SD vs. HD on the iPad

Discussion in 'iPad' started by eagleglen, May 2, 2010.

  1. eagleglen macrumors 65816


    Oct 2, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
    Can you really tell a difference between movies and tv shows in SD vs HD if you're only going to watch them on the iPad? I tried downloading a few to see for myself but I noticed when you buy an HD video in iTunes you also get the SD version too. Once you sync the iPad I can't tell which version I'm looking at. I guess a second question is where does it say you're watching an HD video once its been downloaded?

    A third question I have is can I delete the SD version from my MacBook? What's the reason for keeping it?
  2. craigd macrumors 6502

    Jul 24, 2007
    perth, AU
    I downloaded a Survivors HD preview from iTunes and I have to say I think the HD quality video is totally awesome.

    I really do feel you can tell the difference.
  3. pondie84 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 28, 2008
    If you've purchased the SD video from iTunes you should be able to delete it from your macbook. You should then be able to right click on your iPad icon when it's connected to iTunes and then click "Transfer purchases" if you want to restore it to your macbook at a later date :) (I think).

    As for your question re SD/HD I'll leave that to more discerning eyes :p I'm still yet to care whether I watch SD or HD things on my big screen TV and always go for the SD since it will download faster and chew up less of my download limit.
  4. zedsdead macrumors 68040

    Jun 20, 2007
    A SD source that is full res anamorphic 848x480 will look very good. Example: handbrake ripped movies.

    HD from Apple looks even better, same goes for rip of blu ray to apple tv preset in handbrake.

    For some reason shows that are SD only in itunes do not use the new anamorphic encoding and are still 640x360 (16x9) and those don't look as good.
  5. Jarmel macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2010
    Depends if the material is fullscreen or not. I sometimes prefer SD fullscreen on the Ipad compared to HD widescreen due to the aspect ratio. You can tell a difference between SD and HD though.
  6. bmat macrumors 6502

    Nov 24, 2004
    East Coast, USA
    I wish that you could upgrade iTunes sd content to HD.
  7. zedsdead macrumors 68040

    Jun 20, 2007
    This is my single biggest complaint against Apple's iTunes videos. It should be similar to iTunes Plus with music. Complete your Season should also be an option.
  8. Robin Chung macrumors member

    Robin Chung

    Apr 6, 2010
    You can tell the difference and HD is always better. But the iPad doesn't have enough pixels to see true HD quality.
  9. iSingandiDance macrumors 6502a


    Apr 24, 2010
    I've been wondering this myself. I plan on filling iPad up with some of my favs from iTunes. I wasn't sure which def to buy since from the preview they are virtually indiscernible. Not to mention HD is a good 2 GB bigger than their SD counterparts and $5 more.

    Is there a difference once downloaded or will I get the same preview quality regardless of if I purchase the HD or SD?
  10. Fattytail macrumors 6502a

    Apr 11, 2012
    I can see the difference if I look for it, but otherwise I think SD looks fine on an iPad. Now put that same comparison up on a big screen and it's night and day. But, for an iPad, SD is fine if you're not super sensitive about these sorts of things.
  11. JackieInCo Suspended

    Jul 18, 2013
    Same here. The colors are brighter and of course everything is sharper.

    I've been buying HD for years even though all I have is a 2010 MacBook connected to a 24" display and two iPads.

    Some of the SD encodes on iTunes are just plain bad such as the first several years of 24 and the X-files. I had bought all the SD seasons of 24 at the time because that's all that was available and they were just bad. Now that they are in HD I bought them again and the difference is night and day.
  12. Shanghaichica macrumors G4


    Apr 8, 2013
    I dont know maybe my eyes are over sensitive but I can see the difference be that in the full sized ipad or the mini. I can even see the difference in an iPhone.
  13. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    The letter box was getting to me on HD. While visually stunning I think I like full screen better.

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