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Old March 7th, 2007, 06:48 AM   #1
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Apple TV. Could be good for HD?

Well well, I've just updated Quicktime to the latest version and found that there is now an export to Apple TV option available in the export menu. I've tried it out with some HV10 footage and was quite surprised to find these properties:

H.264 / AAC
960 x 540 at 3899 kbits/sec
Progressive
(I was expecting something similar to the iPod export, 640 x 480ish)

It looks crisp and colourful.

Interesting . . . could this be quite a nice halfway house, bridging the gap between HD and SD? At that bit rate a 40 minute home video is going to take up just 1GB, the Apple TV has a 40GB HD therefore allowing for over 26 hours of video storage. As the Apple TV is so diminutive, it's not inconceivable that you might use it as a portable video playback device. Want to show your family your latest home movie? Just take the Apple TV with you.

Suddenly the Apple TV is looking like quite a handy tool.

What do you think?

Last edited by James Burland; March 7th, 2007 at 03:02 PM.
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Old March 7th, 2007, 02:19 PM   #2
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I outputted to AppleTV via Quicktime from 720/24P footage (HD100) and got a full 1280x720 MP4 file and it looked as good as the source. I was very impressed.
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Old March 7th, 2007, 02:38 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Steve Benner View Post
I outputted to AppleTV via Quicktime from 720/24P footage (HD100) and got a full 1280x720 MP4 file and it looked as good as the source. I was very impressed.
Really? That's interesting, I'm definitely only getting 960 x 540 from a 1080i source. I'll try a 720p video and report back.
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Old March 7th, 2007, 02:48 PM   #4
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H.264 / AAC
960 x 540 at 3899 kbits/sec It looks crisp and colourful.

Interesting . . . could this be quite a nice halfway house, bridging the gap between HD and SD?
What do you think?
I think anything with a greater resolution than SD can be considered HD. So it's not so much a halfway house as a cheap semi in a nice neighbourhood.

Nice to hear it works. It's on the list.

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Old March 7th, 2007, 02:51 PM   #5
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I tried 720p . . . still got 960 x 540 - the strangeness continues!
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Old March 7th, 2007, 02:59 PM   #6
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Could this perhaps mean that all iTunes Store video content will go to 960 x 540 at some point this year?
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Old March 7th, 2007, 03:09 PM   #7
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http://blip.tv/file/163933

Click on the above for the sample footage that I was talking about.

It was filmed on the Canon HV10, imported into iMovie and exported using the Apple TV method as described.
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Old March 8th, 2007, 03:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Benner View Post
I outputted to AppleTV via Quicktime from 720/24P footage (HD100) and got a full 1280x720 MP4 file and it looked as good as the source. I was very impressed.
I got exactly the same results as Steve with 720p24 test footage. I was equally impressed.
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Old March 8th, 2007, 04:02 AM   #9
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I think it will be a great stop gap until HD and Blue ray burners/players are at more reasonable prices.

At the moment I have to drag my G5 into my lounge and hook it up to my HDTV to view any HD footage I have shot. The Apple TV will allow me to do this wirelessly.

Does anyone know if I'll need the new 'n' series wireless network, or will the 'g' variety be sufficient?

Andrew
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Old March 8th, 2007, 08:22 AM   #10
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I think it will be a great stop gap until HD and Blue ray burners/players are at more reasonable prices.

At the moment I have to drag my G5 into my lounge and hook it up to my HDTV to view any HD footage I have shot. The Apple TV will allow me to do this wirelessly.

Does anyone know if I'll need the new 'n' series wireless network, or will the 'g' variety be sufficient?

Andrew
I have a Mac mini in the lounge, it's a Core Solo 1.5ghz machine with 1gb of RAM, it plays back HD iMovie files no problem.
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Old March 8th, 2007, 09:27 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by James Burland View Post
I have a Mac mini in the lounge, it's a Core Solo 1.5ghz machine with 1gb of RAM, it plays back HD iMovie files no problem.
But the impressive thing about Apple TV is that it costs $300 while the cheapest Mini is $600...
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Old March 8th, 2007, 09:56 AM   #12
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Ok, I got in on the fun a couple days ago and failed to report it here. I told Mike Curtis and he blogged it.

Anyways, there's no weirdness going on guys. Here's the deal.

On HD material that is 24P ONLY, the AppleTV preset will output 1280x720.

If the material is 30P or 60i, the preset will output 960x540.

This is due to the limitations in the AppleTV box playback abilities. See the attachments which are screen grabs of the quicktime playback numbers for 108030p and 108024p material from XDCAM HD.

There's some speculation that this might be the reason for the delay in AppleTV shipments because the software updates weren't ready in time.

And yes, it encodes very nicely. I've been re-encoding native full res XDCAM HD stuff. Can't wait to stream it to my HD set in the living room!

-gb-
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Old March 9th, 2007, 04:46 AM   #13
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Excellent! Thank you. That clears up that then, and makes perfect sense.

It's going to be interesting to see just how many Apple TV's they can push through the door in 2007 - it could quite easily be 3 or 4 million.
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Old March 12th, 2007, 08:40 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by James Burland View Post
I have a Mac mini in the lounge, it's a Core Solo 1.5ghz machine with 1gb of RAM, it plays back HD iMovie files no problem.
I've thought of going this route, but for cost.
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Old March 12th, 2007, 08:42 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Greg Boston View Post
On HD material that is 24P ONLY, the AppleTV preset will output 1280x720.

If the material is 30P or 60i, the preset will output 960x540.
Any idea about 25p in Pal land?

Andrew
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