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HD Movies on ATV2

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by OW22, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. macrumors regular

    Very quick question. I've bought a few HD movies and am thinking of buying Wall-E in HD. But is there really a difference? I mean a noticeable difference? My TV is a 42 inch. It's only 3 Euro more for the HD version, but just wondering d other people really see a noticeable difference?
  2. macrumors 68000

  3. macrumors 68040

    Something else to consider...

    While you may not be able to tell the difference on your 42" TV, you may in the future own a TV larger than 42" at which point you will notice a difference. Unless you don't plan on watching the movie again or ever getting a larger TV, I'd suggest spending the 3 extra Euro.
  4. OW22, Nov 16, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2011

    macrumors regular

    Thanks guys. Some good advice there, good point about future proofing, TV's don't last for years anymore and changing to bigger, better TV's will suit higher definition movies.

    Looking forward to seeing Wall-E on HD, I got the Lion King on HD the other day on iTunes and the sharpness and colours are amazing.

    Now here's a question for you......

    Would there be a huge difference between those iTunes HD movies at 720p and watching them on Blu Ray?

    We're talking a 42in TV here and sitting about 8 feet away from the TV. I've wondered about HD being any good for animation in particular, like Disney Classic movies or the Pixa stuff. Does HD make a bigger difference to normal live action movies?

    I like the idea of going Blu Ray but am unsure exactly how good the quality would be over SD stuff and especially the iTunes HD movies. I've been reading up on the web, trying to get information.
  5. macrumors member


    There is most definitely a difference between iTunes SD and HD. To me iTunes SD is a little worse than DVD. Not worth your money. Handbrakes of my DVD's look better than the iTunes SD. I am happy with iTunes HD. Yes, it is only 720p, but in general it looks really good. I don't do BlueRay. I am done buying/storing then re-buying and storing the physical media. But don't be fooled. BlueRay looks amazing. It IS better than iTunes HD. If you must have the absolute best then BlueRay, but being that we are this far into BlueRay and you still don't have it I would say that isn't you. You will be more than happy with the iTunes HD.

    For Me
    The Pro's of BR: Movies like you have never seen them.
    The Con's of BR: One more disc to store

    iTunes HD Pro's: Looks really good. Depending on movie sometimes almost BR quality. Don't have to store discs. Movie plays on all my devices.
    iTunes HD Con's: For 720p a little expensive compared to 1080p BR and you usually get no Features Menu or Sound Options. I also don't like the idea that eventually when iTunes upgrades to 1080p I will probably have to pay several dollars to "Upgrade" like I did when Apple phased in iTunes Plus.

    This is a good comparison link:

  6. macrumors 68000

    You will be much happier with the quality of the HD movies from iTunes vs the SD versions.

    I too, have a 42" TV I watch from approximately 8 feet away and there is a clearly noticable difference in quality between SD and HD from iTunes.

    The difference between Blu Ray and ATV HD is negligible on my set in my opinion. If you get closer and focus on certain details, I'm sure you would notice the 1080p (BR) version is sharper, but for generally viewing it's the same to me.
  7. macrumors regular

    Thanks for the replies. Interesting stuff.

    I have bought a number of titles in SD on iTunes and it's fine for rentals. But I got my first HD movie, bought the Lion King and the quality was really very impressive. The colours really popped and it was so sharp and clear. Highly recommended by the way for any Disney fan. Wall-E I expect, will look very impressive in HD as well.

    The cons of going Blu-ray are definitely having more discs to store alright. I've taken time with my ATV2 to handbrake all my DVD's and have built up a great library on my Mac and the benefits as well of slotting those movies into my iPad when travelling can't be overstated. It would kill me to start all over again collecting movies! But then again, I am aware of the quality of Blu-ray and it is indeed highly impressive. I suppose the issue is, would Blu-ray offer substantial improvements over iTunes HD on my TV to warrant getting a Blu-ray player and paying to re-start a movie collection again without having the convenience of ATV and homesharing....I don't think it would to be honest.
  8. macrumors regular

    HD movies from iTunes are rent only though eh?
  9. macrumors regular

    No, available to buy. Lion King and Wall-E are €16.99 to buy off iTunes here. All the other Pixar stuff available in HD as well.
  10. macrumors 68040

    Don't let this be a deterrent if you are considering blu-ray. While you can't easily play native blu-ray disks on your Mac, they can be ripped/encoded just like DVDs (MakeMKV to rip and Handbrake to encode). I personally have gone this route in lieu of iTunes movies for a few reasons:

    1). I don't like the limitations iTunes DRM. I watch my media in the main living room through PLEX on a Mac Mini and iTunes DRM doesn't play nice with PLEX. And while I'm using only Apple devices right now, if I ever get a non-Apple device, I won't be able to play any of this content.

    2). We watch our media at various resolutions on various device (1080p on main TV all the way down to 480x320 on old iPod Touches) so having the blu-ray offers me the flexibility to have whatever format I need.

    Yes, it's a little more work but no more than doing the same to DVDs and considering how fast my new Mini Server completes these encoding jobs, totally worth having the extra flexibility.
  11. macrumors 603


    I watched Wall-E on the Cinemagic HD channel (which is probably closer to iTunes HD quality than Bluray would be) and it was gorgeous. Pixar's films would have a lot more fine detail/texture which is visible in HD, than old-style animation would have, and so do benefit greatly from being watched in HD. You do tend to get used to it, but you really notice it whenever you switch back from watching HD to SD films.

    I'd still baulk at spending 17 yoyos on most movies though. It strikes me as very poor value in comparison to a 99 cent song (or 35 cent from eMusic) which I'd play dozens of times; or a even a 45 euro console game which I might get 100 hours of play from.
  12. macrumors regular


    You're not helping me here.......!! I'm trying to convince myself I don't need to go Blu-ray.....:p

    But I know I probably will as I love the quality from what I've seen on Blu-ray and of course the sounds as well, can't forget that.
  13. macrumors 68000

    Another option for you is the Roku 2 which does display 1080p material. I also have that beside my ATV2. If you have netflix and high speed internet, the difference between 1080p netflix streaming on the Roku 2 and the 720p streaming on the ATV2 is quite noticeable. Still not blu ray quality, but better than the ATV2. Plus the ROKU has a stunning 1080p channel that only shows 1080p material. I have both because they fill my viewing niches.
  14. macrumors regular

    The price wasn't an issue for me with this as I have 250 Euro in iTunes vouchers to use up! I would probably think twice about paying that myself unless it was something I really, really wanted to own. Wall-E is definitely a film I'll get on HD as well.

    Now of course there's more and more Blu-ray 3D movies coming out....will this ever end?!
  15. macrumors regular

    The business model is such that it can't end. Hardware, software, and content providers have to keep providing new things for consumers to buy. Of couse, they need to market those items, to convince people that they "need" something perceived as better.

    In the "old days," when a technology generation was a decade or more people purchased things like stereos, phones, and televisions. They lasted for years. Many were actually worth having fixed when they broke.

    New tech has made that model a thing of the distant past.

    If you're a hardware vendor and you make displays, you want to be able to take your technology, make modest changes to it, but market it as the next "must have."

    Similarly, if you have a library of movies, re-releasing them with higher def, enhanced audio, or 3D is a way to capitalize on your investment. When a Hollywood studio budgets for a movie, they look at all the markets: First run in theaters, DVD, BR, cable, network, airlines, etc. Eventually, the market starts to dry up for that investment. The next thing is to re-release it in 3D in all those same markets. When you add all the mobile devices into the mix and how much additional revenue is possible from all of these sources, you can understand why spending many millions of dollars to initially market a film is just part of the investment.

    Then you throw in the sequels to a built-in market and that initial $100 or $200 million doesn't seem as insane as it might have.

    So, the answer to your question "will this ever end?" is "no." :)
  16. macrumors 603


    Wow. I'd never heard of the Roku 2 before; if I had I might have opted for that over the ATV. Similar price, 1080p support, ability to add a USB hard drive, better remote, games (on the Roku 2 XS). Is it a US only product though?

    Wall-E is a film I've seen several times, one of the few I'd have no problem paying 17 euros or more for.

    I know what you mean about the never-ending upgrading of the content. VHS -> DVD/SD -> 720p -> 1080p -> 3D -> ??? It was a very nice surprise to hear the PS3 could be upgraded to support 3D Blurays with a firmware upgrade, no new hardware purchase required!
  17. macrumors regular

    Of course, they already have Ultra HD ready to go now which is 4000p......:rolleyes: and already have the technology to go to 8K!!

    Have to give these tech companies and the studios credit, it's a business model that just keeps on giving and they'll always have customers ready to buy! Disney is a great example of this. Classic movies go to VHS, then special edition VHS, then DVD, Then Diamond editions, Platinum editions then on to Blu-ray then to Blu-ray 3D and so it continues...:confused:
  18. macrumors 68030

    But then again, just about every single Disney movie is so darn good, it's worth re-buying them :) I wish you could say that for even a tenth of the movies that are being pushed out today...

    It's not like every movie back in the days were Casablanca's or 12 angry men's, but there seem to be fewer of them being made today...
  19. macrumors regular


    That's my feeling on it. I'm a big fan of the classic Disney films. They're little materpieces of the art of animation and Disney have been great in getting their movies out in these formats and going through the whole effort of remastering the movies. Of course they make a lot of money doing it, but it's a product people clearly want and the films look magnificent is remastered high definition....I saw what they did with Pinocchio on Blu-ray on a friends system and it's amazing.
  20. DustinT, Nov 17, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2011

    macrumors 68000


    I agree. I have a bluray player, and Apple TV 2 and a Roku HD. The Apple TV and the Roku are fine for most uses. I watch a lot of TV on them and some movie rips and they look fine. But, then there's bluray....

    Bluray delivers a bitrate that can exceed 50 mpbs of video and sound. It is an incomparable system to the Apple TV or the Roku. Their downloaded movies and tv shows max out well under 10 mbps, roughly 6-8 mbps on average, in my experience. Now, that's enough for a decent HD movie and a stripped down 5.1 sound experience. But, there is a tremendous amount of details lost in both the sound and the video to reach the instant playback target the streaming systems are optimized for.

    I will say that I've got a better than average home theater system with a Nad t747 av receiver, Infinity Primus floor standing speakers and a 10" powered subwoofer. So, the increased quality in the sound going from 2.0 stereo to a DVD is apparent. Going from that to the lossless audio in the Bluray rips is a real treat and makes my system just come alive. The streaming players have decent sound but never enough to make me want to really crank it up like I do my blurays.

    Now, like the post I quoted suggested, buy the blurays, rip them and store the uncompressed rips on a large storage array. Then you can downmix from the highest possible content you have access to on any marketplace. Oh, and lest I forget, there's an ample market for used bluray movies. You may find that your total cost is actually lower than buying them from iTunes once you've sold the movie on the used market.
  21. macrumors regular


    Good post. I take it that going Blu-ray is really pointless unless you invest in a really top quality sound system as well? And to take max advantage of it, we're talking 7:1? Ripping the discs will take up a lot of room. What are we looking at per movie, 25 GB?

    No two ways about it, we're talking about making a solid investment to make the most out of it. Blu-ray player (cheap enough now), the movies, the sound system and another HD for storage. I've no issue with this, if you love movies then you can get years of enjoyment out of it. But it's something to take into account.
  22. macrumors regular

    Can anyone suggest a really good Blu-Ray writer/burner/drive for aiding me in ripping my Blu-Ray collection onto the iMac?

    I assume MakeMKV is the software I need to burn them onto the iMac?

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