17 inch or 15 inch. Can I even watch 1080p films from itunes?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by keysersoze311, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. keysersoze311 macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2009
    Hi guys,

    Basically, I am considering buying one of the new macbooks, and I'm torn between the 15 inch and the 17 inch.

    One advantage of the 17 inch is that it has a "full HD" screen, so I would be able to view 1080p films in all their glory.

    But, the 17 inch doesn't have a blu-ray drive, and as far as I can make out, itunes don't offer 1080p downloads, although you can watch 1080p trailers on Apple's website.

    I'm in the UK, and on the itunes store, and next to certain movies, it says "available in HD with apple tv", which I understand is a separate box that plugs into your tv.

    It didn't seem to offer a HD download however direct off itunes onto my computer though.

    I then phoned up Apple, and spoke to one guy, who didn't seem to know what he was talking about, and said "yeh, you can definitely download full 1080p HD films onto your computer, but it all depends on the resolution of your screen".

    Not convinced, I phoned Apple again, and this time spoke to another guy, who seemed slightly more clued up, but still not particularly convincing. He said at first that I could download full 1080p HD, then he changed his mind and started saying, "no, you can download 720p films direct to your computer though, definitely". He explained that 1080p films would be such big files that it wasn't possible, which is what I expected.

    But as far as I can make out, the itunes store doesn't offer 720p films direct to computer, only through apple tv.

    All the films I've seen on itunes are only around 1GB in size, and there is no clickable option to "buy in HD", just a line saying "available in HD on apple TV".

    So what's the deal? Can I download HD films off itunes directly onto my computer? 1080p? 720p? And how do I do it?

    And guys, please don't say "you can't tell the difference on a screen less than 50 inches", I think that's rubbish. I was in an Apple shop the other today, and I watched some 1080p trailers on the 17 inch macbook, and then some 720p trailers. Definite difference!

    To me, the extra screen size is good, but I'd feel a bit cheated if I couldn't even watch 1080p films on it.

    Cheers guys.
  2. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    The newest generation of Intel (well, most, but not the x4500 or the GMA500), ATI, and nVidia, graphics can play 1080p...

    So, yes, you can watch 1080p on the newest 17" or 15"

    Some can tell the difference on a screen between 1080 and 720 from up close.
  3. keysersoze311 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2009
    So you're saying that itunes will offer me 1080p downloads if I have a suitable computer?

    Because they don't seem to on my current 13 inch black macbook.

    I'm in the UK as well, don't know if that makes a difference.
  4. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    No longer logging into MR
    I don't think the iTunes store offers 1080p videos at all.
  5. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

    Jan 8, 2005
    Didn't think you could get HD films from iTunes? Only on Apple TV.
  6. daneoni macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006
    iTunes only give you 720p...if that even (more like pseudo 720p) due to bandwith issues and since no Bluray in the 17" you might as well save yourself some money and get the 15" which will handle 720p just fine...heck even a MacBook would
  7. MVApple macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2008
    I hope they aren't paying those employees more than minimum wage. I can't believe they don't even know their own products.

    Anyways, technically yes, the Macbook Pro 15 and 17 both have the technical capability to play 1080p movies. iTunes offers 720p TV SHOWS, and NOT MOVIES. In the future, if iTunes were to offer 1080p content then you would have no trouble playing it.

    You can for instance watch blu-ray movies under bootcamp in windows by hooking up an external blu-ray player. This works perfectly fine and this is what I do on my 15" unibody MBP. I've also converted 3 of my movies to HD quality to watch back on my macbook pro. You can convert movies and watch them at almost perfect quality. It just depends how much space you want to devote to a single movie. At 8.5gb I have pirates 1, 2, 3 and they look perfect to me. The Dark Knight at 8.5gb shows noticeable flaws in certain scenes though. Darker movies need higher bitrates to look good and I wanted to keep the size down. Oh and I use boxee to play them back on the mac which works quiet nicely.
  8. keysersoze311 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2009
    Hi mate,

    Thanks for clearing that up, pretty much what I expected.

    Just one quick question, you say you have HD films at 8.5 GB, but The Dark Knight shows noticeable flaws.

    I know a Blu Ray disc is something like 50GB, but how big is the file of the movie usually, not the full 50GB I'm guessing?

    I think you're saying 8.5GB is a compressed file - so how big would The Dark Knight be as an uncompressed file? More than 8.5Gb right?

    Also, doesn't a lot of the space of a Blu Ray quality file have to do with the sound - like high quality multi channel sound is what takes up a lot of space?

    So, if you wanted a full quality Blu Ray image, but with average sound quality (ie DVD sound quality), would you end up saving a lot of space?

  9. Apple Corps macrumors 68030

    Apr 26, 2003
    While you can watch a 1080p on the new MBP you will not be watching it in 1080 as the max supported resolution on the 15" is 1440 x 900.

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