Apple adds 720p Apple TV high-definition export mode to QuickTime

Apple Store“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,” Jeremy Horwitz reports for iLounge.

Horwitz reports, “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.”

Full article here.

Mark Wilson writes for Gizmodo, “While Apple has not yet announced 720p iTunes downloads, this update certainly supports the theory that they will begin offering HD content soon.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Apple TV specs:
• Video formats supported: H.264 and protected H.264 (from iTunes Store): 640 by 480, 30 fps, LC version of Baseline Profile; 320 by 240, 30 fps, Baseline profile up to Level 1.3; 1280 by 720, 24 fps, Progressive Main Profile. MPEG-4: 640 by 480, 30 fps, Simple Profile
• Audio formats supported: AAC (16 to 320 Kbps); protected AAC (from iTunes Store); MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps); MP3 VBR; Apple Lossless; AIFF; WAV
• Photo formats supported: JPEG, BMP, GIF, TIFF, PNG
• Enhanced-definition or high-definition widescreen TVs capable of 1080i 60/50Hz, 720p 60/50Hz, 576p 50Hz (PAL format), or 480p 60Hz

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44 Comments

  1. What about surround sound? Dolby digital anyone?

    When you choose Export to Apple TV you get no options as is customary with all the other Export options. So who knows what kind of sound is being included with the export.

  2. <i>”24 frames per second – the frame rate used by movies, not TV shows”<i>

    This statement is incorrect, scripted drama have been shot on film since the 1950s. So CSI, Battlestar Galactica, Lost, 24, etc are all 24 frames per second.

    Therefore Apple TV is capable of displaying 720p24 versions of all most high quality television shows.

    It’s studio based shows (e.g. cheap sitcoms, news, etc) and sports that are video based and need 60 fields per second.

  3. 720p24 is the format Microsoft uses for Xbox 360 Live Marketplace movie and television downloads in “HD” format.

    If Apple were to offer similar service the only video difference would be that Microsoft use their VC-1 codec whereas Apple would use H.264 (otherwise known as AVC).

    Apple offering 720p versions over iTunes is certainly an attractive option.

    PS: darn tags. :$

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