The allegedly upcoming Apple TV refresh will file as the most detailed overhaul of the device’s hardware, but it doesn’t seem that the new box will support 4K streaming, as per 9to5Mac’s sources.
The publication reported today that even though the fourth-generation Apple TV will be powered by Apple’s sped-up A8 processor (likely overclocked, as there will be no battery bottlenecks), it purportedly won’t support video streaming and AirPlay in 4K.
This is something of a surprise considering that the A8 processor inside the iPhone 6 was found capable of rendering 4K 3,840-by-2,160 pixel footage without a hiccup.
While the new Apple TV will “lack support for 4K video streaming and AirPlay,” that doesn’t mean there won’t be a 4K video output option in Settings to render the user interface in full resolution on 4K-capable TV sets.
It’s entirely possible that 4K resolution will be available to downloadable Apple TV apps and games. Should Apple disable 4K video streaming on the new Apple TV, it could have something to do with the general lack of 4K content on the iTunes Store.
As the A8 chip does support rendering of 4K content, it’s entirely conceivable that Apple might enable 4K video streaming via a software update as soon as the iTunes Store begins hosting 4K content.
Other findings from 9to5Mac’s report, obtained from “reliable sources“:
- The new box will be all black, like the current model.
- Its body is “somewhat larger” than the current model, taller and thicker.
- It has “the same basic ports” as the current Apple TV.
- Prototype units range from 8GB to 16GB of storage versus eight gigabytes of storage for caching media in the current model.
- A redesigned remote is still metal, but in a dark gray/black color to better match the new box’s aesthetic.
- All non-app content will be streamed directly from the Internet.
- The new Apple TV runs an iOS 9 core.
- The A8 processor inside the new Apple TV is “much faster” than the single-core A5 chip powering the current-generation.
“We are told that Apple has considered two pricing strategies: the simultaneous release of a $149 base model with 8GB of storage alongside a $199 16GB model, or the release of the 16GB Apple TV alone at $149,” reads the report.
A $149 Apple TV was first mentioned earlier today in a report from BuzzFeed’s John Paczkowski, who said the iOS 9-powered device will include a universal search function that can search for content across both Apple’s and third-party video services.
Other features of the Apple TV refresh should include a dedicated App Store with third-party downloads and a redesigned remote with Bluetooth connectivity, volume buttons, dedicated Home and Siri buttons, a touchpad area, Wii-like motion sensing and built-in mic with “some pretty hardcore voice control,” as per BuzzFeed.