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10 Retina Display Ready Videos That Look Awesome on the New iPad



The new iPad has a beautiful Retina Display capable of showing off amazing detail in movies and photos. If you really want to see the Retina Display on the new iPad shine, skip over Netflix and Hulu Plus and load up some super-high-resolution 2048p and 4096P videos on YouTube and marvel.

These 2K and 4K videos aren’t as popular as those in 1080P, because it’s expensive to use a camera capable of recording at these super-HD resolutions, but there are still plenty of awesome clips.

Retina Display Videos for new iPad

Screen capture of Timescapes 4K on the new iPad

You might have seen several NASA videos, but if you’re anything like me, you want something that will impress you and your friends, not just the geeks.

With that in mind, we scoured YouTube to find the best Retina Display ready HD videos for the new iPad.

Surprisingly, the new iPad plays these high-resolution videos better than most notebooks I have in for review.

Top 10 Retina Display Ready Videos

We found the following 2048p and 4K videos on YouTube. For the best results, turn the brightness up and watch these on your iPad. You can use the link to your left to email the article to yourself, or share it on Facebook and open up the Facebook app on your iPad to grab the URL.

Surf NYC

This video, shot in 4k, which is double the resolution of the iPad has a mix of scenes that show off the iPad’s new Retina Display.

Life in the Garden

Shot on the Red One 4k, this video has a lot of outdoor scenes and texture heavy scenes that look great on the new iPad.

Time Lapse American Cities

This awesome 4k video looks amazing on the New iPad’s display, showing off the night skylines of many cities with dramatic shots and great colors.


This 2-minute video takes you across various landscapes and cultures, showing off beautiful imagery and scenes. Don’t skip any of this Retina Display ready wonder.

Red Epic 4K

Groove to the Red Hot Chili Peppers while you watch this desolate and destroyed storefront shop covered in graffiti and broken glass.

Sintel – Animated Film

This is another favorite. Made by the Blender Institute, this animated film is available in 2048p, which makes it look amazing on the new iPad’s Retina Display.

Pixar Intro

You can’t watch Toy Story in 2048p, but this 4k Pixar intro might help tie you over. If you watch it over and over.

The Hobbit Super HD Trailer

Watch the 4k resolution version of the Hobbit on your new iPad to see an amazing difference. compared to 1080P on my HD monitor the iPad wins.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon Trailer

Watch the highest resolution version of the Transformers movie trailer to see all the details.

Loop: The Movie

Loop is an amazing video shot by the Goddard Spaceflight Center that shows off nature in 2048p, casing water ripples, natural textures and more that look wonderful on the New iPad.

These are just a few of the 2048p and 4k videos available. If you are looking for other examples, search for 2048p or 4K, but watch out for fakes that say 4k and are only uploaded in 720P or 1080P. I ran into many of those during my hunt for great Retina Display videos.

Image is a screen capture of Timescapes 4k.



  1. chrlormil

    03/27/2012 at 1:43 pm

    Watch it on YouTube to see the stunning detail especially the Stock footage.
    Click the YouTube logo on the bottom right to go straight to the source.

    Watching it here is useless because you’ll get the pixelated version.

  2. Justin O'Neill

    03/27/2012 at 5:52 pm

    Great collection Josh! As far as I know YouTube scales everything down to 720 when played on the iPad, have you figured out a way to get around this?

    I am a big believer in shooting at a higher res than you display at though…these look amazing even at 720 because they were capture at such a high res.

  3. Dennis Mons

    03/27/2012 at 11:44 pm

    Having trouble getting this resolution to work on the new iPad. The browsr makes it look fugly, YouTube turns it into 720p, ripped the files but iTunes doesn’t let me import this video format and Buzz Player (as far as I know the only app that will accept these formats) just stutters the shit out of it.

  4. Mike

    03/28/2012 at 3:14 am

    How are you able to actually see a original 4k resolution scaled down to the full 2048 px wide glory of the new ipad? Let alone 1080p? The maximum resolution I could manage to watch are normal 720p. Well, they look good – but that is certainly what we are talking about here.

    So, how to be able to really see the retina resolution here?
    It doesn’t work with the youtube app.
    It doesn’t work with a youtube page opened in safari on the iPad (with HD on it seems it plays the normal 720p stream also)
    I even tried an alternative browser (icab mobile in this case) and used a desktop browser id to get to the resolution change button in youtubes play window. But the max resolution which sticks after selecting it, is 720p. If I click 1080p or Original it falls back to the lowest setting, in this case 360p.

  5. Dogfart

    03/28/2012 at 8:31 am

    Download them and play them with something like Airplay. Transformers original video setting is 4096 x 2304.

    • Justin O'Neill

      03/28/2012 at 10:18 am

      In my tests, 2048 is the max resolution the iPad can play. If you send the video to your TV over AirPlay it will be downscaled to 720 as far as I know.

  6. Justin O'Neill

    03/28/2012 at 3:14 pm

    I rendered some of our RED Epic footage at 2k (2048) and it does play on the new iPad and looks amazing.  You have to use an app like Goodreader or DropBox to get the files on to the iPad though.  Syncing through iTunes doesn’t work.  Compare this to the YouTube videos above and you will see a drastic difference.  

    The 2k video clips and instructions for how to get them on your iPad are here:

  7. Hd Video Share

    03/29/2012 at 5:54 am

    Fabulous videos!!! Good Listing…I like Pixar Intro ..HD share is a video sharing website where users can upload, view and share video clips…HD video share has good features and support for Iphone & Ipad…Check this link : 

    • Wert5676

      04/12/2012 at 11:22 pm

      There is nothing and I repeat nothing posted on youtube that downloads are over 1080p.
      All of this 2k and 4k talk is rubbish. It simply isn’t anywhere on you youtube.

      • Eric Tetz

        04/13/2012 at 1:09 pm

        Click on any of those videos. Click the little gear to select resolution. Notice that there is a setting above 1080p labelled original. This is over 1080p”.

      • bobrob

        04/16/2013 at 3:39 pm

        YouTube allows a maximum upload resolution of 4096 × 3072 , thats 4k…

        Have a look for 4k youtube….

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