Are iTunes movies really 1080p format for Apple TV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by jny2012, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. jny2012 macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2012

    Maybe a stooopid question but are HD downloads from iTunes for my Apple TV really HD (1080p or blu-ray) quality? I ask this because the download sizes vary between 2.5g to 4.0g depending on movie length. I thought blu-ray movies were much larger than that. Anyways, I tried to search for an answer on this but everything I found is soooo confusing I though it might be easier to ask straight out and hope that someone can put me out of my misery.

    Thanking you in anticipation
  2. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004
    Well technically they are 1080p, but they are shrunk down in file size and quality to a level that is a compromise between file size and image quality. Is the quality as good as blu-ray? Probably not. Is the quality good enough for the average consumer probable yes.

    For nit picky people on this forum, ha, that's another story.

    If you want to get technical, a blu-ray quality sucks compared the original from the camera and editing.

    It's all relative, enjoy the film and story, if the image bothers you, upgrade to the blu-ray, but remember the director and stars own a copy that is technically better than the blu-ray, which is 100s of GBs more than the blu-ray you can buy.

    I honestly feel that convenience is more of of a factor than quality nowadays, and I know that is blasphemy here ;)
  3. jny2012 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2012
    Thanks for that spacepower7

    I have Blue-ray and I am surprised at the quality I get from Apple TV in comparison hence my request for some clarification.

    I don't get anal anymore because my wife does not allow it!

  4. Fatboy71 macrumors 65816


    Dec 21, 2010
    I have an Apple tv and I also have a Blu ray player. To me, a 1080p iTunes movie/Apple tv movie are Blu ray in their quality. I was impressed the first time I saw the quality of them if I'm honest.
  5. Nightarchaon macrumors 65816


    Sep 1, 2010
    I cant tell the difference between "standard" definition freeview broadcast and a 1080p blue ray or a DvD, so to me its all good, i can see a Big Difference between VHS and "Standard" Definition Freeview.

    Guess its like Wine tasting or those people who smell perfumes for a living, my eyes are not refined enough lol.

    all i do know is that playing games on my Xbox 360 or PS3, the text in HD is now tiny:D
  6. Glockron macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2012
    Also - be aware that the 2nd gen Apple TV only supports a max of 720p. So when you buy / rent HD branded content on the 2G, you don't get the full thing :p
  7. Rideherhard macrumors 6502

    Aug 2, 2010
    it's pretty close to being blu ray like that I doubt many would tell the difference, the biggest difference is the audio which I hope Apple can fix.
  8. getoffmylawn macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2012
  9. donrsd macrumors 6502


    Dec 16, 2011
    South Florida
    im starting to side with convenience now-a-days rather than having 160 blurays on my shelf.

    thats my biggest gripe, the lossy audio from apple digital copies.
    id rather take 720p with lossless audio than 1080p with lossy audio.
  10. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004
    I think if you buy the HD version, you get access to both the 720 and 1080 versions, but will be limited by the device you are using. IE if you buy, and have a AppleTV2 you see the 720 video if you stream but the down converted 1080 if you have a copy in iTunes. If you have the iPad 3 or AppleTV 3 you get to stream the 1080 version. .?
  11. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004
    I'm not sure what you are talking about with the audio?

    But I do know this in regards to many HDTVs:

    If you use the Appletv optical out, you get 5.1 DD sound with some of the content. If you go HDMI to your HDTV, then optical out to a receiver, the HDTV down mixes the 5.1 DD to stereo or Dolby prologic 2 or whatever.

    This is a signal chain issue bc of the TVs limitations, Apple can't fix that.

    Many HDTVs have this issue, I'm guessing that it is a licensing cost issue similar to HDMI inputs, which have gone from 4 to 2 on many HDTVs because they have to pay per HDMI port per TV.

    Anyway, hope this helps somebody :)
  12. lessismo, Jul 26, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2012

    lessismo macrumors newbie

    Aug 15, 2011
    Well I also consider sound important [I have quite some ALAC Albums].

    I think more people have 1080TV rather than proper multichannel sound system.

    Edit: grammar.
  13. Glockron macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2012
    I think that sounds about right :)
  14. andymodem macrumors 6502a

    Nov 20, 2008
    Baltimore, MD
    I think he is talking about how Blu Ray offers DTS-HD MA/Dolby TrueHD/Uncompressed PCM for audio options whereas the best the ATV can do is Dolby Digital.
  15. Defender2010 macrumors 68030


    Jun 6, 2010
    Regarding quality, but not specifically on this topic, sorry....
    I have an new Apple TV and as we know iTunes movies in the cloud has just been released in the UK.
    With the download set to 1080p in iTunes and 1080p also selected on the Apple TV, do my purchased movies all just play in SD even if HD is available too? Do I have to buy them again in HD? It says it will play a HD when possible, but after viewing it does not seem HD, it's SD.
    Apart from the Dark Knight which I previously bought, where, it looks HD but never really states if it is SD or HD on the Apple TV, but in iTunes the download is SD size. It's a bit confusing, I hope Apple sorts this out and allows upgrades if that is what we have to do to get HD only (where available) from movies in the cloud. The mixture of both whilst using the Apple TV doesn't help the user experience much. I doubt I would hide SD purchases and repurchase them in HD at full price. Would you?
  16. Rideherhard macrumors 6502

    Aug 2, 2010
    Blu Ray audio is DTS HD or Dolby Digital TrueHD which is much better than what Apple offers.
  17. GarrettL1979 macrumors 6502

    Feb 15, 2012

    I have my ATV3 connected to the HDTV via HDMI. The TV's audio out is then connected to our receiver through optical. I am able to get DD 5.1-- you do need to set DD to "on" rather than "auto" in the ATV's settings though in order for this to work.
  18. Rigby macrumors 601

    Aug 5, 2008
    San Jose, CA
    They have 1080p resolution, but are much more aggressiveley compressed than Blu-ray movies. It is quite easy to spot compression artifacts in iTunes movies and, depending on the quality of the source material, a lack in fine detail compared to Blu-ray. Now, it depends to a large extent on the size of your screen and your viewing distance how obvious such defects are. A front projector with 8ft screen viewed from 12ft distance is a lot more revealing than, say, a 40" TV viewed from the same distance.
    They are, roughly by a factor of 10.
  19. danpass macrumors 68020


    Jun 27, 2009
    Miami, FL
    You're bad, I see what you did there lol :D
  20. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004
    When doing my research for my own HDTV purchase, I learned quite a lot. When I was typing that post, I forgot to put that exception in there. Yes there are HDTVs that will pass thru the full DD 5.1 but many older and current cheaper models downmix to some version of 2-channel audio. This also seem prevalent on HDTVs that have a stereo analog RCA output.

    I currently have a 2007 Samsung which downmixes to 2-channel.

    Maybe HDTV manufacturers have to pay an extra license to translate the DD 5.1 from HDMI to optical? In my past working on Protools workstations in the mid 90s, Dolby required 2 different plug-ins and licenses, one for encoding and one for decoding.

    I don't know the real reasoning ;)
  21. peppespizzapie Suspended

    Jul 5, 2010
    Hi, if you cant see the diffrence between SD and 1080P i advice you realy see a doctor soon! :)
    Apple had their mouth full about REAL 1080P only for commercial reasons i think. Like update' s for iMovie and FCP X. NOW you should be able to see REAL 1080P with your apple TV. However, if you look at the file that is send to the Apple tv its a normal 1280x768.
    So apple calls THAT full HD 1080P50.

Share This Page