It was late in coming, but thanks to some significant end-of-year developments, 2017 will go down as a watershed year for Apple TV owners.
In September, we finally got 4K and HDR support in the form of new hardware – the Apple TV 4K. The highly anticipated update brought the platform up to speed with the latest in 4K streaming technology and enabled support for HDR, including the excellent Dolby Vision HDR format. Apple also included support for the latest audio codecs including Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 audio and soon support for the newly emerging Dolby Atmos.
In December, in addition to an update to the TV App that enabled live sports integration, with the ability to personalize the app based on your favorite sports teams, we finally got an Amazon Prime app. Is this a signal that Apple is finally turning the corner and aggressively committing to the Apple TV platform?
Looking ahead to 2018, as Google and Amazon continue to battle one another, there are some significant untapped opportunities in front of Apple – First and foremost, Netflix.
Since the TV App was first introduced to the public, the most glaring omission was Netflix support. Now with Amazon in tow, with full TV App integration as well as support for Siri search, will Netflix play ball with Apple and allow Netflix integration within the TV app? Or will Apple make a blockbuster move and buy Netflix outright?
What about over-the-air and local TV programming? Streaming TV providers, in particular Hulu and DIRECTV NOW have been aggressively closing deals and adding local channels to their lineups. Local TV access is seen as a “must have” and an extremely hot topic for streaming TV consumers. Our streaming TV locals comparison page is one of our most highly trafficked pages. Does Apple see a way to capitalize on this?
There are many questions left unanswered and Apple is super secretive about its plans, but if the latter part of this year is any indication, Apple may be back in the streaming TV game in a big way come 2018.
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