September 11, 2015
Hands-on with the all-new Apple TV – September 10, 2015
Gruber: Apple TV will define how all TVs will work in a few years – September 10, 2015
Here’s how much RAM is inside Apple’s iPhone 6s/Plus, iPad Pro and new Apple TV – September 10, 2015
New Apple TV sounds great, but where’s the 4K? – September 10, 2015


  1. If you stand in front of your 55 inch 4K TV and walk backwards you will stop seeing individual pixels at 3 ft. If you do the same with a 55 inch 1080 HDTV you stop seeing individual pixels at 8 ft. So, if you’re going to watch your 55 inch TV from between 3 ft and 8 ft away 4K is worth the additional cost. I personally won’t.

    1. First, your math makes zero sense.

      If individual UHDTV (Note that it is NOT “4K”. The “4K” designation is an official Digital Cinema standard, which has been around for years, and is different from “UHDTV”.) pixels can be easily discerned at 3 ft (your number) then HDTV pixels (same size screen and all else being the same between the two TVs) then the distance at which you can easily distinguish HDTV pixels is 6 ft, not 8 ft. The linear pixel density changes by a factor of two so the distance at which the angular resolution is the same changes by a factor of two.

      But all this is based upon the truly asinine “one arc minute” BS. It does not take into account many, many things that exist in the real world. It’s based upon one pixel to one imaging sensor point in the human eye. It’s just an overly simplistic way of doing a truly easy calculation — much simpler than what is really going on.

      The human eye does NOT work like that. The human eye constantly dithers: it rapidly moves a tiny amount. This allows the human brain to interpolate between what is seen by each individual sensor in they eye. This leads to the fact that human vision can perceive much, much better than the asinine “standard” of one arc minute. There have been many, many studies over the years that show that humans with normal vision (the so called 20/20 vision with no measurable aberrations) can perceive changes in their visual field as small as 1/10 (and in some limited cases as small as 1/20) of that asinine one arc minute “standard”.

      So, even using your number (3 ft), the limit of perceptible screen change is 30 feet or more for that 55″ UHDTV.

      Besides, why would you EVER want to sit close enough that you can easily pick out individual pixels? Would that not constantly be annoying? Wouldn’t that be like going back to everything looking like video games of the late 80s? Wouldn’t you prefer to have your mind paying attention to the imagery being shown and not the individual, blocky pixels?

      Even further, UHDTV supports many things that HDTV does not that further enhance the imagery, just one of which is they higher dynamic range of the color field. Colors with UHDTV will encompass about twice as much of the color space that the human can perceive as compared to what HDTV can present. Wouldn’t you want to see as much color and brightness variation in your imagery as possible? (And the color spec for UHDTV still does not come anywhere near the full color space people can perceive.) Wouldn’t you want to see as close to what was there when the image was captured as opposed to the limited set that HDTV will give you?

      If you want to stay with HDTV then go for it. The rest of us want to see as much as we can.

      1. Although I appreciate what your trying to do shadowself, your misinformed on one bit. Just because it is UHD does not mean you will get more color space, nor an increase in brightness variation. The only thing 4K gives the viewer is more pixels. Just like a photo, the only difference between a 10MP camera and a 20MP camera is the pixels. Its kind of like the nintendo day..NES was 8-bit and SNES was 16-bit, 16 bit gives you more color variation. They both drove out 720×480, but its color depth was defined by the bit depth, the color palette was wider. If you want you could say the colors and brightness will look sharper on a 4K, cause that would be true.


          Read that article. 4K and color depth are different things. I am a video editor and know this very well, you can have 12bit 1080 footage, (its called ProRes 444)but HDTV’s won’t reproduce that 12-bit because they didn’t put the technology in it to do it. Most 4K TVs don’t even have 10bit color depth until this year…another article.

          So does 4K give you twice as much color space? No. Better color space is a different tech spec. Maybe I am just splitting hairs.

        2. You are correct, muddygun, about 4K resolution not necessarily meaning greater brighter range, but I think shadowself may be referring to HDR, an actual feature being developed ONLY for 4K TV sets. Not to be confused with camera HDR, the industry is close to reaching a standard, perhaps the recently announced Dolby Vision HDR. I haven’t had the opportunity to see it for myself yet, but all the reports from the part of the tech world that pays attention to the TV set industry describe it is awesome and just as important as the resolution increase itself.

    2. These are the same folks who, back in the 80s, wanted guitar amps that had volume controls that went up to 11. They are totally fixated on numbers and specs just like audiophiles were at that same time. Why did Monster Cables become popular? It was the search for magical ‘performance’ that couldn’t be measured but the aficionados who bought the junk were convinced that they could hear the difference.

    3. Just got a 55″ LG OLED 4k tv. I can’t see pixels until
      I get at 16″ away. I watch at 4 feet away and it is
      fantastic. Reading Kindle or Ibooks or cruising
      the internet over Apple TV is like having a 4K
      55″ monitor. Difference between this and my old
      50″ Panny plasma 1080 HD is like night and day.
      Also the color and contrast and absolute black
      levels are unmatched by any other TV available.
      Panasonic will also soon have 4k OLED TVs.

      1. I wondered that myself.

        Is it realistic that one or more of the vendors that does ship boxes instigated this story to get that rumor going? If Apple is really going to ship an Apple TV box with UHDTV and other enhancements within the next three months, why would anyone buy one today — unless there were some reason why they absolutely had to do so?

        1. As many have noted recently, Apple seems happy to have entered the space where you charge your customers to playtest your unfinished products. Apple TV is just the latest in a series of poorly-conceived, incomplete products they released to market so they can earn while they learn.


    1. I wonder if ATV4’s lack of 4K capability has more to do with lack of 4K content from the Apple store.

      It still doesn’t excuse them not future-proofing, especially if they anticipate offering 4K content within a year of the ATV4’s release.

  2. So, the current $149 Apple TV becomes the new $99 choice next year (32GB only, no 64GB). That will make a good entry model for a long time. The current $69 model (previous gen Apple TV) is retired from the lineup. And this NEW model can start at $199 (or even higher) and have all the fancy and expensive features (64GB and higher).

      1. Yeah sure, no sooner than iphone6s is released there’s already “news” about iphone 7 and no sooner is the new hit Apple TV released, there’s news that Apple will negate it…oh yeah and theyre already trying to stop sales of yet another Apple hit – the Apple Watch, by talking about version 2 even thought thevfailed at hailimg it a “flop”..

        Idiots wull buy this FUD – only Idiots.

        Apple will still own this xmas no natter how mUCH FUD they put out there.

  3. No surprise that the 4th Gen would be quickly replaced once we saw what was in it. It is an upgrade on the several year old 3rd Gen, but it isn’t a device you could buy and say you “love” because the new version is so impressive. Glad to see Apple is effectively acknowledging the fact that they delivered a 75% product, rather than a best in class.

    I assume the “new functions” will relate to whatever service they’ve been cooking up but haven’t been able to seal the deal with content providers on – functionality they didn’t want to tip off competitors that they had in store since it couldn’t be delivered this year. It’s too bad it’s taking so long to get the Apple TV perfected given how Steve Jobs “cracked” TV like 5 years ago according to books. ATV4 does not reflect 5 years of strenuous effort and a completed vision of the future. Here’s to hoping that ATV5 actually delivers on that promise.

  4. 4K doesn’t matter. Why? because there is little content in 4K. And streaming 4K with quality takes a very high end type of internet which most people can’t afford. So MDN it doesn’t matter.

  5. Here’s my story why I won’t be considering 4K any time soon.

    Back in 2005, we bought a HDTV for around $3K. That was based on the promise of the cable companies about the HD content available on the service. Imagine my disappointment when we upgraded to HD cable and found the vast majority of channels were still SD and even those HD ones often showed SD programs. The content was minimal and to make matters worse Blu-ray DVD players were still years away.
    Since then the situation has improved but there are still plenty of SD channels but thankfully all new content is HD.
    Over the last 10 years I have bought 2 new TVs (one to replace the original which broke) and a second recently with a larger screen. In both instances the price was considerably cheaper (~$1300) and certainly value for money.
    So whilst I don’t doubt that 4K looks great, I am not willing to spend money on tech when the content is limited or that I have to pay extra for. Luckily streaming has taken over from DVD and it is easier for content providers to upgrade their distribution but I am still sure that the amount of content available on cable or netflix et al. will be pretty limited in the short term.
    One last point is that I would be very surprised that Apple will release a new generation of AppleTV within 6 months of launching ATV4.

  6. People! Ask yourselves why Apple does not sell WAV in Music? It is because of the impracticalities of the high bandwidth required for little extra gain. IF, (and that’s a capital “if”) any gain al all.

    Now the reasoning isn’t EXACTLY the same for 4K, but it is similar. There is little 4K content and with mass adoption, there is “NOT a good way” to deliver it through the internet without consuming the whole backbone bandwidth.

    So there are a few hurdles to get through before 4K makes any sense.

  7. They need to work on the app offerings to make it worthwhile upgrading the hardware so soon. The serviceable market of people who have both the TV and internet speed to watch 4K content is fairly limited, certainly a small subset of people who might buy an Apple TV. Apple needs to really improve tvOS, maybe add some more apps of their own to really show it off. As it stands the new Apple TV is disappointing.

    1. Apple never let the limited range of new technology stop them before. Apple was selling Thunderbolt-equipped computers before there were any affordable Thunderbolt accessories.

      1. What “affordable” Thunderbolt accessories?

        I have yet to find a single TB accessory that isn’t way more expensive than a Firewire accessory of similar functionality.

  8. I have to disagree with MDN’s take, “. . . no amount of apologists will be able to change the fact that, to the general public, Apple looks to be greedily setting up planned obsolescence with the current Apple TV by omitting 4K capability.”

    If tv were an actual television set, then that would be true. Since it is just a set top box, Apple is following the same business model it uses across every single one of its product lines.

    Cinephiles may go along with MDN’s take, but I don’t think the general public will. Yes, there is some 4K content available now, but not enough to justify building in that capability. It is no different than when the first iPhone appeared using EDGE technology.

    1. Really, there simply isn’t enough 4K content to justify buying 4K TV… let alone anything else.

      It’s just that if you’re looking to buy a new TV you will be looking at some 4K sets simply because manufacturers are moving away from HD. Just like they started moving away from analog and non-HD products.

  9. This is obviously a BS rumor to be followed up with vague “production delays” resulting in the ATV5 being released at a later date.

    The good news is that the Apple TV has now officially received iPhone/Apple Watch level FUD worthiness.

  10. Never mind should of future proofed the 4th gen, or 4K does not matter chorus. What Apple is most likely doing is releasing the version that they intended to release at WWDC but were hamstrung from doing so due to Media Negotiations. Rather then reveal the new design ( do you think it took all the time to push out out another hockey puck or do you think Jony Ive would let that out the door as The Apple TV that will change TV. )
    Rather the punted and put at will be become the cheaper device and introduce the new shiny hardware with new interface grid and 4K when those deals are done.
    No use revealing anything new for the copying machines of Samsung and google to steal
    In the meantime they flood the market with a product to set the stage
    Check out my take on it @

  11. There are, I’m sure, several reasons why no 4K TV. Here are two:
    1. It doesn’t matter unless you have a really big TV and are sitting really close to it. Let it go, already, MDN. You are like a whining child who got great gifts at Christmas but still is complaining that Santa didn’t deliver them to you in person. It has nothing to do with planned obsolescence and greed.
    2. Even though there have been a few gens of Apple TV, this generation is an altogether different animal from a product development standpoint. It does not have to be the end-all, be-all golden moment product to be successful. Apple took some gambles on introducing this product and I’m sure they are learning a great deal that will benefit future generations. 4K was not necessary for this product to be successful and valuable for the people who buy it. 4K is of low importance compared with Siri, the new remote, app store and more memory from a product development standpoint. You can only bite off so much at one time and expect to deliver a halfway decent experience. So which is it, Apple is doing too many things and the experience is suffering or too few things and people have a temper tantrum.

  12. If this rumor is true and Apple releases this, I am DONE with this flicking company’s “TV” and will move to a competitor. I’m already disappointed in the scant offerings of apps in the new Apple TV (which is supposed to be what the new Apple TV was all about, remember?).

  13. I did get an AppleTV 4. It has some nice features, but not nearly what it should be for the 4th version of an Apple product.

    What is most disturbing is the implementation Apple practice of taking away features for no apparent reason. As I feared they actually made the most used feature worse.

    The screensaver actually seems to cache EVEN LESS pictures when using home sharing. People have been complaining about this for years.

    AND they actually removed several of the screensaver modes including the picture wall which is the only mode that allowed pictures to show on the screen for long enought to point to, without making it all boring.

    I mean WHY? What compels these people to keep removing small features that users have put to good use? I think there are kids in Cupertino that go from department to department repeating this line, “Oh, nobody uses that.”

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