Comparison finds iTunes 1080p video nears Blu-ray disc quality

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  • mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,652member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by coldpizza View Post


    In the iTunes Store 30 Days of Night is available in 720p (3.58GB) or SD (1.53GB). Nowhere do I see 1080p. For any movie quite frankly.



    You need to download iTunes 10.6 and enable 1080p videos in the "store" section of preferences.
  • anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 16,991member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    Back in my day we didn't have a choice of black or white, it was one or the other, and we only got one frame per second of this fancy 30 fps crap.



    Back in my day... :



    I did not view my first TV show until I was 20. \
  • apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,121member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by yhtomitb View Post


    There is no comparison to "Blu-ray Disc", especially when you blow the image up to something larger than your 20" iMac and listen to it with Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio on something better than your HK Soundsticks!



    No need to step out of my "ManCave" when I have the disc already in hand and on the day of release. I can watch it any time and don't have to worry about limited bandwidth or the cable/internet being out. All I need is AC and I'm set to go. And, my discs will still be able to spin in the 22nd century!



    If you were to go to a movie theater and watch something with iTunes 1080P quality, you would certainly be asking for your money back. The quality of Blu-ray Disc is about as close to theatrical distribution quality digital video as you are going to get, and it is designed for home use. Your are the one that is clueless about quality. The two formats should co-exist, for those that don't want to collect and for those that do.



    Most people at home don't watch their movies on a huge theatre screen. And I'm not so sure about your discs still spinning in the 22nd century. I have some DVD's that haven't even lasted 10 years before they crapped out. Of course, that far into the future doesn't really matter, as both you and I will be dead by then.



    You obviously are a Blu-Ray user, since you took the time to sign up and respond to my post. All I really said is that those iTunes images look pretty impressive compared to Blu-Ray. I have never claimed that it was better than Blu-Ray in any way, except for the file size.



    And to be honest, I'm not that impressed by Blu-Ray that I would actually bother to go out and buy myself a Blu-Ray player. I'm waiting for something better to come along. 1920x1080 is simply not good enough. I also find most TV's and monitors to be a joke at 16:9. For a true cinema experience, a far greater ratio is required. Maybe in 5 years when such TV's and monitors exist and a better format than Blu-Ray exists, that's when I would bother to buy such a player. For now, decent quality downloads are good enough for me.
  • tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Here it is, LOL.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post


    Blu-Ray is clearly (and unsurprisingly given the vast difference in bit-rate) vastly superior to the iTunes encodes when it comes to banding and to me it is therefore a bad joke to suggest the two are anywhere close to being on a par.







    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kpluck View Post


    Please, for everyone's sake, don't drive until you get your eyes checked and get the appropriate corrective lenses.



    I expect this type of garbage analysis from AI, but from Ars??




  • tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    There is no such thing as "True HD". The truest its ever going to be is from its camera of origin. After that its compressed to hell no matter which format its played on.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teknishn View Post


    I want to know when they will address the audio. Its a big step that they have the video at least close to BD now, but 640k Dolby Digital is an utter joke next to Tru HD, Uncompressed PCM, and DTS-HD-MA.



  • mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,652member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    I also find most TV's and monitors to be a joke at 16:9. For a true cinema experience, a far greater ratio is required. Maybe in 5 years when such TV's and monitors exist



    Philips 21:9 ratio TV



    Most mid to high-end projectors have 2.35:1 ratio lens options.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    Back in my day... :



    I did not view my first TV show until I was 20. \



    20yo is a bit late to start Rumspringa. Seriously though, is this more a degree of age or culture?
  • apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,121member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post


    Philips 21:9 ratio TV



    Most mid to high-end projectors have 2.35:1 ratio lens options.



    That Philips one looks pretty nice. It's kind of pricey and I read that it's not even being sold in the US.



    Hopefully in the future, more manufacturers will start releasing more TV's and monitors with an ultrawide format specifically for movies and that the prices also come down. 16:9 is not for movies, it's basically for tv series.
  • d-ranged-range Posts: 396member
    This is a pretty useless comparison. Both Blu-Ray and iTunes content is H264. It's the same codec, and any quality improvement has to be in the encoder. A lower bitrate (=smaller file size) encoding with the same encoder and codec (and codec settings) will always be inferior to a higher bitrate version, period.



    That said, at the bitrates Apple appears to use for iTunes content, H264 can have a very good image quality, depending on the properties of the video content even very close to Blu-Ray in some cases. In other cases, it won't even come close. Blu-Ray content can go over 50 Mbit/s, you simply cannot beat that with streaming today, without shutting out the majority of home broadband connections.
  • tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Watching Netflix streaming over the past few months. I've noticed the 1080P streaming get much better. On my MBP I can see fine skin detail and fine hairs that I could not see before. They are delivering this at surprising low bit rates.



    There definitely has been a vast improvement in H.264 encoding.



    The worst service is actually HBOGO. I don't think the quality is quite as good as Netflix and HBOGO is a bandwidth hog. At least in comparison.
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 40,379member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post


    So in another 2 years, download quality might exceed blu-ray. That would be nice.



    You're just about dead on with that. Better quality AND smaller file size.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by yhtomitb View Post


    There is no comparison to "Blu-ray Disc",



    HEVC. Game, set, match, and it's not even finalized yet.



    Quote:

    And, my discs will still be able to spin in the 22nd century!



    You keep thinking that.



    Quote:

    The quality of Blu-ray Disc is about as close to theatrical distribution quality digital video as you are going to get



    You honestly think that cinemas show "Blu-ray disc quality" content? Not, you know, 4k because they're a CINEMA?



    Quote:

    Your are the one that is clueless about quality. The two formats should co-exist, for those that don't want to collect and for those that do.



    Again, HEVC. Let us know how your 10 terabyte collection feels in three years when everyone else has higher quality stuff at half the file size.
  • apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,121member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post


    The worst service is actually HBOGO. I don't think the quality is quite as good as Netflix and HBOGO is a bandwidth hog. At least in comparison.



    Yep, you got that right. I have Netflix and also HBO2GO. Netflix streaming quality is vastly superior compared to HBO2GO. The content on HBO2GO is great, the streaming quality however, is kind of crappy.
  • teknishnteknishn Posts: 4member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post


    There is no such thing as "True HD". The truest its ever going to be is from its camera of origin. After that its compressed to hell no matter which format its played on.



    I'm referring to audio not video.... Specifically the Dolby TruHD lossless audio codec.... along with uncompressed pcm and DTS-HD-MA.
  • d-ranged-range Posts: 396member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    Most people at home don't watch their movies on a huge theatre screen. And I'm not so sure about your discs still spinning in the 22nd century. I have some DVD's that haven't even lasted 10 years before they crapped out. Of course, that far into the future doesn't really matter, as both you and I will be dead by then.



    You obviously are a Blu-Ray user, since you took the time to sign up and respond to my post. All I really said is that those iTunes images look pretty impressive compared to Blu-Ray. I have never claimed that it was better than Blu-Ray in any way, except for the file size.



    And to be honest, I'm not that impressed by Blu-Ray that I would actually bother to go out and buy myself a Blu-Ray player. I'm waiting for something better to come along. 1920x1080 is simply not good enough. I also find most TV's and monitors to be a joke at 16:9. For a true cinema experience, a far greater ratio is required. Maybe in 5 years when such TV's and monitors exist and a better format than Blu-Ray exists, that's when I would bother to buy such a player. For now, decent quality downloads are good enough for me.



    I have to disagree, yhtomitb is right. You don't need some kind of AV freak setup to see/hear the huge difference between Blu-Ray content, or something streamed over the internet, especially not if you want 5.1 or even 7.1 HD audio. A decent-size HDTV (42 inch and upwards, depending on the viewing distance) and a decent AV receiver+surround speakers is enough. I have an HTPC I built myself which I use both for downloaded movies (it's legal where I'm from) and Blu-Ray discs, and even though most of the downloaded 1080p movies I have are over 10GB (=almost triple the bitrate of iTunes 1080p judging from the file sizes), Blu-Ray movies are significantly better, especially the audio. You simply cannot beat 50 GB of storage capacity with your typical broadband connection today, not unless you sacrifice quality in some way or another. Often audio fidelity is one of the first things out of the window, because so many people are used to & happy with crappy sound quality. With multichannel audio the quality difference is even more obvious than with e.g. low bitrate stereo mp3 or AAC.



    I've watched movies both as 10+GB downloads and on Blu-Ray (I tend to buy content I really like after I've already seen it from a downloaded version), and generally speaking, even the highest quality ripped & transcoded sources don't come close to the original Blu-Ray content.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by d-range View Post


    This is a pretty useless comparison. Both Blu-Ray and iTunes content is H264. It's the same codec, and any quality improvement has to be in the encoder. A lower bitrate (=smaller file size) encoding with the same encoder and codec will always be inferior to a higher bitrate version, period.



    That said, at the bitrates Apple appears to use for iTunes content, H264 can have a very good image quality, depending on the properties of the video content even very close to Blu-Ray in some cases. In other cases, it won't even come close. Blu-Ray content can go over 50 Mbit/s, you simply cannot beat that with streaming today, without shutting out the majority of home broadband connections.



    I think it's a useful comparison. Regardless of the technical specifications people only care about how good it looks and sometimes a comparison is the only way to do that. Is the Blu-ray required to watch most movies? Personally, I don't think so. For certain kind of movies I prefer Blu-ray but not usually. As Mr. H states the biggest issue is banding as it's easily noticeable. That alone can pull you out of a film. Maybe someone should start a website that rates which films according to such metrics so I know if Rob Roy will be worth it on Blu-ray or if iTS 1080p will be sufficient.
  • stevebalmerstevebalmer Posts: 8member
    Quote:

    You honestly think that cinemas show "Blu-ray disc quality" content? Not, you know, 4k because they're a CINEMA?



    The user stated that Blu-Ray quality is the closest quality to theatrical distribution quality, not that Blu-Ray has the same video quality as that of theatrical distribution.
  • tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Not necessarily comparable. Encoding for streaming and encoding for a disc are two different ways of processing.



    Encoding from stream involves breaking up the data into packets that are extremely lean and efficient and will allow the video to buffer and continue if the connection is momentarily interrupted.



    This isn't factored into encoding for a disc.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by d-range View Post


    This is a pretty useless comparison. Both Blu-Ray and iTunes content is H264. It's the same codec, and any quality improvement has to be in the encoder. A lower bitrate (=smaller file size) encoding with the same encoder and codec will always be inferior to a higher bitrate version, period.



  • tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    That certainly can make a difference for those who have spent the money to have an audio set up that can take advantage. I would argue few people have.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teknishn View Post


    I'm referring to audio not video.... Specifically the Dolby TruHD lossless audio codec.... along with uncompressed pcm and DTS-HD-MA.



  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 40,379member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SteveBalmer View Post


    The user stated that Blu-Ray quality is the closest quality to theatrical distribution quality, not that Blu-Ray has the same video quality as that of theatrical distribution.



    Fair point. And owning a Psystar is the "closest quality" to owning a Mac.
  • pbrstreetgpbrstreetg Posts: 184member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by d-range View Post


    I have to disagree, yhtomitb is right. You don't need some kind of AV freak setup to see/hear the huge difference between Blu-Ray content, or something streamed over the internet, especially not if you want 5.1 or even 7.1 HD audio. A decent-size HDTV (42 inch and upwards, depending on the viewing distance) and a decent AV receiver+surround speakers is enough. I have an HTPC I built myself which I use both for downloaded movies (it's legal we're I'm from) and Blu-Ray discs, and even though most of the downloaded 1080p movies I have are over 10GB (=almost triple the bitrate of iTunes 1080p judging from the file sizes), Blu-Ray movies are significantly better, especially the audio. You simply cannot beat 50 GB of storage capacity with your typical broadband connection today, not unless you sacrifice quality in some way or another.



    Agree, if you have a simple setup however like most people do it may not matter as much. The crappier the setup then the less it really matters actually. I do like it that Apple has finally embraced 1080P video content. Digital downloads also has some conveniences that Bluray physical media doesn't have and vice versa.
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