iPhone X 21:9 Video Playback

Vermifuge

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 7, 2009
1,992
1,478
Here are some updated tests I ran using the Xcode iPhone X simulator. I used the full screen options to play back a 21:9 video sample.

Using Safari I played this 21:9 video off Youtube.com. Please note this is not using the YouTube app only the safari browser. youtu.be/iGnwVyQFT4A. This is what you can expect of any videos with a wider aspect ratio than 16:9. You can expect similar results from 2.35:1 or 2.40:1 aspect ratios. Here is a link to many examples of movies wider than 16:9 http://www.imdb.com/list/ls073624685/

As you can see I have examples of the video playing uncropped (avoiding the notch) and zoomed in where the notch and rounded corners will impact some of the image on screen. Note: the video was playing and the captured frames don't match exactly on each device. The 21:9 video does not appear to be trimmed on the top bottom or sides of the iPhone X when zoomed in and would seem to fit the screen exactly (with the exception of the corner and notch cut outs.)

I also added an example playing the same video using the iPhone X's build in media player. This image was taken with the video zoomed out to avoid the notch. It appears to be a little smaller than the same video playing back on YouTube. This is probably a software issue and will be fixed.

Finally in the last image I overlaid the iPhone X on top of an iPhone 8 Plus with the video uncropped. The slightly larger video is coming from the iPhone X. I set the image to about 70% opacity so the iPhone 8 Plus's (smaller) video screen can be seen below the X. When playing 21:9 videos on an 8 Plus the image is smaller (if only by a few pixels)

screens.jpg


Adding for Roeiz

screens2.jpg
 
Last edited:

roeiz

macrumors 65816
Sep 13, 2010
1,024
561
very nice work.
i will probably view most videos fullscreen.. and at that ratio it's great.
can you please make an example of 16:9 youtube video?
i wan't to see how much do i lose when full screen.
thanks!
 

fs454

macrumors 68000
Dec 7, 2007
1,617
1,107
Los Angeles / Boston
I'm a career cinematographer and I usually frown hard upon cropping / modifying the original intended frame, but honestly the notch and the curved edges obscure parts of the frame that we generally treat as irrelevant anyways. It's a bit of a pain to have the notch blocking anything but you're not going to miss any magic in that far reaching area of the frame anyways. The spacing and framing still works as you're not lopping off a linear portion.

I'd rather watch a movie on an iPhone X with the notch obscuring that area than watch a movie on a 55" 4K TV with Smooth Motion 120hz enabled - there are far worse things out there than optionally losing 5% of the corner your display! It's even less real estate than the top/bottom bars of 21:9 content viewed on a 16:9 display.
 

Vermifuge

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 7, 2009
1,992
1,478
I'm a career cinematographer and I usually frown hard upon cropping / modifying the original intended frame, but honestly the notch and the curved edges obscure parts of the frame that we generally treat as irrelevant anyways.
I'm more concerned about what might be lost on a 16:9 video when zoomed into match a 21:9 screens left and right limits.

I'll be making a few more images to demonstrate this to Roeiz. however this thread was specifically meant to demonstrate 21:9 playback on the iPhone X.

I'd rather watch a movie on an iPhone X with the notch obscuring that area than watch a movie on a 55" 4K TV with Smooth Motion 120hz enabled - there are far worse things out there than optionally losing 5% of the corner your display! It's even less real estate than the top/bottom bars of 21:9 content viewed on a 16:9 display.
I dont know if we know how video is processed on any of the iPhones. It seems like 240 hz playback is possible but i don't know if Apple converts the video from 24 fps to 30 fps or going even higher to 60, 120 or 240 hz.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: macTW and roeiz

sumsingwong

macrumors 6502a
Dec 15, 2012
766
364
Hmmm...not sure if I like portions video cut off in fill screen mode and the 240hz wouldn't be ideal for movies. Maybe documentaries.
 

fs454

macrumors 68000
Dec 7, 2007
1,617
1,107
Los Angeles / Boston
I'm more concerned about what might be lost on a 16:9 video when zoomed into match a 21:9 screens left and right limits.

I'll be making a few more images to demonstrate this to Roeiz. however this thread was specifically meant to demonstrate 21:9 playback.



I dont know if we know how video is processed on any of the iPhones. It seems like 240 hz playback is possible but i don't know if Apple converts the video from 24 fps to 30 fps or going even higher to 60, 120 or 240 hz.

16:9 to fill fullscreen on the X will lose essential parts of the frame. Not good - I'd watch 16:9 with left/right borders. But for movies that are anamorphic or otherwise cropped wider than 16:9, it's cool to be able to fill more of the display.

As for how video is processed, Apple respects the original content creator's intentions and doesn't extrapolate bizarre frame rates or smoothing like the TV manufacturers are wrongly doing. The screen are variable refresh rate, but you'll never see the soap opera effect on an Apple product. Even on the iPad Pro with ProMotion, video is treated as it is supposed to: by playing back at its original frame rate. They even drop the refresh to 24hz to do 24p playback without pulldown.
 

Vermifuge

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 7, 2009
1,992
1,478
Hmmm...not sure if I like portions video cut off in fill screen mode and the 240hz wouldn't be ideal for movies. Maybe documentaries.
Sorry I did not say that was a fact. I only meant that I don't know what the iPhone uses as standard. It appears all video is played as 30 or 60 fps. 24 fps doesn't seem to be supported. but i could be wrong. I didn't find anything official from Apple.
[doublepost=1508531812][/doublepost]
They even drop the refresh to 24hz to do 24p playback without pulldown.
Do you have a source for this? I just did a search and it seems to point to Apple as converting everything on the iPhone to 30/60 fps and not supporting 24 fps / 29.97 natively at all.
 
Last edited:

fs454

macrumors 68000
Dec 7, 2007
1,617
1,107
Los Angeles / Boston
Sorry I did not say that was a fact. I only meant that I don't know what the iPhone uses as standard. It appears all video is played as 30 or 60 fps. 24 fps doesn't seem to be supported. but i could be wrong. I didn't find anything official from Apple.
[doublepost=1508531812][/doublepost]

Do you have a source for this? I just did a search and it seems to point to Apple as converting everything to 30/60 fps and not supporting 24 fps / 29.97 natively at all.

https://www.gsmarena.com/understanding_apples_promotion_display_on_the_new_ipad_pro-news-25446.php

The iPad does this on the fly depending upon the content you are watching so if you are looking at a still image with no motion on the screen it can drop down the refresh rate to 24Hz to save power and you would never notice it. If you are watching a movie, it can switch to 24Hz or 48Hz depending upon the content. For everything else, it can switch to the full 120Hz. The flexibility allows more power savings and also get an accurate refresh rate to match your content more precisely, eliminating judder and distortion.
There are quite a few resources (Apple said so as well in the keynote itself) stating that the iPad Pro's display can drop to 24hz or 48hz for video content depending on the source framerate. I'm not sure the iPhone is doing the same thing, but I can definitively say that Apple puts more effort into making sure 24p content looks like 24p content than any other company that ships displays for media consumption. It's the right thing to do. The pre-ProMotion iPad Pro from 2015 even was advertised as having variable refresh rate albeit only up to 60hz. Considering this tech has been around as a power saving and content-improving measure for two years in shipping products, it wouldn't surprise me if they're using this without fanfare in the iPhone as well.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MEJHarrison

iSayBoourns

Suspended
Sep 15, 2017
679
767
https://www.gsmarena.com/understanding_apples_promotion_display_on_the_new_ipad_pro-news-25446.php



There are quite a few resources (Apple said so as well in the keynote itself) stating that the iPad Pro's display can drop to 24hz or 48hz for video content depending on the source framerate. I'm not sure the iPhone is doing the same thing, but I can definitively say that Apple puts more effort into making sure 24p content looks like 24p content than any other company that ships displays for media consumption. It's the right thing to do. The pre-ProMotion iPad Pro from 2015 even was advertised as having variable refresh rate albeit only up to 60hz. Considering this tech has been around as a power saving and content-improving measure for two years in shipping products, it wouldn't surprise me if they're using this without fanfare in the iPhone as well.
The iPhone doesn’t do the same thing. It doesn’t have the same variable refresh rate screen to do it. So 30/60 is all we get.
 

Vermifuge

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 7, 2009
1,992
1,478
I'm not sure the iPhone is doing the same thing, but I can definitively say that Apple puts more effort into making sure 24p content looks like 24p content than any other company that ships displays for media consumption.
I hate to be dismissive like this but this source is totally irreverent. I believe this is ONLY referring to the iPad pro. A quote from the opening statement of the article you liked....

"ProMotion is Apple's name for the adaptive high refresh rate display on the two new iPad models, which can now go up to 120Hz compared to 60Hz on every other mobile device on the market."

I don't think this impacts the iPhone models at all, even if they are newer than an iPad Pro.
[doublepost=1508532541][/doublepost]
very nice work.
i will probably view most videos fullscreen.. and at that ratio it's great.
can you please make an example of 16:9 youtube video?
i wan't to see how much do i lose when full screen.
thanks!
I have added the 16:9 images.

screens2.jpg
 

fs454

macrumors 68000
Dec 7, 2007
1,617
1,107
Los Angeles / Boston
The iPhone doesn’t do the same thing. It doesn’t have the same variable refresh rate screen to do it. So 30/60 is all we get.

I'm not seeing anywhere that confirms this either though - even 2016 and up MacBook Pros use this as a power-saving measure. I would be a little surprised if Apple wasn't able to dynamically reduce the refresh rate on their most power sensitive device.

From the MacBook Pro product description:
Its larger pixel aperture and variable refresh rate make it more power efficient than previous generations.


It's not actually very difficult to do this, displays have supported lots of different refresh rates for ages, and Apple seems to have the tech to change dynamically in its back pocket. I wonder if there's a way from the dev side of things to see what iOS is doing with the iPhone display compared to what it does with, say, a 2015 60hz iPad Pro.
[doublepost=1508532825][/doublepost]
I hate to be dismissive like this but this source is totally irreverent. I believe this is ONLY referring to the iPad pro. A quote from the opening statement of the article you liked....

"ProMotion is Apple's name for the adaptive high refresh rate display on the two new iPad models, which can now go up to 120Hz compared to 60Hz on every other mobile device on the market."

You asked for a source for my statement. My post was talking about the ProMotion display when I mentioned what you had quoted.
 

Vermifuge

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 7, 2009
1,992
1,478
You asked for a source for my statement. My post was talking about the ProMotion display when I mentioned what you had quoted.
OK.... but this thread is about "iPhone X 21:9 video playback"... That's why I named it as such.
 

iSayBoourns

Suspended
Sep 15, 2017
679
767
I'm not seeing anywhere that confirms this either though - even 2016 and up MacBook Pros use this as a power-saving measure. I would be a little surprised if Apple wasn't able to dynamically reduce the refresh rate on their most power sensitive device.

From the MacBook Pro product description:
Its larger pixel aperture and variable refresh rate make it more power efficient than previous generations.


It's not actually very difficult to do this, displays have supported lots of different refresh rates for ages, and Apple seems to have the tech to change dynamically in its back pocket. I wonder if there's a way from the dev side of things to see what iOS is doing with the display compared to what it does with, say, a 2015 60hz iPad Pro.
Apple has never once mentioned on stage or otherwise about iPhones having a variable refresh rate screen. Seems like something they would actually promote. Considering they’ve mentioned it twice on stage for the original iPad Pro 9.7” and again for the improved version in the new 10.5” and new 12.9” iPad Pros. (Original iPad Pro used a lesser version in conjunction with the Apple Pencil, new version is everywhere and not just with the Pencil active)
 
  • Like
Reactions: macTW

roeiz

macrumors 65816
Sep 13, 2010
1,024
561
I hate to be dismissive like this but this source is totally irreverent. I believe this is ONLY referring to the iPad pro. A quote from the opening statement of the article you liked....

"ProMotion is Apple's name for the adaptive high refresh rate display on the two new iPad models, which can now go up to 120Hz compared to 60Hz on every other mobile device on the market."

I don't think this impacts the iPhone models at all, even if they are newer than an iPad Pro.
[doublepost=1508532541][/doublepost]

I have added the 16:9 images.

Thanks. That’s a sacrifice some of us will have to do.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Vermifuge

FoxD

macrumors 6502a
Apr 28, 2010
503
247
I'm all about keeping the OAR but personally like it to fill the entire phone like on X. Looks amazing.
 

Vermifuge

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 7, 2009
1,992
1,478
Thanks. That’s a sacrifice some of us will have to do.
Here is one more image for you. In this image i increased the size of the iPhone Plus to match the width of the iPhone X. I did this to demonstrate accurately how much of the top and bottom of a 16:9 video would be cropped when played on an iPhone X and zoomed in to use the whole screen.

The iPhone Plus would not be as wide in relation to an iPhone X as this image depicts.

screen3.jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ntombi and roeiz

flat five

macrumors 603
Feb 6, 2007
5,568
2,590
newyorkcity
very nice work.
i will probably view most videos fullscreen.. and at that ratio it's great.
can you please make an example of 16:9 youtube video?
i wan't to see how much do i lose when full screen.
thanks!
the weird thing about youtube is...
...it's not as if youtube videos are 16:9... it's the youtube player that is 16:9..
so uploaders zoom-to-fill the player when they upload (pre-crop).. some leave the videos letterboxed within the player.. but i assume most of the videos on youtube aren't actually shot at 16:9..



i'm curious to see what happens when that's played on the X.. like, will the X think it's a 16:9 video? or will it be able to know the letter boxing within the player are to be ignored and to size/zoom according to the true ratio.. because this video would likely look sweet if the X zoomed it per it's actual ratio.. and probably look pretty crappy if it zooms it according to the youtube player frame.

?
 
  • Like
Reactions: roeiz

fs454

macrumors 68000
Dec 7, 2007
1,617
1,107
Los Angeles / Boston
the weird thing about youtube is...
...it's not as if youtube videos are 16:9... it's the youtube player that is 16:9..
so uploaders zoom-to-fill the player when they upload (pre-crop).. some leave the videos letterboxed within the player.. but i assume most of the videos on youtube aren't actually shot at 16:9..



i'm curious to see what happens when that's played on the X.. like, will the X think it's a 16:9 video? or will it be able to know the letter boxing within the player are to be ignored and to size/zoom according to the true ratio.. because this video would likely look sweet if the X zoomed it per it's actual ratio.. and probably look pretty crappy if it zooms it according to the youtube player frame.

?
The X will treat that video as 16:9 for sure as its actually the video, not the player. I deliver music videos to YT and Vevo as a part of the post process, and the most commonly agreed upon and required web spec is a 16:9 square-pixel 1920x1080 or 3840x2160 UHD 4K ProRes 422HQ delivery file with the "crop bars" burned in. This is pretty much universal across the biz and it's uncommon to see a wide file delivered at native pixel dimensions for mass-distributed video. It's possible and I believe the players adapt to the size (or at least Vimeo does, but it's more of an indie platform), but the standard being requested for distribution is 16:9. Maybe this will change over time, but I think the reasoning here is that most displays are going to be 16:9 so they'd rather have a file that will play nice on the vast majority of displays, operating systems, and players by default.

:edit for proof / specifics:


This is the file ripped directly from YouTube. It's a 1920x1080 file no matter the aspect. Arguably the most used file on my editing machine is the 2.35 crop bar PNG overlay to turn 16:9 video into what you see above, which is what many directors opt for even if they're not shooting anamorphic lenses which give this aspect natively.
 
Last edited:

flat five

macrumors 603
Feb 6, 2007
5,568
2,590
newyorkcity
The X will treat that video as 16:9 for sure as its actually the video, not the player. I deliver music videos to YT and Vevo as a part of the post process, and the most commonly agreed upon and required web spec is a 16:9 square-pixel 1920x1080 or 3840x2160 UHD 4K ProRes 422HQ delivery file with the "crop bars" burned in. This is pretty much universal across the biz and it's uncommon to see a wide file delivered at native pixel dimensions for mass-distributed video. It's possible and I believe the players adapt to the size (or at least Vimeo does, but it's more of an indie platform), but the standard being requested for distribution is 16:9. Maybe this will change over time, but I think the reasoning here is that most displays are going to be 16:9 so they'd rather have a file that will play nice on the vast majority of displays, operating systems, and players by default.

:edit for proof / specifics:


This is the file ripped directly from YouTube. It's a 1920x1080 file no matter the aspect. Arguably the most used file on my editing machine is the 2.35 crop bar PNG overlay to turn 16:9 video into what you see above, which is what many directors opt for even if they're not shooting anamorphic lenses which give this aspect natively.
yeah.. i see what you're saying..
i just tried that video on my phone (6s) and it won't go full-screen.. it thinks it's already full screen even though the black bars are still there..

so the videos like this are going to be extra weird on iPhone X ;)

i wouldn't be surprised to see youtube etc changing the way they're doing things considering the amount of manufacturers moving towards wider aspect ratios.
 
  • Like
Reactions: roeiz

fs454

macrumors 68000
Dec 7, 2007
1,617
1,107
Los Angeles / Boston
yeah.. i see what you're saying..
i just tried that video on my phone (6s) and it won't go full-screen.. it thinks it's already full screen even though the black bars are still there..

so the videos like this are going to be extra weird on iPhone X ;)

i wouldn't be surprised to see youtube etc changing the way they're doing things considering the amount of manufacturers moving towards wider aspect ratios.

Yeah - the standard could change, but we're a long way off from that I think as long-aspect screens are a distant minority as of right now. I'd like to see it for sure.

Honestly they just should allow seamless pinch-zoom/repositioning like they do with videos stored in the Photos app. Resize to however you'd like.
 
  • Like
Reactions: roeiz and flat five

roeiz

macrumors 65816
Sep 13, 2010
1,024
561
Yeah - the standard could change, but we're a long way off from that I think as long-aspect screens are a distant minority as of right now. I'd like to see it for sure.

Honestly they just should allow seamless pinch-zoom/repositioning like they do with videos stored in the Photos app. Resize to however you'd like.
Good idea. I hope they’ll allow it via software asap
 

Zune55

macrumors 6502a
May 2, 2015
921
297
Here are some updated tests I ran using the Xcode iPhone X simulator. I used the full screen options to play back a 21:9 video sample.

Using Safari I played this 21:9 video off Youtube.com. Please note this is not using the YouTube app only the safari browser. youtu.be/iGnwVyQFT4A. This is what you can expect of any videos with a wider aspect ratio than 16:9. You can expect similar results from 2.35:1 or 2.40:1 aspect ratios. Here is a link to many examples of movies wider than 16:9 http://www.imdb.com/list/ls073624685/

As you can see I have examples of the video playing uncropped (avoiding the notch) and zoomed in where the notch and rounded corners will impact some of the image on screen. Note: the video was playing and the captured frames don't match exactly on each device. The 21:9 video does not appear to be trimmed on the top bottom or sides of the iPhone X when zoomed in and would seem to fit the screen exactly (with the exception of the corner and notch cut outs.)

I also added an example playing the same video using the iPhone X's build in media player. This image was taken with the video zoomed out to avoid the notch. It appears to be a little smaller than the same video playing back on YouTube. This is probably a software issue and will be fixed.

Finally in the last image I overlaid the iPhone X on top of an iPhone 8 Plus with the video uncropped. The slightly larger video is coming from the iPhone X. I set the image to about 70% opacity so the iPhone 8 Plus's (smaller) video screen can be seen below the X. When playing 21:9 videos on an 8 Plus the image is smaller (if only by a few pixels)

View attachment 726400

Adding for Roeiz

View attachment 726423
Wow that’s so cool, that must be hard work. Will you please make same kind of pictures which are in your first post with Wonder Women & Game of Thrones. I want to see how these movies looks in different aspect ratios. Please post here once done please email me that you have completed your work so i will come here and look at those pictures. Thanks i am waiting......