You can watch 4K video on your TV, but not your Retina iMac. Why? Photo: Netflix
Yesterday, Amazon announced that they would begin streaming Amazon Prime movies in 4K Ultra HD, free of charge. This follows an announcement by Netflix in March that they would allow subscribers to stream 4K shows in Ultra HD for a small additional charge every month.
Of course, neither the iPhone, iPad, or the Apple TV support 4K video… but the new iMacs with Retina Display do. Yet despite this, Netflix and Amazon don’t actually stream 4K video to the Retina iMac. The best you can get is plain old 1080p.
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Not even Apple’s new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus support super-sharp 4K video recording out of the box, but they do have the necessary hardware to support it. Vizzywig 4K, a new iOS app that was just approved by Apple, brings this functionality to the iPhone 5s — but it costs a whopping $999.99.
After months of beta testing Apple has finally made OS X 10.9.3 available for public release.
The update is light on new features but does pave the way for 4K to come to the iMac in the future thanks to new support for a full range of Retina scaling modes for 4K monitors, allowing users to juice their extra pixels to make things crisper instead of just smaller.
Although 4K Monitors are starting to become affordable, OS X hasn’t up until now supported them with the same sophistication it does a Retina Display. Even under Mavericks, the only readable resolution was 3840 x 2160, with no support for OS X’s Retina scaling options.
According to Anand Lal Shimpi of Anandtech, though, this has all changed, with the latest developer build of OS X 10.9.3 supporting the full range of Retina scaling modes for 4K monitors, allowing you to use those extra pixels to make things crisper instead of just smaller.
That’s good news… and probably a hint that whenever Apple releases the Retina iMac, it’ll boast a 3840 x 2160 display, and not the crazy 5120 x 2880 pixel display that would be called for if Apple just doubled the resolution of the 27-inch, as it has with other Retina Macs.
Once it was revealed that the new Mac Pro could power up to three 4K displays at once, speculation immediately followed about Apple releasing an updated Thunderbolt Display. Rumors have been scare on that front, and a recent slip up in Apple’s online store indicates that the company may be looking to other manufacturers to supply 4K displays.
Yesterday Apple briefly sold Sharp’s new 32-inch LED monitor in several of its European online stores. After the product was spotted, Apple pulled the listing.
We’ve seen the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros go Retina. When will the iMac get ultra high resolution screens, though?
It’s unknown, but it looks like we’re edging closer. Dell — the company whose founder once laughingly suggested that Cupertino return all of its money to shareholders — has just posted details for a new 24-inch monitor sporting a 3840 x 2160 4K display.
Not many of us have 4K devices yet. A 4K Ultra HD TV would pack about 33 million pixels, more than six times the resolution of even the MacBook Pro with Retina Display.
Yet 4K is coming, and when it drops, Netflix CEO Reed Hasting doesn’t want his service to be caught with its pants down, saying during a recent earnings call that he hopes his company will be “one of the big suppliers” of 4K by the time it launches in 2014.
To make sure they’re ready for the crush of 4K Ultra HD TVs next year, Netflix is already streaming some 4K content.