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'Apple TV' coming to a living room near you - Page 2

post #41 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by solsun View Post

I can't understand why people continually expect (or hope) that Apple will release a product with DVR functionality.. DVR's go against Apple's whole philosophy of content distribution..

In case you haven't noticed, Apple is in the business of SELLING you content for a $1.99 an episode or $9.99 for a movie.. Why would you expect them to release a DVR that records for free the same content they are trying to sell? Answer: They WON'T,

If you're holding your breath for an Apple DVR, I hope you have some very big lungs.

hmmm, I don't know, maybe because I can rip my own cds to Itunes and import mp3s purchase elsewhere. Those factors don't seem to be hurting ITunes.

The bottom line is no DVR = no go as far as I'm concerned.
post #42 of 96
jeez...people can't go on the apple site to look at the specs?

Connects to TVs that support component video. outputs 1080i 60/50hz, 720p 60/50hz, 576 50hz (PAL), 480p 60 Hz.

Any TV that takes analog component in should work. Except probably mine that chokes on the Dish component out...

http://www.apple.com/appletv/specs.html

You don't build in 802.11 Draft-N and 720p playback and NOT expect to sell 720p content on iTunes. Besides...where are you going to get any 720p content except from iTunes?

They also showed direct streaming of trailers from Apple.com. The piece missing is probably authentication to iTunes directly from the iTV software so little Johnny can't buy $10000 worth of iTunes content when the parents aren't home.

Authenticating with nothing but the apple remote should be amusing unless its just a multi-digit pass code linked to your iTunes account. For a lot of content it should get automagically get streamed from your iTunes computer to iTV anyway assuming the computer gets turned on once in a while (i.e. your TV show Season Passes).

As far DVR folks haven't been paying attention...no inputs and we've known that for a while. DVR will have to live on the Mac Mini and likely from 3rd party integration into your iTunes library. Plus it's a lot of work to compete with a $10/month HD DVR rental from Comcast...note that TiVO, other than from lawsuits and now reselling to cablecos because of their patent isn't making money.

Vinea
post #43 of 96
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Apple TV will die a slow death. It's underpowered vs. the existing competitive products out there. No go.

Oh you mean the

Slim Devices
Dlink
Netgear

and other streamers out there? How can you state it's underpowered when you don't know the Intel chip that they've included. What other product gives me Component and HDMI out with a 40GB hard drive and 802.11n?

I kind of sounds like you're venting your dissaproval without having much information to back it up.
He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
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He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
- SolipsismX
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post #44 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronHarmon View Post

hmmm, I don't know, maybe because I can rip my own cds to Itunes and import mp3s purchase elsewhere. Those factors don't seem to be hurting ITunes.

The bottom line is no DVR = no go as far as I'm concerned.

I don't see your point... If you import content from your own sources, then good for you, Apple TV will play it.. That still doesn't change the fact that Apple SELLS television content that DVR's can record for free..
post #45 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don G. View Post

Exactly! Really strange in my eyes.

Also I'm missing a digital TV-tuner and harddisk recording for this to be the ultimate HTPC system in close collaboration with my Mac mini.

Mmm...noticed that too...I'm hoping that the new Airport Extreme is the standout and the next rev mini will use 3.5" HDs and the 7.7x7.7 footprint along with a 7.7x7.7 NAS box...but probably not.

Vinea
post #46 of 96
Last point...its 720p because 1080p isn't going to downloadable in the nearish future except for FiOS users paying for that 30 Mbps pipe at nearly $200 a month.

Vinea
post #47 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

...where are you going to get any 720p content except from iTunes?

Apple's movie trailers site
iMovie HD
Final Cut HD
digital cameras
Living life in glorious 4G HD (with a 2GB data cap).
Reply
Living life in glorious 4G HD (with a 2GB data cap).
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post #48 of 96
It is not the definitive home video/audio solution. It does however do one very useful thing: Link your iTunes content to your living room.

Anything you buy on iTunes will now play in your living room. That alone makes it valuable and worth buying to me.

I don't need or want a DVR (I don't have or want cable). I don't need a DVD player (I have one).

I DO need a way to enjoy the TV shows, video podcasts, short films and everything else I currently get from iTunes in my living room.

I also need a way to BROWSE my iTunes mp3's in my living room so I can play them through my stereo. (I don't have or want any full PC's in my living room)

Down the road other capabilities will be added, but as an all in one solution for right now, this will squash most of the competition.

And yes, in answer to others, it will work with any TV with component video in and any stereo or boom box with an input.

So when it hits the stores, I'm there. :-)
post #49 of 96
I'm just curious as to when someone will grab one of these things and find a way to install Linux or OSX on it. It seems to have all the hardware needed for a functioning computer... I guess the lack of a CD drive is the one major thing that would make it hard though.
post #50 of 96
Actually info about Apple TV seems pretty slim.

We know Leopard will bring Front Row 2.0. Steve mentioned that AppleTV uses an intel processor but not specifically what processor or its capability.

I'm of the mind that Apple is keeping the killer features of Apple TV secret to unveil with Leopard.
post #51 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by sCreeD View Post

I'm curious about what kind of upscaling capabilities this thing has, if any.

Either this will be a decent device for which Apple is providing insufficient content or it can upscale like mad.

Most people do not own a 720p HDTV let alone a 1080i/p one. This is a safe play, but perhaps too safe.

A high percentage of UK homes now have HD ready television sets of one flavour or another. A fair number have a resolution of 1280x720 or similar (capable of displaying 720p and 1080i, but not 1080p). A small minority have a resolution of 1920x1080 (capable of displaying 1080p). More models supporting this higher resolution are promised for release this year.

Be aware that 1080i is interlaced, so although it is a higher resolution, it does not benefit from the progressive scan of 720p. The former has the better resolution, the latter is better at handling movement, albeit at a lower HD resolution. With 1080p, however, one gets the best of both worlds.
post #52 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmoNut View Post

Apple's movie trailers site
iMovie HD
Final Cut HD
digital cameras

Mkay...and the number of HD vid cams out there right now are "limited" to be generous.

And yah...they're going to do 720p just to show trailers and not sell 720p movies on iTunes.

Vinea
post #53 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Last point...its 720p because 1080p isn't going to downloadable in the nearish future except for FiOS users paying for that 30 Mbps pipe at nearly $200 a month.

Vinea

There are already several reasonably priced 1080i HD camcorders available, and although 1080p HD Camcorders are very expensive at the moment (the Sony HVR-V1E supports 1080p and costs just under £3000 inc VAT), this should change dramatically over the next 12 months if prices drop as fast as they did for the 1080i models. Note that the Sony HDR-HC3 High Definition Camcorder supports 1080i and costs £700 (inc VAT) on amazon.co.uk

Given Steve Job's comment this time last year that 2006 would be the year of HD (when introducing iMovie HD), I am surprised that Apple are not flying the true HD banner as is being done by some of the better known TV manufacturers (at least in the UK market), such as Sony with their KDL-40X2000 40" model which can be bought online for as little as £1445 (inc VAT).
post #54 of 96
As a source of (non-Apple) HD at 1080i or 720p depending on station, Mac as HD TIVO will cost you $200 to get OTA and clearQAM cable recorded. If this recording can be streamed WIRELESSLY to any location in the house where you might want to have your HDTV, I'd be all over it (no Cat5e cable runs or the like!). However, it's not yet clear what resolution it actually supports - the 720p on the site also says 24fps (and that's not HDTV rate - 60fps at 720p is HD) Once it becomes clear what it can actually wirelessly stream, a lot of this discussion may be moot
post #55 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by JMS View Post

There are already several reasonably priced 1080i HD camcorders available, and although 1080p HD Camcorders are very expensive at the moment, this should change dramatically over the next 12 months if prices drop as fast as they did for the 1080i models. Note that the Sony HDR-HC3 High Definition Camcorder supports 1080i and costs £700 (inc VAT) on amazon.co.uk

Given Steve Job's comment this time last year that 2006 would be the year of HD (when introducing iMovie HD), I am surprised that Apple are not flying the true HD banner as is being done by some of the better known TV manufacturers (at least in the UK market), such as Sony with their KDL-40X2000 40" model which can be bought online for as little as £1445 (inc VAT).

The HC3 looks to be a nice HD camera that I would buy but not at $1250. The number of non-prosumers using HD is minimal tho' the HC3 with the "easy mode" option is a great step toward that but in some ways a step back from the HC1. If you're spending over 1K for a camera you kinda want the manual controls no? Maybe not.

Most folks are still better off with a Panasonic PV-GS180 for $400 or a Canon Elura 100 for $350 if they make DVDs.

But yes, 1080p/60 playback on aTV would be better. I can't think of too many reasons that aTV can't do it eventually with a software upgrade. Even the on chip decoders can do that if its using the sigma for the decode lifting...

Vinea
post #56 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

But yes, 1080p/60 playback on aTV would be better. I can't think of too many reasons that aTV can't do it eventually with a software upgrade. Even the on chip decoders can do that if its using the sigma for the decode lifting...

Vinea

There is a slight problem there though. In the UK, thousands have been persuaded to buy flat screens (LCD or Plasma) on the benefits of how little room they take. It is virtually impossible to buy CRT screens anymore despite LCD being 2 to 3 times more expensive (but that's another issue).

The problem is that these flat screens have been sold as "HD Ready" but most of them have a maximum resolution of 1366x768 which is not high enough to display 1080p pictures. Shops are now starting to sell "True HD" screens with a resolution of 1920x1080. For full HD, people will have to replace their flat panels (I'm glad I waited). Further details of "HD Ready" v. "Full HD" were discussed in April 2006 on HDTV UK at http://www.hdtvuk.tv/2006/04/1080p_hd_questi.html, although technology has since moved on. As an example most of Sony's range of 1366x768 LCDs have now been replaced with 1920x1080 panels, and Blu-Ray players with 1080p playback are starting to filter onto the market.
post #57 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by beauchamp View Post

However, it's not yet clear what resolution it actually supports - the 720p on the site also says 24fps (and that's not HDTV rate - 60fps at 720p is HD)

Ugh, you're right. It does say 24fps. Can they even technically call this 720p?
Quote:
Once it becomes clear what it can actually wirelessly stream, a lot of this discussion may be moot

Well, I was assuming this would do gigabit wired Ethernet (all the rest of Apple's current hardware does), so I didn't really care, but I just realized that the Ethernet port is only 10/100BASE-T.

Looks to me like Apple threw all their money into the iPhone, which few can afford and isn't available yet anyhow. But they really skimped on the Apple TV, which may suffice for people who want something that "just works", but really looks like it is going to offer little for someone who wants even decent HDTV A/V performance. I can't imagine how these issues would be fixable in software.
post #58 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Actually info about Apple TV seems pretty slim.

We know Leopard will bring Front Row 2.0. Steve mentioned that AppleTV uses an intel processor but not specifically what processor or its capability.

I'm of the mind that Apple is keeping the killer features of Apple TV secret to unveil with Leopard.

I'm hoping there's more to this device than what they are showing so far. It's basically an iPod that never moves. If you read the website, it says that it syncs with your iTunes library, meaning it's functioning just like the iPod.

Everything on the website says it REQUIRES a widescreen TV, meaning everyone without a widescreen TV can't use it regardless. Which includes myself.

And couldn't they have updated the remote? It's still the same extremely bare bones thing they've been shipping for over a year. Couldn't we get a mute button at least? Maybe a home function? Or how about a click wheel interface?

It also makes me wonder if I should hold off buying any more TV episodes from iTunes for fear that 720p versions will be released soon and I'll get stuck with an inferior version.

I can do pretty much everything the Apple TV does already with my existing 60GB iPod AND it has a larger capacity. I can't get the iPod menus on the screen but there are 3rd party solutions that can which makes the Apple TV pretty pointless to me.

Hopefull Leopard will bring over the same updates to Front Row demonstrated on the Apple TV like correct alphabetical TV sorting and a smaller font choice (maybe even selectable) so you see more than 4 items at a time. It would be nice to be able to turn on and off menu options.
post #59 of 96
I noticed AppleInsider's article says this uses a "Mac OS X-based software interface". Do they know more than what's on Apple's website or what was said at the keynote yesterday?
post #60 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by solsun View Post

It will play anything the iTunes will play... So yes, if you rip a movie into iTunes, then Apple TV will play it.

That is not true. Read the specs page. It was EXTREMELY limited codec support. It would be more accurate to say that it will play anything an iPod would play, with the addition of one higher resolution format (still has to be H.264.

This is pretty lame. Limiting codec support on an iPod makes sense. Battery and CPU power are limiting factors in an iPod which shouldn't apply to AppleTV. The fact that it doesn't support the full range of QuickTime formats is just plain foolish! I've watched iTunes 640x480 video on my standard definition TV. It's better than VHS, sometimes better than Comcast's channels, but nowhere near DVD quality. If I can't watch my DVDs, with full resolution and audio quality (DD/DTS) either by ripping to my Mac or streaming from the DVD drive it's a non-starter. And what about video clips from my digital camera (Canon uses MJPEG)? That won't play. FrontRow at least looks in my Movies folder for content to play.

A mini with FrontRow is a far, far better solution than Apple TV is, even at the higher price range.
post #61 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

Everything on the website says it REQUIRES a widescreen TV, meaning everyone without a widescreen TV can't use it regardless. Which includes myself.

It just means that your TV can do letterbox when fed a wide screen signal. It does not mean your TV needs to be a widescreen LCD or tube.

Something like 95% of TV's produced in 10 years can do a native letterbox. Even the cheapest TV's today can do this.
post #62 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Connects to TVs that support component video. outputs 1080i 60/50hz, 720p 60/50hz, 576 50hz (PAL), 480p 60 Hz.

Any TV that takes analog component in should work. Except probably mine that chokes on the Dish component out...

It won't with with my TV either. It's a good quality standard definition with component inputs. The catch? It doesn't support progressive scan, only interlace. According to the specs page, that's not supported.

And as for all the potential HD sources people are mentioning...you're going to have to transcode that to one of the limited codecs supported by iTV.
post #63 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea
Connects to TVs that support component video. outputs 1080i 60/50hz, 720p 60/50hz, 576 50hz (PAL), 480p 60 Hz.

Any TV that takes analog component in should work. Except probably mine that chokes on the Dish component out...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

It won't with with my TV either. It's a good quality standard definition with component inputs.

Please see the wiki def of component video

480 and 576 are what standard, old fashioned, off the shelf tube tv's do. It is NOT high Def.

In other words, if your tv has component video in and can play a DVD using those inputs, it can play an Apple TV.


I missed the "doesn't have progressive scan" in your post. Sorry. You are right - your TV may not work with the aTV
post #64 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by solsun View Post

It will play anything the iTunes will play... So yes, if you rip a movie into iTunes, then Apple TV will play it.

More generally I think it'll play anything that Quicktime can play. I've had success installing extra Quicktime codecs and having Front Row be able to pick up and play "non-standard" videos.

Update: OK, just read Wiggin's post about not all Quicktime codecs being supported. Weird. This thing is starting to look less like a Mini and more like an oversized iPod. It doesn't make sense to me that it wouldn't play everything Front Row on a computer can play.
post #65 of 96
Quote:
However, it's not yet clear what resolution it actually supports - the 720p on the site also says 24fps (and that's not HDTV rate - 60fps at 720p is HD)
Ugh, you're right. It does say 24fps. Can they even technically call this 720p?

The playback has to be at least 48P.

We can't literally watch 24P. Its below the thresh hold of persistent vision. You would see flickering images.
post #66 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmjoe View Post

Ugh, you're right. It does say 24fps. Can they even technically call this 720p?

Yes because 720p describes resolution and that its progressive not interlaced. 720p/24 is for film sources to save bandwidth. 720p/60 is 55Mpixels/sec. 720p/24 is 22Mpixels/sec. Yes Virginia it is 720p and it is even HDTV. Total is 8-10 Mbps in MPEG-2. Don't know for H.264...around half?

Anyway from film material this avoids needing to do 3-2 pulldown out of 720p/60 and you get to conserve 60% of the bandwidth.

720p/24 for movies is the best tradeoff given the network infratructure between Apple.com and your house.

Quote:
Well, I was assuming this would do gigabit wired Ethernet (all the rest of Apple's current hardware does), so I didn't really care, but I just realized that the Ethernet port is only 10/100BASE-T.

Probably because the chip they use for decode has 10/100 included but maybe not. In any case wired is not an issue with the bit rates they describe. I guess no TV show HD at the beginning at 720p/60. Shame...guess v2 will have to do that along with real IPTV service if they go that route.

Quote:
Looks to me like Apple threw all their money into the iPhone, which few can afford and isn't available yet anyhow. But they really skimped on the Apple TV, which may suffice for people who want something that "just works", but really looks like it is going to offer little for someone who wants even decent HDTV A/V performance. I can't imagine how these issues would be fixable in software.

Reliable 720p/60 playback (VC-1) is hard with challenging material even on the 360 in software. If there isn't a Sigma or equivalent chip in there then there isn't going to be a software fix. If there is, they're underspec'ing probably because 720p/60 was spotty even over draft-N.

Eh...720p/24 with film sources look pretty good and for a downloaded medium about SOTA.

Vinea
post #67 of 96
My, my...there certainly are a lot of misconceptions floating around in this thread regarding HD. Let's see if I can set a few things straight:

Quote:
Originally Posted by beauchamp View Post

... the 720p on the site also says 24fps (and that's not HDTV rate - 60fps at 720p is HD)

Wrong. 24p is fully embraced by the HDTV standard for cinematic sources, as are 25p, 50p, 50i (PAL) and 30p, 60p and 60i (NTSC). See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-definition_television

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Yes because 720p describes resolution and that its progressive not interlaced. 720p/24 is for film sources to save bandwidth. 720p/60 is 55Mpixels/sec. 720p/24 is 22Mpixels/sec. Yes Virginia it is 720p and it is even HDTV. Total is 8-10 Mbps in MPEG-2. Don't know for H.264...around half?

Anyway from film material this avoids needing to do 3-2 pulldown out of 720p/60 and you get to conserve 60% of the bandwidth.

Mostly wrong. 720p24 (and 1080p24) are used for film sources because motion pictures are shot at 24fps, it has nothing to do with "conserving bandwidth." Presently, Hollywood DVDs are encoded at 480i24 (for NTSC). Blue Ray movies will most likely be stored as 1080p24. Star Wars II, one of the first major motion pictures shot on HD cameras, was shot at 1080p24 to preserve the "film look." The reason 24fps will persist for many years to come is that people are used to the "look" of it for cinema. Converting a 24fps film to 60fps video DOES NOT make the picture better, in fact it makes things worse.

However, few if any current displays are capable of accepting a 24fps signal, so 2:3 reverse pulldown MUST be performed to generate a 30p or 60i/p NTSC signal. This is done in the DVD player, when the player sees certain "flags" in the MPEG stream indicating that the material was telecined at 24fps. Once again, this frame rate conversion ALWAYS makes things worse, but if DVDs were encoded at 60i, pulldown would still be needed (during telecining). For a good explanation of the workings and pitfalls of pulldown, see http://www.dvdfile.com/news/special_...2_pulldown.htm

As an aside, the "holy grail" for cinematic picture quality with emerging technologies would be a 1080p24 source (think Blue Ray or HD-DVD) passing a signal purely in the digital domain (think HDMI) to a 24p capable, 1920x1080 display. This would avoid all picture degradation due to:
* deinterlacing and scaling effects
* motion artifacts (judder) introduced by pulldown
* needless digital to analog conversions

and would provide the best possible picture with the least possible image processing. The display would need to run at a 72Hz vertical refresh rate, of course, to avoid flicker. Each film frame would thus be displayed for 3 consecutive refresh cycles. This is similar to theatrical projection today--movie projectors actually run at 48fps and display each film frame twice.

All of this says...24fps is nothing to fear, and is in fact the appropriate frame rate for movies.
post #68 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanVoyeur View Post

It just means that your TV can do letterbox when fed a wide screen signal. It does not mean your TV needs to be a widescreen LCD or tube.

Something like 95% of TV's produced in 10 years can do a native letterbox. Even the cheapest TV's today can do this.

Oh, come on. Standard-def TVs cannot handle a true widescreen (720p or 1080i) signal. In standard-definition TV, there is no such thing as a "wide screen" signal...the letterboxing you see when watching a widescreen DVD (anamorphic) is generated by the DVD player, not the TV.

According to the specs, the aTV requires at least a EDTV capable of accepting a 480p input. Regular TVs only accept 480i. Practically speaking, at a minimum you'll need a TV that accepts progressive input over component video.
post #69 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by VideoFreek View Post


Mostly wrong. 720p24 (and 1080p24) are used for film sources because motion pictures are shot at 24fps, it has nothing to do with "conserving bandwidth."

Yes, and while 720p/24 is part of the ATSC spec it isn't used when broadcasting movies over cable or satellite which typically is 1080i/60. Apple choosing to support 720p/24 is likely for bandwidth reasons because this limits offering 720p/60 and 720p/30 HD video programming (TV shows, sports coverage, etc). There shouldn't be any other reason that it couldn't do the full 720p/60 decode otherwise with a $30 chip from Sigma. Either that or the spec is wrong and they'll do 720p/60.

Well, okay you can drop frames from 720p/60. Ugh. Sport highlights should look great when you do that. Better add artifical motion blur and hope backgrounds were out of focus on medium pans or its judder city.

At least many HD shows are shot in 24p.

Quote:
The reason 24fps will persist for many years to come is that people are used to the "look" of it for cinema. Converting a 24fps film to 60fps DOES NOT make the picture better, in fact it makes things worse.

The point about filming at 60+ fps is that it is more likelike than 24fps. Not that you convert 24fps film to 60 fps.

Quote:
However, few if any current displays are capable of accepting a 24fps signal, so 2:3 reverse pulldown MUST be performed to generate a 30p or 60i/p NTSC signal. This is done in the DVD player, when the player sees certain "flags" in the MPEG stream indicating that the material was telecined at 24fps.

There are some displays that take 1080p/24 (like the Sony VPL-VW50...which will take in 1080p/24 and display at 96Hz). Nothing takes 720p with 24 frame sync AFAIK. 720p/24 is a working (computer) format...not a video format if I recall correctly. 1080p/24 is a video format.

Quote:
As an aside, the "holy grail" for cinematic picture quality with emerging technologies would be a 1080p24 source (think Blue Ray or HD-DVD) passing a signal purely in the digital domain (say over HDMI) to a 24p capable, 1920x1080 display. This would avoid all picture degradation due to:
* deinterlacing and scaling effects
* motion artifacts (judder) introduced by pulldown
* needless digital to analog conversions

Hardly. 1080 is too low a resolution to be the holy grail. 24 fps is good for a "filmlike" look (by definition) which is simply what we are used to...a juddery restriction that most film folk know how to work around for medium pans...not the end all of the medium.

Quote:
All of this says...24fps is nothing to fear, and is in fact the appropriate frame rate for movies.

No kidding. That's what I said. And upscaling from 720p to 1080p is trivial if you have a 1080p display device.

Vinea
post #70 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by VideoFreek View Post

Oh, come on. Standard-def TVs cannot handle a true widescreen (720p or 1080i) signal.

Of course not. But the aTV also puts out 480p which any TV can show.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VideoFreek View Post

In standard-definition TV, there is no such thing as a "wide screen" signal...the letterboxing you see when watching a widescreen DVD (anamorphic) is generated by the DVD player, not the TV.

Umm, no. FYI, there are several ways to letterbox.

One way is to burn the widescreen program to the DVD and send a wide screen (say 16:9) encoded signal and let your TV with the appropriate internal converter squeeze and letter box it to 4:3 on the fly. It's a trivial operation. That's why so many modern TV's can do it well.

Another way is to actually squeeze the program and paint a letter box around the wide program BEFORE your burn it the DVD, and send it to the TV as a 4:3 signal.

Some DVD's do it one way, some the other. Some give you both options. It sounds like the aTV will require a TV that can do on the fly letter boxing, which most, including my 8 year old Sony can.

Some older TV's can't - I sometimes have to letterbox the video (method 2) that I shoot for people using a 16:9 to 4:3 letter box converter so that is can be viewed on any TV.


Quote:
Originally Posted by VideoFreek View Post

According to the specs, the aTV requires at least a EDTV capable of accepting a 480p input. Regular TVs only accept 480i. Practically speaking, at a minimum you'll need a TV that accepts progressive input over component video.

Practically speaking, virtually ALL TV's that have component in can accept a progressive encoded signal. Only some of the very earliest models may have a problem.

Most DVD's these days have a progressive scan output option, so it's simple to find out if your TV can handle the signal.
post #71 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanVoyeur View Post

Umm, no. FYI, there are several ways to letterbox.

One way is to burn the widescreen program to the DVD and send a wide screen (say 16:9) encoded signal and let your TV with the appropriate internal converter squeeze and letter box it to 4:3 on the fly. It's a trivial operation. That's why so many modern TV's can do it well.

Not to belabor the point, Urban, but you've got this wrong. When watching anamorphic DVD on a 4:3 television, the letterboxing is generated by the DVD player, not the TV. There is no such thing as "on the fly letterboxing" in a TV...the DVD is either mastered with the black bars in place, in which case the DVD player simply sends the signal directly tho the TV, or anamorphically, in which case the DVD player will generate the black bars as mentioned above as long as you set up the DVD player for a 4:3 display. A good basic description of all this can be found here:

http://www.thedigitalbits.com/articles/anamorphic/
post #72 of 96
Interesting points, Vinea, thank you. I'd like to respond with a few more of my own.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

The point about filming at 60+ fps is that it is more likelike than 24fps. Not that you convert 24fps film to 60 fps.

You're absolutely right, from a strict technical viewpoint, 60fps images are certainly "better" and more lifelike. However, people are so wedded to the "look" of 24fps that I think we may never see motion pictures shot at higher frame rates...it would look too much "like video" to us. In fact, some TV shows are shot on 35mm film and then transferred to video precisely to achieve this "filmlike" look. Ironically, I think people associate the look of 24fps with higher "quality."

Quote:
There are some displays that take 1080p/24 (like the Sony VPL-VW50...which will take in 1080p/24 and display at 96Hz). Nothing takes 720p with 24 frame sync AFAIK. 720p/24 is a working (computer) format...not a video format if I recall correctly. 1080p/24 is a video format.

Actually, 720p24 is a valid HDTV format, but you're essentially right...if someone is going to make the effort to handle 24fps natively, they'll go for 1080p and not 720p. Another problem is that right now, I'm not aware of many sources that actually output 24p over HDMI. Out of curiousity, do you know of any?

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Hardly. 1080 is too low a resolution to be the holy grail. 24 fps is good for a "filmlike" look (by definition) which is simply what we are used to...a juddery restriction that most film folk know how to work around for medium pans...not the end all of the medium.

Well, sure, more rez would be wonderful. But I was talking about what could be achieved with currently-emerging equipment and standards. There is certainly talk about going to more than 1080 lines, but that will be far, far in the future if ever (maybe not for displays, but remember--you need sources recorded at higher than 1080p to get the full benefit). Look how long we've lived with crappy 480-line resolution with NTSC!

BTW, judder, which is defined as uneven or jerky movement during slow pans, is not inherent to film--it comes about from the pulldown process when 24fps film is transferred to 30fps NTSC, because fields are recorded in an alternating 3:2 pattern during telecining.
post #73 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by VideoFreek View Post

Not to belabor the point, Urban, but you've got this wrong. When watching anamorphic DVD on a 4:3 television, the letterboxing is generated by the DVD player, not the TV. There is no such thing as "on the fly letterboxing" in a TV...the DVD is either mastered with the black bars in place, in which case the DVD player simply sends the signal directly tho the TV, or anamorphically, in which case the DVD player will generate the black bars as mentioned above as long as you set up the DVD player for a 4:3 display. A good basic description of all this can be found here:

http://www.thedigitalbits.com/articles/anamorphic/

Again, there is more than one way to do this.

On my Sony, an 8 year old 36" tube TV with a native 4:3 aspect ratio, I can feed it a wide screen, 16:9 signal from any source - DVD, DV VTR, miniDV Camera or HD DV camera, and it will squeeze and letter box the signal. It has to do this because screen is 4:3. In fact, in the menu set up of the TV, I have the option of turning on 16:9 all the time or "auto" which lets the TV decide based on the input. The default is auto.

I do this all the time. Some of my cameras and VTR's give me the choice of output with or without the black bars in place, some don't and I have a video monitor in the chain, so I know it happens at the TV.

That's why I must sometimes use this: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

When I copy DV tapes to VHS. It does on the fly letter boxing.

My DVD is set up to NOT letter box the out, but send it to the TV wide, which does the squeezing.
post #74 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanVoyeur View Post

On my Sony, an 8 year old 36" tube TV with a native 4:3 aspect ratio, I can feed it a wide screen, 16:9 signal from any source - DVD, DV VTR, miniDV Camera or HD DV camera, and it will squeeze and letter box the signal.

Ahh, I'm with you now. You have a so-called "EDTV"...these are essentially 480p-capable displays that have been marketed as sort of a "bridge" between standard TV and HDTV. See http://www.projectorcentral.com/hdtv_edtv.htm

I see Sony still offers these, including one that will accept HD broadcasts and letterbox/downrez them to fit on a 4:3 SD screen. http://www.nextag.com/SONY-KD27FS170...05/prices-html Why anyone would want to go this way is beyond me, but there you go.

Anyway, my comments are still valid for standard TVs, but I stand corrected with regard to the capabilities of EDTVs. Nevertheless, it is probably technically better to let the DVD player handle the letterboxing, unless the video scalers in the TV are vastly better than those in the DVD player (which is unlikely).
post #75 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by VideoFreek View Post

I see Sony still offers these, including one that will accept HD broadcasts and letterbox/downrez them to fit on a 4:3 SD screen. http://www.nextag.com/SONY-KD27FS170...05/prices-html Why anyone would want to go this way is beyond me, but there you go.

8 (9?) Years ago when I bought it, it was one of the few ways to ensure compatibility with all 16:9 sources when HD was prohibitively expensive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VideoFreek View Post

Nevertheless, it is probably technically better to let the DVD player handle the letterboxing, unless the video scalers in the TV are vastly better than those in the DVD player (which is unlikely).

On a higher res TV yes. On this Sony 480 tube, it doesn't make much of a difference. Either the video scaler is good or (more likely) the superiority of the DVD scaler is lost in the low res.
post #76 of 96
Am I missing something or is it just an iPod with wireless networking and built in outputs ?

It acts like an iPod in itunes you load it like an iPod from your iTunes etc.

apart from the HD output and remote control screen based gui what advantages does it have over pluging in an iPod to the TV ?

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post #77 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnrp View Post

Am I missing something or is it just an iPod with wireless networking and built in outputs ?

It acts like an iPod in itunes you load it like an iPod from your iTunes etc.

apart from the HD output and remote control screen based gui what advantages does it have over pluging in an iPod to the TV ?

Other than optical digital audio out and the features you described, it is essentially the same as plugging an iPod into your system.

However, having an on screen GUI, access to my full audio and video iTunes library, and digital audio out are just the mix of features I'm looking for and together are reason enough to use this over an iPod connected to my system.
post #78 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanVoyeur View Post

Other than optical digital audio out and the features you described, it is essentially the same as plugging an iPod into your system.

However, having an on screen GUI, access to my full audio and video iTunes library, and digital audio out are just the mix of features I'm looking for and together are reason enough to use this over an iPod connected to my system.

I was initially excited by the digital audio out, too, until I realized it would be passing 128k or higher AAC, which I don't think many receivers or sound processors can handle afaik. Yes, I could re-rip all my CDs to MP3 format (which my Rotel receiver does accept, I think), but this wouldn't solve the problem for content purchased on the iTMS. Given that the main purpose of aTV is to port iTMS content to home theater systems, I not sure what the point of the toslink output is? Any thoughts?

PS (Edit): it just dawned on me that since the aTV has analog audio outputs, it is obviously capable of decoding MP3, AAC, etc., which must be done before D-->A conversion. Duh. Is it possible that the device would decode and pass uncompressed digital audio (e.g., PCM) down the optical link? Now, that would be great! Unfortunately, it's impossible to tell from Apple's lame specs sheet.
post #79 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by VideoFreek View Post

I was initially excited by the digital audio out, too, until I realized it would be passing 128k or higher AAC, which I don't think many receivers or sound processors can handle afaik. Yes, I could re-rip all my CDs to MP3 format (which my Rotel receiver does accept, I think), but this wouldn't solve the problem for content purchased on the iTMS. Given that the main purpose of aTV is to port iTMS content to home theater systems, I not sure what the point of the toslink output is? Any thoughts?

The reason for the TOSLINK is that sends a digital audio signal to an outboard DAC which can result in much higher quality and/or allows your AV receiver to decode surround sound from the digital stream. Basically, you get 5.1 or 7.1 without Apple having to include a decoder and all the additional outs.

If it works like the digital audio out on the AirPort Express (And I have no reason to think that it won't), then it will pass a standards compliant PCM stream through the TOSLINK which can be decoded by any DAC. These streams are typically are 16/44.1, 16/48, 24/96, or 24/192 and 2-8 channels

I do that now with my AirPort Ex and a Monster Cable/Entech DAC ($50 super bargain)

In the case ofthe AirPort, the conversion from compressed format to PCM is done at the computer and is streamed to the AirPort.

I imagine that the aTV can do both an onboard compressed to PCM conversion for locally stored files and a stream download for remotes. It also has an onboard DAC, probably of comparable quality to the AirPort Express. Which is to say not bad, but not that good either.
post #80 of 96
Urban...you were typing your response as I was typing my edit. I (almost) beat you to it! Yes, the aTV must pass PCM over the Toslink, especially since they already do it with AirPort Express, as you point out. That WILL be very handy!
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