Some owners of the new Apple TV 4K are seeing 4K TV shows and movies listed as being in the lower-resolution HD format. Third-party apps like HBO Max, Disney+, and Netflix, plus iTunes content accessed in the standalone iTunes Movies and TV Shows apps are showing up as being mislabeled.
Apple’s Apple TV app appears to not be affected, and correctly shows 4K content as being 4K.
The new second-generation Apple TV 4K offers the ability to display up to 4K HDR video at 60 frames per second. As you might imagine, owners of the new box are not happy with the idea that the new boxes are not playing back at their highest quality level.
There is a bit of an ongoing debate among users as to whether the source video being shown is in HD or 4K on the new streaming box. It could be a mislabeling bug, where the Apple TV 4K interface is labeling video with the HD label, even though the video content is being displayed in 4K. However, this can’t be verified, as the Apple TV 4K always outputs a 4K signal, upscaling HD content.
Users on Reddit report that the bug exists both in the public tvOS 14.6 release and in the tvOS 14.7 beta seed. Apple is said to be aware of the issue, but a timeline for a fix has not yet been announced.