Can I stream 4S footage through ATV?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by UKmacman, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. UKmacman macrumors regular

    Oct 4, 2007
    Stupid question probably but as the 4S is 1080 and ATV 720 will it stream from my phone? If so does it do a downgrade on the fly? Whats the quality like?

    Also when I'm asking can I view my pics on my phone on the TV and also edit them as I do it (same for video!)

  2. Pheo macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2011
    Hi there, yes you can stream/show photos via ATV2. Don't know about editing but theoretically possible with AirPlay Mirroring...
  3. UKmacman thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 4, 2007
    Thanks for the quick response. So you can def playback the 1080p video recorded on the 4S via ATV to your tv. Sorry to ask again, just want to be sure before I get one!
  4. chenks macrumors 6502a


    Oct 23, 2007
    yes, but the video will be downscaled to 720p, as the appletv is not able to playback 1080p content.
  5. OptyCT macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2008
    I've tried it and the playback drops frames. It's not quite polished yet.
  6. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    My playback was not optimal. Mind you I'm using Airplay to a little 24" LCD TV. I just expected it to be a bit more ... well fluid.
  7. UKmacman thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 4, 2007
    Well I bought an atv unit, set it up. Normal video playback is amazing but video shot directly on the camera it terrible, almost unwatchable. I have a good connection but I think I am going to return the unit - of they take it back! What a shame, otherwise great!
  8. dgalvan123 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2008
    When you Airplay footage that you just recently shot on your iphone (be it 4 or 4s) you are sending raw, uncompressed video data over your wifi network to the ATV2. When Airplay first came out, we were not allowed to airplay even the 720p videos shot by the iPhone 4 directly to the ATV2 (there simply was no airplay button available for those videos in our camera rolls). Instead, we had to synch our phones to our computer, import the video into iTunes, then synch the iTunes video (now automatically compressed into iTunes' m4v format) back to our phones, and then we could airplay THAT video to the ATV2 from our "iPod" app with no probllem.

    Since then, updates have allowed us to airplay iPhone 4 videos in the camera roll (videos we just recently shot without synching to a computer) to ATV2, but it takes a little while to buffer the video content since it is still uncompressed, and hence has a higher bit-rate than a compressed movie file like what you would have in iTunes. The iPhone may actually be compressing the video on-the-fly in addition to letting the ATV2 buffer it. . . I'm not sure what exactly is happening. But, as an example, a 2 minute video shot in 720p on the iPhone 4 requires a 15 second-or-so wait at the beginning while the ATV2 buffers enough data so that it can play the whole movie without stopping. (This is over a healthy 802.11n wifi network that is not bogged down with other traffic.)

    The iPhone 4s shoots 1080p video, which is twice the resolution of the 720p on the iPhone 4, and therefore I would expect the file sizes to be twice that of an iPhone 4 video of the same duration. So I'm not surprised that Airplaying uncompressed 1080p videos directly to the ATV2 from the camera roll is not "smooth". We're really pushing the limits of bandwidth speeds on a wifi network here.
  9. AdrianK macrumors 68020

    Feb 19, 2011
    Do you have a citation for that?

    Surely uncompressed 1080p will be so far over 54mbit/s that it's totally unfeasible.

    And what's wrong with just bit streaming the MP4s anyway?
  10. dgalvan123 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2008
    Ok, let me correct myself because the part you quoted may indeed be untrue: I don't actually know if the iPhone is compressing the video before it Airplays it over the wifi network or if it is sending the uncompressed data, as I mentioned at the end of my previous post (sorry for the confusion).

    BUT what is really relevant to this discussion is this: The bit rate of the HD video you took on your iphone4 or 4s is much higher than the bit rate of videos you can get from, say, the iTunes store. That higher bit rate is likely the reason that Apple didn't allow airplaying of your camera-roll videos when it first introduced Airplay last year. See this post from John Gruber, or search around in the Macrumors and forums for complaints about camera roll videos not being airplay-capable. This was back in November of 2010.

    Here' an example thread of people complaining about the lack of Airplay support for IP4 camera roll videos last year:

    "HD movies rented or bought from iTunes tend to be encoded with bitrates of about 5 Mbit/s. Video clips shot on the iPhone 4 have bitrates of about 10-11 Mbit/s — the iPhone doesn’t have the processing power to compress movies tighter than that. "

    This led to people developing third-party apps that would take a video from your camera roll and airplay it to the Apple TV2, even though the iPhone 4 couldn't do that natively before iOS 4.3.

    ex: Air Home Video

    or Quickplay

    These third-party apps worked by taking the video, compressing it (which took about the same amount of time as the clip length itself), and then airplaying the lower-bit-rate version to the ATV2 without a problem.

    Of course, with iOS 4.3 in March of this year, Apple DID enable airplaying of the 720p iPhone 4 video from the camera roll, and everyone noticed how slow and clunky that airplay process could be, presumably due to the higher bit rates.
    Here's a macrumors thread with people complaining about that, back in March of this year (2011)

    And here's an forum with people complaining about the lack of airplay capability, then discovering the third-party apps, then getting native airplay

    Sample comment from that thread on March 16:
    "However, even for a 50sec video it takes 30 seconds of buffering making the whole process really slow and annoying."

    To sum up: When the iPhone 4S airplays the camera roll videos it is probably doing some kind of compression to send those to the ATV2, I agree. But I still say that a 1-minute video at 1080p is going to be bigger than the same-length video at 720p, compressed or uncompressed. And since the iPhone 4 videos at 720p require a significant wait as it is, it's no surprise that the iPhone 4S airplay experience requires even a longer wait, more buffering, or more dropped frames.

    *shrug* I dunno. You can find out, though, by downloading a 1080p video from your iPhone 4S to your computer, and looking at the specs of that video in Quicktime or iTunes. That will tell you the bit-rate.

    Not sure what you mean here. . . but I can give you some anecdotal "evidence" regarding streaming 1080p to my ATV2.

    I don't have an iPhone 4S, but I do have a DSLR camera that shoots 1080p video. When I connect my camera to my mac, those videos get imported into iPhoto, and iTunes serves them to my Apple TV2. Some of these high-quality movies (the ones shorter than say, 1 minute) play successfully on the Apple TV, after a LONG buffering period (usually longer than the length of the clip itself). Some of the longer movies (>1 minute) buffer for a while, and then simply crash the Apple TV2 without actually playing. That's if I leave the videos untouched in iPhoto as .mov files. If I drag the movies into iTunes and let iTunes automatically convert/compress them using H.264, the movies play fine on my apple tv 2, but they still take longer to buffer than my iPhone 4 (720p) videos of similar length.
  11. AdrianK macrumors 68020

    Feb 19, 2011
    Oh, sorry about missing that.

    Trying out different colour modes for 1080p @ 30FPS it doesn't look like you can go below 500mbit/s which isn't at all suitable for wifi so I guess it's just bit streaming.

    I just meant that I couldn't see why sending the H264 the iPhone records without encoding as uncompressed first would be problematic.

    Oh yeah, I'm not contesting that a higher bitrate isn't the issue here. You've done a greg job consolidating a lot of information about it.

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