I’ve been in a Star Trek mood lately, and re-watched a couple of the old series. I knew the movies had been remastered for Blu Ray, but Star Trek isn’t exactly the easiest thing to find in stores here in Norway, so I would have had to order it online and wait. Then I remembered that Apple now offers 1080p content through iTunes, a new feature that came with the iPad 3 announcement. I figured I’d throw some money at Apple, connect my iPad to my screen via HDMI, and have at it. As with everything Apple though, things are never as straight forward as you’d think.
It turns out that Apple has restricted the new 1080p content to the iPad 3. iPad 2, iPhone 4S, no deal. Why? It most certainly isn’t for technical reasons! With the iPad 2’s GPU and Apple actually having access to hardware decoding for their own video content, the iPad 2 is more than equipped to handle the content. While the screen itself doesn’t need it, that HDMI adapter they’re charging a hefty $30 for certainly gives customers like me enough of a reason to be annoyed when older devices are left out like this. Even the iPhone 4S is left out, which technically is a smaller iPad 2, but at least it has the merit of being the current iPhone that Apple is trying to sell. They’re obviously pushing for sales of the Apple TV and iPad 3 here by making sure those have something extra to show for.
For someone who does as much to update older devices as Apple does, the company certainly doesn’t do much to ensure backwards compatibility in other areas.