A Comparison of Skyfall on iTunes, Vudu, and Blu-ray - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 234 Old 02-16-2013, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by reallynotnick View Post

Wait what film grain? The whole thing was shot digitally on Arri Alexas.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1074638/technical?ref_=tt_dt_spec

Just because it's digital it doesn't mean it won't have grain. Digital noise, in many ways, can look like filmgrain. Furthermore, many digital movies have filmgrain emulation added just like in digital photography too.

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post #92 of 234 Old 02-16-2013, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by David Susilo View Post

BiggAW, if you can't EASiLY tell the difference between HDX and Blu-ray, then there is something absolutely wrong with either your display calibration or your eyesight.

Look, if YOU can't tell the difference, more power to you, but DON'T you claim that the difference between HDX and Blu-ray is negligible, because it's NOT rolleyes.gif
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Originally Posted by David Susilo View Post

BiggAW, if you can't EASiLY tell the difference between HDX and Blu-ray, then there is something absolutely wrong with either your display calibration or your eyesight.

Look, if YOU can't tell the difference, more power to you, but DON'T you claim that the difference between HDX and Blu-ray is negligible, because it's NOT rolleyes.gif

I have good eyesight, and good display calibration. I can see Comcast's compression artifacts on almost every show/channel I watch. I can't see the difference between HDX and Blu-Ray. I understand there is lossiness, the issue is, on a good sized TV in a smallish room (I'm 9 feet from a 60" TV), it is physically impossible for a human to tell the difference between HDX and Blu-Ray. Amazon is like 90% as good as HDX/Blu-Ray (not quite as sharp), but iTunes, in my experience, has had a very sharp picture but some nasty compression artifacts that jump right off the screen just like Comcast. Also, if you think about it, the gold standard of HDTV is 19mbps MPEG-2, or a half a QAM, which is what FIOS is using. HDX uses up to 8 or 9mbps with MPEG-4 AVC using VBR, which is exactly in line with the gold standard given that a well tweaked MPEG-4 AVC is twice as efficient as MPEG-2, and it's compression artifacts are much less noticeable. That's also why HBO, ESPN and ESPN 2 look nearly perfect and immersive, while most other channels look like sh*t. Those three channels mandate their bitrate. If you're doing a good job with compression, which HDX is, there's nothing to be gained to the human eye above 8-9mpbs in MPEG-4 AVC or 19mbps on MPEG-2.
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post #93 of 234 Old 02-17-2013, 01:52 AM
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Originally Posted by skibum5000 View Post

So you can afford a 60" set and equipment and then you can't spring $15-18 a month for blockbuster online blu-ray rentals or $2 on a local blu-ray rental?? Streaming isn't free anyway, I mean isn't netflix like $15 or so bucks a months, etc.?
You'd be better off using low end TVs and blu-ray.

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Well, your equipment has nothing to do with this discussion. The lack of caring about PQ and AQ is the thing that baffles me.

In my mind, wasting 3 minutes in pressing skip and/or fast forward is so small compared to wasting 90-minute or so watching garbage quality presentation. I would have not spent $20k plus in building, furnishing and equipped my dedicated HT just watch something that is soft, blocky, filled with colour banding.

Like I said before, renting a blu-ray is only $2, buying a used blu-ray is only (approx) $6. In the grand scheme of things, those expenses are nothing compared to the investment I've already made.


First, I don't think any of the comparisons above are anything close to "garbage quality presentation."

Second, it has nothing to do with money, in many cases, but with convenience and reality.

The reality is that the human eye has limitations. If you have perfect eyesight and are sitting further than 8 feet from that 60" screen, you are not getting the full benefit of 1080p. That's the reality.

Most consumers do not sit 6 feet from their 60" screen. Variations which may be apparent in freeze frames from two feet away will simply not be noticed in a fast moving scene at 9 or 10 feet. In many cases, people just get hung up on numbers and THINK they see a difference, because they know the number, or have spent the money, or are a fan of a brand, or whatever.

It's the same with audio. In blind tests, subjects generally cannot reliable tell the difference between lossless and well done DD or DTS. Keep in mind that such tests are generally done in acoustically quiet environments, which are not reproduced in the vast majority of home theaters. So, you may think you can hear it, but you really can't -- it's most likely that the lossless soundtrack is simply louder (or better mixed in some rare cases), or often, it's just your imagination at work. Just like with $1000 speaker cables or power cords.

Streaming is here to stay, and physical media is fast going the way of vinyl, some just don't know it yet. And it doesn't mean that the perceptual quality of streaming has to be worse, in the real world.
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post #94 of 234 Old 02-17-2013, 02:10 AM
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I can tell the difference between HDX and a bluray on my PN59D6500. I sit about 11 feet back. Had my fiance do a blind tests for me with HDX/BD for Skyfall, Flight, and Hotel Transylvania. In all 3 of them I ended up picking the Bluray over the HDX.

The HDX though wasn't bad at all and I still would've enjoyed it.

No subwoofer I've heard has been able to produce the bass I've experienced in the Corps!

Must..stop...buying...every bluray release...
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post #95 of 234 Old 02-17-2013, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post


I have good eyesight, and good display calibration. I can see Comcast's compression artifacts on almost every show/channel I watch. I can't see the difference between HDX and Blu-Ray. I understand there is lossiness, the issue is, on a good sized TV in a smallish room (I'm 9 feet from a 60" TV), it is physically impossible for a human to tell the difference between HDX and Blu-Ray. Amazon is like 90% as good as HDX/Blu-Ray (not quite as sharp), but iTunes, in my experience, has had a very sharp picture but some nasty compression artifacts that jump right off the screen just like Comcast. Also, if you think about it, the gold standard of HDTV is 19mbps MPEG-2, or a half a QAM, which is what FIOS is using. HDX uses up to 8 or 9mbps with MPEG-4 AVC using VBR, which is exactly in line with the gold standard given that a well tweaked MPEG-4 AVC is twice as efficient as MPEG-2, and it's compression artifacts are much less noticeable. That's also why HBO, ESPN and ESPN 2 look nearly perfect and immersive, while most other channels look like sh*t. Those three channels mandate their bitrate. If you're doing a good job with compression, which HDX is, there's nothing to be gained to the human eye above 8-9mpbs in MPEG-4 AVC or 19mbps on MPEG-2.

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".

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post #96 of 234 Old 02-17-2013, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Ryan1 View Post


First, I don't think any of the comparisons above are anything close to "garbage quality presentation."

Second, it has nothing to do with money, in many cases, but with convenience and reality.

The reality is that the human eye has limitations. If you have perfect eyesight and are sitting further than 8 feet from that 60" screen, you are not getting the full benefit of 1080p. That's the reality.

Most consumers do not sit 6 feet from their 60" screen. Variations which may be apparent in freeze frames from two feet away will simply not be noticed in a fast moving scene at 9 or 10 feet. In many cases, people just get hung up on numbers and THINK they see a difference, because they know the number, or have spent the money, or are a fan of a brand, or whatever.

It's the same with audio. In blind tests, subjects generally cannot reliable tell the difference between lossless and well done DD or DTS. Keep in mind that such tests are generally done in acoustically quiet environments, which are not reproduced in the vast majority of home theaters. So, you may think you can hear it, but you really can't -- it's most likely that the lossless soundtrack is simply louder (or better mixed in some rare cases), or often, it's just your imagination at work. Just like with $1000 speaker cables or power cords.

Streaming is here to stay, and physical media is fast going the way of vinyl, some just don't know it yet. And it doesn't mean that the perceptual quality of streaming has to be worse, in the real world.

Yup, exactly. I didn't even know you had to be within 8 feet of a 60"! That's pretty close. Most people with even 50's aren't that close. One thing I did notice is that Comcast looks a lot worse on my 60 at 9 feet, than on a 55 at like 11 or 12 feet, the compression artifacts are much more obvious.
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post #97 of 234 Old 02-17-2013, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm glad you brought up Comcast. I refuse to pay for cable TV. That's the line I will not cross, quality-wise. That's especially true for on-demand content. I would love to run a comparison, but since I don't have cable, I cannot. Comcast's internet speeds have been amazing though, always faster than the advertised speed.
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Yup, exactly. I didn't even know you had to be within 8 feet of a 60"! That's pretty close. Most people with even 50's aren't that close. One thing I did notice is that Comcast looks a lot worse on my 60 at 9 feet, than on a 55 at like 11 or 12 feet, the compression artifacts are much more obvious.

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post #98 of 234 Old 02-17-2013, 09:41 AM
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I'm glad you brought up Comcast. I refuse to pay for cable TV. That's the line I will not cross, quality-wise. That's especially true for on-demand content. I would love to run a comparison, but since I don't have cable, I cannot. Comcast's internet speeds have been amazing though, always faster than the advertised speed.

See, I want the content, so I don't have much option. I could give owning my DVR and get DirecTV, but by losing the bundle on the internet, my costs would go way up, and it's just not worth it when I don't watch that much cable TV. I am going to try and get PBS OTA, and many of the shows I get off of cable I don't really watch, I listen to them and glance at them while doing the dishes or cooking or whatnot. I just do what I can to run Comcast through the video scaler for what I'm actually watching.
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post #99 of 234 Old 02-17-2013, 09:50 AM - Thread Starter
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They do have a lot of content on Comcast. Sports fans have a super-tough time cutting the cord. The money I save on the TV service goes straight into the top-tier internet plan. Faster internet really does translate into more content and at a higher quality. I feel it is a good bargain. I still get OTA channels through my cable line for free so no need for an HD antenna. If I watched TV shows at all, of course I would still subscribe. Being a movie guy, Comcast cable is just not worth it. The NFL is on broadcast TV and that's all I care about sports-wise anyhow.
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See, I want the content, so I don't have much option. I could give owning my DVR and get DirecTV, but by losing the bundle on the internet, my costs would go way up, and it's just not worth it when I don't watch that much cable TV. I am going to try and get PBS OTA, and many of the shows I get off of cable I don't really watch, I listen to them and glance at them while doing the dishes or cooking or whatnot. I just do what I can to run Comcast through the video scaler for what I'm actually watching.

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post #100 of 234 Old 02-17-2013, 10:09 AM
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I stopped giving Comcast money for cable services about 10 years ago. But I do like their HSI service.
u
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post #101 of 234 Old 02-17-2013, 10:40 AM
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Could someone clarify the resolution info about amazon instant video, please? It's been referenced her as 720p. I thought everything hd there was 1080p now.
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post #102 of 234 Old 02-17-2013, 10:44 AM - Thread Starter
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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.
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Could someone clarify the resolution info about amazon instant video, please? It's been referenced her as 720p. I thought everything hd there was 1080p now.

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post #103 of 234 Old 02-17-2013, 11:08 AM
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A few people have mentioned Amazon in this thread. Nobody has commented on Netflix streaming quality (or lack thereof) compared to other services or BD. We have been streaming House of Cards episodes. We also are on their disc plan. No premium channels via cable. Can't give up CNN.MSNBC Daily Show Colbert so won't cut cable.
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post #104 of 234 Old 02-17-2013, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
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I will get to Netflix, but there is no way to stream Skyfall on Netflix so for now there is no comparison to make. In my last post I mentioned comparing "The Art of Flight", Netflix will be included.
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A few people have mentioned Amazon in this thread. Nobody has commented on Netflix streaming quality (or lack thereof) compared to other services or BD. We have been streaming House of Cards episodes. We also are on their disc plan. No premium channels via cable. Can't give up CNN.MSNBC Daily Show Colbert so won't cut cable.

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post #105 of 234 Old 02-17-2013, 11:19 AM
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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".

x264 can encode most 1080p content to around 8-10 Mbps and look transparent pretty easily. The reason why Blu-ray disks are 20+ Mbps is because there is plenty of room on the disk so there is no point in taking the time to try to cram it in any smaller.
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post #106 of 234 Old 02-17-2013, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post

Yup, exactly. I didn't even know you had to be within 8 feet of a 60"! That's pretty close. Most people with even 50's aren't that close. One thing I did notice is that Comcast looks a lot worse on my 60 at 9 feet, than on a 55 at like 11 or 12 feet, the compression artifacts are much more obvious.

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. rolleyes.gif 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.

Artifacts from high compression on crammed cable/satellite channels are easily visible on any decent size screen. But none of the examples presented by the OP fall into this category. My guess would be that sitting 9 or so feet from a 60" screen (the average viewing distance in the US is about 10 feet), each of the three will be enjoyable, if you actually like the movie.

I do watch a lot of Netflix, BTW, and most of the time it is perfectly fine on a 60" plasma. Frankly, I almost never reach for the BR version, even if I have access to it. The differences are often so insignificant, that for me it's not worth rummaging for it. Just like nowadays I listen to MOG, even if I have the lossless rips of the same album on my server -- it's just much more convenient, I get to discover new stuff, and much of the time the quality is comparable.

Pixel peeping is interesting as an exercise and it does provide useful information, but if you can't see something during normal viewing, at your normal sitting distance, then for practical purposes it simply doesn't exist.

For those who are interested, here is a rather good distance/size/resolution calculator, as well as an old summary of viewing distances, field of view and HD:

http://myhometheater.homestead.com/viewingdistancecalculator.html

http://www.hometheater.com/content/viewing-distance-vs-resolution
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post #107 of 234 Old 02-17-2013, 03:14 PM
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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.

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post #108 of 234 Old 02-17-2013, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by David Susilo View Post

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.

Exactly!
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post #109 of 234 Old 02-17-2013, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by David Susilo View Post

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.
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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.
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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. rolleyes.gif 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? biggrin.gif 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.
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Originally Posted by David Susilo View Post

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.
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post #110 of 234 Old 02-17-2013, 05:59 PM
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I have no problem with resolution. I'd rather watch SD with zero visible compression artefacts than 1080p with truckloads of artefacts such as HD broadcast, PPV and Netflix SuperHD and/or iTunes, especially onmy 96" 21:9 from 10ft away.

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post #111 of 234 Old 02-17-2013, 06:00 PM - Thread Starter
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I agree 100%, iTunes can look very rough, which is why Skyfall was a bit of an eye-opener. I have avoided iTunes movies because of the absolutely terrible banding/blocking in the shadows, I still remember how pissed I was when I bought "The Social Network" from iTunes. I vowed to never use it for movies again. Seeing no trace of it in Skyfall was very pleasing.
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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.

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post #112 of 234 Old 02-17-2013, 06:10 PM
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I agree 100%, iTunes can look very rough, which is why Skyfall was a bit of an eye-opener. I have avoided iTunes movies because of the absolutely terrible banding/blocking in the shadows, I still remember how pissed I was when I bought "The Social Network" from iTunes. I vowed to never use it for movies again. Seeing no trace of it in Skyfall was very pleasing.

So they're improving on that?
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post #113 of 234 Old 02-17-2013, 06:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Did you read my comparison? Yes. They improved on it tremendously.
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So they're improving on that?

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post #114 of 234 Old 02-18-2013, 12:54 AM
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Kudos to you Mark for a very thorough, well-controlled test.

I similarly find that if I *must* stream a movie, I vastly prefer Apple/iTunes to Netflix/Amazon/Vudu. But most streaming video just falls apart on a 110" projection screen w/ a Sony HW50 smile.gif

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post #115 of 234 Old 02-18-2013, 07:22 AM
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Comcast (and most other cable companies since they use pretty much the same VOD delivery system) can get about 10-12Mb rate on their HD titles. (some titles can top 15)
So that would be better than what is available via streaming.
Linear HD is a whole other story. (6-8Mb) rolleyes.gif

Are you really hearing a difference?
http://youtu.be/G-lN8vWm3m0
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post #116 of 234 Old 02-18-2013, 08:06 AM
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I don't know about in the US, in Canada, VOD is still using MPEG2 which is still very cruddy at 12 Mbps due to macroblocking.

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post #117 of 234 Old 02-18-2013, 10:03 AM
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Did you read my comparison? Yes. They improved on it tremendously.

One title does not mean it is all rosy from here on out. They took a high profile title and made sure it looked good. The big question is if Skyfall iTunes is an exception or the beginning of a trend. Only time will tell.

Remember they are using these high profile early release titles to try to sell you on their service so I am sure they have more servers dedicated to delivering a high quality presentation for this ONE film. Again let's see what iTunes is like for less popular catalog over time before we shout how great iTunes is becoming. Its a step in the right direction, but to put it in perspective iTunes has been around for roughly a decade and they still don't have an option for downloading lossless audio files. Let's see how this plays out over time, but the current reality is still that BD is king if you care about a quality video AND audio presentation.

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post #118 of 234 Old 02-18-2013, 10:27 AM - Thread Starter
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It's how the file gets compressed to begin with, which algorithms Apple uses to deal with shadows. Rendering better shadows using whatever stochastic process Apple has chosen does not increase the bandwidth requirement of a streaming file. I am equally curious if this process is only applied to major motion pictures or if Apple has made the switch across the board. I will continue to do comparisons and find the answer - unless Apple happens to speak up on this. The fact that Blu-ray can be great quality is not in dispute. I've seen some not-so-old Blu-rays that don't look as good as Skyfall looked on iTunes, but everything is relative. The Skyfall Blu-ray is exceptional. PQ got a perfect score in the official AVS review. Since this is the media server and content streaming forum, I am discussing the relative quality of streaming and downloadable movies.

I can give you a hint about my next comparison. Argo on iTunes looks great, no shadow banding. That comparison is coming really soon.
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One title does not mean it is all rosy from here on out. They took a high profile title and made sure it looked good. The big question is if Skyfall iTunes is an exception or the beginning of a trend. Only time will tell.

Remember they are using these high profile early release titles to try to sell you on their service so I am sure they have more servers dedicated to delivering a high quality presentation for this ONE film. Again let's see what iTunes is like for less popular catalog over time before we shout how great iTunes is becoming. Its a step in the right direction, but to put it in perspective iTunes has been around for roughly a decade and they still don't have an option for downloading lossless audio files. Let's see how this plays out over time, but the current reality is still that BD is king if you care about a quality video AND audio presentation.

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post #119 of 234 Old 02-18-2013, 01:47 PM
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Again it's one title. iTunes video streams also doesn't it? So the compression and quality of what you see is still vastly dependent on the quality of your connection.

Again let's just see if we see a larger trend on more than a couple of high profile releases. BD quality has already been proven so I'll keep my money there for the long term until EST doesn't mean you are locking yourself into one providers ecosystem and sacrificing quality for convenience.

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post #120 of 234 Old 02-18-2013, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Let me touch on two points here. AFAIK Apple does not throttle their streaming offerings. Yes a slow connection is an issue, Apple will make you wait for the stream to buffer and interruptions are no fun, but if you choose to view a 1080p from Apple you're going to get one version of the movie. When it comes to examining other iTunes titles, the good news is I own dozens of Blu-rays with free digital copies included, so at some point I can go back to my collection and do a quick comparison of a bunch of titles, correlated to their release date and see where that exercise leads. Of course I will have to limit that experiment to titles which offer 1080p downloads (thank you Lions Gate). I should have at least a few of those. It'll take a little while to get that project rolling but it's definitely something I plan to do. The very existence of those Blu-rays and their un-redeemed digital copies should tell you enough about my previous position on streaming.

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Again it's one title. iTunes video streams also doesn't it? So the compression and quality of what you see is still vastly dependent on the quality of your connection.

Again let's just see if we see a larger trend on more than a couple of high profile releases. BD quality has already been proven so I'll keep my money there for the long term until EST doesn't mean you are locking yourself into one providers ecosystem and sacrificing quality for convenience.

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