Why not DVD quality?

jne381

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 27, 2006
208
0
Grand Rapids
I am glad that Apple upped the resolution for iTunes downloads, but what is stopping them from going to true DVD quality instead of near DVD quality? Especially with the upcoming iTV, it seems like a higher resolution may be necessary, especially if you have a big TV.

Would the time to download just be too long at this point?

Are the studios adverse to this idea?

Any thoughts wold be appreciated.

Thanks
 

GFLPraxis

macrumors 604
Mar 17, 2004
7,096
404
It's very, very close to DVD quality- DVD is 720x480, this is 640x480. Close enough, just not as wide.
 

velocityg4

macrumors 601
Dec 19, 2004
4,639
1,217
Georgia
What I don't get is that with introducing h.264 in quicktime why do they not offer HD content. I would be interested in a TV show or movie if I could download it in HD. Otherwise I'll just go to the store and buy the movie. Or record the TV show. DVD quality is not good enough as I need a reason to not have the box and disc.
 

SpankyPenzaanz

macrumors 6502a
Sep 4, 2006
705
0
velocityg4 said:
What I don't get is that with introducing h.264 in quicktime why do they not offer HD content. I would be interested in a TV show or movie if I could download it in HD. Otherwise I'll just go to the store and buy the movie. Or record the TV show. DVD quality is not good enough as I need a reason to not have the box and disc.
Well they need somtething to launch that itv thing with
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,360
963
New England
GFLPraxis said:
It's very, very close to DVD quality- DVD is 720x480, this is 640x480. Close enough, just not as wide.
For 4:3 content the pixels are actually taller than they are wide on a DVD so depending on your display with square pixels you may still only see 640x480 for DVD content. The 720x480 comes in very handy for 16:9 widescreen content where the pixels are already supposed to be rendered as square.

B
 

faustfire

macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2002
560
0
California
balamw said:
For 4:3 content the pixels are actually taller than they are wide on a DVD so depending on your display with square pixels you may still only see 640x480 for DVD content. The 720x480 comes in very handy for 16:9 widescreen content where the pixels are already supposed to be rendered as square.

B
What?
 

ccroo

macrumors regular
Jun 10, 2004
105
0
Forced Limitations

Is the limited resolution forced on Apple by the content providers? To differentiate the store-bought and online bought-quality?
 

Bibulous

macrumors 6502a
Jan 19, 2005
716
0
I think these res are fine, kind of like iTunes AAC vs CD tracks, most people will not notice the difference, and those that do will not be interested in the first place.
 

Mackeyser

macrumors member
Jul 22, 2002
74
0
Tampa, FL
HD content and DRM

There are several issues I see with this:

1) HD is huge, even compressed like mad in h.264. Notice that Jobs said a movie would take 30mins over a 5Mbit connection and that assumes saturation of the line. Not always possible. I think even at the current ratios, the avg time will be an hour, but it would take 6 times the time to d/l HD (assuming 1080p). I will be doing some tests once the new box comes to get a feel for file size and avg download time.

2) Content providers do NOT want to steal the thunder about upcoming Blu-Ray and HD-DVD releases. There is a whole electronics industry and new range of content options based on this hardware/media set of alternatives. Apple could release titles in 1080p (which would require the component video outs since 1080p is NOT supported over HDMI...perhaps HDMI 2?). I mean, if Apple starts a HD d/l service and is available via iTV then it becomes hard to justify getting users to buy Blu-Ray or HD-DVD anything. Granted, keeping a library of HD content would require significant storage requirements, the costs of HDs may make it where instead of having DVDs, Blu-Ray and HD-DVD discs, it would be replaced by various external LaCie drives waiting to be connected via Firewire 800. Plus, up to the bandwidth limits of the Airport you have, you could potentially stream several movies at a time to various Macs/PCs with the only requirement being 802.11 receivability. I just see that as cutting off the adoption of the physical media at the knees and unless there's some wicked tough encryption available for HD downloads, I think we will see the emphasis placed on HD physical media until at least DVDs are viewed as legacy technology.

3) If (when) the DRM for the video is cracked, the pirates will have sufficient data to make pure Blu-Ray, HD-DVD versions and even higher bitrate DVD versions (closer to the 7Mbs max) than most studios make for most movies. Digital content protection will be a tough nut to crack and I personally agree with Jobs that modest pricing is the best way to ensure the least amount of piracy.

I think we are limited to 480p downloads for the forseeable future.

That said, I plan to have a Blu-Ray writer sometime in 2007 and when my Blu-Ray netflix movies come, I'l rip them, stream them and then dump them (I pay for my movies, so I don't use Netflix to make a pirate library. Not holier-than-thou, I just know a lot of people in the movie biz behind the camera who feel the pain of piracy). I don't want to pay for a separate Blu-Ray and HD-DVD player and all that. Who knows, if iTunes starts to see Blu-Ray, DVD and HD-DVD discs, then perhaps I'll be able to stream straight from the disc and won't have to rip anything...
 

PaulinMaryland

macrumors regular
May 17, 2006
231
0
Maryland, USA
I just don't get why Apple didn't offer 720 x 480. Most people who are savvy enough to download a movie are savvy enough to know that when you watch it in "full screen" (4:3 ratio), you're missing about 30 percent of the image. If a movie was filmed in 16:9, deliver it in 16:9! 4:3 is so 20th century.
 

richpjr

macrumors 68040
May 9, 2006
3,136
1,393
Mackeyser said:
There are several issues I see with this:

1) HD is huge, even compressed like mad in h.264. Notice that Jobs said a movie would take 30mins over a 5Mbit connection and that assumes saturation of the line. Not always possible. I think even at the current ratios, the avg time will be an hour, but it would take 6 times the time to d/l HD (assuming 1080p). I will be doing some tests once the new box comes to get a feel for file size and avg download time.
Is there enough bandwidth to stream HD content from a computer to a TV over wireless? I don't know much about the new N protocol - could it handle HD? Also, from what I understand you can't burn the movies from the iTunes store to a DVD, so when you buy a movie you have to keep it on your hard disk. Drives are cheap, but HD would take up an enourmous amount of storage.
 

kgarner

macrumors 68000
Jan 28, 2004
1,512
0
Utah
PaulinMaryland said:
I just don't get why Apple didn't offer 720 x 480. Most people who are savvy enough to download a movie are savvy enough to know that when you watch it in "full screen" (4:3 ratio), you're missing about 30 percent of the image. If a movie was filmed in 16:9, deliver it in 16:9! 4:3 is so 20th century.
It's worth noting that Apple says on the site that the actual resolution will vary per movie. All movies will be 640 pixels wide, but the height will vary depending on the aspect ratio used in filming. So they will still be wide screen format.
 

Mackeyser

macrumors member
Jul 22, 2002
74
0
Tampa, FL
richpjr said:
Is there enough bandwidth to stream HD content from a computer to a TV over wireless? I don't know much about the new N protocol - could it handle HD? Also, from what I understand you can't burn the movies from the iTunes store to a DVD, so when you buy a movie you have to keep it on your hard disk. Drives are cheap, but HD would take up an enourmous amount of storage.
Well, yes and no. Yes in that streamed HD should be about 30Mbps. The trouble is that with existing 54Mbps connections, if there is a drop in signal strength (and there are LOTS of people complaining about the signal strength in the new Mac Pros), then the picture will either pixelate or frames will freeze. I don't imagine the buffering will be large if at all, so in some instances, it will take 802.11n to be able to receive the full signal.

Notice that Jobs did NOT say that HD content wouldn't make it to iTV. As well, if HDMI 1.3 is deployed, then 1080p WILL work (I figured it would be HDMI 2, but what do I know?), so it is possible if a Blu-Ray disc is mounted and recognized, the Front Row player will see it and stream the disc as is from the Blu-Ray drive.

It SHOULD work. But we can't know for sure until MacWorld SF and I think I may just attend that...