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First Look: Apple TV 2.0 and iTunes Movie Rentals (photos, video) - Page 6

post #201 of 233
We obviously disagree about the definition of "compression".
(I'll resist the urge to rebut further because it is making it impossible to discuss what i'm more interested in.)

... the A/V production chain for content on the iTS?

It'll be interesting to see how Apple's rips compare to rips of equivalent resolution from consumer media. I'm hypothesizing that ripping straight from original sources will result in far superior looking video than is possible than when ripping from DVD or possibly even HD media.

Things it has going for it:
* Higher resolution source
* Compressed once instead of twice
* No interlacing/deinterlacing in the production chain
* No frame rate conversion
* One less color space conversion (unsure about this one)
* Possibly more computationally heavy compression
post #202 of 233
I don't know much about the topic you are two are discussing, but I do know there is a major difference between layman definitions and industry definitions. And it sounds like you two are debating over the definition of an industry term.
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post #203 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

We obviously disagree about the definition of "compression".
(I'll resist the urge to rebut further because it is making it impossible to discuss what i'm more interested in.)

... the A/V production chain for content on the iTS?

It'll be interesting to see how Apple's rips compare to rips of equivalent resolution from consumer media. I'm hypothesizing that ripping straight from original sources will result in far superior looking video than is possible than when ripping from DVD or possibly even HD media.

Things it has going for it:
* Higher resolution source
* Compressed once instead of twice
* No interlacing/deinterlacing in the production chain
* No frame rate conversion
* One less color space conversion (unsure about this one)
* Possibly more computationally heavy encryption

If you'll read back to at least one of my earlier posts, you will see that I AGREE about using the highest possible original to work from. No problem there.
post #204 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

If you'll read back to at least one of my earlier posts, you will see that I AGREE about using the highest possible original to work from. No problem there.

I didn't know there was a disagreement. (other than the "compression" tangent)

Have any thoughts on how significant a quality improvement there is when ripping from an original source rather than DVD?

For instance, can a rip that is lower res than DVD actually look better than a DVD because of considerations other than resolution? Perception is a funny thing so I'm curious if what I'm perceiving is simply placebo effect.
post #205 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

I didn't know there was a disagreement. (other than the "compression" tangent)

Have any thoughts on how significant a quality improvement there is when ripping from an original source rather than DVD?

For instance, can a rip that is lower res than DVD actually look better than a DVD because of considerations other than resolution? Perception is a funny thing so I'm curious if what I'm perceiving is simply placebo effect.

Maybe it changes the gamma curve? Supposedly H.264 has better color sampling than MPEG-2.
post #206 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

I didn't know there was a disagreement. (other than the "compression" tangent)

No, there wasn't another disagreement. I was just pointing out that despite the agreement, I do agree that we must start with the best source, no matter how compressed we need the end result to be.

Quote:
Have any thoughts on how significant a quality improvement there is when ripping from an original source rather than DVD?

As DVD's ARE compressed, any further compression will result in possible artifacts. Unfortunately, few people doing this at home have access to the hardware and software that studios use. That can compensate of these problems. H.264 is already heavily compressed. a straight rip with no further compression, as roomy as that is, is the best way to go.

As for original materials, it depends on what they were.

Even industry digital movie equipment usually compresses the signal, though in a not noticeable way. This equipment preserves far more of the color content that home software does. I'm sure that all compressed content sold or rented would be compressed from a much higher level source than the DVD. I don't know of any company that would use the DVD as a source.

Quote:
For instance, can a rip that is lower res than DVD actually look better than a DVD because of considerations other than resolution? Perception is a funny thing so I'm curious if what I'm perceiving is simply placebo effect.

That's a funny question because that can actually happen!

It's the opposite of the situation where most hi def Tv's make broadcast look WORSE, after it's upscaled, rather than better.

When you upscale a signal, if it isn't pristine, it is difficult to make it look as good, much less better, because all of the defects get magnified, and odd artifacts often occur.

When rezzing down, other than for softness, those same defects get averaged out, and often disappear.

But, again, it depends on how good, or bad, the original is.

If you have poor detail in the shadows on the DVD, then a down rez will often eliminate them entirely, resulting in large dark grey blobs.

Colors can become more garish as the samples are averaged together.

A lot of this depends on the software makers decisions as to how they think the image would please the larger part of the user base.

Too bad, but most people think that oversaturated images are better (orange faces anyone?).The software company may then oversaturate the compressed image by choosing to duplicate a pixels color level that has more color, rather than to moderate the result according to the less saturated one next to it.

This is amateur software. Pro level software won't do that, and offers many options. Apple's Compressor is very good, but isn't a RIP tool..
post #207 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Maybe it changes the gamma curve? Supposedly H.264 has better color sampling than H.264.

Wanna rewrite that last sentence?
post #208 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Wanna rewrite that last sentence?

I did, I'm sorry I goofed that one.
post #209 of 233
Hopefully, this may clear up issues for those who aren't happy about the 24 hour period available after starting to view a movie rental.

Chris Breen, editor of Macworld, has written an article, that seems to show that Apple is accommodating those who START their movie, but then fail to finish it in the 24 hour period. Apparently, if you don't turn the movie off, but instead pause it, you can resume after the rental time is over.

http://www.macworld.com/article/1317...errentals.html
post #210 of 233
But what happens when you start a different movie or listen to songs for awhile? And will this work on the AppleTV?

I don't like the 24 hour limitation because I treat movies like I do books. I will start and pause them often to do other things before I am finished with them. It has taken me a week or more to finish a single movie.
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post #211 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by aresee View Post

But what happens when you start a different movie or listen to songs for awhile? And will this work on the AppleTV?

I don't like the 24 hour limitation because I treat movies like I do books. I will start and pause them often to do other things before I am finished with them. It has taken me a week or more to finish a single movie.

Read the article. He tells all he knows, and doesn't know. He addresses your questions clearly.
post #212 of 233
I know, but these were the questions that came to mind after reading the article.
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post #213 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lydilove View Post

Greetings all!
Does any one know if there are ANY parental controls on this new Apple TV? I have a house full of teenagers and very young children. Though I would love to purchase a new Apple TV, I am concerned that, left to their own devices, my kids would rent all kinds of inappropriate things and cost me a fortune in rental costs.

My dream Apple TV would at first require a password to purchase and rent all programing AND have a check box that allows you to remember that password OR NOT. (Like they have on iTunes) That would allowing me the kind of control that makes me very comfortable with the Apple TV.

Does it have this kind of interface, does anyone know?

Thanks for the input.




here is what i found from http://www.apple.com/appletv/features.html#settings

From the Settings menu, you can set parental controls that limit what your kids can buy and rent on Apple TV. Or set up your screen saver, your network, your TV resolution, and more.


There is also a video but since the horrible computers here at work dont support quicktime im not sure what is says. Hope it helps.
post #214 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by edwin2213 View Post

here is what i found from http://www.apple.com/appletv/features.html#settings

From the Settings menu, you can set parental controls that limit what your kids can buy and rent on Apple TV. Or set up your screen saver, your network, your TV resolution, and more.


There is also a video but since the horrible computers here at work dont support quicktime im not sure what is says. Hope it helps.

Apples not being very informative here. I to am interested in how to limit what is displayed and presented to the casual AppleTV viewer. Currently you can choose not to sync questionable material to the ATV but the new movie list feature makes it look like the ATV will automatically search out and stream all available iTunes movies. Even movies you do not want to share with friends and family. I can see some embarrassing moments ahead
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post #215 of 233
Would the parental settings for the iTS account work in limiting that? That would prevent the munchkins from downloading new boobies at least.

Boobs already on your LAN? Hmmm, can that be controlled by choosing which playlists to share via rendevous?

Go ahead and let them watch the new Rambo though. It's the American way. Nudity bad. Violence good.

[edit]
I think i just used up my 2008 quota for using the term boob.
post #216 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by aresee View Post

Apples not being very informative here. I to am interested in how to limit what is displayed and presented to the casual AppleTV viewer. Currently you can choose not to sync questionable material to the ATV but the new movie list feature makes it look like the ATV will automatically search out and stream all available iTunes movies. Even movies you do not want to share with friends and family. I can see some embarrassing moments ahead

Can we rate out media in iTunes? If not, they really should add that feature.
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post #217 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Can we rate out media in iTunes? If not, they really should add that feature.

iTunes 7.6 does not offer me the opportunity to but any kind of rating (G, GP, R, X, Explicit or Clean) onto a movie I imported from iMovie.
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post #218 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The only current rental I have is 853x405. That is better than DVD quality, is it not?

I want to bring this up again. This surprised me because it contradicted what I had believed, but I accepted it. Now I'm having second thoughts again.

First, I'd like to confirm that others are getting this resolution from iTunes rentals. I just tried one (The Village), and it was 640x344. Maybe different movies are encoded differently, but I'd just like to see some confirmation.

Second, I'd like to confirm that this 853x405 resolution plays on the iPod. I've searched around a bit and although some iPods can handle anamorphic video properly, I can't find any evidence that an iPod would be able to play a file with a resolution this large, anamorphic encoding or otherwise.

Thanks.
post #219 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

I want to bring this up again. This surprised me because it contradicted what I had believed, but I accepted it. Now I'm having second thoughts again.

First, I'd like to confirm that others are getting this resolution from iTunes rentals. I just tried one (The Village), and it was 640x344. Maybe different movies are encoded differently, but I'd just like to see some confirmation.

Second, I'd like to confirm that this 853x405 resolution plays on the iPod. I've searched around a bit and although some iPods can handle anamorphic video properly, I can't find any evidence that an iPod would be able to play a file with a resolution this large, anamorphic encoding or otherwise.

Thanks.

I think you might test it by fiddling with Quicktime or Handbrake exports to output the resolution that you want. I don't have a video iPod so I can't help.
post #220 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

I want to bring this up again. This surprised me because it contradicted what I had believed, but I accepted it. Now I'm having second thoughts again.

First, I'd like to confirm that others are getting this resolution from iTunes rentals. I just tried one (The Village), and it was 640x344. Maybe different movies are encoded differently, but I'd just like to see some confirmation.

Second, I'd like to confirm that this 853x405 resolution plays on the iPod. I've searched around a bit and although some iPods can handle anamorphic video properly, I can't find any evidence that an iPod would be able to play a file with a resolution this large, anamorphic encoding or otherwise.

Thanks.

The next video rental I watch I'll surely check. The Village is for sale and rental, so does that mean it was available, and therefore encoded, before the rentals and new "DVD quality" resolution was in effect?

I did notice the film I watched in 853x405 (which is an odd size) still remained at the 1.5MBps limit, which is maximum throughout that Apple states iDevices can handle. The film was very dark to help reflect the dreary nature nature of a East Germany during the Cold War so I'm wondering if their encoding software pre-determines the bitrate and then encodes the resolution at the maximum allowance of that bitrate.
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post #221 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The next video rental I watch I'll surely check. The Village is for sale and rental, so does that mean it was available, and therefore encoded, before the rentals and new "DVD quality" resolution was in effect?

Good point. What was the video you rented with that higher resolution?

BTW, can the newer iPods (the ones capable of viewing rentals) display higher-resolution videos than older ones?
post #222 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

Good point. What was the video you rented with that higher resolution?

BTW, can the newer iPods (the ones capable of viewing rentals) display higher-resolution videos than older ones?

The Lives of Others (2006)

I would think that the bitrate is more important that the resolution. The video limitations that Apple imposes are artificial so they could move them if need be. I have absolutely no clue how much it could be increased before it can't handle the load but it may be a "weakest link" situation as the obviously less powered iPod Nano has the same video capabilities as the faster powered Classics, Touches, and iPhones on the Tech Specs.
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post #223 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The Lives of Others (2006)

Great movie, by the way.

On another issue, I tried continuing to watch the movie I rented after its expiration time, and it was fine. As long as you keep it playing, it won't quit on you. Pause it or close it, and it's done. That's nice, especially for people who were complaining that if they wanted to continue watching it the next night, they couldn't because time would run out.

I suppose each time it's about to get to the end you could slide it back to the beginning, and keep watching it forever.
post #224 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

Great movie, by the way.

On another issue, I tried continuing to watch the movie I rented after its expiration time, and it was fine. As long as you keep it playing, it won't quit on you. Pause it or close it, and it's done. That's nice, especially for people who were complaining that if they wanted to continue watching it the next night, they couldn't because time would run out.

I suppose each time it's about to get to the end you could slide it back to the beginning, and keep watching it forever.

I was under the impression you could pause it, too, but as soon as you access something else in your library it goes away. Maybe that was AppleTV rentals only.
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post #225 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I was under the impression you could pause it, too, but as soon as you access something else in your library it goes away. Maybe that was AppleTV rentals only.

This is how it worked for me: As long as it was playing after the time expired, it was fine. Try to pause it, and it comes up with a box asking if you want to remove the movie or resume playing.
post #226 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The Lives of Others (2006)

I would think that the bitrate is more important that the resolution. The video limitations that Apple imposes are artificial so they could move them if need be. I have absolutely no clue how much it could be increased before it can't handle the load but it may be a "weakest link" situation as the obviously less powered iPod Nano has the same video capabilities as the faster powered Classics, Touches, and iPhones on the Tech Specs.

I'm not sure if artificial is the best way to describe it. It's likely tat the hardware decoding can only go that high, and the video can only move that much through.

Don't forget that H.264 requires a lot of cpu time. Some older Mac's couldn't handle it.
post #227 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I'm not sure if artificial is the best way to describe it. It's likely tat the hardware decoding can only go that high, and the video can only move that much through.

Don't forget that H.264 requires a lot of cpu time. Some older Mac's couldn't handle it.

Certainly the iPod Nano is at or near the limit but the other iDevices having faster CPUs and more RAM could handle higher quality video, but they all have the same stated capabilities. Is 640x480 @ 1.5Mbps truly the maximum or could it potentially handle some oddball 682x512 @ 1.72Mbps? And sense iTunes won't even push higher quality videos to iDevices wouldn't that make it an artificial limitation, even though it's based on very real physical limitation of the weakest device.
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post #228 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Certainly the iPod Nano is at or near the limit but the other iDevices having faster CPUs and more RAM could handle higher quality video, but they all have the same stated capabilities. Is 640x480 @ 1.5Mbps truly the maximum or could it potentially handle some oddball 682x512 @ 1.72Mbps? And sense iTunes won't even push higher quality videos to iDevices wouldn't that make it an artificial limitation, even though it's based on very real physical limitation of the weakest device.

I would be definitive about it. We don't really know.

Apple did say that the current generation could take part, but none of the older ones could. I don't know the specs of the actual device, only what Apple states as the max. Whether that max is the same for all of them would just be a guess.

It's possible, since the higher rez screens of the iPod/iTouch could tax the video and decoder enough to make up for the slower hardware in the Classic, if indeed that were the case.
post #229 of 233
I just rented a new film. One that was not available before the keynote and one that has more action and detail that the previous film I rented that was at better-than-DVD quality.

film: 300
year: 2007
bitrate: 1679
resolution: 853x356

That blows my 1.5Mbps theory away.
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post #230 of 233
Even the current version of ATV is great, I love it! I have the 160gb and connect it to the HD input of my Slingbox Pro and can remotely access everything on it (all my songs, tv shows, ripped movies, podcasts, movie trailers, etc.), all in high def to any Slingplayer I open on any of my Macs!

I also can Sling the Apple TV contents to my Sprint Treo 700p phone via speedy EVDO--way cool! Can't wait for the new ATV software update, it'll be great to directly subscribe to podcasts and acccess content without having to sync and keep copies on my Mac!
post #231 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I just rented a new film. One that was not available before the keynote and one that has more action and detail that the previous film I rented that was at better-than-DVD quality.

film: 300
year: 2007
bitrate: 1679
resolution: 853x356

That blows my 1.5Mbps theory away.

Fascinating, and good news. I wonder why they don't play this up a bit more. Do you have an iPod that you could try it on?
post #232 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

Fascinating, and good news. I wonder why they don't play this up a bit more. Do you have an iPod that you could try it on?

It worked fine on my iPhone.
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post #233 of 233
I almost positive one of the GeekBrief.TV episodes I outputted from my iPod classic to my HDTV was 960 x 540.
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