Apple Suggests Apple TV 4K Will Gain Dolby Atmos Support in Future tvOS Update

Apple TV 4K reviews are out, and one interesting tidbit is that the streaming media player could gain support for Dolby Atmos surround sound technology in the future by way of a tvOS software update.


"Apple told me that the lack of Atmos isn't a hardware limitation, and that support is on the roadmap," wrote The Verge's Nilay Patel.

Dolby Atmos was developed to give sound from movies and TV shows a more three-dimensional effect. Rather than being constrained to channels, sounds can be precisely placed and moved in three-dimensional space.

Patel explains:

Atmos and its competitor DTS:X are the next generation of surround sound formats, which the industry calls "object-based surround." Unlike traditional surround, which sends specific tracks of audio to specific speakers, Atmos allows audio engineers to place sound "objects" in 3D space, and your receiver or soundbar figures out how to recreate it.

Both the Xbox One S and Roku support Dolby Atmos. On the content side, Netflix has been rolling out support since July. Several theaters now play movies with Dolby Atmos sound, and many older titles have been remastered.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 13
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Don't Buy)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
35 months ago
Why is Apple always so late to the game on visual and sound quality? Why is experience quality second rate to them? It's weird.

How long has Google ShieldTV, Roku, and a myriad of smartTV's had 4K, HDR, and bitsream for Atmos/DTS. Since before AppleTV4...
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
35 months ago
Great news. I was hoping this would be possible. This is a beast of a streaming device, can't wait to get mine tomorrow!!
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
35 months ago
Now they just need a configurable option to the TV app that lets it auto play the next episode after completing the last one. This was a useful feature they took away in 10.2 of tvOS. Yes, I sent feedback to the feedback page. I get why some people didn’t like that feature but anyone with kids understands how essential it is for road trips, etc. It’s such an easy option to make configurable and make everyone happy.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
35 months ago

No Youtube in 4k. Deal breaker for me.

Pretty sure this it's up to YouTube to support 4K in their tvOS app. Give it time...
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
35 months ago

Now they just need a configurable option to the TV app that lets it auto play the next episode after completing the last one. This was a useful feature they took away in 10.2 of tvOS. Yes, I sent feedback to the feedback page. I get why some people didn’t like that feature but anyone with kids understands how essential it is for road trips, etc. It’s such an easy option to make configurable and make everyone happy.

Can't disagree more. Road trips should have music and never any screens.

And yes, I do have kids ‍‍‍
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
35 months ago
This is important. Whether or not you use these formats, Apple has to at least try to quit lagging behind. I think that may be the biggest complaint I hear from long time devotees.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Leaker: Apple to Stick With Lightning Over USB-C for 'iPhone 12' Before Going Port-Less Next Year

Tuesday May 26, 2020 2:31 am PDT by
Apple will use a Lightning port instead of USB-C in the upcoming "iPhone 12," but it will be the last major series of Apple's flagship phones to do so, with models set to combine wireless charging and a port-less Smart Connector system for data transfer and syncing in the iPhone "13 series" next year. The above claim comes from occasional Apple leaker and Twitter user "Fudge" (@choco_bit),...

Apple Reissuing Numerous iOS App Updates, Potentially Related to Recent 'This App is No Longer Shared' Bug

Sunday May 24, 2020 9:13 pm PDT by
Over the past few hours, a number of MacRumors readers have reported seeing dozens or even hundreds of pending app updates showing in the App Store on their iOS devices, including for many apps that were already recently updated by the users. In many cases, the dates listed on these new app updates extend back as far as ten days. Apple has not shared any information as to why updates for...

'This App is No Longer Shared' iOS Bug Preventing Some Apps From Opening

Friday May 22, 2020 3:58 pm PDT by
An app bug is causing some iOS users to be unable to open their apps, with affected iPhone and iPad users seeing the message "This app is no longer shared with you" when attempting to access an app. There are multiple complaints about the issue on the MacRumors forums and on Twitter from users who are running into problems. A MacRumors reader describes the issue:Is anyone else experiencing...

16-Inch MacBook Pro, iPad Pro, and iMac Pro With Mini-LED Displays Again Rumored to Launch in 2021

Tuesday May 26, 2020 5:30 am PDT by
Apple plans to release several higher-end devices with Mini-LED displays in 2021, including a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro in the first quarter, a new 16-inch MacBook Pro in the second quarter, and a new 27-inch iMac in the second half of the year, according to Jeff Pu, an analyst at Chinese research firm GF Securities. This timeframe lines up with one shared by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who recently...

Jailbreak Tool 'unc0ver' 5.0 Released With iOS 13.5 Compatibility

Sunday May 24, 2020 3:06 pm PDT by
The team behind the "unc0ver" jailbreaking tool for iOS has released version 5.0.0 of its software that claims to have the ability to jailbreak "every signed iOS version on every device" using a zero-day kernel vulnerability by Pwn20wnd, a renowned iOS hacker. The announcement comes just days after it was announced that the tool would soon launch. The unc0ver website highlights how the tool...

Future AirPods to Include 'Ambient Light Sensors' Possibly Related to Rumored Health Features

Monday May 25, 2020 2:53 am PDT by
Apple is reportedly looking to integrate light sensors in a new model of AirPods in the next couple of years, according to a new report today, suggesting their use could be part of rumored upcoming health monitoring features in the true wireless earbuds. In a paywalled article, DigiTimes reports that ASE Technology could be involved in manufacturing the sensors: Apple is expected to...

Top Stories: Apple Glass and iPhone 12 Rumors, iOS 13.5 Update, and More!

Saturday May 23, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
It was another big week for rumors this week, with a flurry of reports about Apple's augmented reality glasses, the iPhone 12, and Apple's "AirPods Studio" over-ear headphones. This week also saw the release of iOS 13.5, bringing a number of health-related updates to Apple's mobile devices. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Other topics of interest this week included ...

Apple's 'Bounce' AirPods Ad Wins 'Best of Advertising' Award

Friday May 22, 2020 10:09 am PDT by
Apple's creative "Bounce" ad designed to highlight the AirPods took top honors in the 99th annual ADC (Art Director's Club) awards for advertising, earning the "Best of Discipline" award along with two Gold Cube awards in the craft in video and branded content categories. Released in June 2019, the ad features a bored man who pulls his AirPods off of their wireless charging pad and then pops ...

Apple Releases macOS Catalina 10.15.5 With Battery Health Management Features, Fix for Finder Freezing

Tuesday May 26, 2020 1:59 pm PDT by
Apple today released macOS Catalina 10.15.5, the fifth update to the macOS Catalina operating system that was released in October 2019. macOS Catalina 10.15.5 comes two months after the launch of macOS Catalina 10.15.4, which introduced Screen Time Communication Limits. macOS Catalina 10.15.5 is a free update that can be downloaded from the Mac App Store using the Update feature in the...

'Apple Glass' Rumored to Start at $499, Support Prescription Lenses, and More

Tuesday May 19, 2020 6:30 am PDT by
Front Page Tech host and leaker Jon Prosser today shared several alleged details about Apple's rumored augmented reality glasses, including an "Apple Glass" marketing name, $499 starting price, prescription lens option, and more. The marketing name will be "Apple Glass" The glasses will start at $499 with the option for prescription lenses at an extra cost There will be displays in both...