All iPads HD Movie (iTunes Store) vs Blu-Ray Disc

Discussion in 'iPad' started by preyan, Mar 8, 2014.


I prefer....

  1. HD Movies from the iTunes Store

    12 vote(s)
  2. Blu Ray Discs

    26 vote(s)
  1. preyan macrumors 6502


    Aug 31, 2007
    South Africa
    Can anyone tell me how the quality is of a HD movie from the iTunes Store versus a Blu Ray Disc?
    I have yet to download an HD movie from the store but Blu Rays are phenomenal.

    Thanks :apple:


    Oh, and anyone that has HD movies from iTunes Store and watches them via Apple TV on their home TV's, I'd like to hear this direct comparison of watching both on the same TV.
  2. IlikeMacsSoMuch macrumors 6502


    Dec 30, 2009
    Blainville, Province of Quebec

    They are pretty good but if you have a good quality Tv you will see a difference. Blu-Ray looks way better, iTunes downloads are practical si ce you can Watch them on any i device registered to your Apple id
  3. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    We'll I think both are 1080p, so they probably look very similar.
  4. pagemaster macrumors member

    Dec 29, 2013
    No comparison, blu-ray is better. The sound alone is far superior. iTunes picture is very good I must add.
  5. preyan thread starter macrumors 6502


    Aug 31, 2007
    South Africa
    Thanks guys. I figure itunes movies are "optimized" for retina (smaller) screens compared to a TV. That would make the quality look "superior".
  6. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    iTunes movies are optimized for delivery over the internet. Since gigabit internet connections aren't exactly common, bitrates are lower compared to physical media ergo lower video quality.

    That said, they're decent enough for playback on the iPad. I haven't really bought an iTunes movie but I do take advantage of Digital Copy codes that come with Blu-ray releases. Heck of a lot convenient than ripping Blu-ray and re-encoding to fit on the iPad.
  7. pagemaster macrumors member

    Dec 29, 2013
    No, I don't believe so. iTunes movies on Apple TV are pretty damn good. The sound does not compare to bluray. The picture quality is comparable but not great for larger than 60 inch televisions or projection.
  8. SAIRUS macrumors 6502a

    Aug 21, 2008
    I consider myself a blu-ray junkie, but they do offer the best audio and video. In terms of practicality, I walk by a red box on my way to and from work, so it's not too much of an issue.

    If I need to watch something asap, well then it's a trip to to Best Buy, but it's honestly a reason to get out of the house.

    Oh and on a 130" screen, iTunes movies look like crap.
  9. hovscorpion12 macrumors 65816


    Sep 12, 2011
    Both iTunes Movies and Blu-Ray movies are 1080p, but if you have an iPhone, iPad, or a new Macbook pro without Disc tray, iTunes is the best because you can watch any of your purchased movies on all Apple devices. In terms of quality you will not notice any difference from watching an HD 1080 movie from iTunes to watching Blu-Ray. Plus you can not watch Blu-ray movies on any apple device. You can only watch Blu-Ray movies on a Blu-Ray Machine, PS3, PS4 and Xbox One.
  10. Moonjumper macrumors 68000


    Jun 20, 2009
    Lincoln, UK
    I notice a difference. I have yet to see anything near the quality of a good Blu-Ray. There is more to a good image than resolution. The bit rates are vastly different.

    Any Apple device is a limit for iTunes, just as you mentioned the limits for Blu-Ray (and you forgot PC). I realise there are ways to watch them on some other devices, but there are also ways to watch Blu-Ray on Apple devices.

    Digital copies included with Blu-Ray titles are common, and increasingly HD, so you get it both ways. Plus Blu-Rays are usually available cheaper, and have resale value.
  11. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    130"? Is that using a projector?

    One of the reasons I opt for Blu-ray is cross-compatibility. Far easier to rip a Blu-ray disc and encode to a smaller MP4 file compatible with Android and Apple devices than it is trying to get an iTunes Movie playing on Android or what have you. Besides, as mentioned plenty of movies now come with digital copies so no need to even rip and encode.
  12. SAIRUS macrumors 6502a

    Aug 21, 2008
    Yes projector
  13. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    Have a crappy 1080p or 720p TV - you wont know the difference.
    Play your audio through any TV - you wont know the difference.
    Have a good to excellent 720p TV - you might or might not see the difference.

    iTunes vs Blu Ray video - Blu Ray is superior, fact not opinion.
    iTunes vs Blu Ray standard audio - both play DTS and Dolby equally
    iTunes vs Blu Ray HD audio - Blu Ray only, iTunes doesn't have it.

    So if you have a nice TV, use a receiver/AVR then Blu Ray will be the better "experience" with superior image and HD audio (if your AVR supports it or your Blu Ray player can convert for the AVR).

    If you just want a nice image on a low end set up, iTunes is very good for that and people will be very happy with the results.

    Just more peanuts tossed into the gallery.
  14. SAIRUS macrumors 6502a

    Aug 21, 2008
    Some blu-rays throw in a digital copy, which Apple TV streams in HD. 2 birds mostly.
  15. drjsway macrumors 6502a

    Jan 8, 2009
    I have an 110" screen that I sit 7 feet away from. I can tell the difference, barely, when I'm looking for imperfections instead of enjoying the movie itself. I think color banding is the most noticeable problem. If I'm in a really perfectionist mood, I try to get the blu ray, but usually it's not enough of a difference to care. Considering iTunes version is 5x more compressed, it's quality is actually quite impressive.
  16. Primejimbo, Mar 11, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2014

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