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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > Apple TV Take 2 - first impressions

Apple TV Take 2 - first impressions (Page 3)
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ph0ust
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Feb 18, 2008, 05:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
The media has to be in your iTunes library to sync to the appletv, not just in your movies folder. Import into iTunes first.

L
doh! thanks, that did it. now i just need to figure out how to encode with handbrake so that the videos don't look so damn crappy! what's up with the poor quality?
     
jokell82
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Feb 18, 2008, 07:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by ph0ust View Post
doh! thanks, that did it. now i just need to figure out how to encode with handbrake so that the videos don't look so damn crappy! what's up with the poor quality?
Use the AppleTV default and you should be good. Using 2-pass encoding will also increase the quality without increasing the file size (although it will take twice as long to encode).

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ph0ust
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Feb 18, 2008, 08:38 PM
 
i tried the atv setting and also the normal setting with the average bitrate increased to match that of the atv setting (raised from 1500 kbps to 2500 kbps). both totally suck and look maybe as good as a typical low-def analog tv show at best.
     
jokell82
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Feb 18, 2008, 08:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by ph0ust View Post
i tried the atv setting and also the normal setting with the average bitrate increased to match that of the atv setting (raised from 1500 kbps to 2500 kbps). both totally suck and look maybe as good as a typical low-def analog tv show at best.
Using the aTV setting I can't tell the difference between a DVD and a ripped movie. And neither can anyone else I've shown them to.

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swiz
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Feb 18, 2008, 10:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by jokell82 View Post
Using the aTV setting I can't tell the difference between a DVD and a ripped movie. And neither can anyone else I've shown them to.
I think the Handbraked DVD's look better on tv than the original DVD's

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ph0ust
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Feb 22, 2008, 03:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by swiz View Post
I think the Handbraked DVD's look better on tv than the original DVD's
i assume you are being sarcastic.

anyway, while the quality is not horrific it is certainly not close to the source dvd. also, i noticed that when the camera filming the movie is moving a lot (e.g. panning, zooming in/out, etc) or if there is fast action you can easily see the interlacing. i assume it is interlacing because it has the same appearance in handbrake interface when you go to picture settings and view the before after frames when adjusting the deinterlacing. incidentally, i had deinterlace set to slower and i encoded one copy in handbrake 0.9.1 and another with 0.9.2. both had the same results.

is this common? i am encoding my snowboarding videos to take on trips and they are obviously mostly made up of fast moving action. thanks.
     
jokell82
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Feb 22, 2008, 03:30 PM
 
I've yet to notice any interlacing issues on any of the DVDs I've ripped. Then again, they've all been commercial releases...

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mpancha
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Feb 26, 2008, 02:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post
AppleTV's 720p is horribly compressed and looks like sh1t. Even Bluray's 1080p is horribly compressed and looks like sh1t. I'm such a videophile snob that I only watch straight-up, full-bit, uncompressed reality.

And the occasional youtube.
So I finally got around to trying an Apple TV in an Apple Store.

lo and behold, the only way I could stream video.... was YouTube.... no way to watch Movies yet here in Canada.

I found this extremely amusing, and being the nerd I am, had to post this reply as soon as I got back into the office.

That said, the more I read, the more I still hear that the only reason Apple can advertise HD movies is the 720p framerate. Aside from that, DVDs are better video quality than Apple's movie rentals. Then again, I guess its to be expected... audio from iTunes isn't the best quality, its just good enough. The same is to be expected of video it seems.
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jokell82
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Feb 26, 2008, 03:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by mpancha View Post
So I finally got around to trying an Apple TV in an Apple Store.

lo and behold, the only way I could stream video.... was YouTube.... no way to watch Movies yet here in Canada.

I found this extremely amusing, and being the nerd I am, had to post this reply as soon as I got back into the office.

That said, the more I read, the more I still hear that the only reason Apple can advertise HD movies is the 720p framerate. Aside from that, DVDs are better video quality than Apple's movie rentals. Then again, I guess its to be expected... audio from iTunes isn't the best quality, its just good enough. The same is to be expected of video it seems.
I have yet to see *ANY* reviewer that thinks a DVD is a better quality than Apple's service. Most put it at the same level or better than cable/satellite HD.

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mpancha
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Feb 26, 2008, 04:21 PM
 
A good true test would be an action movie with a complex scene, offhand I guess that would be Transformers, Live Free Die Hard (I'm assuming, I haven't watched it yet), or Bourne Supremacy.

Granted, the majority won't notice the digital artifacts, but I always have. If you scour the web and podcasts for the more video related sites, not just Mac sites which tend to just favor Apple, you'll find the same finding as I do.

At the Apple Store I did however watch the default movies that were stored on the Apple TVs, and they look nice, but the video is onpar with SD video footage I have taken on my many years old, "when they first came out", 16x9 shooting miniDV camcorder. That does not make them great video, and they are far from HD that can be shot on the consumer and prosumer level camcorders out there. However, they look "good enough" for the majority.

From what I've read and heard online thus far, my expectation has been set at almost DVD quality movies if I buy the HD version off iTunes movie rentals. I really hope to be proven wrong, but thus far the signs are all pointing in that direction.

Hopefully next month when I make an extended stay in New York I'll be able to see an actual HD movie played at the Apple Store in NY, or better yet, if movie rentals come to Canada I can see or myself without driving for 14 hours it'll look good enough to allow me to cut up my blockbuster card.
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jokell82
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Feb 26, 2008, 05:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by mpancha View Post
A good true test would be an action movie with a complex scene, offhand I guess that would be Transformers, Live Free Die Hard (I'm assuming, I haven't watched it yet), or Bourne Supremacy.

Granted, the majority won't notice the digital artifacts, but I always have. If you scour the web and podcasts for the more video related sites, not just Mac sites which tend to just favor Apple, you'll find the same finding as I do.

At the Apple Store I did however watch the default movies that were stored on the Apple TVs, and they look nice, but the video is onpar with SD video footage I have taken on my many years old, "when they first came out", 16x9 shooting miniDV camcorder. That does not make them great video, and they are far from HD that can be shot on the consumer and prosumer level camcorders out there. However, they look "good enough" for the majority.

From what I've read and heard online thus far, my expectation has been set at almost DVD quality movies if I buy the HD version off iTunes movie rentals. I really hope to be proven wrong, but thus far the signs are all pointing in that direction.

Hopefully next month when I make an extended stay in New York I'll be able to see an actual HD movie played at the Apple Store in NY, or better yet, if movie rentals come to Canada I can see or myself without driving for 14 hours it'll look good enough to allow me to cut up my blockbuster card.
Got anything more than "if you look for them you'll find them"? Because I have looked, and I have yet to see anywhere that says the HD downloads were like watching 16x9 SD. Hell, I've watched Live Free or Die Hard and saw NO artifacts, even in the action scenes. Are you sure the videos you saw in the store weren't SD?

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sideus
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Feb 26, 2008, 05:30 PM
 
I just watched the HD version of Superbad on my tv and it looked great. Much better than SD obviously.
     
Mrjinglesusa
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Feb 26, 2008, 05:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by jokell82 View Post
I have yet to see *ANY* reviewer that thinks a DVD is a better quality than Apple's service. Most put it at the same level or better than cable/satellite HD.
This has been my experience with the one HD movie I have rented. The quality was fantastic, better than DVD or the HD programming I get through cable. I let the movie download overnight but it was ready to watch in about 10 minutes or so.
     
Kenneth
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Feb 26, 2008, 06:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by ph0ust View Post
i assume you are being sarcastic.

anyway, while the quality is not horrific it is certainly not close to the source dvd. also, i noticed that when the camera filming the movie is moving a lot (e.g. panning, zooming in/out, etc) or if there is fast action you can easily see the interlacing. i assume it is interlacing because it has the same appearance in handbrake interface when you go to picture settings and view the before after frames when adjusting the deinterlacing. incidentally, i had deinterlace set to slower and i encoded one copy in handbrake 0.9.1 and another with 0.9.2. both had the same results.

is this common? i am encoding my snowboarding videos to take on trips and they are obviously mostly made up of fast moving action. thanks.
I'm not impressive with the Apple TV preset on 0.9.2. It looks worse.
     
stugots
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Feb 26, 2008, 09:05 PM
 
Awesome little box. If the general public knew what the Apple TV could really do they would be all over it. My setup went fine. Had a little sync problem but worked that out. Rented Transformers Movie in HD and was watching it in less then 2 mins (I'm only running a 802.11g network). Picture quality is great. Another fantasitc product by Apple.
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jokell82
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Feb 26, 2008, 09:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by Kenneth View Post
I'm not impressive with the Apple TV preset on 0.9.2. It looks worse.
That's so strange, as my encodes with the TV preset (although I've turned on 2-pass video encodes and 5.1 sound) look pretty amazing. Friend of mine was over yesterday and I had the Fifth Element on and he couldn't tell that it was a ripped movie and not the DVD itself.

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Kenneth
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Feb 26, 2008, 11:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by jokell82 View Post
That's so strange, as my encodes with the TV preset (although I've turned on 2-pass video encodes and 5.1 sound) look pretty amazing. Friend of mine was over yesterday and I had the Fifth Element on and he couldn't tell that it was a ripped movie and not the DVD itself.
I used 2-pass encoding as well. It gave me a 2.51GB file (853x358 pixels H.264) for a 1 hr 55 mins movie.

I will try another movie and see.
     
jokell82
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Feb 27, 2008, 08:25 PM
 
Just ripped the Bourne Ultimatum and no issues. Movie looks great.

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AC Rempt
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Mar 1, 2008, 01:50 AM
 
I finally got around to renting an HD movie, and it was a really good experience.

I chose Shoot 'Em Up, a movie that's little more than action, and I watched it on my 40" Samsung plasma. I'm not an expert by any means, but to me, the movie looked great. It was effortless to download, the movie started playing a minute after I chose it, and all in all, it was as easy as I would want it to be.

Now I just need the iTunes store to up the number of HD rentals, and I'll kiss Netflix and Blockbuster so long.
     
TravisReynolds
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Mar 3, 2008, 01:56 AM
 
man, now i REALLY want an apple TV. Once i do I'm going to post a very good review/video
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