No 1080p output at all?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by steve-p, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. macrumors 68000

    steve-p

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    Newbury, UK
    #1
    OK, so it seems that Apple has decided that I don't need 1080p video. They are half right, since I don't currently use my first generation Apple TV for video, only lossless music and pictures. However, on the first generation Apple TV you can set the output to 1080p, even if it's incapable of playing video at that resolution (I assume).

    The reason I do that is for pictures. I like viewing my travel photos at 1920x1080 on a 50" plasma TV. I wouldn't want to be doing that at only 1280x720. The loss of detail would be unacceptable. As would the fact that the dimensions differ from the native resolution of the TV (which would also be a problem with video since the TV would have to be upscaling all the time to fit the panel). So I was wondering if anyone has seen anything (yet) to indicate that the new Apple TV can be set to 1080p output at all, or if it's permanently 720i/p.
     
  2. macrumors 601

    jaw04005

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    AR
    #2
    We won't know for sure until the device ships. However, most news outlets don't seem to know the difference between being able to play back 1080p content and outputting (upscaling to) 1080p. I haven't seen any footage of the settings menu.

    I bet it keeps the same 1080p output capabilities as the first generation.

    I don't know though. The old Apple TV's spec page listed:

    "Compatible with enhanced-definition or high-definition widescreen TVs capable of 1080p/1080i 60/50Hz, 720p 60/50Hz, 576p 50Hz (PAL format), or 480p 60Hz, including popular models from these manufacturers: HP, Hitachi, JVC, LG, Mitsubishi, NEC, Olevia, Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer, Polaroid, Samsung, Sony, Sharp, Toshiba, Vizio, Westinghouse"

    The new Apple TV spec page lists:

    "Compatible with high-definition TVs with HDMI and capable of 720p 60/50Hz,2 including popular models from these manufacturers: Hitachi, JVC, LG, Mitsubishi, NEC, Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer, Samsung, Sony, Sharp, Toshiba, Vizio, Westinghouse"
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 68000

    steve-p

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    Newbury, UK
    #3
    I saw that spec page as well, which is not very encouraging. I hope there are some first generation Apple TVs on eBay soon, as the UK Apple store is sold out and I want to buy another one.
     
  4. Moderator emeritus

    Hellhammer

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
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    Finland
    #4
  5. thread starter macrumors 68000

    steve-p

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    Newbury, UK
    #5
    Thanks, there's some nearly new ones listed at the moment on eBay so I'll grab one now.
     
  6. 4np
    macrumors 6502a

    4np

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #6
    From that refurbished page mentioned earlier I quote:

    In addition, on the XBMC on Apple TV wiki it says:

    So it seems like (the previous model) Apple TV will not play your 1080p mkv files, except if you install the Broadcom Crystal HD card (also available for Mac Mini). So yeah, it can output 1080p but it's not powerful enough to playback 1080p mkv files so in the end you end up with a stuttering 1080p movie...
     
  7. macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #7
    Yes, 1080i is not 1080p. But more to the point, 720P is good enough for most people. For true videophiles, even 1080P isn't good enough. 4K cinema resolution is where it's at. But honestly, there is no difference between 720P and 1080P. You get more pixels but you can't tell the difference sitting 5+ ft away. If I showed you two clips, one 720P and one 1080P, you probably can't tell the difference unless you look really close.
     
  8. macrumors 68040

    bruinsrme

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    #8
    I would disagree with the 720p vs 1080p.
    If your set is calibrated, whether basic or professionally you'll notice a difference, IF, the production of the material is produced to the highest standard.
    Equipment determines how much of a difference you'll notice.
    720p is sufficient for most.
    Retina display is a great example, if the software isn't developed to support it, it will most likely not look any better than a 3GS would display it at.
    720p will bring you a lot if enjoyment.
     
  9. 4np
    macrumors 6502a

    4np

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #9
    Well, I have a Mac Mini + XMBC connected over DVI -> HDMI to my Philips 46" PFL9704. As the Mac Mini (without the broadcom extension card) cannot properly handle 1080p mkv files I generally only get 720p's (and as less XviD as possible) and it looks really good. 1080p looks a tiny bit better, but also is a huge increase in filesize. I'm sure people would be unable to tell if I was showing them 720p or 1080p... For now, I'm very happy with the way 720p looks... Perhaps when I decide to swap my Airport Extreme card for a Broadcom Crystal HD card (and storage has gotten cheaper again) I'll switch to 1080p instead ;)
     
  10. macrumors 601

    jaw04005

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    AR
    #10
    Back to the actual thread topic, the lack of 1080p output is sort of a big deal. The old Apple TV was actually rendering your photos, album artwork, movie artwork and menus in 1080p and upscaling your videos to 1080p.

    If the new Apple TV removes that support, you're talking 720p output only. Your 1080p TV will be upscaling everything including menus and fonts.
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    GreatDrok

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #11
    Most of the 1080p encodes I see out there (you know where) are only 4 to 5Mbps which is barely sufficient. I do all my 720p encodes at 5Mbps since less results in a noticeable softening of fine detail so a 1080p image at the same bit rate isn't likely to appear any sharper than a 720p at the same rate despite there being more pixels and is quite likely to look significantly worse. Sure, a 20GB 1080p file is going to look great, but a 4GB one? Hmmm, I'll stick with my 5GB 720p files thanks.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors 68000

    steve-p

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    Newbury, UK
    #12
    I can tell the difference, otherwise I would not have started the thread. It's probably true that most people can't, or even if they can, don't care. After all, people were still using crappy VHS long after DVDs came along. However Apple's new focus on "good enough for most people" rather than high quality does not bode well for future products. But I was not talking about video anyway. I was talking about pictures where you don't expect to be throwing away detail on a 50" screen which you may view from closer than video, and where detail is crucial. It was previously a rather good medium for viewing photos shot with a prosumer DSLR and post-processed in Aperture. At 1280x720, it would not be.
     

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