Movies on iPad Pro: SD or HD?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by daniel1948, Nov 19, 2015.

  1. daniel1948 macrumors 6502


    Oct 20, 2015
    Spokane, WA
    At one time I read some reviews saying that for the iPad Air, there was no point getting HD movies because on the small screen you wouldn't really see a difference.

    What about the iPad Pro? Has anybody done comparisons between SD and HD on the iPP's amazing screen? Is there an improvement with HD? Or is the screen still too small for the difference in resolution to show up?
  2. magbarn macrumors 68000

    Oct 25, 2008
    My 40 year old eyes can easily see the difference between SD and HD on my Air 2. Considering how much bigger the Pro is, watching SD on it would be the same as hooking up a VHS VCR to a 65 inch 4K TV.
  3. joeblow7777 macrumors 603

    Sep 7, 2010
    Even on my iPad Mini 4 I can see the difference between SD and HD. Maybe what was meant is that it's hard to distinguish between the different levels of HD. After all, anything 720p and above is considered HD, and now with videos going up to 4K resolution, "HD" is quite a wide range.
  4. Zimmy68 macrumors 68000


    Jul 23, 2008
    Yep. I have lots of movies on VUDU but dread using the app on the IPP, the movies look awful.
    Thankfully, you can watch most of your library via Flixster, which shows movies in HD.
  5. nbourbaki macrumors regular

    Apr 19, 2015
    Even on my original iPad you can easily tell the difference between SD and HD content. On my iPad Air, the difference in quality between 720p and 1080p content is negligable so all of my content is in 720p to save space.
  6. johannnn macrumors 65816


    Nov 20, 2009
    It's easy to spot the difference. If you care or not is another question (my SO doesn't care and just takes the one that will download the fastest). For me it's not actually the picture, but the audio that is usually superior in HD material.
  7. Dammit Cubs macrumors 68000

    Dammit Cubs

    Jul 31, 2007
    Both are fine, but i have been loading 1080p HD videos and worked just fine.
  8. TrueBlou macrumors 68040


    Sep 16, 2014
    I think the difference between SD and HD has been noticeable on all of my iPads. But I also think, considering the size of the screens, it has more to do with the higher bitrate of HD files than the resolution, not that resolution doesn't play a part of course.
  9. stlredbird macrumors 6502


    Feb 24, 2009
    Honestly the video quality of streaming HD content on Netflix is the only disappointment I have with my IPP (just purchased last week). It is noticeably worse than watching on my old iPad 3. But that's just b/c of the higher resolution screen of the IPP. Like a TV, from a distance it looks better, but I do most of my streaming with my headphones in so it always has to be somewhat close.
  10. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
  11. masotime macrumors 68020


    Jun 24, 2012
    San Jose, CA
    Probably the "optimal" 16:9 video resolution for the iPad Pro is "2K" - 2560 x 1440, or otherwise known as 1440p on Youtube.

    Streaming is always going to be a problem however - you're better off loading a local copy of the movie. Transcoding it to HEVC may help with file sizes, although playback unfortunately tends to suffer due to the high computing power required to decode HEVC.

    For the simplest solution, get Air Video HD and point it to a server within your local network. That will stream decent quality video tailored to bandwidth ala other streaming services, but using your internal Network's bandwidth.

    If you plan to watch high quality videos on the move however, you're going to have to stick with external storage. Might I suggest getting a 12" MacBook instead? It's marginally smaller than the iPad Pro, but surprisingly lighter and more capable in terms of media playing options.

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10 November 19, 2015