QuickTime gains 720P Apple TV high-definition export mode | iLounge News


QuickTime gains 720P Apple TV high-definition export mode


In an undisclosed and largely unnoticed update to its QuickTime video playback and conversion software, Apple has quietly added an “Export to Apple TV” feature capable of creating high-definition videos viewable on the Apple TV accessory. Unlike Export to iPod, which currently creates sub-DVD-quality 640 by 480 videos, Export to Apple TV creates not only full DVD-quality 720 by 404 videos, but also 1280 by 720 videos. These videos are viewable in iTunes, but cannot be transferred directly via iTunes to an fifth-generation iPod.

The 1280 by 720 pixel resolution, also known as 720P, is one of several high-definition video formats supported by current televisions. Using the H.264 video compression codec, Apple TV supports 720P playback at 24 frames per second - the frame rate used by movies, not TV shows - at substantially higher bit rates than prior iPod- and iTunes-created videos. A 2.5-minute 720P sample we converted with QuickTime yielded a 4214kbps, 76-Megabyte file from a 5708kbps, 102-Megabyte original, suggesting that feature-length, 90-minute HD movies formatted for Apple TV will require around 3 Gigabytes of hard disk space.


Notably, Apple has not yet announced plans to sell HD movies through the iTunes Store, and has not gone out of its way to advertise Apple TV’s 720P video playback functionality. It has instead focused on the device’s ability to play iTunes Store and iTunes library content - typically formatted at 1/3 the device’s peak 720P resolution - as well as music and high-definition still photography.


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@ Andy

That’s all true. Here’s some more:


Quote from previous link: “Anamorphic video is
best displayed on widescreen equipment, which stretches the video back out
to its original width. Alternatively, many new European 4:3 TV’s can reduce
the vertical scan area to restore the proper aspect ratio without losing
resolution (an automatic trigger signal is sent on SCART pin 8). Even
though almost all computers have 4:3 monitors, they have higher resolution
than TVs so they can display the full widescreen picture in a window
(854x480 pixels or bigger for NTSC; 1024x576 or bigger for PAL).”

Posted by Joshua Kaijankoski on March 19, 2007 at 5:27 AM (CDT)


I currently have my favorite tv shows in avi format and use frontrow to view them on my 24inch iMac. Will it be possible to view these shows using an tv? How can I get iTunes to sync them? Does this QT pro conversion feature help me at all?

Posted by Dennis on March 19, 2007 at 5:50 AM (CDT)


Check out the following:


Works well for me.

Posted by BryanTOCA on March 19, 2007 at 9:56 AM (CDT)


When I upgraded my Quicktime, it Bluescreened me until I could go in under safe mode and time travel back to the spot before the new Quicktime got in…

Posted by james on March 19, 2007 at 12:43 PM (CDT)


Drive-In is an excellent product.  It’s only drawback is that the content is not compressed.

Posted by Galley in Greenville, SC on March 19, 2007 at 1:46 PM (CDT)


Cool. Maybe this will make it easier to export for my Playstation 3??

Regarding the AppleTV, I think it’s a good idea, but I think I’ll spend my $300 for a used MacMini to do the same thing plus everything else a Mac can do.

Posted by Logan on March 19, 2007 at 2:48 PM (CDT)


I just tried encoding a .vob file with this and there was no sound - what did I do wrong?  I’ve got the Quicktime Pro MPEG-2 plugin

Posted by Will Kuhn on March 19, 2007 at 3:03 PM (CDT)



Get a Mac: http://www.apple.com/getamac

Posted by theipodguy on March 20, 2007 at 12:30 AM (CDT)


The best tool to begin any DVD-ripping exercise is Handbrake <http://handbrake.m0k.org>. Put your DVD in the drive, make a few settings and rip. It’s always the first tool I use and generally does a great job.

I use MPEG4/AAC, 2500kbps video (xVid codec), 192kbps AAC audio, 16:9 video cropped to 720 x 400, 4:3 video resized and cropped to 640 x 480. These settings produce a very good-looking result that is still playable on a 5.5-Gen iPod (and thus, presumably, an Apple TV). TV-on-DVD is far more enjoyable with the instant-start functionality of watching it on an iPod instead of the DVD itself.

Posted by Japester on March 20, 2007 at 11:15 PM (CDT)


there seems to be no “export to apple tv” option on my version of quicktime player 7.1.5. is the pro version required? (also, i’m only running OSX 10.3.9.)

Posted by dave on March 26, 2007 at 5:50 PM (CDT)


My sense is that Apple is not going to try to offer 720p or 1080i/p downloads (except for trailers), nor will they encourage ripping DVDs and other video optical media to hard drives.

Apart from the copy protection issues, the amount of hard drive space required for just a handful of high-def films would dwarf that used by even very large music collections.  Meanwhile, as others have noted, unless you live in Korea or are one of Verizon’s FIOS customers it will be some time before broadband speeds will be up to downloading HD films of any length.

Another practical point is to distinguish between how movies are consumed and how music is consumed.  You might listen to dozens of songs from your music library in a day, and listen to hundreds of songs over a month. You’re unlikely to watch more than one movie a day, maybe 10 in a month (unless you’re unemployed.) While an iPod or iTunes adds major convenience in terms of navigating a large music collection, it offers fewer benefits over popping that one disc in while the popcorn is popping.  So the benefits of a video jukebox for feature-length films is not as great as for music.  It’s about the medium, not about what the technology might be coaxed into doing.

Here’s a more likely scenario: 

- Apple seems to be lined up mostly in the Blu-Ray camp.  They also are rumored to be encouraging studios to include iPod-format versions of movies on their Blu-Ray disks, as an added feature. 

- Meanwhile, the motion picture industry is in the midst of another format war, BD vs HD, and they seem unlikely to break the stalemate themselves.  Consequently, there isn’t much content out there in either format.

- Enter the industry-redefiner:  Apple, Inc. 

I’m predicting that Apple will strike a deal with the studios:

1) The studios will embed H.264 versions of movies, for the iPod, on Blu-Ray disks.  This benefits both Apple and the studios (makes the disks even more attractive), while it costs them next to nothing.

2) Apple will introduce the next-generation AppleTV.  It will include some enhancements to the current model. The biggest change will be to include a Blu-Ray player, controllable by the Apple Remote within the AppleTV interface.

3) Apple will sell millions of these boxes over a couple of years, burying HD DVD and ending the format war.

Incidentally, I do NOT expect Apple to offer a DVR in the next AppleTV.  To work effectively these things need to be hooked up to a cable or satellite receiver, and the cable and satellite companies are already all over the DVR market, giving Tivo a run for its money.

At the end of the day, you’ll have two devices connected to your HDTV:  A DVR/Receiver from your chosen cable or satellite provider, and an AppleTV that plays Blu-Ray discs & DVDs (upscaled) while streaming content that you’ve downloaded from the iTMS or moved into your iTunes library (video, music, etc.)  Maybe three devices if you’re a gamer.

My 2 cents

Posted by RonRosell on July 6, 2007 at 9:16 PM (CDT)



I like your thinking. Please forward your ideas to Apple in case they are clueless about where to go next with AppleTV (which I am sure they are not).

Posted by Jason on July 20, 2007 at 5:01 PM (CDT)


RonRosell, your have a clear vision of what might be coming up.

I totally agree with all you say and if in deed Apple were to come up with such a device…. I’ll use my current TV unit in an other room and keep the new baby for the big movie room :)

Let’s hope we don’t have to wait too long before Jobs start working on his “passtime”, as he called it in a recent interview.



Posted by Sheradon on August 3, 2007 at 10:36 PM (CDT)


hello everyone, i was wondering if someone can help me. I’m currently working in Hi-def hvx, panasonic (i know backward), working on final cut pro. My footage on my monitor looks spectacular, but when i release it online, even on hi def sites like vimeo, it seems to lose quality. I’ve been playing around with the settings, but can’t seem to keep the same footage. Can someone tell me why the bigger studios can export to dvd and don’t seem to lose any quality?

Also having a problem with exporting to dvd, i’m using dvd studio 4, and for some reason the dvd’s are recording but only playing in the mac and no where else, does anyone have idea about this?

Posted by Jamil on March 6, 2008 at 11:21 AM (CST)


so as i am not a techie can u answer a question for me please:

I am about to but a new compact digital camera so i can take movies as well as stills of family etc and dont want to bother with a camcorder due to size etc etc.. i have seen that panasonic now have comapct digital cameras that supposedly capture video movies in HD format at 1280x720 at 30fps in quicktime format

does this mean i can simply transfer these videos from camera to itunes and then apple tv and watch them in HD res ?

or will i need to go through some complicated conversion process?

Posted by alan ranger on July 20, 2008 at 6:08 PM (CDT)

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