Better for watching DVD--iPad 2 or iPad 3?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by aidanpendragon, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. aidanpendragon macrumors 6502a

    Jul 26, 2005
    I will be in the market for an iPad soon. A main use will be to watch videos encoded from standard-def DVDs. However, I'm wondering if the iPad 2 or iPad 3 will be better suited for this?

    Given that max DVD resolution is 640x480, will it look worse on an iPad-sized Retina display than on the current iPad 2 display, because the native resolution difference will be so much greater?

    Alternatively, a friend suggested DVD would look better on an iPad 3, because any pixellation will much "finer" with the smaller Retina pixels than on the larger iPad 2 ones.

    Appreciate everyone's thoughts.
  2. DeusInvictus7 macrumors 68020

    Aug 13, 2008
    Kitchener, Ontario
    Does a dvd look better on a standard def tv or on an HDTV? Same concept.

    The dvd will have to spread the picture over more pixels to fit the screen, so it will look more pixellated than if it was an HD video.

    For a 10" screen, the results might not be as drastic as it is with a full sized TV, but I'm sure it would still be pretty noticeable.
  3. aidanpendragon thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 26, 2005
    I should have added, my DVDs look fabulous on my HDTV with upscaling hardware, played through my upscaling DVD player. But I'm not sure a similar principle applies to computer technology. DVDs look kinda crappy on my Mac, even at 1024x768.
  4. surgedc5 macrumors regular

    Jan 20, 2008
    Southern California
    I don't have videos encoded from dvds on my ipad but I do have some standard def tv shows from the itunes store @ 640x480 resolution and it looks pixellated on the ipad.

    I have ipad1 btw same res as ipad2.
  5. porcupine8 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 2, 2011
    Right now, the iPad 2 is infinitely better because the iPad 3 does not exist.

    Until it is at least announced, let alone released, nobody can tell you what it will be better or worse for because nobody knows exactly what it will have.
  6. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
  7. aidanpendragon thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 26, 2005
    Considering how 3/4ths of this site seems dedicated to iPad 3/Retina display (and iPhone 5, etc.) speculation, it doesn't seem out of bounds to discuss how that might look, hypothetically.

    Thanks to surgedc5 for an actually helpful reply.
  8. JazzyFizzle macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2011
    Well we don't even know if the iPad 3 will have a retina display, but if it did, the answer is no.

    480p video on a 480p screen will look exactly the same as on a 1080p display. Why? Because the pixels are still there, the 1080p screen just has to fake them. If anything, the 480p video will look better on the 480p screen because the pixels will match and it will look crisper.

    If you watch a HD video on a HD screen, then of course it would look better than SD on an HD screen.

    Either I'm missing the point or your question was incredibly basic and you are lacking a thing called logic.
  9. TheWheelMan macrumors 6502a


    Mar 15, 2011
    But you didn't present a speculative question, you asked a question of a factual nature. At least that's how it was presented.
  10. GnillGnoll macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2009
    Given that 480p video needs to be scaled either way, it's unlikely you would perceive any difference in sharpness between 1024x768 and higher resolution screens when playing back DVDs. You may notice the reduced screen door effect, though.
  11. porcupine8 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 2, 2011
    You asked as though you were actually looking for information to base a buying decision off of. Any info you get from this thread IS pure speculation and should NOT be used to make actual decisions.

    And there is already a thread for speculating about video problems on the iPad 3/retina display:

    Which was easily found by searching the forum for DVD.
  12. polbit macrumors 6502


    Sep 18, 2002
    South Carolina
    Assuming that iPad 3 has the rumored hi-res display, the DVDs will look exactly the same or little better, for the simple fact that doubling both horizontal AND vertical pixel count EXACTLY two times on a SAME size display will mean that a single old pixel will be EXACTLY the same size as 4 new pixels. So a simple way to ensure same quality would be to do just that. A more sophisticated algorithm can use the fact that the pixel can now be divided into 4, and can truly upscale the picture.
  13. aidanpendragon thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 26, 2005
    Now that the rumors continue to stack up in favor of a Retina display, soon, figured I'd ask if anyone else has any thoughts. I want to believe and intellectually understand polbit's pixel-quadding explanation, above. But on a gut level, guess I'm sticking on that old chestnut, the "more pixels=480i looks worse" argument. Suppose one way to tell will be to demo the same video on iPad 2 and iPad 3 after the latter's released.
  14. unobtainium macrumors 68020

    Mar 27, 2011
    Don't know why everyone downvotes this, since it's a perfectly legitimate question. IF the iPad 3 has a retina display, will SD content look fuzzier on it than on the lower-res iPad 1/2? This is a perfectly reasonable question, since we all know that SD content looks better on old TVs than on new HDTVs. Wouldn't the same be true here? If not, please explain why without being obnoxious or insulting (otherwise just refrain from commenting).
  15. polbit macrumors 6502


    Sep 18, 2002
    South Carolina
    SD picture on an HD looks worse than on an old TV for two reasons - the count of pixels isn't an exact multiple in any direction, and everything is much larger.

    This means that an HDTV must display a picture that has 720x480 pixels on 1920x1080 resolution screen. That's 2.66 HD pixels horizontally and 2.25 HD pixels vertically for each SD pixel. This mean that the upconverter has to take each SD pixel and somehow paint it over that 2.66 x 2.25 area. Obviously that doesn't translate evenly and hence the reason for the image quality, and the importance of good upconverter.

    As if this wasn't bad enough, modern TVs are much larger than the old counterparts, so not only do we have the issue above, but we now magnify it physically by having you stare at the imperfect translation of the SD pixel in a physically larger area than that SD pixel was before.

    I hope this explanation makes sense, and shows why, with iPad 3 having an exact multiple of pixels in each directions and same screen size should look the same at the very worst, and better with any decent upconverter logic.
  16. takeshi74, Feb 20, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012

    takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    ...and in both cases it depends on the scaling used. Not all methods are equal despite your broad, sweeping generalization. My Bluray player does an excellent job of upscaling SD DVD's. They're certainly not comparable to Bluray by any means but your assertion is false. You're assuming that what you've experienced is all there is out there.

    Again, you're confusing "know" with "assume". Not all SD content looks better on SDTV's than it does on HDTV's. Again, it depends on the specific source and upscaling used and not all upscaling is equal.

    All that said, I wouldn't expect the iPad 3 to have the same quality of upscaling as my Bluray player but we'll just have to see. Anything posted until someone has first hand experience is just pointless speculation.
  17. polbit macrumors 6502


    Sep 18, 2002
    South Carolina
    I don't know what else I can do besides drawing pictures, and I don't have the time, but please re-read my post above. This is not an opinion, or a subjective take on something. This is a mathematical truth - when you take a 1x1 area (single pixel) and change it into a 2x2 area (4 pixels) in the SAME physical size, there is NO degradation in quality by default. If that SD pixel was red, and you make the 4 HD pixels red, there is NO difference in the picture. The SAME PHYSICAL area on the screen is red.
  18. aidanpendragon thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 26, 2005
    Thanks. I'm convinced. Looking at MR's pictures comparing the iPad 2 display with the Retina display clearly demonstrates the 4 pixels-to-1 ratio. The only question is whether Apple's algorithms are up to the job. I'd guess that's likely. This is not an answer I would have intuited on my own, so the thread did its job.

    Now all I have to do is wait for next week and through the inevitable weeks- or months-long supply crush before I can get one. :)
  19. motoleo macrumors 6502a


    Jan 27, 2012
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    iPads don't play HD video, do they?
  20. Nightprowler macrumors regular

    Feb 27, 2012
    Surprised that no one's mentioned viewing distance as a factor yet (at least I didn't see it) but look up viewing distance in relation to resolution you'll likely get a lot of results comparing 720 to 1080 TVs but the same concept applies. Basically as distance increases our human eyes are only able to resolve so much detail despite what it might be output at.

    You'd probably notice a difference at Arms length, but if you are setting it up on a table 5-6 feet in front of you then maybe not.
  21. Lukeyy19 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 16, 2010
    England, UK
    the problem some people seem to be having is that the question was iPad 2 or 3, yes the image may look better on a SD TV than on either iPad, but because the iPad 3's (supposed) retina display will be exactly double the resolution of the iPad 2, there will be no difference between the two when viewing lower resolution videos, because as others have said, what would use 1 pixel on the iPad 2, just uses 4 on the iPad 3 which takes up the same space.
  22. Philipppa macrumors newbie

    Jan 30, 2012
    Better for watching DVD--iPad 2 or iPad 3?

    As apple said, the iPad 3 stands for the higher-resolution Retina display, which would have double the linear resolution of the current iPad 2 screen. Watching DVD on the new iPad will give you a more colorful effects.

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