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Apple Is Planning a 4K Upgrade For Its TV Box (bloomberg.com) 63

Apple is planning to unveil an upgraded Apple TV set-top box that can stream 4K video and highlight live television content such as news and sports. Bloomberg reports: The updated box, to be revealed alongside new iPhone and Apple Watch models at an event in September, will run a faster processor capable of streaming the higher-resolution 4K content, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren't yet public. The 4K designation is a quality standard that showcases content at twice the resolution of 1080P high-definition video, meaning the clarity is often better for the viewer. Apple is also testing an updated version of its TV app, which first launched in 2016, that can aggregate programming from apps that already offer live streaming. Apple is seeking to revive its video ambitions with the new product. In order to view 4K video, users will need to attach the updated Apple TV to a screen capable of showing the higher-resolution footage. In order to play 4K and HDR content, Apple will need deals with content makers that can provide video in those formats. The Cupertino, California-based technology giant has begun discussions with movie studios about supplying 4K versions of movies via iTunes, according to people familiar with the talks. The company has also discussed its 4K video ambitions with content companies that already have apps on Apple TV, another person said. Popular video apps on the Apple TV that support 4K on other platforms include Vevo and Netflix.
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Apple Is Planning a 4K Upgrade For Its TV Box

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  • In order to view 4K video, users will need to attach the updated Apple TV to a screen capable of showing the higher-resolution footage.

    Well isn't that typical of Apple. If they're so good how come they can't display 4K HDR video on my old 36" Sony Trinitron? First they remove floppy drives, now this?!

    • I don't know if you've ever dealt with customer service, but people have been know to use CD trays as cup holders, shove two floppies into a drive, etc. I'm sure there will be a lawsuit from someone claiming they didn't know they needed a 4K TV to watch 4K content with an AppleTV. Also there are some people looking to make quick money. Like the two guys who sued Apple over the original iPhone not having a user-replaceable battery.
  • by dohzer ( 867770 )

    Is an Apple TV Box kind of like a media PC?
    Will increasing it to 4K enable it to compete with my 4K media PC?

    • An Apple TV is similar in features to a Roku.

    • Compete in what way? Can it save and replay terabytes of music and videos? No, that is not the purpose. But it can stream Netflix, Hulu, HBO, etc. at a fraction of the power requirements and price. Your media PC probably cost way more that but can do more.
      • by grub ( 11606 )
        On our Apple TV 4th gen (and iPhones and iPads), we use a streaming app called Infuse. It scours our server (many TBs), fetches metadata, and presents a Netflix-like interface for all our stuff.

        It has replaced our old PopcornHour boxes.
        • Good to know about this app. I used to have media PCs for every TV. It's hard for me to justify the cost/effort anymore with streaming boxes like AppleTV, Roku
  • by bogaboga ( 793279 ) on Friday August 25, 2017 @07:28AM (#55081597)

    Apple simply "planning an upgrade" makes news! Really? Think about it...Merely "planning" making news!

    So next time Apple "plans" to upgrade another of its products will also make news I guess, right?

    • If they plan to update the Mac Mini or MacBook Air, it will really be news.

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      Apple simply "planning an upgrade" makes news! Really? Think about it...Merely "planning" making news!

      So next time Apple "plans" to upgrade another of its products will also make news I guess, right?

      This is very important as it signifies that Apple is planning to invent 4K set top boxes. It's not like you can just get one off of Amazon for $50 that plugs right into your HDMI port and has Netflix and Amazon Prime. Nope, no sireee, Apple is first to market as always.

    • Feel free to scroll down to the million Surface Pro announcements these past few weeks.

    • Apple simply "planning an upgrade" makes news! Really? Think about it...Merely "planning" making news!

      So next time Apple "plans" to upgrade another of its products will also make news I guess, right?

      Qui it being overly literal.

      It means that they WILL be upgrading Apple TV soon, like in about a month.

      You KNOW what it means; but waste no opportunity to Hate on Apple.

      They may be a bit late to the party on 4k; but their interface, voice control and App support is second to none.

      Plus, if you already have Apple computers or other devices, the drop-dead simple peer-peer AirPlay streaming abilities are a really nice feature with deep integration in all the various Apple OSes and many Apps/Applications, that go

  • They'll announce it, and Phil Schiller will come on stage and say they've innovated their ass off, and figured out a way not to need to ship it with a remote.

    "Just like the iPhone doesn't need a headphone jack, just like the MacBooks don't need a SD card slot, the new AppleTV doesn't need a remote! Why? Well, there's already millions of remotes out there: the iPhone. All you need to use the new AppleTV is an iPhone 7/7S/7+/7S+/8. And because we don't need to ship it with a remote, it's now $5 less! Aren't w

    • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

      They'll announce it, and Phil Schiller will come on stage and say they've innovated their ass off, and figured out a way not to need to ship it with a remote.

      They won't do that. It wouldn't be a viable gaming platform if they did, and there would also be nothing to differentiate it from the Chromecast Ultra that costs less than half as much.

    • They'll announce it, and Phil Schiller will come on stage and say they've innovated their ass off, and figured out a way not to need to ship it with a remote.

      "Just like the iPhone doesn't need a headphone jack, just like the MacBooks don't need a SD card slot, the new AppleTV doesn't need a remote! Why? Well, there's already millions of remotes out there: the iPhone. All you need to use the new AppleTV is an iPhone 7/7S/7+/7S+/8. And because we don't need to ship it with a remote, it's now $5 less! Aren't we just great?"

      Apple TV has a Remote, with a touchpad and a voice interface.

      They also have a Remote App for the iPhone and the iPad, that even does Voice input on my ancient iPad 2, even though that iPad has no Siri support.

      So, WTF are you saying, Hater?

  • Good idea to future proof it a bit, but I have no plans of upgrading my TV to 4K. I've looked, and sure, I can see the difference, but it's not enough to buy a whole new TV for. When my current set dies, the next one will be 4K, or maybe even 8K depending on how long the current one lasts. But I don't have any need to upgrade the experience. 1080p is entirely sufficient. Going from SD to HD was a huge change and well worth it, although I still waited a while until I could get a TV at a reasonable size for

    • But that's too practical of you getting something only when you can use it. Of course many here on slashdot would probably chastise you that you didn't have a VR set either even though there's not a whole lot you can do with one of them. My next TV will probably be 4K only in that some 4K TVs are cheaper than 1080p versions. Just never plug a "smart" TV into the internet.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    There are two dimensions. 2x2=4. For a news site for nerds you're stumbling hard.

  • It isn't an "upgrade" if you need to buy a new box. It is just a "new model".
  • by bfwebster ( 90513 ) on Friday August 25, 2017 @10:32AM (#55082589) Homepage

    I'm actually a fan of Apple TV; we have one hooked up to our family room TV (55", a/v receiver, 3' speakers, subwoofer literally the size of a steamer trunk) as well as one hooked up to our bedroom TV upstairs. And yet as I sit here at the dinner table on my laptop (we have one of the family room/dining area/kitchen open rooms), I'm listening to streaming music from...our Amazon Echo. Why? Because when I came downstairs to feed the dogs, all I had to say was "Alexa, play my 'Mornings' playlist", and it did. No remote to fumble with, no checking to be sure I was in the right 'spot' in the Apple TV menu to play a playlist.

    Apple blew it by not releasing a hands-free, voice-activated Apple TV a year ago. 4K doesn't wow me; I have no plans to run out and buy a 4K tv any time soon. What I want is better and more functionality, and in particular true voice activated functionality.

    Anyone want to predict what actual Apple HomePod sales end up being?

    • by Bongo ( 13261 )

      It's great that works, and/but there's also the privacy thing, and some people may find it creepy.

      As for speech, first thing I did with the AppleTV was press the little speech button and say, "find veep"

      And the next ten minutes told me all I needed to know about the prospects of AIs destroying humanity.

    • by rsborg ( 111459 )

      I'm listening to streaming music from...our Amazon Echo. Why? Because when I came downstairs to feed the dogs, all I had to say was "Alexa, play my 'Mornings' playlist"

      Good for you, let Amazon know everything about you, and let them hear your raw voice data. Me, I know what that would mean in terms of privacy so I'm not going to do it.

      Amazon will have it's public creep-mode moment like Uber where we find out how they're dissecting our voice fingerprints. I'm not going to become a statistic there.

    • I'm actually a fan of Apple TV; we have one hooked up to our family room TV (55", a/v receiver, 3' speakers, subwoofer literally the size of a steamer trunk) as well as one hooked up to our bedroom TV upstairs. And yet as I sit here at the dinner table on my laptop (we have one of the family room/dining area/kitchen open rooms), I'm listening to streaming music from...our Amazon Echo. Why? Because when I came downstairs to feed the dogs, all I had to say was "Alexa, play my 'Mornings' playlist", and it did. No remote to fumble with, no checking to be sure I was in the right 'spot' in the Apple TV menu to play a playlist.

      Apple blew it by not releasing a hands-free, voice-activated Apple TV a year ago. 4K doesn't wow me; I have no plans to run out and buy a 4K tv any time soon. What I want is better and more functionality, and in particular true voice activated functionality.

      Anyone want to predict what actual Apple HomePod sales end up being?

      Yep. Spectacular.

  • We have two Panasonic 1080p plasma sets. It will be a sad day when they die, the picture on them is fantastic. When that happens, I'm expecting 4k sets to be dirt cheap and, even if 'smart', they'll never be connected to the network.
  • I've notices that almost every single movie I've seen on 4K looks absolutely awful. It's horrifying. You see all the edges, you see all the mistakes, you see human features gigantic and up close which aren't even attractive in real life.

    2k and lower is nice because you see what the movie looks like well enough to really enjoy it but you don't see your favorite actresses pours as if they were craters in her face. I don't want to see anyone in that detail.

    4K is great if a movie was designed for it and if ther

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