H.264 Compression Stops 1080p Video Content From iTunes Store From Becoming A Bandwidth Hog
When Apple announced the next generation Apple TV that supported 108op, they also stated the iTunes Store would now feature all 1080p video content. For those of you who know the difference between the previously supported 720p resolution versus the 1080p resolution you will realize there are about 2.25 times as many pixels in 1080p. This is because the resolution of 720p videos is 1280×720, while the resolution of 1080p videos is 1920×1080.
With Apple switching to 1080p video content one would naturally think the file size of TV shows/movies would balloon in size. Resulting in an extremely large increase in bandwidth straining Apple’s servers. According to Arstechnica however, this will not be the case. Apple will be adopting new H.264 video compression technology that will make 1080p video content more manageable in size. This means instead of the file sizes doubling in size like one would expect, they will only increase megabytes depending on the TV show or movie.
Take an episode of the Big Bang Theory for example. When you download an episode via 720p from the iTunes Store the episode sits at 743MB, while if you download the episode in 1080p the file size sits at 856MB. Obviously when you download a movie from the iTunes Store in 1080p the difference in file sizes may be slightly more dramatic, but it looks like Apple has figured out how to keep file sizes manageable through their switch to 1080p.
As for the quality difference between 720p and 1080p, apparently one shouldn’t get too excited for a dramatic change. Arstechnica reported that although some differences can be seen in certain scenes of TV shows/movies you shouldn’t get your hopes up too high for a big quality increase. Let us know your thoughts on Apple switching to 1080p video content in the iTunes Store and the way they plan to serve 1080p content in the comments section below…