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Old Jan 25, 2013, 02:45 PM   #76
Irishman
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Originally Posted by StinDaWg View Post
Feel free to read the entire thread.



http://www.avsforum.com/t/967966/108...#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?
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 03:34 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by Irishman View Post
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).

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishman View Post
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?
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 05:25 PM   #78
Irishman
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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?
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 05:36 PM   #79
Menneisyys2
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Originally Posted by Irishman View Post
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.

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Originally Posted by Irishman View Post
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/th...u-ray-rankings ) lists those releases (except for the remastered ones, which are either Silver or Gold) in the worst, Copper and Coal tiers.
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 05:58 PM   #80
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Ugh!!

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.

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Old Jan 25, 2013, 06:14 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by Irishman View Post
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.
Quote:
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/telev...king-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.
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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-B...y/3747/#Review

Quote:
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

----------

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Originally Posted by TrentS View Post
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.
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 06:16 PM   #82
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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.
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 06:20 PM   #83
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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.
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 06:51 PM   #84
StinDaWg
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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.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 04:17 AM   #85
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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"
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 08:51 AM   #86
Irishman
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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!
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 05:44 AM   #87
StinDaWg
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The Walking Dead 720p vs. 1080p

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

There is almost no detail in the 1080p compared to the 720p.
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 08:57 AM   #88
Irishman
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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-...du-and-blu-ray
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 11:41 PM   #89
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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.

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Old Feb 21, 2013, 04:30 AM   #90
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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.

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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-...du-and-blu-ray
Might want to read this...

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1458077/a-...#post_22983623
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Old Feb 21, 2013, 05:19 AM   #91
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Why no 3D

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.
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 07:00 PM   #92
DP812
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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.
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 07:03 PM   #93
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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.
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 07:05 PM   #94
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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.
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 07:09 PM   #95
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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...)
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 07:11 PM   #96
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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.
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Old Feb 25, 2013, 03:52 AM   #97
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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/comp...8096/picture:1
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Old Feb 25, 2013, 06:04 AM   #98
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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/comp...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
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Old Feb 25, 2013, 03:57 PM   #99
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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.
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Old Mar 2, 2013, 12:43 PM   #100
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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.
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