What's the max video resolution iPad can play back on screen?

Doju

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 16, 2008
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I've Googled around and have been unable to find any answers, and Apple's tech specs for the new iPad don't reveal anything either.

It's a 1536p screen. Can I play that level video, or am I limited to 1080p?
 

Lukeyy19

macrumors 6502a
Feb 16, 2010
762
1
England, UK
I've Googled around and have been unable to find any answers, and Apple's tech specs for the new iPad don't reveal anything either.

It's a 1536p screen. Can I play that level video, or am I limited to 1080p?
We actually tested this in a thread the other day, it's a 1080p maximum for video.
 

doboy

macrumors 68020
Jul 6, 2007
2,468
933
I've Googled around and have been unable to find any answers, and Apple's tech specs for the new iPad don't reveal anything either.

It's a 1536p screen. Can I play that level video, or am I limited to 1080p?
You sure you looked at the Apple's site? It says 1080p!
 

MikhailT

macrumors 601
Nov 12, 2007
4,335
838
I've Googled around and have been unable to find any answers, and Apple's tech specs for the new iPad don't reveal anything either.

It's a 1536p screen. Can I play that level video, or am I limited to 1080p?
You can play back any videos you want but it'll be downsampled to 1080P on Apple TV Gen 3 or 720P on Apple TV Gen 2.
 

mgipe

macrumors demi-god
Oct 6, 2009
671
143
CA
Where would you get video at higher resolution than 1080p? (Excepting cinema sources like Red -- I assume that you're not a Hollywood producer)
 

Doju

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 16, 2008
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Where would you get video at higher resolution than 1080p? (Excepting cinema sources like Red -- I assume that you're not a Hollywood producer)
Oh, they're around. Considering they're uploadable to YouTube, one can find them in a variety of places. I wanted it more so to see what it would look like on the screen, rather than for practical reasons, though.
 

gatortpk

macrumors 6502
Nov 25, 2003
355
31
Melbourne, FL
Where would you get video at higher resolution than 1080p? (Excepting cinema sources like Red -- I assume that you're not a Hollywood producer)
I downloaded a few 4K video samples from YouTube and I am now re-encoding them to 2048x1536. Some of the 4K video is actually only 1714p (2.39:1 ratio). So I lost less than !!% of the vertical resolution, kept the aspect ratio and cropped around 916 pixels off the sides. The resulting video is 4:3 ratio, but shows almost the full vertical resolution of the original. I'll see if the iPad will play the "normal" profile (as opposed to high profile) 1536p video...

Edit: iTunes will not sync the 1536p video because "it cannot be played on this iPad". I am now re-encoding the video to 2560x1080p, 1920x1080p, and 1920x800p (original aspect ratio). I'll see if 1080p is the limitation or if 1920 horizontal pixels is the limitation. Hopefully I'll be able to sync the 2560x1080p video.
 
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Redjericho

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2011
815
0
I downloaded a few 4K video samples from YouTube and I am now re-encoding them to 2048x1536. Some of the 4K video is actually only 1714p (2.39:1 ratio). So I lost less than !!% of the vertical resolution, kept the aspect ratio and cropped around 916 pixels off the sides. The resulting video is 4:3 ratio, but shows almost the full vertical resolution of the original. I'll see if the iPad will play the "normal" profile (as opposed to high profile) 1536p video...
Share your results, i'm interested.
 

gatortpk

macrumors 6502
Nov 25, 2003
355
31
Melbourne, FL
Share your results, i'm interested.
I spoke too soon. iTunes simply did not sync the 1536p video "because it cannot be played on this iPad". How annoying. QuickTime Player plays it perfectly, and it's the proper H.264 encoding for the iPad. The GPU can handle it. I wonder if I can transfer it some other way? Drop box, etc.?

If I can transfer it, and then if the iPad still refuses to play it, then I'll know that there is an intentional software limitation with the codec (decoder for playback). If that is the case, I'll resample to 1080p still preserving some of the vertical resolution because the width should be around 2580 pixels. (I may just resample it to 2560 pixels wide, since that's a common width, and the width of my iMac display)

If that doesn't work, then I'll resample again to 1920x1080p and 1920x800-(the original aspect ratio). This will confirm if the limitation is 1080p OR 1920 horizontal pixels. Hopefully it'll be 1080p, so I can still play and zoom a 2580 (or 2560x1080p) video to full screen.
 

gatortpk

macrumors 6502
Nov 25, 2003
355
31
Melbourne, FL
Share your results, i'm interested.
I re-encoded a 4096x2304 (4096x1714 active resolution, without letterbox) video to all different sizes using varying levels of profiles. It seems that the iPad can play only 1080p video or less as long as it is also not any wider than 1920 pixels. I suppose this isn't surprising since 1920x1080 is the Full HD resolution. (It would have been nice if I could do 2560x1080p). This is according to iTunes. (When trying to sync anything larger, iTunes says "video cannot be played on this iPad")

Again, as far as I can tell, iTunes will not sync any video greater than 1920 pixels wide AND 1080 pixels tall.

One more thing to test is if the iPad will actually play wider or taller video by transferring videos by other means than iTunes. Any suggestions on how I can transfer large videos? DropBox, etc?
 

RobesNo1

macrumors regular
Nov 10, 2009
144
0
I re-encoded a 4096x2304 (4096x1714 active resolution, without letterbox) video to all different sizes using varying levels of profiles. It seems that the iPad can play only 1080p video or less as long as it is also not any wider than 1920 pixels. I suppose this isn't surprising since 1920x1080 is the Full HD resolution. (It would have been nice if I could do 2560x1080p). This is according to iTunes. (When trying to sync anything larger, iTunes says "video cannot be played on this iPad")

Again, as far as I can tell, iTunes will not sync any video greater than 1920 pixels wide AND 1080 pixels tall.

One more thing to test is if the iPad will actually play wider or taller video by transferring videos by other means than iTunes. Any suggestions on how I can transfer large videos? DropBox, etc?
How about transferring straight into a 3rd party app like AVPlayerHD? Would try myself but don't have time today - I have plenty of Timelapse videos that are massive resolutions so am instrested to see if this'll work.
 

noshjewman

macrumors member
Jan 16, 2008
92
0
There are other video players - like OPlayer and FlexPlayer - that might work. I use VLC - but it's no longer available.
I haven't tried using a format larger than 1080p though, let me know if any of these work!
 

Redjericho

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2011
815
0
I re-encoded a 4096x2304 (4096x1714 active resolution, without letterbox) video to all different sizes using varying levels of profiles. It seems that the iPad can play only 1080p video or less as long as it is also not any wider than 1920 pixels. I suppose this isn't surprising since 1920x1080 is the Full HD resolution. (It would have been nice if I could do 2560x1080p). This is according to iTunes. (When trying to sync anything larger, iTunes says "video cannot be played on this iPad")

Again, as far as I can tell, iTunes will not sync any video greater than 1920 pixels wide AND 1080 pixels tall.

One more thing to test is if the iPad will actually play wider or taller video by transferring videos by other means than iTunes. Any suggestions on how I can transfer large videos? DropBox, etc?
Goodplayer has treated me well, you can transfer into it the same way you take/give photos to your device as well as with an FTP client ot through your web browser, haven't tested those 2 though because i've had no need to.
 

Lukeyy19

macrumors 6502a
Feb 16, 2010
762
1
England, UK
There are other video players - like OPlayer and FlexPlayer - that might work. I use VLC - but it's no longer available.
I haven't tried using a format larger than 1080p though, let me know if any of these work!
I tried VLC with varying sizes up to 4k, it will play the sound but just throws up a grainy blue image vaguely reminiscent of one frame in the video fo anything over 1080p.

I even tried a 4:3 video at 1920 wide figuring maybe it goes off the width of the video rather than the height, but still no luck.

1920x1080 seems to be your maximum.
 

dsjr2006

macrumors regular
Jun 29, 2007
114
12
Metro Detroit
I tried VLC with varying sizes up to 4k, it will play the sound but just throws up a grainy blue image vaguely reminiscent of one frame in the video fo anything over 1080p.

I even tried a 4:3 video at 1920 wide figuring maybe it goes off the width of the video rather than the height, but still no luck.

1920x1080 seems to be your maximum.
The issue is VLC, it doesn't seem to use hardware decoding and it has always performed badly for me anyways. BUZZ Player HD will play 4K and 2048x1152, but the frame rate is not full speed in either.
 

whtrbt7

macrumors 65816
Jun 8, 2011
1,008
72
1080p is maximum right now. If you try to play 2k video, it will play at a lousy frame rate. The quad core GPU just can't handle it because it's busy trying to push the pixels for the screen. The screen isn't meant to make 2k video available for the iPad, it was meant to display high res graphics so reading and applications would be more vivid.
 

Redjericho

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2011
815
0
1080p is maximum right now. If you try to play 2k video, it will play at a lousy frame rate. The quad core GPU just can't handle it because it's busy trying to push the pixels for the screen. The screen isn't meant to make 2k video available for the iPad, it was meant to display high res graphics so reading and applications would be more vivid.
That's sucks, it's like making a hotel but only having a generator capable of supplying electricity to 1/4 of the rooms.
 

whtrbt7

macrumors 65816
Jun 8, 2011
1,008
72
That's sucks, it's like making a hotel but only having a generator capable of supplying electricity to 1/4 of the rooms.
Not a great analogy. Here's one that may make more sense. It's like making an engine that goes up to 160mph but only driving at 80mph max.
 

Andrmgic

macrumors 6502a
Jun 27, 2007
531
1
1080p is maximum right now. If you try to play 2k video, it will play at a lousy frame rate. The quad core GPU just can't handle it because it's busy trying to push the pixels for the screen. The screen isn't meant to make 2k video available for the iPad, it was meant to display high res graphics so reading and applications would be more vivid.
wouldn't this be more due to the fact that third party app store apps aren't allowed to use the built-in hardware acceleration for H264? AVPlayer HD, for instance is a software player.. and uses the cpus for decoding the video.

We'll know for sure once the jailbreak is released and we can use a third party video solution that does use the hardware acceleration.. like XBMC to do the testing.

Though in reality, most video is going to be 1080p or lower.. so I doubt it will be a concern for most people regardless of the answer.
 

vjacques

macrumors member
Mar 29, 2012
53
0
I can confirm that 2048 footage does play on the new iPad if you get it on there with an App like Goodreader or DropBox. I rendered two clips, one at 2048x1080 and the other at 2048x1280 and they both look amazing.
stunning! please post more of your discoveries regarding this.
 

whtrbt7

macrumors 65816
Jun 8, 2011
1,008
72
wouldn't this be more due to the fact that third party app store apps aren't allowed to use the built-in hardware acceleration for H264? AVPlayer HD, for instance is a software player.. and uses the cpus for decoding the video.

We'll know for sure once the jailbreak is released and we can use a third party video solution that does use the hardware acceleration.. like XBMC to do the testing.

Though in reality, most video is going to be 1080p or lower.. so I doubt it will be a concern for most people regardless of the answer.
The answer is both yes and no. It's not going to make a difference if 3rd party apps can do hardware acceleration. The quad-core graphics chip is good but I don't think it can push the amount of data that 2k video would demand. It's a numbers game. [image width] x [image height] x [framerate] x [motion rank] x 0.07 = [desired bitrate] is the formula for the calculation. Doing the math for 4:3 video on an iPad screen is 2048 x 1563 x 24fps (conservative) x 2 x 0.07 = 10.755440 Mbps just for video. If we approximate audio at around 3Mbps, we're looking at a total of 13.76Mbps for the stream. That's a LOT of data. It's hard enough to pump that amount of video through the Intel HD 3000 chipsets, a quad core mobile chipset would probably do much less. While it's true we are currently standardizing to 1080p, 2k video and 4k video are still pretty far off. It can physically be done if we have a good compression ratio and codec but it's pretty farfetched for an iPad to do the work that was originally meant for desktop systems.