Apple TV Take 2 review (part 2): HD Movie Comparisons

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Comments

  • tobyfootetobyfoote Posts: 15member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Booga View Post


    Since HD DVD media has less than 25% global market share today, by this measure the war's over.



    I'm not aware of this. Can you provide source information?
  • jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,933member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tobyfoote View Post


    I'm not aware of this. Can you provide source information?



    As far as I know, Booga's figure is only for the US, Videoscan has been showing 75%/25% the past month. I don't know of any current figures for Europe, Japan or elsewhere. Japan's was reputed to be quite low, like 12% HD DVD last year.
  • solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tobyfoote View Post


    It would have been more ethical to not write the article than to put in question marks and misinformation. More research was needed for this article before it was published.



    I don't think adding a question mark implies trying pulling the wool over your eyes, but just a question mark indicating that the answer isn't fully known at this time but speculated based on available date. To imply that the article should be trashed because the author can't locate one measly bit of data is absurd. If you want to tear apart the article there are certainly other areas you could focus on that would have more validity for your argument of "unethical journalism". Welcome to the internet!
  • filburtfilburt Posts: 398member
    NetFlix has multiple subscription plans, each catered to different viewing needs. For instance,

    2 Per Month should correspond to 1 at-a-time (2 a month) plan, which costs $4.99 a month ($59.88 per year).

    2 Per Week should correspond to 2 at-a-time (unlimited) plan, which costs $13.99 a month ($167.88 per year).
  • filburtfilburt Posts: 398member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    From Engadget HD:
    "...the Xbox 360 will still only upconvert DVDs to 480p, and will play HD DVD movies at a maximum resolution of 1080i. To get 1080p output for movies, you must use a VGA cable..."
    Is the VGA cable included or is that extra? If it's not included one could argue that the native output is not 1080p.



    PS3 does not come with HDMI nor component cable either. And newer version of Xbox 360 comes with HDMI output, which is fully capable of 1080p.



    In addition, HD DVD format itself is 1080p.



    AppleInsider should've made a note of these facts. It is making HD DVD look much worse than it actually is.
  • tobyfootetobyfoote Posts: 15member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I don't think adding a question marks implies trying pullling a fast one over you, but just a question mark indicating that the answer isn't fully known at this time but speculated based on available date. To imply that the article should be trashed because the author can't locate only measly bit of data is absurd. If you want to tear apart the article there are certainly other areas you could focus on that would have more validity for your argument or ethical journalism. Welcome to the internet!



    solipsism, I agree. But should we let AppleInsider get to the point where we must always evaluate the validity and bias of the author's article?



    Journalists abide by a Code of Ethics. The section on "Seek Truth and Report It" says "Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error." These aren't ethics just for the Wall Street Journal. These are ethics for all journalists.



    From the replies to this article so far, it looks like there's more than a little misinformation.
  • macfandavemacfandave Posts: 602member
    There is nothing free on Comcast HD Cable!



    To get my "free" HD channels on Comcast, I am compelled to rent a converter box for $7/month. Of course, with AppleTV, I have to have Comcast as my ISP for about $40/month PLUS a $3/month cable modem rental.



    To get true costs, people would have to figure out how much of their monthly bandwidth they are using to feed the AppleTV. Soon, it becomes so complicated that the figures get more and more inaccurate and, therefore, meaningless.



    I'm just going to try to enjoy the content and not worry too much about the $$$. Wish me luck
  • jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,933member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by filburt View Post


    PS3 does not come with HDMI nor component cable either. And newer version of Xbox 360 comes with HDMI output, which is fully capable of 1080p.



    In addition, HD DVD format itself is 1080p.



    AppleInsider should've made a note of these facts. It is making HD DVD look much worse than it actually is.



    Getting simple facts right is apparently just asking too much from people trying to show how AppleTV is indisputably better.
  • mrjoec123mrjoec123 Posts: 223member
    I think using still shots is a rather poor way to judge the overall quality of a movie. It's contrived: no one watches a movie one frame at a time. And you could just as easily take five different stills from any one file and get varying degrees of quality.



    I think that, as the article states, the amount of time and expertise that goes into the compression on the studio's end makes more of a difference than anything else.



    Having said that, it is unfair to compare Apple TV to physical HD disk media. There's really no question that Blu-Ray is better than anything you can download. Apple TV vs. Cable is very valid, however, and I agree with the findings here, based on my own experience. With the exception of sports programs, which tend to be very good, HD cable broadcasts are barely better than the non-HD ones. They're certainly no better than my standard DVDs.
  • teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tobyfoote View Post


    teckstud, why the hostility?



    Wikipedia reports Beta had 100% market share in 1975. By 1981, it had 25%. Somewhere in-between, it lost the battle.



    tobyfoote- No hostility at all- but putting out misinformation is wrong. And now you stuck your foot in your mouth becauseBeta only had 100% in 1975 because VHS didn't come out until 1976!!!! And then what you've just stated in your follow up is a 6 year differential. HD HDVD and Blu-ray are not even 2 years old!!!. And your % is not telling a completely accurate story as Beta had dominant share in many parts of the world i.e. Japan for at least 10 years, And BTW the format war was still really not over until SONY finally released a VHS machine in 1988- per wikipedia. Please re-read it.
  • teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mrjoec123 View Post


    I think using still shots is a rather poor way to judge the overall quality of a movie. It's contrived: no one watches a movie one frame at a time. And you could just as easily take five different stills from any one file and get varying degrees of quality.



    I think that, as the article states, the amount of time and expertise that goes into the compression on the studio's end makes more of a difference than anything else.



    Having said that, it is unfair to compare Apple TV to physical HD disk media. There's really no question that Blu-Ray is better than anything you can download. Apple TV vs. Cable is very valid, however, and I agree with the findings here, based on my own experience. With the exception of sports programs, which tend to be very good, HD cable broadcasts are barely better than the non-HD ones. They're certainly no better than my standard DVDs.



    I agree completely with your still shot comparison. The movement of the image across the sreen is just as important I think. Do you think cable standard is better than standard iTunes programs?
  • wcg66wcg66 Posts: 9member
    Great article, I like the way you laid out the various HD options and the truth about the death knell of certain choices :-)



    I am impressed with the screen shots, certainly looks like Apple TV can compete and like you said in Part 1: if your TV is 50" or less and you are sitting the recommended distance away for the size of TV you have, you won't notice the difference with 1080p. This is something that Home Theater magazine has been saying all along. My Panasonic 50" plasma makes DVD look great, HD 720p or 1080i look great and even SD over digital cable looks good (not great). Upconverted DVDs look pretty darn good IMO.



    One thing that differentiates the Apple TV for me is the UI. I have a Dlink DSM320 and the UI sucks. An really important feature of any of these devices is to link with your media library and I think most people have a lot of stuff there. If you can't search or scan through your library quickly, it's painful to use these other devices. The DLINK is glacial in scrolling through songs, albums, etc. So much so that it's almost useless as a media player (unless you like listening to all your "A" or "B" artists :-))



    The price is right, it's a real steal. In fact it would be worth it just as a music player, it's not that long ago that companies were charging more than the Apple TV for streaming music only.



    Go Apple TV!
  • tobyfootetobyfoote Posts: 15member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    tobyfoote- No hostility at all- but putting out misinformation is wrong. And now you stuck your foot in your mouth because Beta only had 100% in 1975 because VHS didn't come out until 1976!!!! And then what you've just stated in your follow up is a 6 year differential. HD HDVD and Blu-ray are not even 2 years old!!!. And your % is not telling a completely accurate story as Beta had dominant share in many parts of the world i.e. Japan for at least 10 years, And BTW the format war was still really not over until SONY finally released a VHS machine in 1988- per wikipedia. Please re-read it.



    Of course Betamax had 100% in 1975. You can only have 100% dominance when there are no other competitors -- this is implied! When VHS was introduced in 1976, it only took a couple years to become the new dominant player. VHS overthrew a giant! There was only a short while when both were at 50% market share. Both Bluray and HD-DVD came on the scene around the same time, with neither being the market leader to date.



    Why was the VHS/Betamax format war not over until SONY finally release a VHS machine in 1988? Because Sony made Betamax? Does that mean that if theoretically, the Zune somehow attains 75% market share, Microsoft wouldn't be the dominant player until Apple made a Zune?
  • boogabooga Posts: 1,070member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tobyfoote View Post


    I'm not aware of this. Can you provide source information?



    In the US, it's about 70/30 in 2008 according to Neilson. In Europe, it's about 75/25 according to GfK. In Japan, it's about 90/10 in favor of Blu-ray according to Nikkei. The average is around 75/25 in favor of Blu-ray for sales. (Although my understanding is that rentals favor Blu-ray even more, and that as the announcements have been coming out in 2008 it's been swaying more and more in Blu-ray's favor each week.)



    In terms of total players sold, it's about 9:1 in favor of Blu-ray if you count all standalone players, HD DVD XBox360 and PS3 sales according to each company's sales records.



    So if 25% market share for Betamax is a sign that they lost the war by that time, then HD DVD has already lost the current war.
  • alfiejralfiejr Posts: 1,524member
    sorry, but the info presented in the chart about the PS3 is just so wrong it needs to be corrected. i mean, i own one and use it, i know how it works.



    one problem is, the chart ignores the fact the PS3 includes a very useable web browser - which AppleTV lacks. so the notation that its "Free SD/HD Content" is "None" is just plain wrong. you can get whatever content is available via the web - movie trailers of course and much more - and play it in full screen option if available - upconverted. i've done it, works great.



    second problem is, PS3 "Movie Library Size" is shown as "350." what does that mean? obviously the Netflix library that one can utilize with the PS3 is huge, the biggest of all, over 10,000.



    third, "PC Playback" is notated "With Onerous DRM and BluRay Drive." what does that mean? in fact, the PS3 is a complete "media extender" for Windows PC's (sure, including whatever DRM comes with their content), but can also do basic media extender services for Macs with shareware like MediaLink with no DRM. be fair, and list its capabilities correctly.



    fourth, there is no line in the chart for "DRM." if there were, both ATV and PS3 would have to be shown as HDCP restricted for their HDMI outputs, not just PS3. and ATV applies Apple's new (unnamed) DRM for movie rentals too. but neither DRM affects your computer, just these external boxes.



    also missing is a comparison of remote control options. for example, you can use a much more convenient bluetooth keyboard/mouse with PS3, but you cannot with ATV.



    another bad mistake, this time about Comcast: "Free SD/HD Content" is listed only as "Broadcast Channels." Wrong. the On Demand service includes a lot of free movies and other free stuff too.



    and if a line were added "Can Legally Copy SD/HD Content" were added to the chart, here TiVo's big advantage would get the recognition it deserves. not the rentals of course, but all the free SD/HD Content available via CATV - which is a heck of a lot - can be recorded and transferred back to your PC/Mac (which is why i just bought a TiVo too).



    alas, this Chart is a sloppy job and very unfair to ATV's competition.
  • pmjoepmjoe Posts: 565member
    I've researched this some and the article is effectively correct though biased. Apple TV is probably the cheapest option, if you want something that plays nice with your Macs and you aren't concerned about how underpowered the hardware is.



    The best deal, after looking into it, is the PS3 though. You get a game system, media player, Blu-ray player, browser and more ... Nullriver's MediaLink software ties it all nicely into your iTunes library.



    What's Comcast doing in the table? Comcast sucks (and I have them, so I know from experience). Comcast certainly has 1080i content (broadcast), though I'm not sure about on demand (is it just 720p?). As someone else already mentioned, if you have Comcast in your area, you're probably already using them for Internet service ($$$/month) just to use the media services on these other boxes. So, add Internet costs in for everything else.



    And where's the total costs line???
  • tobyfootetobyfoote Posts: 15member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Booga View Post


    In the US, it's about 70/30 in 2008 according to Neilson. In Europe, it's about 75/25 according to GfK. In Japan, it's about 90/10 in favor of Blu-ray according to Nikkei. The average is around 75/25 in favor of Blu-ray for sales. (Although my understanding is that rentals favor Blu-ray even more, and that as the announcements have been coming out in 2008 it's been swaying more and more in Blu-ray's favor each week.)



    In terms of total players sold, it's about 9:1 in favor of Blu-ray if you count all standalone players, HD DVD XBox360 and PS3 sales according to each company's sales records.



    So if 25% market share for Betamax is a sign that they lost the war by that time, then HD DVD has already lost the current war.



    Thanks Booga. These stats are astonding!
  • williamduwilliamdu Posts: 4member
    To me, the speed of streaming the video and the differences between the Vendors trying to catch up to Apple are not as important as the final experience as reflected in the picture quality and resolution of the final product.



    The statement that 720p is as good as 1080p below 50" is a matter of opinion and

    a function of the viewers eyesight. I strongly disagree even with my 76 year old eyes.



    Personally, I have noted a significantly superior resolution all the way down to the 32" 1080p

    Sharp Aquos compared to the 720p Sharp or any other 720p set. 720p is fine but 1080p is GREAT, even at that size. If you can't tell the difference below 50", check with your optometrist.



    If 1080p wasn't better, Sharp wouldn't make them, and their monopoly at 32" shouldn't last long - I hope.



    Thus far I have been unable to find any other 32" set providing 1080p, but am waiting to see if Samsung brings one out this year, because of the greater selection of interface connections and very intelligent user remote capabilities on most Samsungs.



    We have a 40" 1080p Samsung and a 23" 720p Samsung gaming set, both of which are excellent quality. The 23" has Playstation 3 and digital Comcast cable HDMI inputs, component DVD, and a Mac Pro PC input and is able to recognize which inputs are on and available, ignoring non-operating devices when cycling with the "Source" button on the remote.



    I can't ask for more than that just now and am hoping for a Samsung 32" 1080p with the same sensibility this spring when the new year products usually appear. I hope Samsung is listening!



    We also have a 26" 720p Sharp Aquos which is a fine product but marginally less friendly on the remote capabilities. It has a problem with setting picture size on individual inputs and does not

    ignore non-functional source inputs - but a great picture.



    I'm waiting for some more clarity in the streaming issues shakeout before going beyond our very pleasant high speed Comcast cable feeding digital TV, Internet to our three networked Macs and Playstation 3/BluRay and DVD inputs. One can only handle so much input. Somewhere you have to decide,

    "This is enough".
  • williamduwilliamdu Posts: 4member
    [QUOTE=Alfiejr;1215253]



    Concur with Alfiejr. The Comcast and other sources and methods noted on the chart are

    misleading and inaccurate.



    It needs correction and reposting.



    Intelligent use of the Macs and Playstion 3 on line are an enormous source.
  • anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 16,991member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tobyfoote View Post


    solipsism, I agree. But should we let AppleInsider get to the point where we must always evaluate the validity and bias of the author's article?



    Journalists abide by a Code of Ethics. The section on "Seek Truth and Report It" says "Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error." These aren't ethics just for the Wall Street Journal. These are ethics for all journalists.



    From the replies to this article so far, it looks like there's more than a little misinformation.



    I think that you are making way too much of this. Let us stipulate that AI has a pro-Apple bias. That is a non-issue for most of the people that subscribe to or read it.



    I think that the "?" against the vudu.com statistic was obvious, in context, to most people (including me): It simply signaled "we're not sure."



    As to some of the other data being "misinformation," c'mon - that's an overstatement. If it is wrong, it will be (and is) often pointed out. Understand that no one can get everything right, and if one used that as the standard, few forums such as this would exist. My strong view is that it is foolish to read only an article without digesting the comments as well. Typically I learn as much, if not more, from the comments than the article itself, which I often view as a context-setter for a set of additions, subtractions, insights, and corrections that follow.



    To make such strong attributions as you are to AI's motives is also not terribly ethical, in my view.
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