Apple Inc. Asked Sony For 4K Streaming In 2013: Leaked Docs

Apple asked for 4K video content from Sony Pictures for digital distribution and for on-demand streaming testing two years ago, reveals a new document released by WikiLeaks, according to Apple Insider. Sony is the topmost company promoting 4K and was among the first to bring projectors and UHDTVs to consumers.

Is Apple planning to offer 4K?

The document in question was sent by Culver Digital Distribution, a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment, to Apple and acts as a formal agreement between the two companies for the testing and/or preparing of 4K content from Sony movies and TV shows. Since the date on the letter is given as Sept. 26, 2013, it seems like Apple has been looking to make way for 4K distribution for the past two years.

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In 2013, two reports surfaced, revealing that Apple was working on a 4K TV set, but those plans were shelved with rumors of a brand new Apple TV set-top box powered with an A8 chip and offering a TV streaming service. Further, the speculations suggested that the new Apple TV could play 4K content and would result in a 4K-capable Apple TV and streaming service. However, a report earlier this year confirmed that the new Apple TV will not support 4K content.

Rising popularity for 4K

The iPhone maker’s exploration of 4K content is not very surprising as the company is the leader in digital media distribution. Still, Apple has not rolled out any UHD movies or TV shows through iTunes or its Apple TV set-top streamer. The Apple TV hardware will be equipped to output UHD content in the wake of technological advances borrowed from the iOS device lineup.

The UHD format has been on the market for more than a decade but only recently saw some popularity after prominent television manufacturers brought some affordable UHDTV sets in the market. Even though 4K, which is also known as Ultra-HD, gathered some momentum with more affordable 4K TV sets from manufacturers and some 4K content on streaming services like Netflix, the format has not yet made its presence widely felt. However, with a push from streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon and a rise in effective model content distribution and content, 4K will surely go mainstream.