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View Full Version : TV Video Quality; Apple TV versus iPod 5.5G




mark-itguy
Mar 22, 2007, 12:41 PM
Rather than debate on the viability of the Apple TV, or looking at pictures of the packing material, :) , I have to ask about a specific video quality concern to decide if I will be ordering an Apple TV or not.

I have my favorite DVD's and encoded them in H.264, at 640x480, with a bitrate of 1500. Likewise I have many new iTunes Store purchased TV Shows, in the same format. I often plug my iPod 5.5G into my TV with the AV cable set and watch them on my TV. While the quality is good, [an improvment over the initial H.264 320x240 768k spec], it is not great.

So my question is, will these same videos look any better on my TV when watched from an Apple TV, due to the more powerful processor in the Apple TV, [or for any other reason]? I realize the Apple TV can handle even higher specs, but I have a lot of content already, and sure would hope that somehow it will look better on my TV while playing from an Apple TV, versus playing from an iPod 5.5G.

Does anyone know, or have any speculation?

Thanks!



killmoms
Mar 22, 2007, 12:59 PM
I'd imagine (especially if you have an HDTV) that it'd look better just by virtue of being fed by component/HDMI, both of which are progressive, instead of the S-video/composite out on an iPod.

EDIT: I felt I should point out that that is just conjecture. I don't own either product so I can't give you a definitive answer, just my speculation based on personal experience with other devices feeding HDTVs via different signal paths.

mark-itguy
Mar 22, 2007, 01:09 PM
[QUOTE=killmoms;3469945]I'd imagine (especially if you have an HDTV) that it'd look better just by virtue of being fed by component/HDMI, both of which are progressive, instead of the S-video/composite out on an iPod.
QUOTE]

Thanks; I had wondered about that factor. But then there is that rule of thumb that video is only as good as its original source, which is why you can't improve a worn out VHS tape playback quality even through a S-Video cable...

I guess we'll have to wait until somebody has a chance to test it. The thing is, [and I do not wish to re-hash the debate of the value of the Apple TV!], if the quality is the same, then in essence, I already have an Apple TV, less the remote control and on screen controls. I know the Apple TV still does some other things like being able to keep the content on it's own hard drive, but that may not be worth the $299 to me, or at least not until I bought some movies with the higher specs...

killmoms
Mar 22, 2007, 01:17 PM
I know the Apple TV still does some other things like being able to keep the content on it's own hard drive, but that may not be worth the $299 to me, or at least not until I bought some movies with the higher specs...

Or encode your own with higher specs/bitrate specifically for your Apple TV (i.e. H.264 Main Profile instead of Baseline - Low Complexity, little higher res and bitrate all make a world of difference).

mark-itguy
Mar 22, 2007, 01:29 PM
Or encode your own with higher specs/bitrate specifically for your Apple TV (i.e. H.264 Main Profile instead of Baseline - Low Complexity, little higher res and bitrate all make a world of difference).

Ohhh I wish you wouldn't have said that!! :)

That begs the question of what software to use to do that!!

If I were able to re-encode my own video, then all I'd have at the "lessor" bitrates would be purchsed TV Shows, and I guess it's more OK for a TV show to be a bit grainy, versus a full lengh feature film...

Joking aside, if anyone has found any software to encode at the higher specs the Apple TV supports, pls. advise! [I know the iPod would not play them].

killmoms
Mar 22, 2007, 01:42 PM
I'd suggest MediaFork (soon to be HandBrake again, once the new version comes out) for ripping stuff from your own DVDs. I'm not sure of the exact specs supported by the AppleTV (I'm sure there will be threads on it soon enough, as people begin hooking theirs up and playing around). I'm at work at the moment so I can't give you any guidance on the settings, maybe once I get home I can look. Or some other enterprising member of MRF might be able to assist you *ahem ahem*. ;)

As an aside, I kinda want to decrypt a couple of my HD DVDs in Windows and re-encode to 1280 x 720 H.264, just to see how it'd look on an AppleTV (not that I have one).