4K Apple TV streaming requirements and native resolution revealed

“A fifth-generation Apple TV with support for 4K video output and streaming will be most likely announced next Tuesday alongside new iPhones and we now have a better idea about the 4K streaming requirements and resolution standards that the device will support,” Christian Zibreg reports for iDownloadBlog.

“iOS developer Steven Stroughton-Smith has managed to uncover new code strings from Apple’s iOS 11 GM that unexpectedly leaked out yesterday, indicating the device will render natively at 4K resolution (2160p) and support ultra-high-definition television sets (UHD),” Zibreg reports. “UHD-1 is also called 2160p and 2160p is specifically mentioned in the iOS 11 GM code. The standard features a crisp resolution of 3,840-by-2,160 pixels, or four times the pixels of the Full HD standard (1,920-by-1,080 resolution) supported by the current Apple TV model.”

“4K streaming will require a 15Mbps broadband connection,” Zibreg reports. “As noted previously, the company is now readying 4K HDR movies on iTunes that it will probably announce alongside the next Apple TV hardware.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Is the fifth time the charm?


  1. 4K streaming will require a 15Mbps broadband connection

    My first response: Not bad! I thought the bandwidth requirement would be higher.

    My second response:

    A) We’re in for what’s going to amount to a vast lynching of router nodes on the Internet that can’t handle the required 4K streaming bandwidth. There are A LOT of them! Let the bitching begin!

    B) DDOS (distributed denial of service) attacks on the Internet have become common place. If your path from your ISP through the Internet is hampered by a router node that’s under attack, again their will be major bitching! I strongly suspect there will be services and related apps that will deliberately provide what amount to proxies AROUND router nodes that are under attack, and of course around the afore mentioned legacy/antiquated/slow-as-hell (in a relative sense) router nodes on the Internet.

    Summary: Lots of bitching. Lots of sad support technicians who can’t do anything to help. Lots of bandwidth bottleneck workarounds.

    This is our future.

    This is one of the very few instances when I offer my sympathy to ISPs (Internet service providers).

    And then there will be 8K. 🙄

    1. 15 Mbps available is not bad at all, and I would never blame Apple for DDOS attacks or subpar networking.

      Where I do earn my ‘cynic’ label is that I absolutely blame them for not playing movies on an attached drive. They don’t allow it, because they can’t control it. This is from a person who purchases every bit of media they play.

      1. I totally agree. Even when streaming video from another Mac via networking, Apple’s apps fall down. It’s common for them halt and create dropouts. Unacceptable, Unforgivable, Incompetent, etc. This mess seems to be wrapped up in the day Apple gave up on progressing QuickTime properly.

        Instead, I use free open source VLC with excellent results.

        (Shame on you Apple).

    1. It depends upon how much it is compressed and how much buffering is done up front. Most don’t remember the days of the late 90s or early 2000s where, when using a dial up modem even short SD (480p) video would buffer for 30 seconds or more before it started playing. At 15 Mbps we might be back to those days if the compression is not high enough.

      On the other hand, if the compression is high enough to not have significant buffering at 15 Mbps for a HDR UHD (NOT!!! 4K, that’s a Digital Cinema standard) then the visual quality might be so poor that people won’t want to watch it. A mid to high end UHD TV that supports HDR is going to show a lot of those compression artifacts if the compression rate is too high.

      In the end it all comes down to quality and the user’s patience. Yes, the high end, best quality UHD Blu-ray has a compressed data stream of over 100 Mbps, but extremely few people expect Apple or any other streaming service to provide that level of quality. However, I would have expected a requirement of more than 15 Mbps. Even Netflix recommends at least 25 Mbps for their best quality service.

  2. I’m more than pleased with the resident 4K Netflix app on my 4K set. But highly disappointed in the minimal amount of 4K apps available from other sources – so far. I seriously hope that Apple jumping into 4K helps increase the number of sources willing to start streaming in 4K.

    It’s always been my theory that 4K will only happen through streaming and 4K discs. The OTA Networks, and CableCos are never going to upgrade their systems to handle 4K. I doubt I would convert to a “cord cutter” and go strictly APP based – but if HBO, the NHL, the NFL, the NCAA offer a 4K subscription, I will definitely buy into those.

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