Apple's A8 SoC reportedly capable of 4K video output, may pave way for ultra high-resolution Apple T

24

Comments

  • Reply 21 of 77
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mpantone View Post

     



    It depends on the content type. Some content would be fine with highly compressed Ultra HD. Other stuff would benefit from lower resolutions but with less compression and/or higher refresh rates.

     

    The ATSC standard only handles 1080i for broadcast (OTA) transmissions. That's why a lot of sports programs are transmitted in 720p (progressive scan) versus 1080i (interlaced video). I'd love to see sports in 1080p at higher refresh rates (like 120Hz).

     

    Prerecorded material will work better for higher compression since extra time can be used during the encoding process. The problem is live content (again sports, etc.) because the content needs to be quickly encoded on the fly.


     

    I guess I'm just a purist (you know, like those vinyls fans), but compression artifacts annoys me to no end, and while 4K would be better at hiding those, I feel that it just adds an amount of fuzziness that in the end makes it equivalent to a high quality 1080p. But we could debate this endlessly since we're not precisely defining the terms of the discussion here (what you mean by "highly compressed" might be different for me).

     

    I'm always amazed about the quality of OTA ATSC broadcasting (at least in my area). I personally find a 720p ATSC broadcast to be better looking than a 1080p YouTube/Netflix video. Because of bandwidth limits (and profit margins) I feel that many content distributors will go for the "good enough" lowest common denominator quality for 4K, while I would prefer to see higher quality 1080p at the same bitrate.

     

    You've got a good point about live stuff, but it's not really what I was talking about.

     

    Edit: BTW I hadn't seen your latest post, it seems that you're some kind of audio "purist". :)

  • Reply 22 of 77
    mac_128 wrote: »
    And where would the content come from? And where's the infrastructure to support downloading files of that size?
    How about through their existing iTunes service?
  • Reply 23 of 77
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,939member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by VL-Tone View Post

     

     

    I guess I'm just a purist (you know, like those vinyls fans), but compression artifacts annoys me to no end, and while 4K would be better at hiding those, I feel that it just adds an amount of fuzziness that in the end makes it equivalent to a high quality 1080p. But we could debate this endlessly since we're not precisely defining the terms of the discussion here (what you mean by "highly compressed" might be different for me).

     

    I'm always amazed about the quality of OTA ATSC broadcasting (at least in my area). I personally find a 720p ATSC broadcast to be better looking than a 1080p YouTube/Netflix video. Because of bandwidth limits (and profit margins) I feel that many content distributors will go for the "good enough" lowest common denominator quality for 4K, while I would prefer to see higher quality 1080p at the same bitrate.

     

    You've got a good point about live stuff, but it's not really what I was talking about.

     

    Edit: BTW I hadn't seen your latest post, it seems that you're some kind of audio "purist". :)




    Well, for sure, the cable and satellite TV operators are working with a finite amount of bandwidth to cram in all those channels. I chose to ditch the cable company years ago. The ATSC broadcasts are great, quality-wise, but the amount of sports programming available OTA is abysmal.

     

    A lot of people simply don't care about image quality. Heck, I remember when HDTV started gaining popularity and many people in forums such as this one claimed that they couldn't tell the difference between 720p/1080i video and plain ol' NTSC. In the same way, a lot of people don't care/can't tell the difference between 128K MP3s and CD audio.

     

    The live event issue is very important because much of those events are the type of content that would benefit the most from a highly capable SoC like the A8, but perversely are least likely to be available as a live Internet stream due to licensing/broadcast restrictions. Live sports events like the Super Bowl, World Cup soccer, Summer Olympics are amongst the programs with the highest viewership, but all have very stringent broadcast restrictions. 

     

    I'm no audio purist, I have one tube amp and it'll probably be the only one I ever own. The rest of my stuff is fairly ordinary consumer A/V gear. That said, I have one amp with an integrated USB DAC, and another standalone USB DAC. These days I'm buying some Hi-Res albums (24-bit encoding at 96kHz, 176kHz, or even 192kHz); it makes a difference mostly with classical and jazz. I'm perfectly happy listening to rock/pop at lossy 256Kbps AAC in my car or walking around.

     

    I care about audio quality, but reasonably considered and on a budget. A $300 pair of Beats headphones is moronic. A $80-90 pair of Grado or AKG headphones is acceptable. Some crazy bargains can be found in the used audiophile market. I live in Silicon Valley and some of the engineers are audiophile hobbyists, meaning they routinely dump their lightly used gear for a fraction of the purchase price, just so they can buy the latest-and-greatest model. 

  • Reply 24 of 77
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mac_128 View Post



    And where would the content come from? And where's the infrastructure to support downloading files of that size?



    Well, at least for the home there is DirecTV:

     

    http://www.directv.com/technology/4k?ACM=false

     

    DirecTV already have an app. Seems like it should be possible to do 4K to the phone too...even if the phone screen is not 4K, connecting the phone to a 4K/UHDTV could be good. And don't forget iPads--not quite 4K (yet!), but definitely more than HD. 

     

    Then again, as the article suggested, the A8 SoC as the basis for a new Apple TV would work.

  • Reply 25 of 77

    There are already some relatively low-cost devices that have 4K playback capability, so it is not all that surprising to hear that 4K from an A8 would be possible.

     

    In the commercial realm, there is Brightsign (which is connected to Roku) that has this 4K player:

    http://www.brightsign.biz/digital-signage-products/4k-product-line/overview/

    That one Brightsign with the built-in tuner looks interesting. Given the connection, it probably won't be long before Roku has 4K capability.

     

    This little box from Minix (yeah, yeah, I know, it's Android) has 4K for less than $200:

    http://www.minix.com.hk/Products/MINIX-NEO-X8.html

     

    Apple would do well to take a look at what these and other devices do, then do it right.

  • Reply 26 of 77
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mac_128 View Post



    And where would the content come from? And where's the infrastructure to support downloading files of that size?



    How about Apples own CDN network they just launched with over 10 times more bandwidth than they currently need? 

    Why do they need 10 times more bandwidth than what they currently use?  Hint 4k movies with H.265.  The infrastructure is already there.

    Plus they operate 6 of the largest new data centers in the world. And they are building more.  Along with that CDN they already have isp contracts in place for large data pushing.

  • Reply 27 of 77
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mechanic View Post

     



    How about Apples own CDN network they just launched with over 10 times more bandwidth than they currently need? 

    Why do they need 10 times more bandwidth than what they currently use?  Hint 4k movies with H.265.  The infrastructure is already there.

    Plus they operate 6 of the largest new data centers in the world. And they are building more.  Along with that CDN they already have isp contracts in place for large data pushing.


    Six? There's North Carolina, Oregon, Reno (or Las Vegas), and I read they're looking at building one in China or Hong Kong.  Where are the others?

  • Reply 28 of 77
    canukstorm wrote: »
    Six? There's North Carolina, Oregon, Reno (or Las Vegas), and I read they're looking at building one in China or Hong Kong.  Where are the others?

    Sea of Tranquility, Atlantis, and Tokyo.
  • Reply 29 of 77
    I keep being blown away by H.265 on my iPhone 6.

    “My FaceTime call was HOW long? And it only used THAT much data?!”

    I wonder how much power it uses compared to H.264 on the iPhone 5S. Couldn't we check on the same device by comparing FaceTime video streams between two devices with an A8/A8X and where one is an older device, which I assume would mean the device with the A8/A8X would downgrade to H.264.
  • Reply 30 of 77
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,362member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mechanic View Post

     



    How about Apples own CDN network they just launched with over 10 times more bandwidth than they currently need? 

    Why do they need 10 times more bandwidth than what they currently use?  Hint 4k movies with H.265.  The infrastructure is already there.

    Plus they operate 6 of the largest new data centers in the world. And they are building more.  Along with that CDN they already have isp contracts in place for large data pushing.


     

    You're right, Apple is adding millions of users a month, yet they should launch a CDN that supports exactly the bandwidth they need at this very moment, ignoring continued future growth- right? Brilliant plan. The only possible explanation is because Apple is planning 4K video support. No other reason could exist.  

  • Reply 31 of 77
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

     

    I fail to see what the big deal this 4K video hype is.  We've had 1080p for years and as far as I'm concerned, that is still in its infancy, especially where TV cable goes.  Comcast (for example) advertises HD-level channels, yet the quality is so bad due to video-compression.



    There are no 4K TV sets, and for most folks a 4K-capable monitor is still just a dream.  There is absolutely no infrastructure out there (in the US) capable of supporting the scale necessary to stream all that data to millions of users, providing they can even view it on their TV's/Monitors.

     

    Sounds to me like the only folks wanting 4K are the manufacturers of storage devices that will be needed by those that feel the need to record their cute kitten videos.




    I can go to Fry's and see a half dozen 4K TV sets for about $3-4,000.

  • Reply 32 of 77
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post

     



    If the camera improvements in the coming 6S are as serious as have been rumored, 4K video might be possible with the iPhone.

     

    Unless you have a 16GB model, of course. <img class=" src="http://forums-files.appleinsider.com/images/smilies//lol.gif" />

     

    Personally, I have a 720p Bravia that I refuse to get rid of. I need all the inputs it has.

     

    Unless there's a modern TV with:

    2 Component

    2 Composite (not shared with the Component jacks)

    2 HDMI

    Coaxial

    VGA

    (the S-video port, I don't use)

     

    then I won't be buying a new TV.


    you forgot TOSLink.



    I bet you said the same thing about your 2 ethernets, 2 USB 1.1, audio-out / Mic in, serial, modem and  Parallel ports on your PC 

     

    To me, The modern TV is a dumb monitor.   Give me the highest fidelity input (HDMI 1.4) maybe a 2nd, and a cable jack.  Making the TV the center of your viewing universe is the the wrong model, at least for any reasonable home theater setup.

  • Reply 33 of 77
    To me, The modern TV is a dumb monitor.   Give me the highest fidelity input (HDMI 1.4) maybe a 2nd, and a cable jack.  Making the TV the center of your viewing universe is the the wrong model, at least for any reasonable home theater setup.

    If CEC is enough to control the iSight cameras, miss, sensors, and wireless tech in it, then I'm all for HDMI 1.4, but I'd think that's better suited for something else. Perhaps HDMI+USB or DP+USB so that the TV can truly be the dumb display it's meant to. And by dumb, I mean not being useful on its own. No built in Settings or its own remote. A power button, that's it; that you never turn off because it gets a signal from the Home Server or Digital Media device to turn on/off the display,, sensors, etc.

    To win the living room I think we need to truly remove all those damn remotes. Screw programmable remotes. That is a short term solution we've had for way too long.
  • Reply 34 of 77
    Mikey's new favorite word is [I]bespoke[/I].
    Let's see what other English words we can teach him. ;)
  • Reply 35 of 77
    swiftswift Posts: 436member
    Depending on the speed of your Internet to get get some 4K on Netflix.

    And Vizio has a 50" 4K for $999. Opinions differ about its quality, but go into any Costco and there's 4K Samsungs. Okay, even if they don't have content, they can scale up your Blu-ray and it looks pretty good.
  • Reply 36 of 77
    sflocal wrote: »
    I fail to see what the big deal this 4K video hype is.  We've had 1080p for years and as far as I'm concerned, that is still in its infancy, especially where TV cable goes.  Comcast (for example) advertises HD-level channels, yet the quality is so bad due to video-compression.

    There are no 4K TV sets, and for most folks a 4K-capable monitor is still just a dream.  There is absolutely no infrastructure out there (in the US) capable of supporting the scale necessary to stream all that data to millions of users, providing they can even view it on their TV's/Monitors.

    Sounds to me like the only folks wanting 4K are the manufacturers of storage devices that will be needed by those that feel the need to record their cute kitten videos.

    Currently Netflix is streaming to a number of 4K "smart TVs" but you have to have a sustained 25Mbps from server to your TV. And TVs and monitors are out there. But you're right in that satellite and cable companies just got around to treating 1080p (as opposed to 1080i, 720p or some other bandwidth saving cheats) as "HDTV." And they're always looking for ways to fleece customers in the name of maximizing their revenue per megabit of bandwidth. My hope is that the cable company's business model of bundling unwanted channels and charging whatever they want for the whole package will eventually be replaced as services like Hulu, Netflix, iTunes, Xbox Live, PS Vue, Fire TV, etc., continue to grow.

    My opinion is that 2160p "UHD" TVs are inevitable at this point, as advances in technology will make handling the data stream and storage a non-issue. Remember back to the dawn of the HDTV era (circa 1999), things were messy, format wars ensued, infrastructure wasn't in place, and it took a good 15 years to get from there to here.

    You'll feel differently about 4K TVs by 2023. By then we'll have the bandwidth, interconnects, codecs, and source material sorted out. It will be commonplace.

    As for "why 4K?" Having seen a few 4K video clips, it's my opinion that for home video use, the resolution amounts to having a retina display for watching content. It's really detailed and sharp.

    You only have to decide if you're an early, middle, or late adopter.
    bdkennedy1 wrote: »

    I can go to Fry's and see a half dozen 4K TV sets for about $3-4,000.

    Newegg is selling a 42-inch 4K TV for $399. Some off-brand, of course, but the race to rock bottom is well under way.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16889624008
  • Reply 37 of 77
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,362member

    I saw an LG OLED 65" TV today in Best Buy, and it blew my fucking mind. I literally was standing in front of it for 10 min slack jawed. Never seen anything like it. Looked pixelated as **** next to a 4K TV, but the colors, saturation, and black levels were insane. I didn't think anything could really impress me anymore when it comes to screen quality, but boy was I wrong. Made every other LED TV look like garbage in comparison- and the price was not astronomical ($2899 for 65"). 

     

    OLED in 4K would be mind-melting. 

  • Reply 38 of 77
    dacloodacloo Posts: 890member
    The content could come from everywhere, eg Netflix. Or maybe I'm not understanding it? :-)

    If H265 is utilized as a codec, it could largely compensate for the increased data bandwidth required. This codec can deliver the same video quality with 30-40% less data compared to H264. 4K doesn't neccessarily mean data is multiplied by 4 (2 times the horizontal and vertical resolution) since the codec compresses differently.
    I'm recording footage on my Panasonic GH4 with 100mbit, so in theory a playback quality of around 25 to 50mbit (tops!) would be more than enough, which is really pushing it for most people's connections I think.
    mac_128 wrote: »
    And where would the content come from? And where's the infrastructure to support downloading files of that size?
  • Reply 39 of 77
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post



    FWIW there are several smartphones that offer 4K video recording.

    http://www.phonearena.com/news/Smartphones-with-4K-video-recording---just-how-many-of-them-are-there_id61911



    Several 4K display smartphones will be appearing next year according to both Qualcomm and Display Search. Do we need 'em? Probably not.

     

    The quality of that 4K is currently worse quality than when they record in 1080P in most lightling conditions, and identical in perfect lighting condition. For the same reasons high MP cameras are a bad idea on a phone.

     

    Though 4K recording is less restricted by physics on the phone than 10MP+ photos (it doesn't need a very large resolution sensor) so there is a chance it could be decent (but not great) eventually.  The size of the files though makes them a bitch to handle, process and get in and out of the phone.

     

    4K displays on phone would be plain idiotic and purely a marketing checkmark item (just like anything above 440PPI (600PPI Pentile) on a phone is pure stupidity. A 4K display on a phone would need to go above that unless your phone is 8 inch... (wouldn't surprise me at all if a 8 inch "phone" comes out).

  • Reply 40 of 77
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

     



    I can go to Fry's and see a half dozen 4K TV sets for about $3-4,000.


     

    Most of them are no better, if not worse than than Plasmas at $800 in all quality metrics... Only trumped in resolution. Its like some friends showing me their super-duper LG smart TV (horrible black levels!) and then being blown away by the image of my 3 year old Samsung mid range Plasma. 

     

    Too bad profit margins for the manufacturers were so bad on plasmas that nobody wants to make them (only LG does them). You can't get a better bang for the buck than those things.

     

    If they could fix the durability of OLED pixels and down the price to $1500 for a 1080P TV, then that would be a good successor to plasma. Right now I think all 4K LCD tvs are a joke for someone who is used to a good quality imagine (which seemingly is no one since people think their 20MP smart phones make good enough pictures...).

Sign In or Register to comment.