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iLounge reports on a forum posting [Google translation] at Chinese site WeiPhone in which a user claims to demonstrate 720p and 1080p high-definition video playback on the iPhone 3GS. The poster conducted a series of test using the FileAid iPhone application to transfer video files of increasing resolution and bitrate to the iPhone 3GS, finding acceptable performance on video playback up to 1980 x 1080 resolution encoded in H.264 format at over 30 Mbps.
A forum post to Chinese-language site weiphone.com indicates that the iPhone 3GS is capable of playing back both 720p and 1080p video encoded in H.264 through the built-in video player, suggesting that Apple is currently placing arbitrary limits on the device, either to preserve battery life or keep its functionality more consistent with that of prior iPhone OS devices. Using the free document storage and viewing application FileAid, forum member fridtear was able to circumvent Apple’s video restrictions, smoothly playing back files up to 30 Mbps in 1980x1080 resolution via the iPhone 3GS' built-in video player.
While such high-resolution video is obviously not necessary for the iPhone itself, which offers only a 480 x 320 pixel display, many users are interested in outputting video for display on external monitors, and the iPhone 3GS is by default limited by Apple in that regard to the same 640 x 480 resolution, 1.5 Mbps standard used by older iPhone models. Of course, the large file sizes involved in high-definition, high bitrate video would restrict videos to relatively short clips given current iPhone storage capacities. The tests also did not address the effect of such video playback on heat or battery life under extended usage.

Rumors surfacing in late April hinted at high-definition capabilities for what turned out to be the iPhone 3GS, but while this latest report indicates that the hardware may be capable of it to at least some extent, Apple has elected not to enable it at this time.

Article Link: iPhone 3GS Capable of High-Definition Video Playback?
 

MrCrowbar

macrumors 68020
Jan 12, 2006
2,076
248
Makes sense to cripple the software, else people would whine about the capacities. Still, 1080p at 30 Mbps is rather impressive.

I'm still waiting for a reasonably prices camcorder that does 720p without being more blurry than a normal standard definition camcorder and doesn't skip frames when recording. :(
 
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madmaxmedia

macrumors 68030
Dec 17, 2003
2,922
33
Los Angeles, CA
Battery and heat may not be that bad since it should be using the hardware decoder for playback. I don't remember if resolution makes a difference when comparing playback of lower-res files (say 320x240 vs. 640x480.)

Anyways, this will be easy to test for 3GS owners, most all file transfer type apps can play videos.

The problem is getting that HD video feed out through the dock connector, not sure what software or hardware limitations are there.
 
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Hattig

macrumors 65816
Jan 3, 2003
1,448
84
London, UK
Not so much when Microsoft is using HD playback as a huge marketing point for their new Zune.

iPhone OS 3.1, released one week before the Zune HD, with HD video playback supported through a new iPhone/iPod HD Dock.

Oh, and here's the new iPod Touches, with that support as well.

$199, $269, $399. Yeah, cheaper too.
 
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Illusion986

macrumors 6502
Mar 12, 2009
354
3
How long it took to get mms? oh wait still dont have it! well kind of dont have it, capable of it but still cant use it..... So HD output would be great but it might take a while :) .
 
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Matariel

macrumors member
Jan 21, 2009
78
1
The hardware is quite probably capable of 720p playback, but I'm highly dubious of the 1080p claim, especially using h.264.

The ZuneHD has dedicated hardware for video decoding in the nVidia Tegra chip, but the iPhone3GS doesnt so unless Apple somehow takes advantage of the PowerVR core, using some kind of OpenGL shader to decode the video, they're forced to decode using brute force on the ARM core.
 
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audioteknika

macrumors regular
Mar 4, 2008
161
0
And the point of 1080p on a 3" screen is ?
Oh yes.. video playback on a 52" plasma..

Don't forget the $50 adapter..
 
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MrCrowbar

macrumors 68020
Jan 12, 2006
2,076
248
Not so much when Microsoft is using HD playback as a huge marketing point for their new Zune.

I suppose no one really uses the Zune's sharing feature, nor would anyone watch an HD movie from it. I mean, you can't enjoy it much on the small device itself, you wanna watch in on a big TV or at least a laptop. Sources for commercial HD stuff are BluRay and downloads, none of which the iPhone can really handle. Either the network is too slow or the battery will be empty after a few GBs. You're just better of hooking up your computer to the TV.

I guess it makes sense for short home movies... you know, get the movie clips on the mac, drag them onto iTunes and watch it on the iPhone without conversion.
 
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MadCow42

macrumors member
Jan 16, 2008
46
0
Screw video playback...

Forget video playback - I want an iPhone that can drive a standard computer projector, and run KeyNote. I'd love to travel with just a phone for giving customer and event presentations!

1280x800 @ 10fps is more than enough for that kind of stuff - and storage is a non-issue (unless you embed video, of course). That's a killer-app that will get Apple into more corporate environments.

MadCow.
 
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JAT

macrumors 603
Dec 31, 2001
6,473
124
Mpls, MN
Add HD to the iPhone, don't add HD to the iPhone. Meh. I'd rather bring an SD card and pop it into someone's BD player.

Tell Apple to worry about BD in a computer first.
 
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Fuchal

macrumors 68030
Sep 30, 2003
2,501
770
There's just no way the iPhone is playing back 1080p... smoothly. No way. My Macbook Air can't playback 1080p.

If you had a 9400M in your Air it would play back perfectly as Apple decodes h.264 in hardware when a 9400M is present. Would assume the iPhone has hardware decoding as well.
 
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Hattig

macrumors 65816
Jan 3, 2003
1,448
84
London, UK
The ZuneHD has dedicated hardware for video decoding in the nVidia Tegra chip, but the iPhone3GS doesnt.

The iPhone has video decode acceleration alongside the integrated graphics, just like the Tegra. It's just not hyped as much. In addition the ARM Cortex A8 has a SIMD unit called Neon that could be utilised, but I think 30mbps H.264 really would require dedicated hardware.
 
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nutts

macrumors member
Jan 23, 2007
64
1
How long it took to get mms? oh wait still dont have it! well kind of dont have it, capable of it but still cant use it..... So HD output would be great but it might take a while :) .

I have it, and have been using it every day since OS3.0 came out; it's great!

Oh, you mean *you* don't have it in *your* country. Nothing to do with Apple I guess then, it must be your cellular provider.

So the point of your whiney post is? It might take a while for sure, but it's a little different to MMS don't you think; can't see that HD video output has much to do with cellular networks, unless you're streaming it (which is not under discussion here). :rolleyes:
 
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Ted13

macrumors 6502a
Dec 29, 2003
619
324
NYC
Form the article:
Of course, the large file sizes involved in high-definition, high bitrate video would restrict videos to relatively short clips given current iPhone storage capacities.

Huh? 720P H.264 video is 1.5GB per hour on iTunes. You could store 20 hours of that on a 32GB iPhone. Even at Blu-ray bit rates for 1080P video (huge overkill) you could fit a 2 hour movie on there. Not a "short clip" in my book.
 
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zombitronic

macrumors 65816
Feb 9, 2007
1,115
6
You're using the Zune as an example of what Apple should do with the iPod/iPhone? How did that squirting thing work out?

I suppose no one really uses the Zune's sharing feature, nor would anyone watch an HD movie from it. I mean, you can't enjoy it much on the small device itself, you wanna watch in on a big TV or at least a laptop. Sources for commercial HD stuff are BluRay and downloads, none of which the iPhone can really handle. Either the network is too slow or the battery will be empty after a few GBs. You're just better of hooking up your computer to the TV.

I guess it makes sense for short home movies... you know, get the movie clips on the mac, drag them onto iTunes and watch it on the iPhone without conversion.

I think you guys might be missing the point. The Zune HD can play HD video while connected to a HDTV. No one is suggesting watching 720p video on a mobile device.

And the point of 1080p on a 3" screen is ?
Oh yes.. video playback on a 52" plasma..

Don't forget the $50 adapter..

At that point, it would be more like a portable hard drive. Don't tell me it wouldn't be sweet to load up an HD movie on your iPhone, take it to your friend's house, plug it in, and watch the movie in all its HD glory.
 
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