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A number of new Apple TV 4K owners are reporting that TV shows and movies in several apps are listed as HD rather than the expected 4K resolution.

apple-tv-4k-content-listings-issue.jpg
Apple TV 4K 2021 shown on right (Image credit: sundeepch)

Based on comments from MacRumors forum members, Apple Support Communities members, and Reddit users, the issue can be found on native Apple content accessed through the iTunes Movies and TV Shows apps, but not the main TV app, while video on third-party services like HBO Max and Netflix is also affected.

The possibility that HDMI cables could have something to do with it has already been ruled out, as some users simply replaced their previous-generation Apple TV 4K with the new set-top box using the same cables, and the older model doesn't exhibit the same problem.

There's some debate among users over whether the videos listed as HD are actually playing back in 4K. If so, it would suggest a labeling bug. However, knowing for certain is being made more difficult by the fact that the Apple TV 4K consistently outputs a 4K signal to the connected television and upscales the content if necessary, regardless of its native resolution.

The problem has been replicated on both tvOS 14.6 and in the latest tvOS 14.7 beta. Several users report they've been in contact with Apple regarding the issue, but the usual hardware reset/cable change suggestions aren't helping and it's still unknown if a software-based solution is in the works.

Article Link: Some New Apple TV 4K Users Report 4K Content Incorrectly Labeled as HD
 
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AppleTO

macrumors 6502
Oct 31, 2018
438
852
Toronto, Canada
However, knowing for certain is being made more difficult by the fact that the Apple TV 4K consistently outputs a 4K signal to the connected television and upscales the content if necessary, regardless of its native resolution.
Uh, so no one can tell the difference between HD and 4K regardless? That’s kind of ironic.
 

realeric

macrumors 65816
Jun 19, 2009
1,109
1,420
United States
Youtube app doesn’t save the screen resolution preferences in old Apple TV 4K. It plays the lowest quality and I had to switch to 4k/FHD every time. My network is good(1 Gbps). I thought it was the app but now I start doubting tvOS.
 
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zoomp

macrumors regular
Aug 20, 2010
156
261
It’s pretty easy to test it on Netflix:


These are the internal Netflix test patterns, choose the one with 3840x2160 and 24 FPS. When it reaches 12-16 mbps and you can see the round targets on the corners without any smudging, it’s full 4K.
 

xalea

macrumors 6502
Jan 12, 2017
340
988
If you can't tell the difference between 4K and HD on the screen, does it really matter? lol
 

Snapperjw

macrumors 6502
Oct 8, 2007
300
189
It’s pretty easy to test it on Netflix:


These are the internal Netflix test patterns, choose the one with 3840x2160 and 24 FPS. When it reaches 12-16 mbps and you can see the round targets on the corners without any smudging, it’s full 4K.

Well this still shows at 1920 x 1080 on my new Apple TV 4K on my 4K TV even thou I am selecting 3840 x2160
 
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RammyXX

macrumors regular
Nov 30, 2012
106
203
Maybe someone can help me here.

I recently bought a Mac mini (3.2GHz 6-core Core i7) to replace my old 2012 model. I wanted a new machine that can output 4K HDR to my 4K Sony XH9005 TV through my Yamaha RX-V4A A/V-receiver.
I downgraded to Catalina. When I activate High Dynamic Range in System Preferences, the picture is washed out. The receiver detects the HDR signal (YCbCr 4:2:0 30bit), the TV's picture settings says it's a HDR signal, but no matter if I choose the HDR setting Auto, HDR10 or HLG on the TV the picture is washed out. HDR via PS5 works flawlessly, the HDMI cable is not the problem, the receiver is not the problem.
Any thoughts?

Also, is it true that Big Sur is required to watch Netflix in 4K via Safari? I only get the HD logo in Netflix. 4K HDR works well with the Netflix TV app, but I would prefer to watch via the Mac mini.
 

God of Biscuits

macrumors regular
Sep 17, 2007
153
352
I was having the same problems, but with HDR10 vs DolbyVision. For me with a cheaper Vizio 4k set, it was handshaking with the HDMI 2.0 port on the TV: The TV wouldn't recognize it as a 4K signal, and some/many apps (like Disney+ for me) would show that the vids weren't available in DV, only HDR10.

Also, if your Apple TV isn't set to 4K and you don't also have "Match Range & Rate" to YES for both, the ATV will only tell the TV set that it can do what you set the overall ATV to do, e.g., if you have the ATV displaying 1080p SDR for its UI and you don't have Match source DR & Frame rate, then 1080p is what you'll see the content as in some streaming apps.
 

God of Biscuits

macrumors regular
Sep 17, 2007
153
352
Well this still shows at 1920 x 1080 on my new Apple TV 4K on my 4K TV even thou I am selecting 3840 x2160

You should have match Rate & Range set to YES, and for the hell of it unplug everything, try a different HDMI 2.0 port on your TV, turn 'em all back on and try again. The problem I had was that my primary HDMI port, even though it was a 2.0 port, was somehow wonky. Moved the cable to another HDMI port and did the above and everything is working.
 

bluespark

macrumors 68030
Jul 11, 2009
2,788
3,448
Chicago
I haven't yet experienced this, but I have been having some HDMI handshaking issues (pinpoint artifacts about one in ten times I start the ATV) that I never experienced before. Nothing in my setup has changed -- I plugged this ATV into the same power, HDMI (2.1), and Ethernet cable as before. If I run into this more than a few more times, I plan to return the new ATV and go back to my prior ATV 4K.
 

mluczkowski

macrumors newbie
May 31, 2017
7
3
When I view my Apple ID in System Preferences on my MacBook it shows my new Apple TV 4K as just "Apple TV". My prior 4K one shows up as "Apple TV 4K". Probably not related to the issue however was something I noticed.
 
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Zadigre

macrumors regular
Aug 7, 2011
214
203
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
First I'm hearing of this... Source?

source is me.
I have match content enabled for both settings (I don't know the exact name).
on most app (except YouTube), if I watch some content, my tv will switch to 480p, 720, 1080p, 4k... and refresh rate 24,30 and 60 accordingly.

if you don't have match content enabled, yes it will stay at 4k/60 (or whatever mode selected).
 

fishmoose

macrumors 68000
Jul 1, 2008
1,810
252
Sweden
Well this still shows at 1920 x 1080 on my new Apple TV 4K on my 4K TV even thou I am selecting 3840 x2160

What settings do you have on your Apple TV? I have it set to 4K HDR and to match content enabled for both settings and for me it shows in 4K.
 

Jrshelby

macrumors regular
Nov 12, 2017
229
269
Buffalo, NY
Im sticking with it being a HDMI 2.1 cable issue. 2.1 is now std with the new Apple TV and HDMI 2.1 has been finicky to say the least. I have an Anker HDMI 2.1 cable and don't seem to have this issue.
 

Baumi

macrumors regular
Mar 31, 2005
241
340
Uh, so no one can tell the difference between HD and 4K regardless? That’s kind of ironic.

I was thinking the same. If the affected users are not even sure whether the problem is with the signal or just the label, the immediate impact of this seems rather limited. Obviously, Apple should still get to the bottom of this and release either a fix (if it is an issue with the AppleTV) or an explanation (if it is an issue with, e.g., incompatible cables).
 
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Baumi

macrumors regular
Mar 31, 2005
241
340
I did also notice that Netflix may say 5.1 for audio on new Apple TV 4K, but I still get Dolby Atmos.
This happened to me a few times on the old AppleTV 4K, too. If I recall correctly, this is an issue with Netflix' code, but it is, like you said, purely cosmetic.
 
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