Fox to Sell Digital Downloads of Films Before Their Blu-ray Release Dates - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 142 Old 09-21-2012, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by donthetech View Post

The WDTV Live Hub allows downloading from VUDU...

Good to know--thanks. Devices which allow downloading (all of which of course would need HDDs or other high capacity permanent store) give people the chance to view the titles at maximum quality level when they don't have sufficient bandwidth on their network service to stream them. Though it might take two or three times as long to get the title down as it will to actually watch it, what does it matter, when you get to watch 9 Mbps VUDU 1080p HDX when you only have 2 Mbps network service smile.gif.

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post #92 of 142 Old 09-21-2012, 09:26 PM
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I watched a bunch of features about Prometheus on the Xbox which whipped me into a frenzy of anticipation so I impulsively decided to buy it from VUDU, spending $9 out of pocket and a $5.99 credit for registering my Roku 2 (a player for the Roku 2--only, no older Rokus--came out yesterday). I decided to download it to my PS3 for viewing to avoid any possible dip in quality during streaming due to bandwidth or server response fluctuations--it is Friday night after all. Unfortunately my old launch model PS3 can't bitstream DD+ to my AVR but I'm sure that it does a fine job of rendering it into multi-channel LPCM.

EDIT: Pretty good flick, though there was definitely some detectable encoding artifact, primarily fine grain posterization in large monochromatic areas like skyscapes. It's possible that other vendors did a better job than VUDU HDX but it seems unlikely. Didn't ruin the experience for me.

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post #93 of 142 Old 09-24-2012, 05:49 PM
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This Fox announcement is only the beginning. It is now clear why Netflix moved to concentrate on streaming TV last year. The major content owners (Viacom, Time/Warner, Sony, Disney, Comcast/GE, and News Corp), who control 85% of Hollywood content, will simply set up their own download/streaming services for their films.

Another thought on this, don't expect prices to drop on digital compared to hard copy. Those who own this content are very large corporations. Once digitized for downloading or streaming, they can afford to sit on the films for as long as it takes to sell. In short, meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
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post #94 of 142 Old 09-25-2012, 05:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Taperwood View Post

will simply set up their own download/streaming services for their films.

With the exception of Disney they have their own streaming service, its called UltraViolet. Its been available almost a year now.


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post #95 of 142 Old 09-25-2012, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Taperwood View Post

This Fox announcement is only the beginning.


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Another thought on this, don't expect prices to drop on digital compared to hard copy. Those who own this content are very large corporations. Once digitized for downloading or streaming, they can afford to sit on the films for as long as it takes to sell. In short, meet the new boss, same as the old boss.


Just keep talkin'. I'll let you know when you're right.
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post #96 of 142 Old 09-26-2012, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Wendell R. Breland View Post

With the exception of Disney they have their own streaming service, its called UltraViolet. Its been available almost a year now.

Wendell, I'm not convinced the public will embrace UV. I would consider them a middleman and at risk, like Vudu or Amazon, to which you could make the same argument. We'll see what happens when the first year of rights expire and whether UV will try to extract more money. My comment was more along the thought of the studios selling downloads directly to the public and bypassing all middlemen, or even allowing unlimited access to their entire library ala Netflix.

Also, what works to the studio's advantage is that their film libraries are not that large, <10,000 films per studio, so the infrastructure is more easily manageable.


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post #97 of 142 Old 09-26-2012, 09:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taperwood View Post

Wendell, I'm not convinced the public will embrace UV. I would consider them a middleman and at risk, like Vudu or Amazon, to which you could make the same argument.

I doubt the studios have any desire to sell or rent direct to the public. That would PO so many big folks, i.e., Walmart, Best Buy, Target, Amazon, DirecTV, Dish, Comcast, and many others. Here we are at almost 2013 and still no al la carté HBO, Showtime, etc. and it appears there is little chance of that changing.

As I see it the landscape has not changed all that much since the inception of home movies, the content owners just see the digital outlet as a incremental income for their content.


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post #98 of 142 Old 09-27-2012, 05:41 AM
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If anyone has info on the digital sales of Prometheus then please post links to said info. I wager that info will not be made public.


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post #99 of 142 Old 09-27-2012, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Wendell R. Breland View Post

If anyone has info on the digital sales of Prometheus then please post links to said info. I wager that info will not be made public.

Well, I can vouch that they have made at least $15.

Just keep talkin'. I'll let you know when you're right.
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post #100 of 142 Old 09-27-2012, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by cshawnmcdonald View Post

Well, I can vouch that they have made at least $15.

With my $9 they made at least $24.00 tongue.gif
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post #101 of 142 Old 09-28-2012, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by donthetech View Post

The WDTV Live Hub allows downloading from VUDU...


I don't believe this is the case any longer. I have the Vudu box in my home and even it has been updated with new software to make it streaming only. When the new software first came out it was optional, but it is not any longer. So, even though it probably downloaded originally, I don't believe it does any longer.

If I am wrong, I trust someone will correct me.

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post #102 of 142 Old 09-28-2012, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by larrimore View Post

I don't believe this is the case any longer. I have the Vudu box in my home and even it has been updated with new software to make it streaming only. When the new software first came out it was optional, but it is not any longer. So, even though it probably downloaded originally, I don't believe it does any longer.
If I am wrong, I trust someone will correct me.

Ok your corrected....

Yes you can download onto the Live Hub, this is a new feature for the Hub. I just downloaded Prometheus.
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post #103 of 142 Old 09-29-2012, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by larrimore View Post

I don't believe this is the case any longer. I have the Vudu box in my home and even it has been updated with new software to make it streaming only. When the new software first came out it was optional, but it is not any longer. So, even though it probably downloaded originally, I don't believe it does any longer.
If I am wrong, I trust someone will correct me.

I had a VUDU box prior to getting the Live Hub........The HUB gives a much better experience......it is more versatile..
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post #104 of 142 Old 09-29-2012, 07:52 PM
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I would be fine with downloading as long as it comes with loss-less audio tracks and full 1080P resolution.


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post #105 of 142 Old 09-30-2012, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by john barlow View Post

I would be fine with downloading as long as it comes with loss-less audio tracks and full 1080P resolution.

Lossless audio streams often exceed the data rate of the entire mux from IPTV providers so I would not expect to see it anytime soon so don’t get rid of your disc.

I have done just four DVD to UV (HDX) titles. To my great surprise one title (Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome) was cropped and zoomed to fill a 1.78 screen. The other three titles showed very little improvement in PQ and no gain in AQ. That does it for me, no more DVD to UV.


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post #106 of 142 Old 09-30-2012, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Otter0911 View Post

With my $9 they made at least $24.00 tongue.gif

Up to $33.00 with my purchase.

I would of waited for the BR release, but that $5.99 credit they gave me for having a Roku tempted me since I always wanted to see it, but did not have a chance to see it over the summer.
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post #107 of 142 Old 09-30-2012, 01:32 PM
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I would of waited for the BR release, but that $5.99 credit they gave me for having a Roku tempted me...
Same here--I probably wouldn't have bought it without the credit for registering my Roku smile.gif.

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post #108 of 142 Old 10-01-2012, 05:09 PM
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They'll have to pull the blu-rays out of my dead hands. I want my HD AUDIO!
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post #109 of 142 Old 10-13-2012, 03:50 PM
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UV does have lossless codecs as part of their specs.......I guess for the future expansion, maybe for downloads when CFF is deployed.....
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post #110 of 142 Old 10-14-2012, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by donthetech View Post

UV does have lossless codecs as part of their specs

Link please. Could not find on the UV site.


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post #111 of 142 Old 10-14-2012, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendell R. Breland View Post

Link please. Could not find on the UV site.

From here in the UltraViolet FAQ:
Quote:
UltraViolet files use stereo MPEG-4 AAC LC audio (ISO/IEC 14496-3) as a required base format, with optional multi-channel AAC, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD (MLP), DTS, DTS HD, DTS Master Audio, and DTS Express (low bit rate).

The media profiles described in the FAQ (just below the bit I quoted) would indicate that lossless audio is only allowed with 1080p video. The spec supports audio at wildly high bit rates, much higher than on any BD to date.

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post #112 of 142 Old 10-14-2012, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post


Were is Dolby + for 1080? That FAQ looks like a work in progress.
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The spec supports audio at wildly high bit rates, much higher than on any BD to date.
That is a hilarious comment!! Just how many UV titles have lossless audio? AFAIK, NONE!! How many BD titles have lossless audio, many and counting. For those that want to count can look here.


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post #113 of 142 Old 10-14-2012, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendell R. Breland View Post

That is a hilarious comment!! Just how many UV titles have lossless audio? AFAIK, NONE!! How many BD titles have lossless audio, many and counting. For those that want to count can look here.

The comment was about the bit rates caps listed: 24.5 Mbps for DTS MA and 18 Mbps for TrueHD. Not nearly every BD has video encoded at 18 Mbps, much less audio. Looking at technical stats at Blu-raystats.com sorted by audio bit rate, there are more than a few discs with 6.9 Mbps 24-bit PCM sound (but no huge number) and only 6 with sound encoded at higher rates, the highest being 14.34 Mbps (some film named Akira).

Looking at those profiles I think that it's trying to say that any of those audio formats can be used with any of the video ones; it should have avoided putting lines between the audio codec names.

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post #114 of 142 Old 10-14-2012, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

The comment was about the bit rates caps listed

I am away so I do not have my BD audio codec charts available but I can assure you the max rate is quite high for both lossless formats.
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24.5 Mbps for DTS MA and 18 Mbps for TrueHD.

Does not matter, there is a big ZERO lossless UV titles available and I wager that will not change for quite some time. As for video, many BD titles have average video rates between 20 to 30 mbps which is two to three times Vudu’s rate. They will play on proper BD players. Vudu HDX is a hit or miss proposition, just look at all the comments in this section.

Not sure why all this is being rehashed again rolleyes.gif


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post #115 of 142 Old 10-14-2012, 06:27 PM
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Wendell, why are you getting so defensive? I'm just laughing at the caps for audio bit rate in the UV spec--it doesn't matter whether anyone's released a UV title with lossless audio or not. You asked for proof that the spec supported it and I gave you a link to some. I'd agree that it'll be a while before anyone offers lossless audio in a stream; VUDU's HDX video+audio is around 9 Mbps and 4+ Mbps is common for lossless audio encodes; I assume that VUDU HDX with lossless audio would average 13 Mbps or more, requiring a connection to streaming servers of around 16 Mbps to keep ahead of it.

Though VUDU's HDX video can be very nice, streaming video+audio haven't yet reached the point where it's AV-ophile stuff. As I posted earlier, I downloaded Prometheus to make sure that I wasn't affected by any dips in available bandwidth or server responsiveness, and while it was pretty nice overall, but there were easily visible encoding artifacts that I would certain hope are not part of the BD.

As for BD video encoding bit rates, you may be right about the range of the average disc, but there are plenty encoded below 20 Mbps, some of the titles. Blu-raystats.com only knows the bit rate of a subset of titles it lists (looks like about a quarter of them), but of that 2300 for which they do list video encoding bit rates, 559 were encoded at <20 Mbps. Some of the titles at lower bit rates are kind of shocking, like Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire at 12.87 Mbps, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines at 13.52 Mbps and Batman Begins at 13.7 Mbps. But not all encodings are equal on a per-bit-by-bit basis--encoding tech improves all the time, providing the same or better quality at lower bit rates.

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post #116 of 142 Old 10-14-2012, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

VUDU's HDX video+audio is around 9 Mbps and 4+ Mbps is common for lossless audio encodes; I assume that VUDU HDX with lossless audio would average 13 Mbps or more, requiring a connection to streaming servers of around 16 Mbps to keep ahead of it.

I see you keep repeating this - but as has been said in the recent debates repeating something doesn't make it true.

Netflix originally had a policy of making sure there was some headroom when deciding which stream was sent to you.

Recent Netflix streamers have used adaptive streaming and I don't think this applies any more - I know you don't agree but my previous experience with 6 Mbps DSL suggested otherwise.

There is no evidence that Vudu needs any headroom - if you have ~ 9Mbbs you will get HDX highest quality.
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post #117 of 142 Old 10-14-2012, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

Though VUDU's HDX video can be very nice, streaming video+audio haven't yet reached the point where it's AV-ophile stuff. As I posted earlier, I downloaded Prometheus to make sure that I wasn't affected by any dips in available bandwidth or server responsiveness, and while it was pretty nice overall, but there were easily visible encoding artifacts that I would certain hope are not part of the BD.

What artifacts did you see - I bought it on HDX and frankly it looked great on my calibrated 55VT30 Plasma TV- my wife said it was like being at the movies.

Can you point to scenes/artifacts - I would like to check them.

Agreed the Blu-Ray should probably look better - but frankly the Vudu HDX looked great.....

Edit - and yes I only bought (owned not rental) after the credits for registering all three of my Roku's.......... so it was sort of free

Edit - I should add we used our BD390 for playback as it can output 24 fps for VUDU as opposed to the ROKU 2 XS which only only output 60 fps.

Edit - We are now 20 Mbps Comcast - so Prometheus was HDX 3 bars
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post #118 of 142 Old 10-15-2012, 12:40 AM
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The artifact that I see, and lots of it, is posterization or "gradient banding". It's everywhere; watching the film some pops up all the time, from the Fox production logo onward. And as I said, I'm not streaming it, but watching a 9.14 Mbps VUDU HDX file downloaded to a PS3 (8481 MB for a 7424 second clip). I may be particularly sensitive to that, like some people are highly sensitive to 2:3 pulldown judder--I can see that if I try, but mostly won't notice it if I don't. I always notice gradient banding though I can easily ignore it.

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post #119 of 142 Old 10-15-2012, 05:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

Wendell, why are you getting so defensive? I'm just laughing at the caps for audio bit rate in the UV spec--it doesn't matter whether anyone's released a UV title with lossless audio or not.

Sorry, not defensive, just pointing out:
Quote:
The spec supports audio at wildly high bit rates, much higher than on any BD to date.

has no meaning because there is no lossless UV titles and the BD specs allow max bit rates that are similar to the max UV rates.

BD Max. Bitrate for audio:

LPCM: 27.648 Mbit/s
Dolby TrueHD: 18.64 Mbit/s
DTS-HD MA: 24.5 Mbit/s


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post #120 of 142 Old 10-15-2012, 07:15 AM
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UV titles aren't available yet for download that will have Lossless audio. However, UV titles with lossless audio should be available to owners of UV titles by the end of this year or early next year. Many of my titles show as having December dates for download availability. We really can't judge what the quality of these files are until there out. But the fact that lossless audio is included in the spec along with 1080P resolutions should indicate that these CFF's will provide very high quality playback. I'm sure it won't be 1:1 with a blu-ray but it might be very close, and for me the convenience out weighs having perfect audio/video if it is almost 1:1 quality of the blu-ray.

Plus you will always have the blu-ray on hand for those times you want more fidelity.

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