Originally Posted by DCQ
I'll wager good money that the iTS will not offer HD movies anytime soon. I'm expecting that they'll up the res to 480p (full dvd res, if not full dvd bitrate), maybe at MWSF07, maybe when iTV is released, maybe at WWDC or Paris Expo 07, but sometime within the next year.
Define "soon"? I would expect HD within a year (of launch) if Apple doesn't launch iTV with HD.
Why the HDMI port? For future proofing, for one (so when you upgrade to an HDTV, you can still use the iTV...remember most people have not even thought about buying an HDTV yet). But the iTV will also "upscale" video in the same way DVD player now do.
And component would be fine for that. Most (if not all) HDTVs will some with component in, most AV receivers have component in but few have HDMI switches, HDTVs only have 1 or 2 HDMI ports. So, after your cable box eats one of 2 ports (lower end receivers with HDMI like the Sony only have 2 HDMI ports) and the 360/PS3 or HD-DVD or BR player takes the other that HDMI port on the iTV doesn't seem like much value added for a product that won't expect to see HD "anytime soon".
- files are too big (20+GBs per movie)
Mmm...then those single layer HD-DVD discs are in impossible. I don't remember the exact numbers but encoding at 15-16 mbps is considered close to master quality and some HD-DVDs I believe encoded to around 12mpbs which equates to less than 11GB for a 2 hour movie.
720p will be smaller still.
- too long to download (10 hours given the best conditions)
Lets see...the BEST conditions are 100Mbps in some FTTH setups but these I believe are limited to a very small number of folks in some trial buildouts.
The most commonly available best is 30 Mbps with FIOS for $179.95/month which is too pricey.
So lets go for the cheapest "best" scenario: 15mpbs from FIOS for $44.95/month. Should take around an hour to download (depending on my sometimes questionable math skills).
Note that both Comcast and Time Warner has doubled their max speed (to 16mpbs) in some areas that FiOS serves.
Whether Verizon, Comcast or TW's infrastructure could handle everyone trying to DL HD movies at the same time from Apple is debatable but I know some folks report 14Mpbs sustained downloads if the other end of the pipe can handle it.
- competition with hard media (BDs/HDDVDs) which movie studios have invested billions in
Which Sony and Toshiba have invested billions in. Studio investments have probably been modest to non-existant.
- won't be 1080p (so all the early adopters, who want the best of the best, would turn their noses up)
Well if it's not 1080p then it sure smaller than 15GBs. Probably smaller than 8 GBs. The numbers above (1 hour DL times) are for the expected 10-11 GBs size.
- too few people have HDTVs at the moment anyway
They can DL SD movies. I would expect HD movie pricing to start at $20 (if not higher) and not have many titles (to reduce server loads). I would also expect a few HD TV shows available but higher than the $2/episode.
But I can easily handle and desire 720p resolution on my MBP. HDTV penetration will only rise.
It may happen in 2009 or 2010 when we have deeper broadband penetration, faster connections, mainstream HDTV adoption, 2TB HDDs that cost $250, a better video codec, and Wal-Mart is selling overstocked BDs in their bargain bin for $5.99. Before then though, forget about it.
I'll wager a HD movie on seeing HD movies on iTunes it before 2009. If we're both still around (and remember) you can arrange gifting me a ITS HD movie download or I can buy a HD-DVD/BR movie for you from Amazon for XMas 2008 (call it max of $30). That's not "good money" but its a cut above a gentlemen's bet and I think appropriate for the topic.