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iOS 5 Opens Door to True 1080p Apple TV

iOS 5 appears to unlock new 1080p capabilities for the iPad 2, allowing video in the 1080p format to be synced and played directly on the device. While the iPad 2 is of course unable to directly display full 1080p content on its own screen, many users are interested in outputting such content to larger screens, and it also opens the door to a true 1080p Apple TV.


Yesterday, 9to5Mac reported that under iOS 5, Apple's video player will now play back and sync 1080p content. Cult of Mac now speculates on that development to suggest that Apple is preparing to support 1080p output on the next-generation iPhone and Apple TV, devices that will presumably be based on the A5 chip found in the iPad 2.
What's interesting to us about this feature is that it implies that Apple is happy enough with the processing speeds of its A5 chip that they are going to enable 1080p video on devices with an A5 minimum spec. For right now, that's just the iPad 2, but come iOS 5's release in September, two other devices will fit the bill: the iPhone 4S and the next Apple TV.
The current Apple TV, which is based on the same A4 chip found in the iPhone 4, is only capable of outputting 720p video, leaving some consumers hoping for more on a device that should be dedicated to a high-quality television viewing experience. The original rumor regarding the second-generation Apple TV as an A4-based streaming device had pegged it as supporting 1080p and with 16 GB of storage. The released product does not, however, support the higher-resolution content and comes with only 8 GB of storage for the operating system and content caching.

Apple's iOS devices have supported 1080p output in some form for several generations, with the iPad 2 currently able to generate 1080p graphics and output at that resolution to external displays. The device can not, however, officially support 1080p video files under the iOS 4.x software. Other users have been able to demonstrate 1080p video output on the iPhone 4 and even the iPhone 3GS, but the high-resolution content has not been supported through iTunes and the iOS devices' built-in video player from Apple.

Related roundup: Apple TV

Top Rated Comments

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41 months ago
I don't consider apple serious about 1080p until they actually start offering it in their own itunes store.
Rating: 6 Votes
41 months ago
would anyone that actually has the tv 2 go out and buy the tv3, just because it offers slightly better picture?
Rating: 5 Votes
41 months ago
When Apple TV only supported 720p, everyone said who needs 1080p. I saw this coming. They just saved 1080p for the next revision. Simple Apple logic to milk money, really. They do this with all revisions. For example, iPad 3 will have a better camera next time, one that is usable.
Rating: 4 Votes
41 months ago
Hurry it up.

I've been having to create duplicate copies of all my home movies for years now. I'd love to be able to ditch all the 720p versions I've had to make to watch through my Apple TV.
Rating: 4 Votes
41 months ago
I just wish the iPad mirroring was available on the first generation iPad. The Apple TV is great with 720p....don't think it will be worth upgrading every year like the iPhone or iPad
Rating: 4 Votes
41 months ago
Lack of 1080p is the reason I don't have an Apple TV. I decided to wait until version 3, and now that I purchased an iPad 2 the other day, I'm looking forward to the new model even more. The ability to AirPlay and video mirror to my LG setup sounds great! iCloud on Apple TV is going to be equally fantastic. Will we even really need AirPlay most of the time? Our photos and videos will just show up on the AppleTV without any action on our part. Now that's slick.
Rating: 4 Votes
41 months ago

i don't get the obsession with HD TVs and such. my monitor had higher resolution back in 2004


too watch on the couch with other people, it is a more intimate setting
Rating: 4 Votes
41 months ago
All I want is Mail, Safari, iTunes along with Bluetooth support for keyboard+trackpad.

Instant 99$ living room Mac. :D

Not enough on-board storage, you say? iCloud.
Rating: 4 Votes
41 months ago

I don't consider apple serious about 1080p until they actually start offering it in their own itunes store.


I don't consider consumers serious about 1080p until they actually own a 70"+ screen on which to display it.
Rating: 4 Votes
41 months ago
I don't see much of difference between 720p and 1080p TBF so it's not really an issue for me.

I have a couple of years old 50" Panasonic Plasma so I can sort of see a difference but it's not worth the extra time, cost, storage and bandwidth requirements for me to bother with 1080p
Rating: 3 Votes

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