Atv 1080p vs Blu Ray quality?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Bokes, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. Bokes macrumors 6502

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    Mar 4, 2008
    #1
    Bought the first AppleTv and upgraded to Apple version2 last year.
    Kinda bummed that Apple didn't just incorporate 1080 in version2- but that's the Apple way.

    720p didn't bother me much for downloads.
    I usually only stream or download disposable entertainment- stuff I'm pretty sure I will only want to watch once.

    But for some films I want the absolute best presentation and i have Blu Ray for that. IMO- side by side- Bluray 1080p blows away what I see from netflix or iTunes.

    I'm curious how close the new 1080p Appletv will compare to Blu ray discs.
     
  2. darster Suspended

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    Aug 25, 2011
    #2
    1080p streaming is not that good. ATV3 will not make it any better because it is so highly dependent on your isp. Even though I have d/l speeds of 60 Mbs, netflix on my old Roku and boxee are just average with 1080p streaming. The only decent 1080p streaming I have seen was from Vudu. Of course, they also charge you more at $5.99 for their 1080p HD stream.
     
  3. HobeSoundDarryl, Mar 11, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2012

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

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    #3
    Nobody can offer an authoritative judgement yet. There are some in these forums that says they are now able to do high bit rate rips of their BD movies and the :apple:TV2 is able to fluidly process those files (though it's still pushing only 720p out of the box). The hard part is the processing so if gen 2 can handle it, odds are good that gen 3 will be able to handle it too. If so, it's possible that BD rips at high bit rates may be possible.

    People are even talking about remuxing straight from BD rips (to MKV to) m4v which means the exact same video file would be put in a wrapper compatible with :apple:TV3.

    But, until those most interested in such stuff can get ahold of actual :apple:TV3, very little judgement can be passed.

    As to iTunes 1080p, there are several threads here where people are noticing 1080p file sizes that are smaller than their 720p counterparts. Some believe this is tied to more efficient compression algorithms while others are suggesting that better versions of 1080p may be on the way to the iTunes store.

    My opinion: too early to make the judgements just yet. As soon as various people have :apple:TV3s for a while, then we'll get some real, objective input on what they can and can't do. Until then, it's just speculation... or based solely on iTunes store video "as is" right now.
     
  4. Alucardx03 macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 10, 2008
    #4
    A good rule of thumb is to take the resolution quoted and expect the next best. For example, 720p is (visually speaking) close to a well-mastered DVD. 1080p is closer to what your eye sees at 720p. The huge amounts of compression don't do the resolution any favors.
     
  5. khollister macrumors 6502a

    khollister

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    Orlando, FL
    #5
    I was doing some experimentation this evening with full rate BD rips remuxed from MKV to m4v and AC3 audio using iFlicks. Streamed just fine over gigabit Ethernet using my ATV2 - no playback issues at all. I am transcoding a VC-1 BD now to see how that comes out.

    BDs with AVC (i.e. h.264) and Dolby TrueHD can be remuxed. BDs with MPEG2 or VC-1 video must be transcoded to h.264 and DTS audio needs to be converted to AC3 (Dolby Digital).

    iFlicks does all of this.
     
  6. CSpackler macrumors regular

    CSpackler

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    #6
    I love the ATV for disposable content, like Netflix, but for reference viewing nothing is replacing my BD player anytime soon. I know it's a pain physically loading in those discs, but the fact is, Blu Rays are cheap and if you have a large TV or projector, yes you can see the difference, especially if it's professionally calibrated.
     
  7. khollister macrumors 6502a

    khollister

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    #7
    Yeah, I agree. I was on my iPad last night and didn't want to type an extended response.

    I ripped all of my BD's into MKV's and built a HTPC with the intent of having a video jukebox with BD quality and full lossless audio - planning on not using the BD's unless I wanted to watch the extras.

    Didn't exactly pan out. In spite of a high-end ATI graphics card, tweaky software (J River Media Center with full MadVR rendering) and countless hours of experimenting and comparison, I still feel my Oppo BDP-93 or my Panasonic BDT110 do a slightly better job in the PQ department. I have a rather high end TV and the video goes directly to the TV through a DVDO Duo video processor (which I'm using as a glorified HDMI switch box), so somebody with a $500 TV may not notice or care.

    While playing a full 25-30GB rip of a BD on the new ATV3 will undoubtedly look better than the heavily compressed content from iTunes or Netflix (or cable for that matter), I suspect it still won't be a perfect match for the BD played in a good BDP.

    I am planning on using iFlicks to create compressed versions of the movies that will be played back via the ATV3 for casual viewing (still looks better than cable or DirecTV), but I will go to the actual BD when I really want to watch (and listen) critically. I am going to re-purpose the HTPC with a CPU and RAM upgrade as a slave for my music production rig.

    iFlicks seems to do a nice job of preparing the file with full metadata and cover art. There is little documentation, so I'm still experimenting to determine what happens with subs.

    If you have a several thousand dollar calibrated TV or projector, I seriously doubt you would be satisfied with any streamer or even HTPC as being transparent compared to a good blu-ray player. You might consider it "good enough", but I have yet to see one that is a perfect replication of how the content looks on a BDP.
     
  8. Scarpad macrumors 68000

    Scarpad

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    Ma
    #8
    I agree, I have a Projector in my HT outputting to a 96" Screen and for that Blu Ray is a must, the ATV is fine for DVD Quality movies and TV Shows, actually Perfect for TV DVD Rips and thats what I mostly use it for. I don't usually buy blu rays until about six months after they come out and by then you can get most for Under 10 bucks.
     
  9. littlepooch21 macrumors regular

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    Sep 26, 2010
    #9
    what setting have you been using in iFlicks to try out?
     
  10. khollister macrumors 6502a

    khollister

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    #10
    iTunes Compatibility to force a remux of AVC BD material. HD 1080p for transcoding (and compressing - no way to disable that I can see) MPEG2 or VC-1. You can also use that preset to compress AVC streams.
     
  11. rick98761 macrumors 6502

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    Feb 18, 2005
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    Kansas City, MO
    #11
    Give xbmc a shot. I too have a nice projector setup, with all my blurays ripped to an htpc that runs xbmc. It has perfect out put compared to my ps3. I have done a ton of testing, and have never been able to tell one difference. I wish there was a set top box that could handle these files, but everything seems to have down sides.
     
  12. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    Perth, Western Australia
    #12
    Actually, the ATV3 uses tighter compression than ATV2 to make 1080p only slightly larger than ATV2 720p.

    I suspect the ATV2 is not capable of reliably decoding 1080p at that level of compression...
     
  13. khollister macrumors 6502a

    khollister

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    #13
    Guess again - I have played 1080p files compressed with High profile/L4.1 H.264 with no problem on iOS 5 on my ATV2
     
  14. OptyCT macrumors 6502

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    Nov 9, 2008
    #14
    While this may very well be the case with 1080p streaming on the ATV3 (it remains to be seen), the 720p on my ATV2 is every bit as good, if not better, than my HD feed from Comcast. If 720p streaming was akin to 480p, I would never use it.
     
  15. Rideherhard macrumors 6502

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    Aug 2, 2010
    #15
    Why are the computer standers for 1080P high? my computer just misses as the min is 2.4 core 2 duo and mine is 2.26 C2D. Disappointed son, disappointed. I can't believe a late 09 MBP can't handle 1080P from iTunes this make no sense... anyone know why?.
     
  16. kiranmk2 macrumors 6502a

    kiranmk2

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    #16
  17. darster Suspended

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    Aug 25, 2011
    #17
    So we will have to get the ATV4 next year when HEVC comes out? :(
     
  18. osohardy macrumors member

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    Jul 7, 2009
    #18
    I agree but unfortunately the trouble is to banish stuff like banding you have to go pretty high bitrate. I wish Apple had met blu-ray a little more halfway with like 8-10 Mbps files. You can have a great looking file--even perceptually transparent--at pretty modest bitrates but that damn banding will get you. Especially dark movies will also suffer. I think this is still great--the few 720p movies I had bought from iTunes are very noticeably better in their 1080 counterparts so far, with small increase in size. And I will be more likely to rent 1080 from iTunes now (some 720p rentals have looked great, some had bad artefacts). I'm not sure I'm on the purchase wagon yet, but then again I can see the writing on the wall as my Drobo fills up with 30GB blu-ray rips and I drive myself crazy trying to be satisfied with handbraked versions of them.
     
  19. kiranmk2 macrumors 6502a

    kiranmk2

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    #19
    I don't think anyone knows. The wiki entry suggests HEVC would need upto 3 times the computational power to decode than h264:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HEVC

    As the A4 chip can decode 1080p quite easily (as seen with the last ATV2 update) the question is: is the single core A5 2-3 times as powerful? And even if it is I can see Apple unleashing a new ATV in 18 months anyway.
     
  20. khollister macrumors 6502a

    khollister

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    Feb 1, 2003
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #20
    I have been doing some testing in preparation for my ATV3. I plan to decommision the HTPC and use the ATV for casual watching and play the BD's for serious stuff. To my eye, a High profile/L4.1 encode at about 10 Mbs (8.5-10 GB for a typical BD movie) is quite good - way better than cable or DirecTV HD material and probably 95% of the way there compared to a straight 30 GB, 25 Mbs BD extraction.

    I also have filled my 10 TB NAS with BD MKV's, so recovering 60-70% of the space is very appealing.
     
  21. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

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    Feb 4, 2008
    #21
    I'm adding an Apple TV to my stash of gadgets. I actually have a first-gen one I got from my dad when he bought the Apple TV 2, but as most of you probably know it has many issues.

    I have wanted one for playing media from my iPad, being able to play from my stash of ripped DVDs and the purchases I have made, and mirroring over WiFi sounds neat as well.

    No, this will not replace Blu-ray Disc for me. Even iTunes and iPods haven't killed CDs. The unfortunate part is you can't rip movies and TV shows as easily as you can music because those industries think that somehow DRM will stop piracy. No, it'll just make the pirates try harder. Treat your customers like people instead of potential felons and it might just help your business.
     

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