Disney, Marvel, and Pixar movies now available in 4K HDR on Apple TV and iTunes

Apple TV pages for films like <em>Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker</em> now claim 4K, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos support.
Enlarge / Apple TV pages for films like Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker now claim 4K, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos support.

Samuel Axon

When Apple launched the Apple TV 4K streaming box and first announced support for 4K and HDR in the iTunes movie store back in 2017, it had managed to sign up most major studios. But there was one holdout in terms of offering its catalog in UltraHD: Disney.

For three years, users in Apple’s ecosystem had to settle for 1080p HD to watch, say, the Marvel movies or Pixar animated films. Today, it looks like that’s changing in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. A plethora of Disney-made films inclusive of numerous Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, and Walt Disney Studios animated films are available in Apple’s storefront in both 4K and Dolby Vision HDR. They also support Dolby Atmos audio.

Examples include Star Wars:

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YouTube 4K has now come to Apple TV, iPhone and iPad, but no HDR or 60fps on TV

“A big frustration with the Apple TV 4K is about to be history,” my colleague Chris Welch wrote, when we learned that Apple’s premiere set-top box would finally be able play 4K YouTube videos at their native resolution instead of being stuck at 1080p. These days, even a $40 dongle can do better than that.

But though Apple’s latest software updates did bring YouTube 4K to the Apple TV 4K, the frustrations aren’t necessarily over. It turns out you’re limited to watching 4K at 30fps, instead of a smooth 60 frames per second, and without the depth of color and contrast that High Dynamic Range (HDR) provides. That’s what 9to5Mac noticed yesterday, and we’ve confirmed with Google that — for now — Apple TV only supports 4K at 30fps with SDR content.

On the plus side, the latest iPhones and iPads do

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Macs Need T2 Security Chip to Play 4K HDR Netflix in macOS Big Sur

Apple’s upcoming macOS Big Sur operating system introduces HDR video support and allows Netflix users to watch content in 4K HDR for the first time. However, it turns out that only Macs with an Apple T2 Security chip are compatible with Ultra HD streaming.


Apple Terminal spotted a recently updated support document on Netflix’s Help Center that now includes hardware requirements for viewing 4K HDR content in Safari on macOS Big Sur.

According to the web page, viewing Ultra HD content can only be achieved on a “select 2018 or later Mac computer with an Apple T2 Security chip.” In addition to that, every monitor connected to the computer on which Ultra HD is streamed must be a 60Hz 4K capable display with a HDCP 2.2 connection.

It’s not clear why Macs need a T2 security chip to play back 4K HDR content, given that Windows machines obviously don’t, but

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Streaming devices from Roku/Google in new 4K HDR fight, and more tech news today

Your tech news digest, by way of the DGiT Daily tech newsletter, for Tuesday, 29 September 2020.

1. Buying Google’s new Chromecast before launch, and the streaming box wars

We’re all set for Google’s Launch Night In event tomorrow, where we’ll get the Google Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5, with pricing and availability being key interest points. (The leaks are probably right, but there’s still more to know.)

And, amongst other hardware to be launched, is a new Chromecast, which for some reason is already on sale (above via Reddit):

  • $50 for a streaming dongle with 4K HDR, and remote, plus Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision, and not needing your phone to use it…
  • Yep, that’s a decent upgrade over the Chromecast Ultra, which didn’t offer HDR, nor a remote.
  • The current Ultra does offer an ethernet port for a hardwired connection, though, which can be useful for 4K
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Roku Ultra gets Dolby Vision HDR and Wi-Fi upgrades, stays at $100

Roku just announced a new Streambar, and its other new piece of hardware for 2020 is an updated Roku Ultra player, which will cost $100. Improvements to the company’s top-of-the-line streaming device include a better Wi-Fi range and compatibility with Dolby Vision video — which is available from services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney Plus — just in time for The Mandalorian Season 2.



a knife sitting on top of a wooden cutting board: Roku


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Roku


See it at Best Buy

While many Roku players, including the $50 Roku Streaming Stick Plus, offer 4K resolution, Dolby Atmos audio and standard high dynamic range video, the 2020 Roku Ultra is the first to include Dolby Vision HDR. In CNET’s tests Dolby Vision can look a bit better than standard HDR in some cases, but the difference is largely dependent on the TV and the video source. Even so, many owners

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