Apple TV 4K and Apple HDMI cables

ThirteenXIII

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Original poster
Mar 8, 2008
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Curious if Apple’s previous HDMI 1.8m cables are high speed and support the full functionality of 4K as the new bell in 2m HDMI high speed cable they are selling instead?
Is there a difference?
 

BODYBUILDERPAUL

macrumors 68000
Feb 9, 2009
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Barcelona
There is indeed a difference. The older Apple cable designed for the ATV4/3/2 does not support ATV 4K. You only need to buy it just once, so don't compromise on such an important connection :)
 

ThirteenXIII

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Mar 8, 2008
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Well I already have a AppleTV 4K and the Apple cables and I get 4K through them, according to the atv settings, so I’m trying to figure out if there really is a difference
 

Wxchaser

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Oct 28, 2017
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You want premium high speed certifed HDMI cables. Monoprice is good especially for the price, the 2 m Belkin's are expensive but work well for 30 bucks apiece.

I've found some cables that even though they have the HDMI.org certification label they don't work well. The longer the cable run, the better HDMI cable you need.
 
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ThirteenXIII

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Mar 8, 2008
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I’m aware of those, I’m really trying to understand the Apple cable itself since I’m hearing that it doesn’t support 4K but it’s working with XBOX ONE S and ATV 4K, is it upscaling or not true 4K?
 

priitv8

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Jan 13, 2011
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There is no such thing as 4K HDMI cable.
https://turbofuture.com/computers/do-i-need-hdmi-cable-4k-hdmi-20-guide
Any recent high-speed cable should do.
Sufficient quality of cheap chinese cables (they cost $0.44 off factory) is a different matter.
Recent 4K HDR devices mention cables with 18Gbps sustained transfer rate. This will be only required to transfer 4K at 60fps or higher with 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 chroma.
There is no content on consumer market yet that has these characteristics. I understand that UHD bluray player from Panasonic can output such stream, but UHD Premium bluray disc does not contain such material.
 

cyb3rdud3

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Jun 22, 2014
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There is no such thing as 4K HDMI cable.
https://turbofuture.com/computers/do-i-need-hdmi-cable-4k-hdmi-20-guide
Any recent high-speed cable should do.
Sufficient quality of cheap chinese cables (they cost $0.44 off factory) is a different matter.
Recent 4K HDR devices mention cables with 18Gbps sustained transfer rate. This will be only required to transfer 4K at 60fps or higher with 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 chroma.
There is no content on consumer market yet that has these characteristics. I understand that UHD bluray player from Panasonic can output such stream, but UHD Premium bluray disc does not contain such material.
Yes there is, I have such a disc that I play on my Oppo 203 player. And it is a rather mainstream movie as well. Looks fantastic and was filmed at 120fps...

I simply used a 3 pack of Amazon basics HDMI cables that are 9Ft long. Works perfectly.
 

iMas70

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Sep 4, 2012
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Most of the HDMI cables I use came from DirecTV and Comcast. Are they good enough or should I replace them? I have Samsung 4K TVs, two 4K Apple TVs and DTV's whole home service which supports 4K.
 

ThirteenXIII

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Original poster
Mar 8, 2008
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So back to time Apple HDMI cable, I have it with a new Samsung 4k and the new 4K atv, it says it’s getting 4K hdr at 60hz, would this in fact conclude it is working correctly and transmitting 4K hdr or is it upscaling?
 

priitv8

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Jan 13, 2011
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Billy Lyn is 60fps and filmed at 120fps. Looks amazing when played on my Oppo to my OLED.
Should have known that ;)
Having another look at it - hdmi.org confirms, that there indeed is only a "High Speed" HDMI cable, that is HDMI 2.0 compatible. 18Gbps bandwidh was achieved by altering the signalling method of the interface. Not the cable.
https://turbofuture.com/computers/do-i-need-hdmi-cable-4k-hdmi-20-guide
So back to time Apple HDMI cable, I have it with a new Samsung 4k and the new 4K atv, it says it’s getting 4K hdr at 60hz, would this in fact conclude it is working correctly and transmitting 4K hdr or is it upscaling?
Don't you believe what Samsung is saying?
It would be upscaling if it reported receiving lower res image than 4K. If it says it receives 4K at 60Hz, then that must be what comes out from your HDMI cable. And this is to be expected with aTV 4K unless you've set it to output 1080p or even less in Audio & Video Settings.
 
Last edited:

unclefarkus

macrumors member
May 13, 2015
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Should have known that ;)
Having another look at it - hdmi.org confirms, that there indeed is only a "High Speed" HDMI cable, that is HDMI 2.0 compatible. 18Gbps bandwidh was achieved by altering the signalling method of the interface. Not the cable.
https://turbofuture.com/computers/do-i-need-hdmi-cable-4k-hdmi-20-guide

Don't you believe what Samsung is saying?
It would be upscaling if it reported receiving lower res image than 4K. If it says it receives 4K at 60Hz, then that must be what comes out from your HDMI cable. And this is to be expected with aTV 4K unless you've set it to output 1080p or even less in Audio & Video Settings.
Commenting on this thread because I have an old Apple HDMI cable from around 2011 or so that I have been using with my Apple TV since. Recently upgraded to the 4K one and decided to use it for the heck of it and was shocked to see that it supports 4K. Mostly shocked because it's 7 years old and 4K felt like such a weird concept back then... especially considering how long it took Apple to get on board with it. Was a happy moment though.
 

400

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Sep 12, 2015
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Wales
Probably luck on that cable came out manufactured well, betting that if you had the kit to check the signal on the end it would be just about there, the right side of fail/don't fail (OK, bit more involved than that but good enough). But trying cables first can save money, if it works, then it works. Watch out for drop outs though :)

I have "standard" cables that show differing degrees of will not work at 4K. Some are just black, some are small digital drops outs all over the place but not in small blocks, and then large blocky ones with audio disruption (as one would expect with a disrupted stream).

https://www.hdmi.org/consumer/finding_right_cable.aspx (I see that Ultra High speed is a happening as a standard, that is for a larger bandwidth. )

All my 4k devices run fine over "High Speed" at six feet or so, even the ATV at full everything but paid anything from £3.50 to £8. If a source did not work, then I would get the "premium" but at around £8. Expensive cables are overrated and not required, they do not add anything to the signal apart from profits to the vendor.

A correctly constructed cable (not a chocolate tea pot knock off costing a quid) should work as described for the service you require out of it (standard, high, premium etc) at the bandwidth intended. You choose whether to blow mega bucks or a small amount for the same result.