Originally Posted by David Susilo
The "gold standard" is not MPEG-2 at 19 mpbs. Most blu-ray discs are using AVC at around 22 Mbps (video only), such a far far faaaaaaaaar cry from HDX at 8 Mbps for audio and video. Heck, even my camcorder records audio and video in AVC at 17 Mbps.
So how is 8 Mbps is 90% of 22 Mbps, my calculator can't come up with that number and my eyesight disagrees with that too.
PS: HBO is still a far cry from "nearly perfect and immersive", there are still block noise and colour banding. Too far from "nearly perfect".
The original ATSC broadcasts were 19mpbs with a single channel on a 6mhz 8VSB modulated carrier. That set the gold standard for HD. I did, however, miss the doubling of data when going from 1080i to 1080p though when talking about HDX, although it seems that most of that has been compressed out. Your camcorder is irrelevant, it records that much data because it's not using high-end encoders, so it has to throw more bits at it to get good quality.
The thing is, you're looking at it linearly. It's a non-linear thing. You get past a certain point, and you can be 95% or 98% or even 99% of the way there with half the bitrate, depending on what compression you use. Looking at it the other way around, the bitrates on blu-ray are an extreme example of diminishing returns. Once you get past 8-9mpbs with MPEG-4 AVC in 1080p, the returns are very small for any additional data you add.
I have never had issues with HBO, and ESPN almost always looks, feels, and sounds great. Other channels, like MSNBC, Discovery, our local channels, and TWC are varying degrees of hot messes, with nice sharp pictures when they are stationary, and then rather extreme breakouts of compression artifacts when you have a lot of motion.
I should note that live encoding vs. offline encoding matters. VUDU is just about matching the bitrates DirecTV is using with twice as much visual data (1080p vs. 1080i/720p, albeit with a more advanced version of MPEG-4), and U-Verse has higher bitrates than a lot of the streaming services, but it looks like a thicker, chunkier version of yak than Comcast.
Originally Posted by imagic
No problem. From Amazon's FAQ:What is the quality of the videos?
The video quality we deliver will depend on your internet connection. We'll automatically detect your connection speed and send you the highest quality stream your connection can support. Our standard definition files are comparable to DVD quality and our HD files are even better. Our HD files are streamed in high-quality 720p resolution, or can be downloaded to TiVo at 1080i resolution.
- source: Amazon.com
I checked out Amazon and it's not competitive with the current 1080p offerings from iTunes and Vudu - or even Netflix. Stay tuned for a comparison of "The Art of Flight"
across a number of platforms. Recently it's caught on as the reference Blu-ray for showing off home theater installations. It will be a thorough comparison of sound and visual quality across as many delivery platforms as I can squeeze in. I can tell you - based on initial comparisons - Amazon HD version is among the worst.
I would say that iTunes has a lot of issues. I was watching some of the Curiosity series on iTunes and Amazon, and I was getting one season on one, and one on the other, as I had gotten a bunch of iTunes gift cards, but iTunes only had Season 1. iTunes was having serious artifact issues, while Amazon looked smooth and pleasing to the eye, even though it wasn't in 1080p. I much prefer the look of Amazon's 720 to Apple's crappy 1080. Maybe they are getting better with some of the newer stuff, and the big name movie releases, but from what I saw, it wasn't that great. Certainly not bad, but not as good.
Originally Posted by Ryan1
It's kind of funny, because if a subject with perfect eyesight sits at just over 13 feet from a 40" screen, they will not be able to fully resolve even SD.
The 4k shouting gets even funnier, particularly when people with sub-50" screens start swearing that they will never buy a receiver, or a console, which does not do 4k. Of course, unless they sit 3 feet from their screen, their eyes will never get the benefit, but such is human nature.
Yup. I'm surprised it's that small, but being from a relatively wealthy exurban area, I guess what I see is not usual typical. NYC apartments are, what 2 feet?
4K is a pointless endeavor until we can get the poor quality 720p and 1080i that we have now up to good quality 1080p. We're trying to run before we can walk. Given that a lot of people don't seem to see the difference between HD and SD, (look at Wii Netflix streaming), I don't think there's much of any market for going beyond 1080p. I'd be rather surprised if we ever see more than 3 channels plus Blu-ray or Red-ray or whatever actually in 4k to the home, and everything else is just running really powerful scalers.
Originally Posted by David Susilo
The two of you keep talking about resolution. The biggest problems with cable, streaming are colour banding and block noise. You can see block noise and colour banding easily even at distances triple the theoretical distance what the eyes can resolve. There are a whole lot more in viewing than merely resolution.
True. That's where all my complaints with Comcast fall. 1080i or 720p are fine for broadcast, it's just when the compression artifacts get in there that I have a problem with it.