Okay, well that's reassuring that I'm not the only person with the problem. I think I might have a solution, but I don't know if I can tell you how I did it. I'll at least try to tell you my thought process...
I was able to get those two episodes to play by setting the new Apple TV device to display 720p. Of course, I can't remember exactly how I did it. I remembered that the HD episodes were in 720p and not 1024p, but I saw that the video settings on the apple tv was set to 1024p, so I thought that if I set it to 720p, then it might work and it did work.
I think I went to the Settings (cog wheel) and then to the Audio & Video settings. Somewhere in there is a setting for the video. When I look at it now, mine is set to Auto, but somewhere it was set to 1024p before I changed it to 720p. Now I can't find 720p anywhere.
Maybe you can check yours and see if you have yours set to 1024p. Maybe setting it to Auto or 720p will allow it to work.
Good Luck. I hope this helps send you in the right direction.
Your idea was right on. Apple TV's 1080p ability is new so it makes sense that the iTunes media streaming straight from the store would only be in 720p. I found the setting in the "iTunes Store" settings in the main settings menu. Turning it to 720 made the show stream properly.
This is disappointing if not surprising. They need to either get that media uploaded in 1080p or patch the AppleTV software to auto switch on the iTunes Store content.
Yep, I just found it too. I was looking in the wrong spot. I never thought to look in the "iTunes Store" under settings. But I must have looked there first and that's what I changed. I was able to switch it back and forth and prove to myself that the iTunes Store 1024p setting was what was causing the problem.
What I don't get is why the first 11 episodes will play fine, when the iTunes Store setting is set to 1024p, but the last two episodes will only play if the iTunes Store is set to 720p? Weird. I think there is some encoding or some setting in the stream in the last two episodes that isn't set right and doesn't allow the "Auto-Switch" to 720p to happen.
I agree, that setting doesn't behave properly. To me that setting should only be saying that if 1024p is available, then send 1024p, otherwise send whatever the highest resolution that's available (which for Merlin is 720p), but not over 1024p. If the setting is set to 720p, then that should be saying, "send me whatever is available up to 720p, but not over 720p". I think the actual stream itself should set the playback, which makes me think that something in the stream isn't set correctly.