1080p? Keep AppleTV or sell?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by miTunes75, Mar 9, 2010.

  1. miTunes75 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 29, 2006
    #1
    I have some issues before I spend money and am not sure where to go with it. I'm going to purchase my first HD TV 1080p next month. I currently have an appleTV that I use on my wonderful 480i TV set (hahaha). I have always been happy with the appleTV. However, I'm thinking that if I am going to be purchasing a HD TV, then all movies that I want to purchase should be in HD. Now, I am aware that appleTV has a cap of 720p resolution output. I'd be watching this on a 1080p tv set. Will I be able to tell the difference? I have this nagging thought that I just need to buy everything on bluray and get rid of appleTV because why watch something in lower quality when I can watch 1080p which my TV is capable of.

    I know I must have a screw loose in my thinking somewhere....someone please guide me into reality.

    Please offer thoughts/feedback.

    Thanks a lot, guys
     
  2. jlasoon macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #2
    The following images are uncompressed 720p stills. These are the max settings compressor allows for the :apple:TV to run smoothly. The original sources are both 1080p BluRay. What you see, is what you get. 720p Apple Style.


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  3. roidy macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 30, 2008
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #3
    You'll probably get a few different opinions on this. But it boils down to two main things, what size TV are you getting? and how close do you sit to it?

    I have a 32" 1080p TV and a 37" 1080p TV with both a Blu-ray player and a ATV so I've watched content in both 1080p and 720p on both TV's and while you can definitely see a difference betwen 1080p and 720p it's not that greater a difference that I would ditch my ATV just because its only 720p. Now once you start watching on bigger and bigger screens then there will come a point when the difference is going to be very noticable. So it's going to boils down to personal preference, as you've been using the ATV at 480i then even the jump upto 720p is going to be a big improvment for you. Then theres also the question of how much content you already have for your ATV and should you get rid of the ATV then how are you gonna play it?
     
  4. jaw04005 macrumors 601

    jaw04005

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    AR
    #4
    Sigh.

    The Apple TV upscales to 1080p. It has no such output cap. It just can’t playback video above 720p@25 FPS at 5 Mbps.

    Even if Apple offered 1080p video it would be at a lower bit rate than 1080p Blu-ray. It’ll look fine.
     
  5. roidy macrumors 6502a

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    Nottingham, UK
    #5
    It's no good showing the OP the 720p versions without also showing him the 1080p versions for comparison as he has no point of reference. To show a fair comparison he would need to see a 1080 version and a 720 version scaled up to the same size.
     
  6. roidy macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Yes the ATV can scale upto 1080p, but 720p video is still 720p video regardless of the scaled output size.
     
  7. jlasoon macrumors 6502

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    Jun 1, 2006
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #7
    He can do whatever he wants with the images. I was simply offering a preview of what to expect from :apple: as it pertains to 720p material. These pictures offer a glimpse of the max settings available for the :apple:TV. Should I post file size comparisons as-well?
     
  8. jaw04005 macrumors 601

    jaw04005

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    AR
    #8
    Well, that’s not technically true but that wasn’t the point of my post.

    The OP stated:

    which is absolutely not true. There’s no 720p resolution output limit on the Apple TV, and that seems to be a common myth associated with this device that gets repeated around these forums as a fact.

    OP — There’s more than just 1080p to be worried about. Output, resolution, encoding method and bit rate all play a factor. The Apple TV can output at 1080p and playback video at up to 1280x720p (25 FPS) at 5 Mbps. Blu-ray video can have video with a bit rate of up to 40 Mbps (I’ve found most average around 25-30 MPEG-4 H.264 Mbps) and broadcast over-the-air HD (ATSC) in the United States is 20 Mbps MPEG-2. So you should keep everything in perspective.

    Don’t get wrapped up in the 1080p marketing jargon.

    For example, Apple may only offer 720p HD TV Shows on the iTunes Store, but they look a hell of a lot better than my over-compressed 1080i MPEG-2 digital HD cable.
     
  9. NightStorm macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Location:
    Whitehouse, OH
    #9
    Should also point out that 5Mbps is not the upper limit either; the AppleTV can handle bitrate spikes upwards of 10Mbps at 1280x720p24.
     
  10. jlasoon macrumors 6502

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    Jun 1, 2006
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #10
    One of the big reasons why I dumped Brighthouse.

    Encoding methods vary, but anything properly encoded will offer the best bang for the buck in regards to picture quality and file size. This is why my :apple:TV gets plenty of usage and my Samsung BluRay player sits collecting dust.
     
  11. NightStorm macrumors 68000

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    Jan 26, 2006
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    Whitehouse, OH
    #11
    Agreed; this is one of the primary reasons I sold my PS3 even though I continue to buy Bluray discs. ;)
     
  12. TuckBodi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    #12
    Just to end the arguments, you can do the following. I bought my two cards for $23/ea. And other than the card cost, everything else is free, so don't listen to people who'll be posting you should try their patchstick.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=844259
     
  13. NightStorm macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Location:
    Whitehouse, OH
    #13
    I'm giving a lot of thought to buying one of these... I'll probably go ahead and test it out as soon as the Boxee team adds support into their next beta (hopefully I'll have some free time by then).
     
  14. miTunes75 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 29, 2006
    #14
    Thanks guys....

    I'm going to continue to pursue the tv purchase and continue with the appletv. I love my appletv, truly...it's very convenient....
     
  15. Terry Smith macrumors member

    Terry Smith

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto
    #15
    Just my 2 cents worth...

    Hey,

    Just this weekend, hooked up MacMini (1080i output) to AV setup (Sony 1080p Projector - 120" screen/12~14 feet away), which has only previously been used to watch bluray flics (1080p) via the PS3.

    So, wanted to see the difference, and rented Planet 51 on bluray and via itunes HD rental. Then flipped back and forth...

    I don't know if ATV is better than iTunes HD rental option (assume they are the same?), but here's what everyone in the room thought.

    iTunes HD looked good, solid colour and clarity, no artifacts that we could notice, and very limited jaggies anywhere. Did notice gradient banding and general lack of contrasty punch, and had trouble using the Dolby SS out (got lots of weird really loud digital noise after we paused the flic - could never get it working again after that, and switched to just stereo - yes, TOS linked).

    However, Bluray was a notch higher again on all fronts. The lack of heavy compression (as on iTunes) removed the colour/gradient banding, the picture was tack sharp, punchier and just... better.

    Conclusion was that Bluray was exactly what you would expect... easily best visual/auditory experience thus far - and the HD iTunes option was way better than normal 480p, and about half as good as the difference between the two.

    At this point, I will stick to Bluray for most movie playback - but TV shows (and sold out family rentals at Blockbuster) will be just fine for iTunes.

    Again, just my humble opinion from trying it out over the weekend.

    TMS
     
  16. roidy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #16
    Regardless of weather you rent and play the movie on your mini or an ATV and regardless of what resolution you set the mini to the fact is the iTunes movie is still only a 720p file with a bitrate of about 4.5Mbps were as the Bluray is true 1080p with a bitrate of over 25-30Mbps then factor in that your watching it on a 120" screen from a 1080p projector (nice btw:)) then of course the Blu-ray is gonna win hands down.

    Now do the same test on a small TV in the 32-47" range (like what us poor people have;)) and the difference between iTunes 720p and Blu-ray 1080p becomes a lot smaller.
     

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