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Comparison finds iTunes 1080p video nears Blu-Ray Disc quality


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Comparison finds iTunes 1080p video nears Blu-Ray Disc quality

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The image quality of Apple's newly released 1080p encoded movies hold their own in a qualitative comparison with the highest resolution consumer format available Blu-Ray Disc.


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The two things that always make compressed digital content stick out like a sore thumb compared to Blu Ray are banding and artifacts that appear during fast-moving scenes. Unfortunately, Ars's comparison fails to address one of these (using only still images) while showing that the other disparity is still clearly present.
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And let's not forget the fact that Blu-Ray utilizes a lossless audio stream as well. But I think that the point is that for your average consumer, all the above points are fairly moot. Especially if the file is pre downloaded and not streaming in real time. That will at least take care of artifacting/banding.

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The article seems to provide some very direct proof that the file being pre-downloaded doesn't fix the banding problem. That said, if you consider the distance at which most people watch HD content on their TVs, I can see this being considered "good enough" by a lot of people. I'm not sure how I feel about that. The vast majority of MP3s (including all of the MP3s on iTunes) are still not quite at the level of CD quality because of most people deciding they were "good enough" ten years ago. I'd hate to see video quality go backwards as well, but if this kicks off a brave new world of conveniently available legal video content the likes of which we have for music (preferably also without DRM at some point), it may well be worth the cost.
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I'm perfectly OK with a little artifact/banding in the video if when I press play, the movie starts. Instead of having to wait 20 minutes for the blu-ray to load, play the previews, the FBI warnings, and rest of the crap before I even get to the menu.

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At $20+ bucks a pop, BluRay BETTER have higher quality stuff! For me, netflix is good enough in quality.

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