QuickTime 7: HD

by Tom Bridge

Related link: http://www.apple.com/quicktime/hdgallery/

When my friend Jeff messaged me about the new HD Gallery over at the QuickTime site, I didn't know what to expect. Sure, Steve has said you would be amazed, but really, wasn't that just the reality distortion field at work? It would appear that this is one feature that Steve didn't overplay his hand on. In fact, this is one you need to see to believe. So take a minute or ten, depending on your broadband connection, and watch the Serenity trailer in 720p. As soon as you pick your jaw up off the floor, consider the 1080p trailer.

The compressed files are 108 and 129MB in size, respectively, representing some absolutely astounding compression that represents the amazing abilities of H.264, the new codec that makes QuickTime 7 look and sound as good as that brand new plasma display you bought for a couple grand. Let's take a peek at something really quick.

1080p video, at 24 frames per sec, at 4:4:4, is roughly 180 Megabytes per second. That's a huge amount of data to move about, and most computers are going to freak out when they encounter it. However, that same video, crammed into H.264, come out at 8 Megabits per second. Granted, it's no longer the original uncompressed master, but it's 180 times as small.

This can lead, along with that FIOS service I mentioned last week, to some seriously beautiful images pumped through your home connection in fractions of a second.

If this is the future, I think I love it. Now just imagine what this will do to BitTorrent...

Have you seen the QuickTime 7 light? Is it not wonderous?


2005-04-29 16:24:33
For those who are not so equipped
After our conversation, Tom, I got a whole slew of e-mails and iChats from friends and well-wishers who, bafflingly, do not have Macs and so cannot watch H.264 content yet.

So I went through the clip in question and posted a half-dozen frames from the video on my Web site. I posted low-resolution thumbnails that link to full-resolution stills.