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 14
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Top Rated Comments

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40 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)
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40 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)
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40 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)
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40 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)
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40 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)
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40 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)

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