Installing and tweaking around some settings on the new version of iTunes 11 today, and when I was messing around in the "Store" settings, I clicked it to prefer 1080p downloads, only to be presented with this error message:

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A bit of background on my specs:

  • Windows 7 Ultimate x64
  • Core i7 2600k O.C'd to 4.5 atm, base is about 3.7
  • 20GB RAM
  • Nvidia GTX 580 Ti
  • Monitor: Acer 24" LCD 60hz @ 1920 x 1080 through DVI
  • Monitor: Dell 19" LCD 60hz @ 1280 x 1024 through DVI

As you can see, I doubt my computer specs are the issue for 1080p.

Is there an explanation why I would be seeing this error message?

  • You missed one spec: what is your monitor resolution and which cable does it use? – Hand-E-Food Nov 29 '12 at 23:01
  • @Hand-E-Food Edited to include them – Tablemaker Nov 29 '12 at 23:34

To play 1080p content perfectly you need:

  • a display with at least 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • HDCP must be supported by your display, your video card, and the cable (not DVI or VGA)
  • a CPU and video card capable of decoding at that speed. just because it works for one 1080p video doesn't mean it will work for another one, it depends on what encoding settings were used to create it, and it has less to do with how "fast" your video card is and more to do with what actual instructions it supports

Also, keep in mind higher definition videos will use more power possibly causing battery life or fan noise issues.

But basically, ignore the message, try watching a few 1080p videos, and if it doesn't work - switch back to 720. When the feature was first introduced most PC's couldn't play 1080p content, but it was still useful if your PC was just a NAS for whatever device your TV is plugged into.

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  • 1080 playback is just fine, it seems. – Tablemaker Nov 29 '12 at 22:12

It's a poorly worded message. When I've gotten it in the past (on OS X), it's been when my screen resolution is too small to play 1080p content natively. However if you ignore the warning, it will happily play just fine, but downscaled to fit your screen.

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  • Resolution is set at 1920 x1080, though I do have a second monitor attached at a lower resolution. – Tablemaker Nov 29 '12 at 22:11

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