Giving Up on Blu-Ray: Why I Switched to The Cloud - Page 19 - AVS Forum
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post #541 of 706 Old 06-17-2014, 06:21 AM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post
Oh... I get it now... FYI there is no connection between AV Science, the store that sells gear, and AVS Forum. There once was, but not anymore. I had no idea what you were talking about for a minute, I was thinking maybe you meant the classifieds section or something.
So are you are saying AVS forums are independent of AVS Sales and sales folks like Mike Garrett? I will call Mike soon and get a definitive answer.
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post #542 of 706 Old 06-17-2014, 06:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Wendell R. Breland View Post
So are you are saying AVS forums are independent of AVS Sales and sales folks like Mike Garrett? I will call Mike soon and get a definitive answer.
It's OK, I can give you a definitive answer. There is no connection whatsoever between the store (AVS Sales) and AVS Forum. I hope you don't mind getting back on-topic. If you don't agree with my opinions on streaming content, that's cool.

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post #543 of 706 Old 06-17-2014, 07:16 AM
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So are you are saying AVS forums are independent of AVS Sales and sales folks like Mike Garrett? I will call Mike soon and get a definitive answer.
AVS sold the forum.
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post #544 of 706 Old 06-17-2014, 07:20 AM
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Another strike against Vudu. I wish Vudu had a setting that allowed you to intentionally buffer the HDX stream while paused. I just joined the forum there, hopefully I can get the company's attention and pass along observations from AVS members.
My workaround has been to buy a PS3, and use the download option. But that assumes I have several hours of lead time in which to do that.

In the example I gave, the wife selected the movie and we wanted to watch then (c. 8pm) not wait (c. midnite).

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I would think this is more of a hardware issue. VUDU provides the stream and your equipment decides what to do with it. Some streaming devices are better at buffering than others. I've had no problems at all with VUDU using the Roku 3 with 15/1 Mbps. I'm sure many of the VUDU complaints come from people with less than ideal streaming devices, use wireless streaming, etc.
I'll admit ignorance on this one. I'd love to be wrong, but on my Oppo, Sharp TV, LG Blu-ray player, and ChromeCast, there appears to be no substantial buffering possible. Maybe a couple of seconds, but that's it. Some of these devices have a few gigs of memory, so I'm assuming they are at the mercy of the Vudu app. Are you sure the Roku Vudu app is really that different from the others?
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post #545 of 706 Old 06-17-2014, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by nathan_h View Post
My workaround has been to buy a PS3, and use the download option. But that assumes I have several hours of lead time in which to do that.

In the example I gave, the wife selected the movie and we wanted to watch then (c. 8pm) not wait (c. midnite).



I'll admit ignorance on this one. I'd love to be wrong, but on my Oppo, Sharp TV, LG Blu-ray player, and ChromeCast, there appears to be no substantial buffering possible. Maybe a couple of seconds, but that's it. Some of these devices have a few gigs of memory, so I'm assuming they are at the mercy of the Vudu app. Are you sure the Roku Vudu app is really that different from the others?
In my house we have DSL (not a business account) and generally it's fast enough to stream HDX an whatever device. (There's a Roku upstairs and BDP in the HT.) However, if my wife want to stream one thing and one of kids wants to stream another then they are both going to get dumped down to youtube quality video.

That may be something the OP hasn't factored in because he doesn't have a home where several people decide to try to watch something different.

Buffering and then getting the quality taken away... is not very conducive to a nice Theater type experience...
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post #546 of 706 Old 06-17-2014, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Brian Hampton View Post
In my house we have DSL (not a business account) and generally it's fast enough to stream HDX an whatever device. (There's a Roku upstairs and BDP in the HT.) However, if my wife want to stream one thing and one of kids wants to stream another then they are both going to get dumped down to youtube quality video.

That may be something the OP hasn't factored in because he doesn't have a home where several people decide to try to watch something different.

Buffering and then getting the quality taken away... is not very conducive to a nice Theater type experience...
Yeah, I am actually willing to compromise on rental content and accept the low bit rate DD+ (I'm not say all DD+ is low bit rate, but that Vudu uses only a third of what the DD+ standard permits) but the reliability of streaming is a deal breaker.

We've got Comcast 15/1 business account, and always get buffering and have to step down to the 720p stream. Comcast tests the line and confirms we are getting better than 15mbps down. The Vudu speed test typically confirms what Comcast claims. But the problems persist on our devices. So local caching is the only solution.
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post #547 of 706 Old 06-17-2014, 07:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Brian Hampton View Post
In my house we have DSL (not a business account) and generally it's fast enough to stream HDX an whatever device. (There's a Roku upstairs and BDP in the HT.) However, if my wife want to stream one thing and one of kids wants to stream another then they are both going to get dumped down to youtube quality video.

That may be something the OP hasn't factored in because he doesn't have a home where several people decide to try to watch something different.

Buffering and then getting the quality taken away... is not very conducive to a nice Theater type experience...
You bring up a good point, sometimes end-user bandwidth is in short supply. Since the high-end guys already do it, my guess is that a dedicated Internet connection for more modest home theaters will become a more and more popular "upgrade." Nevertheless, I totally understand the desire to have an uninterrupted movie-watching experience without having to pay for a dedicated data line, and Blu-ray can do that. I gave up on Blu-ray rentals because scratched discs were more common (for me) than buffering issues—it's one of the reasons I started buying discs.

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post #548 of 706 Old 06-17-2014, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post
You bring up a good point, sometimes end-user bandwidth is in short supply. Since the high-end guys already do it, my guess is that a dedicated Internet connection for more modest home theaters will become a more and more popular "upgrade." Nevertheless, I totally understand the desire to have an uninterrupted movie-watching experience without having to pay for a dedicated data line, and Blu-ray can do that. I gave up on Blu-ray rentals because scratched discs were more common (for me) than buffering issues—it's one of the reasons I started buying discs.
How realistic of an option is it to add a 2nd internet connection, particularly if there is only one ISP in your area that can deliver speeds above 3 Mbps? Wouldn't there need to be two distinct lines running from the local hub to your house? If your intent is to use the same ISP for both, how much would they charge to provide a second line to your house? I'm assuming the cost would be in the thousands of dollars if they are even willing to do it...

Unless I'm way off on that then the cheaper solution would be to use two different ISP's. For example, you could use your local cable company (e.g. Comcast) as the ISP for your home theater room and, if you are lucky enough to have one, your local fiber company (e.g. Verizon) as the ISP for the rest of your house. For those of us who only have one cable/fiber ISP in our area, we would have to prioritize which room(s) needs the higher bandwidth and use the local cable/fiber ISP for that and then use DSL for the other room(s).

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post #549 of 706 Old 06-17-2014, 08:24 AM - Thread Starter
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How realistic of an option is it to add a 2nd internet connection, particularly if there is only one ISP in your area that can deliver speeds above 3 Mbps? Wouldn't there need to be two distinct lines running from the local hub to your house? If your intent is to use the same ISP for both, how much would they charge to provide a second line to your house? I'm assuming the cost would be in the thousands of dollars if they are even willing to do it...

Unless I'm way off on that then the cheaper solution would be to use two different ISP's. For example, you could use your local cable company (e.g. Comcast) as the ISP for your home theater room and, if you are lucky enough to have one, your local fiber company (e.g. Verizon) as the ISP for the rest of your house. For those of us who only have one cable/fiber ISP in our area, we would have to prioritize which room(s) needs the higher bandwidth and use the local cable/fiber ISP for that and then use DSL for the other room(s).
I don't have a good answer for that, but I will try to get one. What is true, is that my Internet service has so much surplus bandwidth that it's a non-issue, aside from bandwidth caps. Buying a decent router/WiFi hub was the best investment I made, it eliminated buffering in my system.

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post #550 of 706 Old 06-17-2014, 08:35 AM
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I don't use a center channel because the maximum number of people watching a movie in my house is usually 2, and a lot of what I watch and listen to, I do alone, sitting in the "sweet spot." That's because my "theater" has to double as a studio for photo and video editing.

I get a great phantom center effect in my rig, even when sharing the couch with my wife Danya.
Mark, I find that by using a center channel I am able to better hear the dialog over the other sounds without having to keep raising (and lowering) the volume, since I believe most surround sound tracks are mixed with the majority of the dialog coming from the center channel and separated from everything else.

Do you find it harder to decipher the dialog by just using the front L/R speakers?

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Mark, I find that by using a center channel I am able to better hear the dialog over the other sounds without having to keep raising (and lowering) the volume, since I believe most surround sound tracks are mixed with the majority of the dialog coming from the center channel and separated from everything else.

Do you find it harder to decipher the dialog by just using the front L/R speakers?
It's been a long time since I've had a system where it was hard to decipher the center-channel dialog. I don't have any issues at all using a phantom center. Every now and then I throw in a center channel to see if I'm missing anything, but it doesn't stay there for long.

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post #552 of 706 Old 06-17-2014, 09:02 AM
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I own a lot of movies I grew up with and I know I will always want to revisit them at some point. .
I can relate. I got the original Star Wars trilogy on DVD the day it came out and picked up Episodes I-III as they came out. I kept looking at the prices of the Blu-Ray set wanting to get it for the amazing cleaned up A/V (an impulse buy which are never budget friendly) but since I've watched these DVD's only a handful times over the past ten years, I can't justify spending $80 just to have them sit on the shelf.

Then again, I bought an open box Pioneer Elite AVR and hooked them up to my HTIB speakers. I guess that is when I first realized I had this "condition"/passion we all share here at AVS

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post #553 of 706 Old 06-17-2014, 09:08 AM
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My biggest problem with the cloud is access and reliability. And not just for movies. I pray the day never comes when we have to use productivity apps that rely solely on the cloud and connectivity. I won't get anything done! Where I live and the level of service I get from ComCrapst is just deplorable in 2014. Gawd I long for the good ole days of TWC. And, unfortunately, I have no place else to go, so I have to live with it. Just think what most of us would do if our electric service was just as unreliable? There'd be revolts in the streets! When you can't rely on the web, the cloud is useless. When we all have Google fiber and gigabit speeds - that stay up - then I'll start holding hands and singing Kumbayah. Until that day, I'll still be using local apps and buying Blu-rays. Last time I checked, watching Blu-ray quality movies from the cloud in an airplane is still not there yet. (Someone correct me if I'm wrong.)

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post #554 of 706 Old 06-17-2014, 09:10 AM
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It's been a long time since I've had a system where it was hard to decipher the center-channel dialog. I don't have any issues at all using a phantom center. Every now and then I throw in a center channel to see if I'm missing anything, but it doesn't stay there for long.
Thanks for your response.

Out of curiosity, approximately what level do you watch your movies at? I like to hear and feel the sound so I crank it up (~ -20db to -18db on the AVR), but I'm sure you do to.

I believe you said you had a Pioneer Elite receiver (I have a 2012 Pioneer SC model) so if you give me the db volume level you listen to blu-rays at, it will give me a good ballpark idea of what you use.

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post #555 of 706 Old 06-17-2014, 09:29 AM
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How realistic of an option is it to add a 2nd internet connection, particularly if there is only one ISP in your area that can deliver speeds above 3 Mbps? Wouldn't there need to be two distinct lines running from the local hub to your house? If your intent is to use the same ISP for both, how much would they charge to provide a second line to your house? I'm assuming the cost would be in the thousands of dollars if they are even willing to do it...

Unless I'm way off on that then the cheaper solution would be to use two different ISP's. For example, you could use your local cable company (e.g. Comcast) as the ISP for your home theater room and, if you are lucky enough to have one, your local fiber company (e.g. Verizon) as the ISP for the rest of your house. For those of us who only have one cable/fiber ISP in our area, we would have to prioritize which room(s) needs the higher bandwidth and use the local cable/fiber ISP for that and then use DSL for the other room(s).
If you have FiOS (Verizion Fiber), chances are that you can get enough bandwidth for both streaming and the house. If you went through the local cable company, you would probably pay more for less and it won't benefit you. I think everyone that has FiOS can get up to 150Mbps or 300Mbps download, 500Mbps if you're lucky. I think the fastest you can currently get from most cable companies is 101Mbps and it's considered a business internet connection and not cheap.

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post #556 of 706 Old 06-17-2014, 09:32 AM - Thread Starter
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If you have FiOS (Verizion Fiber), chances are that you can get enough bandwidth for both streaming and the house. If you went through the local cable company, you would probably pay more for less and it won't benefit you. I think everyone that has FiOS can get up to 150Mbps or 300Mbps download, 500Mbps if you're lucky. I think the fastest you can currently get from most cable companies is 101Mbps and it's considered a business internet connection and not cheap.
My residential Comcast service exceeds 101 Mbps, fwiw


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post #557 of 706 Old 06-17-2014, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post
It's been a long time since I've had a system where it was hard to decipher the center-channel dialog. I don't have any issues at all using a phantom center. Every now and then I throw in a center channel to see if I'm missing anything, but it doesn't stay there for long.
Wow. That's pretty hard to believe and an interesting observation! I can barely watch a movie without a center-channel. And, it was one of the main reasons I went to 5.1 system many years ago - ultimately upgraded to a 7.1. The center-channel for me brings the dialog to life and puts it where it should be, elevated and in the middle.

I have a new Panny 65" plasma, that's waiting for its new home in my basement mancave. Any day now. It's not hooked up to any audio system, so for the time being we occasionally watch it using just the internal speakers. Yuck. For most casual watching, the news, etc. it's okay. (We generally use the 46" system in the great room.) But for a movie it just isn't the same. Diluted and not focused - and that's with the TV's Enhanced Audio option on!

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post #558 of 706 Old 06-17-2014, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by nathan_h View Post
I'll admit ignorance on this one. I'd love to be wrong, but on my Oppo, Sharp TV, LG Blu-ray player, and ChromeCast, there appears to be no substantial buffering possible. Maybe a couple of seconds, but that's it. Some of these devices have a few gigs of memory, so I'm assuming they are at the mercy of the Vudu app. Are you sure the Roku Vudu app is really that different from the others?
nathan, I can only speak for my experience. I have worked my way through several streaming devices starting with a Roku XD (earlier generation and bad at buffering), a Panasonic Blu-ray player (like-wise bad buffering), the 3rd generation WDTV Live (some buffering problems when streaming off the internet but flawless for streaming off the home network NAS), the Apple TV 3 (which is generally great for buffering and streaming Netflix whenever it's working correctly - the ATV3 does not do VUDU) but it wasn't until I acquired the Roku 3 that my buffering and streaming problems went away...this with my somewhat puny TWC 15/1 service. The Roku 3's faster response UI and versatility is unmatched by anything else I use.
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My residential Comcast service exceeds 101 Mbps, fwiw

When our Comcast IS up, we generally get 95+Mb/s. That's not the problem however. Reliability. After almost a year of trial-n-error from Comcast we finally got a tech to come to the house. Thankfully, he was not a contractor, but a 15yr veteran with the company. Finally! Someone who knew his stuff. After an hour, 2 amplifiers later, casual conversation with him about other Comcast boxes in the house that were interfering with the Xfinity box, cable drops without TV's attached, he got us going. And for the past week it's been highly reliable. Good things do come to those who wait.
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post #560 of 706 Old 06-17-2014, 09:51 AM
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nathan, I can only speak for my experience. I have worked my way through several streaming devices starting with a Roku XD (earlier generation and bad at buffering), a Panasonic Blu-ray player (like-wise bad buffering), the 3rd generation WDTV Live (some buffering problems when streaming off the internet but flawless for streaming off the home network NAS), the Apple TV 3 (which is generally great for buffering and streaming Netflix whenever it's working correctly - the ATV3 does not do VUDU) but it wasn't until I acquired the Roku 3 that my buffering and streaming problems went away...this with my somewhat puny TWC 15/1 service. The Roku 3's faster response UI and versatility is unmatched by anything else I use.
Amazon's FireTV is another new streamer that has a very responsive GUI. Haven't watched a lot with it yet, since we just installed it. Cable issues prevented me from hooking it up earlier. It's destined for the man-cave.

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post #561 of 706 Old 06-17-2014, 10:13 AM
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My residential Comcast service exceeds 101 Mbps, fwiw

I knew that in a few locations, there were some exceptions. But across the country, I'm assuming the majority don't have that as an option.

Mark, is your internet speed a residential or commercial option? I have 75Mbps/35Mbps and typically hit 85Mbps, but I don't have the need or desire to go any faster since the next speed above mine is 150Mbps. But your results show how lopsided download and upload internet speeds are. I would assume that if you have over 100 Mbps down that your upload would be faster than 23 Mbps and closer to 50Mbps. If you need that fast of a downstream for online gaming, a slow upstream speed would be a bottleneck.

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Originally Posted by redjr View Post
When our Comcast IS up, we generally get 95+Mb/s. That's not the problem however. Reliability. After almost a year of trial-n-error from Comcast we finally got a tech to come to the house. Thankfully, he was not a contractor, but a 15yr veteran with the company. Finally! Someone who knew his stuff. After an hour, 2 amplifiers later, casual conversation with him about other Comcast boxes in the house that were interfering with the Xfinity box, cable drops without TV's attached, he got us going. And for the past week it's been highly reliable. Good things do come to those who wait.
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My residential Comcast service exceeds 101 Mbps, fwiw

Mark & redjr. Since you both have Comcast, are you subject to a download cap? If so, what is your limit before throttling or surcharges occur?
In my area, I know FiOS doesn't have a cap and I don't think Cablevision or TWC does either (but with Comcast buying TWC, the latter may change).

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Mark & redjr. Since you both have Comcast, are you subject to a download cap? If so, what is your limit before throttling or surcharges occur?
In my area, I know FiOS doesn't have a cap and I don't think Cablevision or TWC does either (but with Comcast buying TWC, the latter may change).
If we have a cap I don't know about it. But I would since I have a 13 and 16yr in the house! I don't know what they'd do without streaming. We pay extra for the PowerBoost thingy too.
I just checked our account and I notice we do have a 250GB data limit, but it has been suspended. So, I don't know what that means really.

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post #564 of 706 Old 06-17-2014, 11:00 AM
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Wow, well maybe that's part of the problem. Fastest business class service in my hood is 15/1.
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post #565 of 706 Old 06-17-2014, 11:03 AM
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Well after 563 post it should be clear...if CD's and even records are still selling today with all the streaming music sites available, it's obvious that it will be many many many years before streaming video sites fully replace (if ever) DVD/Blu-ray disc!
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post #566 of 706 Old 06-17-2014, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by redjr View Post
If we have a cap I don't know about it. But I would since I have a 13 and 16yr in the house! I don't know what they'd do without streaming. We pay extra for the PowerBoost thingy too.
I just checked our account and I notice we do have a 250GB data limit, but it has been suspended. So, I don't know what that means really.
I guess since you're paying a premium for an speed upgrade, a suspended data limit is Comcast's way of saying "keep paying for the premium and we'll look the other way for now". Plus at your speed, you can go over 250GB fairly quickly with two teens and an AVS forum member.

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post #567 of 706 Old 06-17-2014, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Pioneer_Elte View Post
I guess since you're paying a premium for an speed upgrade, a suspended data limit is Comcast's way of saying "keep paying for the premium and we'll look the other way for now". Plus at your speed, you can go over 250GB fairly quickly with two teens and an AVS forum member.
The PowerBoost is only $10/mth additional, so I figure it's worth it.

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post #568 of 706 Old 06-17-2014, 11:40 AM
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I Just stumbled across this thread and find it somewhat mirrors my current feelings about streaming. As a longtime blu-ray collector who appreciates quality picture and sound I had not been impressed with streaming video services. Recently we moved and had a Comcast high-speed internet connection hooked up and this made all the difference in streaming quality.

Last week I signed up for a trial of the streaming Warner Archivecollection and was amazed to find many of the films I had purchased on DVD fromthe Warner Archive now being streamed in HD with excellent video and sound quality. I would assume we are never going to see blu-ray releases of these old classic films and the HD versions make my DVD discs look blurry at best. It was great seeing one of my favorite films, Ken Russell's "The Boy Friend"in HD with image quality far above that of the WB DVD I had just re-watched a week ago. I had hoped that The Warner Archive might release this one on blu-ray but now I feel there is little hope of that. Even though the Warner Archive films run on a rotation, it will be very disappointing to ever re-watch the $19.99 DVD after seeing the HD version streamed onto my 70" display. I would love to have a cloud purchase of this title if offered.

So I am now also a new convert to the concept of streamingHD video from the cloud. As compression and bandwidth both get better in the future I can see my large collection of DVDs and Blu-rays just being a storage problem. I still like the feeling of owning the physical discs but if we canget the benefit of huge libraries of films in HD quality on demand and at low price it’s hard to see a downside to streaming. I'm a real 3D freak (an unloved video minority) and blu-ray still trumps streaming in the picture quality department in their case so I will still continue to purchase them but I can see not buying as much physical media in the future. Tech marches on......

Last edited by SFMike; 06-17-2014 at 11:49 AM.
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post #569 of 706 Old 06-17-2014, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by nathan_h View Post
Yeah, I am actually willing to compromise on rental content and accept the low bit rate DD+ (I'm not say all DD+ is low bit rate, but that Vudu uses only a third of what the DD+ standard permits) but the reliability of streaming is a deal breaker.

We've got Comcast 15/1 business account, and always get buffering and have to step down to the 720p stream. Comcast tests the line and confirms we are getting better than 15mbps down. The Vudu speed test typically confirms what Comcast claims. But the problems persist on our devices. So local caching is the only solution.
Do you have the issue on non-peak times like 10am Wednesday morning?
May be Comcast bandwidth is being used up by others in your area.

I have a meager 12mb DSL and always get VuDu HDX 1080p through my Panasonic Blu-ray player with a hardwire Ethernet connection.
I also have no buffering issues when I pause & resume a movie.
We only watch VuDu (new releases only) on Friday or Saturday night so it's during the peak hours.

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post #570 of 706 Old 06-17-2014, 05:01 PM
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It's been a long time since I've had a system where it was hard to decipher the center-channel dialog. I don't have any issues at all using a phantom center. Every now and then I throw in a center channel to see if I'm missing anything, but it doesn't stay there for long.


When you do not use a center channel, how do you prevent DRC from being applied when you listen to DD material?
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