Can ATV2 downscale 1080P content from iTunes Store?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Narked Diver, May 4, 2014.

  1. Narked Diver macrumors regular

    Narked Diver

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2014
    #1
    Hi,

    I currently have an old 720P TV and an ATV2 and so when I purchase HD movies from the iTunes Store I download the 720P version

    I'm just about to purchase a 1080P TV and an ATV3 and retire the old TV and ATV2 to the bedroom

    I want to download the 1080P version of the new movies that I purchase but I am concerned that they won't play on my old setup

    Will the ATV2 be able to handle the downscaling or will I have to download both versions of the movie and hope that iTunes can somehow handle storing both versions?

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

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    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    #2
    It will work fine with the 1080p versions, it scales automatically.
     
  3. Narked Diver thread starter macrumors regular

    Narked Diver

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2014
    #3
    Cheers for the answer - that makes life easier - I'll change my itunes setting now ;)
     
  4. StinDaWg macrumors 6502

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    Apr 5, 2012
    #4
    Itunes 1080p actually looks worse than their 720p offering for most content, so you'll be losing quality by watching 1080p even on a 720p screen.
     
  5. Narked Diver thread starter macrumors regular

    Narked Diver

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2014
    #5
    Thanks for the info - looks like I won't be updating my download setting after all - any idea how apple have made 1080p worse quality than 720p?
     
  6. jeff92k7 macrumors member

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    Dec 14, 2012
    #6
    Explain this. Provide screenshots if possible.
     
  7. Alrescha macrumors 68020

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    Jan 1, 2008
    #7
    I think some people have made this claim for certain television shows. I believe there have been favorable reviews of iTunes 1080p movies.

    A.
     
  8. niteflyr macrumors 6502a

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    Southern Cal
    #8
  9. StinDaWg, May 5, 2014
    Last edited: May 5, 2014

    StinDaWg macrumors 6502

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    Apr 5, 2012
    #9
    Actually, movies are even worse. Sometimes the bitrate on 1080p is lower than 720p. :eek:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1376130
    http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/28741
    http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/23134
    http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/21051

    Apples 1080p encodes are bit starved.

    720p ~4 Mbps
    1080p ~5 Mbps

    1080p is using High Profile 4.0 with CABAC but the bitrate isn't high enough to keep detail. Because of this grain is wiped from the picture and people have waxy faces due to lack of detail. The only thing that looks consistently better in 1080p is cartoons like Family Guy because cartoons compress better. I've watched thousands of itunes shows/movies and this isn't just my personal opinion but the consensus online from various forums who have done extensive comparisons between the two. If apple would increase the bitrate on 1080p to 7-8 Mbps we wouldn't be having this conversation.
     
  10. pmau macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2010
    #10
    That's OK. I only watch Family Guy anyways ...

    But jokes aside, you are correct that if you consider the increase of resolution from 720p to 1080p, the bitrate is just a little higher (if at all).

    But here's a counter argument: The other options are mostly streaming services, that will dynamically cut your bandwidth while watching, which is even worse than the iTunes offering might ever be.

    I really like the ability to buffer most of the movie and be sure to get 1080p even if it's not like BluRay.

    The only other option is to buy physical media, which I hate, because in 20 year all this plastic crap will never ever be watched by anyone.
     
  11. StinDaWg, May 5, 2014
    Last edited: May 5, 2014

    StinDaWg macrumors 6502

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    Apr 5, 2012
    #11
    That strategy doesn't really make sense because you can still buffer the 720p version and get better quality.

    People are too fixated on 1080p being better no matter what because it's a higher number and marketing has told you it is better, but 720p can and does look better than 1080p when that 1080p bitrate is too low and thus detail is lost.
     
  12. pmau macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2010
    #12
    I probably worded my argument the wrong way.

    Sure you are correct that 720p can look better if your are limited on bitrate / bandwidth. But here's the thing. Apple TV downloads the same movie from iTunes every time. It's always the same movie with regards to quality.

    Most streaming services use packetized MPEG streams and dynamically change the bitrate and quality while you are watching. This was my point.

    They - the streaming services - market all they content as higher quality, but in fact iTunes delivers the same quality all the time. Even though it is arguably lower.

    That's what I tried to say.
     
  13. StinDaWg macrumors 6502

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    Apr 5, 2012
    #13
    Ya, but I still don't know why you would choose to watch the 1080p version if it looks worse. Both 720p/1080p don't change quality while streaming from apple.
     
  14. The Mad Hatter macrumors 6502a

    The Mad Hatter

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    SoCal
    #14
    Why not download both (720p/1080p) versions and compare the 2.

    I download all versions available (480/720/1080/extras) and back them up to a spare drive (in case Apple stops hosting that file), and leave a 720 copy in my library (a size vs quality thing). ;-)
     
  15. Narked Diver thread starter macrumors regular

    Narked Diver

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    Apr 8, 2014
    #15
    Ok - a couple of daft questions - how do I download both versions and how does itunes handle having both versions in its library?
     
  16. The Mad Hatter macrumors 6502a

    The Mad Hatter

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    Oct 12, 2004
    Location:
    SoCal
    #16
    A. In iTunes go to store>purchases>movies. Make sure Download in HD is checked. Download first copy. When done, go to Library>movies and delete the movie you just downloaded, and when it asks if you want the file sent to trash, say Yes. BUT DON'T EMPTY TRASH CAN. Then go to preferences>store and change the download resolution (720/1080) to the other resolution and download again. Now you should 2 copies of the movie file (1 in the iTunes movie folder, and 1 in the trash). You can put the one in trash in a folder of your choosing.

    B. Now iTunes is kinda funny when it gets multiple resolution files of the same movie that are DL from the store. As they will all have the same unique ID number, and are grouped together as 1 entry in you library list. Which one is used to stream to a device depends on the target device's capabilities and settings. So if you have both HD files in your iTunes movie folder, and both have been loaded into your library, you will only see 1 entry for that movie (and a HD logo next to it). If you also have the 480p version loaded, the logo would be SD-HD. So if you don't want to have all those resolutions of the same movie in your library, store the 2 files elsewhere, delete the entry in your library, and copy back to the library the resolution file you want to check manually each time. Then when you figure out which one you like best, leave that one there and do what you like with the others.

    I hope this helped you. It's much easier to show someone something rather that typing the directions, so I hope you can under the ramblings above. ;-)
     

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