1080p on Apple TV: A Software Upgrade?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by rayward, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. rayward macrumors 68000

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    #1
    Can Apple update the software to get existing :apple:TV units to play in 1080p? I'm just curious as it would seem like the logical step if Snow Leopard is going to support Blu Ray. I don't know if it's a software or hardware limitation that restricts the resolution currently, or if it's just one of those Apple decisions that makes no sense to anyone.

    I've got about a two weeks left before my 30 days return window runs out on my :apple:TV. I'm hoping that there's some news later today that let's me know if I'm going to want to return it.
     
  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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  3. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #3
    The NVidia 7300 in the ATV is capable of 1080p, but you would really be pushing the hardware. A more serious limitation is the 256 mb of RAM in the ATV, which is pretty much bare minimum for 10.4 (the ATV's OS). The cpu cannot do the decoding, that's for sure. I tried it with a 9 mbps (not good quality) 1080p file resident on my ATV's hard drive with XBMC and it couldn't handle it.

    I really doubt Snow Leopard could run on an ATV. However, if it could leverage the gpu (which is unlikely since CUDA was introduced with the 8800) you might be able to get there.
     
  4. rayward thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #4
    Thanks to you (and TS) for your replies. I guess I'll return it for an upgrade if they announce a 1080p version and if they don't, I'll stick with what I have.


    What I was getting at is that Blu Ray support in Snow Leopard would mean that you could have Blu Ray content on your Mac that you couldn't play through the :apple:TV. That wouldn't be unusual as it's the case now with certain video formats (it's also a uniquely Apple paradox), but logic suggests that they'd beef up the :apple:TV to handle the higher resolution format.
     
  5. dynaflash macrumors 68020

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    #5
    No doubt, they are already using the nvidia gpu but you would really be stretching things to play decent 1080p to be sure. I would be highly skeptical.

    would be nice if they would at least allow 720 at 29.976 fps from iTunes, the atv hardware will play that just fine if you load it up sans iTunes (even with cabac).
     
  6. BoulderBum macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Not meaning this as a diss, but if I hear one more person ask for 1080p, I think I'll puke.

    You may think you want it, but do you really want it if it means spending hours downloading the file before you can watch it? Do you never want to be able to watch a movie on your iPod or iPhone because the file is too large? Were you complaining about the bitrate of iTunes songs vs. CD-quality audio for the past decade, or did you download from the iTunes store anyway because you valued convenience over quality?

    Besides, resolution isn't the problem with Apple TV's current "HD" content: color depth is.

    I'd rather see 720p video that isn't so compressed so that it looks more "HD".
     
  7. dynaflash macrumors 68020

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    #7
    Hear ... Hear. I will second that motion. The upscaler will do an awesome job upscaling proper 720p to a 1080p tv. Now we are talking common sense and reality.
     
  8. Rich1963 macrumors 6502

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    #8
    While I whole-heartedly agree with the 720p and apple's compression, I must post a word of warning. Watch out for this Dynaflash character. He does strange things to his AppleTV in his bathroom... Just sayin'. :D
     
  9. Agent-W macrumors member

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    #9
    In the settings on my ATV it says output resolution, and mine is set to 1080p? Are you guys talking about the quality of the movie, or the output resolution?
     
  10. rayward thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #10
    Not being snarky, but I rip all my music from CD because I don't want the lower bitrate version from the iTunes Store. Many audiophiles lament the invention of the iPod because it was the death of fidelity in music reproduction. To me, the mistake is buying expensive sound systems for the home and/or car, and then playing inferior quality sounds on it.

    As for 1080p, the same principle (foible?) will apply as I plan to Netflix the Blu Ray version of movies and rip the 1080p file to my Blu Ray compatible Mac (once Snow Leopard comes out assuming that this feature is there as suggested). This negates the long download issue you mentioned. If I so wish, I can rip two versions; one at full resolution and one skinny file in iPhone quality resolution (many people do this already with SD DVDs).
     
  11. FreeState macrumors 68000

    FreeState

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    #11
    I just rented Tropic Thunder last week and I was shocked at the quality. Even inches away it had a better picture quality than broadcast 720p/1080i. Its the first one I have noticed no artifacts etc. (Im running it through an Onkyo receiver to a Samsung LCD). It was the first time I was impressed with the quality.
     
  12. rayward thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #12
    I also rented Tropic Thunder this weekend, and was shocked at how much it sucked. Had to wait all the way to the end for the only laugh. See also Love Guru, The.
     
  13. BoulderBum macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Fair enough. I see how for audio/videophiles, you want quality. However, I think you're statistically in the minority. iTunes is the world's largest music distributor, and they became that way because of convenience, not quality (which I think you agree with).

    I've also seen studies (a few years ago) that said 50% of HDTV owners don't view HD content, that only 9% plan on buying a Blu Ray player this year, and that 45% didn't know what Blu Ray was.

    I'd contend that most people would go for convenience over quality in the video space just as they did the music space once online video gets sorted out and becomes mainstream.

    It's nice to push a button, watch instantly, then not have to think about whether or not you can put the movie on your iPhone/iPod Touch because of file size/resolution.

    Jeepers, exactly how much time do you have on your hands? ;)

    I'm busy enough that after getting used to renting movies on a whim in seconds, even a trip to the video store or the wait for the mail carrier seems like too much of a hassle to me, personally.
     
  14. FreeState macrumors 68000

    FreeState

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    #14
    LOL - I found it mildly amusing... no were near as funny as it should have been - but thats par for the course lately with most overproduced films...
     
  15. Tilpots macrumors 601

    Tilpots

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    #15
    You should contact your local TV stations and ask them what you are doing wrong. There is no way that a properly received and displayed HD broadcast will not look better than an iTunes download.
     
  16. Alrescha macrumors 68020

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    #16
    By "broadcast" he may mean "cable", in which case an iTunes download could easily surpass whatever survives a cable company's processing/compression.

    I agree with your premise, OTA HD always wins.

    A.
     
  17. Tilpots macrumors 601

    Tilpots

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    #17
    When he said broadcast, I did take it to mean OTA. Thanks for clarifying.:)
     

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