Improved H.264 Compression Holds Down File Sizes on 1080p iTunes Store Content

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Ars Technica takes a look at the new 1080p content available on the iTunes Store, showing how a "High" compression profile for H.264-encoded content on the iPhone 4S and new iPad and Apple TV are minimizing the increase in file size needed to move from 720p to 1080p.


    Comparison of 720p (left) and 1080p (right) video quality in iTunes Store content
    In a survey of several titles now available in 1080p on the iTunes Store, the report found that file sizes generally increased by 15-25% over their respective 720p versions, despite the number of pixels more than doubling to reach the higher standard.
    The report also offers a comparison of video quality between the 720p and 1080p formats on the iTunes Store, noting that the increase in image quality for 1080p content is minor in many cases, but more significant in brighter scenes.

    Article Link: Improved H.264 Compression Holds Down File Sizes on 1080p iTunes Store Content
  2. studentmac macrumors regular

    Jul 1, 2007
    Bedfordshire, UK
  3. tazinlwfl macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2008
    Not bad. There is some definite improvement there. I just wish they would bump it up across the board to 5.0

    At least 4.1 on the ATV.
  4. Lilscoy22 macrumors newbie

    May 15, 2009
    Haha! Came to post this, but you beat me to it! Nice!
  5. theMaccer macrumors 6502a


    Oct 7, 2006
  6. SB27 macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2008
    The Hidden Side of Apple Value

    The press mainly focuses on the hardware, sales figures, etc. What people miss about the value that Apple is delivering to customers can be found in this story. At every turn and in every nook and cranny of the Apple ecosytem, their engineers are finding ways to deliver better bang for the buck. Video compression is just one of thousands of ways that Apple thinks completely differently about the user experience than anyone else. This is why they are a $500B company.

    I was also struck while watching the keynote for the iPad by the amount of energy and focus put into iLife and iWork. That stuff is simply amazing for only $4.99 a copy (and with mostly free upgrades).

    Yes, we are trapped in a closed Apple ecosytem. I like to think of myself as "happily trapped" given the sheer amount of energy, dollars, focus and excellence being delivered in every aspect of their ecosystem.

    I will put the pom-poms down now, but this story prompted a visceral reaction and I felt it was worth noting.
  7. kolax macrumors G3


    Mar 20, 2007
    Looks like the sharpness is increased - I don't see any better clarity. Colour is more saturated which I guess is a good thing.
  8. CZSZSZ macrumors member

    Jan 27, 2010
    Comparison should be between how and high compression of 1080p format, to be meaningful.
  9. luke.mac1 macrumors member

    Jun 1, 2011
    United Kingdom
    So what they're saying is that the difference between 720p and 1080p in the iTunes store is almost negligible? I mean you can see the difference there on the scaled up image, but I imagine you can't really see it on a small screen. Maybe it will be better on a 27" imac or 50" HDTV.
    I still think they should offer a larger, higher quality file size for people who wish to download it... maybe something to select in the preferences section of iTunes...
  10. bedifferent, Mar 9, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 9, 2012

    bedifferent macrumors 603


    Jan 8, 2009
    I downloaded 1080P versions of my movies from iTunes and played them on my system (have a 1st gen aTV with a Crystal HD card for 1080P/DTS content on my 60" Pioneer Elite). Truthfully, I saw little difference between the 1080P and 720P iTunes versions, yet a major difference between my 1080P handbraked encodes and direct Blu-Ray movies.

    Again, let me reiterate as some have misread my comment. My first gen Apple TV is hacked, using an after market Crystal HD video card in place of the WiFi card in order to play my 1080P DTS mkv's, without it the unit simply crashes. :)
  11. MonkeySee.... macrumors 68040


    Sep 24, 2010
    You legend. :D
  12. bacaramac macrumors 65816


    Dec 29, 2007
    Ha, I was wondering how they were doing this. Glad to see the file size didn't jump too much as I plan to re-download my good HD movies in 1080P.
  13. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    How can you tell if something is in 1080p on the store or not? I haven't seen anything that differentiates between 720 and 1080.
  14. swarmster macrumors 6502a


    Jun 1, 2004
    You can click through for another comparison with "brighter scenes" referenced in the article.


  15. Lordskelic macrumors regular


    Nov 3, 2010
    I think soon it will all be 1080.
  16. MacSince1990 macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2009
    Howwwwwwwwward! The compression's ready!


    hah damn beat me to it
  17. illitrate23 macrumors 6502


    Jun 11, 2004
    must go to the eye doctors - i can't really see any difference in clarity between the pictures. possibly the colour is better on the right one?

    still, i guess at least i can feed good about sticking with my AppleTV2 for the time being then :)
  18. Deadman64 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 2, 2008
    I think that would be a good comparison.

    1080P iTunes/Apple TV vs. a 1080P Blu-Ray.
  19. you people smh macrumors regular

    Oct 20, 2011
    Yay! Improved H.264 compression!!!!!!

    Bestest most smartest company EVER!!!!11
  20. Navdakilla macrumors 65816

    Feb 3, 2011
  21. steve-p macrumors 68000


    Oct 14, 2008
    Newbury, UK
    ROFL. They picked my favourite show for the example :)
  22. iBug2 macrumors 68040

    Jun 12, 2005
    It's a minor improvement as I have compared around 20 tv episodes of various shows yesterday.

    But I'd still prefer 1080p in any case. As long as it doesn't get "worse" while it's going sharper, higher res is better. And I haven't found considerably more artifacts on 1080p rips so far.
  23. 11thIndian, Mar 9, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2012

    11thIndian macrumors regular

    Oct 5, 2007
    Hamilton, Ontario
    It has to be both those things. Knowing the compression is interesting, but ultimately it's all about the image in motion. Even stills give a skewed sense of quality. The only way to get a great still is to have basically no compression.
  24. nuckinfutz macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2002
    Middle Earth
    The text on the bottle. The color looks the same but the text and other fine detail will be better often on 1080
  25. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2006
    I wonder why they only support 4.0 on the new Apple TV given it's using the Apple A5 albeit single core? H.264 decoding on SoCs is done by a dedicated video decoder unit so less CPU or GPU cores shouldn't be the determining factor.

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