iPhone 3.5G to support 1080p H.264 High-Profile Dual-Stream Decoding?

Discussion in 'Mobile Devices and SoCs' started by B3D News, May 1, 2008.

  1. B3D News

    B3D News Beyond3D News
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    Yesterday, Imagination Technologies announced that Samsung had acquired a license to manufacture "certain POWERVR SGX graphics and VXD video IP cores". Apple instantly came to everyone's mind, and AppleInsider is partially confirming it. But they don't realize just how massive the implications are.

    Read the full news item
     
  2. Scott_Arm

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    So these iPods/iPhones would have to include an HDMI port. Are we talking about streaming 1080p content through the iPod/iPhone to the TV over 3G or home network? Or playing downloaded content, if they happen to come out with a hard drive based model with mega storage capacity.

    Sounds very cool. Rogers is getting the iPhone this year. If it's a 3G iPhone, I'm definitely going to consider getting one. If it has hi-def decoding, even better.
     
  3. darkblu

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    the tv output capability of those ipods could be a pretty good reason for that too.
     
  4. Arun

    Arun Unknown.
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    Sure, it has to do with that too for the actual design decision, but my point is that at the distances some people use their handhelds, VGA video on a QVGA 2-2.5" screen is perfectly reasonable. Look at it this way: video compression *will* result in small artifacts and imperfections. If you use the same video resolution as your screen's resolution, you *will* notice those even at very high bitrates. If you combine ~4x more pixels with very high bitrates and a good scaler, the video might actually seem 'perfect' to just about everyone - and clearly that's the goal.

    It's easy to start claiming it doesn't matter at those screen sizes, but obviously there are only two things that matter: the number of cones and rods in your eyes looking at the screen, and the relative size of a given pixel compared to your fovea. It should be fairly obvious that in the case of a handheld, both imply very good quality is required, and certainly much higher DPIs than on a TV are justified.
     
  5. wco81

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    Lets say they give you the capability to play back 1080p videos (probably at lower bitrates than Blu-Ray) from a mobile device.

    Even with lower bitrates, storage needs go up for such devices substantially over current devices.

    Two to three years from now, storage and silicon to support such capabilities may be cheaper than it would be now but will the overall BOM cost remain at current levels?

    They'd have to sell or rent a lot of HD videos for such a product to make sense. Have videos overall really taken off on iTunes?

    Maybe they think "Full HD" will be a marketing point for portable video players in a couple of years.

    A more interesting capability might be the encoding 1080p in real time.

    Imagine all the iPhones and iPods being used to record high-quality video. That might boost interest in iMovie and in turn, interest in Macs.

    That would make more economic sense than trying to sell 1080p videos to play back from a mobile device.
     
  6. AlphaWolf

    AlphaWolf Specious Misanthrope
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    Of course, but they are already at 32gb for the ipod touch. You could fit a few compressed HD movies on there and still have tons of room for music. (when I rip dvd's to my ipod and they run under 1gb and quality is good, figure HD ones being maybe 6x the size).

    I'm not sure about the need for 1080, but I suppose that will be the standard at some point in the future.

    Storage is already there unless you think there is a need to have an entire collection on the device.

    Disney alone does $1 million a week on iTunes.

    If there is a demand for HD video and the device is capable I don't really see the problem. Having a very portable HD player (smaller than a disc) should have some demand.
     
  7. Scott_Arm

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    3G should be fast enough to stream HDTV content. They may allow video on demand rentals or something like that.
     
  8. wco81

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    Not so sure 3G is fast enough for good quality video nor that carriers are able to support widespread streaming of video.

    I think Qualcom was working on a parallel network just to stream video. Maybe it was called MediaFLO or something like that.

    In Europe they have DVB or something like that for mobile. They have better networks and the ability to make "video calls" on some prepaid SIMs but they're costly.

    In the US, who's watching video regularly on mobile devices? People who take public transit on trains? How big is that population?

    There are now a lot of little devices and cheap digicams touting the ability to capture and upload directly to Youtube. Maybe eventually, Youtube content will migrate to better quality video and for that, better capture devices will be available.

    Capturing and sharing content seems more likely to have mass-appeal than playing back high-quality video on mobile devices.
     
  9. AlphaWolf

    AlphaWolf Specious Misanthrope
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    Over 600 million a year, if you count domestic air travel.
     
  10. wco81

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    True, people do like watching movies on long flights.

    Air travel is becoming expensive though.

    I was thinking more of subways and commuter trains. Outside of a handful of big US cities, it's nothing like in the rest of the world.

    Of course, it's not easy to sell movies for downloads outside the US because of contents rights holder issues. iTunes still doesn't sell too many videos outside of the US.

    Again, I wonder if this isn't more about making a device with this kind of technology simply because they can or because there is or will be a market for HD videos on mobile devices.
     
  11. AlphaWolf

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    Doesn't really have to be a long flight when you consider time to board etc.

    All travel is becoming expensive.

    If you don't innovate you stagnate, apple certainly doesn't want people thinking the ipod they bought last year is good enough.
     
  12. Scott_Arm

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    Yeah, I'm not exactly sure what the speed is. I don't think there's a standard to be expected from 3G, so it really depends on the network and what technologies are available. UMTS w/ HSPA deployments are operating at 7.2Mbit download according to wikipedia. Theoretically HSPA can do 14.4Mbit download. Not sure which networks they're referring to. I was trying to look up Rogers Vision details, but couldn't find anything. 7.2Mbit should be fast enough for some high quality video.

    I know AT&T was not ready for the increase in mobile traffic on their network when they launched the iPhone.

    So, I guess Apple is hopefully going to make the technology available to consumers, but I doubt carriers will support it unless you pay a very high premium for your plan.
     
  13. Arun

    Arun Unknown.
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    Well, the 2009 version of the iPhone might, or might not, be based on HSPA+ (if it was, it'd be an early adopter which would be strange for Apple, but it's an incremental improvement and many chips that support HSDPA in that timeframe will also support HSPA+). If it was, that's 36Mbps downlink - of course, in practice you won't get quite that much, but in real-time it might be able to handle 15Mbps peaks just fine. Of course, that's more viable for high-qquality 720p than low-quality 1080p but it could do both at least in theory...

    Also, don't forget that the same chip might be used for the HDD iPods in that timeframe. There, storage really is the least of your problems! (200GB+ ftw)
     
  14. wco81

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    If they do push 1080p videos on iPhones, it would be probably through sideloading (download to computer and sync to iPhone via iTunes), not through streaming or downloading via the mobile network.

    And you probably won't have Blu-Ray type of encodes because they're using BD-50 more and more. Probably not even comparable to BD-25 encodes. So bitrates will probably be low.

    Doesn't 720p content on iTunes go as low as 5 mbps?
     
  15. Arun

    Arun Unknown.
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    Yes, but NVIDIA is partially to blame here IIRC...
     
  16. Scott_Arm

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  17. Arun

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    42Mbps corresponds to HSPA+ with 64QAM and 2x2 MIMO; on Qualcomm's roadmap, that is available for data cards today, but there's no ETA for handhelds at all - in fact, the most they'll support there is 10Mbps HSPA+ which is a pretty massive difference. The more I think about it, the more I think this rumour is BS.
     
  18. wco81

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    Do the higher bandwidth implementations require more power?

    That kind of bandwidth would be for streaming HD content?

    Is that really that critical a feature? iPods and iPhones have lived with sideloading, not direct downloading.

    Direct downloads may make sense for the occasional song or a short video clip. But for HD streams?

    That would tax the network if a lot of users are doing that at one time?

    Isn't Qualcomm also doing Media Flo?
     
  19. Scott_Arm

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    Well, when they hit 7.2Mbps I think you'll see fairly high quality video calling with phones that support it. With the iPhone you could watch HD trailers off the apple trailers site, or maybe rent a tv show or movie through iTunes. Of course, 7.2Mbps is peak and I'm not sure what the actual average bandwidth you'd get is. If you could stay near the peak if you were in an area of good coverage, then they could theoretically stream a video rental for you. I'm sure there are some people that have long commutes that might rent a tv episode.

    I'm not familiar with the mobile part of AT&Ts network, so I don't know what the capabilities are in terms of service delivery, but I'd doubt it would be ready for HD video on mobile phones when the 3G network is up.
     
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