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post #451 of 1356 Old 08-30-2011, 07:42 AM
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thanks for posting the promo.

How long do you have to give them account access? I assume if I deauthorized them tomorrow, they'd yank my $5?
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post #452 of 1356 Old 08-30-2011, 08:21 AM
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since some are getting the free $5 credit, let me ask this ..

What's the best method of viewing on a PC quality wise .. ?? Straight stream or download using the Unbox player .. ??

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post #453 of 1356 Old 08-30-2011, 08:23 AM
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I am looking to get a media streamer. Looking at Popcorn A-210 most likely. I have a PS3, will I be able to play Amazon instant video?
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post #454 of 1356 Old 08-30-2011, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgkdragn View Post

since some are getting the free $5 credit, let me ask this ..

What's the best method of viewing on a PC quality wise .. ?? Straight stream or download using the Unbox player .. ??

Depends on the movie or TV show options but generally during the time I was using my HTPC for Amazon TV shows (Fringe and Justified) I always downloaded to my Unbox player since this allowed for 5.1 sound, streaming was in stereo. If you're just viewing on a computer screen with two speakers with a fast download speed there is no major difference.

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post #455 of 1356 Old 08-30-2011, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr.G View Post

Depends on the movie or TV show options but generally during the time I was using my HTPC for Amazon TV shows (Fringe and Justified) I always downloaded to my Unbox player since this allowed for 5.1 sound, streaming was in stereo. If you're just viewing on a computer screen with two speakers with a fast download speed there is no major difference.

Thank you .. I ask because I had a small credit and used it last week on "Soul Surfer" as a straight stream .. it was substantially worse quality PQ wise than DVD on a 65" TV and much, much worse that NF SD .. running a minimum 12mbps connection thu HTPC outputting thru HDMI ..

I thought I might DL the Unbox software tonight and give that a try if it might improve PQ .. sounds like it won't ...

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post #456 of 1356 Old 08-30-2011, 09:03 AM
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The biggest difference I saw in using Amazon Unbox was whether I purchased the SD versus the HD version of a show, the HD file size was noticeably larger and of course sharper. I recommend you try the Unbox software and see for yourself.

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post #457 of 1356 Old 08-30-2011, 09:10 AM
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A gentle reminder that the topic of this thread is Prime Instant Video, the free service for Prime members.
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post #458 of 1356 Old 08-30-2011, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr.G View Post

The biggest difference I saw in using Amazon Unbox was whether I purchased the SD versus the HD version of a show, the HD file size was noticeably larger and of course sharper. I recommend you try the Unbox software and see for yourself.

I only am interested in movies, and it looks like Amazon does not offer a choice of HD or SD on those unless I overlooked it somehow ..

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post #459 of 1356 Old 08-30-2011, 10:34 AM
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A gentle reminder that the topic of this thread is Prime Instant Video, the free service for Prime members.

I know I veered a bit off topic and I know what the topic is .. however, I was hoping to avoid starting a whole new thread on my question and clogging up AVS with another thread ..

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post #460 of 1356 Old 08-30-2011, 12:04 PM
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Need the LONG promised app on my player.
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post #461 of 1356 Old 09-05-2011, 02:09 AM
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Set up my new Roku XD|S tonight and made two findings:

1) Some - but not many - HD Amazon Prime offerings show "5.1," on the info page, and I do get Dolby Digital 5.1 on those. Everything else is stereo, so I apply DTS:NEO to those to get sound out of all speakers. (I find DTS:NEO is much more natural sounding than Dolby ProLogic.)

2) Things listed as "HD" are 720p, not 1080p. They still look good, since my projector does a decent job of upscaling. (I'm using a standard HDMI cable - don't know what generation it is - I found it lying around in my theater.)

The SD stuff has lots of motion jaggies where the horizontal lines alternate in position between the two frames - just as it looked on my computer monitor when watching stuff at Amazon's web site.

Anyone find a way to get true 1080p? (Yes, I did configure the Roku that way.)

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post #462 of 1356 Old 09-05-2011, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philnick View Post

Set up my new Roku XD|S tonight and made two findings:

1) Some - but not many - HD Amazon Prime offerings show "5.1," on the info page, and I do get Dolby Digital 5.1 on those. Everything else is stereo, so I apply DTS:NEO to those to get sound out of all speakers. (I find DTS:NEO is much more natural sounding than Dolby ProLogic.)

2) Things listed as "HD" are 720p, not 1080p. They still look good, since my projector does a decent job of upscaling. (I'm using a standard HDMI cable - don't know what generation it is - I found it lying around in my theater.)

The SD stuff has lots of motion jaggies where the horizontal lines alternate in position between the two frames - just as it looked on my computer monitor when watching stuff at Amazon's web site.

Anyone find a way to get true 1080p? (Yes, I did configure the Roku that way.)

My impression is that Amazon Prime Instant has always been 720p.

http://www.clicker.com/blog/amazon-p...look-9651.html

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post #463 of 1356 Old 09-05-2011, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.G View Post

My impression is that Amazon Prime Instant has always been 720p.

http://www.clicker.com/blog/amazon-p...look-9651.html

Link doesn't seem to work. Here is the screen grab.
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post #464 of 1356 Old 09-05-2011, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philnick View Post

Set up my new Roku XD|S tonight and made two findings:

1) Some - but not many - HD Amazon Prime offerings show "5.1," on the info page, and I do get Dolby Digital 5.1 on those. Everything else is stereo, so I apply DTS:NEO to those to get sound out of all speakers. (I find DTS:NEO is much more natural sounding than Dolby ProLogic.)

2) Things listed as "HD" are 720p, not 1080p. They still look good, since my projector does a decent job of upscaling. (I'm using a standard HDMI cable - don't know what generation it is - I found it lying around in my theater.)

The SD stuff has lots of motion jaggies where the horizontal lines alternate in position between the two frames - just as it looked on my computer monitor when watching stuff at Amazon's web site.

Anyone find a way to get true 1080p? (Yes, I did configure the Roku that way.)

Reading the thread, I also thought that Amazon only did 720P. Then I remembered there was a way to get 1080P content from Amazon Instant Video but not with Prime (or with the Roku). When you purchase or rent a title and download it to the TiVo Premiere, some titles are in 1080P. An example is the latest season of Doctor Who.

The screen shot below says that TiVo thinks its 1080P source. According to Amazon, the episode is encoded at 5 MBps for TiVo.. If you play a stream on the Roku in HD, it's encoded at 2.5 MBps for 720P.

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post #465 of 1356 Old 09-05-2011, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by RangerOne View Post

Reading the thread, I also thought that Amazon only did 720P. Then I remembered there was a way to get 1080P content from Amazon Instant Video but not with Prime (or with the Roku). When you purchase or rent a title and download it to the TiVo Premiere, some titles are in 1080P. An example is the latest season of Doctor Who.

The screen shot below says that TiVo thinks its 1080P source. According to Amazon, the episode is encoded at 5 MBps for TiVo.. If you play a stream on the Roku in HD, it's encoded at 2.5 MBps for 720P.


Considering that buying a download of a film at Amazon is around $10 - and a short time rental is $3 or so - I'm not going to buy a TiVo for that - I use the free Prime streaming for things I'm trying to decide whether to buy or for one-shot viewing. If I want something, I'll pay for a disk.

This is particularly the case since my projector makes a well-done 720p stream look like 1080p: look at "Pushing Daisies" (under TV) for example.

The bigger draw for the disks are their lossless audio tracks: Dolby TrueHD, DTS HD MA, and LPCM.

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post #466 of 1356 Old 09-05-2011, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RangerOne View Post

Reading the thread, I also thought that Amazon only did 720P. Then I remembered there was a way to get 1080P content from Amazon Instant Video but not with Prime (or with the Roku). When you purchase or rent a title and download it to the TiVo Premiere, some titles are in 1080P. An example is the latest season of Doctor Who.

The screen shot below says that TiVo thinks its 1080P source. According to Amazon, the episode is encoded at 5 MBps for TiVo.. If you play a stream on the Roku in HD, it's encoded at 2.5 MBps for 720P.


After sitting down and watching the episode (it had a lot of pixelization), the TV was reporting that it was 1080i not 1080p. So, while I know it's technically capable of doing 1080p, is there any content that actually is in 1080p? I also checked on TiVo's web site and it states that Amazon Instant is 1080p on the Premiere. Investigating...
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post #467 of 1356 Old 09-06-2011, 04:12 PM
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I was going to say, you can't get Doctor Who in 1080p because BBC HD is 1080i. You're probably going to have to try finding something else that is natively 1080p.
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post #468 of 1356 Old 09-06-2011, 05:00 PM
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Ahhh, that's better. Sons of Anarchy appears to be 1080P / 24 fps. Beautiful!

Given how bad the pixelization was on Dr. Who, perhaps it was just a bad encode.

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post #469 of 1356 Old 09-06-2011, 07:37 PM
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I've been enjoying Amazon Prime Instant Video on my PC but I'm looking for a good device so I can enjoy HD content AND 5.1 sound in my home theater setup.

Aside from the Roku 2, are there any other devices that support 5.1 sound from Amazon Instant Video?

I'd love to get something that has Netflix Dolby Digital, Amazon 5.1 and VuDu and was about to get the Panasonic BDT-210, but I read that it only has stereo output for Amazon. Bummer. Roku has 5.1 for Amazon but doesn't have VuDu. Another strike. Maybe I have to have buy both devices, which I'd like to avoid. But my main priority is getting 5.1 audio for Amazon Instant Video, so looking for recommendations on that.

Thanks!
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post #470 of 1356 Old 09-06-2011, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingturtle View Post

I've been enjoying Amazon Prime Instant Video on my PC but I'm looking for a good device so I can enjoy HD content AND 5.1 sound in my home theater setup.

Aside from the Roku 2, are there any other devices that support 5.1 sound from Amazon Instant Video?

I'd love to get something that has Netflix Dolby Digital, Amazon 5.1 and VuDu and was about to get the Panasonic BDT-210, but I read that it only has stereo output for Amazon. Bummer. Roku has 5.1 for Amazon but doesn't have VuDu. Another strike. Maybe I have to have buy both devices, which I'd like to avoid. But my main priority is getting 5.1 audio for Amazon Instant Video, so looking for recommendations on that.

Thanks!

Another advantage of the Roku 2 is that it is one of two devices which can currently play the 1080p Netflix encodings. If it could do VUDU I might never use my BDT110 again .

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post #471 of 1356 Old 09-06-2011, 09:12 PM
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I read the Sony SMP-N200 will have all the major streaming players, something no one has been able to do as of yet. (Hoping the Roku 2 gets Vudu to also be in that group.)

Im not sure if it will offer Netflix in 1080p/5.1 and Amazon in 5.1 however.
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post #472 of 1356 Old 09-07-2011, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

Another advantage of the Roku 2 is that it is one of two devices which can currently play the 1080p Netflix encodings. If it could do VUDU I might never use my BDT110 again .

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Roku 2 doesn't actually support outputting the 1080p Netflix streams in 24p does it? It still outputs them at 60p?

I see this as a big issue myself. Personally, if it can't stream proper 24p, then 1080p is of little value for me.

Alas, if Sony would just pull the broom stick out and allow for 24p on streamed sources through the PS3, Netflix and Vudu would be a viable medium for real movie watching in my house.

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post #473 of 1356 Old 09-07-2011, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Tidnab View Post

I was going to say, you can't get Doctor Who in 1080p because BBC HD is 1080i. You're probably going to have to try finding something else that is natively 1080p.

It doesn't matter that the show is shown at 1080i on the BBC. The original masters, from which streams would be encoded, are progressive.

This is true of most shows throughout the history of TV. Most exceptions are from 1990s. Some show in this era were unfortunately mastered on interlaced video tape. They were still typically shot on film, but mastered on interlaced video. Most notably, this includes Star Trek The Next Generation. The (video) masters for that are interlaced and remastering from the original film would be expensive due to special effects which may or may not have ever existed on film (in progressive form).

No show (that I know of) has been mastered in interlaced form, for quite a few years.
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post #474 of 1356 Old 09-07-2011, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by dfiler View Post
The original masters, from which streams would be encoded, are progressive.
I think it may be a gross assumption to claim that all streaming shows are actually mastered from the original master.

Or put another way, some of the stuff I've seen I don't know how you could end up with such a poor result if you started with anything close to the master.

-Suntan
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post #475 of 1356 Old 09-07-2011, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post
It doesn't matter that the show is shown at 1080i on the BBC. The original masters, from which streams would be encoded, are progressive.

This is true of most shows throughout the history of TV. Most exceptions are from 1990s. Some show in this era were unfortunately mastered on interlaced video tape. They were still typically shot on film, but mastered on interlaced video. Most notably, this includes Star Trek The Next Generation. The (video) masters for that are interlaced and remastering from the original film would be expensive due to special effects which may or may not have ever existed on film (in progressive form).

No show (that I know of) has been mastered in interlaced form, for quite a few years.
When the Blu-ray sets of the original Star Trek, which was shot on 35mm film, were issued, I posted a question somewhere about whether TNG, DS9, and VOY were stranded, having been shot on SD video. The response that was posted was that those shows were actually shot on film and only edited on video, so that it would be reasonably easy to go back to the original film elements, which were preserved, scan them in at higher definition, and use the timecode on the original videotapes to find the edit points and recreate the shows in high def. The effects should be re-done in high def - standard definition effects look cheesy in high def. (Watch the deleted scenes on Galaxy Quest to see what I mean, particularly the battle with the rock monster.)

What they did with the original series went beyond that to cleaning scratches and dirt off the images, boosting contrast and color rendition, and even redoing the special effects when they could do so without impinging on a live actor: creating a CGI version of the outside of the ship for new outer space shots and even improving "through the window" and background matte shots. They also re-recorded the music and placed the dialog and effects into a surround sound mix. (The original series was distributed on film, which meant repeatedly copying the original edited masters, which was why they were so worn. The film masters of those series that were edited on tape should be in much better shape.)

The story is that when Leonard Nimoy heard that they were fooling around with his legacy (the original series) he flipped out, so they brought him in to see what they had done, and he was mightily pleased - it made the old series visually appealing to new generations of fans. For the purists, the Blu-ray lets you toggle back and forth between the original version and the new version at any point, letting you watch in scratched and faded color and mono if you prefer.

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post #476 of 1356 Old 09-07-2011, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan View Post
I think it may be a gross assumption to claim that all streaming shows are actually mastered from the original master.

Or put another way, some of the stuff I've seen I don't know how you could end up with such a poor result if you started with anything close to the master.
Quite true. We're looking at you Starz.

Point being though, that just because it was 1080i on the BBC doesn't preclude it from being 1080p streaming.

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Originally Posted by Philnick View Post
When the Blu-ray sets of the original Star Trek, which was shot on 35mm film, were issued, I posted a question somewhere about whether TNG, DS9, and VOY were stranded, having been shot on SD video. The response that was posted was that those shows were actually shot on film and only edited on video, so that it would be reasonably easy to go back to the original film elements, which were preserved, scan them in at higher definition, and use the timecode on the original videotapes to find the edit points and recreate the shows in high def. The effects should be re-done in high def - standard definition effects look cheesy in high def. (Watch the deleted scenes on Galaxy Quest to see what I mean, particularly the battle with the rock monster.)

What they did with the original series went beyond that to cleaning scratches and dirt off the images, boosting contrast and color rendition, and even redoing the special effects when they could do so without impinging on a live actor: creating a CGI version of the outside of the ship for new outer space shots and even improving "through the window" and background matte shots. They also re-recorded the music and placed the dialog and effects into a surround sound mix. (The original series was distributed on film, which meant repeatedly copying the original edited masters, which was why they were so worn. The film masters of those series that were edited on tape should be in much better shape.)

The story is that when Leonard Nimoy heard that they were fooling around with his legacy (the original series) he flipped out, so they brought him in to see what they had done, and he was mightily pleased - it made the old series visually appealing to new generations of fans. For the purists, the Blu-ray lets you toggle back and forth between the original version and the new version at any point, letting you watch in scratched and faded color and mono if you prefer.
A truly fascinating topic! There are quite lengthy and informed discussions about it on other boards. But rather than getting side-tracked here, I was just trying to point out that almost all shows could rather easily be streamed in 1080p... except for those shows from that brief era of history between cut film masters and fully digital editing.
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post #477 of 1356 Old 09-07-2011, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Suntan View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Roku 2 doesn't actually support outputting the 1080p Netflix streams in 24p does it? It still outputs them at 60p?

I see this as a big issue myself. Personally, if it can't stream proper 24p, then 1080p is of little value for me.

Alas, if Sony would just pull the broom stick out and allow for 24p on streamed sources through the PS3, Netflix and Vudu would be a viable medium for real movie watching in my house.

-Suntan
The Roku 2 does not offer 24 fps for Netflix. It outputs at 60Hz or 30 fps only and there does not appear to be a setting to change it. I'm sure if enough people ask Roku, they may add it in (I did the other day!).
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post #478 of 1356 Old 09-07-2011, 12:27 PM
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Thanks for the replies, guys in regards to devices with 5.1 audio with Amazon Instant Video. That Sony Blu-ray player looks promising.

I'll probably just get a Roku 2 for now.
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post #479 of 1356 Old 09-07-2011, 02:31 PM
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I don't have any DVDs of Star Trek:TNG, DS9, or VOY (though I did tape many of them when they first aired), but the motion jaggies I've seen (which look like someone held a comb up to the screen) on the SD Amazon streams through my Roku XD|S of "Encounter at Farpoint" and "The Guardian" - the debut episodes of TNG and VOY - are far worse than what I get when watching SD DVDs on either my Panasonic Blu-ray player or my old Denon upscaling "universal" DVD player (which at this point stays in my system to play SACD and DVD-Audio disks and HDCD CDs). Even old SD videotapes don't have that problem!

I gather from the comments I've seen here that this is not unique to the Roku but is there with all players - I know I see the same artifacts using my computer to watch those streams.

I suspect that what we've seeing is a bush-league job of deinterlacing. Better they send the SD stuff through at 480i than mangled 480p, and let our displays do the deinterlacing!

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post #480 of 1356 Old 09-07-2011, 02:58 PM
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Philnick, I've noticed the same thing. Happens on either my Roku or PC. It's odd that it would happen with Amazon and not with the same episodes on Netflix. Maybe they got different transcodes than they did?
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