Are you ready for 4K TV? Apple TV isn’t.

“After fits and starts, it is starting to appear as if the long-awaited 4K TV revolution may be coming to pass, to the delight of TV makers,” Gene Steinberg writes for The Tech Night Owl. “It has certainly reached a critical mass, with more and more low-cost sets supporting the new standard. So I noticed a Samsung 40-inch 4K set for $347.99 at Target, and that’s not the cheapest price you can get. Walmart was offering a no-name (Sceptre) 43-inch 4K TV for $279.99… It has become more and more likely that most any TV you buy this holiday season will be 4K.”

“There’s very little such content available. DirecTV, now part of the AT&T empire, offers some. Such online services as Amazon Instant Video and Netflix stream a small number of shows in the higher resolution format, but you’ll want to check the requirements for minimum broadband speeds,” Steinberg writes. “For Netflix, it’s 15-20 megabits, and you’ll need a lot more if someone in your household accesses the Internet at the same time. I suspect the real minimum is 30-40 megabits.”

“Yet another content source is 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray, such as the Samsung UBD-K8500/ZA, which sells for $209.99 at Walmart,” Steinberg writes. “There’s a small number of Ultra HD discs available.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Amazon and Netflix 4K content looks amazing on our Sony 4K TVs. (There’s no Samsung-labeled crap here and there never will be.)

A 4K-capable Apple TV would be most welcome. In fact, it would have been welcome last year, yet it’s inexplicably AWOL this year, too. In TV, Apple certainly doesn’t lead.

32 Comments

    1. What makes you think Apple will ever get on board? It looks like Apple is still in hobby mode, and because making deals with media producers was just too hard, Apple just figured that an Apple Tv that essentially is an iPod with an hdmi port (until j. Ive decides usb-c is better) is all they could do, and are hoping that somehow 3rd party apps will go from crap to awesome just by being installed on an apple branded device. Never mind the fact that every competing box and every 4k internet enabled tv has greater functionality….

      If there is any market that shows how out of touch apple has become, it’s video. The average person can find more entertaining and informative things to watch with less hassle if you avoid the app management hell that comes with apple tv.

    2. Good luck with that.apparently h/w needs to change so not likely. That’s why I didn’t buy ATV. Still have oooooold one. I’m thinking forget ATV and go Roku. They seem to know what they are doing.

    3. Apple Tv Is Apples worst thought out product.. both in terms of hardware and software UI…

      kind of a let down given Steve’s comments about TV before his passing.

    1. Your brother may want to watch Amazon Video, so he needs to get something besides an ATV. Apple doesn’t support Amazon Video on the ATV. I’m a diehard Mac user but I’m flexible enough to get what I need to view what I want. Plus, a FireTV makes a fine, inexpensive Kodi box. I also use a Roku 3 and I’ll probably go to a Roku Ultra when I get a 4K TV next year. My poor eyesight really don’t require any 4K TV so I’m not giving Apple the finger for never caring if it’s falling behind every other company’s tech curve. I sincerely hope for other user’s sake that Apple only has to flip a firmware/software switch on current ATV’s to get 4K.

      Do I think Tim Cook and Apple are doing a fine job for consumers? Honestly, no. Apple has become quite an obtuse company in terms of focus and direction and it leaves me scratching my head in wonder.

  1. The operative words in the article are: small number of shows, small number of discs, high bandwidth specs that the vast majority of users don’t have…
    When 4K is more than vaporware, then you will see some apple action. The new macs, iPhones and iPads that can create 4K content are the first step.

  2. I wrote Eddy Cue last year and he replied saying you can’t tell the difference between HD and 4K…. he sounds like Ballmer… rich and dumb!….. I guess thats not so bad after all…..

    1. And Cue was mostly right. Independent tests have discovered that nineteen out of twenty people cannot tell the difference, even under most optimal conditions (uncompressed, full-HD / full-4K video on a large 50″ display, watched from the normal viewing distance of about 5 – 6m (15 – 20 ft).

      I have Verizon FiOS TV service at home. There is NO 4K content on it. There is some 3D content (HBO, Showtime), but their set-top boxes are still 1080i and they have no intention of providing 4K streams anytime soon.

      Majority of Americans still get their TV programming from traditional cable operators (Comcast, Optumum, Verizon, Time Warner Cable, now called Spectrum…), and none of them are currently offering 4K stream. There are a few small local operators testing 4K, but their reach is negligible.

      The main reason is the inability of existing infrastructure to reliably carry the necessary bandwidth for consistent and robust 4K video. Until that happens, investing in a 4K TV is a waste of money, just like investing in HD TV was a waste in 2000.

        1. I appreciate your enthusiasm for the new technology, and I’m right behind you. All I’m saying is, Apple doesn’t seem to share the enthusiasm, and there are valid business reasons for not sharing it. Today, barely one in 20 people can tell the difference, and probably not many more even have the infrastructure to support it.

          Last Friday, one could buy a 4K TV for just $200. I’m sure plenty of Americans did exactly that, but most of them will still have to wait for content to play on them.

          1. If 19 of 20 cannot tell the difference they need to go to the Eye Doctor.

            Also, as to content, BluRay Players can deliver 4k and there are increasingly movies available with both 4k and HDTV versions onboard. And Netflix is available on Comcast X1 which does not count against your data cap.

            1. Well, apparently, there are fewer 4K movies on Blu-ray than there are 3D.

              Look, the enthusiasm is really great, but in reality, we’re still far from decent market penetration for it to be worthwhile to anyone but 4K TV set makers, who are competing against each other on the potential image quality and features.

              I don’t have data caps on Verizon FiOS, and most other internet providers haven’t yet instituted data caps.

            2. 4K tvs are selling well this season, I suspect over the next year Bluray players that support 4K media will also sell well to people that have just bought those 4K sets. Might actually be a revival of the optical media players due to lack of high bandwidth in many places in the U.S.

            3. there is lot of content on Netflix for 4K (a lot more than HD came) and there is amazon also, i really don’t need TV service if not for sports. almost all new movies are on 4K blur ray , i already have almost 20 in a year or so. i am using mostly Vudu on my samsung 4K player as Apple TV will not play 4K) i have around 100 digital copies in iTunes so I am really disappointed ATV not supporting 4K, i will be more disappointed if they come up with a new one with 4K and make every one buy one more. at some point of time apple have to lead and not follow. right now amazon and Roku media players are in lead now.

  3. Next 2017 TV season 4K will happen. TV production is not going to switch to 4K technology in the middle of a season that is already filming… Apple better have a 4K Apple TV ready for next September.

  4. Apple become a follower now, example Apple Watch, Apple TV, AirPort Extreme, even iPhone features are behind, I invested a lot in apple eco system but 4K non support is deal breaker, moving on to VUDU now as uhd 4K movies now include digital copy in uhh which iTunes don’t have.
    Amazon is running away with echo and will beat apple echo system soon, Siri is soooooooo faaaaar behind.

  5. My AppleTV is about to get a friend on that shelf it’s sitting on … a Roku Ultra 4K! We’ve been using the AppleTV less and less since we upgraded to a 4K TV – we use Netflix and Amazon Prime off the TV set directly. I’ve read that there’s a lot more 4K apps available via Roku – I’ve heard Golf and Football looks incredible in 4K!

    4K TVs are going to push more people away from traditional CableCo provided TV viewing, and into 4K streaming apps. The AppleTV was built for this – not sure why Apple doesn’t want to jump into the pool? But something tells me that sooner rather than later the Roku Ultra is going to be sitting on that shelf by itself, while the AppleTV gets moved to the basement HD TV.

    1. Apple is waiting for H.265 When it finally arrives all their iOS devices will support it, all the way back to iPhone 6. They will have a competitive advantage and they may even put out an actual TV. LOL

      1. Good luck with that. It appears that a large group of big name tech companies have formed a group called Alliance for Open Media (AOMedia in which Apple is notably missing) that is working on a competing non-royalty competitor called AOMedia Video 1 (AV1) that is targeted for early 2017 release and compliant HW components to be released within 12 months. AV1 is majorly based on Google’s VP9 which is supported by major browsers excluding Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Apple’s Safari, which could explain Apple not being a part of AOMedia. Interestingly, Microsoft’s Edge browser does support VP9.

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