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  • Apple Using Improved Compression Technology for new 1080p iTunes Content


    With the introduction of the 1080p Apple TV shows that were recently added to iTunes, an analysis revealed that Apple is using more advanced compression techniques to keep file sizes from becoming too large. The upgraded videos will be supported by the new Apple TV and the third-generation iPad, which is said to pack more pixels than a 1080p television set.

    The folks over at ArsTechnica compared relative file sizes and video quality of 720p and 1080p versions of iTunes content. A quick comparison led them to note that the 1080p versions (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) were roughly 1.5 times larger than their 720p counterparts (1,280 x 720 pixels), despite having 2.25 times the number of pixels on average. It was noted that the limited increase in file size is likely due to Apples support of the high profile for compression of H.264 videos. New High profile decompression algorithms on Apples devices, including the Apple TV, the iPhone, and the iPad, represent an improvement over the main or Baseline profiles used in older devices.

    Based on the technical specifications for recent devices, Apple appears to have introduced the High profile H.264 video via its A5 chip. The third-generation iPad, the iPad 2, and the iPhone 4S all support a decoder level of 4.1, which sets a maximum bitrate of 62.5 Mbps for the High profile, while the new Apple TV (which sports a single-core A5 processor) has a maximum level of 4.0 (25 Mbps). Comparing these values to the older A4-equipped devices (the iPhone 4 and the older Apple TV), those devices support H.264 video with a Main profile at level 3.1 (14 Mbps).

    In the report though, ArsTechnica discovered that in some cases, the 1080p version of iTunes TV shows were “pretty much indistinguishable” from the 720p version, although other shows and scenes did show a noticeable improvement with the higher resolution.

    Source: ArsTechnica
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Using Improved Compression Technology for new 1080p iTunes Content started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 11 Comments
    1. johnr9412's Avatar
      johnr9412 -
      *talking about new Apple TV*

      "....which sports a single core A5 processor."

      Explain? I thought(essentially) A5=dual core.
    1. Channan's Avatar
      Channan -
      "the third-generation iPad, which is said to pack more pixels than a 1080p television set."

      Sorry to nitpick, but this sentence makes the iPad's retina display seem like a rumor or an opinion. It should just read "which packs more pixels".
    1. manickbarry's Avatar
      manickbarry -
      I wonder if VNC player will play hd files now on the new iPad
    1. Norbs's Avatar
      Norbs -
      Quote Originally Posted by Channan View Post
      "the third-generation iPad, which is said to pack more pixels than a 1080p television set."

      Sorry to nitpick, but this sentence makes the iPad's retina display seem like a rumor or an opinion. It should just read "which packs more pixels".
      Think they just got used to that style of writing since everything was rumors until now.
    1. anekin007's Avatar
      anekin007 -
      Quote Originally Posted by johnr9412 View Post
      *talking about new Apple TV*

      "....which sports a single core A5 processor."

      Explain? I thought(essentially) A5=dual core.
      the A5 chip in the new apple tv has a one cortex A9 which makes it a single core A5. The Ipad 2 and Iphone 4s has a A5 which was design with dual cortex A9.
    1. ericwall's Avatar
      ericwall -
      Did anyone notice that the photo is of The Big Bang Theory?
    1. MOJO5873's Avatar
      MOJO5873 -
      Quote Originally Posted by ericwall View Post
      Did anyone notice that the photo is of The Big Bang Theory?
      Lol.
    1. keyztolope's Avatar
      keyztolope -
      Quote Originally Posted by Norbs View Post
      Think they just got used to that style of writing since everything was rumors until now.
      Yeah, that and the quality of writing on this website is generally pretty poor. I think everyone knows what he meant though.
    1. baRRy boRRis's Avatar
      baRRy boRRis -
      Quote Originally Posted by Channan View Post
      "the third-generation iPad, which is said to pack more pixels than a 1080p television set."

      Sorry to nitpick, but this sentence makes the iPad's retina display seem like a rumor or an opinion. It should just read "which packs more pixels".
      True, quite a few more pixels too!

    1. feidhlim1986's Avatar
      feidhlim1986 -
      So they compared 720p to 1080p?? Why not compare iTunes 1080p against other 1080p sources and THEN report something which has some actual merit?

      For example compare a 2GB iTunes 1080p TV Show with a 3GB 1080p TV Show from another source, compare bit-rates and compression and then deduce that Apple is using "improved" compression technology. As it stands all we can take from this is that Apple is simply just using a slightly larger bit-rate for it's 1080p video over it's 720p video and.
    1. santacruzlocal's Avatar
      santacruzlocal -
      Quote Originally Posted by ericwall View Post
      Did anyone notice that the photo is of The Big Bang Theory?
      And Walowietz (however you spell it) to boot ... Shouldn't it be Sheldon !!!!

      Rock, Paper, Scissor, Lizard, Spock