According to some rather curious findings that iOS developer Guilherme Rambo recently unearthed from the leaked HomePod firmware, Apple’s fifth-generation Apple TV set-top box with HDR 10, Dolby Vision and 4K resolution support is in the works.
Apple’s existing set-top box isn’t capable of outputting 4K video signal.
Internally code-named “J105”, an upcoming model of the Apple TV is referenced in the HomePod firmware as supporting the crisp 4K resolution and broad HDR formats, including HDR10, Dolby Vision and Hybrid Log-Gamma.
This should ensure that HDR’s better picture quality will be available to owners of the next Apple TV even if their TV set only has limited compatibility.
Bloomberg was first to report that a 4K-capable Apple TV would launch in 2017.
The Cupertino technology giant also appears to be prepping 4K movies on iTunes with HDR color support. At present, only the new iPad Pros can display HDR content.
HDR10 requires HDMI 2.0. Both HDR10 and Dolby Vision require dedicated chips.
HDR10, also known as high-dynamic-range video, is an open standard that uses the wide-gamut Rec. 2020 color space, a bit depth of 10-bits and other features to deliver stunning pictures with more vivid colors than the existing displays.
HDR10 is supported by monitor and TV makers like Dell, LG, Samsung, Sharp, Sony and Vizio.
Microsoft’s Xbox One S and Sony’s PlayStation 4 consoles feature built-in HDR10 support. In order to enjoy HDR10-enabled movies via their fifth-generation Apple TV, users would need to connect the device to a HDR10-compatible display.
As for Dolby Vision, it’s a proprietary HDR format created by Dolby Laboratories.
Dolby Vision features an even wider-gamut color space than the HDR10 standard thanks to a 12-bit color depth and dynamic metadata for each scene.
Its color depth allows up to 10,000-nit maximum brightness.
Certain TV sets from LG, TCL and Vizio support Dolby Vision in hardware even though their panels are only capable of 10-bit color and 800 to 1,000 nits luminance.
Are you looking forward to the next Apple TV?