Some New Apple TV 4K Users Report 4K Content Incorrectly Labeled as HD

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

‌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.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Caution)

Top Rated Comments

AppleTO Avatar
16 months ago

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.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zoomp Avatar
16 months ago
It’s pretty easy to test it on Netflix:

https://www.netflix.com/title/80018499

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.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Zadigre Avatar
16 months ago
Apple TV 4K doesn’t consistently output in 4K if you have match frequency and resolution enabled. but lame apps like youtube still force the default resolution.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
patsfan83 Avatar
16 months ago

I guess, in all fairness, 4K from steaming services are majorly compressed (as is HD of any sort), but still. I just find it kind of funny.
4K isn’t some magical button. You need to shoot, edit, distribute/stream all in 4K. You then need to have a TV large enough to see the pixels at your viewing distance. Let’s say you sit 15’ from the TV, you need at least a 120” screen to even start to see improvements.
Or your typical 50” screen you’d have to sit 5 feet from.

https://www.rgb.com/display-size-resolution-and-ideal-viewing-distance
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NLLV Avatar
16 months ago
It would not matter what resolution you watch "Without Remorse" in, the movie is still terrible.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BetaZehn Avatar
16 months ago
Signing out of all devices via the Netflix website helped in my case. Now Netflix works in UHD.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

apple tv 4k design blue

Deals: Adorama Introduces New Low Prices on 32GB Apple TV 4K ($159) and AirPods Max ($449)

Tuesday October 5, 2021 6:27 am PDT by
Adorama today has a collection of deals on select Apple products, including the AirPods Max, Apple TV 4K, and M1 MacBook Pro. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Adorama. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Apple TV 4K You can get the 32GB Apple TV 4K for $159.00, down from $179.00. This is a new all-time ...
apple tv 4k3

UK Retailer Argos Selling New Apple TV 4K a Day Early [Update: Not Any More]

Thursday May 20, 2021 2:03 am PDT by
Apple's updated Apple TV 4K isn't officially supposed to launch until Friday, May 21, but it appears that UK retailer Argos has jumped the gun by offering customers in-store pickup today. Twitter user @ApplWatcher was first to note that Argos has been allowing pre-orders to go out a day early, with many store locations offering collection "right away" or after 4:00 p.m. UK local time. At ...
apple tv blue holiday

Deals: 32GB Apple TV 4K Gets New Low Price of $149.99 on Amazon

Friday December 10, 2021 7:45 am PST by
Today we're tracking a new Amazon low price on the 2021 32GB Apple TV 4K, available for $149.99, down from $179.00. This $29 discount is now the lowest price we've ever seen on this model of the Apple TV 4K. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. The Apple TV 4K is...
apple tv 4k design triad

Deals: 2021 Apple TV Models Get First Discount, 32GB 4K Model Down to $169.98 ($9 Off)

Thursday June 17, 2021 10:44 am PDT by
Today we're seeing the first straight cash discount on the 2021 Apple TV 4K, with $9 in savings on both the 32GB and 64GB models. Starting with the 32GB Apple TV 4K, you can get this model for $169.98, down from $179.00. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. You...
apple tv 4k design blue

Deals: Amazon Discounts 32GB Apple TV 4K to Match All-Time Low Price of $159.99 ($19 Off)

Tuesday October 12, 2021 6:19 am PDT by
Today we're tracking a new Amazon low price on the 2021 32GB Apple TV 4K, available for $159.99, down from $179.00. This $19 discount is a match of the same all-time low price we saw last week, and it's the first time we've seen the deal on Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep ...
Apple unveils the next gen of AppleTV4K 042021 big

Apple Announces New Apple TV 4K with A12 Bionic Chip and Upgraded Siri Remote

Tuesday April 20, 2021 10:20 am PDT by
Apple today announced a new version of the Apple TV 4K, simply called the new Apple TV 4K, with the A12 Bionic Chip and an all-new Siri Remote. The addition of the A12 Bionic Chip provides a significant boost in graphics performance, video decoding, and audio processing. The set-top box now supports high frame rate HDR and Dolby Vision video, enabling fast-moving action at 60 frames per...
apple tv 4k design

Apple TV 4K and Apple TV+ Service to Launch in Korea on November 4

Monday October 25, 2021 12:28 am PDT by
The Apple TV 4K set-top box will launch in Korea on November 4 in tandem with the availability of the company's TV+ video streaming service, Apple announced on Monday. Along with the launch of the Apple TV 4K, Apple TV+ will become available in the country for the first time, accessible through the Apple TV App, Apple TV 4K, Apple TV HD, and Apple One. To celebrate its digital service's...
apple tv 4k 2021 shipped

New Apple TV 4K Orders Begin Shipping With May 21 Delivery

Wednesday May 19, 2021 12:34 pm PDT by
The new Apple TV 4K will begin arriving to customers this Friday, May 21, and ahead of time, orders are now beginning to be marked as "shipped" on Apple's online store. Track your order with others in the MacRumors forums. As of Wednesday afternoon, most of the Apple TV 4K orders that have been marked as "shipped" appear to be in Canada, but orders in other countries should start shipping...

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Dummies 1 Feature

Everything Rumored for Apple's September Event: iPhone 14, Apple Watch Pro and More

Friday August 12, 2022 2:34 pm PDT by
There's just about a month to go until Apple holds its annual September event focusing on new iPhone and Apple Watch models. We thought we'd take a quick look at everything that's rumored for Apple's September event to give MacRumors readers a rundown on what to expect when the first fall event rolls around. iPhone 14 The iPhone 14 can probably be described more as an "iPhone 13S" because...
z fold 4 1

Hands-On With Samsung's Latest Foldable Smartphones, the Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip

Friday August 12, 2022 12:46 pm PDT by
Samsung this week launched its fourth-generation foldable devices, the $1,000 Galaxy Z Flip and the $1,800 Galaxy Z Fold. Though there's no sign of a comparable Apple foldable device on the horizon, rumors suggest prototypes are in the works, so we thought we'd take a look at Samsung's newest smartphones to see what Apple needs to measure up to when a foldable iPhone does come out. Subscribe ...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Rear Flat MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro: Analyst Believes Storage Will Continue to Start at 128GB Despite Rumored Price Increase

Friday August 12, 2022 7:04 am PDT by
It wouldn't be the month before an iPhone launch without a few back-and-forth rumors, with the latest debate concerning iPhone 14 Pro storage. iPhone 14 Pro render by Ian Zelbo While research firm TrendForce forecasted that iPhone 14 Pro models could start with an increased 256GB of storage, Haitong International analyst Jeff Pu today forecasted that the upcoming Pro models will continue to...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive feature

iPhone 14 Is Just a Few Weeks Away: Three Tips to Prepare for the New iPhone

Wednesday August 10, 2022 4:08 am PDT by
The launch of the new iPhone 14 is just a few weeks away, meaning millions of iPhone customers will soon upgrade their existing iPhone or perhaps get an iPhone for the first time. Exclusive MacRumors iPhone 14 Pro renders by graphic designer Ian Zelbo Whether upgrading from an older model or this is your first iPhone, we've rounded up a few tips to help you prepare for the next flagship...
iPhone 14 Pro Lineup Feature Silver

Kuo: Apple to Increase Prices of iPhone 14 Pro Models

Wednesday August 10, 2022 8:22 am PDT by
Apple plans to increase the prices of iPhone 14 Pro models compared to iPhone 13 Pro models, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo did not reveal exact pricing for the iPhone 14 Pro models. However, in a tweet today, he estimated that the average selling price of the iPhone 14 lineup as a whole will increase by about 15% compared to the iPhone 13 lineup. In the United States, the iPhone...
top stories 13aug2022

Top Stories: New Battery Percentage Icon in iOS 16, USB-C AirPods Rumor, and More

Saturday August 13, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
This week brought some shocking news for iOS 16 beta testers, with Apple bringing back the iPhone battery percentage to the status bar after a number of years. Other news and rumors this week included word that Apple has started recording portions of its media event planned for next month to introduce the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8, claims about iPhone 14 Pro pricing and Apple's...