ATV2 1080p downscaled to 720p?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Macintosh1984, Nov 7, 2016.

  1. Macintosh1984 macrumors regular

    Dec 15, 2012

    With Apple TV 2, is better in quality stream from iTunes a 1080p film downscaled to 720p or stream a native 720p film?

  2. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    You need to better define what you mean by "better."

    If you mean better picture, feeding the "2" a 1080p file may either not work or result in some stuttering while it tries to dynamically downconvert it to what it can output. It's been a while- I can't remember how well the "2" can do the latter- if at all. What you might want to do is get one movie at both resolutions and watch busier (more action-oriented) scenes. My guess is that if the "2" can even attempt to play (by downcoverting) the 1080p version, you'll probably see some stuttering in high activity scenes.

    If you mean better (= smoother) streaming experience, the 720p file will likely be considerably smaller than the 1080p version, so it will likely stream "better" than trying to download the bigger file all other things being equal.

    If you mean better in terms of "I'm converting my blu ray collection" and wonder which format I should target, the "2" plays 720p. BUT, if you expect to replace that "2" someday, why not go ahead and render a 1080p version too and store the copy on a cheap external drive until you do replace that "2". Then you don't have to re-rip all your discs again.

    If you mean better in terms of the technical aspect of making an m4v file, some would argue that the extra bits in a 1080p original might indeed yield a better 720p downconversion than converting a native 720p file. Personally, I have some doubts about that one.

    Bottom line: the "2" outputs 720p be design. It's not really meant to work with 1080p files. So if the "2" is your long-term :apple:TV box, feeding it 720p is feeding it files as good as it can play.
  3. Macintosh1984 thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 15, 2012
    Fantastic response!

    I think to go with 720p on my actual ATV2. I also believe that as you say, 1080p is heavy for ATV2.
  4. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    My opinion - the aTV2 handles 1080p files just fine. For the record, the file sizes I'm talking about are about 4 to 6 GBs per movie ... whatever that bit rate comes out to be.

    For me, it was a waste of time and resources to have iTunes store 3 versions of each movie (480/720/1080). I just went with 1080 and let my devices do scaledown as required.

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