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No 4K for the next Apple TV, yet, does it even matter?

Apple TV

Sources close to the development of the next Apple TV, suggest that the next version of Apple’s streaming box will not support 4K resolution. While these are merely rumors, the information has not triggered any “up in arms” response, at least from the most level-headed commentators.

Apple’s reluctance to release 4K Apple TV boxes is justified by the lack of 4K content available. Apple’s plans to take on major content provider Comcast, are already in motion, with the most recent deal, reached with HBO, whose new paid programming will begin streaming exclusively on Apple TV, at a very competitive price.

By the same token, even HBO’s content is not yet delivered in anything higher than HDX, so far the highest resolution for hit shows such as Game of Thrones. Other streaming services, such as Netflix, Amazon and Vudu, don’t offer any comparably higher resolution, as it all depends on the commitment of production studios, just as it happened for 3D and IMAX movie theaters.

According to those with a finger on the industry’s pulse, 4K will not only be obliterated quickly, by 5K and even Microsoft’s 8K, already supported, at least in practice, by Windows 10, but hardware is already in the works, from high-end manufacturers like nVidia, Samsung, and virtually all high-definition TV makers.

Yet, 4K and higher resolutions are still concepts way ahead of their time, and it might take up to 5 years for production houses, to even consider committing any significant financial investment in creating content in such resolution.

There is also the matter of bandwidth. 4K resolution requires at least 15Mbps, which makes up for a mere 19% of connections in the US(measured by IP address).

Higher bandwidth will play an important role in the widespread support of super-high definition displays, placing the burden on cable Internet companies.

Fortunately, services like Google Fiber are pioneering tremendous connection speeds, more than adequate to carry 4K signal and beyond, however, service coverage is still in its infancy at the moment.

Beyond the technical concerns, and as hard to believe as it may be, Apple TV’s priority is not about pushing exponential numbers of pixels around comically huge displays, but rather to ensure delivery of quality content, in as wide a variety as possible, within a bigger context.

With the recent slash in current Apple TV prices, and the new and future offerings, Apple is gaining ground, on the turf of content providers, especially Comcast, by striking deals with producers of such content directly.

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