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Apple Browser Safari: iPhone, iTouch, & iPad Falls Short without Flash, But Offers 720p Video

Fri January 29 2010 12:12 pm  http://www.arlingtoncardinal.com/?p=19844
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Adobe Flash is not yet supported on devices with the iPhone OS (iPhone, iTouch and iPad), mainly because Apple is concerned that Flash being buggy, and that it could rapidly drain battery life. Security issues are also a concern. But the lack of Flash prevents users from accessing most online games and online video. Video and presentations on websites such as Hulu, ESPN, Vimeo, Funny or Die, Break and JibJab cannot be viewed on the Apple devices.

During the Wednesday intro of the iPad, Steve Jobs called it “the best way to browse the Web.”

Without Adobe Flash, many users agree … that is just not true.

The Motorola Droid does not do Flash, but it is supposed to sometime in 2010. In January, if you go to Hulu or JibJab, etc., you don’t see video, just as you don’t see video on the iPhone OS.

The iPhone OS does show YouTube videos with a special technical arrangement with Google — which maintains and owns YouTube. And the iPhone OS does display QuickTime videos. Video support was introduced to iTunes with the release of iTunes 4.8 in May 2005, but support for movies and television programs was introduced in October of 2005 with iTunes 6.0. At the time of this report higher resolution video content on iTunes is encoded as 1.5 Mbit/s (minimum) Protected MPEG-4 video (H.264) with a minimum 128 kbit/s AAC audio track.

Next, a comparison of computer video handling to iPad video handling.

To play high-definition video, a large amount of data must be processed by your computer. The Apple system delivers the best playback experience using QuickTime (with QuickTime X (for 10.6 Snow Leopard) announced and QuickTime 7 still posted for the QuickTime Player Tech Specs at Apple.com).

For viewing videos purchased from the iTunes Store:
(Macintosh)

1 GHz G4 processor or better
2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo or faster processor for HD-quality videos
512 MB RAM, 1GB is required to play HD-quality videos
16 MB of video RAM

(Windows)
2.0 GHz Intel or AMD processor
2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo or faster processor for HD-quality videos
512MB of RAM; 1GB is required to play HD-quality videos
A DirectX 9.0-compatible video card with 32MB of video RAM, 64MB recommended

Apple, at the time of the iPad announcement (January 27, 2010), recommends the following video playback demands with the following specific COMPUTER configurations for H.264 High-Definition (HD) Playback (iPad follows below).

For 852×480 (480p) video at 24 frames per second:
(Windows)
2.0 GHz Intel Pentium 4 or faster processor
At least 512MB of RAM
64MB or greater video card
Windows XP Service Pack 2 or Vista or Windows 7

For 1280×720 (720p) video at 24-30 frames per second:
(Macintosh)

1.8 GHz PowerMac G5 or 1.83 GHz Intel Core Duo or faster Macintosh computer
At least 256MB of RAM
64 MB or greater video card

(Windows)
2.8 GHz Pentium 4 or faster processor
At least 512MB of RAM
64MB or greater video card
Windows XP Service Pack 2 or Vista or Windows 7

For 1920×1080 (1080p) video at 24 frames per second:
(Macintosh)

Dual 2.0 GHz PowerMac G5 or 2.0 GHz Intel Core Duo or faster Macintosh computer
At least 512MB of RAM
128MB or greater video card

(Windows)
3.0 Ghz Intel Pentium D (dual-core) or faster processor
At least 1GB of RAM
64MB or greater video card
Windows XP Service Pack 2 or Vista or Windows 7

iPad TV and Video
The iPad permits the following video playback demands with the following specific configuration for H.264 High-Definition (HD) Playback.
H.264 video up to 720p, 30 frames per second, Main Profile level 3.1 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; MPEG-4 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats

The iPad video/display supports 1024 by 768 pixels with Dock Connector to VGA Adapter; 576p and 480p with Apple Component AV Cable; 576i and 480i with Apple Composite Cable.

576i is a standard-definition video mode used in (former) PAL and SECAM countries. In digital applications it is usually referred to as “576i”, in analogue contexts it is often quoted as “625 lines.” 576p is the shorthand name for a video display resolution. The p stands for progressive scan, i.e. non-interlaced, the 576 for a vertical resolution of 576 lines, usually with a horizontal resolution of 720 or 704 pixels. 576p is considered Enhanced-definition television (EDTV).

480p is the shorthand name for a video display resolution. The p stands for progressive scan, i.e. non-interlaced. The 480 denotes a vertical resolution of 480 vertically scanning lines, usually with a horizontal resolution of 640 pixels and 4:3 aspect ratio or a horizontal resolution of less than 854 pixels for an approximate 16:9 aspect ratio. (480 x 16⁄9 = 853.333…. Since a pixel must be a whole number, in Wide VGA displays it is generally rounded up to 854 to ensure inclusion of the entire image.) The frame rate (hertz) is usually 30 or 60 progressive frames per second and can be given explicitly after the letter p. The frames are displayed progressively as opposed to interlaced. 480p was used for many early Plasma televisions.

480p does not qualify as high-definition television (HDTV); it is considered Enhanced-definition television (EDTV).

480i is the shorthand name for a video mode, namely the US NTSC television system or digital television systems with the same characteristics. The i, which is sometimes uppercase, stands for interlaced, the 480 for a vertical frame resolution of 480 lines containing picture information; while NTSC has a total of 525 lines, only 480 of these are used to display the image for DV-NTSC. 480i is considered Standard-definition television (SDTV).

Steve Jobs mentioned that the iPad will show High-Definition YouTube videos beautifully, it looks like the unit will not provide High-Definition television to an HDTV television.

For comparison to high definition televisions, “Full HD” televisions must use, at least, 1920×1080 panels.

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