byBen Drawbaugh||April 11th 2007 at 10:08amApril 11th 2007 10:08 am
We quickly realized that the Apple TV wasn't going to be a HD powerhouse and our tests have indicated as much -- we have also discovered that the problem is not the hardware. The Apple TV will not sync many videos and Apple has yet to provide any HD via the iTunes Music Store. Sure some of the trailers are in HD, but not all and how can we tell which without watching them. When we first started testing the Apple TV with a few HD clips we encoded ourselves, we were very disappointed and while it is still crazy to compare the Apple TV to HD DVD or Blu-ray, acceptable results are possible. We opened up our Apple TV and added a few codecs as well as copied over a few videos that would otherwise refuse to sync and we were very surprised at the results, not only were we able to watch some great looking HD, but our surround sound came alive with Dolby Digital 5.1 (no we don't count Prologic II). The real question is why: why would Apple not support DD 5.1, other codecs and most of all, why wouldn't they support higher bitrate video than 5Mbps when the Apple TV can play them so well? If the Apple TV fails to follow the iPod in it's foot steps, we will most certainly blame it on Apple decision to leave these out.