5 Replies Latest reply: Dec 24, 2007 7:20 AM by AppleMan1958
ipaw Level 1 (0 points)
Hi, I am new to iMovie and everything Mac. I am wondering what is the best format to save my movies to, for watching on a High Def TV set?

I am not sure burning to DVD is the answer anymore so I want to import my video, edit it, then export to a format for viewing on tv or even maybe editing at a later time and export to web using H264.

Which format is best that either uses no compression or very little so the video stays as true as possible.

Note: I plan on backing up my imported footage (event) to an external drive to free up space and deleting the project file.


24" iMac, Mac OS X (10.5.1), iMovie 08 & iMovie HD
  • AppleMan1958 Level 7 (27,415 points)
    It depends, but the following works very well for me.

    I share to iTunes in Large size. Then I sync the video to Apple TV. I get great videos. If I hook up my camera directly, I get 1080i, and Apple TV is somewhat less than 1080i, but it is not really noticable, and the ability to have edited video instead of raw footage makes up for the slight degradation.

    One Tip, definitely move your events to an external drive to save space, but do this from within iMovie by using View/By Volume. No need to erase your project files. They are relatively small. If your event files are in 1080i, and you keep your project files, then some day, Apple may decide to support 1080i, and you can re-render your projects.

    If you want the highest possible resolution now:
    1) Buy a bluray burner (about $1000)
    2) Buy Toast 8 Titanium, which will burn BluRay DVD's (about $100)
    3) Get a bluray player for your TV (from $400 to $1000)
    4) Share your project using the "Export to Quicktime" option, which will let you export in 1080i.

    I considered this, but I am so pleased with the results through the Apple TV that I see no reason to spend the money.

    Message was edited by: AppleMan1958
  • Ubuntu_user Level 1 (75 points)
    Paul, I don't use iMovie too much instead I use Final Cut Express... but the format that works best for me (I'm supposing that it is the same in iMovie) is just to export it as a quick time movie. Of course with iMovie you don't have as many options as FCE so like, compression I don't think you can get around that in iMovie (I'm not exactly sure on that).
    Yes you are smart to upload it to the web... because unless you have a HD DVD burner you cannot get HD! or you have to have a blu-ray burner... which you might just have!!!!
    Just keep in mind that when you are dealing with HD footage, the file sizes are absolutely HUGE! In FCE, the HD files are six times larger than normal DV footage file sizes!
    Best of Luck!
  • ipaw Level 1 (0 points)
    I guess what I'm trying to figure out is what to do in order to watch my video's on a HD tv (which I don't have yet), without committing to HD DVD or BlueRay just yet.

    I hope to get a Media streamer like this D-Link device (http://dlink.ca/products/?sec=1&pid=438) once it is available with Wireless 'N', and just keep all my videos on hard drives.

    The trick is to keep the best quality so if down the road my finished movie is the only source I have, I could easily burn it to HD DVD or BlueRay without loosing any quality.

    I know someday, I'll have to pick a format and commit to it, but I can't see that happening for at least another year or two. I just fell that I'll regret it later if I put my stuff on DVD.
  • Ubuntu_user Level 1 (75 points)
    Yes, you are thinking! you probably would regret it if you put it on DVD!
  • AppleMan1958 Level 7 (27,415 points)
    In your case, I would recommend the Apple TV. YOu can view your movies on your HD TV in resolution at least as good as most over the air TV channels. It works well from within iTunes with no system integration on your part.

    I have a high end HDTV and receiver (piorneer Elite) which does upscaling, so I am not sure what performance I am getting out of the Apple TV native, and how much is from the upscaling circuitry, so test in the store if you can.