Apple’s 4K HDR-enabled Apple TV still has yet to come out, but it’s already been reviewed by some early review unit recipients. Notably, The Verge‘s Nilay Patel got his hands on it and gave it a relatively mixed review. While the hardware is pretty much on point, what it outputs to your television in terms of quality turns out to not be all that great. You can see what I mean in Patel’s review here.
One specific caveat Patel had with the Apple TV 4K was its lack of Dolby Atmos. It isn’t a hardware limitation, but rather a case of Apple not enabling it for the end user. Luckily, the company says the feature is on its way, but they gave no timetable.
This is rather disappointing. With reviews going live now and not having the feature available to advertise from day one, Apple might be hurting themselves when it comes to giving customers another reason to upgrade to the Apple TV 4K. Besides four times HD quality and high dynamic range (which not many people know about), there’s really no standout reason to definitely upgrade to the new TV without first trying it. Y’know, unless you really need a new processor, but I have yet to hear anyone complain about the speed of their current-gen Apple TV.
A future tvOS upgrade will likely bring Atmos support to the Apple TV 4K. Until we know more, however, you’ll have to sit tight and be patient. There’s no telling how long this might take.