Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

Apple Testing 4K Capable Fifth-Generation Apple TV For Possible Release This Year

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
50,099
11,361



Apple is currently testing a new, fifth-generation Apple TV capable of streaming Ultra HD 4K video, according to a report released on Thursday.

The new Apple TV is internally codenamed "J105" and is able to output content in more vivid colors, according to Bloomberg. The fifth-gen device may release as soon as this year, with Apple's recent hiring of former Amazon Fire TV unit chief Timothy D. Twerdhal said to indicate a renewed focus on the set-top box.


Twerdhal's arrival comes as the company tests a new, fifth-generation Apple TV that it may release as soon as this year. Internally codenamed "J105," the new box will be capable of streaming ultra-high-definition 4K and more vivid colors, according to people familiar with the plans.
Details on Apple's intentions for its set-top box have been scant in recent months, with the last rumor that it was readying a new model appearing as far back as December 2015. Today's new disclosure appears as part of an investigation into Apple's apparent inability to keep pace with rivals like Amazon and Roku in the TV streaming market. According to Bloomberg's sources, Apple engineers have been forced to compromise "time and again" on Steve Jobs' original vision of revolutionizing the living room.

Originally, the Apple TV was meant to replace the ungainly set-top boxes supplied by cable companies and allow owners to stream live television, but Apple's failure to secure deals with the major cable channels left Cupertino unable to push ahead with its TV plans. According to the report, that left the Apple TV team debating other options, such as including a game controller with the fourth-gen model to better compete with Microsoft's Xbox and the Sony PlayStation, but that ultimately fell through because of cost concerns.

Apple also reportedly passed on including a more expensive 4K-capable chip in the fourth-gen Apple TV because it would be forced to accept lower margins. This left the set-top box more akin to a "giant iPhone", consisting of a cluster of apps and an App Store.
"That's not what I signed up for," says one of the people, who requested anonymity to talk freely about internal company matters. "I signed up for revolutionary. We got evolutionary."
Apple has never revealed how many Apple TVs it has sold, although Apple CFO Luca Maestri recently admitted that sales had decreased year-over-year during the 2016 holiday period, while market research suggests the fourth-generation Apple TV has been losing market share to cheaper Amazon and Roku boxes since its launch in the fall of 2015.

Steve Jobs' ambitions in the TV space have become almost legendary since his passing, but little has been achieved by Apple to realize his vision, which originally included an Apple-branded television set. Jobs previewed the first Apple TV in 2006, when the device was only able to stream iTunes video from a Mac to a TV. When he stepped down from his position as Apple CEO on August 24, 2011 due to illness, he intended to work on an Apple television that would re-invent living room entertainment.

After Jobs' death, Apple tried to gain a stronger foothold in this regard, but the company failed to secure the cable channel deals that would allow it to create the full integrated television programming experience and TV set that Jobs envisioned, and since that time it has relied on the fourth-generation Apple TV, with App Store and Siri integration, as a makeweight solution.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has repeatedly asserted in the past that "the future of TV is apps", but such a vision is difficult to realize in the context of a fully unified user experience. Apple TV users still have to buy individual TV episodes via the iTunes Store, pay extra for services such as Hulu, and download apps linked to specific channels, after which they must log in with their existing cable subscriptions.

According to the Bloomberg report, by all accounts, Apple's efforts to position the Apple TV as a streaming and distribution platform for other content providers have failed. Whether or not a 4K-capable device can bring about a resurgence in its ambitions for the living room remains to be seen.

You can read the full Bloomberg report here.

Article Link: Apple Testing 4K Capable Fifth-Generation Apple TV For Possible Release This Year
 

Lord Hamsa

macrumors 6502a
Jul 16, 2013
608
455
4k is still a high-end toy for early adopters - the vast majority of people have neither the equipment nor the content to do 4k. But if Apple wants to silence the very noisy minority who actually care about that, by all means. Let them put out a 5th Gen ATV so I can pick up another couple 4th Gen ones at a discount.
 

Appleaker

macrumors 68020
Jun 13, 2016
2,197
4,190
Hopefully they'll include something like an A10X or even just an A10 to make it more capable and competitive with gaming. They're likely to also increase storage after they increased the app size limit.
I don't expect them to change their mind on a bundled controller because of their margins.
 

vertical smile

macrumors 603
Sep 23, 2014
5,232
6,109
HOW ABOUT FIX THE APPLE TV APP SIGN IN PROBLEMS?!

Gah, constantly asking me to re-log in with my cable subscriptions.
It never seems to stay!! Annoying AF.

I actually think this is by design, or working as intended. It is annoying, but it keeps some people from stealing.
 

extricated

macrumors 6502
Jul 14, 2011
439
56
Arkansas
I had the 1st gen and now I'm on the 4.
I cut cable years ago, so one of my big hang-ups continues to be "please sign in with your cable service provider".

That said, I'm generally pleased with Apple TV, but I recognize it could be so much more.
Securing good (affordable) content deals is a bigger thing to me than 4K video.
 

FasterQuieter

macrumors 6502
Feb 21, 2008
438
679
4k is still a high-end toy for early adopters - the vast majority of people have neither the equipment nor the content to do 4k. But if Apple wants to silence the very noisy minority who actually care about that, by all means. Let them put out a 5th Gen ATV so I can pick up another couple 4th Gen ones at a discount.

This just isn't true anymore. Anybody buying a TV in the last year or so could choose 4K at $500. I would say apart from the very low end, it is standard. It sucks that Apple TV, the most "premium" solution is upscaled on all these TVs.
 

vertical smile

macrumors 603
Sep 23, 2014
5,232
6,109
I don't expect them to change their mind on a bundled controller because of their margins.

I think that the Siri remote requirement is the main reason for the lack of decent games on the ATV4. Even with the requirement removed, it seems like developers don't care about making anything decent on the ATV4.

About 6 months before the ATV4 release, there were rumors about the potential of Xbox 360 quality games on the tiny box.

I remember being so excited watching the Apple Event video, only to be so disappointed by watching the Crossy Road demo....
 

PalmiNio

macrumors newbie
Sep 25, 2015
24
41
4k is still a high-end toy for early adopters - the vast majority of people have neither the equipment nor the content to do 4k. But if Apple wants to silence the very noisy minority who actually care about that, by all means. Let them put out a 5th Gen ATV so I can pick up another couple 4th Gen ones at a discount.

So what are you saying? That Apple should not focus on next gen tech?

In that case why do they push new standards in the mobile and computer space? Why have AC WIFI? Only a minority has good AC WIFI routers?

Ok, i get you want to defend Apple but come! Behind ahead of the tech pack is in their blood.

And 4k for is for early adopters? Yes that was the case 4 years ago, in 2017 90% of the major brands line-ups are 4K panels.

And the lack of content is BS, all blockbusters is done in 2-4k both in Movies and TV.
 

ariusbb

macrumors newbie
Sep 17, 2013
27
27
ultra-high-definition 4K and more vivid colors

Press release:
Apple announced today the new Apple TV with Retina colors.
Immerse yourself into a brand new real-life exclusive experience that only the Apple TV can offer.
Colors never looked so real before. blah blah blah..

Yes we get it, it will support 4K HDR like so many boxes have done so far....
 

cardfan

Contributor
Mar 23, 2012
2,609
3,517
4k is still a high-end toy for early adopters - the vast majority of people have neither the equipment nor the content to do 4k. But if Apple wants to silence the very noisy minority who actually care about that, by all means. Let them put out a 5th Gen ATV so I can pick up another couple 4th Gen ones at a discount.

Who do you think Apple targets? High end.
 

Sasparilla

macrumors 65832
Jul 6, 2012
1,500
2,388
I used to think this didn't matter, but i just went to buy a new tv and literally 90% of the options at Costco were 4k UHD. Apple should lead not follow

It's sort of Apple's mojo to wait a little on things and then bring out something good. There was alot of debate as to which enhanced 4k standard to use (different Mfr TV's would only show one or the other), so frankly I think it made sense to wait some on this. On the other hand its the high end customers (who might likely be Apple customers) who were getting the 4k TV's in the first place.

Glad to see them doing this as 4k is becoming popular now...hopefully they cover both 4k enhanced standards (if memory serves its Dolby and a lower end standard that Samsung and some other MFR's use).
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.