The entertainment industry is seemingly pushing 4K content and supporting hardware to consumers’ consciousness but it doesn’t seem like a concerted effort either. 4K-capable hardware sometimes has no access to 4K content or 4K content is blocked by additional hardware requirements beyond 4K processing. The situation is particularly messy on Apple’s platform when it comes to YouTube’s 4K streaming but at least one of those pain points has finally disappeared but with a catch or two.
It’s definitely frustrating for people who can’t utilize their Apple TV 4K and matching 4K TVs at least as far as YouTube is concerned. Not that YouTube doesn’t offer 4K content, just that it hasn’t flipped the switch to support Apple’s 4K entertainment box. Now it can but only at its most basic.
Reddit users have been reporting that they can now stream YouTube videos in 4K, a.k.a. 2160p, but only at 30 fps. Streaming in fast 60 fps is still limited to lower resolutions up to 1440p or 2K only. Additionally, videos streaming in 2160p30 don’t come with HDR either. Really as basic as you can get with 4K.
The Apple TV 4K isn’t the only Apple device with YouTube 4K problems as iPhone and iPad support is still spotty at best. Google told The Verge that the feature is still coming soon and, admittedly, it might not be much of a deal-breaker compared to watching on a large 4K TV.
That might be nothing compared to the headache that Mac owners will have when it comes to streaming Netflix in 4K. That will require the presence of Apple’s T2 security chip which limits its availability to only a few Macs and MacBooks, regardless of whether the hardware is capable or if there is a 4K or even 5K monitor attached.