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Old May 26, 2012, 11:02 AM   #1
roidy
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Apples 1080p content sucks

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.

Click image for larger version

Name:	image1.jpg
Views:	974
Size:	1.36 MB
ID:	340868
Click image for larger version

Name:	image2.jpg
Views:	635
Size:	1.34 MB
ID:	340869

Uncompressed png versions in a zip file.

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.

Last edited by roidy; May 27, 2012 at 06:10 AM. Reason: Posted compressed images and moved original uncompressed to a fileshare site
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Old May 26, 2012, 11:09 AM   #2
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Maybe is just the TV show source, does it look better in 720 or worse?
Try another series that you know is in HD?
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Old May 26, 2012, 11:13 AM   #3
roidy
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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
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Old May 26, 2012, 11:22 AM   #4
mic j
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roidy View Post
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
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.
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Old May 26, 2012, 11:28 AM   #5
roidy
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You don't need to compare them to anything to see they're crap quality encodes 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.
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Old May 26, 2012, 11:42 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by roidy View Post
You don't need to compare them to anything to see they're crap quality encodes 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.
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Old May 26, 2012, 01:00 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by roidy View Post
You don't need to compare them to anything to see they're crap quality encodes 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.
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Old Oct 20, 2012, 03:05 AM   #8
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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.
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Old Oct 20, 2012, 03:08 AM   #9
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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.
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Old Oct 20, 2012, 06:32 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by orestes1984 View Post
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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".

Last edited by roidy; Oct 20, 2012 at 06:41 AM.
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Old Oct 20, 2012, 07:18 AM   #11
orestes1984
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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

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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
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Old Oct 20, 2012, 09:12 AM   #12
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Heavy handed DNR.

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.
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Old Oct 20, 2012, 08:59 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by orestes1984 View Post
And there's more than plenty of crappy master sources and crappy quality Blu-Ray discs out 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
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.

Last edited by StinDaWg; Oct 20, 2012 at 09:08 PM.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 07:16 PM   #14
Irishman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roidy View Post
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.

Attachment 340868
Attachment 340869

Uncompressed png versions in a zip file.

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.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 07:28 PM   #15
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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.
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 02:05 AM   #16
StinDaWg
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Originally Posted by Irishman View Post
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?

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by dynaflash View Post
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.
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 07:45 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by StinDaWg View Post
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.
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 08:12 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Irishman View Post
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.

Last edited by StinDaWg; Jan 24, 2013 at 09:04 PM.
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 09:26 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by StinDaWg View Post
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?
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Old Jun 19, 2013, 02:35 AM   #20
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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
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