Photo: Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge
With the launch of tvOS 12, support for the Dolby Atmos surround sound format is finally coming to the Apple TV 4K. Apple’s streaming solution launched last year with support for the Dolby Vision HDR video format right out of the box, but in the ever-messy array of streaming devices, set-top devices, and competing formats, it couldn’t claim bragging rights as a solution for customers looking for a way to experience their favorite movies and TV shows with the absolute cutting edge in home presentation. As of today, that’s changed.
While Atmos support is a welcome addition for Apple TV, it can still be hard for some customers to understand why they should care about any given surround sound option in the first place. In the case of Dolby Atmos, which first debuted in movie theaters in 2012, that’s even more true than usual. The format only started entering the home-entertainment space four years ago, and consumers may not have had the chance to experience it for themselves. But the number of ways Atmos can be experienced at home is growing rapidly, and the addition of the format to the Apple TV will increase that momentum, at the exact same time the entertainment industry is turning more toward Atmos as its finishing format of choice. Why does it matter? Let’s dig in.