iTunes video quality?

kingcrowing

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
May 24, 2004
718
0
Burlington, VT
I downloaded the free battlestar Galactica thing in iTunes yesterday, I've never seen it but it looked cool so I thought I'd see what its about, and now I'd likt to check it out, but the quality wasnt too hot. right now I'm only running at 1024x768, but the quality was very poor at full screen, and I'm going to be getting a new computer with a mich higer resolution, so if its this bad I'm just going to spend the extra $$ and get it on DVD. so are these free movies any differnt in quality than the actual TV shows?
 

ITASOR

macrumors 601
Mar 20, 2005
4,398
3
Pretty sure they're the same quality as the paid ones. Remember, these are really in all truthfulness designed for the iPod w/ Video, not to be played at huge resolutions. They look amazing on the iPod screen.
 

~Shard~

macrumors P6
Jun 4, 2003
18,377
43
1123.6536.5321
BornAgainMac said:
Any video at 320x200 will look terrible at that resolution. If you hook up an iPod to a TV, the quality holds up really well even on large screens.
Agreed - it's not TV quality per se, more like VCR-taped quality, but still definitely watchable. In the future I expect Apple to expand and improve their video offerings with higher quality content, but not for some time yet. For now, they are targeting watching these videos on your iPod mostly.
 

iMeowbot

macrumors G3
Aug 30, 2003
8,634
0
kingcrowing said:
so are these free movies any differnt in quality than the actual TV shows?
Nope. They're actually charging people $2 a pop for that garbage, and people are willingly handing it over. Amazing, isn't it?
 

~Shard~

macrumors P6
Jun 4, 2003
18,377
43
1123.6536.5321
iMeowbot said:
Nope. They're actually charging people $2 a pop for that garbage, and people are willingly handing it over. Amazing, isn't it?
For some people it works real well, and they don't mind paying, however I am in the situation where it just isn't worth it yet for me to use the service. When the content becomes higher quality and cheaper, then I will reconsider, for for Apple's initial stab at this whole video thing, I'll be holding off. I think it's excellent, and a great first step, but not something I'll be participating in due to the quality and cost.
 

kingcrowing

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
May 24, 2004
718
0
Burlington, VT
iMeowbot said:
Nope. They're actually charging people $2 a pop for that garbage, and people are willingly handing it over. Amazing, isn't it?

yeah.. I mean $2 for a DVD quality episode isnt a bad deal.. but I'd much rather pay $10-$15 more a season and get it on DVD and be able to watch in on a 1080i LCD and have it still look good
 

iMeowbot

macrumors G3
Aug 30, 2003
8,634
0
I'm sure there's some value in there for people who really intend to watch the shows on an iPod. At least they don't have to convert the video into a suitable format. As a substitute for Tivo or VOD, it just isn't there.
 

~Shard~

macrumors P6
Jun 4, 2003
18,377
43
1123.6536.5321
iMeowbot said:
I'm sure there's some value in there for people who really intend to watch the shows on an iPod. At least they don't have to convert the video into a suitable format. As a substitute for Tivo or VOD, it just isn't there.
Yeah, I agree. However, at this stage of things, I would still prefer to have my higher quality copies of TV shows which I acquire from different sources rather than the iTMS, and just perform the necessary conversion on them to watch them on an iPod video. That way I have my high quality copies and copies which I could play on my iPod, rather than just a lower quality copy which I can't make better for my other viewing needs. ;) Not all my video watching would ever take place on just my iPod.
 

wwooden

macrumors 68010
Jul 26, 2004
2,000
158
Burlington, VT
For people like my sister who lives in Paris, it is much easier for her to buy the episodes she likes from the iTMS then to pay for the shipping. Her computer is their only DVD player in their house, so it is going to be watched on there anyways. She bought the first season of The Office and really loved it, she could have the episode on the screen while she was doing other work.
 

e²Studios

macrumors 68020
Apr 12, 2005
2,104
5
kingcrowing said:
yeah.. I mean $2 for a DVD quality episode isnt a bad deal.. but I'd much rather pay $10-$15 more a season and get it on DVD and be able to watch in on a 1080i LCD and have it still look good

Correction, DVD's are 480p native. There are upconverting DVD players, I have a pioneer elite series one, but the fact remains that DVD's are really 480p at max resolution.

Ed
 

~Shard~

macrumors P6
Jun 4, 2003
18,377
43
1123.6536.5321
Ed H said:
Correction, DVD's are 480p native. There are upconverting DVD players, I have a pioneer elite series one, but the fact remains that DVD's are really 480p at max resolution.
This is true. That being said however, I am still looking forward to buying a nice new 1080p TV later this year. ;) :cool:
 

ChrisFromCanada

macrumors 65816
May 3, 2004
1,097
0
Hamilton, Ontario (CANADA)
Ed H said:
Correction, DVD's are 480p native. There are upconverting DVD players, I have a pioneer elite series one, but the fact remains that DVD's are really 480p at max resolution.

Ed
Incorrect, DVDs are 480i native, its just that almost every DVD player has a scalar in it to convert the signal to 480p or higher.

And yes I too will be getting a 1080p screen soon. Bestbuy here has 2 models already!
 

~Shard~

macrumors P6
Jun 4, 2003
18,377
43
1123.6536.5321
ChrisFromCanada said:
Incorrect, DVDs are 480i native, its just that almost every DVD player has a scalar in it to convert the signal to 480p or higher.

And yes I too will be getting a 1080p screen soon. Bestbuy here has 2 models already!
Thanks Chris, actually I meant 'i', not 'p' myself (not sure about Ed though.... ;)) And yeah, I've seen a couple 1080p models floating around as well. Hopefully by the time I'm ready to buy I'll have a few nice ones to choose from. :)
 

Nermal

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
18,778
1,243
New Zealand
ChrisFromCanada said:
Incorrect, DVDs are 480i native, its just that almost every DVD player has a scalar in it to convert the signal to 480p or higher.
PAL DVDs are either 576i or 576p, depending on how they were encoded. Perhaps NTSC DVDs can use either format too.
 

EricNau

Moderator emeritus
Apr 27, 2005
10,652
37
San Francisco, CA
BornAgainMac said:
Any video at 320x200 will look terrible at that resolution. If you hook up an iPod to a TV, the quality holds up really well even on large screens.
How does that work? And why do DVD's look better on my TV compared to my computer screen? Shouldn't it be the other way around? :confused:
 

Nermal

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
18,778
1,243
New Zealand
Computer screens have a much crisper image, so it's much easier to see imperfections in video. TVs are blurry, and the imperfections essentially get blurred out.
 

EricNau

Moderator emeritus
Apr 27, 2005
10,652
37
San Francisco, CA
Nermal said:
Computer screens have a much crisper image, so it's much easier to see imperfections in video. TVs are blurry, and the imperfections essentially get blurred out.
I guess that makes sense. Thanks
 

EricNau

Moderator emeritus
Apr 27, 2005
10,652
37
San Francisco, CA
Nermal said:
PAL DVDs are either 576i or 576p, depending on how they were encoded. Perhaps NTSC DVDs can use either format too.
What's the difference between the "i" and the "p"? Is one better than the other? :confused: I guess I'm not very familiar with this stuff. :eek:
 

Nermal

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
18,778
1,243
New Zealand
P stands for Progressive. Each frame of video is stored as one frame (as you'd expect). I stands for Interlaced, where each frame is divided into two parts, and reassembled at the other end. The reason for this is due to the power system. TVs operate at 25 frames per second*, but power is at 50 Hz (cycles per second). It was easier to push down half a frame (one field) per cycle, so that's what they did.

*In some countries the numbers are a bit different, but the technique is the same.
 

EricNau

Moderator emeritus
Apr 27, 2005
10,652
37
San Francisco, CA
Nermal said:
P stands for Progressive. Each frame of video is stored as one frame (as you'd expect). I stands for Interlaced, where each frame is divided into two parts, and reassembled at the other end. The reason for this is due to the power system. TVs operate at 25 frames per second*, but power is at 50 Hz (cycles per second). It was easier to push down half a frame (one field) per cycle, so that's what they did.

*In some countries the numbers are a bit different, but the technique is the same.
So one isn't really better than the other, they are just "different"?
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,366
978
New England
EricNau said:
So one isn't really better than the other, they are just "different"?
Most people prefer "p" since they each frame is fully updated at a given time, and this produces less flicker. With "i" you effectively get half a frame (every other line, sort of a window shade effect) updated every cycle of the power, but this generally happens so fast that you don't notice it.

This might help http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interlaced

B
 

BlueRevolution

macrumors 603
Jul 26, 2004
6,054
2
Montreal, QC
I prefer progressive video, on a computer monitor the interlacing can be quite noticeable during fast motion.

I can't speak for iTunes videos, but I ripped Lost Season 1 from DVD to iPod using MacTheRipper at 320x240 H.264 640 kbps video 128 kbps AAC audio and it looked fantastic on my computer too, barely blurry even scaled up to 1280x1024. gotta love that H.264.
 

Nermal

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
18,778
1,243
New Zealand
If you think 320x240 looks fantastic then you have low standards :rolleyes:

I'm starting to get frustrated by DVDs, which are 720x576!
 

Cooknn

macrumors 68020
Aug 23, 2003
2,111
0
Fort Myers, FL
A bit OT: Anybody know what CBS uses? I know that ABC broadcasts Hi-Def at 720p and I believe NBC uses 1080i. It's just that CBS HD looks so much better than the others. I'm guessing 720p. I haven't been keeping up on the HDTV movement for a while. I suspect the new 1080p HDTV's will only be upconverting to progressive as the current DVD players do. I don't believe that anybody has plans to broadcast in 1080p, is that the understanding :confused:
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.