Apple needs to stop going against the current and add 4K to its STB Apple TV

by on May 11, 2015

Stephan Jukic – May 11, 2015

So far, Apple has shied away from going with 4K capability in some of its technologies and when it comes to Apple TV, this has been most notable given the nature of this particular streaming media product.

However, there are now indications (just indications) that the Cupertino giant will indeed release a new 4th generation Apple TV box along with accompanying remote control at the WWDC in June of 2015 and with this release, there is also a possibility that 4K capability will be included.

While the 4K is speculative and in no way anything officially declared by Apple or any source close to them, it does have a lot of logic behind it. Why?

Because Apple TV occupies a space in the midst of an industry that’s widely trending in the direction of ultra HD and a number of the company’s competitors in this specific space are indeed getting on the UHD bandwagon and thus creating a consumer expectation of the same from everyone else who’s participating.

Thus, while Apple could definitely put the focus of its next-gen Apple TV box on things like home automation hub technology or a dramatic new iOS cloud-based gaming capacity, finally taking things in the direction of 4K home media has a lot more logic to it in many ways, especially as far as customer satisfaction is concerned.

For starters, we have the matter of Comcast. After a year of trials and experimental 4K streaming service to a limited audience (only Samsung 4K TV owners), the company is now finally about to release a full-fledged 4K TV programming set-top box through which users will be able to select from hundreds of different UHD programs, recordings and movies to create their own personal linear 4K channels on their UHD TVs, and from any brand now. This particular device is called the Xi4 and it offers a genuinely new step in 4K home entertainment to consumers.

On the other hand, there is Dish Network, which is also coming out with a next generation 4K set-top box later in the year. This box will also feature access to UHD media listings from Dish and a number of additional connectivity technologies.

Finally, there is DirecTV. Like Comcast, this company also only allows owners of newer-model Samsung 4K TVs access to a limited roster of 4K programming that could still be considered part of a pilot program given its tiny size. However, now that the experiments with their Genie HD DVR and Samsung 4K TVs have had their time to run, DirecTV is also planning on adding new partners to its 4K media project and will be allowing their Genie-based UHD content to be playable on non-Samsung 4K TVs later in the year.

The entire TV entertainment and content industry is gearing up for 4K while Apple seems to lag

The entire TV entertainment and content industry is gearing up for 4K while Apple seems to lag

Thus, what we have is a situation in which several other set-top box providers who also offer video content and other STB technologies are now firmly moving forward with 4K while Apple, the famous innovator of consumer technologies, seemingly stays stuck in the land of HD TV.

This isn’t the best strategy for the consumer tech giant and as consumers increasingly view 4K as the next gold standard of high definition content viewing, a non-4k capable new Apple TV box will increasingly look like a second-class home entertainment toy.

Not only this but Apple itself would be going very sharply and very pointlessly against the grain of the entire TV and home entertainment industry but in a way that would only leave Apple itself looking foolish and behind the curve. Currently, TV makers, content creators and everybody in between are almost feverishly working on new hardware, GPUs, processors, HDMI standards, content protection systems and content delivery solutions that are all expressly aimed at making 4K content reach waiting customers more easily than ever.

By ignoring all of these developments, Apple would be fighting against the current in a way that would not only look pointlessly stubborn but would also possibly trigger consumer annoyance.

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