High Def TV and DVD, and downloadable movies

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
OK, I admit to not knowing squat about downloaded movies, either from iTunes or the up-and-coming ones from Amazon/Tivo etc. What is the quality like? Can they be burned to disc for backup or watching at a friend's house? If it's not up to the potential of all the HD TVs people are buying, what's the point? If it is, won't that render Blue Ray and HD-DVD insignificant before they are mainstream? I myself am Old School and buy 99% of my music as CDs, not downloads, and I either rent from Blockbuster in-store, or NetFlix. I like the hands-on feel of discs and the total freedom and flexibility to watch movies or listen to music when and how I want. It's probably a generational thing, but having to go through my computer for everything makes me feel clausterphobic.



I have to laugh at all the potential for sonic quality new audio hardware holds, and yet most people seem to go the route of lower quality source material, I.E. downloads. Is this going to be the same for movies too? Just wondering

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    galleygalley Posts: 971member
    Movies and TV Shows from the iTunes Store are 640 x 480. Widescreen DVDs are 720 x 480 (480P). HDTV is either 1280 x 720 (720P) or 1920 x 1080 (1080i or 1080P). If you calculate the number of pixels you will see that the best we can expect to download in the foreseeable future is 720P content.
  • Reply 2 of 10
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Aflaaak View Post


    ...I have to laugh at all the potential for sonic quality new audio hardware holds, and yet most people seem to go the route of lower quality source material, I.E. downloads. Is this going to be the same for movies too? Just wondering...



    Yes the current generation enjoys speed and convenience. They don't have the attention span to appreciate the sound difference between a CD and a 128kbps AAC or let alone 128kbps MP3 file. Plus being highly mobile, this generation likes all their songs in one simple device/ computer, rather than stacks of physical CDs... Nonetheless research shows that a lot of songs on an iPod is not from downloads, they are converted from CDs. So it's a mix of CDs and digital for the current generation. With music though, technology has evolved to a point where something like a 256kbps AAC file is near impossible to differentiate from a CD master.



    With videos and movies it is a slightly different situation. In this decade all DVDs and a whole lot of video/ cable/ satellite transmission is based on MPEG2. This introduces "blockiness" to an image rather than "film grain" and "soft filter look" of old skool film-based TV and movie source material.



    MPEG4 now defines again, various levels from pristine high-definition digital all the way down to blocky tiny downloads on your mobile screen. Pirated TV shows (MPEG4-Xvid) are available on the Internet but they tend to be somewhat less quality (more "smoothed" and "blocky") than DVD.



    Apple iTunes Store movies and TV shows are considered to be "near-DVD-quality", with some level of "blockiness" and "smoothness" ... However, compared to DVDs and Standard-Def broadcasts, when viewed on a plasma or LCD big screen, it all sort of evens out... It depends on the level of connoisseur you are.



    I have to admit that various forms of DVD-rental are still very convenient. However, downloaded movies and TV shows means you can watch anytime on your computer or with AppleTV device - on your high-def screen, or anywhere on your video iPod.



    If you want to share the content (watch it on another TV screen), the most convenient way is to bring your laptop or iPod and hook that up to the friend's TV screen.



    Currently with iTunes Store movies and TV shows, and DVDs, when displayed on a 30-inch to 50-inch big screen LCD or Plasma, there is the process of "upscaling" which, depending on the brand of the HDTV and the viewer, produces a reasonably pleasant big image of the content.



    Of course, beyond that 720p or 1080i or 1080p content and eventually BluRay and HDDVD, will produce the most pleasing viewing experience.



    Apple currently offers movie trailers in 720p and 1080p, the quality when hooked up to a high-quality Plasma or LCD HDTV that supports these resolutions properly (some "HDTVs" are spec'd in various not-quite-720p ways) .... is absolutely beautiful.



    At this stage Apple is looking to provide movie and TV content that is reasonably quick to download with a broadband connection, that can be viewed enjoyably on a HDTV, computer screen, or iPod. As poster above mentioned, the next stage is 720p (1280x720 pixels) resolution, up from the near-DVD/DVD quality of 640x356 (16:9 widescreen digital square pixels) to 700-to-800 x 300-400 ish pixels (anamorphic encoded 16:9 DVDs).
  • Reply 3 of 10
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,421member
    The deal killer for me is 1) Not being able to burn them after buying and 2) the resoluton. I see a pretty noticeable difference between regular DVD (480p) and high def content. Netflix, here I come.
  • Reply 4 of 10
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Galley View Post


    Movies and TV Shows from the iTunes Store are 640 x 480. Widescreen DVDs are 720 x 480 (480P). HDTV is either 1280 x 720 (720P) or 1920 x 1080 (1080i or 1080P). If you calculate the number of pixels you will see that the best we can expect to download in the foreseeable future is 720P content.



    Sounds comparible to standard DVD. But will it make HD DVD/Blue Ray something no one will bother with because downloaded movies are "good enough"? For myself, beyond picture/sound quality, I like having the disc in-hand, special features, seeing a physical collection but I know it's just my mindset. I would rather pay $25+ for a movie and feel like I actually own it than pay $10 to download it to some folder on my HD. It should be interesting to see how the "mixed message" plays out.
  • Reply 5 of 10
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Aflaaak View Post


    For myself, beyond picture/sound quality, I like having the disc in-hand, special features, seeing a physical collection but I know it's just my mindset. I would rather pay $25+ for a movie and feel like I actually own it than pay $10 to download it to some folder on my HD. It should be interesting to see how the "mixed message" plays out.



    I used to agree, but with AppleTV coming out, I think the advantages are very clear. The space savings is one thing: There's really no nice-looking way of storing dozens, let alone hundreds of CDs and DVDs, short of putting them out of sight in the closet. But the easy, instant access is really the key. Using a simple remote to intuitively look through your entire collection of movies, TV shows, music, and photos, with immediate access to any of them, is something I'm really looking forward to.
  • Reply 6 of 10
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BRussell View Post


    I used to agree, but with AppleTV coming out, I think the advantages are very clear. The space savings is one thing: There's really no nice-looking way of storing dozens, let alone hundreds of CDs and DVDs, short of putting them out of sight in the closet. But the easy, instant access is really the key. Using a simple remote to intuitively look through your entire collection of movies, TV shows, music, and photos, with immediate access to any of them, is something I'm really looking forward to.



    A while back I bought a CD storage cabinet that holds 500 CDs, and it's about 3/4 full. I admit I haven't thought about what I'm going to do when it's full, so I get your point about storage. I do like the ease of seeing the whole collection in front of my eyes when I'm aimlessly looking for something to listen to, as opposed to scrolling through a list. It's the same thing as walking into Blockbuster to find a movie when I don't know what I'm in the mood for and just want to visually cruise the choices. I use Netflix, but find it tougher to pick a movie from a list. Even though they have pictures of movies instead of just a list of titles, you still have to scroll pages. Sure I do it, but I prefer the other way. I think it's just the way my brain was wired and is probably a generational thing, similar to the way the "older" generations would much rather read from a newspaper or book than off their computer screen.
  • Reply 7 of 10
    galleygalley Posts: 971member
    When I get an TV I'll be using it mainly for music and some photo viewing. When the iTunes Store begins offering 720P content, then I will use i for video.
  • Reply 8 of 10
    pt123pt123 Posts: 696member
    The idea of being able to play my music or movies here but not there just doesn't sound very appealing to me. I like just being able to put a DVD into the player and pressing play.



    Also, I like letting my guest pick out a movie they like but I don't want them going onto my computer, even if it is just to pick a movie.
  • Reply 9 of 10
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pt123 View Post


    Also, I like letting my guest pick out a movie they like but I don't want them going onto my computer, even if it is just to pick a movie.



    You'll just have to store that massive porn collection of yours in a different directory.
  • Reply 10 of 10
    pt123pt123 Posts: 696member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BRussell View Post


    You'll just have to store that massive porn collection of yours in a different directory.



    Then how are they gonna pick the movie?
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