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Old Mar 25, 2007, 04:30 PM   #1
rc86mike
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Exclamation Overall picture quality...

Hey all! Now that this little guy is out in your homes I'm curious: how many of you have ripped your own content and what's your rip settings and how do they actually look via HDMI? I'm curious how this guy reacts in the real world.

I'm curious because I've bee ripping my material at the following settings using Handbrake (in anticipation of my ATV):

MPEG-4
640x480
Average bitrate: 2000-2100

I'll be displaying on my TV at 1080i. Any thoughts of what this may translate to?

Thought it would neat to for everyone to post their success settings so we can rip accordingly. Thanks all!

Last edited by rc86mike; Mar 25, 2007 at 04:35 PM.
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Old Mar 25, 2007, 06:08 PM   #2
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Don't rip at such a low resolution... just keep it the same as the DVD.
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Old Mar 25, 2007, 07:40 PM   #3
rc86mike
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What would be better to rip at?
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Old Mar 25, 2007, 08:15 PM   #4
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The highest (or native DVD) resolution you can go. Especially if you're viewing it at 1080i.
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Old Mar 25, 2007, 08:18 PM   #5
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I just got back from the Apple store and tried out the ATV.

The interface it great but when I tested the video samples they were awful. Apple really needs to start selling HD video content, their standard resolution is just not good enough for HDTV, the videos were fuzy, like the old VHS tape quality.

I think the standard DVD resolution is 720◊480 but correct me if I'm wrong.
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Old Mar 25, 2007, 09:39 PM   #6
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Could they have been using old shows encoded in 320x240?

I've viewed a few different iTS TV shows encoded at 640x480 and it looked nothing like VHS. They were all MUCH sharper.
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Old Mar 25, 2007, 10:05 PM   #7
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Could they have been using old shows encoded in 320x240?
I don't think so, why would they showcase their latest product using low resolution video? I was looking at "The Incredibles" and "South Park", they just looked bad on the big screen TV's they had at the store (I think they were 40 inch) . I've downloaded movies from MS to my Xbox360 and they looked great with standard resolution on my 30-inch screen, I didn't download the HD videos.

The photos looked very good on ATV, much better resolution. If they don't fix the video resolution I'll never have a reason to get an ATV.
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Old Mar 25, 2007, 10:08 PM   #8
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IIRC, Apple reimages the computers on the floor regularly from a common image. If that image hasn't been updated to include higher-res iTunes Store content, then everything would 320x240.

The Incredibles is really old. I'd think that if they had newer content, they'd be using Cars or something like that.

I have a 50" plasma and watching the last few iTunes Store TV episodes of Jericho looked very, very good via the AppleTV.
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Old Mar 25, 2007, 10:29 PM   #9
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I can put this to rest; I work at an Apple retail store and helped build the ATV window this morning and yes; they are currently not at full resolution. What resolution it is we don't specifically know but the pictures you saw that look stunning are what ATV is capable of.
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Old Mar 25, 2007, 10:57 PM   #10
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I saw the content at an apple store at it looked terrible.

At home, it looked better. Not great, but acceptable.

I hope Apple kicks up the video and music quality in the iTunes store. After spending over $5,000 there in the past few years, I've all but stopped buying there until the quality gets better.
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Old Mar 26, 2007, 07:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erickkoch View Post
I just got back from the Apple store and tried out the ATV.

The interface it great but when I tested the video samples they were awful. Apple really needs to start selling HD video content, their standard resolution is just not good enough for HDTV, the videos were fuzy, like the old VHS tape quality.

I think the standard DVD resolution is 720◊480 but correct me if I'm wrong.

If you're Encoding Widescreen Stuff then 720 x whatever like 404 would be the res toy use, but 640x480 probably is the proper ratio for 4x3 material no? Because if you go to 740x480 isn't the Aspect ratio off, something about square pixel and displaying on a tv vs computer.
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Old Mar 26, 2007, 07:54 AM   #12
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I have to chime in on the Apple TV video quality. I was just at the Apple Store yesterday in the WestFarms Mall in Connecticut. They had three Apple TVs set up and I was able to check out two of them at different points during my visit to the store. I scrolled through several movies and TV shows that were on them. (The Incredibles, National Treasure, Battlestar Galactica, Avatar, etc.) I was really disappointed in the video quality. I'm not sure what resolution the demos were, but all of them looked blocky/blurry. Of course, I was standing only a few feet from the TV, but still, that's no excuse for that quality level.

I have been encoding some of my own DVDs using Handbrake/MediaFork at 640 X 4xx (depending on the aspect ratio), 1425 kbps, 2-pass, H.264(iPod). (I am using the 640 width so that these will also go on a video iPod.) The video looks quite good (very close to DVD quality) in full screen on my 20" iMac, so I'm thinking it would look a lot better than the demos in the Apple store, if I played them on a 32" LCD TV. BTW, the setting I am using is pretty much the same as what one would get from the iTunes Store.

Anyway, I would think that Apple would do better than this to sell the Apple TV. If the video quality I saw is the best it can do, many people will be disappointed and not buy them. I am hoping that for some reason they screwed up and put iPod quality videos on them (i.e. 320 X 2xx) and that is why they look so blocky/blurry when blown up on a large screen TV.
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Old Mar 26, 2007, 09:33 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erickkoch View Post
I don't think so, why would they showcase their latest product using low resolution video? I was looking at "The Incredibles" and "South Park", they just looked bad on the big screen TV's they had at the store (I think they were 40 inch) . I've downloaded movies from MS to my Xbox360 and they looked great with standard resolution on my 30-inch screen, I didn't download the HD videos.

The photos looked very good on ATV, much better resolution. If they don't fix the video resolution I'll never have a reason to get an ATV.
Agreed. I tried ATV this weekend and was unbelievably disappointed. It didn't look any better than hooking up my iBook to my HDTV. This thing is going the way of the Cube if they don't fix the res problem quick.
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Old Mar 26, 2007, 10:41 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erickkoch View Post
I think the standard DVD resolution is 720×480 but correct me if I'm wrong.
Correct but it also depends on the aspect ratio of the movie and the region (PAL is 720×576). Not all movies are 16:9 as some are 1.85:1 and 2.40:1 (or others)
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Old Mar 26, 2007, 01:48 PM   #15
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Agreed. I tried ATV this weekend and was unbelievably disappointed. It didn't look any better than hooking up my iBook to my HDTV. This thing is going the way of the Cube if they don't fix the res problem quick.
IMO, in regards to video resolution, garbabe in, garbage out.

Reboot an AppleTV and watch the 720p startup movie it plays. If you think that has resolution issues...

Why the Apple stores are demo'ing these with the 320x248 content is beyond me.
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Old Mar 26, 2007, 01:54 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by aristobrat View Post
IMO, in regards to video resolution, garbabe in, garbage out.

Reboot an AppleTV and watch the 720p startup movie it plays. If you think that has resolution issues...

Why the Apple stores are demo'ing these with the 320x248 content is beyond me.
I'm sure you're right. I guess the reason I would get one would be to play TV shows and such downloaded from iTunes. If that's what they're going to look like, forget it though.

Last edited by leekohler; Mar 26, 2007 at 02:39 PM.
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Old Mar 26, 2007, 05:00 PM   #17
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Let's give it time. TV has the chops, the content needs to catch up, and as we all know, there are greedy people who will put up a stink to delay as long as possible.
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Old Mar 27, 2007, 07:15 AM   #18
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I hooked up my ATV yesterday and was also dissappointed in the picture quality. I downloaded The Prestige frmo iTunes and felt like I was watching a poor quality pirated DVD.

Has anyone figured out an easy way to get home movies in iTunes?
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Old Mar 27, 2007, 07:23 AM   #19
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IMO, in regards to video resolution, garbabe in, garbage out.
Exactly. Download the new Spiderman trailer (720p) and watch it on Apple TV. It looks great.

I think it's safe to say that we will eventually see HD (720p) content at the ITMS. Until such time, it is what it is.
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Old Mar 27, 2007, 07:24 AM   #20
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Has anyone figured out an easy way to get home movies in iTunes?
Home movies as in movies you've made with your digital movie camera or home movies as in your private DVD collection?
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Old Mar 27, 2007, 07:43 AM   #21
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Home movies as in movies you've made with your digital movie camera or home movies as in your private DVD collection?
Movies made with my home video camera.
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Old Mar 27, 2007, 07:50 AM   #22
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Movies made with my home video camera.
iTunes>File>Import then navigate to where your movie is on your HD.
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Old Mar 27, 2007, 07:54 AM   #23
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I just converted a Family Guy cartoon from divx to x264 with a 5.5g ipod profile @ 187MB (think it was around 1100kb stream) and was quite pleased with the results.

Couldn't see any macroblocking etc on my 42 inch plasma (even up close!). Apple needs to update their store :-/
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Old Mar 27, 2007, 08:04 AM   #24
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I ripped a DVD with Handbrake at 50%" Constant quality" then converted it to Apple TV format with QT Pro. I wasn't completely happy with the results.

Right now I am re-ripping the movie at 100% "Constant quality". It will be interesting to see the results......
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Old Mar 27, 2007, 08:11 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skinnylegs View Post
I ripped a DVD with Handbrake at 50%" Constant quality" then converted it to Apple TV format with QT Pro. I wasn't completely happy with the results.

Right now I am re-ripping the movie at 100% "Constant quality". It will be interesting to see the results......
You should do dvd's at 1500~3000 KB ... I usually do them at 2500 but it varies (as animation can go lower w/o losing quality).

Make sure de-interlace is checked as well as 2-pass.
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