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roidy
May 26, 2012, 10:02 AM
So I thought I'd download a 1080p TV episode to see what all the fuss is about, I can't play them on my ATV1 but I thought I'd check one out anyway to see what I was missing.

All I can say is good god how does Apple palm people off with this crap.

Here's 2 uncompressed screen grabs from an episode of Eureka season 5.

340868
340869

Uncompressed png versions in a zip file. (http://www.filefactory.com/file/7hrcgheina6t)

I've always been perfectly happy with the quality of iTunes 720p content but this is terrible. I'm going to download a couple more to see if this is just a one off occurance.



Carlanga
May 26, 2012, 10:09 AM
Maybe is just the TV show source, does it look better in 720 or worse?
Try another series that you know is in HD?

roidy
May 26, 2012, 10:13 AM
I'm in the process of downloading the 720p version of the same episode to see if it's a source problem or if the 1080p encode is just rubbish. I'm also downloading a couple of other 1080p TV episodes from different shows to also see if it's just a problem with that one episode.

But that was shocking for my first ever 1080p iTunes download:mad:

mic j
May 26, 2012, 10:22 AM
I'm in the process of downloading the 720p version of the same episode to see if it's a source problem or if the 1080p encode is just rubbish. I'm also downloading a couple of other 1080p TV episodes from different shows to also see if it's just a problem with that one episode.

But that was shocking for my first ever 1080p iTunes download:mad:

Quality is source dependent. Impossible to compare unless it's screenshots from original source (disc) and download source (iTunes). Do that and you be able to make a your point.

I have had bluray discs who's quality is atrocious.

roidy
May 26, 2012, 10:28 AM
You don't need to compare them to anything to see they're crap quality encodes:rolleyes: When you buy content from iTunes you're never going to see the original source to compare it with, but you do expect better quality than the images I posted. They look no better than SD.

nuckinfutz
May 26, 2012, 10:42 AM
You don't need to compare them to anything to see they're crap quality encodes:rolleyes: When you buy content from iTunes you're never going to see the original source to compare it with, but you do expect better quality than the images I posted. They look no better than SD.

Series tend to be recorded at lower resolution or depth of field. I see a wide variance of quality on my Apple TV. Some stuff looks pristine and some stuff looks like SD.

This show is clearly trending towards the latter.

roidy
May 26, 2012, 10:50 AM
Yep, I'm hoping it's just that episode. The quality of those images isn't anything to do with how the show was recorded or depth of field, it's the fact that the video has been compressed to much and it's showing compression artifacts as a result.

mic j
May 26, 2012, 11:00 AM
Yep, I'm hoping it's just that episode. The quality of those images isn't anything to do with how the show was recorded or depth of field, it's the fact that the video has been compressed to much and it's showing compression artifacts as a result.

The studios encode and provide the materials to Apple. If the material is not of satisfactory quality, you really should blame the studios. Or is it your expectation that Apple should quality control the incoming material and reject anything that does not meet certain quality standards? That might be valid approach. But then people would complaint about why iTunes doesn't have the material they are interested in.

roidy
May 26, 2012, 11:25 AM
The studios encode and provide the materials to Apple. If the material is not of satisfactory quality, you really should blame the studios.

I accept that the files come straight from the studio and Apple has no control over the quality, however I pay my money to Apple not the studio so it's upto Apple to make sure I'm getting exactly what I payed for, and I certainly didn't pay for that level of quality.

Or is it your expectation that Apple should quality control the incoming material and reject anything that does not meet certain quality standards? That might be valid approach. But then people would complaint about why iTunes doesn't have the material they are interested in.

Yes, as I said I pay my money to Apple so I expect Apple to quality control the files to make sure they're not selling me crap.

chenks
May 26, 2012, 11:41 AM
Yes, as I said I pay my money to Apple so I expect Apple to quality control the files to make sure they're not selling me crap.

i've seen some pretty crap quality blu-ray's.
so using your analogy i should blame HMV as they were the one that sold it?

apple advertise it as 1080p, they make no guarantees regarding bitrate or quality.

uuaschbaer
May 26, 2012, 11:51 AM
Yes, it looks awful. Thanks for warning us! (Y)

roidy
May 26, 2012, 11:53 AM
i've seen some pretty crap quality blu-ray's.
so using your analogy i should blame HMV as they were the one that sold it?

apple advertise it as 1080p, they make no guarantees regarding bitrate or quality.

Firstly a Blu-ray is a physical product that you buy sealed so there is no way for the retailer to check the quality. However that being said if there was a quality issue with it you'd take it back to HMV, you wouldn't take it back to the movie studio would you.

Secondly, yes Apple only advertise the files as 1080p but you are well with in your rights to expect a certain level of quality, you expect that when you buy a new car it will come without scratches on the paint work don't you, same thing here when I buy a 1080p HD file from Apple I expect it's of a quality level that will be enjoyable to watch.

nateo200
May 26, 2012, 11:57 AM
i've seen some pretty crap quality blu-ray's.
so using your analogy i should blame HMV as they were the one that sold it?

apple advertise it as 1080p, they make no guarantees regarding bitrate or quality.

Exactly. High bit rate 720p is way better than low bit rate 1080p....I take all my Blu-ray rips and encode them to 720p so they don't look like CrapTunes 1080p. Everyone has been brain washed into thinking 1080p is like 4x better than 720p, ask anyone on the street! Its ridiculous! Two of my cousins were complaining that their 32" TV's were only 720p and then i explain to them how at that size it made no difference then did a blind test of a movie I had in 1080p and 720p at similar bit rates...they thought the 1080p was the 720p :roll eyes: . Apple plays on this for money. People care more about whats "better" but not really understanding it and trusting these companies....

bobr1952
May 26, 2012, 12:00 PM
You don't need to compare them to anything to see they're crap quality encodes:rolleyes: When you buy content from iTunes you're never going to see the original source to compare it with, but you do expect better quality than the images I posted. They look no better than SD.

Of course you need to compare them in order to tell if the problem is with Apple or the content provider. Use a blu ray and compare that to a 1080p download from iTunes--then you can really see what the difference is. What you posted may indeed be crap but you can't tell if it is Apple crap or the studio's crap. :)

roidy
May 26, 2012, 12:07 PM
Of course you need to compare them in order to tell if the problem is with Apple or the content provider. Use a blu ray and compare that to a 1080p download from iTunes--then you can really see what the difference is. What you posted may indeed be crap but you can't tell if it is Apple crap or the studio's crap. :)

Well it's not Apple crap, as Apple don't do the encoding. What I'm saying is you don't need to compare those images to anything to tell that it's just a crap encode plain and simple.

Even if you did compare those images to a Blu-ray and the Blu-ray was just as bad it still dosen't change the fact that the encoded file is crap and shouldn't be on sale.

chenks
May 26, 2012, 12:09 PM
Firstly a Blu-ray is a physical product that you buy sealed so there is no way for the retailer to check the quality. However that being said if there was a quality issue with it you'd take it back to HMV, you wouldn't take it back to the movie studio would you.

Secondly, yes Apple only advertise the files as 1080p but you are well with in your rights to expect a certain level of quality, you expect that when you buy a new car it will come without scratches on the paint work don't you, same thing here when I buy a 1080p HD file from Apple I expect it's of a quality level that will be enjoyable to watch.

if the disc is undamaged and the content plays correctly then you wouldn't have any success taking it back to anyone.
"quality" is subjective and what you might think is "crap" another person might think is "good".

providing the content has a resolution of 1080p then that is all that has been advertised.

you car scratch analogy is flawed though.

----------

Even if you did compare those images to a Blu-ray and the Blu-ray was just as bad it still dosen't change the fact that the encoded file is crap and shouldn't be on sale.

so if this was case, you would need to take your complaint to the content provider, which would be the studio.

roidy
May 26, 2012, 12:18 PM
OK, an update I've just finished downloading the 720p version of the same file and the quality is fine, here's some stats for you:-

The 720p file has a video bitrate of 3964kbps while the 1080p has a video bitrate of 4921kbps, the 1080p file has a 2.25 times the pixels but only a 1.24 times increase in bitrate, meaning the 1080p encode suffers as a result. To get the same level of quality you'd expect an equal increase in bitrate as there is in pixel density.

hafr
May 26, 2012, 12:21 PM
I accept that the files come straight from the studio and Apple has no control over the quality, however I pay my money to Apple not the studio so it's upto Apple to make sure I'm getting exactly what I payed for, and I certainly didn't pay for that level of quality.



Yes, as I said I pay my money to Apple so I expect Apple to quality control the files to make sure they're not selling me crap.

Have you contacted Apple and told them this?

chenks
May 26, 2012, 12:22 PM
OK, an update I've just finished downloading the 720p version of the same file and the quality is fine, here's some stats for you:-

The 720p file has a video bitrate of 3964kbps while the 1080p has a video bitrate of 4921kbps, the 1080p file has a 2.25 times the pixels but only a 1.24 times increase in bitrate, meaning the 1080p encode suffers as a result. To get the same level of quality you'd expect an equal increase in bitrate as there is in pixel density.

nope, your bitrate theory is flawed.
improvement in encoding techniques mean that bitrate numbers are becoming more meaningless.

higher bitrate does not always mean better quality.

Alrescha
May 26, 2012, 12:27 PM
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1337158

roidy
May 26, 2012, 12:29 PM
"quality" is subjective and what you might think is "crap" another person might think is "good".

OK, so do you think the quality of the file I posted is acceptable, would you accept it? I don't think very many people would.

you car scratch analogy is flawed though.

In what way is it flawed, if you buy any product you are entitled to expect a certain level of quality, and if that level isn't met then you complain. Again if you went to the car showroom to pick up your brand new car and it was covered in scratches you'd complain wouldn't you.

so if this was case, you would need to take your complaint to the content provider, which would be the studio.

No you wouldn't, don't tell me if you purchased a sub-par Blu-ray from HMV you'd take it back to the movie studio because you wouldn't, you'd take it back to HMV and get a refund, plain and simple. Same thing with iTunes if you get a sub-par file you don't get on the phone to the movie studio, you contact Apple and they either let you download it again or give you a refund.

mic j
May 26, 2012, 12:32 PM
What would be nice, is if Apple would let you do a 30s preview on your aTV. Then you could decide whether or not you want to purchase/rent based on your personal quality needs. Sort of like a iTunes song sample.

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No you wouldn't, don't tell me if you purchased a sub-par Blu-ray from HMV you'd take it back to the movie studio because you wouldn't, you'd take it back to HMV and get a refund, plain and simple. Same thing with iTunes if you get a sub-par file you don't get on the phone to the movie studio, you contact Apple and they either let you download it again or give you a refund.
Have you tried to contact Apple Customer Support with a complaint and a request for a refund?

Never mind. I see hafr already asked that.

chenks
May 26, 2012, 12:35 PM
OK, so do you think the quality of the file I posted is acceptable, would you accept it? I don't think very many people would.

it's not possible to judge based on your 2 screengrabs i'm afraid.



In what way is it flawed, if you buy any product you are entitled to expect a certain level of quality, and if that level isn't met then you complain. Again if you went to the car showroom to pick up your brand new car and it was covered in scratches you'd complain wouldn't you.

a scratched car is physically damaged.
comparing it to a blu-ray purchase, you are not complaining that the disc would be scratched, you are saying that the quality of the content is not, in your opinion, good enough.

your download is not physically damaged, it plays correctly.
it's just that, in your opinion, the quality of the "content" is not up to your standards. that is a subjective complaint, not a physical complaint.


No you wouldn't, don't tell me if you purchased a sub-par Blu-ray from HMV you'd take it back to the movie studio because you wouldn't, you'd take it back to HMV and get a refund, plain and simple. Same thing with iTunes if you get a sub-par file you don't get on the phone to the movie studio, you contact Apple and they either let you download it again or give you a refund.

if it was "physically" damaged i would return it to the place of purchase.
your download is not physically damaged, thus rendering your argument "moot".

roidy
May 26, 2012, 12:38 PM
nope, your bitrate theory is flawed.
improvement in encoding techniques mean that bitrate numbers are becoming more meaningless.

higher bitrate does not always mean better quality.

But it's obviously not working is it given the example I've posted, the studio/Apple just needs to look at the resulting file and think to themselves that looks crap lets up the bitrate and get it looking good for our customers, good god it not hard.

You can argue the toss all you want, it wont change the fact, that file is crap and not fit to be on sale.

chenks
May 26, 2012, 12:44 PM
But it's obviously not working is it given the example I've posted, the studio/Apple just needs to look at the resulting file and think to themselves that looks crap lets up the bitrate and get it looking good for our customers, good god it not hard.

You can argue the toss all you want, it wont change the fact, that file is crap and not fit to be on sale.

go ahead and complain then rather that arguing about it here.

mic j
May 26, 2012, 12:46 PM
But it's obviously not working is it given the example I've posted, the studio/Apple just needs to look at the resulting file and think to themselves that looks crap lets up the bitrate and get it looking good for our customers, good god it not hard.

You can argue the toss all you want, it wont change the fact, that file is crap and not fit to be on sale.

Yes, it is working. Not sure how things are in the UK but in the US, once I break the seal on the DVD package it's not returnable unless the disc is unplayable. They don't care if I am disappointed in the video/audio quality, just think the story line sucks or whatever.

roidy
May 26, 2012, 12:57 PM
a scratched car is physically damaged.
comparing it to a blu-ray purchase, you are not complaining that the disc would be scratched, you are saying that the quality of the content is not, in your opinion, good enough.

your download is not physically damaged, it plays correctly.
it's just that, in your opinion, the quality of the "content" is not up to your standards. that is a subjective complaint, not a physical complaint.

It's not about weather it's a physical item or not, it's about QUALITY

QUALITY

Definition
In manufacturing, a measure of excellence or a state of being free from defects, deficiencies, and significant variations, brought about by the strict and consistent adherence to measurable and verifiable standards to achieve uniformity of output that satisfies specific customer or user requirements.

If your car is scratched then the quality of that car is diminished and you'd complain, likewise if your file looks like crap then the quality is diminished and you'd complain.

if it was "physically" damaged i would return it to the place of purchase.
your download is not physically damaged, thus rendering your argument "moot".

Again, it's about quality not physical damage. If the quality of a item, be it physical or downloaded, isn't up to standards then you complain and get a refund.

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go ahead and complain then rather that arguing about it here.

Already have, don't you think that wasn't the first thing I did:rolleyes:

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Yes, it is working. Not sure how things are in the UK but in the US, once I break the seal on the DVD package it's not returnable unless the disc is unplayable. They don't care if I am disappointed in the video/audio quality, just think the story line sucks or whatever.

In the UK we have a thing called "Fit for Purpose". It dosen't matter if you unwrap the packaging, if the item has quality defects, like bad picture quality (not bad story line:) ), ie is not "Fit for Purpose" then you're entitled to a replacement or full refund. Infact I think this law covers most of europe as well.

roidy
May 26, 2012, 01:17 PM
Have you tried to contact Apple Customer Support with a complaint and a request for a refund?

Never mind. I see hafr already asked that.

Have you contacted Apple and told them this?

Yep, sorry guys, didn't see your posts, too busy in a heated discussion with chenks:D

Yep, that was the first thing I did, contact Apple through iTunes and request a refund.

nateo200
May 26, 2012, 01:36 PM
Well it's not Apple crap, as Apple don't do the encoding. What I'm saying is you don't need to compare those images to anything to tell that it's just a crap encode plain and simple.

Even if you did compare those images to a Blu-ray and the Blu-ray was just as bad it still dosen't change the fact that the encoded file is crap and shouldn't be on sale.

Studio's are required to send Apple a master of the video file in ProRes 4444. That means someone else other than the studio is doing the encoding in between and that is probably Apple as I have no clue why Apple would request a big ass ProRes 4444 file as we are certainly not downloading that which can only mean they are indeed doing the encoding. Regardless there name is on it. And don't give me this BS about source quality because we all know their are some ****** Blu-ray's out their from ****** masters but that is not even 15% of every Blu-ray ever made. If a movie is making 100million dollars I expect every ounce of computer encoding power to make it worth buying.

roidy
May 26, 2012, 02:05 PM
Studio's are required to send Apple a master of the video file in ProRes 4444. That means someone else other than the studio is doing the encoding in between and that is probably Apple as I have no clue why Apple would request a big ass ProRes 4444 file as we are certainly not downloading that which can only mean they are indeed doing the encoding. Regardless there name is on it.

Really, I and alot of other people assumed that the studios did the encoding and then sent the files to Apple.

And don't give me this BS about source quality because we all know their are some ****** Blu-ray's out their from ****** masters but that is not even 15% of every Blu-ray ever made. If a movie is making 100million dollars I expect every ounce of computer encoding power to make it worth buying.

Stop right there! exactly what BS am I giving you????

You're making my exact point I don't care what the original sources look like, I don't care who encoded them, all I care about is when I purchase a file from Apple I expect the best quality possible, not the crap I got from the file I posted.

mic j
May 26, 2012, 03:17 PM
Studio's are required to send Apple a master of the video file in ProRes 4444. That means someone else other than the studio is doing the encoding in between and that is probably Apple as I have no clue why Apple would request a big ass ProRes 4444 file as we are certainly not downloading that which can only mean they are indeed doing the encoding. Regardless there name is on it. And don't give me this BS about source quality because we all know their are some ****** Blu-ray's out their from ****** masters but that is not even 15% of every Blu-ray ever made. If a movie is making 100million dollars I expect every ounce of computer encoding power to make it worth buying.

Do TV shows also have to submit as ProRes 4444?

chiefpavvy
May 27, 2012, 12:59 PM
nope, your bitrate theory is flawed.
improvement in encoding techniques mean that bitrate numbers are becoming more meaningless.

higher bitrate does not always mean better quality.

This. Just as we now have audio that really does sound fantastic at ridiculous low bit rates (64k HE-AAC, for example) which just a few years ago would have been laughed at as impossible and far-fetched. So too goes video encoding. It is evolving and advancing all the time. You can no longer discern the quality of an encoding simply by the bitrate. I've seen some pretty fantastic encodes with relatively low bitrates and some pretty crap encodes with very high bitrates.

On the OPs premise, of course, Apple gets the best quality source possible. A source better than you can purchase as it is a studio master, as opposed to a Blu-Ray disc which is already lossy compression (albeit very good). TV shows may be a different story as they remain a hodge-podge depending on the studio and such. One can have fantastic masters, another not so much. It really varies quite a bit.

roidy
May 27, 2012, 02:12 PM
I know and agree that higher bitrates arn't the be all and end all of quality. I've encoded 1080p content from blu-ray with a quarter of the bitrate and still can't tell the difference from the original. However that dosen't change the fact that the quality of the file I posted is shockingly poor and Apple has no business selling it in it's current state. What I was saying is if they just used a higher bitrate to start with we'd get a much better quality file.

I've now downloaded about 6 different 1080p files from various different iTunes TV Shows and the quality of all of them is poor. What's the point of Apple offering 1080p content if the quality is worse than the 720p versions, we may as well just stick to the 720p versions.

chiefpavvy
May 27, 2012, 03:25 PM
Every one I've spoken to seems fairly happy with the quality of iTunes 1080P content, both movies and television programming. I don't buy much of either so I can't give my own assessment.

wxman2003
May 27, 2012, 07:16 PM
One thing I see day after day is that MLB 720p streaming is of higher quality than any 1080p streaming from Apple or Netflix.

Nermal
May 27, 2012, 07:43 PM
Do TV shows also have to submit as ProRes 4444?

TV shows are in 422 HQ, if I recall correctly.

Edit: Yes, it's 422 HQ (http://images.apple.com/itunes/lp-and-extras/docs/iTunes_Package_Asset_Specification.pdf), and so are movies.

roidy
May 28, 2012, 11:22 AM
TV shows are in 422 HQ, if I recall correctly.

Edit: Yes, it's 422 HQ (http://images.apple.com/itunes/lp-and-extras/docs/iTunes_Package_Asset_Specification.pdf), and so are movies.

Very interesting read, thanks Nermal.

So for all those people telling me not to blame Apple and instead blame the movie studios it seems I'm blaming the right people after all. If Apple are requesting files with bitrates of 88-220Mpbs then there's absolutely no excuse for them selling poor quality encodes like I posted.

chenks
May 28, 2012, 11:34 AM
Very interesting read, thanks Nermal.

So for all those people telling me not to blame Apple and instead blame the movie studios it seems I'm blaming the right people after all. If Apple are requesting files with bitrates of 88-220Mpbs then there's absolutely no excuse for them selling poor quality encodes like I posted.

you're still ignoring the fact that with modern encoding techniques, bitrate is the not "be all and end all". there may well be something a-miss with the specific example you posted, but to say that it is definitely just bitrate is foolish.

what was the outcome of the complaint you made?

mic j
May 28, 2012, 11:44 AM
Very interesting read, thanks Nermal.

So for all those people telling me not to blame Apple and instead blame the movie studios it seems I'm blaming the right people after all. If Apple are requesting files with bitrates of 88-220Mpbs then there's absolutely no excuse for them selling poor quality encodes like I posted.

So I have a mp4 video I downloaded that is so pixilated it's hard to watch from anything less than across the room. It's 720p and 29Mbps. How come it doesn't look pristine with that bitrate?

Because....garbage in....garbage out, regardless of technical encoding specifications.

Maybe Apple should monitor quality and reject anything that is not pristine, maybe not. I still think the problem would be solved by allowing the viewing of a small sample before downloading. You don't like it...don't download it.

roidy
May 28, 2012, 01:48 PM
So I have a mp4 video I downloaded that is so pixilated it's hard to watch from anything less than across the room. It's 720p and 29Mbps. How come it doesn't look pristine with that bitrate?

Was it encoded from a source equal to the ones Apple use, ie 88-220Mbps direct from a studio? If the studio is sending Apple high quality source material then there isn't going to be a problem, if the source is crap then Apple would/should reject it. You say you downloaded a 720p 29Mbps file, well thats about the bitrate of most Blu-ray so whoever encoded it must be a little bit simple. The fact that it was encoded with a stupidly high bitrate and still looks like crap means the source was crap to start with.

This is a quote from the document Nermal linked:-
Quality is important to us at iTunes. We expect to receive the highest-quality assets available. Our product must meet or exceed the quality of the physical product already out in the marketplace.

Reading this I can tell you Apples 1080p content is nowhere near the quality of products already out in the marketplace.

Maybe Apple should monitor quality and reject anything that is not pristine, maybe not. I still think the problem would be solved by allowing the viewing of a small sample before downloading. You don't like it...don't download it.

No maybe about it if Apple is encoding the files themselves then they must be aware of the quality of both the input and output files.

----------

you're still ignoring the fact that with modern encoding techniques, bitrate is the not "be all and end all". there may well be something a-miss with the specific example you posted, but to say that it is definitely just bitrate is foolish.

I'm not ignoring any facts, I been encoding video for years, and yes I've already said bitrate isn't the be all and end all of obtaining good quality, however it is one of the most important factors. OK, by your reasoning, if bitrate isn't important than why are Blu-Rays not encoded at 4-5Mbps like Apples content? Because the higher bitrates, ie 20-30Mbps seen on Blu-ray give them better quality.

what was the outcome of the complaint you made?

Haven't hear from Apple yet, will post back once I hear from them.

Nermal
May 28, 2012, 02:52 PM
Reading this I can tell you Apples 1080p content is nowhere near the quality of products already out in the marketplace.

I fully agree with that; not only in terms of picture quality but the overall content. I've had a TV episode with the last few minutes missing, one with the first minute missing, one with the complete video but no sound for the last minute or so, and one with a complete episode, followed by a blank screen, followed by the first few minutes of the next episode. In yet another case, the episodes were out of order; I downloaded episode 4 of something and got episode 5 (which was especially confusing since episode 5 hadn't aired yet!)

It's clear that nobody sits down and watches these files once they've been produced.

mic j
May 28, 2012, 03:20 PM
It's clear that nobody sits down and watches these files once they've been produced.

That's the kind of job I would like to do!!!:D

heisenberg123
May 28, 2012, 03:21 PM
Well think positive it cost you 4.99 to realize apple sucks, could be worse... Or was the point of this thread to get us to rally behind you in your rant?

brentsg
May 28, 2012, 07:50 PM
I fully agree with that; not only in terms of picture quality but the overall content. I've had a TV episode with the last few minutes missing, one with the first minute missing, one with the complete video but no sound for the last minute or so, and one with a complete episode, followed by a blank screen, followed by the first few minutes of the next episode. In yet another case, the episodes were out of order; I downloaded episode 4 of something and got episode 5 (which was especially confusing since episode 5 hadn't aired yet!)

It's clear that nobody sits down and watches these files once they've been produced.

I've received an e-mail from Apple on occasion, that I should re-download particular episodes because they had replaced the original files with ones of better quality (or with fixes).

At least they seem to respond to problem reports.

I also had a series where I was unable to download a proper file for the last couple of episodes. They simply credited my account for the price of the full season.

Nermal
May 28, 2012, 09:34 PM
I've had email too (and reported problematic episodes myself), but frankly it's often less hassle to buy the Blu-rays. The only time I'll buy TV shows from iTunes now is when they're brand new and not yet available on disk.

Also, is that Wizard of Wor in your avatar?

brentsg
May 28, 2012, 10:21 PM
I've had email too (and reported problematic episodes myself), but frankly it's often less hassle to buy the Blu-rays. The only time I'll buy TV shows from iTunes now is when they're brand new and not yet available on disk.

Also, is that Wizard of Wor in your avatar?

I seem to have settled into a mode where I'll iTunes buy something that's either not available yet, or something that's cluttering up the DVR that isn't terribly priced. I'll always buy critical content on Blu-ray though.

And yes, Wizard of Wor!

StinDaWg
Oct 20, 2012, 01:59 AM
No need to start a new thread as there is already one here, but I'm going to add pictures that shows Apples 1080p encodes do indeed suck compared to their 720p. Apple went on and on about their improved compression on the 1080p, but in the end they are still bit starved and look worse than the 720p in all instances besides animation. The only videos that look better in 1080p are shows like Family Guy, because animation doesn't need a high bitrate to maintain transparency.

As you can see from these comparisons, the 1080p is blurry, lacks detail, any film grain has been scrubbed. It looks like garbage, and I can't believe apple is getting away selling this as an upgrade to 720p.

The Walking Dead 1080p itunes vs. 720p* itunes
*Spline36Resize()

http://thumbnails104.imagebam.com/21553/ae08cc215520152.jpg (http://www.imagebam.com/image/ae08cc215520152) http://thumbnails105.imagebam.com/21553/b5bcee215520174.jpg (http://www.imagebam.com/image/b5bcee215520174)

30 Rock S07E01 720p vs 1080p

http://thumbnails104.imagebam.com/21369/2c1fd7213688579.jpg (http://www.imagebam.com/image/2c1fd7213688579) http://thumbnails103.imagebam.com/21369/e8780e213688599.jpg (http://www.imagebam.com/image/e8780e213688599) http://thumbnails104.imagebam.com/21369/917684213688654.jpg (http://www.imagebam.com/image/0c8dee213688622) http://thumbnails104.imagebam.com/21369/6b860a213688667.jpg (http://www.imagebam.com/image/6b860a213688667)

30 Rock S07E01 720p vs 1080p

http://thumbnails104.imagebam.com/21369/640bca213689405.jpg (http://www.imagebam.com/image/640bca213689405) http://thumbnails102.imagebam.com/21369/dd8ba4213689426.jpg (http://www.imagebam.com/image/dd8ba4213689426) http://thumbnails104.imagebam.com/21369/f0f7e7213689443.jpg (http://www.imagebam.com/image/f0f7e7213689443) http://thumbnails103.imagebam.com/21369/71e097213689458.jpg (http://www.imagebam.com/image/71e097213689458) http://thumbnails103.imagebam.com/21369/9d2d12213689468.jpg (http://www.imagebam.com/image/9d2d12213689468) http://thumbnails103.imagebam.com/21369/881ef6213689481.jpg (http://www.imagebam.com/image/881ef6213689481)

Elementary S01E01 720p vs 1080p

http://thumbnails102.imagebam.com/21370/d41c6d213690831.jpg (http://www.imagebam.com/image/d41c6d213690831) http://thumbnails102.imagebam.com/21370/9109dc213690853.jpg (http://www.imagebam.com/image/9109dc213690853) http://thumbnails104.imagebam.com/21370/48d4ab213690873.jpg (http://www.imagebam.com/image/48d4ab213690873) http://thumbnails103.imagebam.com/21370/7f14ae213690893.jpg (http://www.imagebam.com/image/7f14ae213690893) http://thumbnails103.imagebam.com/21370/74b2c1213690910.jpg (http://www.imagebam.com/image/74b2c1213690910) http://thumbnails102.imagebam.com/21370/e4f53b213690932.jpg (http://www.imagebam.com/image/e4f53b213690932)

Boardwalk Empire 1080p vs 720p
http://thumbnails105.imagebam.com/21519/151ba4215183203.jpg (http://www.imagebam.com/image/151ba4215183203) http://thumbnails102.imagebam.com/21519/1712ef215183213.jpg (http://www.imagebam.com/image/1712ef215183213)

More...
http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/149165
http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/149162
http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/148977/picture:1
http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/152657

Anyone who thinks they are getting an upgrade from apple by downloading 1080p aren't. This could all be fixed by increasing the bitrate on the 1080p files from ~5000 kbps to 7000-8000, but they obviously don't care about quality, just getting the 1080p buzzword out there to sell more product.

gursis11
Oct 20, 2012, 02:05 AM
Doesn't the device have to support 1080p in order for you to watch 1080p content??
In the case of Apple TV, only the 3rd gen.

orestes1984
Oct 20, 2012, 02:08 AM
If the master source is terrible then no amount of reencoding by Apple is going to fix the problem. Most TV shows are recorded in low bitrate for HDTV which is where your problem originates. If you think the problem is Apple then buy Blu-Rays and rip them yourself... That is if you think you can do better.

roidy
Oct 20, 2012, 05:32 AM
If the master source is terrible then no amount of reencoding by Apple is going to fix the problem.
But the master sources aren't terrible because it's what they use to produce the Blu-ray copys they sell.

Most TV shows are recorded in low bitrate for HDTV which is where your problem originates.
That is just plain wrong, TV shows are filmed in very high quality digital so that they can produce excellent quality Blu-rays from them at a later time. Yes HDTV encodes are a lower bitrate because they have limited bandwidth to sent them OTA or via cable, but to say they are originally filmed in a low bitrate is just wrong.

If you think the problem is Apple then buy Blu-Rays and rip them yourself... That is if you think you can do better.
You're just contradicted yourself there, if they're recorded/filmed in a low quality like you think then the Blu-ray version will suck as well, because like you say "If the master source is terrible then no amount of reencoding is going to fix the problem".

orestes1984
Oct 20, 2012, 06:18 AM
But the master sources aren't terrible because it's what they use to produce the Blu-ray copys they sell.

And there's more than plenty of crappy master sources and crappy quality Blu-Ray discs out there :rolleyes:



You're just contradicted yourself there

I did not, I stated if you think you can do better than do better, but a different product and stop he immature rant :rolleyes:

BuddyRich
Oct 20, 2012, 08:12 AM
The screenshot comparisons posted by StinDawg tell the story.

Not sure if its a function of lower bitrate or a setting they are intentionally using when encoding, but they are de-noising the 1080p encodes and its blurring alot of the detail. Its classic DNR and not necessarily caused by lower bitrate as its not compression artifacts. (though the DNR might be applied to hide compression)

Now, some people will claim that it looks better because it is "less grainy", but it does obscure details in doing so.

To each their own. Though I would hate to see Band of Brothers or the Pacific in itunes 1080p (if available) vs. the Bluray... certain scenes were intentionally left grainy would get washed away with DNR.

thenaes
Oct 20, 2012, 08:34 AM
I'm assuming these lower bitrates are due to the fact the AppleTV only has 8GB onboard and that Apple wants to make these all streamable. Most people don't have connections good enough to stream 10mbit video.

It would be really nice if, in the future, they make the video adaptive to your internet connection when streaming from the cloud. Probably wishful thinking though.

I only have a few movies purchased from iTunes right now and I really can't complain too much about the quality, but I do wish it was up to par with the Xbox/Vudu, which are ~8-10mbit.

StinDaWg
Oct 20, 2012, 07:59 PM
And there's more than plenty of crappy master sources and crappy quality Blu-Ray discs out there :rolleyes:



I did not, I stated if you think you can do better than do better, but a different product and stop he immature rant :rolleyes:

You have no idea what you are talking about, and you obviously didn't look at the screenshots I posted. The 1080p encodes look worse and it has nothing to do with a crappy master source, because the 720p looks good and it's from the same source.

Someone should post this thread on the official apple forums. I'd be interested to hear what their response is.

ProudLoz
Oct 20, 2012, 08:40 PM
You have no idea what you are talking about, and you obviously didn't look at the screenshots I posted. The 1080p encodes look worse and it has nothing to do with a crappy master source, because the 720p looks good and it's from the same source.

Someone should post this thread on the official apple forums. I'd be interested to hear what their response is.

The apple forums will unfortunately ignore since the screenshots you posted have filenames that are associated with pirated files. So, unless you want to have a proper argument, I suggest you take screen shots of your properly bought TV Shows and then take it over there for an opinion.

Now, I'm not saying that you don't have a point here, you most likely do but make sure it's from real content that's actually provided from the iTunes Store.

Then again, you could easily change the filenames yourself to imitate the naming system iTunes uses and go with that. There's no real way to tell if these came from legit purchases from iTunes, but the file names on those screenshots do not help.

StinDaWg
Oct 20, 2012, 10:10 PM
The screenshot comparisons posted by StinDawg tell the story.

Not sure if its a function of lower bitrate or a setting they are intentionally using when encoding, but they are de-noising the 1080p encodes and its blurring alot of the detail. Its classic DNR and not necessarily caused by lower bitrate as its not compression artifacts. (though the DNR might be applied to hide compression)



They probably are heavily DNRed, and why they look so blurry with no detail. It's funny to see people think it's better though just because it's 1080p.

StinDaWg
Jan 23, 2013, 03:21 AM
The Following S01E01 720p vs. 1080p
http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/3822
http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/3820
http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/3821

There is more detail in all of the 720p shots. 1080p is blurry. This is what you are getting with your "upgraded" 1080p encodes.

Menneisyys2
Jan 23, 2013, 03:33 AM
The Following S01E01 720p vs. 1080p
http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/3822
http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/3820
http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/3821

There is more detail in all of the 720p shots. 1080p is blurry. This is what you are getting with your "upgraded" 1080p encodes.

Wowz... this indeed sucks. 1080p is indeed much-much worse and less detailed.

So much for the "excellent" image quality of Apple's ridiculously low (generally, under 3 Mbps) encoding bitrates. Not even Apple can beat the laws of physics - that is, the law that states that quality H.264 encoding at 1080p starts at at least 7-8 Mbps.

EDIT: BTW, are these results published in a full article? I'd like to refer to it in my video/encoding-specific articles to emphasize how lame Apple is, how they cheat their customers and why it's worth doing the Blu-ray ripping yourself instead of purchasing Apple's cr@p.

dynaflash
Jan 23, 2013, 10:21 AM
... and some of you actually think Apple does all of the encoding for the iTunes movies ?

jlasoon
Jan 23, 2013, 12:09 PM
The Following S01E01 720p vs. 1080p
http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/3822
http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/3820
http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/3821

There is more detail in all of the 720p shots. 1080p is blurry. This is what you are getting with your "upgraded" 1080p encodes.


This is great, absolutely perfect for comparison. Heavy DNR use by :apple:, just look at the pics.

Menneisyys2
Jan 23, 2013, 02:05 PM
... and some of you actually think Apple does all of the encoding for the iTunes movies ?

It doesn't really matter who does it. It's the results that matter.

brentsg
Jan 23, 2013, 02:28 PM
It doesn't really matter who does it. It's the results that matter.

The distinction does matter. If I go buy some Blu-rays from Walmart, am I to go back and scream at them when one of the flicks is a DNR special?

Sure, they can refund my money if it's a gross screwup but they aren't going to enact any change. They also aren't going to care when I start comparing screen shots at different resolutions.

dynaflash
Jan 23, 2013, 03:06 PM
It doesn't really matter who does it. It's the results that matter.
fwiw, you are smarter than that. Imo, if you don't like it then don't buy it. Its like comcast "HD" you pay for. Its utter crap, I submit worse than iTunes HD. Its a market. Don't like it don't buy it and go through the work to "roll your own".

Apple provides what the studios (who control the content mind you) provide.

Just sayin'.

Edit: I have no dog in this fight but fwiw imo if the iTunes HD sources were higher bitrate and not so pared down, the title of this thread would probably read " Why does it take forever to stream my movie?" Personally for internet provided video I don't think its that bad considering. And I have done a "fair bit" of video encoding in my days. Now again, its just for what its worth. That and a quarter might buy you a cup of coffee. ;)

Irishman
Jan 23, 2013, 06:16 PM
So I thought I'd download a 1080p TV episode to see what all the fuss is about, I can't play them on my ATV1 but I thought I'd check one out anyway to see what I was missing.

All I can say is good god how does Apple palm people off with this crap.

Here's 2 uncompressed screen grabs from an episode of Eureka season 5.

340868
340869

Uncompressed png versions in a zip file. (http://www.filefactory.com/file/7hrcgheina6t)

I've always been perfectly happy with the quality of iTunes 720p content but this is terrible. I'm going to download a couple more to see if this is just a one off occurance.

Poor choice of content in order to test 1080p. TV Shows are not broadcast in 1080p. They are either 720p or 1080i, neither of which will be confused with top-quality Blu-ray 1080p content.

Pick a film (not TV show) that was mastered in 1080p, and which Apple offers in 1080p. That will be a better test.

dynaflash
Jan 23, 2013, 06:28 PM
And preferably not a bframe. Which is what you posted. As well a still from a movie is not the best judge of the playback video quality.

Solomani
Jan 23, 2013, 08:23 PM
Yes, as I said I pay my money to Apple so I expect Apple to quality control the files to make sure they're not selling me crap.

Are you serious? You truly want Apple to play the role of Content Police? :rolleyes:

StinDaWg
Jan 24, 2013, 01:05 AM
Poor choice of content in order to test 1080p. TV Shows are not broadcast in 1080p. They are either 720p or 1080i, neither of which will be confused with top-quality Blu-ray 1080p content.

Pick a film (not TV show) that was mastered in 1080p, and which Apple offers in 1080p. That will be a better test.

Most scripted tv shows these days are filmed in 1080p@24p mpeg4, and then re-encoded to 1080i/720p mpeg2 for broadcast. How do you think they release the 1080p Blu-ray for these shows later on? Magic?

----------


I have no dog in this fight but fwiw imo if the iTunes HD sources were higher bitrate and not so pared down, the title of this thread would probably read " Why does it take forever to stream my movie?" Personally for internet provided video I don't think its that bad considering. And I have done a "fair bit" of video encoding in my days.

Apples 1080p movie trailers are encoded at 8-10 mbps, and look fine. Their 1080p itunes content is encoded at an average of 5 mbps, and their 720p 4 mbps. The sad thing is, because they are bitstarving their 1080p encodes they actually look worse than the 720p, with the exception of animation, which doesn't require a high bitrate to look good. Apple is getting a pass from the mainstream tech media on this, and I'm not sure why. None of the other companies who provide 1080p (Vudu, Netflix, Xbox, PS3, ect) look worse at 1080p.

Menneisyys2
Jan 24, 2013, 02:51 AM
The distinction does matter. If I go buy some Blu-rays from Walmart, am I to go back and scream at them when one of the flicks is a DNR special?


I know there is HUGE encoding quality difference between BR releases (if that's what you meant). This is why I always consult the absolutely excellent encoding quality listings at http://www.avsforum.com/t/1168342/the-new-pq-tier-thread-for-blu-ray-rankings before ordering Blu-ray discs from Amazon.

----------

Apple is getting a pass from the mainstream tech media on this, and I'm not sure why.

Because the American tech media (Engadget, The Verge etc.) is pretty much pro-Apple?

----------

Edit: I have no dog in this fight but fwiw imo if the iTunes HD sources were higher bitrate and not so pared down, the title of this thread would probably read " Why does it take forever to stream my movie?" Personally for internet provided video I don't think its that bad considering. And I have done a "fair bit" of video encoding in my days. Now again, its just for what its worth. That and a quarter might buy you a cup of coffee. ;)

While I do agree Apple's decision to go with such low encoding bitrates is to help streaming, they could go with providing a choice for people wanting the best possible image quality by also offering a (much) higher-bitrate version of the same movie. It wouldn't be that hard...

Nevertheless, it's not only the inferior image quality of iTunes movies that I prefer ripping my own Blu-ray discs but also:

- the lack of any kind of subtitles (or even English CC's with about 70% of the titles) - pretty big a problem for non-native English speakers

- no commentary audio tracks in most cases

- copy protection

- priced about the same as Blu-ray discs ordered from Amazon

- extras not playable on iOS devices / ATV (unlike BD extras, which are encoded with plain H.264 and are directly playable after ripping on non-x86 platforms)

Irishman
Jan 24, 2013, 06:45 PM
Most scripted tv shows these days are filmed in 1080p@24p mpeg4, and then re-encoded to 1080i/720p mpeg2 for broadcast. How do you think they release the 1080p Blu-ray for these shows later on? Magic?

Save the sarcasm.

Many shows are released as a re-encoded 1080i or 720p file from broadcast onto Blu-ray in 1080p/24p. Sometimes, they don't even bother to re-encode (and you get just the same 1080i version that aired). Sometimes, concerts are released in 1080i as well. The file container has little to do with the quality of the file within. In other words, a re-encode is akin to upconverting and does nothing to add detail to the video.

StinDaWg
Jan 24, 2013, 07:12 PM
Save the sarcasm.

Many shows are released as a re-encoded 1080i or 720p file from broadcast onto Blu-ray in 1080p/24p. Sometimes, they don't even bother to re-encode (and you get just the same 1080i version that aired). Sometimes, concerts are released in 1080i as well. The file container has little to do with the quality of the file within. In other words, a re-encode is akin to upconverting and does nothing to add detail to the video.

I don't think you understand how this works. Most (I would never say all but it's close) scripted tv shows are filmed natively in 1080p24 (23.976 actual). They aren't converted to 1080p for the Blu-ray. Some reality shows are filmed natively in 1080i, but all of your Breaking Bad, Lost, True Blood, Dexter type shows are filmed natively in 1080p24, and have been for many, many years. The reason apple is able to provide tv shows on their store at 1080p24 is because again, they are filmed that way and they are encoded from the master print. Any show that was filmed in 1080i will be encoded to 1080p with a frame rate of 29.97 fps.

Irishman
Jan 24, 2013, 08:26 PM
I don't think you understand how this works. Most (I would never say all but it's close) scripted tv shows are filmed natively in 1080p24 (23.976 actual). They aren't converted to 1080p for the Blu-ray. Some reality shows are filmed natively in 1080i, but all of your Breaking Bad, Lost, True Blood, Dexter type shows are filmed natively in 1080p24, and have been for many, many years. The reason apple is able to provide tv shows on their store at 1080p24 is because again, they are filmed that way and they are encoded from the master print. Any show that was filmed in 1080i will be encoded to 1080p with a frame rate of 29.97 fps.

Do you have any documentation for this, or are we supposed to take your word for it?

StinDaWg
Jan 24, 2013, 10:20 PM
Do you have any documentation for this, or are we supposed to take your word for it?

Google would be a good place for you to start. It's common knowledge.

Irishman
Jan 25, 2013, 12:46 PM
Google would be a good place for you to start. It's common knowledge.

So common that you can't produce it when asked to fortify your assertions with evidence.

Great!

Jetson
Jan 25, 2013, 01:30 PM
I purchased all of the Star Trek: Enterprise episodes. There is a great improvement in definition between the 1st year (720p) and the latter years (1080p).

I've also watched several movies and the resolution rivals my Blu-ray experience. Yes, you can tell that there is some compression, but for the most part, surprisingly, it looks great.

Of course some sources are much better than others.

StinDaWg
Jan 25, 2013, 02:04 PM
So common that you can't produce it when asked to fortify your assertions with evidence.

Great!

Feel free to read the entire thread.

Just about every drama-oriented production is captured on 1080/24p master tapes, either directly with 1080/24PsF (segmented-frame) cameras/recorders, or optically telecined from 24p films. U.S. broadcasters deliver digital copies of these 1080/24p recordings through pulldown (inserting extra TV fields/frames) to convert 24 fps into the broadcast rate for 1080i/720p (60 Hz).

http://www.avsforum.com/t/967966/1080p-tv-shows/0_100#post_12666304

Irishman
Jan 25, 2013, 02:45 PM
Feel free to read the entire thread.



http://www.avsforum.com/t/967966/1080p-tv-shows/0_100#post_12666304

Thanks for the link. I very much respect the brain trust over at AVS (being a member myself), but those masters being in 1080p/24p does not explain why those drama shows do not contain as much detail as a well-done Blu-ray movie.

Do you know why?

Menneisyys2
Jan 25, 2013, 03:34 PM
Thanks for the link. I very much respect the brain trust over at AVS (being a member myself), but those masters being in 1080p/24p does not explain why those drama shows do not contain as much detail as a well-done Blu-ray movie.

Do you know why?

BTW, 24p -> 60i telecine/pulldown can be fully reversed (reverse/inverse telecine) without any quality degradation if the 2-3 pulldown pattern does remain consistent throughout an entire program; that is, there aren't any edits.

That is, even if the 24p content is made of 60i telecined 24p originals, the 24p original can be recovered when just using detelecining (and not "dumb" deinterlacing).

----------

Thanks for the link. I very much respect the brain trust over at AVS (being a member myself), but those masters being in 1080p/24p does not explain why those drama shows do not contain as much detail as a well-done Blu-ray movie.

Do you know why?

Perhaps the authors didn't use proper detelecining but, say, (fast, "dumb") deinterlacing not taking into account the content was 2:3 pulldown and thus, essentially, halving the vertical resolution?

Irishman
Jan 25, 2013, 05:25 PM
Perhaps the authors didn't use proper detelecining but, say, (fast, "dumb") deinterlacing not taking into account the content was 2:3 pulldown and thus, essentially, halving the vertical resolution?

Am I the only one who notices a certain softness to Blu-ray releases of TV Shows compared to film releases on blu-ray??

I've noticed it on:

"BSG: The Plan". (The main issues I noticed here was the jarring difference in detail when interspersing footage taken from early seasons of the show with footage shot explicitly for the movie. It was pretty annoying).

"The Walking Dead"

"True Blood"

Now, to be fair, there are terrible Blu-ray releases, as well. Some are notoriously bad - the first release of "The Fifth Element" was so poor that Sony offered a trade-in program for buyers, so that when the improved version was released, they got a free one just for mailing in the bad one. Also, "Patton" was horrendous (since corrected), as was "Interview with the Vampire" (still not corrected).

Thoughts?

Menneisyys2
Jan 25, 2013, 05:36 PM
Am I the only one who notices a certain softness to Blu-ray releases of TV Shows compared to film releases on blu-ray??

I've noticed it on:

"BSG: The Plan". (The main issues I noticed here was the jarring difference in detail when interspersing footage taken from early seasons of the show with footage shot explicitly for the movie. It was pretty annoying).

"The Walking Dead"

"True Blood"

Dunno. If they were indeed shot at 1080p24 (here in Europe, most TV stuff is shot at 50i and, consequently, requires deinterlacing), then, if they used plain deinterlacing to produce 1080p24 footage from the interlaced (in this case, 2:3 telecined) content, then, it's indeed a big mistake on their part.

If the original content was 1080i60 (and they have no 1080p24 master), then, they must have used sloppy (fast) deinterlacing to produce 1080p24 footage. With proper deinterlacing, there wouldn't have been so bad vertical resolution decrease.

Now, to be fair, there are terrible Blu-ray releases, as well. Some are notoriously bad - the first release of "The Fifth Element" was so poor that Sony offered a trade-in program for buyers, so that when the improved version was released, they got a free one just for mailing in the bad one. Also, "Patton" was horrendous (since corrected), as was "Interview with the Vampire" (still not corrected).


Yup, no wonder the list I've recommended above ( http://www.avsforum.com/t/1168342/the-new-pq-tier-thread-for-blu-ray-rankings ) lists those releases (except for the remastered ones, which are either Silver or Gold) in the worst, Copper and Coal tiers.

TrentS
Jan 25, 2013, 05:58 PM
I was complaining about this same argument when I bought my first HDTV. I was wondering what was wrong with it, when some shows looked great and other programs looked bad. I was wondering if my eyes were giving out, or if I'd flipped my lid. It was driving me crazy. Then I finally figured out not ALL content broadcast on tv is in 1080p. And even to this day, most of it still isn't. Who knows when we will get to that day when all content on tv is 1080p. So it's probably not Apple TV's fault, it's just that so many content providers have not gone 100% HD yet.

;) ;) ;) ;)

StinDaWg
Jan 25, 2013, 06:14 PM
Am I the only one who notices a certain softness to Blu-ray releases of TV Shows compared to film releases on blu-ray??

I've noticed it on:

"BSG: The Plan". (The main issues I noticed here was the jarring difference in detail when interspersing footage taken from early seasons of the show with footage shot explicitly for the movie. It was pretty annoying).

"The Walking Dead"

"True Blood"

Now, to be fair, there are terrible Blu-ray releases, as well. Some are notoriously bad - the first release of "The Fifth Element" was so poor that Sony offered a trade-in program for buyers, so that when the improved version was released, they got a free one just for mailing in the bad one. Also, "Patton" was horrendous (since corrected), as was "Interview with the Vampire" (still not corrected).

Thoughts?

Never seen BSG, but The Walking Dead is filmed on 16mm and looks terrible in every format, HDTV, itunes, Blu-ray. The director intentionally went for a gritty/grainy washed out look for the show. Almost no one uses 16mm anymore.
It's shot on 16mm film to achieve the grainy look.

Quote:
Q: Is that a situation where the decision to shoot on 16mm film is useful?

A: 16mm is the perfect choice. Regardless if we did it in HD or 35mm film, we'd add grain in the end to make it have this look. It calls up the language of what we're used to seeing in a horror film. George Romero's stuff was all grainy. It's like looking at a documentary, and you instantly get into the 16mm documentary world. And if you take those same cameras and put them into The Walking Dead, it begins to be a believable, real experience. We were looking at a day exterior the other day, and it actually becomes scary -- the moment when you realize it's possible to do something this frightful in broad daylight.
http://www.avforums.com/forums/television/1357290-bad-picture-walking-dead.html


True Blood is another show that is extremely grainy. I watched the Blu-ray and didn't think it was soft though, just grainy.
Fickle viewers may not appreciate True Blood's grim-n-grainy aesthetic, but HBO has delivered a marvelous 1080p/AVC-encoded transfer that faithfully captures every drop of blood, every sweat-soaked hair, and every torn tendon that graces the screen. The series' palette is immaculate: skintones are healthy and natural, primaries are lush, reds practically spill off the screen, and blacks are inky and well-resolved. Regardless of whether a scene takes place in the hot afternoon sun or in a shadowy candlelit room, contrast remains vibrant and lively; rarely succumbing to the prevailing darkness that consumes each episode. Moreover, while the aforementioned grain does occasionally interfere with fine detail, textures are sharp and earthy, edges are perfectly defined (without the help of any unnecessary edge enhancement), and delineation is relatively divine. Better still, the technical transfer doesn't suffer from any hint of debilitating blocking, banding, digital clutter, or pesky noise reduction. Faint compression artifacts occasionally swarm the backgrounds of a few poorly-lit shots (most notably during Bill and Sookie's bathtub chat), but it doesn't undermine the picture's polish and, honestly, isn't very noticeable amidst the series' grain field anyway. All things considered, True Blood: The Complete First Season marks yet another excellent Blu-ray transfer from HBO that will leave fans in a state of ecstasy and help convert newcomers to the fold.
http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/True-Blood-The-Complete-First-Season-Blu-ray/3747/#Review

One of the greatest things about 'True Blood' is the fact that it occasionally looks really crummy. This isn't a bad thing, but sometimes, with the reduced lighting, the backwoods locations, and all that sweat, it can look like you're watching a beat-up VHS copy of an illegal snuff film. Thankfully, the Blu-ray has kept up with this level of earthy grime while presenting a truly breathtaking transfer.

The 1080p/AVC-encoded 1.78:1 transfer is a stunner, one that retains most of the grain, which adds a lot to the overall look of the series but doesn't dilute any of the specifics. You get the best of both worlds. Textures are well defined, skin tones are spot on. Black levels remain deep and dark. Edges are sharp without enhancements. And most importantly, reds really pop (sometimes literally, as with the geysers of garish blood).

The series prides itself on its earthy, deep south colors, and those colors look absolutely amazing - from the color of Sookie's bikini to the red-and-black logo of the Tru Blood bottle, it's just outstanding.

There are, however, a few instances of compression artifacts. These pop up during some of the more poorly lit scenes. But this is a minor quibble, and overall doesn't take away from the great transfer (and, honestly, are only barely noticeable). It's rare for a video presentation to be as pristine and, at the same time, as grimy, as this. And it's a testament to the technical prowess of this disc.
http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/1498/trueblood_s1.html

----------

I was complaining about this same argument when I bought my first HDTV. I was wondering what was wrong with it, when some shows looked great and other programs looked bad. I was wondering if my eyes were giving out, or if I'd flipped my lid. It was driving me crazy. Then I finally figured out not ALL content broadcast on tv is in 1080p. And even to this day, most of it still isn't. Who knows when we will get to that day when all content on tv is 1080p. So it's probably not Apple TV's fault, it's just that so many content providers have not gone 100% HD yet.

;) ;) ;) ;)

These shows are filmed in 1080p, but there is not enough bandwidth for cable providers to broadcast all channels in 1080p, which is why they are converted to 1080i/720p mpeg2. The hope is that some day cable/satellite will switch over to mpeg4 h.264/h.265 (HEVC), which allows better picture at lower bitrates. This would require replacing ALL old cable boxes that are being used today. A massive undertaking.

TyroneShoes2
Jan 25, 2013, 06:16 PM
OK, an update I've just finished downloading the 720p version of the same file and the quality is fine, here's some stats for you:-

The 720p file has a video bitrate of 3964kbps while the 1080p has a video bitrate of 4921kbps, the 1080p file has a 2.25 times the pixels but only a 1.24 times increase in bitrate, meaning the 1080p encode suffers as a result. To get the same level of quality you'd expect an equal increase in bitrate as there is in pixel density.That is only part of the math. And that part is wrong.

1080p24 is actually 1088x1920x24 (there are actually 1088 lines encoded in 1080p because 1080 can't be equally divided into full macroblocks) which is a raw pixel rate of 50,135,040. 720p30 is 1280x720x30 which yields 27,648,000. The difference is then x1.81 rather than x2.25.

To get the actual bit rate for 8-bit video at 4:2:2 you have to multiply those numbers by 12 (x8 for luminance + x2 for Pr and + x2 for Pb). Using your delivered bit rates, that means that the compression rate for 1080p24 is 122:1, while the compression rate for 720p30 is 83:1. But this is probably 4:2:0, meaning that the compression rates are probably closer to 102:1 and 70:1. But since it is download, there is no streaming bit starving to cannabalize motion; if more bits need to be allocated to motion, they can be, unlike live OTA TV.

That's not really all that bad; MPEG4 AVC can be compressed at about 30% higher than MPEG2, and MPEG2 delivery OTA is typically compressed at about 100:1. But this does support your theory that compression is more severe for 1080p than for 720p from iTunes.

But what really causes the artifacts you are seeing is the fact that it is originally 8-bit video compressed secondarily for iTunes distribution. This does not manifest so much as a reduction of resolution (in fact the images posted seem to maintain resolution pretty well) as it does in a contouring effect, where mild changes in luminance or pastel colors are represented by banding.

This happens because the quantization levels are so far apart in 8 bit that they tend to show a lot of rounding error. The difference between quantization levels in 8-bit (232 levels) is over 4 times greater than it is for 10-bit (1006 levels), for instance, and we can see an obvious difference between adjacent levels. If a part of the picture gradually increases in luminance, at some point there is a true "quantum leap", where that part of the image is noticebly brighter, and we can see the line of demarcation there. And the noisier or busier the picture is in that area, the more that line jumps around. It aint pretty.

A good example of this is the face of the lead actor; it appears that his lower face is much darker than his forehead, almost giving him the appearance of a 5 o'clock shadow. You can see this on the actress in the other grab as well. In real video it also moves around, so it is really noticable and really annoying; enough to take us out of our suspension of disbelief that we are watching real images instead of replicated images.

And this is the result when 8-bit video is compressed severely a second time at 4:2:0. But this is all tradeoff; if they compressed less, it would give a better picture, but it would take longer to download. Online download is between a rock (high compression compromising the quality) and a hard place (internet speeds are shamefully low and ridiculously overpriced in the US). And 8-bit video really aggravates that quality problem. If they could create these downloads from better-quality masters, as they are starting to do in iTunes for audio, this would solve much of the problem.

But anyone who has spent any time moving content from a Mac to an iPad will see that this is pretty common there, too. Or if you manipulate something in iMovie. You get the same reduction in quality. I find iMovie so bad that I just can't use it because I can't tolerate how bad the quality is, and there is no option to increase the quality at the expense of processing/rendering time as there should be.

Also, how good the original is makes a real difference. I downloaded a free pre-air copy of Deception last month, and it looked remarkably good. Movies usually look pretty good, because they usually are from better masters than TV shows. All consumer delivery of TV is 8-bit 4:2:0, and it is difficult to go back up the chain to a mezzanine level of higher quality, Deception nonwithstanding. More accurately, it is more a matter of availability; TV shows are typically widely available at TV delivery quality so they get them there rather than going back up the chain, while movies may only be available as high-quality telecine dubs from the studios, meaning they are forced to accept a higher quality copy.

ViperDesign
Jan 25, 2013, 06:20 PM
Personally I don't think their 1080p content sucks. But I also don't sit 2 feet from my 55 inch screen to analyze it.

I am happy with the quality and ease of use, plus cloud ability.

StinDaWg
Jan 25, 2013, 06:51 PM
Personally I don't think their 1080p content sucks. But I also don't sit 2 feet from my 55 inch screen to analyze it.

I am happy with the quality and ease of use, plus cloud ability.

I can tell the difference between their 720p/1080p encodes on a 50" tv from 8' away. 1080p looks worse besides animation.

yoak
Jan 26, 2013, 04:17 AM
I have to agree that a lot of HD stuff on iTunes looks bad. Specially "dark" low key films put a big strain on the encoding.
Social Network looked so bad I complained to Apple, the reimbursed my account and said they would look into it. That took less than 24h, so it is worth complaining.
Unfortunately a lot of people in This world is happy with "just good enough"

Irishman
Jan 26, 2013, 08:51 AM
I have to agree that a lot of HD stuff on iTunes looks bad. Specially "dark" low key films put a big strain on the encoding.
Social Network looked so bad I complained to Apple, the reimbursed my account and said they would look into it. That took less than 24h, so it is worth complaining.
Unfortunately a lot of people in This world is happy with "just good enough"

You are unfortunately right. Enough people are willing to take convenience over quality that MP3s and low bitrate AACs rule the music roost, and poor-quality streaming video is beginning to. The only exception I've seen is Vudu's highest quality stream that is quite close to Blu-ray, both in audio and video! I think it's the height of irony that this service is owned by Wal-Mart!

StinDaWg
Feb 16, 2013, 05:44 AM
The Walking Dead 720p vs. 1080p

http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/8096/picture:1

There is almost no detail in the 1080p compared to the 720p.

Irishman
Feb 16, 2013, 08:57 AM
Personally I don't think their 1080p content sucks. But I also don't sit 2 feet from my 55 inch screen to analyze it.

I am happy with the quality and ease of use, plus cloud ability.

Speaking of AVS, they DID sit down 2 feet from their TV to do a side-by-side-by-side analysis among Blu-ray, Vudu, and iTunes. :)

iTunes held its own, at least on "Skyfall" quite well. Certainly better than I expected.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1458077/a-comparison-of-skyfall-on-itunes-vudu-and-blu-ray

DP812
Feb 20, 2013, 11:41 PM
Exactly. High bit rate 720p is way better than low bit rate 1080p....I take all my Blu-ray rips and encode them to 720p so they don't look like CrapTunes 1080p. Everyone has been brain washed into thinking 1080p is like 4x better than 720p, ask anyone on the street! Its ridiculous! Two of my cousins were complaining that their 32" TV's were only 720p and then i explain to them how at that size it made no difference then did a blind test of a movie I had in 1080p and 720p at similar bit rates...they thought the 1080p was the 720p :roll eyes: . Apple plays on this for money. People care more about whats "better" but not really understanding it and trusting these companies....

How is Apple playing on this for money? There's not a 720p HD price and a higher 1080p HD price, there are only two prices—one for SD, one for HD. They're the same price. Now if you're talking about a service like Vudu, which charges for SD, HD (720), and HDX (1080), that's different. If you look at any HD product in the iTunes Store, in the Information section, it will say "HD Includes 720p and 1080p" followed by which version you've configured iTunes to download in parentheses. If it says "Downloading 1080p", then all you have to do is go to Preferences and under Playback, select High Definition (720p) from the Preferred Video Version drop-down.

If you want to make a general criticism about Apple's HD quality compared to Blu-ray, that's something different. But to say that Apple is tricking people into buying 1080p over 720p is just a lie.

StinDaWg
Feb 21, 2013, 04:30 AM
How is Apple playing on this for money?

If you want to make a general criticism about Apple's HD quality compared to Blu-ray, that's something different. But to say that Apple is tricking people into buying 1080p over 720p is just a lie.

Apple requires you to buy a whole new Apple TV to play 1080p content, that looks worse than 720p in 99% of shows. I'd say pushing a new $100 box is a pretty good incentive to try to sell 1080p.

----------

Speaking of AVS, they DID sit down 2 feet from their TV to do a side-by-side-by-side analysis among Blu-ray, Vudu, and iTunes. :)

iTunes held its own, at least on "Skyfall" quite well. Certainly better than I expected.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1458077/a-comparison-of-skyfall-on-itunes-vudu-and-blu-ray

Might want to read this...

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1458077/a-comparison-of-skyfall-on-itunes-vudu-and-blu-ray/100_100#post_22983623

Deadeyeshark
Feb 21, 2013, 05:19 AM
I have no issues with 1080p content, projected onto a 106" it looks fine to me. Other than that Super HD on Netflix is stunning on Breaking Bad

I would like to see some 3D 1080p content in the store though and do away with my blu ray completely.

DP812
Feb 24, 2013, 07:00 PM
Apple requires you to buy a whole new Apple TV to play 1080p content, that looks worse than 720p in 99% of shows. I'd say pushing a new $100 box is a pretty good incentive to try to sell 1080p.

Then that's an issue with the content providers, isn't it? Apple has provided a device capable of playing content up to 1080p. But whether or not the full capabilities of 1080p are used is an issue for the content providers.

Menneisyys2
Feb 24, 2013, 07:03 PM
If your argument is that the ATV3 can't properly display 1080p, then you'll need to back that up. Because so far, you haven't.

He meant the content, not the ATV3 itself. The latter is pretty capable, unless you try to make it play 1080p60 videos or ones with bitrates (well) over 20 Mbps.

DP812
Feb 24, 2013, 07:05 PM
He meant the content, not the ATV3 itself. The latter is pretty capable, unless you try to make it play 1080p60 videos or ones with bitrates (well) over 20 Mbps.

Then once again, I'm not seeing how this is a case of Apple ripping people off, when 720/1080 are the exact same price.

Menneisyys2
Feb 24, 2013, 07:09 PM
Then once again, I'm not seeing how this is a case of Apple ripping people off, when 720/1080 are the exact same price.

Still, they're priced, in general, the same as original Blu-ray discs on Amazon. The latter have the best possible quality (unless the mastering was messed up, see my previous link to the quality list) because of the, at times, an order of magnitude higher video bitrate.

This is the biggest problem with Apple. (And, in addition, the question of, on Apple TV/iOS, unplayable extras, the DRM, the lack of non-CC subtitles also making Blu-ray discs + MakeMKV a better choice for video freaks...)

Defender2010
Feb 24, 2013, 07:11 PM
Series tend to be recorded at lower resolution or depth of field. I see a wide variance of quality on my Apple TV. Some stuff looks pristine and some stuff looks like SD.

This show is clearly trending towards the latter.

Agreed. Shows like American Horror Story look amazing in 1080p from iTunes, but even new ones like The Walking Dead can look grainy in parts. It all depends on the source Apple are given to encode. Remember LOTRs when the Blu Rays first came out? Huge uproar over the encode quality.

OP, chill out. Delete it if it makes you this upset.

StinDaWg
Feb 25, 2013, 03:52 AM
Agreed. Shows like American Horror Story look amazing in 1080p from iTunes, but even new ones like The Walking Dead can look grainy in parts. It all depends on the source Apple are given to encode.
AHS looks worse in 1080p than 720p, because the low bitrate 1080p can't process the grain properly. The Walking Dead is just a terrible show to look at no matter what format. It was shot on 16mm film. Still, the itunes 720p looks better than the 1080p.

http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/8096/picture:1

Defender2010
Feb 25, 2013, 06:04 AM
AHS looks worse in 1080p than 720p, because the low bitrate 1080p can't process the grain properly. The Walking Dead is just a terrible show to look at no matter what format. It was shot on 16mm film. Still, the itunes 720p looks better than the 1080p.

http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/8096/picture:1

Doesn't the 1080p look better in that screenshot? Natural skin tone.. I am going to check the 720p versions on my Apple TV to make my own comparison

StinDaWg
Feb 25, 2013, 03:57 PM
Doesn't the 1080p look better in that screenshot? Natural skin tone.. I am going to check the 720p versions on my Apple TV to make my own comparison

What size screen are you looking at these on? I'm looking on a 50" plasma, and there is no fine detail in the 1080p, it's just blurred.

About the skin tone, the 1080p looks too yellow. That's not how it looks on the AMC broadcast.

IronManFan
Mar 2, 2013, 12:43 PM
FWIW, I think ATV is geared toward the casual viewer, rather than videophiles. Compared to Blu-Ray, my ATV looks great on a 40" LED Sony and meh on a 65" Panasonic VT50. I wonder if the Apple engineers ran some data as to what size/type screens most people would using, and calibrated the files for the most general display. Hopefully the next iteration with h.265 will add more detail and higher bitrates for the people who use ATV as part of a home theater setup.

StinDaWg
Mar 2, 2013, 10:20 PM
FWIW, I think ATV is geared toward the casual viewer, rather than videophiles.

That doesn't answer the question though of why their 1080p files look so inferior to their 720p. I actually think their 720p encodes look pretty decent, superior to cable most of the time. But their 1080p encodes look terrible because they only increased the bitrate 20% for over 2x the amount of pixels.

kokako
Mar 3, 2013, 09:11 AM
I love the quality of the 1080 stuff I'm seeing on ATV! looks great just like the Netflix SuperHD stuff.

Not Apples fault if Eureka not looking great - they deliver the content for sale/rental on behalf of the label/studio it's up to the content owners to ensure it's encoded by a good house before being submitted to Apple. Some content owners master from a "master" source some just rip from the Blu-Ray/DVD to submit to Apple.

Apple doesn't price either, they're technically just the retailer.

Quit blaming Apple people.

PS: If you think this Eureka looks bad check out Star Trek Voyager and DS9 they were submitted by Paramount to iTunes around 7 years ago and the resolution back then was designed for the iPod video 320x240, check out the previews that's what you get when you "buy" it - it's shocking, thanks Paramount!

johnnnw
Mar 7, 2013, 11:22 AM
My 1080p stuff on my Apple TV looks amazing. It's flawless.

Probably your internet

musicpenguy
Mar 7, 2013, 11:32 AM
I think these well done posts will refute what people are claiming here - very cool posts at AVS:

Argo: iTunes 720p vs iTunes 1080p vs Vudu vs BluRay
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1459687/argo-itunes-vs-vudu-vs-blu-ray

Life of Pi: iTunes 720p vs iTunes 1080p vs Vudu vs BluRay
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1460032/life-of-pi-itunes-vs-vudu

Looking forward to more of these AVS posts!

StinDaWg
Mar 7, 2013, 08:57 PM
My 1080p stuff on my Apple TV looks amazing. It's flawless.

Probably your internet

Flawless? Overstatement of the year. Check the pics earlier in the thread.

johnnnw
Mar 7, 2013, 10:05 PM
Flawless? Overstatement of the year. Check the pics earlier in the thread.

Cool story bro... Remind me to compare screenshots on a computer screen instead of judge is by myself by watching my TV. If I like the quality and think it's flawless to my eyes, then I call it flawless. I watched some random snowboard movie in HD on netflix yesterday and was shocked how good it was.

Sorry you're so caught up in running benchmarks and reading comparisons all day...ha.

musicpenguy
Mar 8, 2013, 08:59 AM
Agreed - people make a big fuss about the quality difference - I own Prometheus in HD on both iTunes and BluRay - I honestly can't see a big difference - in a blind test I wouldn't know which is which.

As far as 720p iTunes content versus 1080p it seems that AVS forums disagree and express how vastly better it is.

With that said it is experiential and screen grabs will only do so much - we aren't looking at still images but a moving picture show :)

Davidkoh
Mar 8, 2013, 09:02 AM
Agreed - people make a big fuss about the quality difference - I own Prometheus in HD on both iTunes and BluRay - I honestly can't see a big difference - in a blind test I wouldn't know which is which.

As far as 720p iTunes content versus 1080p it seems that AVS forums disagree and express how vastly better it is.

With that said it is experiential and screen grabs will only do so much - we aren't looking at still images but a moving picture show :)

Question, how big a screen are you comparing it on? It is usually way easier to see the difference when using a good projector displaying 100+" compared to a good tv on 40".

musicpenguy
Mar 8, 2013, 09:07 AM
I use an Epson projector onto a screen around 150 inches or so - even at that size iTunes provides a similar viewing experience as BluRay - for me at least. Feel free to disagree, but stop trying to convince people that your opinion is right or the only way to go.

I don't try to convince people that iTunes is the only way to go because the alternative is crap (which it can be with the unskipable previews and other hassles). Both are valid viewing options - that is why we have choice in the marketplace.

StinDaWg
Mar 8, 2013, 03:18 PM
Cool story bro... Remind me to compare screenshots on a computer screen instead of judge is by myself by watching my TV. If I like the quality and think it's flawless to my eyes, then I call it flawless. I watched some random snowboard movie in HD on netflix yesterday and was shocked how good it was.

Sorry you're so caught up in running benchmarks and reading comparisons all day...ha.

I can tell the difference between apples 720p/1080p encodes on my 50" tv from a normal viewing difference. 1080p looks worse for everything besides animation. The good thing about comparison screens is that they prove to people like you which is better. You can't argue against them. I'm not looking at them on a small computer monitor I'm looking at them on my tv. Since you can't/don't want to see the difference that's great for you and apple because it proves that normal consumers just don't give a damn about quality and they can get away with low bitrate encodes without most people caring.

----------


As far as 720p iTunes content versus 1080p it seems that AVS forums disagree and express how vastly better it is.


That AVS thread didn't prove anything. Perhaps you should read it again. Argo preserves much more grain on the 720p and is the most faithful to the Blu-ray, Life of Pi 1080p is slightly more detailed depending on the scene, but it is a clean source with no grain. Skyfall (which you conveniently left out) looked better in 720p. The pictures that were posted in those threads aren't a good measure of quality because he didn't post the uncompressed .png, just cut/cropped/zoomed to a smaller box. Some he even modified them to boost the gamma which you will never do when watching it on your tv.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1458077/a-comparison-of-skyfall-on-itunes-vudu-and-blu-ray/100_100#post_22983623

Update: A thank you AVS members who brought this to my attention. iTunes 720p files can look better than their 1080p equivalents. I had to see for myself and the results are surprising but undeniable. When it comes to fidelity iTunes 720p has the best overall image quality, especially during difficult to render scenes.

musicpenguy
Mar 8, 2013, 03:19 PM
Wow dude I didn't even know they did one for Skyfall - that's awesome - I'll check it out!

Irishman
Mar 8, 2013, 06:42 PM
Apple requires you to buy a whole new Apple TV to play 1080p content, that looks worse than 720p in 99% of shows. I'd say pushing a new $100 box is a pretty good incentive to try to sell 1080p.

----------



Might want to read this...

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1458077/a-comparison-of-skyfall-on-itunes-vudu-and-blu-ray/100_100#post_22983623

Yeah, I think the prevailing wisdom is the extra compression on the iTunes 1080p encode is at fault.

StinDaWg
Mar 8, 2013, 07:49 PM
Yeah, I think the prevailing wisdom is the extra compression on the iTunes 1080p encode is at fault.

It's not the compression method itself, it's the low bitrate used, unless that's what you meant by "compression". In that case I agree, and it's obviously the reason. Bump the bitrate up from 5 to 8 mbps and they would look great. The bitrate should have been doubled in the first place. 1080p has 2.25x more pixels than 720p but they only increased the bitrate 20%. The bitrate is not high enough for 1080p to keep detail in all scenes, especially with motion or film grain.

Irishman
Mar 9, 2013, 08:41 AM
It's not the compression method itself, it's the low bitrate used, unless that's what you meant by "compression". In that case I agree, and it's obviously the reason. Bump the bitrate up from 5 to 8 mbps and they would look great. The bitrate should have been doubled in the first place. 1080p has 2.25x more pixels than 720p but they only increased the bitrate 20%. The bitrate is not high enough for 1080p to keep detail in all scenes, especially with motion or film grain.

Yeah, that's what I meant. They chose to throttle it down for the 1080p stream of Skyfall.

Menneisyys2
Mar 12, 2013, 06:01 AM
I think these well done posts will refute what people are claiming here - very cool posts at AVS:

Argo: iTunes 720p vs iTunes 1080p vs Vudu vs BluRay
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1459687/argo-itunes-vs-vudu-vs-blu-ray

Life of Pi: iTunes 720p vs iTunes 1080p vs Vudu vs BluRay
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1460032/life-of-pi-itunes-vs-vudu

Looking forward to more of these AVS posts!

Thanks! Excellent comparison. Particularly the one at http://www.avsforum.com/content/type/61/id/155081/ - it certainly shows iTunes 720p to have a lead over iTunes 1080p because of the much less aggressive compression. (The original Blu-ray is, of course, far better.) So much for "flawless" iTunes quality.

StinDaWg
Jun 17, 2013, 11:03 PM
If anyone still thinks apples 1080p itunes encodes are better than the 720p just take a look at this, from True Blood...

http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/28741

Wow, just wow. :eek:

spacepower7
Jun 18, 2013, 01:49 AM
If anyone still thinks apples 1080p itunes encodes are better than the 720p just take a look at this, from True Blood...

http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/28741

Wow, just wow. :eek:

I think is silly to compare encodes of single frames of video from different distributors who use different encoding software. Frame 11771 may be encoded different in software A than software B.


You're entire rant would have earned an F in my 6th grade science class. Where is your scientific method?

I'm not in 6th grade anymore either ;)

mic j
Jun 18, 2013, 09:27 AM
I think is silly to compare encodes of single frames of video from different distributors who use different encoding software. Frame 11771 may be encoded different in software A than software B.


You're entire rant would have earned an F in my 6th grade science class. Where is your scientific method?

I'm not in 6th grade anymore either ;)

Thank you spacepower7!!! It's nice to see an intellectual approach to issues.

StinDaWg
Jun 18, 2013, 10:59 AM
I think is silly to compare encodes of single frames of video from different distributors who use different encoding software. Frame 11771 may be encoded different in software A than software B.


You're entire rant would have earned an F in my 6th grade science class. Where is your scientific method?

I'm not in 6th grade anymore either ;)
The encoding standards that the distributors use are strictly set by apple. 720p uses High@3.1 profile with 2 ref frames, no CABAC and ~4000 kbps bitrate. 1080p uses High@4.0 profile with 4 ref frames, CABAC, and ~5000 kbps bitrate. If you think that this picture isn't representative of 99% of the encodes that apple sells I don't know what to tell you. Enjoy your 1080p. If anyone would like me to post more examples just ask. I have plenty.

spacepower7
Jun 19, 2013, 01:09 AM
The encoding standards that the distributors use are strictly set by apple. 720p uses High@3.1 profile with 2 ref frames, no CABAC and ~4000 kbps bitrate. 1080p uses High@4.0 profile with 4 ref frames, CABAC, and ~5000 kbps bitrate. If you think that this picture isn't representative of 99% of the encodes that apple sells I don't know what to tell you. Enjoy your 1080p. If anyone would like me to post more examples just ask. I have plenty.

I think you missed my point.

Even using the exact same settings, in the same software. Let's pretend the movie studio gives the exact file to Netflix and Apple. Film/Movies have leader, heads and tales, those countdown numbers in old movies.

If Apple or Netflix trim the intro or outro of movies a couple of frames, to save bits and bytes transmitted, the entire compression and individual frames will be compressed in different groups.

I'm not saying one is better than the other, I'm just saying your methodology ( or lack of ) would have failed my 6th grade science class. ( I say that as a student not teacher ) You are comparing single frames from different sources? Different codec settings? Different number of frames?.

Even with the same codec settings, do you know if the files have the same exact number of frames? A different number of frame in the beginning (even black space) could cause frame 1001 in the actual movie to be compressed differently.

I don't care which is better and it really doesn't matter, your analysis still fails.

Your opinion may be valid or may not be valid, but you don't have any science or math to support your rant.

Nightarchaon
Jun 19, 2013, 01:35 AM
Apples 1080p content sucks

Yup, which is why i buy Blu-rays , apple content is fine for something you just want to throw on, but when i want a quality picture (Sharper, less artifacts and better colour), oh and better quality sound, i put on the blu-ray.

Guess there might be a difference between the 4gb 1080p files from apple and the 12-20gb files on the blu-rays after all ;)

StinDaWg
Jun 19, 2013, 09:41 AM
I think you missed my point.

Even using the exact same settings, in the same software. Let's pretend the movie studio gives the exact file to Netflix and Apple. Film/Movies have leader, heads and tales, those countdown numbers in old movies.

If Apple or Netflix trim the intro or outro of movies a couple of frames, to save bits and bytes transmitted, the entire compression and individual frames will be compressed in different groups.

I'm not saying one is better than the other, I'm just saying your methodology ( or lack of ) would have failed my 6th grade science class. ( I say that as a student not teacher ) You are comparing single frames from different sources? Different codec settings? Different number of frames?.

Even with the same codec settings, do you know if the files have the same exact number of frames? A different number of frame in the beginning (even black space) could cause frame 1001 in the actual movie to be compressed differently.

I don't care which is better and it really doesn't matter, your analysis still fails.

Your opinion may be valid or may not be valid, but you don't have any science or math to support your rant.
It's not a rant. Myself and many others have watched hundreds of itunes shows in both 720p/1080p. The reason why the 1080p looks worse is because the bitrate is too low, it's as simple as that. The 1080p has over 2x as many pixels but only a 20% larger bitrate. It can't hold detail as well in motion. It breaks up. The more film grain there is the worse the 1080p looks. This isn't some hidden fact. People have done comparisons between these shows since they started releasing them in 1080p. It's not just noticeable in screenshots, the difference is visible at a normal viewing distance. At best my point is to educate people to watch the 720p instead if they are going to buy these shows, at worst it's to show people that apple is being disingenuous about the quality of 1080p being better, and requiring you to buy a new apple tv to watch them. If you choose not to look at the facts or don't care that's fine, but it doesn't make it any less true.

spacepower7
Jun 22, 2013, 02:49 AM
It's not a rant. Myself and many others have watched hundreds of itunes shows in both 720p/1080p. The reason why the 1080p looks worse is because the bitrate is too low, it's as simple as that. The 1080p has over 2x as many pixels but only a 20% larger bitrate. It can't hold detail as well in motion. It breaks up. The more film grain there is the worse the 1080p looks. This isn't some hidden fact. People have done comparisons between these shows since they started releasing them in 1080p. It's not just noticeable in screenshots, the difference is visible at a normal viewing distance. At best my point is to educate people to watch the 720p instead if they are going to buy these shows, at worst it's to show people that apple is being disingenuous about the quality of 1080p being better, and requiring you to buy a new apple tv to watch them. If you choose not to look at the facts or don't care that's fine, but it doesn't make it any less true.

I'm not arguing if iTunes 1080p sucks, maybe it does? I'm arguing that your screenshots are not scientific proof. You screen shots assume all things being equal which neither you or I know.

You are posting screen shots as facts, science, assuming many factors.

I'm not arguing your opinion, I'm arguing against your assumptions and screen shots bc you can't back them up? Neither of us have all the technical details.

I really don't care if iTunes 1080p is good or not, you just haven't been willing to talk about science, facts, and math.

mrmarts
Jun 22, 2013, 03:31 AM
Since i own a macbook retina I have no means to play physical media on my PC. I chosen to go iTunes and have started my movie collection with 50 movies or so and some TV Shows. Now I am thinking about buying my first apple tv , however i have an av. setup. My question is will the apple tv be able connect to yamaha amplifier? (which has hdmi ins and outs), also will the sound and picture be comparable to blu ray. For instance do iTunes movies use codecs like Dolby HD.

mic j
Jun 22, 2013, 08:24 AM
Since i own a macbook retina I have no means to play physical media on my PC. I chosen to go iTunes and have started my movie collection with 50 movies or so and some TV Shows. Now I am thinking about buying my first apple tv , however i have an av. setup. My question is will the apple tv be able connect to yamaha amplifier? (which has hdmi ins and outs), also will the sound and picture be comparable to blu ray. For instance do iTunes movies use codecs like Dolby HD.
You will be able to connect. You will not have HD audio.

StinDaWg
Jun 24, 2013, 10:26 PM
I'm not arguing if iTunes 1080p sucks, maybe it does? I'm arguing that your screenshots are not scientific proof. You screen shots assume all things being equal which neither you or I know.

You are posting screen shots as facts, science, assuming many factors.

I'm not arguing your opinion, I'm arguing against your assumptions and screen shots bc you can't back them up? Neither of us have all the technical details.

I really don't care if iTunes 1080p is good or not, you just haven't been willing to talk about science, facts, and math.
How many screenshots do you need to see? There are about 50-60 posted in this thread showing that 720p has more detail. The (facts) are that the 1080p bitrate is only 20% larger with a million more pixels (math). These are native screenshots taken at the same frame. It even shows that in the top left corner of the picture. There's nothing else you need to know. Use your eyes.

spacepower7
Jun 25, 2013, 01:41 AM
How many screenshots do you need to see? There are about 50-60 posted in this thread showing that 720p has more detail. The (facts) are that the 1080p bitrate is only 20% larger with a million more pixels (math). These are native screenshots taken at the same frame. It even shows that in the top left corner of the picture. There's nothing else you need to know. Use your eyes.

Um you can post a million, but you will never prove your point. You have no scientific method. You can have an opinion but no without solid math/scientific facts, you can't support your opinion as a fact.

I'm not agreeing with you or disagreeing with you. I'm saying your argument is flawed and you should have never passed 6th grade science class.

You are arguing your opinion and I'm asking for facts, screen shots from different uncontrolled sources is your claim to proof?

StinDaWg
Jun 25, 2013, 04:15 PM
Um you can post a million, but you will never prove your point. You have no scientific method. You can have an opinion but no without solid math/scientific facts, you can't support your opinion as a fact.

I'm not agreeing with you or disagreeing with you. I'm saying your argument is flawed and you should have never passed 6th grade science class.

You are arguing your opinion and I'm asking for facts, screen shots from different uncontrolled sources is your claim to proof?
You're just arguing for arguing sake at this point. These are from the same frames of the same shows downloaded from the official itunes store released at the same time. I watch about 10-15 episodes a month and compare 720p to 1080p both paused and casually watching on the couch. The 720p looks better 99% of the time, with the exception of animation which is sharper in 1080p. All you need are your eyes to see the difference. Math and science have no weight in this argument. All of the variables are the same, I've already stated that several times.

Your statement is petty, asking for facts on something that can not be proven, and you know that. Fact:Barack Obama is the 44th President of the United States. It cannot be dis-proven. Video quality is subjective and will never be proven. You're basically arguing over nothing, and de-railing the entire topic of this thread. The comparisons have been posted for all to see. The information is freely available.

A few more
http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/21051
http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/23134
http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/23267
http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/26870/picture:3
http://www.screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/20368/picture:9
http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/8096/picture:1

spacepower7
Jun 26, 2013, 02:39 AM
You're just arguing for arguing sake at this point. These are from the same frames of the same shows downloaded from the official itunes store released at the same time. I watch about 10-15 episodes a month and compare 720p to 1080p both paused and casually watching on the couch. The 720p looks better 99% of the time, with the exception of animation which is sharper in 1080p. All you need are your eyes to see the difference. Math and science have no weight in this argument. All of the variables are the same, I've already stated that several times.

Your statement is petty, asking for facts on something that can not be proven, and you know that. Fact:Barack Obama is the 44th President of the United States. It cannot be dis-proven. Video quality is subjective and will never be proven. You're basically arguing over nothing, and de-railing the entire topic of this thread. The comparisons have been posted for all to see. The information is freely available.

A few more
http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/21051
http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/23134
http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/23267
http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/26870/picture:3
http://www.screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/20368/picture:9
http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/8096/picture:1

Hmm I'm petty for asking for facts? Are your screenshots links jpeg or tiff? How were they captured? What software? Did the the website you linked to optimize the jpegs in any way?

Again, I'm not arguing against your opinion, I'm arguing against your "so called" proof, actually the lack of proof.

If you want to state something as fact, please have all the facts and technical details to back it up. If you want to state something as opinion, then don't post silly screen shots as facts?

Since you like to argue, maybe you should go to law school?

Maybe at law school you'll learn the difference between facts and opinion?

The funny thing in our debate here is that I may agree with you 100%, but you have no facts to support your opinion.

Peace

StinDaWg
Jun 26, 2013, 04:00 PM
Hmm I'm petty for asking for facts? Are your screenshots links jpeg or tiff? How were they captured? What software? Did the the website you linked to optimize the jpegs in any way?

Again, I'm not arguing against your opinion, I'm arguing against your "so called" proof, actually the lack of proof.

The screenshots are uncompressed .png. Requiem was used to remove the DRM so the screenshots could be taken natively. 720p is upscaled using Spline36. screenshotcomparison.com doesn't alter the file in any way.

GarrettL1979
Jun 26, 2013, 08:24 PM
Just throwing this out there-- but I definitely agree the Apple's 1080p content looks better than its 720p. No contest!

StinDaWg
Jun 26, 2013, 09:10 PM
Just throwing this out there-- but I definitely agree the Apple's 1080p content looks better than its 720p. No contest!
Congratulations, you're legally blind. :apple:

GarrettL1979
Jun 26, 2013, 09:28 PM
Congratulations, you're legally blind. :apple:

Hah-- just messing with you.

StinDaWg
Jun 26, 2013, 09:53 PM
:p