Apple TV HD Rental Quality & Jobs' Comments

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by BoulderBum, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. BoulderBum macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2008
    Note: I'm including a whole quote, but since quantity is covered elsewhere, I figured this thread could explore Jobs' statement about quality.

    I am a person who bought the Apple TV the day I heard about rentals and bought an HDTV to go with it! Something I noticed is that the "HD" movie rentals don't look all that HD compared to some of the live HD shows I see on cable.

    I wonder if the quality will improve as downloaded rentals become more popular.
  2. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    A lot of the live HD shows you see on cable are being broadcast in 1080i.
    1080i's resolution (IIRC) is 1920 × 1080.

    AppleTV HD shows are 720p.
    720p's resolution (IIRC) is 1280 x 720.

    Both are HD, but there's going to be a difference in how a show encoded in 1920x1080 looks as compared to show encoded in 1280x720.

    What was nice last night was to be able to switch over to my AppleTV when all of my local broadcast stations were running 'severe weather watch' info at the bottom of the HD shows, down-converting the shows from 1080i to something that looked like 1980s VHS quality. ack! AppleTV HD rentals never looked better! :D
  3. BoulderBum thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2008
    Hey, don't get me wrong, I love Apple TV, I bought a unit from Apple and an HDTV to go with it the day I heard Apple was getting rentals from all the studios, it's just that the last two threads I started are the recent headlines that were of any interest. Downloadable movies are the future and I think Apple is now the closest to getting the process right!

    That said, while Apple TV got me into video Podcasts, Flickr screensavers and YouTube on my TV (which is cooler than I thought it would be), I can't help but think the rental stuff has room to grow.

    The selection stuff I ranted about elsewhere, but in regards to quality, while I think 720p is perfectly acceptable, it almost looks as if, even though you technically have 720p resolution, some quality is lost in the compression.

    To be fair, I notice that on-demand "HD" from Comcast is even worse, but when I see Conan O'Brian in HD or watch MHD (MTV HD) live, the picture is just so much crisper!
  4. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    Downloadable movies may be the future, but not the present. Notice how Apple is only renting HD movies right now. Start doing any serious buying and you might as well buy hard drives wholesale. These HD rentals also are at 720p as you mentioned, which is patooey when you have a Blu-ray player putting out 1080p. I have a 720p and 1080p television, and the difference is easily seen.

    I think what Apple TV will do is keep you from having to dig out DVDs and BDs every time you want to watch something. If the stupid entertainment industry would give up trying to control DVD ripping, it sure would make this easier. I've got the hang of HandBrake, but this digital video stuff would work so much better if it didn't take an open-source application to do it.

    As far as quality, everything looks good to me. The HD trailers I watched didn't look totally HD, but they were the clearest thing I have seen from a digital video file.
  5. BoulderBum thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2008
    I'm with you on the DVD ripping stuff. I can understand not wanting movies streamed around on BitTorrent, but the hassles and restrictions the movie industry places on legal digital media are one of the reasons people use BitTorrent!

    I know I've been tempted to use it, since the movie industry doesn't give me what I want.

    Anyway, I consider Apple TV rentals part of the "downloadable movie" category, even if you don't store them permanently.

    That said, I suspect home NAS devices will become more popular as movie downloads become more popular. I myself have an HP MediaSmart Server which serves as the source of all my iTunes content.

    Right now, it has a TB of storage, and the beauty of the device is that it can scale up to four internal disks and several external, so I could scale up to about 15 TB given today's disk technology, all while maintaining the same logical drive letter for the various physical drives.

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