1080P vs 720P HD iTunes Movies: Which Should You Download

Posted by Dave Henry on 05/10/2014 12:24:09 AM.

1080p vs 720p

What is the Difference between 720p and 1080p?

I was about to purchase HD movies on my Mac from iTunes store to stream to my iPod touch (4th generation) for watching. However, I got a problem here because I realized some movies are providing two HD versions (720p and 1080p) for downloading. What's the difference between 720p and 1080p? As in my case, which should I download?

As we know, ever since iTunes 10.6, Apple has added the support for streaming and purchasing 1080p HD movies and TV shows via iTunes Store. Although it gets higher resolution for a 1080p video, the price is the same as the previous 720p HD's. Expectedly, it has successfully raised customers' purchasing desire for 1080p movies over the ones of 720p. But have you ever thought about this? Is it really worthy of such an overwhelming pursuit for 1080p movies on iTunes if putting aside the better image quality? Is 1080p iTunes movie the right one for you or your devices? Now you may take some time to figure it out from the side-by-side comparison between 1080p and 720p HD iTunes movies to make a better decision when buying HD movies from iTunes.

Video Resolution & Quality: 1080p is Higher & Better than 720p

As suggested from the number, 1080p which refers to video resolution of 1920x1080, will apparently presents better video quality than 720p that refers to a resolution of 1280x720 only. Theoretically, 1920x1080 means 2.25 times as many pixels as 1280x720. That's to say, the image quality of 1080p movies is much sharper and smoother than 720p and will definitely bring more visual enjoyment to you while watching the movies.

File Size & Storage: 1080p is Bigger than 720p

From a file size point of view, a 1080p HD movie download is expected to be approximately 50% larger than the 720p counterpart. For example, if the file size of a 1080p HD movie on iTunes is 1GB, the 720p version of it would probably be around 700MB. And at mean time, a bigger file size always requires more storage of your computer or devices. So you'd better take the file size into consideration to decide whether download 1080p or 720p movies according to your situation.

Compatible Devices: 720p Supports More Devices than 1080p

Even though 1080p looks much better than 720p, not all your devices are capable of playing it back. As of now, iOS devices including iPhone 5 or later, iPad (3rd generation or later), iPod touch (5th generation or later), and Apple TV (3rd generation or later) are supposed to play back 1080p content. So if you primarily watch your iTunes movies and TV shows on none of those models, 720p is all you can play. Besides, most of the iOS devices which support 1080p can absolutely support 720p too. That makes the choice simple, though.

Number for Movies: 720p Gets More Movies than 1080p

One more important thing to note is that the iTunes Store has not seen a wholesale updating of HD content into 1080p, which means, many HD movies sold on iTunes continue to be available only in the older 720p resolutions. At this point it doesn't appear that any content is exclusively 1080p — sensible considering the number of Apple devices out there that are still limited to 720p as their "HD" resolution.

Conclusion & Suggestion

There is no absolute statement or clarification to prove whether 1080p or 720 is better. What you should keep in mind is that the most right option will always be the one that meets you needs better. If you prefer a more direct way to look at the difference between 720p and 1080p HD movies, you can simply download a movie with both 720p and 1080p to compare by yourself.

More Words: Remove DRM Restriction from 1080p/720p HD iTunes Movies

remove drm from itunes hd movies

As you may have noticed, no matter you download 1080p or 720p HD movies from iTunes, you will be restricted to play those HD movies on certain Apple devices only because of the DRM protection. To largely enjoy the amazing visual effects of 1080p or 720p HD movies, you may want to watch them on other players except Apple's. In this case, you will need a professional iTunes DRM removal tool, such as TunesKit iTunes HD Video Converter to get rid of the DRM from the 1080p and 720p movies and convert those HD videos to DRM-free video formats.

Take TunesKit iTunes DRM Remover for Mac for example. The best part of this iTunes DRM remover is that it will keep 100% video quality of the original 1080p or 720p HD movies after removing the DRM protection, that is to say, you will be freely to enjoy the DRM-free 1080p or 720 iTunes movies on any media playing devices as you wish. The DRM removal process is simple in 3 steps only. It will allow you to select 1080p or 720p HD movies from iTunes library after clicking the "Add Files" button in the program. Then once choose the output settings, you can start to remove DRM from the HD iTunes movies and convert 1080p or 720p videos to DRM-free MP4 format with "Convert" button clicked.

tuneskit hd itunes video converter for mac

Or you can find the detailed tutorial from: How to Remove DRM & Convert 1080p/720p iTunes HD M4V Movies to MP4.


is a long-time TunesKiter who loves all technological things. In his free time, he likes reading about science and technology, writing for his blog, watching sci-fi films, and meditating.

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