Thursday, October 20, 2005

Ars Technica on the iPod with video

Ars Technica has done another good review of the iPod with video 30GB. These guys always seem to do a fair review and really dig into the device. A few points in the review stood out in my mind. Apple has clearly sacrificed Firewire support for a smaller size device and the video chip. I have no problem with this, I don't own an older Mac with a USB 1.1 port (you need a USB 2.0 port now). The second point is that outputting the iPod formatted video to SDTV actually looks just like broadcast TV. I honestly didn't consider this possible. So I opened in Quicktime the one episode of Lost I bought from iTunes and resized it to 480x360. If memory serves, SDTV has a max of 480 lines. Here is a screenshot from the show format at 480: And the same thing in original size: For that small jump in resolution, the file format seems to scale well. I am still not buying, I am planning for the transistion to HD. Still this might be "good enough" for right now since HD isn't widely deployed in the market, but I want a forward looking solution here.