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Hellhammer
Sep 1, 2010, 01:31 PM
http://www.apple.com/appletv/specs.html

Processor

Apple A4 chip

Video formats

H.264 video up to 720p, 30 frames per second, Main Profile level 3.1 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps per channel, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats

MPEG-4 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats

Motion JPEG (M-JPEG) up to 35 Mbps, 1280 by 720 pixels, 30 frames per second, audio in ulaw, PCM stereo audio in .avi file format



umag
Sep 1, 2010, 07:09 PM
Yeah, unbelievable. And Jobs said we're in the middle of the HD revolution...:(

Well, at least 720p revolution.:rolleyes:

NT1440
Sep 1, 2010, 07:10 PM
Yeah, unbelievable. And Jobs said we're in the middle of the HD revolution...:(

Well, at least 720p revolution.:rolleyes:

Well if we are going to be honest and pay attention to the details, he said the HD revolution is OVER, HD is here.

8CoreWhore
Sep 1, 2010, 07:17 PM
The ONLY thing that handles 1080P is a bluray player. All implementations of HDTV is 720P or 1080i (540 lines at a time, not as good as 720P). Like HDTV on HBO? That's 720P. Etc, etc, etc...

1080P is about 50% more bandwidth than 720P.

Come on people, it looks great! Just enjoy it.

Icaras
Sep 1, 2010, 07:23 PM
The ONLY thing that handles 1080P is a bluray player.

Actually, computers and laptops handle 1080p just fine as well...

HiRez
Sep 1, 2010, 07:55 PM
The ONLY thing that handles 1080P is a bluray player. All implementations of HDTV is 720P or 1080i (540 lines at a time, not as good as 720P). Like HDTV on HBO? That's 720P. Etc, etc, etc...

1080P is about 50% more bandwidth than 720P.

Come on people, it looks great! Just enjoy it.

It should be double the bandwidth (> 10 Mbps for 1080p, which most people don't have reliably) if you want to maintain quality, there are over 2x as many pixels. You can drop the bitrate down to compensate, but that introduces more artifacts so it's not really worth it.

But yeah, 720p with good encoding, on a good, calibrated monitor, looks great.

HiRez
Sep 1, 2010, 07:57 PM
Actually, computers and laptops handle 1080p just fine as well...

Yes, but it has to be streamed, that's the hard part (and the expensive part, even if people did have a connection that could handle it).

fs454
Sep 1, 2010, 07:59 PM
I just want the menus in 1080p at least, I like when stuff is nice and crisp at the native resolution of my HDTV.


...jailbreak!

8CoreWhore
Sep 1, 2010, 08:00 PM
Actually, computers and laptops handle 1080p just fine as well...

Right... but no 1080P content is streaming.... I could've worded it better.

8CoreWhore
Sep 1, 2010, 08:02 PM
I just want the menus in 1080p at least, I like when stuff is nice and crisp at the native resolution of my HDTV.


...jailbreak!

The only content you are seeing on your HDTV that is 1080P is coming from a bluray disc. All TV is at best 720P (better than 1080i - 540 lines at a time).

People, 720P looks great... just enjoy it... sheesh....

sammich
Sep 1, 2010, 08:09 PM
The only content you are seeing on your HDTV that is 1080P is coming from a bluray disc. All TV is at best 720P (better than 1080i - 540 lines at a time).

People, 720P looks great... just enjoy it... sheesh....

Exactly, there is very little appreciable difference between 720p and 1080p ESPECIALLY if you sit at the recommended distance from your TV. At that distance, your eyes can't actually make out the individual pixels. Hence..point is moot.

Icaras
Sep 1, 2010, 08:45 PM
Yes, but it has to be streamed, that's the hard part (and the expensive part, even if people did have a connection that could handle it).

Right... but no 1080P content is streaming.... I could've worded it better.

Ok got it. Np. I wasn't thinking about streaming. Thanks.

MacCurry
Sep 1, 2010, 09:05 PM
Exactly, there is very little appreciable difference between 720p and 1080p ESPECIALLY if you sit at the recommended distance from your TV. At that distance, your eyes can't actually make out the individual pixels. Hence..point is moot.

Absolutely false. In the US cable providers, AT&T Uverse, Dish Network and Direct TV have Video On Demand of current DVD/BD releases available in true 1080p. I can definitely see the difference. The only thing Apple TV offers is the ability to stream the music I have on Macs through iTunes and my photo albums through iPhoto and perhaps Aperture.

Mach1.8
Sep 1, 2010, 09:28 PM
Absolutely false. In the US cable providers, AT&T Uverse, Dish Network and Direct TV have Video On Demand of current DVD/BD releases available in true 1080p. I can definitely see the difference. The only thing Apple TV offers is the ability to stream the music I have on Macs through iTunes and my photo albums through iPhoto and perhaps Aperture.

Sorry, dude, but your statement, while technically true, doesn't tell the whole picture and doesn't address the comment that you quoted in your reply. Any VOD 1080p program that you download will feature a significantly lower bit rate than the BR version. Accordingly, the PQ as compared with BR will suffer. And these are for movies. All content on the networks is either 720p or 1080i. Period. If it's being displayed to you in 1080p it is being upconverted...you are not getting a better picture than a person watching it from an antenna.

You say you can see the difference. Between what exactly? A well mastered 720p movie and a 1080p one? If so, I'd say you're sitting pretty close to your set...

This is the problem with HD formats. 1080p, IMHO, is a major marketing ploy for the most part (with BR content being the exception). People gush over how great 1080p is, but it's a worthless stat. Here's the facts:

1080p refers to resolution, or number of pixels. All this means is that you can sit closer to a 1080p set before you can start to see the individual pixels. That's it. The quality of a HD picture is much more dependent on black levels, color reproduction, contrast ratio, etc. If you need proof, compare a Panasonic 720p TV to a no-name 1080p TV. Odds are the picture on the Panny will be better. If your talking about downloaded or streaming movies, a high bit rate 720p movie can be just as good as an average bit rate 1080p movie.

dmr727
Sep 1, 2010, 09:40 PM
^^^ I agree with this. I have content across the board - 1080p, 720p, 480 from DVDs, and the quality is all over the map. Sometimes I can tell a difference on a good 1080p BR or rip, but it's not enough for me to get all upset about a $99 device leaving it out. I'm a Netflix customer, I have tons of DVDs (to be ripped) and 720p content - this thing gives me quite a lot of capability for what amounts to one night out at the bar.

And since it's Apple, I know it'll integrate well with my existing hardware and not feel kludgy.

MacCurry
Sep 2, 2010, 12:33 AM
Sorry, dude, but your statement, while technically true, doesn't tell the whole picture and doesn't address the comment that you quoted in your reply. Any VOD 1080p program that you download will feature a significantly lower bit rate than the BR version. Accordingly, the PQ as compared with BR will suffer. And these are for movies. All content on the networks is either 720p or 1080i. Period. If it's being displayed to you in 1080p it is being upconverted...you are not getting a better picture than a person watching it from an antenna.

You say you can see the difference. Between what exactly? A well mastered 720p movie and a 1080p one? If so, I'd say you're sitting pretty close to your set...

This is the problem with HD formats. 1080p, IMHO, is a major marketing ploy for the most part (with BR content being the exception). People gush over how great 1080p is, but it's a worthless stat. Here's the facts:

1080p refers to resolution, or number of pixels. All this means is that you can sit closer to a 1080p set before you can start to see the individual pixels. That's it. The quality of a HD picture is much more dependent on black levels, color reproduction, contrast ratio, etc. If you need proof, compare a Panasonic 720p TV to a no-name 1080p TV. Odds are the picture on the Panny will be better. If your talking about downloaded or streaming movies, a high bit rate 720p movie can be just as good as an average bit rate 1080p movie.

No.

1. Source material mastering makes a big difference and I do realize that even Superbit DVDs of yesteryear are better than some BR mastering of today. The assumption here is that you compare apples to apples and not oranges. Therefore, you compare comparable source material. BR should offer a bit rate of 16-20 Mbps at 24fps. So that is the standard.

2. Compare 1080p to 720p source material on a color calibrated display, one that is capable of native 1080p at 24fps, with a proper gray scale and correct ambient lighting. My display is a 2008 67" Samsung HLN67A750 LED based DLP that I calibrated according to the mandarins of the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) recommendations. Its no longer made, but is great watching from 15' on-axis. ISF recommends minimum on-axis viewing distance of 2-3 times the diagonal of calibrated display.

3. To achieve the bit rate of nearly BR, the VOD movie is downloaded to a HDD based DVR that you have access to for 24 hours. This is available today and there is a noticeable difference between properly encoded 720p and 1080p source material. This is what is possible and by Apple removing the HDD in Apple TV, they eliminated the possibility of downloading high bit rate true 1080p/24fps video. Further, I think you're making the false assumption that all 720p video on AppleTV will be properly encoded and have the correct bit rate. It too will vary, but it will be inferior to the 1080p downloaded VOD that is offered by some service providers.

ericvmazzone
Sep 2, 2010, 12:51 AM
Absolutely false. In the US cable providers, AT&T Uverse, Dish Network and Direct TV have Video On Demand of current DVD/BD releases available in true 1080p. I can definitely see the difference. The only thing Apple TV offers is the ability to stream the music I have on Macs through iTunes and my photo albums through iPhoto and perhaps Aperture.

Uverse has 1080p? Where? I can't find it. All I see is SD 720P and 1080i. In fact on their website 1080p is stated as NOT being an option. Fact check my man.

jaw04005
Sep 2, 2010, 12:52 AM
I just want the menus in 1080p at least, I like when stuff is nice and crisp at the native resolution of my HDTV.


...jailbreak!

Apple TV menus, graphics, artwork, etc are in 1080p and have been for years. Also, it outputs at 1080p therefore scaling all your 720p content to 1080p if you so choose.

sammich
Sep 2, 2010, 12:53 AM
It's plain and simple: with comparable bit rates (relative to the number of pixels), from the same source, a 720p video and a 1080p video will have little appreciable difference at the recommended distance.

NOTE: i'm not saying that there isn't ANY difference, for the discerning eyes it's more or less clear as day, but in most cases, my discerning eyes really couldn't give half a crap, if it's 1080p, then yay, if it's not, no biggie. Also, the box is $99, which is nice. I'll be getting two.

Another caveat, as a consequence of having lower powered devices, low h.264 profiles don't look as good. The :apple:TV only takes 3.1 Main Profile, is very decent, but a profile like 5 is sheer brilliance, even at the same bit rate.

So say what you want, it's cheap, it's pretty and it's connected nicely to iTunes. It beats the 300$ old :apple:TV and if you want quality? Buy a PS3 or buy a Mac Mini or buy a HTPC.

WildGuess
Sep 2, 2010, 01:45 AM
Some of the good folks in this forum give short shift to the Vudu box. I've been using one for over six months. Their HDx is true 1080p. Outstanding on my LG 1080p 42". Really nice on my ViewSonic 1080p projector. I got the whole Vudu system (one tb drive, wireless) for the coincidental price of $99 on e-bay, new.

Mach1.8
Sep 2, 2010, 02:13 AM
No.



No, what? I don't know where you get the "near BR" DVR type downloads, but it sounds like it takes a while to download these files. If it is indeed near BR in bit rate, than I can imagine why...though calling it VOD at that point would seem a little silly. More like video a day later:D

At any rate, I agree...one must compare apples to apples. I do this by encoding a BR to my current ATV and comparing that file to the BR itself. On my calibrated Sammy PN58C7000, the difference is often difficult notice from about 10 feet. The studies back up that observation.

I stand by my previous statement...resolution is secondary and is only related to the number of pixels displayed. What we are concerned with the quality of the encode. If that is sufficient, then resolution becomes a tertiary consideration after seating distance.

Mach1.8
Sep 2, 2010, 02:14 AM
Some of the good folks in this forum give short shift to the Vudu box. I've been using one for over six months. Their HDx is true 1080p. Outstanding on my LG 1080p 42". Really nice on my ViewSonic 1080p projector. I got the whole Vudu system (one tb drive, wireless) for the coincidental price of $99 on e-bay, new.

I tried to Vudu app on my new Sammy...looked great. They also have some 3D trailers that looked pretty tight in 1080p. What codec is their streaming content in?

maestrokev
Sep 2, 2010, 02:54 AM
So say what you want, it's cheap, it's pretty and it's connected nicely to iTunes. It beats the 300$ old :apple:TV and if you want quality? Buy a PS3 or buy a Mac Mini or buy a HTPC.

+1

The majority of people aren't going to think twice about buying this box because it's priced for the masses. These are not the people who care about 720 vs 1080p or know what ISF calibration means.

Scorpio12345
Sep 2, 2010, 09:17 AM
Actually both the Xbox 360 and the PS3 both offer 1080p 5.1 instant-on movie rentals.. Sure, they're compressed, but so are Apple's movie rentals - so if we compare compressed 1080p with compressed 720p, The compressed 1080p wins (I tested Xbox 360 old 720p vs. new 1080p) and seriously it wouldn't cost Apple much at all to offer rentals in 1080, especially with tiny broadcom HD accelerators powerful enough to handle the content...

And like people have said, the menus themselves won't look as nice in 720p as they would in 1080p. Why couldn't they at least make that 1080p!? MP4 720p with STEREO sound for non-rentals?? seriously?? They couldn't at least allow 5.1?!

Its my only gripe with the Apple TV (apart from the fact that its 99 pounds here!!) and its a real shame, because i know that a year later it'll "magically" have 1080p on iTV Gen 2.

314631
Sep 2, 2010, 09:22 AM
Actually both the Xbox 360 and the PS3 both offer 1080p 5.1 instant-on movie rentals.. Sure, they're compressed, but so are Apple's movie rentals - so if we compare compressed 1080p with compressed 720p, The compressed 1080p wins (I tested Xbox 360 old 720p vs. new 1080p) and seriously it wouldn't cost Apple much at all to offer rentals in 1080, especially with tiny broadcom HD accelerators powerful enough to handle the content...

And like people have said, the menus themselves won't look as nice in 720p as they would in 1080p. Why couldn't they at least make that 1080p!? MP4 720p with STEREO sound for non-rentals?? seriously?? They couldn't at least allow 5.1?!

Its my only gripe with the Apple TV (apart from the fact that its 99 pounds here!!) and its a real shame, because i know that a year later it'll "magically" have 1080p on iTV Gen 2.

I wouldn't be so sure that it'll have 1080p next year either.

If it bothers you so much then go buy one of these alternative systems. There is plenty of choice in the marketplace. Me, I am perfectly happy with 720p. The HD movie rentals on the current Apple TV look stunning to me.

MacCurry
Sep 2, 2010, 09:39 AM
No, what? I don't know where you get the "near BR" DVR type downloads, but it sounds like it takes a while to download these files. If it is indeed near BR in bit rate, than I can imagine why...though calling it VOD at that point would seem a little silly. More like video a day later:D

At any rate, I agree...one must compare apples to apples. I do this by encoding a BR to my current ATV and comparing that file to the BR itself. On my calibrated Sammy PN58C7000, the difference is often difficult notice from about 10 feet. The studies back up that observation.

I stand by my previous statement...resolution is secondary and is only related to the number of pixels displayed. What we are concerned with the quality of the encode. If that is sufficient, then resolution becomes a tertiary consideration after seating distance.

The HD VOD available on Dish Network and DirecTV have dedicated transponders for a particular first run movie and you must have an HD DVR enabled to display 1080p through HDMI. The download does take some time, but its not a day. I haven't measured the bit rate, and again it will vary from movie to movie, but overall its quite good.

What I'd like to ask you is, given the encoding from movie to movie varies on all h/w platforms and if one has access to 1080p/24fps at decent bit rates, where would the incentive be to purchase the Apple TV? Sure its cheap at $99, but the only advantage is in the UI if you are in the entire Apple ecosystem. Now if Apple kept its original Apple TV h/w with iOS, we would have a real winner.

Hammie
Sep 2, 2010, 11:35 AM
First, I won't be giving up my current AppleTV anytime soon. I'm quite happy with the on board storage and streaming options. :cool:

As far as the "HD" streaming, nothing is going to come close to a properly mastered Blu-ray Disc (BTW, it is BD not BR). There is no one streaming pure HD content at the proper bitrate required for seamless HD quality. There is still a level of compression. Also, let's not forget audio. I spent a TON of money on the audio part of my Home Theater. Why would I want 5.1 Dolby Digital when my BD collection gives me Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD MA?

I am not saying that I will never stream movies because I have used both the 1080p version from DirecTV and the ones available from AppleTV. Usually, because it is a kids movie or it was a quick decision by my wife and I and I do not own it. I just realize that any streamed content will not be at the same quality as a BD movie.

Also, no AppleTV has supported 1080p input. Any 1080p output was just an upconverted 720p signal.

The new AppleTV is meh at best.

KDR
Sep 2, 2010, 11:54 AM
Let's not forget that this thing is $99. Apple is catering to the masses with this one in order to strengthen its position with the studios so it can grab share in a market it hasn't done as well with. Most people couldn't explain the first thing anout 720p vs 1080i vs 1080p and that's exactly who Apple wants to buy this. These same people probably have miserable network equipment and cheap internet access which 1080p would kill.

If Apple succeeds in gaining market share and gets more leverage with the studios you can pretty much count on 1080p and other stuff with future versions. For $99 it's practically disposable and frankly probably not that profitable. Apple wants money from rentals from a large installed base.

Mach1.8
Sep 2, 2010, 12:11 PM
The HD VOD available on Dish Network and DirecTV have dedicated transponders for a particular first run movie and you must have an HD DVR enabled to display 1080p through HDMI. The download does take some time, but its not a day. I haven't measured the bit rate, and again it will vary from movie to movie, but overall its quite good.

What I'd like to ask you is, given the encoding from movie to movie varies on all h/w platforms and if one has access to 1080p/24fps at decent bit rates, where would the incentive be to purchase the Apple TV? Sure its cheap at $99, but the only advantage is in the UI if you are in the entire Apple ecosystem. Now if Apple kept its original Apple TV h/w with iOS, we would have a real winner.

To answer your question, no...I can't find a reason to buy the ATV in that scenario.

Mach1.8
Sep 2, 2010, 12:17 PM
Let's not forget that this thing is $99. Apple is catering to the masses with this one in order to strengthen its position with the studios so it can grab share in a market it hasn't done as well with. Most people couldn't explain the first thing anout 720p vs 1080i vs 1080p and that's exactly who Apple wants to buy this. These same people probably have miserable network equipment and cheap internet access which 1080p would kill.

If Apple succeeds in gaining market share and gets more leverage with the studios you can pretty much count on 1080p and other stuff with future versions. For $99 it's practically disposable and frankly probably not that profitable. Apple wants money from rentals from a large installed base.

I'd be curious to see, as others have speculated, if the new iteration of hardware can indeed handle 1080p. I may get one just to see how it handles my current library, which I'm afraid to say exceeds the current ATV's capability on occasion.

However, Steve didn't listen to me! I've been syncing from day one...I do like to manage my library. Further, I think most people that own an idevice know how it works...it's really not hard. While we don't know for sure, I'm betting that USB port is locked down so I'll be waiting on a hack to get my syncing up and running should I buy the new version.

KDR
Sep 2, 2010, 12:22 PM
However, Steve didn't listen to me!

...and Steve doesn't make enough money listening to you. He needs to listen to the people who he couldn't convince to buy the first one. And no, not the people who wanted 2 terabytes of storage, blu-ray drives, etc. Techies have a hard time accepting that big companies don't make a lot of money making products for them.

topmounter
Sep 2, 2010, 12:33 PM
It's funny how so many folks get hung up over resolution. It's just a portion of the overall PQ equation.

Like many folks, for my panel size and viewing distance, the charts and graphs tell me that (all other things being equal) I shouldn't be able to tell the difference between 720p and 1080p content (and I have no grounds for disagreeing with them). So I doubt I'm going to be willing to pay a premium for 1080p over 720p to begin with...

However, what I can tell the difference between is 720p content at an appropriate bit-rate and 1080p content that has been bit-starved to keep CDN costs down. So at $.99 per TV show or $4.99 per movie, I'll take the proper 720p all day and every day over sub-par 1080p.


Edit: And I'll be interested to see a side-by-side PQ comparison of a given movie on AppleTV 2 @720p and the same movie at 1080p from Dish, DirecTV, XBOX360 and anyone else with that same movie title available at 1080p.

Edit2: Actually... has anyone compared the 1080p version of a particular movie from Dish, DirecTV and XBOX360 to the Blu-ray disc version of the movie?

Scorpio12345
Sep 2, 2010, 12:52 PM
It's funny how so many folks get hung up over resolution. It's just a portion of the overall PQ equation.

Like many folks, for my panel size and viewing distance, the charts and graphs tell me that (all other things being equal) I shouldn't be able to tell the difference between 720p and 1080p content (and I have no grounds for disagreeing with them). So I doubt I'm going to be willing to pay a premium for 1080p over 720p to begin with...

However, what I can tell the difference between is 720p content at an appropriate bit-rate and 1080p content that has been bit-starved to keep CDN costs down. So at $.99 per TV show or $4.99 per movie, I'll take the proper 720p all day and every day over sub-par 1080p.


Edit: And I'll be interested to see a side-by-side PQ comparison of a given movie on AppleTV 2 @720p and the same movie at 1080p from Dish, DirecTV, XBOX360 and anyone else with that same movie title available at 1080p.

Edit2: Actually... has anyone compared the 1080p version of a particular movie from Dish, DirecTV and XBOX360 to the Blu-ray disc version of the movie?

I don't have Dish nor do I have DirecTV but I have tested an Xbox360 1080p vs. a blu-ray disc of the same movie (The Dark Knight), and the differences in picture quality are definitely there. Again its down to bit-rate, and while of course the Xbox360 1080p does not compare to a blu ray, it is still far FAR better than Apple's 720p, as Apple's 720p bitrate is naturally even lower.

I actually don't mind them sticking to 720p rentals, but at least give the capability for people to stream their own higher bitrate 720p and 1080p content to their device now that their touting "streaming from your mac" as a feature.. I agree, they should aim for average joe, but not at the cost of alienating consumers in the know...

If it bothers you so much then go buy one of these alternative systems.

Umm, how does that help this discussion at all? We're discussing the capabilities of the system.. This isn't the "Are you buying a new AppleTV?" thread...

GFLPraxis
Sep 2, 2010, 12:58 PM
Right... but no 1080P content is streaming.... I could've worded it better.

I've streamed 1080p from my desktop Hackintosh to my PS3. *shrug*

chrmjenkins
Sep 2, 2010, 12:59 PM
The only content you are seeing on your HDTV that is 1080P is coming from a bluray disc. All TV is at best 720P (better than 1080i - 540 lines at a time).

People, 720P looks great... just enjoy it... sheesh....

Absolutely false. In the US cable providers, AT&T Uverse, Dish Network and Direct TV have Video On Demand of current DVD/BD releases available in true 1080p. I can definitely see the difference. The only thing Apple TV offers is the ability to stream the music I have on Macs through iTunes and my photo albums through iPhoto and perhaps Aperture.

Sorry, dude, but your statement, while technically true, doesn't tell the whole picture and doesn't address the comment that you quoted in your reply. Any VOD 1080p program that you download will feature a significantly lower bit rate than the BR version. Accordingly, the PQ as compared with BR will suffer. And these are for movies. All content on the networks is either 720p or 1080i. Period. If it's being displayed to you in 1080p it is being upconverted...you are not getting a better picture than a person watching it from an antenna.

You say you can see the difference. Between what exactly? A well mastered 720p movie and a 1080p one? If so, I'd say you're sitting pretty close to your set...

This is the problem with HD formats. 1080p, IMHO, is a major marketing ploy for the most part (with BR content being the exception). People gush over how great 1080p is, but it's a worthless stat. Here's the facts:

1080p refers to resolution, or number of pixels. All this means is that you can sit closer to a 1080p set before you can start to see the individual pixels. That's it. The quality of a HD picture is much more dependent on black levels, color reproduction, contrast ratio, etc. If you need proof, compare a Panasonic 720p TV to a no-name 1080p TV. Odds are the picture on the Panny will be better. If your talking about downloaded or streaming movies, a high bit rate 720p movie can be just as good as an average bit rate 1080p movie.

Microsoft also offers 1080p resolution streaming to Xbox 360 (although at a lower bit rate, as everyone has pointed out for similar 1080p offerings).

I think the key point is not about the streaming. It's that apple does not offer 1080p in any form, even for those who wish to buy and store their content rather than stream form the web.

The A4 hardware has been demonstrated capable of handling 1080p, but I can see the reason for Apple limiting it to 720p given that's all they're willing to stream.

GFLPraxis
Sep 2, 2010, 12:59 PM
Exactly, there is very little appreciable difference between 720p and 1080p ESPECIALLY if you sit at the recommended distance from your TV. At that distance, your eyes can't actually make out the individual pixels. Hence..point is moot.

Um- no. TV's have much larger pixels. Granted, I have extremely good vision (mmm Retina display!), but I can definitely see a difference.


1080p refers to resolution, or number of pixels. All this means is that you can sit closer to a 1080p set before you can start to see the individual pixels. That's it. The quality of a HD picture is much more dependent on black levels, color reproduction, contrast ratio, etc. If you need proof, compare a Panasonic 720p TV to a no-name 1080p TV. Odds are the picture on the Panny will be better. If your talking about downloaded or streaming movies, a high bit rate 720p movie can be just as good as an average bit rate 1080p movie.

Yes, all of those things matter. However, the Apple TV doesn't have control over that. Lacking 1080p makes the AppleTV a bottleneck.

topmounter
Sep 2, 2010, 01:01 PM
I don't have Dish nor do I have DirecTV but I have tested an Xbox360 1080p vs. a blu-ray disc of the same movie (The Dark Knight), and the differences in picture quality are definitely there. Again its down to bit-rate, and while of course the Xbox360 1080p does not compare to a blu ray, it is still far FAR better than Apple's 720p, as Apple's 720p bitrate is naturally even lower.



And there is definitely a point of diminishing returns as you increase the bit-rate for a given resolution... i.e. I didn't mean to imply that you could pump up the bit-rate of 720p content and make it look as good as good quality 1080p content.

But I do see a lot of content that has been bit-starved for a given resolution just so the content provider can say "We have HD/720p/1080i/1080p content".

KDR
Sep 2, 2010, 01:07 PM
Let's also not forget about the move to airplay, where Apple envisions people streaming from ios devices to Apple TV. Bottom line, I don't see 1080p being practical in this application for quite some time. So what is apple left to do, sell movies in multiple formats, or (laughing) force people to downconvert to 720p so it doesn't kill their network?

Easiest way to accomplish this is to rent/sell everything in 720p for now since most people wont care. For you guys who are complaining about 1080p, I bet you are for the most part the same people who are file sharing, ripping rental dvds, etc. Further reason why Apple doesn't need to bother making a $99 appliance for you.

jp102235
Sep 2, 2010, 01:12 PM
It should be double the bandwidth (> 10 Mbps for 1080p, which most people don't have reliably) if you want to maintain quality, there are over 2x as many pixels. You can drop the bitrate down to compensate, but that introduces more artifacts so it's not really worth it.

But yeah, 720p with good encoding, on a good, calibrated monitor, looks great.
Whoa, where did you get 10Mbps for 1080p????
#1: bluray is about 40Mbps
#2: OTA is 19.8Mbps (max - normally 12Mbps)
#3: DVD is about 9Mbps
#4: most "HD" from dish,apple,comcast,directv is less than 9Mbps

so asking for 1080p is a bit silly, don't ya think?
j

jp102235
Sep 2, 2010, 01:17 PM
Absolutely false. In the US cable providers, AT&T Uverse, Dish Network and Direct TV have Video On Demand of current DVD/BD releases available in true 1080p. I can definitely see the difference. The only thing Apple TV offers is the ability to stream the music I have on Macs through iTunes and my photo albums through iPhoto and perhaps Aperture.

There is no such thing as "true 1080p". I can rip a dvd to 1080p - but now that isn't really 1080p - now is it. What you are getting from Uverse,dish, and directv: heavily compressed video scaled to 1080p. -we call it HD lite- The bit rates for those sources are below the bit rates for a dvd. Transmitting that crappy content at 1080p is liking putting lipstick on a pig.
j

WildGuess
Sep 2, 2010, 07:43 PM
True Cinematic Experience - HDX movies are displayed in 1080p at 24 frames per second, the true cinematic gold standard.
2X the Resolution - Ultra-detailed and virtually artifact free on any size of TV screen, HDX movies are displayed at twice the resolution of other Internet HD video formats.

jp102235
Sep 2, 2010, 08:20 PM
True Cinematic Experience - HDX movies are displayed in 1080p at 24 frames per second, the true cinematic gold standard.
2X the Resolution - Ultra-detailed and virtually artifact free on any size of TV screen, HDX movies are displayed at twice the resolution of other Internet HD video formats.

you mean this:
http://www.vudu.com/product_hdx.html

oh God that is crap! please don't be fooled by that stuff. it clearly states on their website they tx in 1080i/p - that is not 2x the resolution - and I'll say it again - its about the bit rate. want quality? check this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_cinema

check this two year old article:
http://www.techradar.com/news/television/hdtv/after-1080p-all-you-need-to-know-about-ultra-hd-467085

clearly what they want us to think is HD, well, it really isn't, most of it is DVD quality - and for most, that is just fine.
j

Scorpio12345
Sep 3, 2010, 06:13 AM
Easiest way to accomplish this is to rent/sell everything in 720p for now since most people wont care. For you guys who are complaining about 1080p, I bet you are for the most part the same people who are file sharing, ripping rental dvds, etc. Further reason why Apple doesn't need to bother making a $99 appliance for you.

That's the biggest load of bollocks i've ever heard! There's plenty of legit ways to have 1080p content stored (I have tons of 1080p HD Camera video stored for example) and is no less directly correlated to piracy than any other file format (SD XviD AVIs and even 720p etc.) . Don't go accusing people of file sharing when you don't understand...

If Apple were so worried about piracy, they wouldn't even allow you to stream non-DRM content to the AppleTV in the first place (MP4s, M-JPEG etc.).. I'm not sure if some of you are getting the point. Nobody's forcing the average joe to stream 1080p content off their networks, nor are we forcing Apple to stream their own movies in 1080p (though it would be nice looking at the competition...) but there's no reason why they have to alienate people with 1080p content just to cater to average joe.....


Whoa, where did you get 10Mbps for 1080p????
#1: bluray is about 40Mbps
#2: OTA is 19.8Mbps (max - normally 12Mbps)
#3: DVD is about 9Mbps
#4: most "HD" from dish,apple,comcast,directv is less than 9Mbps

so asking for 1080p is a bit silly, don't ya think?
j

Actually, you can get lower bit-rates on compressed 1080p content - such as if you compress your own blu ray discs for example, or through 1080p HD video cameras.

jp102235
Sep 3, 2010, 07:24 AM
There's plenty of legit ways to have 1080p content stored (I have tons of 1080p HD Camera video stored for example)

.. I'm not sure if some of you are getting the point. Nobody's forcing the average joe to stream 1080p content off their networks, nor are we forcing Apple to stream their own movies in 1080p (though it would be nice looking at the competition...) but there's no reason why they have to alienate people with 1080p content just to cater to average joe.....

Actually, you can get lower bit-rates on compressed 1080p content - such as if you compress your own blu ray discs for example, or through 1080p HD video cameras.

yea,
home movies are really being overlooked here, but can we blame ourselves (buying a 1080p camera and no real good way of showing it off - other than burning a blu ray)? At this point we are stuck with the HTPC option - I really hope this gets addressed.

on 1080p and lower bit rates:
if you lower the bit rate on 1080p - the image quality will be crap. The whole point is this: at the resultions we are talking about: 720p/1080p: bit rate is the key factor in image quality. I could rip a high bit rate 720p and a low bit rate 1080p and you would easily see that the high bit rate 720p looks better. [understand: low bit rate means more compression/artifacts/etc]
j

jp102235
Sep 3, 2010, 07:34 AM
Here's the facts:

1080p refers to resolution, or number of pixels. All this means is that you can sit closer to a 1080p set before you can start to see the individual pixels. That's it. The quality of a HD picture is much more dependent on black levels, color reproduction, contrast ratio, etc. If you need proof, compare a Panasonic 720p TV to a no-name 1080p TV. Odds are the picture on the Panny will be better. If your talking about downloaded or streaming movies, a high bit rate 720p movie can be just as good as an average bit rate 1080p movie.

Also, don't forget about the compression method/settings. blocking and motion compensation artifact-ing is also a huge variable on PQ. This artifact-ing increases with a decrease in bit rate.

j

VTMac
Sep 3, 2010, 08:04 AM
Nobody's forcing the average joe to stream 1080p content off their networks, nor are we forcing Apple to stream their own movies in 1080p (though it would be nice looking at the competition...) but there's no reason why they have to alienate people with 1080p content just to cater to average joe.....


True. But equally true is that there is no reason to lift a single finger to say you will do the necessary testing and provide the necessary content to support people with 1080p content. That has been Apples choice. They didn't choose to alienate anybody. They simply decided there aren't enough people with 1080p content to even bother.

Markusp
Sep 3, 2010, 08:21 AM
Streaming Blu-Ray quality 1080p content right now is a pipedream at best. Even if you limit audio to just core DD or DTS 5.1, the resulting file size to be downloaded or streamed would typically be between 16 and 27 GB, as evidenced by the rips I do of my own Blu-Ray collection. The bandwidth needed to stream these files to thousands of homes (or more) is staggering and simply not feasible for most content providers and ISPs.

Anyone stating that they are serving up true 1080p content at this point and time is using quite a bit of compression and the resulting file is no where near what is found on a Blu-Ray disc.

To be fair though, Apple's version of 720p is a compressed compromise as well and does not match 720p content obtained via OTA antenna.

philipk
Sep 3, 2010, 11:58 AM
Streaming Blu-Ray quality 1080p content right now is a pipedream at best. Even if you limit audio to just core DD or DTS 5.1, the resulting file size to be downloaded or streamed would typically be between 16 and 27 GB, as evidenced by the rips I do of my own Blu-Ray collection. The bandwidth needed to stream these files to thousands of homes (or more) is staggering and simply not feasible for most content providers and ISPs.

Anyone stating that they are serving up true 1080p content at this point and time is using quite a bit of compression and the resulting file is no where near what is found on a Blu-Ray disc.

To be fair though, Apple's version of 720p is a compressed compromise as well and does not match 720p content obtained via OTA antenna.


You are absolutely right!

When I have the time, I prefer to get my movies on BD from Netflix through the mail.

When I want it now, I have two choices, 1080P from DirecTV or 720P from Apple TV. I usually get it from Apple as I get a better picture due to less compression artifacts.

However, as you state, even Apple TV has more than the ideal compression.

What we need is more Internet bandwidth. That will take a while to get. Two years ago I was averaging 5.4 Mbps from DSL. Today with the same service, I only average 3.6 Mbps.

BD wins hands down.

Otherwise in MY case, I get a better picture with Apple 720P than DirecTV 1080P.

KDR
Sep 3, 2010, 12:05 PM
That's the biggest load of bollocks i've ever heard! There's plenty of legit ways to have 1080p content stored (I have tons of 1080p HD Camera video stored for example) and is no less directly correlated to piracy than any other file format (SD XviD AVIs and even 720p etc.) . Don't go accusing people of file sharing when you don't understand...

If Apple were so worried about piracy, they wouldn't even allow you to stream non-DRM content to the AppleTV in the first place (MP4s, M-JPEG etc.).. I'm not sure if some of you are getting the point. Nobody's forcing the average joe to stream 1080p content off their networks, nor are we forcing Apple to stream their own movies in 1080p (though it would be nice looking at the competition...) but there's no reason why they have to alienate people with 1080p content just to cater to average joe.....



Actually, you can get lower bit-rates on compressed 1080p content - such as if you compress your own blu ray discs for example, or through 1080p HD video cameras.

I think you don't get it. Apple needs to price this thing at $99 to get critical mass. It also needs to satisfy the studios to come on board with more content and yield to it's $0.99 pricing strategy. Hollywood doesn't want Apple to take over TV and Movies like it did when it caught everyone with their pants down with music. It's really not that different than what happened with music. As Apple was gaining traction with iTunes and it's mediocre low bit rate music, music DVDs were the talk of stereophiles who loved the idea of low compression music. Guess who lost on that one? Eventually Apple raised the price ditched the drm and upped the bit rate, but not until it had critical mass. You people need to recognize that you are caring about things that don't matter to the bulk of people who are making Apple successful and it's silly to expect a $99 appliance to perform like a high end AV component. If Apple succeeds they will get there in time.

topmounter
Sep 3, 2010, 12:41 PM
The $99 price point for the new AppleTV looks more like the game console business model where you sell the hardware at a loss and make it up by selling games, content, etc.

I've always balked at buying the old AppleTV for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was the price... but at $99, I pre-ordered without a moment of hesitation.

smetvid
Sep 3, 2010, 01:54 PM
I have no problem with 720p but Apple TV should of had 60p support. the HD broadcast standard for 720p is 60p frames per second. A lot of 60p or 60i (interlaced) video rented on the Apple TV is going to have half the temporal resolution as the original broadcast. This means the playback will not be as smooth.

Now of course most of the shows or movies people may rent are 24p but it could be an issue. I also see this as an issue for people who use 1080i HD cameras who want to watch their vacation videos through an Apple TV. The videos framerate gets cut in half when watching it through the Apple TV.

Ironically all of the shows currently on Apple TV are from ABC and FOX. Both of these channels broadcast at 1280x720p 60p. So in reality all of these shows are going to be the exact same resolution as the original broadcast. Now movies are a different story but you also have to be careful with blu-ray movies. I have seen a lot of blu-ray movies that are sold as 1080p but don't even look like 720p. In fact I have seen some Apple 720p videos that are questionable. I have seen very clean 480p video that would blow away even Apple 720p videos. Heck I still love watching up converted DVD's through my Toshiba HD-DVD player.

I really need to see how these videos are going to look. I am more concerned about image compression then resolution. My company streams HD video and I just don't think the web is ready yet for good enough quality HD. For a company that cares about quality so much Apple sure is dumbing down the quality of HD video.

trip1ex
Sep 3, 2010, 02:15 PM
I think we get it. Some folks know the resolution of everything and the value of nothing.

BashBrannigan
Sep 3, 2010, 08:30 PM
1080p is only useful on the largest screens. For most screens the eye can't see the difference between 720P. If you got a 50" screen you need it, but for the rest of us 1080P is status and nothing else.

WildGuess
Sep 3, 2010, 10:09 PM
I just might want to watch "How to Murder your Wife" on my projector.

SeanAppleDude
Sep 3, 2010, 10:50 PM
Exactly, there is very little appreciable difference between 720p and 1080p ESPECIALLY if you sit at the recommended distance from your TV. At that distance, your eyes can't actually make out the individual pixels. Hence..point is moot.

Retina Display. :D

brianfast
Sep 4, 2010, 02:50 AM
I just might want to watch "How to Murder your Wife" on my projector.

wtf?

ayzee
Sep 4, 2010, 05:46 AM
No, what? I don't know where you get the "near BR" DVR type downloads, but it sounds like it takes a while to download these files. If it is indeed near BR in bit rate, than I can imagine why...though calling it VOD at that point would seem a little silly. More like video a day later:D

At any rate, I agree...one must compare apples to apples. I do this by encoding a BR to my current ATV and comparing that file to the BR itself. On my calibrated Sammy PN58C7000, the difference is often difficult notice from about 10 feet. The studies back up that observation.

I stand by my previous statement...resolution is secondary and is only related to the number of pixels displayed. What we are concerned with the quality of the encode. If that is sufficient, then resolution becomes a tertiary consideration after seating distance.
Thanks for this post, have learnt a lot about how important bitrate really is.

Does anybody know what atv maximum bitrate will be for 720p content. I usually rip my content at 12mbps, as I read that Any higher and the quality difference is not noticeable

jp102235
Sep 4, 2010, 07:31 AM
Thanks for this post, have learnt a lot about how important bitrate really is.

Does anybody know what atv maximum bitrate will be for 720p content. I usually rip my content at 12mbps, as I read that Any higher and the quality difference is not noticeable

the best thing to do is find out how your tv performs... the limit on the perceivable quality difference is going to vary based on your viewing distance, angle and tv quality - so while ATV _may_ be able to handle 12Mbps - you should do an experiment on (say 5-10 minutes of your favorite movie: include scenes with shading difficulties, night scenes, and slow pans - exclude fast motion as these are easy to encode)

once you see the point of diminishing returns, use that as your bit rate of choice. I suspect, unless you have a really good projector/tv that 12Mbps may be overkill and you will bump into network bandwidth and :apple:TV tech limitations at rates that high. If you are really anal, get your setup calibrated before hand - I think that runs $500 or so.

required reading: see the blu ray to apple tv forum thread, as well as handbrake forums - more information there than you could imagine.

john