Netflix vs Amazon vs iTunes vs Vudu vs Roku vs ... - which typically has the best quality audio and video? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 08-22-2012, 02:38 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm hoping to transition my movie watching from primarily DVDs to primarily streamed movies (Ethernet, not WiFi), with some Blu Ray when I absolutely want the highest quality. I don't have a great videophile eye, but HD streamed movies seem acceptable to me, as compared to DVD. I've mostly been streaming movies using DirecTV, which seems pretty good. The problem I have with DirecTV is that it mostly offers only new releases, and the user interface blows for searching and browsing.

I got an Apple TV and have experimented with NetFlix and iTunes. I've been very disappointed with NetFlix. Even though they offer many (most?) movies in HD, they only have 2 channel audio. This isn't acceptable to me - I'm viewing on a high end front projector with a 100 inch screen, and a very nice audio system with all the bells and whistles.

So, any suggestions? I've tried searching this forum and googling for reviews, but I can't find any that talk about audio quality - that NetFlix doesn't offer most of their HD in DD, nor do most talk about the video quality. As you know, HD isn't HD if it's over compressed.

Thanks!

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post #2 of 13 Old 08-22-2012, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave T View Post

I'm hoping to transition my movie watching from primarily DVDs to primarily streamed movies (Ethernet, not WiFi), with some Blu Ray when I absolutely want the highest quality. I don't have a great videophile eye, but HD streamed movies seem acceptable to me, as compared to DVD. I've mostly been streaming movies using DirecTV, which seems pretty good. The problem I have with DirecTV is that it mostly offers only new releases, and the user interface blows for searching and browsing.
I got an Apple TV and have experimented with NetFlix and iTunes. I've been very disappointed with NetFlix. Even though they offer many (most?) movies in HD, they only have 2 channel audio. This isn't acceptable to me - I'm viewing on a high end front projector with a 100 inch screen, and a very nice audio system with all the bells and whistles.
So, any suggestions? I've tried searching this forum and googling for reviews, but I can't find any that talk about audio quality - that NetFlix doesn't offer most of their HD in DD, nor do most talk about the video quality. As you know, HD isn't HD if it's over compressed.
Thanks!
- Dave

You've got a high end projector, 100" screen and you're happy with streamed video? Amazing.

Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
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post #3 of 13 Old 08-23-2012, 09:03 AM
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You've got a high end projector, 100" screen and you're happy with streamed video? Amazing.

Online stream video....amazing +1

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post #4 of 13 Old 08-23-2012, 09:28 AM
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... a very nice audio system with all the bells and whistles.

And you're happy with streamed video from online services? Amazing rolleyes.gif

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post #5 of 13 Old 08-24-2012, 07:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Jeeze. Thanks for all the sarcasm, folks! Anyone have a useful response to my questions?
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post #6 of 13 Old 08-24-2012, 08:06 AM
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Jeeze. Thanks for all the sarcasm, folks! Anyone have a useful response to my questions?

You'll get a better response in the Video Download Services forum.

http://www.avsforum.com/f/184/video-download-services-hardware

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post #7 of 13 Old 08-24-2012, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, Mr. G. Anything would be better than the response I got here...
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post #8 of 13 Old 08-24-2012, 08:49 AM
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Online streaming is dependent of internet speed from the provider to the user. So even if you've got a super duper speed the video and audio quality can be affected by any errors. So Oldflix will downgrade the quality to fix the connection. Ive found Vudu to have better video and sound quality over all than Oldflix.

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post #9 of 13 Old 08-24-2012, 09:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. Will Vudu generally offer 1080P and DD for movies? Does it matter what streaming device you use? Currently, I have an HTPC, an Oppo BD-93 Blu Ray player, and an Apple TV, to choose from.

And have you compared anything besides Netflix to Vudu?
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post #10 of 13 Old 08-24-2012, 09:39 AM
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Dave, VUDU has MUCH higher quality video (1080p on many titles) than the other streaming services and does seem to offer DD5.1 on a large percentage of titles, but you pay for each movie rental. You'll also need a decent internet connection to be able to stream the highest quality rentals; I'd say 10 - 15 Mbps just to be on the safe side. There's a bandwidth test somewhere on their website.

Edit: Here's the VUDU bandwidth test:

http://speedtest.vudu.com/cdn1/

Some of the HDX titles will actually peak above 10 Mbps.

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post #11 of 13 Old 08-24-2012, 10:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. My Comcast connection tested out at 18Mbps, so I think I'm good. So when you say that Vudu has higher quality - you mean higher bitrate/less compression? They all seem to offer 1080P on many (most?) of their titles. Have you seen DirecTV streaming? That seems pretty good, except for frequent blotchiness/posterization on very dark scenes.

Do you recommend a streaming device over my Oppo or Apple TV?
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post #12 of 13 Old 08-24-2012, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave T View Post

Thanks. My Comcast connection tested out at 18Mbps, so I think I'm good. So when you say that Vudu has higher quality - you mean higher bitrate/less compression?

Yes, VUDU streams the HDX titles at a higher bitrate than any other service that I'm aware of; probably twice (and then again some) the bitrate that netflix uses.

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Originally Posted by Dave T View Post

Have you seen DirecTV streaming? That seems pretty good, except for frequent blotchiness/posterization on very dark scenes.

I'm not familiar with DirectTV streaming. The blotchiness/posterization/macro-blocking is probably the result of high compression; those artifacts make me cringe!

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Do you recommend a streaming device over my Oppo or Apple TV?

I've ended up having regrets over just about every single media streamer that I've recommended in the past, so I tend to avoid direct recommendations these days. wink.gif My little Foxconn Mini-PC combined with a Roku and a blu-ray player that I use for VUDU do pretty much everything that I need right now. I really wish that I could consolidate all of those into a single device, but there's just nothing available that does it all. frown.gif

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post #13 of 13 Old 08-24-2012, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave T View Post

Jeeze. Thanks for all the sarcasm, folks! Anyone have a useful response to my questions?

I wasn't trying to be sarcastic - I was just surprised.

I find even watching a DVD a bit of a let down compared to watching a Blu-Ray.

Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
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