Apple TV 'Take 2' HD Image Quality
A few sites have posted their impressions and reviews of the Apple TV 'Take 2' update that was released just yesterday. Besides the new interface and computer-less design, the biggest new update to the Apple TV is the availability of High Definition iTunes rental content. This is an Apple TV-only feature at the moment, and only available in Rentals, not purchases. Anecdotal reports have ranged from good to great quality of the HD content. Gizmodo subjectively felt the HD quality was "better than DVD" but not "true" HD.
iLounge went a step further and made direct comparisons (with screenshots) between the Apple TV, Blu-Ray, DVD and HD Cable. The movie they chose was Live Free or Die Hard. Their results:
- Blu-Ray clear winner but surprised by how well Apple TV did
- Very little motion blur or artifacts in Apple TV
- "Because of its cleaner motion and audio, we felt that the Apple experience was better in both overall audio and video quality than the HD cable experience, and for most users, superior to renting a standard DVD as well."
Note that individual experiences may vary depending on the movie due to differences in source material and encoding. It's been said that the Apple TV HD movie previews don't necessarily reflect the quality of the actual HD movie rentals.