Argo: iTunes vs. Vudu vs. Blu-ray - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 119 Old 04-22-2013, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by StinDaWg View Post

Those "dodgy" internet copies always include the DTS core and sometimes the full HD audio depending on the group. You can easily find the full untouched Blu-ray or Remux as well. I don't know how up to date you are on current goings but this isn't like in the past where the only copies available were people filming in the back of a movie theater. You can encode a Blu-ray with x264 that will look visually transparent for most movies at 8-13 Mbps. Some will need more, some less, but you can usually cut the file size in half with no perceived quality loss.

Oh, I know exactly what the current scene and P2P standards are. I just believe that if you are going to get something decent, get the best quality there is, and that is always the source, blu-ray, and not a rip.

I in Aus and only get 150GB a month at 10mbit/s (for $70/month) so that is another consideration to take into account. We don't have nearly as many streaming services as those in the US, many due to insane bandwidth prices and lack of current fiber network.

That aside, I'm the type of person that believes spending money into an entertainment field that I enjoy. Want that 4K content quicker? You have to show with your wallet that the consumers are ready. Downloading rips doesn't do it for this industry.

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post #92 of 119 Old 04-22-2013, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e08 View Post

Oh, I know exactly what the current scene and P2P standards are. I just believe that if you are going to get something decent, get the best quality there is, and that is always the source, blu-ray, and not a rip.

x264 is an amazing encoder. The Blu-ray is already compressed from the original source. Why store the original Blu-ray if I can cut the file size in half with no perceived quality loss? That means I can store 100 movies instead of 50 on my hard drive. I guarantee with a properly encoded movie you couldn't tell the difference in a blind test.
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post #93 of 119 Old 04-23-2013, 06:41 AM
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I'd like to see more comparisons like this, but with a broader range of providers.

I purchased ARGO from Amazon. It was the first movie that I bought without getting a disc. I took my Roku to a friend's house and we watched the movie on an older 36" 1080i set and a slow Internet connection, and enjoyed it just fine.

I can only trust that BluRay has more detail (albeit with diminishing returns) for all the storage used for a 1.5-2 hour movie. If it was a film with lots of beautiful scenery or fine details (reading text and diagrams is always a challenge), I'd still go the BluRay route, or at least a guaranteed quality download. But most Hollywood movies just aren't that important...

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post #94 of 119 Old 04-23-2013, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post

I like to think that there are more advantages to having high-bandwidth Internet than just the ability to stream media. But it is true, it does cost extra to get more juice. That is why I cut the cord on cable and put all of the money towards Internet bandwidth.

Me too!
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post #95 of 119 Old 05-01-2013, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by e08 View Post

I just believe that if you are going to get something decent, get the best quality there is, and that is always the source, blu-ray, and not a rip
Might want to reword the terminology somewhat. A full rip is 1:1 quality, but typically remuxed into a container other than .iso or .bdmv - i.e. same as source (video stays h264 or vc1)

What you are referring to as a rip in the quote above is a re-encode. Where people have various goals (usually file size) where the original h264 or vc1 video is re-encoded / compressed to shrink the overall size down to either 4.7 GB total (for DVD burning) or 4.00 GB total for copying to FAT formatted externals

rip /= re-encode
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post

It depends on who you are. For other readers they confirm the supremacy of Blu-ray, for others they demonstrate that streaming files are more than good enough. I am in the latter camp, I had no issues with watching any of the versions. I slightly preferred the iTunes 1080p version for the extra glimpses of sharpness it offered. I was really surprised at how well 720p holds up and it is true that the lower pixel count makes life easier for the compression algorithms. I wish Apple would dedicate just a a bit more bandwidth to their 1080p files, they could be so sweet... so very close to Blu-ray with just a bit more data. I also wish Vudu would stop blasting everything with maximum noise reduction. I'm sure that works well for CHI-driven movies, but it is a disaster when applied to actual film, grain and all.
Thanks for the comparison. While I appreciate the source intentions, if I were to walk into a room with your screenshots displayed and asked to pick the "best" then I would probably never pick the grainy picture
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post #96 of 119 Old 05-12-2013, 02:26 PM
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I think what was missing was the DVD source (at 480p) for comparison. I wonder how much better iTunes 720p would have been... this would also have allowed for such measurements as "iTunes 720p is halfway between bluray and dvd."...

/iaw
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post #97 of 119 Old 05-13-2013, 09:10 AM
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Excellent comparison.

I have one question: Do ANY of the services ever bother to manually optimize their conversions?

I recall that, in the old days, there were JPG encoders that could be manually configured to apply different levels of compression to different areas of the same image; it seems obvious that human "guidance" could get us better quality on complex videos like Argo. For example, on Argo, it would have been beneficial for a human "production person" to actually set different encoder parameters for different scenes (perhaps to allow a high threshold for filtering out digital noise in one scene, but set a lower threshold to avoid filtering out film grain in another). Is this ever done, or do they always let the encoder run "on automatic"?

[This would obviously cost more, and be reserved for "premieres" and "special productions". I know I would be willing to pay more for a service that offered enhanced quality on even only a few current "premium" features. ]

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post #98 of 119 Old 05-13-2013, 09:21 AM
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Exactly; the goal of a reproduction system is accuracy. If a recording ADDS grain or noise, then it is being inaccurate to the original; however, if it removes grain or noise, it is ALSO being inaccurate to the original. It is true that some originals are just poor quality, in which case some filtering may actually improve their quality, but that decision should be left to the producers of the new copy - and should be made for aesthetic reasons rather than convenience, cost control, or just plain sloppiness.

If, for example, the original was film and there were scratches on it, I would probably prefer to see them removed - but ONLY if the scratches were actual damage to the film and not put there deliberately by the producer "to make it look like old film". If they were put there deliberately then they should remain. I'm pretty sure that Argo had enough budget that, had the producers wanted it, they could have easily removed the film grain (in fact, they may have even artificially added it for "effect"), so the reproduction should faithfully reproduce it as-is. If not, then the new "cleaned" version should be offered AS A NEW VERSION and not be represented as being the original.
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The answer is, Argo was nominated for seven Academy awards including best picture and best film editing. That alone is justification for the comparison. Not everyone would agree that film, and grainy film to be specific, means the picture quality is mediocre.

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post #99 of 119 Old 05-13-2013, 09:27 AM
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A lot of people seem to forget that even Blu-Ray is a compromise - because full uncompressed video takes up a lot MORE space. And, for that matter, I suspect that a "properly upsampled" DVD could match the quality of many streaming services, yet we still have a market for better quality content on Blu-Ray. Just because some folks are happy with MP3 quality audio and compressed video doesn't mean that there aren't some of us who are not. I watch Netflix, and find it plenty good for most shows, but I most certainly would pay somewhat more for a streaming service that offered Blu-Ray quality, and I might even be willing to pay $50 a pop for discs that were better than Blu-Ray quality (at least for a few favorite movies).
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Originally Posted by e08 View Post

Oh, I know exactly what the current scene and P2P standards are. I just believe that if you are going to get something decent, get the best quality there is, and that is always the source, blu-ray, and not a rip.

I in Aus and only get 150GB a month at 10mbit/s (for $70/month) so that is another consideration to take into account. We don't have nearly as many streaming services as those in the US, many due to insane bandwidth prices and lack of current fiber network.

That aside, I'm the type of person that believes spending money into an entertainment field that I enjoy. Want that 4K content quicker? You have to show with your wallet that the consumers are ready. Downloading rips doesn't do it for this industry.

Hayden.

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post #100 of 119 Old 05-14-2013, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by EmotivaKeith View Post

A lot of people seem to forget that even Blu-Ray is a compromise - because full uncompressed video takes up a lot MORE space. And, for that matter, I suspect that a "properly upsampled" DVD could match the quality of many streaming services, yet we still have a market for better quality content on Blu-Ray. Just because some folks are happy with MP3 quality audio and compressed video doesn't mean that there aren't some of us who are not. I watch Netflix, and find it plenty good for most shows, but I most certainly would pay somewhat more for a streaming service that offered Blu-Ray quality, and I might even be willing to pay $50 a pop for discs that were better than Blu-Ray quality (at least for a few favorite movies).
When I read this I thought "$50, wow that is a lot". However, when I considered the cost of going to the Cinema with a few folks, I realized that it was about equal. This in turn brought up a question: How does the quality of Blu-Ray compare to the newer 'digital cinema' that my local Cineplex is advertising with?
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post #101 of 119 Old 05-20-2013, 03:12 PM
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Here is another comparison showing that the blu-ray of "30 Days of Night" looks better than the Itunes version
http://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/03/the-ars-itunes-1080p-vs-blu-ray-shootout/

So until we can find a comparison showing the opposite result, for now we can only assume that depending on the movie, Itunes could be as good as bluray but not always
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post #102 of 119 Old 05-20-2013, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by jpnn80 View Post

Here is another comparison showing that the blu-ray of "30 Days of Night" looks better than the Itunes version
http://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/03/the-ars-itunes-1080p-vs-blu-ray-shootout/

So until we can find a comparison showing the opposite result, for now we can only assume that depending on the movie, Itunes could be as good as bluray but not always

I think one would be foolish enough to say anything else is better than Blu Ray. I cant see possibly how anything could be better because blu Ray streams at 30 to 40Mbits depending on the original source but I cant imagine iTunes or any service streaming at such a high bit rate.
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post #103 of 119 Old 05-21-2013, 05:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpnn80 View Post

Here is another comparison showing that the blu-ray of "30 Days of Night" looks better than the Itunes version
http://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/03/the-ars-itunes-1080p-vs-blu-ray-shootout/

So until we can find a comparison showing the opposite result, for now we can only assume that depending on the movie, Itunes could be as good as bluray but not always

Not once have I seen a streaming format actually match Blu-ray quality for the entire length of the movie. Because of the constrained bit rate, iTunes movies typically only achieve maximum resolution when the camera is not moving. Anytime there is significant motion in the scene, and especially when there is camera movement such as panning and zooming, the iTunes version falls short when compared to Blu-ray.

Blu-ray is actually remarkably close to the quality achieved by 2K cinema projection, which is—to this day—what most people are watching when they go out to the movies. It is actually quite amazing how close both iTunes and Vudu come to Blu-ray quality, considering the constraints on bandwidth associated with online delivery.In the context of these comparisons, Blu-ray remains the reference. There are notable differences between iTunes HD and Vudu HDX, and that is the main thrust of these comparisons. Typically one service or the other looks better—as in closer to Blu-ray than the other—depending on the movie.

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post #104 of 119 Old 05-21-2013, 05:58 PM
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In my experience, downloaded iTunes movies are at higher quality than streamed ones. I'm not sure if they're doing adaptive stuff like you say Vudu does or not.

You said you were streaming the Vudu content. I assume this means that you were also streaming the iTunes? I wonder if the iTunes 1080p would have surpassed the 720p if you had downloaded.

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post #105 of 119 Old 05-21-2013, 07:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JustMike View Post

In my experience, downloaded iTunes movies are at higher quality than streamed ones. I'm not sure if they're doing adaptive stuff like you say Vudu does or not.

You said you were streaming the Vudu content. I assume this means that you were also streaming the iTunes? I wonder if the iTunes 1080p would have surpassed the 720p if you had downloaded.

I always download my iTunes files. AFAIK iTunes uses the same file, whether you choose to stream or download. I have checked Vudu HDX streaming vs. download and found they are essentially identical.

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post #106 of 119 Old 05-21-2013, 07:08 PM
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Okay, so in this test, the iTunes files were downloaded to a Mac or PC and then streamed on a local LAN?

I have tested downloaded and streamed iTunes files A/B fashion on a Sim2 C3X 1080, and there was a clear difference between the two. This was within the last year or so...

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post #107 of 119 Old 05-23-2013, 03:30 PM
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I was searching for something else when I came across this; which is obvious the OP is into streaming.  Vudu HDX and Tunes are great for TV shows; in fact, they look significantly better than my cableTV DVR.

This should go without saying.. But, at least on my TVs, Bluray picture quality is obviously much sharper and more detailed.  I'd never want to ruin my experience watching something like Prometheus via streaming.  Argo was really not a good example to compare since it was kind of grainy and soft to begin with.
 


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post #108 of 119 Old 05-23-2013, 04:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustMike View Post

Okay, so in this test, the iTunes files were downloaded to a Mac or PC and then streamed on a local LAN?

I have tested downloaded and streamed iTunes files A/B fashion on a Sim2 C3X 1080, and there was a clear difference between the two. This was within the last year or so...

My PC is connected directly to my display, I don't have to stream via LAN.

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post #109 of 119 Old 06-01-2013, 06:10 AM
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I'm surprised no one mentioned the very different colors Vudu HDX pictures have. That stood out to me more than anything.
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post #110 of 119 Old 06-01-2013, 08:59 PM
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Yeah, it looks like Vudu HDX modifies/processes the video aka "Psychovisual processing".  Its probably going to look a little better on lower quality displays; especially for grainy/lower-video-detail movies like Argo and Django Unchained.  Not something serious home theater enthusiasts would be interested in.

 

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post #111 of 119 Old 06-04-2013, 08:29 AM
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I work in Broadcast. I noticed when streaming is talked about they say 8 or 9 mbps.
If you were using a antenna and close to the transmitters like me you would be blown away by the picture. Which we figured out to be 11 to 19 mbps.
Your cable or Fios is very compressed you don't notice it until you switch to antenna. We have not ,tested a cable signal. Have no numbers on that.

In house we edit at 30 mbps.

If you have not read up on Blue Ray players they play 30 to 50 mbps. With a big space allowance for audio compared to a normal DVD.
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post #112 of 119 Old 06-04-2013, 09:04 AM
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Yeah, there's really no comparison; especially when viewing on a high quality display from a distance that allows you to fully resolve full picture detail.  I've seen some really nice, very rare 50Mbps and 60Mbps 1080i mpeg2 demo transport streams. 

 

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Originally Posted by clarkjit View Post

I work in Broadcast. I noticed when streaming is talked about they say 8 or 9 mbps.
If you were using a antenna and close to the transmitters like me you would be blown away by the picture. Which we figured out to be 11 to 19 mbps.
Your cable or Fios is very compressed you don't notice it until you switch to antenna. We have not ,tested a cable signal. Have no numbers on that.

In house we edit at 30 mbps.

If you have not read up on Blue Ray players they play 30 to 50 mbps. With a big space allowance for audio compared to a normal DVD.

Can your HTPC Media Center / DVR Do this??

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post #113 of 119 Old 06-18-2013, 04:12 AM
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Argo bluray wins.
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post #114 of 119 Old 06-27-2013, 10:34 AM
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Great write-up!

My first experience with Vudu HDX was so bad I'll probably never use it again. I have no idea how so many people think it's great. To me it's probably the worst streaming format I've ever used.

Thanks for posting this excellent comparison. Still happy with Blu-ray as my format of choice and iTunes 1080p as my backup.
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post #115 of 119 Old 06-27-2013, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post

My PC is connected directly to my display, I don't have to stream via LAN.

Ahh!!! I had assumed that you were using an AppleTV. Okay, clear, thanks.

On an AppleTV, you can't download (unless you download to a computer, then play over the LAN), so the streamed versions are, I believe, at lower quality than the download you're testing here. Just something that people with an AppleTV may want to keep in mind. They still look pretty good, but in my own testing, they were not as good as the download.

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post #116 of 119 Old 07-02-2013, 06:22 PM
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Love this thread.

With 500 DVD's sitting in a box, collecting dust because I cant even give them away anymore.. I already made up my mind many years ago that I was never buying disc-based media again. I dont have the super surround system and will take the convenience, immediately delivery and cloud storage/accessibility of iTunes anyday over purchasing more discs.

As internet speeds increase and compression techniques advance, I'm sure there will be more people who think like me everyday that passes.. versus the other way around.

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post #117 of 119 Old 07-03-2013, 01:01 PM
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Many years from now digital cloud based media will be as common as a dvd blu Ray library. ..just as the latter was as common as vhs and laserdisc. Dont forget vod, and dvr storage.
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post #118 of 119 Old 07-07-2013, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kascnef82 View Post

Many years from now digital cloud based media will be as common as a dvd blu Ray library. ..just as the latter was as common as vhs and laserdisc. Dont forget vod, and dvr storage.

That may be true, but anyone thinking that is the same as ownership is foolish...as I've found out after Vudu engineers pushed through sosme sort of update that blocks many FIOS users from accessing the VUDU service...and where my UV movies are stored. (Now inaccessible). Fortunately, I still have the discs.
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post #119 of 119 Old 07-18-2013, 12:50 AM
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It's clearly blu-ray has the highest quality, Because it has the highest bitrate among all other 3, it shows grains on the frame while other sources are unable to show the details to the grain level, Blu-ray the winner big time.
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