Yesterday, Apple announced its updated third-generation Apple TV, at a media event in California. The highlighted feature of the new Apple TV, along with its updated UI, is the ability to play 1080p videos. Netflix announced hours later that it will support 1080p streaming to Apple’s new device.

But the question comes: is 1080p video really worth it — over 720p? 

ArsTechnica has conducted a comparison to see how 720p videos look next to 1080p videos. When watching the Big Bang Theory, the publication found that in some cases you can see a difference while at other times there doesn’t seem to be any.

1080p videos have a 1920×1080 resolution, meaning there are 2.25 times as many pixels as 720p videos, which have a resolution of 1280×720. So aren’t 1080p videos enormous in size?

Actually no. ArsTechnica found that in most cases the 1080p version of the video is only megabytes larger than the 720p version. For example, Hugo is 3.99GB in 720p and 4.84GB in 1080p.  When it comes down to it, downloading the 1080p version of the video might be the best choice. In my mind, I thought 1080p video was going to be gigabytes larger.

Apple makes available both the 720p and 1080p versions of TV shows and movies available for download. In iTunes, you can select whether you’d like the 720p or 1080p versions of your download. Ars suggests if you have the 720p version it’s not worth re-downloading, but when getting new content it might be worth the upgraded quality.

We can’t wait to check out the new Apple TV on March 16th to see what 1080p videos look like on the big screen. It’s nice to know that 1080p videos won’t be taking up as much storage space on your Apple TV as we thought.

Are you purchasing the new Apple TV, at $99?