Original HDV/AVCHD vs AppleTV picture quality

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by CMD is me, Aug 14, 2008.

  1. CMD is me macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2006
    I'm on the HD camcorder hunt right now. I've read several posts where people complained about AIC and AppleTV's HD quality. I have HD cable and a very nice 1080i TV, but with home movies I'm use to standard def DV (edited in iMovie and burned to DVD). I've shot with HDV and AVCHD, played them directly on the HDTV and certainly had the "wow" factor.

    So the question is, once I take the HD original footage, import it into iMovie, save it for AppleTV and play it back on the same HDTV, how much of that wow factor will be lost? Will someone say "looks nice, is that hi-def? Or will they stare at amazement and say "me got to have that!"
  2. Mit59 macrumors newbie

    Aug 8, 2008
    AppleTV has significantly lower resolution so it will probably not look HD. The max. resolution is somewhat better than DVD. Having said that, most people can't tell HD from BluRay unless they are side-by-side so most people think it looks fine.

    Max Resolution: 1280 by 720 pixels at 24 fps, 960 by 540 pixels at 30 fps

    I have one and I'm quite happy with it but since it is significantly less than the 1920x1080 of most HD cams it can't compete with a HDMI connection to your raw camera footage.

  3. CMD is me thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2006
    To my understanding 960x540/30p is very close to 1920x1080/60i... and to keep it all in perspective, up 'til now I've been shooting 480i, editing in iMovie and compressing to fit on a DVD... broadcast SDTV looks much better than my iDVDs!
  4. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    You understand wrong.
  5. CMD is me thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2006
    Can you expand a bit?

    Were I'm getting this is from reading several "540p vs 1080i" discussions. While 1080i has a higher resolution, the lower resolution progressive scan is not visually much different... but this what I read, not an actual conclusion I've made.

    I've watched rented DVDs upscaled to 480p which were very impressive. Is it safe to assume :apple:TV's 540p is somewhere as good if not better than most DVDs on a progressive scan player?

    The point in my post was not to turn this into another, but simply ask what people think about the :apple:TV HD output compared to the original source. Watching a couple hours of unedited home movies will certainly put you to sleep, but iMovie can make them fun to watch. SOME loss in quality for the sake of editing and access ease is acceptable.
  6. theBB macrumors 68020


    Jan 3, 2006
    There are quite a few articles all over the net that basically says that it is very hard to tell the difference between 720 or 1080 if you don't sit extremely close to the screen. (The "extremely close" distance depends on the size of your TV) If you have a 32'' TV, I think you'd have to be only a few feet away from it.

    Besides, if you read reviews at www.imaging-resource.com, the consumer HD cameras turn out to have about half the effective resolution compared to the raw pixel count. That sounds like a waste of a good amount of the file size.

    I believe compression is a bigger factor in visual quality, so you might even get a lower quality picture if you keep a higher resolution, but the same file size or bit rate. In the end, it sounds unlikely that you will keep the same visual quality as raw HDV footage due to compression, not due to slightly lower resolution. It might turn out to be good enough. After all, if you are filming on a sunny day at noon, the difference will probably be small due to the harsh lighting.
  7. Cromulent macrumors 603


    Oct 2, 2006
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    Depends how good you are at filming. You can have the best quality camera on the market, but if you are crap at filming the footage then it will still get the 'meh' response.
  8. CMD is me thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2006
    I understand where you're going with that, but question is how the copy's quality compares to the original -- nothing to do with the original footage itself. In your words, if it starts as crap, it will finish as crap. But if its roses to begin with, will it still smell good when finished ;)

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