Only reason buying AT2 is Netflix but does any other device do better than 720p?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by NJRonbo, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. NJRonbo macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    #1
    I have a Tivo HD unit that has Netflix on it.

    I have a new LG TV and Blu-ray player with Netflix on it as well.

    The only reason I am considering an Apple TV at this
    point is because I hear that the menu and selection
    design for Netflix far exceeds what you can find anywhere
    else.

    Is this true?

    Also, the bigger question....

    AppleTV only does 720p output.

    Is there any other device that outputs Netflix at a higher
    resolution?

    Thanks
     
  2. JAG77 macrumors member

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    Jun 30, 2010
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    Central Illinois
    #2
    It's my understanding that netflix doesn't offer 1080p streaming due to many network limitations. Besides, the human eye can't even really tell the difference between the two. I do think that netflix would be a good reason to buy the ATV2 ( I am looking at getting one too ) but the ability to stream your photos and music and itunes library should be a plus too, right? At least for me thats another big purchasing aspect.
     
  3. cpucrash0 macrumors regular

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    May 25, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #3
    Your wrong. netflix does have 1080p but only on the PS3 and also has 5.1 surround sound on the ps3 so netflix is better on the ps3. google it if you don't believe me :)
     
  4. NJRonbo thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Jan 10, 2007
    #4
    Are you saying that Apple TV is unable to
    pass the 5.1 signal?

    I know that Dolby recently incorporated 5.1
    into some of the Netflix streams. I am hoping
    that AT2 is capable of the playing sound format.
     
  5. jaw04005 macrumors 601

    jaw04005

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    AR
    #5
    There are some titles available in 1080p on the PS3. I'm sure they'll beef it up, but it's pretty sporatic now.
     
  6. NJRonbo thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Jan 10, 2007
    #6
    ..and I am reading through various other sources
    that the AT2 does pass 5.1

    If someone has contrary information please speak up.
     
  7. newagemac, Dec 4, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2010

    newagemac macrumors 68020

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    #7
    I have a PS3 and there are no 1080p titles available from Netflix. I did a search on Google too because I wanted to test it out and no one can point to any 1080p titles available from Netflix anywhere. Apparently the confusion comes from Sony's Playstation Blog that claims the PS3 version of Netflix would do 1080p. Netflix themselves never claimed that they would do 1080p. Apparently what Sony is really saying is that the PS3 upscales 720p content to 1080p. That's nothing special though because your 1080p TV will already upscale 720p content to 1080p. But Netflix is apparently not streaming any 1080p content at all period.

    Netflix did put out a press release stating that 5.1 was available for some titles on the PS3 and would be coming to other devices soon. So for now, that is a benefit of using the PS3 over other devices for Netflix.

    The Apple TV does do 5.1 though (iTunes content and my Handbrake encodes are in 5.1 on the ATV) so when Netflix does bring it to other devices the Apple TV should be included. My guess is Sony was able to arrange an exclusive on 5.1 for a short time period similar to how Microsoft had an exclusive on discless Netflix on game systems and as soon as the exclusive ended both the PS3 and Wii had built in Netflix apps.
     
  8. ScrewTheDaisies macrumors regular

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    Jun 17, 2009
    #8
    We have two LG Blu-Ray players and--till I get a chance to buy a second one--one new Apple TV. If I never have to use the Blu-Ray players to play anything but Blu-Ray disks again, I'll be thrilled. The ATV interface is much smoother, and unlike the Blu-Ray players, it gives me access to all of Netflix, not just what's in my queue. (I have no idea how Netflix on Tivo compares.)
     
  9. newagemac macrumors 68020

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    Mar 31, 2010
    #9
    I've used Netflix on the Tivo HD. It's probably the worst Netflix experience available on any device. The Tivo was one of the first devices that got Netflix and years later they still haven't updated the app and it is basic, buggy, and very slow. Roku got Netflix around the same time and they've done multiple updates to theirs so Tivo has no excuse. I used to be a huge Tivo fan years ago but they have really gone downhill.
     
  10. HobeSoundDarryl, Dec 4, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2010

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

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    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #10
    Others have already commented about the error you made about Netflix 1080p offerings. I also find fault with your second sentence. The human eye can indeed tell the difference between the two. Else, I should be typing this on my 720p resolution (small 27") 2010 edition iMac screen. If my eye can't see any difference in that extra resolution, why did Apple bother to include it in this iMac?

    I know we want to just run with the cheerleader arguments about such stuff because they generally want what Apple decides to be THE way no matter what, but perpetuating such stuff doesn't make it any more true than when you first read it from someone else.

    Yes, I've seen the "chart" and this "9X% people can't see the difference" argument many times before. Nevertheless, Apple's choice to build this mostly terrific device limited to 720p doesn't automatically make 720p THE ideal option... only the ideal option for those who can choose to buy ONLY what Apple wants to sell.

    If YOUR human eye(s) can't see the difference of 720p vs. 1080p in your own situation, that's fine. But your eyes- or perhaps your situation (HDTV, environment, etc)- are not necessarily representative of all human eyes & situations... certainly not ALL human eyes and situations.

    To the topic of the post, yes there are plenty of other little set top boxes that do 1080p. Look to Roku & Western Digital for just two. And there are various sources of 1080p content beyond just Netflix and BD rips. Look to Vudu for one better example. The catch is that with these other devices, you don't get the "for dummies" polish of the Apple UI and the richest of connections to the media organized in your copy of iTunes, but they do offer 1080p playback in similarly-priced set-top boxes (and some of the UIs aren't that bad). Also, check your HDTV and some BD players for a USB jack. Newer HDTVs like Samsung models have (not as nice) UI's built right into the TV to access media on a connected hard drive and play it back at 1080p.

    I'd love to see someone use a 1080p platform that basically rips off the last generation UI of the previous edition of Apple TV, while adding in the ability to connect to Netflix, etc. I wish Apple would just do it: Apple TV 1080p, but the cheerleaders have a long list of justifications why it makes little to no sense for Apple to do that... until of course, Apple does deliver one. Then, they'll gush how great it is to have a 1080p Apple TV. Much like how a front facing camera on iDevices- especially iPad- made absolutely no sense last year; yet, now that Apple is pushing face time, the same cheerleaders who argued how stupid it was to want that then, love it now... and/or can't wait for it on the new iPad.
     
  11. NJRonbo thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Jan 10, 2007
    #11
    I have been a home theater enthusiast
    all my life and certainly, you can tell
    the difference between 720p and 1080p.
     
  12. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

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    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #12
    Then don't be swayed by the Apple cheerleaders who seem to want to say anything to support Apple's choice to limit this thing to 720p.

    I'm a big Apple fan myself. And I've bought more than one of the original :apple:TVs in spite of this limitation. But in answer to your original post question, yes, there certainly are other, similar boxes with 1080p chipsets. They come with UI and iTunes integration issues, but they can max out an HD picture on a 1080p HDTV... instead of pretending that an up-conversion is "just as good" (because Apple said so).

    I still long for a next-gen :apple:TV that brings the Apple UI and full iTunes integration to a 1080p platform. Unfortunately, the time between the previous version and this new one was 4 years. Hopefully, the time between this one and the next one won't be as long.

    Frankly, best hope is probably for the new Apple TV UI to become a new Front Row update (maybe in OS X Lion), then pay up for the overkill of dedicating a Mac Mini to this task.
     
  13. newagemac macrumors 68020

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    Mar 31, 2010
    #13
    Just to be clear once more, Netflix does NOT stream 1080p to the PS3 or any other device currently.
     
  14. OasisNYK macrumors 6502

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    Nov 29, 2004
    #14
    I have a PS3 in my TV room and just picked up an Apple TV for my bedroom 720p set. I can tell you that the Apple TV does just fine - not really a noticeable difference in quality. Maybe if it was on a 1080p 50 inch set I would care but if you are just looking for a cheap easy way to stream netflix then this is your answer.

    The price can't be beat and since you can also grab itunes content on it thats a bonus.
     
  15. ddub60 macrumors newbie

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    Nov 30, 2010
    #15
    Content drives hardware

    Darryl makes a devastating case against Apple's argument for 720p rather than 1080p. Because Apple has never made that argument, one might considered it a hollow victory. But still, it was devastating.

    Everyone seems to ignore the content side. The ATV is designed to increase iTunes use and increase streaming of iTunes video. The iTunes store does not include 1080p video because few people in the U.S. can stream 1080p content, their internet connection is not fast enough: only one in four U.S. houses has a connection faster than 5Mbps (and 5Mbps is not fast enough to stream 1080p).

    In my case, I have a (theoretical) 10Mbps connection and I can usually download nearly 2 minutes of 720p content every minute, so I can stream iTunes HD movies with little delay. True HD (1080p), however, requires 4 times the bandwidth of 720p. Were 1080p content available on iTunes, it would require more than 4 minutes to download a 2 minutes of video; streaming is no longer possible.
     
  16. Phillie14586 macrumors member

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    Oct 14, 2010
    #16
    That is what pisses me off about corporate business these days. Heaven forbid you make a good product that could stand on its own especially if it can help you in some other revenue stream. How much would it really cost Apple to make the ATV 1080p compliant? So if it is just to support the iTunes store then why even allow the possibility of importing 1080p files into iTunes.
     
  17. Irishman macrumors 68030

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    Nov 2, 2006
    #17
    For streaming Netflix, 1080p is meaningless, as Netflix has no 1080p titles available.

    That may change, but as it stands, 720p is fine for Netflix. And, from what I've heard, the ATV does Netflix as good as anything else.
     
  18. Irishman macrumors 68030

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    Nov 2, 2006
    #18
    Yes, I understand that the version of Netflix is a few versions old, very much like that of the Google TV, not the most recent version, like on the ATV.
     
  19. Irishman, Dec 4, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2010

    Irishman macrumors 68030

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    Nov 2, 2006
    #19
    You have to realize that not all of us like to watch tv like you do. I don't care that the AppleTV handles 1080p video. If I want to watch 1080p, I watch my Blu-ray player.
     
  20. NJRonbo thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Jan 10, 2007
    #20
    ...but what it really all boils down to in
    my purchase decision....

    The UI for Netflix is far better on Apple TV
    than most other devices?
     
  21. brentsg macrumors 68040

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    Oct 15, 2008
    #21
    But it's 100% a function of viewing distance and display size.

    Anyways, they can do whatever they want with resolution. It's the overall bitrate that is important with streaming content.
     
  22. lexvo macrumors 65816

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    #22
    The other day we were watching sports with friends. When I switched between 720p and 1080p everybody could see the difference.
     
  23. lexvo macrumors 65816

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    Nov 11, 2009
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    The Netherlands
    #23
    +1
    And for me, the inability to display photo's at 1080 pixels vertical with the ATV2 is a deal breaker.
     
  24. alehel macrumors member

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    Apr 19, 2010
    #24
    What are you basing this on. There is no connection between file size and resolution. File size is a result of the video bitrate. If you have a 1080p and a 720p file, both with the same bitrate, they come out at the same file size. Resolution doesn't affect it.

    Apple could have offered 1080p files without making them larger in file size.
     
  25. HobeSoundDarryl, Dec 5, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2010

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

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    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #25
    Don't try to flip the argument. I'm not making a case that 1080p should be forced upon everyone. I'm all about choice in this matter. I'm negative on Apple making that choice for everyone. And I'm negative on arguments like "The human eye can't see the difference" being used to try to justify Apple's decision.

    Had Apple used a 1080p chip, all the "720p is good enough for me" people (apparently, you are one of them) would still get 720p to it's fullest quality. And the "I want 1080p" crowd would have got what they wanted too. Instead, Apple chose to cap this off at 720p, which still gives the first crowd what they want, but completely fails the second crowd unless they comply.

    720p is good enough for you? Great. Enjoy it. You got what you want. The OP was asking about 1080p though, because he/she, me and some others have interest in an :apple:TV-like solution that can actually max out the resolution potential of our 1080p HDTVs, not feed a 1920 x 1080 TV a 1280 x 720 signal in which pixels & color choices have to be invented to fill in the missing information.

    Lastly, the BD player option is fine, but what about home video content shot on a 1080 HD camcorder, edited in iMovie at 1080, able to be rendered as a 1080 Quicktime file, imported into iTunes, and it will play just fine there. If you value non-commercial HD footage like 1080HD home movies, what's the solution for that situation?
     

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