The New AppleTV: 4k or not 4k? That is the question.
No one owns a 4k television
Let's just look at a bit of their history:
1. MacBook - how many people owned USB-C before they made this the only none headphone port on thus computer?
2. Thunderbolt/FireWire - don't tell me these were ever mainstream.
3. Tablets - where was the large tablet market when the iPad was introduced?
It is obvious that Apple is usually the company that kicks us in the behind and tells us to move on to bigger and better things.
There is no 4k content
There is no benefit to 4k
To quote Apple:
"The 27‑inch iMac with Retina 5K display has four times as many pixels as the standard 27‑inch iMac display. So you experience unbelievable detail. On an unbelievable scale."
As you can see from the Apple photo below, 4k represents a huge benefit over 1080p.
Apple simply isn't ready for 4k yet
"It takes brilliant 4K video, up to four times the resolution of 1080p HD video"
4k video recording will already be part of Apple's best selling consumer item by the time the AppleTV 4 hits the market. So are these "brilliant 4k videos" supposed to only be seen on 27 inch iMac displays or would it make more sense to enable us to watch them on the much larger displays in our living rooms?
4k is too expensive to implement at under $200
The only place they cut corners is that they only provided 16GB of storage, where the AppleTV at the same price has 64GB. However, that is countered with the fact that the Nvidia has a microSD slot that can provide more onboard storage for games and movies. As an example, Apple sells the 64GB AppleTV for $50 more than the 32GB version. For around $20 you could add 64GB to the onboard 16GBs (giving you 80GB of storage). That makes it slightly more expensive if you need exactly 64GBs, but it scales up nicely because you could add a 128GB card to it later when you need it. With Apple, you are stuck with 64GB until you buy a new AppleTV.
In any event, if Nvidia can offer all that at $200, Apple should be able to offer it even cheaper thanks to the economies of scale. Note: Since I wrote this article, Amazon has announced a new 4k FireTV and Alexa that costs...wait for it.....$99!
So why isn't there an AppleTV 4k?
The first is that Apple likes large margins. It isn't that they could not make a profit by offering a 4k AppleTV at $200. It is that they have a formula that says they need to make X amount on every unit sold or it isn't worth their time.
You must hate Apple or be an Android Fanboy
It is nice that they gave it a spec bump and Siri ( although I would have preferred it to be implemented in a way that made it more similar to the Amazon Echo, but that is an article for another day). I also look forward to seeing the new apps that developers come up with.
To that end, I waited for Apple's announcement, and since the AppleTV does not support 4k, I went ahead and ordered the Nvidia Shield (it was just delivered, so I will review it soon). I will run it with my 4k monitor until I get the new laptop, and at that time, I will put it in with my 1080p living room system (one of the benefits of having advanced specs is that they are backwards compatible). Then when there is enough content, I will update my living room TV.
As I mentioned, I may also end up with a new AppleTV, 4 but I want to wait and see what it can offer me that I can't get with the combination of the AppleTV 3 and the Nvidia Shield. Right now, nothing I saw in the demonstration is thrilling me, but the spec jump and Siri alone may be enough to sway me since I use so many Apple devices and anything that expands that ecosystem and makes it more user friendly has to be considered.