Apps BBC and 4K on AppleTV

slenpree

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Apr 13, 2010
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Has anyone ever seen any 4K content from the BBC using their AppleTV 4K? I recently re-watched blue planet II and I don’t think it was even fullHD, more like 720p. The box is more than capable but seems BBC are only interested in supporting 4K on clunky TV interfaces like the one on my Sony TV.

I just got this e-mail from BBC but on their list of supported devices there is no mention of the appleTV:

This is just a quick message to let you know about our next Ultra HD trial: David Attenborough's newest natural history series 'Seven Worlds, One Planet' beginning this Sunday 27 October.

TV licence in the UK is becoming such poor value for money. Let’s see this evening...
 

Sakurambo-kun

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Oct 30, 2015
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BBC 4K is in HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma), which Apple don't support. Too bad as it looks outstanding. 40mbit video at 50fps. Truly night and day when compared to the lousy 5mbit 720p SDR streams in regular iPlayer.
 

slenpree

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Original poster
Apr 13, 2010
699
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UK
BBC 4K is in HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma), which Apple don't support. Too bad as it looks outstanding. 40mbit video at 50fps. Truly night and day when compared to the lousy 5mbit 720p SDR streams in regular iPlayer.
yeah have since been doing some research. Looks like HLG is not used in the states much which might explain the lack of support. It is I would argue just another method of achieving very much the same end result and it's a pity BBC did not stick to a more common standard like HDR10. Nevertheless, looks like it's here to stay in the UK and I have sent feedback to Apple to add support for it to the AppleTV 4K.
 

Sakurambo-kun

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Oct 30, 2015
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yeah have since been doing some research. Looks like HLG is not used in the states much which might explain the lack of support. It is I would argue just another method of achieving very much the same end result and it's a pity BBC did not stick to a more common standard like HDR10. Nevertheless, looks like it's here to stay in the UK and I have sent feedback to Apple to add support for it to the AppleTV 4K.
HLG is specifically tailored to live broadcasting. The HDR part of the steam is optional allowing non HDR TVs to play it. From a technical standpoint it's fractionally lower quality than Dolby Vision but better than HDR10

It's also used by NHK and I believe one or two broadcasters in Canada and the US.
 

AJClayton

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Jan 9, 2007
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This is a real shame. I have HLG support on my 2017 LG OLED and so running iPlayer on WebOS on that TV gives me BBC UHD HDR (4K HLG) content when available. Seven Worlds, One Planet is one such programme and looks absolutely stunning on my OLED in this higher resolution (and more importantly HDR).

I'm sure the AppleTV 4K is perfectly capable of decoding HLG and it's pretty poor that Apple aren't supporting it. If the rumours of new ATV hardware are true then perhaps that'll fix this problem, although I doubt it as it's a software rather than a hardware issue.

Come on Apple! 😡
 

sassenach74

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May 3, 2008
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This is a real shame. I have HLG support on my 2017 LG OLED and so running iPlayer on WebOS on that TV gives me BBC UHD HDR (4K HLG) content when available. Seven Worlds, One Planet is one such programme and looks absolutely stunning on my OLED in this higher resolution (and more importantly HDR).

I'm sure the AppleTV 4K is perfectly capable of decoding HLG and it's pretty poor that Apple aren't supporting it. If the rumours of new ATV hardware are true then perhaps that'll fix this problem, although I doubt it as it's a software rather than a hardware issue.

Come on Apple! 😡
Where are these rumours of updated Apple TV hardware?
Genuinely curious as all I’ve read are posts from people wishing there will be an updated model
 

Sakurambo-kun

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Oct 30, 2015
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Where are these rumours of updated Apple TV hardware?
Genuinely curious as all I’ve read are posts from people wishing there will be an updated model
The only rumour is that it'll have an A12, which we'll provide a very modest, most likely unnoticeable performance boost.

There's a lot Apple could do with the product, such as adding an always on Homepod style microphone array, touch ID on the remote, making a new remote which fits the human hand, add a backlight, add micro SD expansion, include hardware support for AV1, VP9, HLG, HDR10+, Dolby True HD and DTS Master. And giving it a decent GPU such as an A13X. I dare say it could also be a lot smaller and cheaper.
 
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BODYBUILDERPAUL

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Feb 9, 2009
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The only rumour is that it'll have an A12, which we'll provide a very modest, most likely unnoticeable performance boost.

There's a lot Apple could do with the product, such as adding an always on Homepod style microphone array, touch ID on the remote, making a new remote which fits the human hand, add a backlight, add micro SD expansion, include hardware support for AV1, VP9, HLG, HDR10+, Dolby True HD and DTS Master. And giving it a decent GPU such as an A13X. I dare say it could also be a lot smaller and cheaper.
Why bother doing VP9 when YouTube are replacing it with AV1. If you want HLG for 'live tv' which I guess is very last century, just watch it on your TV platform. Apple TV was never really designed for that.

In all fairness, Apple know what they are doing and it's clear that we'll see an updated model in maybe late 2020.
I don't think that we'll ever see Dolby True HD or DTS Master when Apple TV+ is pumping out DD+ etc. In terms of audio we'll see AC4 maybe BUT that could even be the route of 8K iTunes in the future.

Price wise, it's perfect already, if you want cheap, then buy an Amazon or Google product and then you'll realise why the ATV is priced as it is - heck many compare the output of this lil box to their £630 Opportunity disc players etc etc.

Apple don't do cheap, they also don't skimp on good, long lasting components either so it's a jolly decent idea for people to stop wanting a 'cheaper' Apple TV. It's not going to happen as sacrifices would have to be made and in all fairness, Apple don't really do sacrifices just for price. They are confident with that they do in life.
 

AJClayton

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Jan 9, 2007
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Dorset, England
If you want HLG for 'live tv' which I guess is very last century, just watch it on your TV platform. Apple TV was never really designed for that.
While I agree with much of what you said in your post, I'm not sure why you and others in this thread are saying HLG is for live TV. Certainly, one of it's selling points is that it integrates well into current production processes, however it's used widely for non-live TV too (the current Sunday night documentary by the BBC Natural History Unit being one such example).

The ATV may be good hardware, however it doesn't support it so that reduces its appeal somewhat in some territories (such as here in the UK).

You're spot on that the specs of the ATV 4K are otherwise excellent, however it's the usual "Apple problem". However good it is, it's still 2-year old hardware so people like me who *might* be interested in purchasing one for AppleTV+ (and/or BritBox UK as the ATV is one of the only native platforms it supports) are holding back because we suspect that an update must be around the corner.
 

Sakurambo-kun

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Oct 30, 2015
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Why bother doing VP9 when YouTube are replacing it with AV1. If you want HLG for 'live tv' which I guess is very last century, just watch it on your TV platform. Apple TV was never really designed for that.

In all fairness, Apple know what they are doing and it's clear that we'll see an updated model in maybe late 2020.
I don't think that we'll ever see Dolby True HD or DTS Master when Apple TV+ is pumping out DD+ etc. In terms of audio we'll see AC4 maybe BUT that could even be the route of 8K iTunes in the future.

Price wise, it's perfect already, if you want cheap, then buy an Amazon or Google product and then you'll realise why the ATV is priced as it is - heck many compare the output of this lil box to their £630 Opportunity disc players etc etc.

Apple don't do cheap, they also don't skimp on good, long lasting components either so it's a jolly decent idea for people to stop wanting a 'cheaper' Apple TV. It's not going to happen as sacrifices would have to be made and in all fairness, Apple don't really do sacrifices just for price. They are confident with that they do in life.
There is a mountain load of VP9 content on YouTube which the ATV cannot play. That alone is reason to support it. Frankly Apple should be embarrassed that they can't play 4K video from the world's most popular video site.

HLG is designed to handle the requirements of live TV but it's also used for regular streaming. Want to watch 4K content from the BBC or NHK? You need HLG. That's a BIG deal for consumers in the UK and Japan. It's supported by most TV manufacturers now. Again, Apple are behind the curve here, HLG is here to stay. Incidentally, there's a fair bit of HLG content on YouTube too.

I can't see Apple being able to keep the ATV around at its current price. With the ATV app appearing on new smart TVs I doubt many will see the need for it. My own LG OLED already plays both Amazon and Netflix in 4K Dolby Vision and with Atmos audio, plus BBC iPlayer and YouTube in 4K HLG, so the only thing it's missing is iTunes content.
 

Strelok

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Jun 6, 2017
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There is a mountain load of VP9 content on YouTube which the ATV cannot play. That alone is reason to support it. Frankly Apple should be embarrassed that they can't play 4K video from the world's most popular video site.

HLG is designed to handle the requirements of live TV but it's also used for regular streaming. Want to watch 4K content from the BBC or NHK? You need HLG. That's a BIG deal for consumers in the UK and Japan. It's supported by most TV manufacturers now. Again, Apple are behind the curve here, HLG is here to stay. Incidentally, there's a fair bit of HLG content on YouTube too.

I can't see Apple being able to keep the ATV around at its current price. With the ATV app appearing on new smart TVs I doubt many will see the need for it. My own LG OLED already plays both Amazon and Netflix in 4K Dolby Vision and with Atmos audio, plus BBC iPlayer and YouTube in 4K HLG, so the only thing it's missing is iTunes content.
Which other streaming “box” supports HLG? As far as I’m aware, none of the big ones do.
 

HDFan

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Jun 30, 2007
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With the ATV app appearing on new smart TVs I doubt many will see the need for it.
The reviews I have seen of the ATV app running natively on a TV are not good. TV manufacturers do not have a great track record on software support for older models. For example there is no ATV app for my 2018 LG. There are a number of threads which detail why it is better to go with the separate device.