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post #2071 of 2256 Old 11-10-2016, 02:33 PM
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It must be tough for Amazon to gauge the reaction to its streaming offerings. I record a few things, but watch very little - it's just an add-on perk for the free 2-day shipping. Much as I like Bosch, I would never pay for Prime if it was just a streaming service...

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post #2072 of 2256 Old 11-10-2016, 07:00 PM
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It's not tough at all. Like Netflix and all other video on demand services, they get instant data results for each customer. What is watched, time it's watched, whether you watch all the way through, how many episodes are viewed. They know everything about what's being streamed.

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post #2073 of 2256 Old 11-11-2016, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by saprano View Post
The new UI for TV shows is terrible. I don't need to see a thumbnail. I find them spoilery.

Besides that, did Amazon improve the streaming quality? To me the PQ is better than i remember it.
Exactly which show did you watch that looked improved? Curious since Amazon is using lower bitstreams on some their shows.

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post #2074 of 2256 Old 11-11-2016, 11:24 AM
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PQ improves as compression tech gets better with lower bitstreams. Amazon looks great to me.
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post #2075 of 2256 Old 11-11-2016, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr.G View Post
Exactly which show did you watch that looked improved? Curious since Amazon is using lower bitstreams on some their shows.
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Originally Posted by Gary J View Post
PQ improves as compression tech gets better with lower bitstreams. Amazon looks great to me.
Yeah, it was my understanding that Amazon's decision to lower its bitrate was the result of an improved compression algorithm, which made the stream quite a bit smaller.

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post #2076 of 2256 Old 11-11-2016, 12:33 PM
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Netflix has been analyzing every title and creating custom bit rate ladders. Their old fixed bit rate ladder had 1080p at 4300- and 5800 Kbps; I've seen 1080p at as high as 7500- and as low as 1200 Kbps with their new custom bit rate ladders.

Amazon used to do 1080p at 10000 Kbps (and 720p at around 3500). What are they doing now?

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post #2077 of 2256 Old 11-11-2016, 04:45 PM
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Amazon in their Prime (pun intended) was streaming at 12 Mbps - outdoing even VUDU. But now I've been measuring around 3.5 Mbps or less on some of their Originals.

That's a very efficient encoder! And although they look acceptable on my system (we're talking 1080p not 4K) they are nothing to brag about.

I subscribe to Prime for the shipping so it really doesn't matter to me what encoding they use. I was just curious why someone thought it looked better than before.

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post #2078 of 2256 Old 11-11-2016, 07:56 PM
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Yeah, I never saw 12 Mbps; I was told by someone claiming to be an Amazon engineering employee that it was 10 Mbps. It's variable bit rate so you might see peaks above 10 Mbps if you were watching it on a graph. When I used to measure these things I'd make a graph of 10 minutes and average and that's the average I saw for Amazon. (I recall that I used the same 10 minutes of the same film that was available from all the services, which was an encoder-challenging martial-arts fighting sequence in the rain).

Most use variable bit rate; VUDU, on the other hand uses fixed.

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post #2079 of 2256 Old 11-13-2016, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post
Yeah, I never saw 12 Mbps; I was told by someone claiming to be an Amazon engineering employee that it was 10 Mbps. It's variable bit rate so you might see peaks above 10 Mbps if you were watching it on a graph. When I used to measure these things I'd make a graph of 10 minutes and average and that's the average I saw for Amazon. (I recall that I used the same 10 minutes of the same film that was available from all the services, which was an encoder-challenging martial-arts fighting sequence in the rain).

Most use variable bit rate; VUDU, on the other hand uses fixed.
Yes, you're right, I was misremembering. We had a discussion about the 10 Mbps speed a few years ago. You thought it was ludicrous that Amazon was using a speed that some people could not maintain. Well it seems that they were listening because I haven't seen that 1080p speed for quite a while. I watched the recently added movie The Sea of Trees (2016) last night and it streamed at 3.5 Mbps which seems to be their de facto speed for 1080p now. Their higher speeds seem reserved for their 4K material.

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post #2080 of 2256 Old 11-13-2016, 10:17 AM
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Yes, you're right, I was misremembering. We had a discussion about the 10 Mbps speed a few years ago. You thought it was ludicrous that Amazon was using a speed that some people could not maintain.

Obviously it's less ludicrous as time marches on. My cable company periodically hugely boosts my bandwidth with increases in the cap (which they don't seem to enforce anyway) with no increase in the price of the package. Currently it's 150 Mbps with a 1TB cap; when I said that it was probably 25 Mbps with 200 GB cap. Still, there are plenty of people who opt for cheaper, slower service with lower, enforced caps (or don't have high speed service available).

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post #2081 of 2256 Old 11-13-2016, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr.G View Post
Exactly which show did you watch that looked improved? Curious since Amazon is using lower bitstreams on some their shows.
Everything in general. Could be a placebo but i was surprised how good movies look. It's better than Netflix imo. Dark scenes have no compression artifacts like they do with Netflix.

Again, maybe it's a placebo but i used the service plenty of times and coming back to it a few days ago had a noticeable difference in streaming quality. It even ramps up to 1080p more efficiently.

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post #2082 of 2256 Old 11-13-2016, 05:39 PM
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What I have seen from Amazon HD is the device has some bearing on it. The Roku Ultra stream from am HD tv show looks better than my UHD player and 2nd gen Firetv.

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post #2083 of 2256 Old 11-14-2016, 05:16 AM
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The New Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote is enough to make you find new homes for any older Fire devices.
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post #2084 of 2256 Old 11-19-2016, 03:24 AM
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Any rumors on a contract renewel for HBO legacy content on Prime once the contract is up in 2017? Or is it as good as gone now that HBO Now exists?
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post #2085 of 2256 Old 11-19-2016, 07:55 AM
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Any rumors on a contract renewel for HBO legacy content on Prime once the contract is up in 2017? Or is it as good as gone now that HBO Now exists?
When Amazon and HBO signed a multi-year contract in 2014 there was a built-in 3 year delay on some their shows which are due to arrive in 2017. Before HBO Now there was/is HBO Go. So I don't think there is any immediate danger of a HBO/Amazon breakup.
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post #2086 of 2256 Old 11-19-2016, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by saprano View Post
Everything in general. Could be a placebo but i was surprised how good movies look. It's better than Netflix imo. Dark scenes have no compression artifacts like they do with Netflix.

Again, maybe it's a placebo but i used the service plenty of times and coming back to it a few days ago had a noticeable difference in streaming quality. It even ramps up to 1080p more efficiently.
I don't think it's a placebo but not all shows look the same on my system. Their Original shows seem to stream at 3.5 Mbps but last night I watched the recently added movie Equals (2016) and it looked great. Checking my router stats showed it had streamed at 10 Mbps. So now whenever I watch something on Amazon Prime I check my estimate of 1080p visual quality against my numbers. One usually bears out the other.

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post #2087 of 2256 Old 11-19-2016, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post
Netflix has been analyzing every title and creating custom bit rate ladders. Their old fixed bit rate ladder had 1080p at 4300- and 5800 Kbps; I've seen 1080p at as high as 7500- and as low as 1200 Kbps with their new custom bit rate ladders.

Amazon used to do 1080p at 10000 Kbps (and 720p at around 3500). What are they doing now?
I'm seeing nice encodes at low bitrates on Netflix and Hulu. I haven't tried anything on Amazon though I have it set up on my new 4K Roku TV. I'm still sorting out ARC problems.

One thing that has happened was going from constrained or constant bitrate files to variable bitrate high profile. But some of the smaller file sizes on Netflix and Hulu don't make any sense unless they are querying the device for HEVC support.
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post #2088 of 2256 Old 11-19-2016, 02:18 PM
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I may have already asked this question before and if that's the case, my apologies for asking it again.

I tried HBO Now via the Amazon Fire Stick and I noticed for one, it didn't look very clean, it was not blurry but not sharp at all, and two, it was not delivered at 24fps. Is that a limitation of the Stick or is that the standard format from HBO Now? If that is the case, does the Fire TV box version supply 24fps?

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post #2089 of 2256 Old 11-19-2016, 04:48 PM
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I may have already asked this question before and if that's the case, my apologies for asking it again.

I tried HBO Now via the Amazon Fire Stick and I noticed for one, it didn't look very clean, it was not blurry but not sharp at all, and two, it was not delivered at 24fps. Is that a limitation of the Stick or is that the standard format from HBO Now? If that is the case, does the Fire TV box version supply 24fps?

Thanks
You may want to check here: http://www.aftvnews.com/how-to-access-hidden-resolution-options-on-the-fire-tv/
The secret menu seems to offer rez settings. That being said, I would assume HBO Now is similar to HBO Go which I watch regularly on my Roku's. Twenty four fps or not, it's PQ rivals Netflix and Amazon on my 4 TV's.

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post #2090 of 2256 Old 11-19-2016, 04:54 PM
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You may want to check here: http://www.aftvnews.com/how-to-access-hidden-resolution-options-on-the-fire-tv/
The secret menu seems to offer rez settings. That being said, I would assume HBO Now is similar to HBO Go which I watch regularly on my Roku's. Twenty four fps or not, it's PQ rivals Netflix and Amazon on my 4 TV's.

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That's what surprised me as most all of the other OTT services I've used had much better PQ. I'll check that link, thanks!
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post #2091 of 2256 Old 11-20-2016, 12:53 PM
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In some cases it's just an engineering snafu. Someone doesn't realize they haven't implemented a feature users will want. It's that simple (not to mention lame). But in this age where you turn loose a bunch of engineers with no supervision happens all the time. I call it "but we got it working!" while a supervisor would say "yes, but not right."

One streaming service I've been doing a little testing for seems to use their mobile streams on Android TV when it should use the same streams they use for Roku. Hence their streams on Android TV only go up to 540p. Their app was built off the Android TV example code which does not include the query for whether the app is connected to a TV or not (only one line of code needed).
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post #2092 of 2256 Old 11-20-2016, 12:57 PM
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I tried the remote "back door" to adjust the output and got nothing, it justs says Auto. Maybe I'm doing it wrong. I also haven't seen anything definitive that states the Stick will do 24p, I suspect that it simply doesn't do it.
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post #2093 of 2256 Old 11-21-2016, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Conrad View Post
I'm seeing nice encodes at low bitrates on Netflix and Hulu. I haven't tried anything on Amazon though I have it set up on my new 4K Roku TV. I'm still sorting out ARC problems.

One thing that has happened was going from constrained or constant bitrate files to variable bitrate high profile. But some of the smaller file sizes on Netflix and Hulu don't make any sense unless they are querying the device for HEVC support.
Hulu looks much better than it does now. I know it is 1080p as I can see it even on the Roku now which use to be limited to 720p and yes I can easily tell the difference between 720p and 1080p.

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post #2094 of 2256 Old 11-23-2016, 01:05 PM
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I need to run the Android monitor again to see what Hulu is delivering streamwise these days. "Lucifer" had some problems ramping up and then dropped down for a couple minutes around 8:40 PM probably due to demand. "Chance" OTOH was high PQ all the way through and has to be 1080p. I just set up Roku development so might see if their monitor can also tell me what is going on and that would include Amazon though for the moment I can't get anything streaming on the Roku TV beyond stereo though the setting say it can be DD+.
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post #2095 of 2256 Old 11-26-2016, 02:43 AM
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http://decider.com/2016/11/17/hbo-ca...ainst-netflix/

"In 2014, HBO made a deal with Amazon ? $300 million over three years, according to Recode?s Peter Kafka ? to provide HBO?s back catalog of shows like The Sopranos and True Blood to Amazon Prime subscribers and to gain spots on Amazon?s then-new Fire TV devices for HBO NOW and HBO GO.

Two years later, HBO has its apps on every major device and $100 million a year isn?t much for a crown-jewel TV catalog when Netflix is paying $50 million for off-network rights to FX?s American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson. HBO didn?t launch HBO NOW until a year after the 2014 deal with Amazon and streaming services have evolved more toward exclusivity since then, so it would make sense that HBO would take back that catalog and make it exclusive to HBO and HBO now when the deal expires next year."

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post #2096 of 2256 Old 11-28-2016, 03:43 PM
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HBO didn?t launch HBO NOW until a year after the 2014 deal with Amazon and streaming services have evolved more toward exclusivity since then, so it would make sense that HBO would take back that catalog and make it exclusive to HBO and HBO now when the deal expires next year."
At the beginning of the year, I expected CBS was going to pull all their content from Amazon since they launched CBS All Access. They didn't. You can still watch The Good Wife, Twilight Zone and all the Star Trek shows on Prime.

I don't think anyone cares about exclusivity when it comes to old shows / legacy content. They're simply not strong selling points. No one that's paying for HBO Now is doing so to access the Sex and the City and Sopranos archives- they're paying for the new stuff- GoT and Westworld.

The Amazon/HBO partnership is a good one- I hope they'll re-license.
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post #2097 of 2256 Old 12-01-2016, 04:34 PM
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Amazon lets Prime members add HBO and Cinemax to their plans

https://www.engadget.com/2016/12/01/...s-hbo-cinemax/
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post #2098 of 2256 Old 12-01-2016, 04:39 PM
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Amazon lets Prime members add HBO and Cinemax to their plans

https://www.engadget.com/2016/12/01/...s-hbo-cinemax/
I'd say that answers any question about the continuing relationship between Amazon and HBO.

Anyone know if the HBO/Max apps will stream 5.1 audio?
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post #2099 of 2256 Old 12-01-2016, 05:00 PM
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This is great for me, as a Sling TV user now. I have been using Starz and Showtime thru the Amazon app by adding new series to my watch list. Will do the same with HBO and Max as well. Using them thru Amazon seems to work flawlessly and the pricing is pretty good, as well as the PQ. Plus it is easy to cancel when a series ends, and there is going to be a gap before another you want to see.

Seems to be a bug right now though, I was able to watch a little bit of westworld to check it out, but all of the WW episodes are now unavailable.

Peeking in on an episode of Quarry now, which I have seen. PQ is GREAT on the Roku Ultra, better than Directv's and Sling TV's version, and my Marantz reports Dolby Digital + 5.1 from the Roku Ultra.

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post #2100 of 2256 Old 12-01-2016, 07:53 PM
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I'd say that answers any question about the continuing relationship between Amazon and HBO.

Anyone know if the HBO/Max apps will stream 5.1 audio?
Yes, same audio quality that you get when you warch HBO or Cinemax over cable.

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