No, once I have it I can tell the difference by viewing it. My issue is that if I'm worried about my data usage, but I don't want the SD file, I would want the 720p video, but I don't know how to specify that. Or may e it always comes I at 720p,in which case I have no idea how to specify that's want 1080p. iCloud in the iTunes store doesn't tell you which HD you're getting, and the video player doesn't tell you which HD you're playing.That's the point, if you can't tell the difference between 720 or 1080, then why you wanna find out in the first place?
But usually, you can easily tell by the image quality
As far as I can tell, there is no equivalent option on iOS. On my desktop, I have that set to download HD as 1080p. It seems like it might work across devices, because content downloaded to my iPad is in 1080p, it's just that iTunes on the iPad estimates the file size by using the 720p file size.I don't know if this option only pertains to iTunes desktop or if this setting works across all of your devices, but in iTunes you can select to define HD.
Thanks for that possible explanation. I was also wondering why downloading HD TV shows on the iPad showed the 720p file size while downloading the same episodes on my iMac were showing larger sizes.Ok, so I've now figured out what the issue is. On the new iPad, if you download a video from iCloud, and select HD you get it in 1080p if it's available. The issue is, and I guess that this is a bug in the software, if the 1080p file is 870 MB and the 720p file is 700 MB, the iTunes app will tell you that the file you are downloading is 700 MB, which implies that you are downloading the 720p version. Once the file reaches 700 out of 700 MB it will continue downloading until it reaches 870 out of 700 MB.
I had always just looked at the file size when the download began and compared it to the 1080p file size which was larger. I therefore assumed that the file I was downloading was the 720p file. It looks like the iTunes app needs to be updated to list the 1080p file size as its target, but otherwise it's working fine.