There are a lot of rumors circulating about the next-generation Apple TV 5 getting support not just for 4K video but for 4K HDR. The difference between the two is tremendous.
From the The Wall Street Journal:
Hollywood still lives under the misguided impression that Apple "ruined" music by making it easily accessible and priced fairly enough to compete with the only real competition — piracy. Until Hollywood understands Apple saved music and brought it kicking and screaming into the digital age, we'll keep seeing more of these public pressure tactics. And until we get an Apple streaming service akin to Apple Music but for video, the industry won't be able to move forward.
That aside, I'm excited not at all for HDR. 1080p is more than enough for most home entertainment needs.
What I am excited about is HDR, or high-dynamic range video.
Last year I got to sit in on a comparison of the Force Awakens trailer and a scene from The Revenant, one side 4K, the other 1080p HDR. The HDR kicked it's ass. Hard.
Apple knows that, of course, which is why I think we saw the company announce next-generation video the way it did.
From my 2017 iPad Pro review:
From my 2017 MacBook Pro review:
With iOS 11, macOS High Sierra, and the latest generation of iPads and Macs, Apple didn't simply introduce 4K. The company introduced 4K HDR. I don't think that was accidental. Not at all. Apple took a lot of grief over it's "slow" adoption of 4K, especially on the 2015 Apple TV, but I think it's clear now the company was waiting on 10-bit HEVC, and the content needed to show it off.
HDR is the key. 4K is just along for the ride. Apple's got the tech in place. Now Hollywood needs to get its stuff together on content.
(And I'll include reasonable "upgrade" pricing from existing SD/HR iTunes movies to 4K HDR versions.)
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.