Sun, 04 Oct 2020 14:12:57
“A big frustration with the Apple TV 4K is about to be history,” wrote my colleague Chris Welch, when we learned that Apple’s premiere decoder would finally be able to play 4K YouTube videos at their native resolution instead of getting stuck at 1080p. These days, even a $40 dongles can do better than that.
However, while Apple’s latest software update did bring YouTube 4K to the Apple TV 4K, the frustrations aren’t necessarily over. It turns out that you’re limited to watching 4K at 30fps, not the smooth 60 frames per second, and without the color depth and contrast that High Dynamic Range (HDR) provides. That’s what 9to5Mac noticed yesterday, and we’ve confirmed with Google that — for now — the Apple TV only supports 4K at 30fps with SDR content.
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On the plus side, the latest iPhones and iPads support 4K 60fps HDR content if you have iOS 14. Just found a supported video (this is one of my goals), hit the three-dot settings icon in the top right corner, and change “Quality” to 2160p.
Unfortunately, the best of the best is still not available on the big 4K TV screen, so it will be easier for you to see the difference. On my iPhone 11 Pro, I don’t always know.
Maybe Apple kept it for future models? It’s been more than three years since the company last updated its Apple TV, and there’s at least one rumor floating around that a new model is in the works.
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