Belated 4K and HDR may not be enough for meh Apple TV to win the living room

“It’s time for the latest rumors about the Apple TV — the set-top box that we love to be ‘meh’ about,” Dan Moren writes for Macworld. “A report from Bloomberg suggests that Apple is at work on a new revision of the device, which will bring support for 4K (Ultra High Definition or UHD) video as well as a feature with ‘more vivid colors,’ which is probably something related to High Dynamic Range (HDR).”

“But is this too little too late for the Apple TV?” Moren wonders. “While the set-top box probably does fine by Apple’s standards, it’s hardly the kind of category-defining product that we’ve seen even the Apple Watch or iPad be, much less aspiring to the heights of the iPhone.”

“Historically, Apple’s TV attempts have always been a bit on the lackluster side, and these latest rumors don’t do much to change that perception,” Moren writes. “After taking the ‘future is apps’ sandbox approach, the company backtracked slightly to offer its TV app as a more centralized experience for the platform. But not only is it uneven, the fact that it’s simply one app among many means that it just doesn’t go far enough.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: But Apple CEO Tim Cook told us last fall, “And now, with the TV app, there’s really no reason to watch TV anywhere else” – and with a straight face no less!

Yes, it does get funnier with each passing day.

Note to Apple: If you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all.

Apple vowed to revolutionize television; currently prepping an unremarkable 4K Apple TV instead – February 16, 2017
Apple TV: Still not ready for prime time – February 15, 2017
Apple hires Amazon’s Fire TV head to run Apple TV business – February 8, 2017
Apple’s new TV app shows just how painfully behind Apple is – December 14, 2016
Are you ready for 4K TV? Apple TV isn’t. – November 28, 2016
Apple has no idea what they’re doing in the TV space, and it’s embarrassing – November 3, 2016
Hulu inks deals with Fox and Disney, adding ESPN, Fox News and more to forthcoming live service – November 1, 2016
Apple’s Eddy Cue: Nope, we don’t want to be Netflix – October 20, 2016
Google signs up CBS for planned web TV service to debut in early 2017; close to deal with 21st Century Fox – October 20, 2016
Apple’s Eddy Cue: Nope, we don’t want to be Netflix – October 20, 2016
Apple’s Eddy Cue alienated cable providers and networks with an assertive negotiating style – report – July 28, 2016
Here comes á la carte programming – without Apple – July 13, 2016
Apple TV 4 is a beta product and, if you bought one, you’re an unpaid beta tester – November 5, 2015

21 Comments

  1. I use my Apple TV to stream content from my iTunes library (which contains all my dvd’s), they’re not in 4K and my tv doesn’t support it either. I also watch Netflix. Until I upgrade my tv I’m not bothered about any box getting it, but ultimately it’s about the content. I have Apple TV purely because of the iTunes streaming, but really none of the solutions are great. Content is the most important thing.

  2. Like Steve once said : The Apple TV is our hobby device project.
    Nobody yet officially changed that perception.
    I am not a big TV listener myself.

    My Apple TV is used after a big day of ski among family and friends where filming and taking pictures all day are shown afterward on the big screen for the entire family to appreciate…

    After that, all those TV boxes, besides their fascinating UI, are for me not too groundbreaking… At the end you are still being feed TV shows.

    Do I want to express myself while watching something?
    Do I want to interact that much when watching something?
    DO I want to watch a sport on 9 different video feeds?
    I must sound like an old fart here…

  3. To all the 4k “not needed” folks out there……Once you go look at 4k the 1080p world will never be the same…..!!!

    TV prices for 4k are coming down nicely and remember that many HTR and 4k TV’s upscale 1080p content to 4k……

      1. Wrong.

        https://www.whats-on-netflix.com/lists/4k-titles-on-netflix/

        http://4k.com/news/a-complete-list-of-600-titles-of-new-content-and-27-new-hdr-4k-titles-being-released-by-amazon-prime-12685/

        http://4k.com/movies/

        Of the 79 “titles” in my first link, over half are TV SERIES, so get out your calculator. One of the 79 “titles,” Breaking Bad, has 62 episodes. Another of those 79 “titles,” House of Cards, has 52 episodes and counting. Etcetera.

        My second link contains over 600 4K titles.

        1. You misinterpreted “shows”. As in, for example, GoT is my favourite show. I mean series, all episodes, not just a single episode. Pretty sure buzzy is aware many of those “shows” are entires series…

  4. Apple TV is one of a plethora of STB’s that are flooding the living room. Its not the best or the worst..

    The worst IMHO is GoogleCast… Making that the primary/only app in Visio TV’s I think cost them sales, having to rely on that android remote to use the set..

    The rest, Roku 4K devices have had software issues, returned one. Maybe they’ve finally fix it? Fire and whatever else is around are all about the same.

    Once Apple TV goes 4K, unless Apple bulls in a real differentiator, as far as I can tell, all be on the same playing field, other than the easy access to iTunes, just like Fire does to Prime.. If they’d get an Amazon App, then it would be even as I see it.. It also needs new price points, Apple needs to drop the prices on it now if they are coming out with a 4k version anytime soon…

  5. Back in 2005, I bought a new HDTV with the promise of tons of content on Comcast’s new HD cable box. Cost $3K for a 46 inch screen. Imagine my surprise when I find out most of the channels were in SD and even the HD channels were often showing SD content. Blu-Ray was still years out and even then the initial machines and content were expensive.
    If I had followed all the gimmics I would have bought a 3D TV, then maybe a curved one and also a 4K unit.
    So I have learnt my lesson. I wait until the prices drop before upgrading my TV. Costs $1.5K for a good quality unit.
    I will wait for more content to appear for 4K before going that route. The technology is also evolving so in a few years time, better options at cheaper costs will be available.
    Sure I may not be experiencing the best quality picture but the frustration of waiting for content providers to catch up with technology is not worth it.

    1. There is a growing amount of 4K content out there, it all depends on what you want to watch, And last Christmas, 4K sets were readily available with excellent prices, 1080P sets have almost disappeared.

      Netflix and Prime both have growing libraries of shows in 4K in HDR and Dolby Vision.

      There is quite a bit on YouTube, though I wish Google would STOP converting it to VP9 and “Stereo” if it had a multi-channel track.. There are slews of videos saying test for this or that, that are useless because of how they’ve been converted. There are HDX titles as its called on Vudu and other services are offering 4K streaming as well, if you have enough bandwidth. 4K Titles have started popping up in Best Buy shelves, though perhaps a little limited still. And the 4k Players are too expensive as well at the moment.. that will probably change later this year..

      Course your not going to see 4K TV shows from the networks for a while, though some may show up as 4K when they begin to stream.

  6. The notion of if you can’t do it right don’t do it will be bad for apple, who seems to be follower now, they fooled people with ATv 4, I am no longer buying iTunes content due to lack of 4k for last year or so. In electronic world is like 5 years behind, same is true for apple lack of upgrading on macs.

  7. This was mostly just payback for Apple taking over the music industry. The powers of Hollywood weren’t gonna let Apple do anything to their precious industry. The thing is that Apple had a chance, if they were willing to take some risks and buy content, say part of the NFL Season, and TV Shows, but they didn’t pull the trigger. And they also face-painted on the Apple TV design, BIG TIME. Let’s see if Apple can save this one, it’s kind of a BIG DEAL.

  8. Apple can’t be a leader in all things. They just don’t have the money to accomplish greatness. (/s)

    But what I don’t understand is why Apple is so slow to correct its mistakes. The quickest and easiest ways to improve a product value in the consumer’s perception is to:

    1) educate the consumer how to use it effectively. as it is, Apple’s approach to making TV an app market isn’t a natural process and the consumer needs help understanding how and why this is better. If it is better, that is. And is there a list of Siri commands or tips anywhere? No. Setting up an Apple TV is as bad as any other set top box — password and app management hell with a snarky Siri who doesn’t help. So after a short time, the user gets disgusted with Siri when it doesn’t do what the user wants. Starting the user off with an interactive and entertaining Siri into would help.

    2) offer promotions so that the consumer comes away with a bonus — remember when the first DVD players came with free discs?

    3) Price your products correctly. When you’re selling old hardware that underperforms the competition, then charging a premium for the Apple sticker on the box comes off as arrogance. This is now undermining the goodwill that longtime users had for the company.

    4) make Apple TV a house hub rather than a set top box. People have needs for easy wifi networking, home video storage and secure home automation controls, you know. As it is, Apple TV is an obsolete brick that does nothing well. If it was a class leader with exclusive abilities, it might be worth the price.

    1. very thoughtful.

      I agree:

      “I don’t understand is why Apple is so slow to correct its mistakes.”
      (Perfectionist Jobs going hard at screwups seems to be missing. Look at how long it took to fix the Wifi issue a year ago )

      ” educate the consumer how to use it effectively”
      (yes, so often we have to go to third party videos etc to figure some Apple thing. Remember when Apple Music first came out the interface was so bad and hard to figure that the product was lambasted in the press, so much so that they BELATEDLY — at the END of the free trial period — had to make instructional videos. It is as if Apple’s idea today that ‘ease of use’ is PROVEN by NOT providing instructions no matter how complex something is )

      “offer promotions so that the consumer comes away with a bonus”
      (I’ve said this before with Macs. Many more people buy iPhones ( many of these use Windows) , why don’t they offer iPhone customers who buy a new iPhone 60 days etc to buy a Mac at 10% discount or something. That would boost Mac sales. (Note macs have high profit margins and once people are in the eco system you might get them for life)

      ” Price your products correctly”
      I’ve said this about the Mac Pro etc. No upgrades for 4 years , at least DROP the price (256 GB machines selling for 3-4K is ridiculous ) so we can use the difference to get external GPU boxes etc. to prolong their use until next update….

      1. Apple knows about all shortcomings but ignore their customers, profits comes first. People who invested a lot in iTunes library are not going anywhere so apple can take advantage of them with their flawed approach, we will sell you old product and by the way charge you more because you don’t need 4k. Last time I checked Netflix have 100 plus hour of 4k content alone, need another box to acces that. Vudu hdx movie rental is far better than ATV, I did not know because I was using ATv, apple forced me to try other services which provided content that I want not what apple thinks

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