I had asked earlier in the thread about how well the ATV converts content to HDR10, since my TV is HDR10 only. I was concerned about a loss in quality compared to native HDR10 and had heard some reports that some content looked darker and colors were dull compared to native HDR10 versions. I appreciate the reponses I got.
So, I finally gave it a shot and thought I’d share my thoughts now. The short version is that I’m pretty impressed.
After setting up, I immediately started doing comparisons to versions on my Chromecast Ultra. As far as detail is concerned, there was no competition, ATV blows away the CCU. However, my concern was more with the HDR performance on titles hosted in DV on the ATV. Now, these comparisons are purely based on my perception and aren’t perfect, since switching inputs isn’t instant, so my eyes have time to “reset” meaning it’s hard to perfectly judge the side by side. That being said, from my observations, I wasn’t able to see any major difference in HDR performance in most cases. If there was any, it was definitely minimal. Blade Runner 2049, Mad Max, and Wonder Woman all seemed on par. The only title that seemed duller was Suicide Squad. To be fair, even the native HDR10 version seemed like a somewhat dull HDR presentation, but the ATV seemed slightly duller.
I also checked Netflix and saw similar results. Santa Clarita Diet and Altered Carbon both seemed to look about on par with the native Netflix app on my TV.
So, I don’t know if these are improvements they’ve made since launch, but either way, I don’t think that owners of HDR10 only TVs need to worry.
Further thoughts: First full movie I watched was Kingsmen: The Golden Circle (which is HDR10 on ATV anyway). Looked incredible. The best image quality I've ever seen from a stream. You could almost have convinced me it was a physical UHD disc.
I like the interface and it’s very snappy, certainly compared to the built in Android TV. The biggest advantage, though, of ATV, and the reason I got it, is simply the much better selection on 4K/HDR content relative to other streaming services, as well as great pricing. The Golden Circle isn’t even available in 4K/HDR on any other services that I know of.
The only issue I had was with the DS Video app. It keeps saying the video format is not supported. These are standard h264 videos that play on the Android TV app and even on the iPad DS Video app. I don’t see why they wouldn’t work on the Apple TV. I guess I’ll just keep using the Android TV version of this particular app.