Does Apple TV 4K use checkerboard, otherwise known as "fake 4K"?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by XciteMePls, Sep 29, 2017.

  1. XciteMePls macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2013
    Excuse the inflammatory title. I personally don't view checkerboard 4K rendering as "fake 4K" like some people do. It's what the PS4 Pro does for example. It renders games at a close-to-4K resolution using fancy algorithms and tricks.

    I'm asking if Apple TV 4K does this. I noticed that on some of the 4K movies on iTunes, detail and sharpness in the forefront of the picture is great, but things in the background (trees and buildings for example) turn blurry and smeared.

    Does nobody else see this? What is it? My internet connection not robust enough? Or is this just how 4K streaming looks compared to digital 4K from a disc?
  2. chabig macrumors 603

    Sep 6, 2002
    4K is a reference to the number of pixels on the display. How they are used depends entirely upon how the content is encoded.
  3. lvavila macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2013
    I don't know. Us poor people have to squint at 1080 and even 720p. Sooo, that was a tree in the background? :)
  4. Poontaco macrumors regular

    Feb 2, 2014
    There's no checkerboarding.
    You're just seeing more aggressive compression on the Apple TV movies than you get on Blu Ray discs.
  5. fathergll macrumors 65816

    Sep 3, 2014
    Let me tag along in this thread and ask the following question;

    When Apple announced they would upgrade your existing iTunes moves to 4k for free, what does that exactly mean? I thought Apple only had a limited number of 4k movies. How are they upgrading your existing iTunes moves to 4k? Do they mean only the movies that are available in 4k like The Martian would be upgraded to 4k for free?
  6. Poontaco macrumors regular

    Feb 2, 2014
    Any movie that you have already purchased on iTunes that has a new 4K version will be automatically included in your library
  7. upandown macrumors 6502a

    Apr 10, 2017
    What you're talking about with the backgrounds lacking quality is almost always the case with compressed video files. Dark areas are the first thing to lose out with compression. Although Apple has some of the best compression out there they aren't exempt from this. There could be a few reasons why it's happening with this 4k content but I surmise Apple has some work to do with this new resolution. Perhaps because it's a higher resolution it exposes more imperfections? Just a wild guess though.
  8. XciteMePls thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2013
    I guess I'll have to wait until I get my Xbox One X in November and buy a stupid (and way too expensive) 4K UHD Blu Ray disc to truly see what my Sony Bravia 4K TV is capable of. Apple TV 4K looks great and it's a nice little improvement over 1080p streaming, but it doesn't blow my socks off.

    Anybody else with a more-than-capable 4K TV + the new Apple TV feel this way?
  9. SoldOnApple macrumors regular

    Jul 20, 2011
    You can even see it on uncompressed blurays. You can only really see it on big screens anyway, but pretty much all tvs are big these days.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 29, 2017 ---
    You could rip your 4K movies and share them over network, and play them with Infuse and hope that the developer enables 4K playback soon.
  10. bluraycinema macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2015
    What is an uncompressed blu-ray? I thought they are all compressed to a max 30mbps.

    If you rip your 4k movie over your network what bitrate would it have to be to not show any artifacts?
  11. Scott Davilla macrumors regular

    Scott Davilla

    Jan 5, 2016
    It's real 4K, search around for various test videos that are used to test the display resolution.

    And any h264/h265 format is compressed. That what those video format do, compress the raw frames using various compression methods based on the profile/level selected when it is encoded. The format/profile/level will determine the max bit rate and presence or absence of artifacts.
  12. priitv8, Sep 29, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017

    priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    I've had mine for too short time yet, but my first thought is that the problem lies in the streaming.
    I've just run some H.265-encoded files from iTunes library and they do not look terribly different from when I play them back from USB disc in Sony's Video app. So tech-wise this aTV 4K is definitely capable of crisp 4K output.

    You may also want to check the Quick Start bug part of the 4K playback from iTunes Store:
    ATV 4K is a Scam! Not Truly Delivering 4k/HDR

    As was mentioned somewhere in a neighbouring thread here - one shall not expect any streaming service to become as good as UHD bluray, at least during the lifetime of aTV 4K. UHD BD can achieve 100Mbps video stream playback, wonder when will it come to network streaming services?

    PS an awful lot of early UHD bluray movies are really only upscales from HD DI-s.
    You may find sites like this amusing:
    E.g. Mad Max in UHD version shines only with HDR image, not better detail compared to regular blu ray (thankfully they all come with 2 discs in the box - BD and UHD BD).
    Passengers, on the other hand, looks much better in UHD than in HD also detail-wise. Not to mention the HDR and Atmos part.

    One real breakthrough improvement may also be the reason, why UHD blurays are "way too expensive" - besides having both UHD and HD discs in the box, UHD BD by definition is region-free. Finally!
  13. BigAppleNYC123 macrumors regular


    Jun 6, 2017
    Not really to be honest. 4K hdr movies from iTunes Store look really great to me. Netflix has been iffy. I wish planet earth was 4K but it isn’t and it doesn’t look great. The content really isn’t there. Im not one to clutter up my space with a Blu-ray player.

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12 September 29, 2017