MacRumors reader Tomas Jackson has discovered that Apple is listing select movies as 4K and HDR in iTunes purchase history.
In a discussion topic on the MacRumors forums, Jackson shared a screenshot of his iTunes purchase history with the 2016 film Passengers listed as “4K, HDR” in brackets. However, he said iTunes only presents the option to download the movie in HD quality, which is either 720p or 1080p depending on the content.
Another reader mentioned that the 2016 film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is also listed as 4K and HDR. MacRumors rented the film to check, and we can confirm the film indeed has “4K, HDR” next to it in our iTunes purchase history. Nevertheless, iTunes lists the movie’s video quality as 720p.
Not all movies are listed as 4K and HDR yet, and content is still in SD or HD for now, but this discovery may foreshadow what’s to come.
In February, Bloomberg reported Apple was testing a new, fifth-generation Apple TV capable of streaming 4K video, adding that it may be released as soon as this year. The report also said the new Apple TV, allegedly codenamed “J105” internally, would display more vivid colors, suggesting HDR support.
A month later, developer Firi Games provided MacRumors with evidence of a device identified as “AppleTV6,2” and running “tvOS 11.0” connecting to its arcade game Phoenix HD for Apple TV in its logs. The IP address fell within a range linked to Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California.
The current Apple TV has a model identifier of AppleTV5,3, and Apple TV6,2 does not correspond with any released model.
It’s conceivable that Apple could launch 4K content in iTunes alongside a new Apple TV with support for up to 4K video output and HDR, or high dynamic range, which allows for sharper colors and lighting. The current, fourth-generation Apple TV has a maximum 1080p video output, and no support for HDR.
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