Apple’s brand new iPad seems like it was built with watching HD video in mind, but as of right now, there’s not a lot of it to go around.
As Ars Technica reports, many streaming video apps available in Apple’s iTunes App Store are still only supporting standard definition streaming, even though many have been optimized to take advantage of the new iPad’s pixel-packed Retina display. The image may be sharper because there are more pixels available, but the information that makes up the video is still limited by the format. And that means, the videos users are streaming onto their iPads with many apps aren’t nearly as sharp and beautiful as they could be.
But that doesn’t seem like it’ll be the case for long. Netflix says it’s working on bringing HD streaming to its iPad app in the near future, which would bring it in line with the level of quality available through Netflix’s applications on other platforms, such as game consoles. Those devices already support streaming at as high as 1080p resolution, as does Netflix when used on the Apple TV set top box.
However, Netflix hasn’t revealed any timeline for the rollout of 1080p video for the iPad, according to a story from Mashable. And it isn’t the only streaming video service that only offers up standard definition video right now, either. Other apps, such as Crackle, Hulu Plus and HBO Go, are all still streaming video in standard definition; ABC’s updated app, optimized for the new iPad, is one of the few that supports HD video.
While it isn’t available just yet, it seems a no-brainer that HD streaming will be coming from a lot of these services, given the power of the iPad. HD video can cost a bundle to stream, however, and that might be slowing down the process. On the consumer end, the 4G LTE capabilities of the new iPad also seem like a great fit for streaming video on the go, although users have found that they hit their data caps a whole lot faster when they receive that data so much more quickly.
It’s worth noting that there is a place where users can reliably find HD videos to watch on their iPads: iTunes. If you’re willing to pay to download or rent videos Apple’s way, that is.