Giving Up on Blu-Ray: Why I Switched to The Cloud - Page 14 - AVS Forum
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post #391 of 706 Old 06-13-2014, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post
Yes I have an iPad I rarely use, since I prefer my Samung tablet. My OP never said HDX was better than Blu, or that I was never going to buy Blu again. You have distorted what I have said. Thank you for the input.
Sorry... I did try to understand.

I read a great post on Blu Ray dot com about someone who decided to do EVERYTHING with iTunes and with iTunes you really can put all the eggs in that basket including your own personal stuff ( your own photos and videos.) In his case he added iTunes match and eliminated all physical media.

It's so not something I can even imagine but it was interesting and if you had to choose one basket, it's a nice one.

I have nearly 250 Vudu movies and several TV seasons... Some were free but most came with Blus... I almost never use them. I have to travel this summer so I will find out how useful they are when I'm away from home I guess.

I think if I lost my collection somehow, I would be glad to still have that virtual one. But, actually buying a VUDU copy isn't something I can do yet.

-Brian
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post #392 of 706 Old 06-13-2014, 01:10 PM
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Building a solid Blu-ray collection (I spend a good chunk of time reading reviews etc. before buying) dropping $2k and then selling them for $340?

I can't wrap my mind around that logic.

In regards to streaming, you make a good point: P quality has come a long way.

Now sound, there seems to be a large chasm in terms of quality. I did not drop $30k into my HT system for sub-par audio. On this forum, there are hundreds, I am sure, that have spent much more than $30k.

Eventually, I may become a streamer, but would still hang on to my b rays.

Last edited by Dr_jitsu; 06-13-2014 at 01:19 PM. Reason: audio talking point
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post #393 of 706 Old 06-13-2014, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Dr_jitsu View Post
Building a solid Blu-ray collection (I spend a good chunk of time reading reviews etc. before buying) dropping $2k and then selling them for $340?

I can't wrap my mind around that logic.

In regards to streaming, you make a good point: P quality has come a long way.

Eventually, I may become a streamer, but would still hang on to my b rays.
I'd agree, except holding on to them would only make me $340 poorer, IMO. In Vudu HDX rental terms, thats about sixty movies I have not seen. Also, it is an experiment of sorts. If I had a larger collection I would not have done it. I think it's scary that I spent that much in a year, on top of digital purchases and rentals. I should also mention that I gave up on Netflix Blu-ray years ago due to scratched discs, to me that was a much more frequent problem than streaming issues are today.

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post #394 of 706 Old 06-13-2014, 01:35 PM
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I'd agree, except holding on to them would only make me $340 poorer, IMO. In Vudu HDX rental terms, thats about sixty movies I have not seen. Also, it is an experiment of sorts. If I had a larger collection I would not have done it. I think it's scary that I spent that much in a year, on top of digital purchases and rentals. I should also mention that I gave up on Netflix Blu-ray years ago due to scratched discs, to me that was a much more frequent problem than streaming issues are today.
According to my math, you are $1660 poorer

After my initial post, I searched for audio related posts (50% of the reason I don't stream) and found that it was still a huge issue.

I then went back and edited my original post.

For me, the take away here is that picture quality is up in terms of streaming, while audio still has the shortcomings that kept me away from the delivery system.

Thank you for the write up, it helps people like me make informed format decisions.

BTW, I dropped Netflix long ago, because every movie in my cue would be unavailable by the time came up for sending.

I recently went back to Netflix, and availability is greatly improved.
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post #395 of 706 Old 06-13-2014, 01:47 PM
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Mark,

Out of curiosity, do you only watch the number of new releases that you do for your own purposes or do you feel obligated to watch more of them for work purposes? I realize that your articles typically tend to focus on hardware and industry news, while Ralph tends to be the AVS movie review guy, and Scott tends to focus more on the technical aspects (though there does seem to be some overlap in what you and Scott do with regards to hardware reviews). Yet, it seems that you watch more new releases while they are still new releases than most people do. This tends to lead towards a rental model rather than ownership (as buying that many titles would get expensive fast). Would you say that this observation is accurate? If so, then it makes sense that streaming would appeal to you since it makes for a very convenient rental process. Also, how much traveling do you typically do? Would you say that this might also impact your decision since a digitally stored library is much easier to lug around than a suitcase of discs?

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post #396 of 706 Old 06-13-2014, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr_jitsu View Post
According to my math, you are $1660 poorer
Yes, but had he not sold them then he would be $2000 poorer (but with something to show for it). I guess it depends on whether you are a glass half empty or glass half full kind of guy.
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post #397 of 706 Old 06-13-2014, 01:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Mark,

Out of curiosity, do you only watch the number of new releases that you do for your own purposes or do you feel obligated to watch more of them for work purposes? I realize that your articles typically tend to focus on hardware and industry news, while Ralph tends to be the AVS movie review guy, and Scott tends to focus more on the technical aspects (though there does seem to be some overlap in what you and Scott do with regards to hardware reviews). Yet, it seems that you watch more new releases while they are still new releases than most people do. This tends to lead towards a rental model rather than ownership (as buying that many titles would get expensive fast). Would you say that this observation is accurate? If so, then it makes sense that streaming would appeal to you since it makes for a very convenient rental process. Also, how much traveling do you typically do? Would you say that this might also impact your decision since a digitally stored library is much easier to lug around than a suitcase of discs?
Rental sometimes (often) works for me; but, sometimes I like to take my time watching a movie over several nights. Or, sometimes I feel like watching a new release that's out early in download format, but it's purchase-only. Those are significant factors. While I do travel, I use music as my diversion. I'm not a fan of watching movies on a small screen. Also, I don't watch TV, movies are my primary form of visual entertainment.

As for the comparisons I write on occasion, I'm probably not done with those—another reason why I'll get to still experience Blu-ray for going forward.

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post #398 of 706 Old 06-13-2014, 02:19 PM
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I also think it's rediculous that we live in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area and somehow have some of the worst internet infrastructure in the country.
In the Country?
North America (which of course includes Canada) has about the worst infrastructure in the world. Places like Japan have been fiber optic for years now.
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post #399 of 706 Old 06-13-2014, 02:48 PM
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I could never do it. I want to always have physical access to my movies and video games. There's just too many unknowns in the future to ever make me want to get rid of physical copies. But, if all digital works for someone and they feel safe, more power to them.

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post #400 of 706 Old 06-13-2014, 02:50 PM
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I am in my mid-60's, my wife a tad younger, no kids at home any more. My wife and I watch movies for enjoyment. We do not dig into them, analyze them, we just enjoy them. We rarely watch a movie more than once. We do have a few Blu-Ray disks ... but just a few. For the most part we rent disks from Netflix and Redbox. But we also stream Netflix, HBO-GO, iTunes, Amazon Prime, and Showtime for mostly TV shows. When in the mood, we'll stream a movie as well using our Apple TV, Roku3, or Amazon Fire TV. Why buy to watch one time when the streaming quality is just as good as the Blu-Ray disk quality? To us, it is a waste of money. My wife is more discerning than I am as far as the picture quality, it all looks great to me. She is much pickier, and she has said that she can see little or no difference at all in picture quality when we stream. We do have a very good 20+ Mbps download speed over AT&T Uverse fiber to the node. And all of our devices are hard-wired to the router, so there is no drop-out from wireless, not that I would expect any in close proximity at any rate.

Am I worried about losing access to media? NO, once is enough for most media. We enjoy it and move on to the next one. We enjoy our TV and movies on a new Panasonic 60" plasma TV with a 5.1 good quality sound system providing all of the sound, TV speakers set to 0 at all times. Give us streaming any day of the week.

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post #401 of 706 Old 06-13-2014, 04:33 PM
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I have really gotten into ultraviolet and the vudu disc to digital service for my extensive dvd collection but I would not get rid of my discs for one simple fact. Whoever owns the rights to whatever movie could decide tomorrow that they are no longer going to license it for streaming and poof, it's gone. Until there are laws on the books regarding the rights of consumers to get a permanent copy of digital media, I'm going to keep my physical media.
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post #402 of 706 Old 06-13-2014, 04:40 PM
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I own perhaps 30 HDX movies, but seldom watch them because my 15/1 Comcast connection seldom sustains HDX speed for the length of a movie, consistently.

(Yes, Comcast has replaced all the infrastructure and modems, and yes this is a Business acount, and yes, this is actually covered in their TOS, there is no QOS guarantee.)

If there was a way to pre-cache the movies locally and watch on a big screen, I would, but short of buying a computer for the media room, it doesn't appear possible.

iTunes is much better in this regard.


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post #403 of 706 Old 06-13-2014, 04:43 PM
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I don't think the quality is quite there yet but it is only a matter of time. There is no way that static disc formats can keep up with the evolution of streaming media long term. Better compression can be implemented at the application level and average bandwidth to the consumer will continue to increase. The content creators and distributors will naturally move in this direction because it allows them to protect and maximize their profits.
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post #404 of 706 Old 06-13-2014, 05:05 PM
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I am in my mid-60's, my wife a tad younger, no kids at home any more. My wife and I watch movies for enjoyment. We do not dig into them, analyze them, we just enjoy them. We rarely watch a movie more than once. We do have a few Blu-Ray disks ... but just a few. For the most part we rent disks from Netflix and Redbox. But we also stream Netflix, HBO-GO, iTunes, Amazon Prime, and Showtime for mostly TV shows. When in the mood, we'll stream a movie as well using our Apple TV, Roku3, or Amazon Fire TV. Why buy to watch one time when the streaming quality is just as good as the Blu-Ray disk quality? To us, it is a waste of money. My wife is more discerning than I am as far as the picture quality, it all looks great to me. She is much pickier, and she has said that she can see little or no difference at all in picture quality when we stream. We do have a very good 20+ Mbps download speed over AT&T Uverse fiber to the node. And all of our devices are hard-wired to the router, so there is no drop-out from wireless, not that I would expect any in close proximity at any rate.

Am I worried about losing access to media? NO, once is enough for most media. We enjoy it and move on to the next one. We enjoy our TV and movies on a new Panasonic 60" plasma TV with a 5.1 good quality sound system providing all of the sound, TV speakers set to 0 at all times. Give us streaming any day of the week.
I had an experience the other day that explains why I like to sometimes own the hard disk/blue ray (I have an up-scaling OPPO so DVDs look good too),

I recently ordered a movie package from Comcast. Lot of junk, but some gems too.

I love Samurai period pieces. I saw there was a movie called "Hidden Blade."

Close to 90% on Rotten tomatoes, so I watched. Some scenes looked familiar. By the mid point, I realized I had seen the movie before. Indeed I watched it years ago.

The second viewing was wonderful.

These are the types of movies I like to own. I have little interest in seeing a very good again soon, but 5 years later and I enjoy it again, immensely.

For example, 3 years from now, I will love watching Gravity again.
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post #405 of 706 Old 06-13-2014, 05:42 PM
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I just realized that there are quite a few movies that are available in HDX but only Dolby Digital Stereo. It would be fine for a woody allen movie but the matrix trilogy? 300? Does anyone know if this is just the case with Warner brothers movies?

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post #406 of 706 Old 06-13-2014, 06:13 PM
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Quote:Originally Posted by ril850 

Blu-rays are not that expensive if your a smart shopper and you own it, have the best audio and picture available at this time. Vudu to me is more a convenience. If it works for you and you like listening to your movies through the TV speakers go for it!


My system plays at reference and can do so as low as 14 Hz. Nice try.
14hz, really? You must have the best and biggest audio room ever. Getting a true 14hz that isn't like 50db down is quite the task. I would have to hear it to believe it.

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post #407 of 706 Old 06-13-2014, 06:28 PM - Thread Starter
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14hz, really? You must have the best and biggest audio room ever. Getting a true 14hz that isn't like 50db down is quite the task. I would have to hear it to believe it.
Have you seen what goes on in the DIY Speakers and Subs section? Those guys showed me the way! Small-ish room combined with lots of power and four subs (tuned to 16 Hz) gets me there, and my system is nothing compared to some of the monster subs I've seen and heard. Anyhow, it's measured response with a calibrated mic. This measurement was not at reference, but if I run the subs flat and push the system, it's do-able. Yeah, I run my subs a bit hot.

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post #408 of 706 Old 06-13-2014, 06:35 PM
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Lossy sound = :P
That's where I am at. Sound is everything and its going to be getting better and I don't want to loose one bit of it. On the other hand I myself like the feel of a BR in hand. I said it in another forum, but I really enjoy going down to the store on Tuesday and picking out a couple of disc. Im old school I guess, but something I enjoy doing.
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post #409 of 706 Old 06-13-2014, 06:40 PM
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There is no need for a debate streaming can not and will not equal in anyway Blu-Ray unless your only criteria is laziness or cost.
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post #410 of 706 Old 06-13-2014, 06:54 PM
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There is no need for a debate streaming can not and will not equal in anyway Blu-Ray unless your only criteria is laziness or cost.
Yeah but admitting they do not value the quality of the near film experience that is possible with BD but settle instead for the video like experience of streaming is not very convincing. Streaming is really about replacing DVD not BD.
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post #411 of 706 Old 06-13-2014, 06:59 PM - Thread Starter
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There is no need for a debate streaming can not and will not equal in anyway Blu-Ray unless your only criteria is laziness or cost.
And how do you define streaming? In practice you can blow away Blu-ray right now, all you need to do is stream at a higher bitrate than what Blu-ray uses. The only question is how long it will take before movies are available that way.

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post #412 of 706 Old 06-13-2014, 07:11 PM
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Have you seen what goes on in the DIY Speakers and Subs section? Those guys showed me the way! Small-ish room combined with lots of power and four subs (tuned to 16 Hz) gets me there, and my system is nothing compared to some of the monster subs I've seen and heard. Anyhow, it's measured response with a calibrated mic. This measurement was not at reference, but if I run the subs flat and push the system, it's do-able. Yeah, I run my subs a bit hot.


I had a walk thru at EV awhile back and even in their multi-million dollar anechoic chamber they don't fully trust anything below 50hz. Most mic diaphragms don't even allow them to pick things up that low and be trustworthy. Not too mention if you placed the mic a foot away from the speaker isn't a fair measurement either.

Adding more subs will make it louder, not lower. Anyone can throw out random numbers all day long but at the end of the day it takes a massive room to generate a 14hz bass wave. I mean I am starting to worry that the foundation of your house will become unstable at your near earthquake level frequencies lol.
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post #413 of 706 Old 06-13-2014, 07:15 PM
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The only question is how long it will take before movies are available that way.
My guess would be that it will take a long time, unless Comcast, TWC, etc can buy politicians at a faster rate and ensure a legal path to double dipping on video delivery costs.

Hence, if ISPs can figure out a way to monetize it then it could happen very quickly
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post #414 of 706 Old 06-13-2014, 07:20 PM
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We are watching the movies NOW. For NOW blu-ray is the best option...unless you are willing to wait until streaming turned into the best option...which at the same time there will be 4K blu-ray. This is simply because the bandwidth can't catch up with the need for the best possible AQ and PQ at any given time.

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post #415 of 706 Old 06-13-2014, 07:46 PM
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Lossy sound = :P
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We are watching the movies NOW. For NOW blu-ray is the best option...unless you are willing to wait until streaming turned into the best option...which at the same time there will be 4K blu-ray. This is simply because the bandwidth can't catch up with the need for the best possible AQ and PQ at any given time.
And don't forget Atmos. Well, if and when.
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post #416 of 706 Old 06-13-2014, 07:48 PM
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Mark,

Out of curiosity, do you only watch the number of new releases that you do for your own purposes or do you feel obligated to watch more of them for work purposes? I realize that your articles typically tend to focus on hardware and industry news, while Ralph tends to be the AVS movie review guy, and Scott tends to focus more on the technical aspects (though there does seem to be some overlap in what you and Scott do with regards to hardware reviews). Yet, it seems that you watch more new releases while they are still new releases than most people do. This tends to lead towards a rental model rather than ownership (as buying that many titles would get expensive fast). Would you say that this observation is accurate? If so, then it makes sense that streaming would appeal to you since it makes for a very convenient rental process. Also, how much traveling do you typically do? Would you say that this might also impact your decision since a digitally stored library is much easier to lug around than a suitcase of discs?
I didn't know this until just now but did you know most digital sales are from catalogue titles as discussed in a recent May 2014 article:

http://homemediamagazine.com/researc...e-movies-33315

Quote:
Hollywood may be hyping early availability to spur higher-margin digital movie sales, but the majority of electronic sellthrough in 2013 was for catalog titles, according to new research from The NPD Group.

About 57% of digital sales were for catalog titles — a percentage comparable to packaged-media sellthrough. That percentage is down from 2012, when 63% of digital sales were catalog.

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post #417 of 706 Old 06-13-2014, 07:58 PM - Thread Starter
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I had a walk thru at EV awhile back and even in their multi-million dollar anechoic chamber they don't fully trust anything below 50hz. Most mic diaphragms don't even allow them to pick things up that low and be trustworthy. Not too mention if you placed the mic a foot away from the speaker isn't a fair measurement either.

Adding more subs will make it louder, not lower. Anyone can throw out random numbers all day long but at the end of the day it takes a massive room to generate a 14hz bass wave. I mean I am starting to worry that the foundation of your house will become unstable at your near earthquake level frequencies lol.
Anechoic chambers can't absorb deep bass, that's true.. I think you'd find the AVS DIY Speakers and Subs section is full of great information that could help you enderstand the topic better. FWIW, I measured from the main listening position.

If you EQ flat, and your subs roll off at a given rate, then the lowest frequency at any given level will go down as you add more subs, instead of the volume going up. More subs = more extension. It works better with sealed subs than ported; but no matter what, the gains at the bottom are tangible and usable when you add multiples of the same sub.

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post #418 of 706 Old 06-13-2014, 08:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post
My guess would be that it will take a long time, unless Comcast, TWC, etc can buy politicians at a faster rate and ensure a legal path to double dipping on video delivery costs.

Hence, if ISPs can figure out a way to monetize it then it could happen very quickly
Apple has plans to bypass the public Internet using Comcast's network. No data caps on cable and on-demand services, it's already like a private "fast lane."

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Last edited by imagic; 06-13-2014 at 08:06 PM.
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post #419 of 706 Old 06-13-2014, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by TowerGrove View Post
Did you know most digital sales are from catalogue titles as discussed in a recent May 2014 article:

http://homemediamagazine.com/researc...e-movies-33315
Good point.

In fact, that's what I use Vudu purchases (okay, UV purchases) for. In that case, it's often DVD versus HDX, because no Bluray exists. The Hunger (early Tony Scott film) comes to mind. Various classic B/W WB movies were available in HD on Vudu long before Bluray.

But in my case, since one cannot cache the film locally (on a av device, other than a computer) it has become useless. Streaming is remarkably unreliable in Silicon Valley even with a business connection. (Oh the irony.)

So I have to use a service that lets me download and cache locally. Vudu (other than on a computer or tablet) doesn't do that.

iTunes, does, so if I wasn't so invested in UV, I'd go that way.

But for new releases anyway, I prefer higher bitrate audio on discs.

I mean, Vudu uses 256 kbit/s for 5.1 (DD+) which is way more compressed than two channel mp3 at 260kbits, let alone 320kbits which in stereo can sound like 16bit/44/.1 audio. But since Vudu spreads it across 5.1 (or 7.1) channels, it's really more like 128kbits mp3 quality.


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post #420 of 706 Old 06-13-2014, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by c.kingsley View Post
I don't think the quality is quite there yet but it is only a matter of time. There is no way that static disc formats can keep up with the evolution of streaming media long term. Better compression can be implemented at the application level and average bandwidth to the consumer will continue to increase. The content creators and distributors will naturally move in this direction because it allows them to protect and maximize their profits.
I have no doubt that streaming quality will surpass, current 1080p Blu-Ray in the next couple of years. There is some truth to the fact that the PQ of physical media is pretty much static for the life of that particular format, while streaming PQ can theoretically be upgraded more frequently, either by keeping the file size the same while improving the compression or by increasing the bit rate as the average consumer bandwidth increases.

However, with regards to improving compression, there is a catch. The biggest improvements in compression technologies come when they develop a new profile level or a whole new codec. While streaming providers could re-encode films every time a significant improvement is made in compression tech, the devices that consumers use to decode the content for playback must be compatible with whatever codec and profile level is used. For large jumps in quality, this might mean requiring the consumer to buy a new streaming device. For obvious reasons, the content providers don't want to push customers too much in this regard. Buying a new streaming device every 3 years is probably within reason. Forcing you to buy a new one every year is not.

This creates another issue. What if some consumers are willing to upgrade to a brand new streaming device every 3 years when the device first hits the market, but others take 6 months to a year longer. Does the content provider have to provide multiple versions of the same movie using different compression codecs in order to provide the higher quality for the early adopters while still supporting the consumers who take a bit longer to upgrade? Note that this would be in addition to the multiple quality levels they already have for each particular codec, which vary by bit rate in order to provide the optimal streaming experience for users with varying Internet bandwidths. Suddenly, instead of having to store 3 different quality levels of each title, they now have to store 6, or even 9. While storage is relatively cheap, there is still a point where it becomes a factor.

The key for physical media to hold an edge in quality over streaming over a period of 8-10 years is for it to be such a significant jump ahead of current streaming quality that it takes 8-10 years of advancements in compression and/or internet bandwidth to people's homes for streaming quality to catch up. Blu-Ray has been successful in doing this to date, but it's time is drawing to an end, at which point it should be replaced by a new, substantially better physical format and current Blu-Ray would be to the new format as DVD is to Blu-Ray now. I am skeptical that the next physical format will be able to hold an edge over streaming for a full 10 years if it is limited to 100 GB. However, the good news is that the current UHD phase schedule has 4K being replaced by 8K around 2020, which means it's supremacy won't have to last that long. It too would be replaced at that point, most likely by a different type of physical format since it doesn't seem that spinning optical discs have more than one more generation left in them. I'm guessing that an 8K physical media would be some sort of solid state drive/memory stick.
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