Ultra HD also known as 4K has been the buzz in the digital world in recent times. Although the format has been in existence since over ten years, it has gained immense popularity among the masses of late owing to affordable 4K TV set top boxes by manufacturers and online streaming of 4K video content by streaming services like Netflix.
It is not very surprising to know that Apple had been trying to get its hands on the not-yet-ubiquitous digital technology.
A letter dated September 26, 2013 unveiled that Apple had requested Sony Pictures to grant the Cupertino firm 4K content for digital distribution and on-demand services testing. It was signed by Apple Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue and a former Sony executive, Jim Underwood who now works at Facebook. There were several drafts related to the same document along with the signed letter.
Culver Digital Distribution Inc., a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment had sent the materials access letter to Apple almost two years ago. This document has been released by WikiLeaks from Sony data breach this Thursday. This agreement proves that Apple has been licensing 4K content from Sony and testing 4K video streaming since 2013.
A new Apple TV device and TV streaming service are expected by the end of this year. It is therefore possible that these could include 4K Ultra HD video. However the company has not yet made the ultra HD movies and TV shows available on through iTunes or the set top streamer of its Apple TV.
Although in November it was speculated that next generation Apple TV would support 4K streaming, the rumors TV were crushed by a report released in April 2015 which suggested that the new Apple TV will not support 4K content.
Conversely, it is being said that Future Apple TV hardware will likely be capable of outputting 4K content due to technological developments hired from the iOS device lineup.
Two reports also suggested that Apple has been working on a 4K TV set. Although those plans were called off, new plans of developing a set top box Apple TV with an A8 chip along with a TV streaming service surfaced.
Sony was among the first companies to render technologies like compatible projectors and ultra-high definition TVs to its customers. It has been a promoter of 4K and its formal agreement in the form of the materials access letter authorized Apple for “testing and/or preparing 4K film and television content for non-exclusive distribution.”
Revelations of the Apple TV were expected at the Apple WWDC 2015 but the audience was left disappointed. But a new set top box with 4K support offering a redesigned remote, its own app store, integration with Siri and a new streaming service is very well expected in the near future.