The iPad will take video up to the 720P resolution, which is the same as for the Apple TV. There are a number of video conversion utilities and I have used Video Monkey HandBrake, Visual Hub, MPEG StreamClip. Here are the Tech Specs for the video of the iPad.
H.264 video up to 720p, 30 frames per second, Main Profile level 3.1 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; MPEG-4 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; Motion JPEG (M-JPEG) up to 35 Mbps, 1280 by 720 pixels, 30 frames per second, audio in ulaw, PCM stereo audio in .avi file format
Video conversion for the iPad
Although there is a size consideration in terms of megabytes or gigabytes, the thing is that you will probably not be putting all your video on the iPad at one time, because of the amount of memory available in the device you will be putting the video on there when you think you will need it. A couple of movies if you are going on a trip somewhere and want some entertainment to take with you. So with that in mind I think it is likely that you will go with the plan of converting to the highest resolution it will support which is the 720P.
Many of the conversion utilities have presets and if you choose the preset that is for the Apple TV then you will be perfectly sorted out. So the question is to decide which utility to work with. I have Visual Hub still for Video conversion for the iPad and it works well despite not being supported by the developer any more. Handbrake is the little brother to Visual Hub and many people like that one too. Both I have found easy to use.
Video Monkey is the next generation and some of the code from Visual Hub was brought in to it. Video Monkey doesn’t have the same amount of control as in variety of setting at you have with Visual Hub, so you might say fewer chances to mess it up. I just tried it out using the All Apple Devices preset so that I could find out what the resulting file comes out as. When I had it set to Apple TV it stated that there was a device limitation at 1024 by 720P which seems a bit strange as that I think should be 1280 by 720. More testing of these apps for Video conversion for the iPad required, for sure.
I have used MPEG StreamClip quite a few times and have found that it does a great job. You can change many settings and for this you do need to know what you are doing. You can change the frame size so go with 1280 by 720 for that. For the sound I suggest MPEG-A AAC and bring that down to 128kbps. which is CD quality and lower that the maximum allowed in the iPad.
What is handy is that you can do some trimming from the front and the back of the video. All you have to do is select where you want you movie to start and press the letter I to place the in Point and then O for the out point. Another way to make some savings in the amount of memory your movie will take in the available storage space on the iPad.
Just also opened up a movie in QuickTime and was able to do a save as and one of the options was 720P – Hey Presto. Now that is nice and easy. Bottom line is that with a Mac it should be easy enough to convert videos to put on your iPad
This is part one – more information to come when I look at other video conversion possibilities.