Giving Up on Blu-Ray: Why I Switched to The Cloud - Page 21 - AVS Forum
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Old 06-18-2014, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Kelson View Post
I use both Netflix and Redbox. There are so many RedBox kiosks around there is one likely within walking distance of your home (I have two) and certainly within biking distance. RedBox keeps you healthy.

Every couple months I download the update maps for my GPS -- it takes 5hr on my 2.8Mbps DSL line. It is the only time I wish I had more bandwidth.


So you start the GPS download before you go to bed, and when you get up in the morning the download is complete. No big deal one way or the other if you plan things right.

My longest download occurred when I updated Windows 8 to Windows 8.1. As I recall, it took about 12 hours to download and install everything. Regardless, that download included all new drivers for most everything.

Just as a note, I like Windows 8.1 for most things.
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Old 06-18-2014, 07:00 PM
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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.
Mine also.
In a single tv home I didn't see the need for more than the 15 service. It is 3x a Netflix feed and if the lime is at capacity your share is moot.

My other big upgrade was my own Motorola docsis3 cable modem. Great $60 bucks spend and saves $4 a month.

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Old 06-18-2014, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post
Slow internet isn't free... it's just cheaper. I do have my own photography business, so it's true that I pay for more Internet that the average Joe justifies. Fast Internet is a pretty cost-effective luxury IMO, it improves the entire online experience.

I gave up Netflix because of scratched discs, lopsided availability, and the reality that I can't quite predict what I'm going to want to watch next week, and I hate having to pick my evening's entertainment from a small pile of dirty envelopes.


Most people do not run a business on line in a home setting. DSL is fine for the vast majority of my use.

For a streaming test I have streamed a few movies on Crackle direct to my internet TV via a wireless connection, and I was surprised that I did not get more buffering than I did.

Picture quality was very good.
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Old 06-19-2014, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Kelson View Post
I use both Netflix and Redbox. There are so many RedBox kiosks around there is one likely within walking distance of your home (I have two) and certainly within biking distance. RedBox keeps you healthy.

Every couple months I download the update maps for my GPS -- it takes 5hr on my 2.8Mbps DSL line. It is the only time I wish I had more bandwidth.
It's not so much your internet connection as it is the server for the maps updates. On my 75Mbps internet I think it took 2 hours because it would connect at an obscenely slow speed (I think 56k x2 was faster).

I've heard rumors that the "free maps for life update" server is purposedly slowed so less owners will update their maps and would buy a new unit every few years instead. I mean aside from the unit breaking or being bricked (NOTE: never EVER try to power the GPS using the USB port on the car stereo...it will try to update the GPS' boot software and totally brink the device), you only need a new GPS to update the stored maps.

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Old 06-19-2014, 06:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Last night I was watching The Lego Movie in Vudu HDX and I was thinking about the sound and image quality; it's one of those movies that deserves a screening on Blu-ray.

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Old 06-19-2014, 06:02 AM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post
There's a pretty big discrepancy between the cost of a disc and the cost of Netflix. If Netflix doubles its price, it'll still be about the same as buying one new-release Blu-ray per month... when its on sale. .
Are you including the cost of your internet connection when you work this out?
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Old 06-19-2014, 06:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Are you including the cost of your internet connection when you work this out?
I just wrapped up a similar discussion with J_Palmer_Cass, my point is that the sole purpose of an internet connection is not movie streaming, so I don't factor it. Even if all I did was stream, I watch more than Netflix, so it still makes no sense to add the cost of an Internet connection to Netflix, and say that's how much it costs.

Ultimately, I get that some people don't even want fast internet, because of the price. Personally, I'd find something else to save money on, fast Internet is a luxury that I don't want to live without. One of the benefits is high-quality, uninterrupted streaming, but an overall faster online experience adds up. At the end of the week, if I gain just one hour (less than ten minutes per day) due to faster Internet then it's worth it for me, because I value my time. Abd it's not just me... my wife also uses the Internet, and we both work from home.

A dedicated, fast Internet connection is a standard feature on high-end dedicated home theaters these days; no different than including a video processor, an Oppo, and a Kaleidescape.

I think that Netflix is cheap for the amount of content it serves up, regardless of how much you pay for Internet.
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Old 06-19-2014, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post
Last night I was watching The Lego Movie in Vudu HDX and I was thinking about the sound and image quality; it's one of those movies that deserves a screening on Blu-ray.
That is surprising given how easily animation compresses.
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Old 06-19-2014, 07:03 AM - Thread Starter
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That is surprising given how easily animation compresses.
It's animation, but it is immensely complex animation. However, what I really honed in on was the weak soundtrack. It's not always the case with DD+, but for this feature the sound was not as crisp as I suspect the Blu-ray will be. The Lego movie looks like a good candidate for a Blu-ray vs. iTunes vs. Vudu comparison.
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Old 06-19-2014, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post
I just wrapped up a similar discussion with J_Palmer_Cass, my point is that the sole purpose of an internet connection is not movie streaming, so I don't factor it. Even if all I did was stream, I watch more than Netflix, so it still makes no sense to add the cost of an Internet connection to Netflix, and say that's how much it costs.

Ultimately, I get that some people don't even want fast internet, because of the price. Personally, I'd find something else to save money on, fast Internet is a luxury that I don't want to live without. One of the benefits is high-quality, uninterrupted streaming, but an overall faster online experience adds up. At the end of the week, if I gain just one hour (less than ten minutes per day) due to faster Internet then it's worth it for me, because I value my time. Abd it's not just me... my wife also uses the Internet, and we both work from home.

A dedicated, fast Internet connection is a standard feature on high-end dedicated home theaters these days; no different than including a video processor, an Oppo, and a Kaleidescape.

I think that Netflix is cheap for the amount of content it serves up, regardless of how much you pay for Internet.


If I did not visit the AVS website, I could gain way more than one hour per week.

I guess that I should value my time more!
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Old 06-19-2014, 07:24 AM - Thread Starter
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If I did not visit the AVS website, I could gain way more than one hour per week.

I guess that I should value my time more!
That's a perfect example of why it's silly to worry about the cost of Netflix. Because, you can have the Internet and watch streaming content without Netflix, or do other things, so it makes no sense to add the whole cost of an Internet connection to the price of Netflix, in that case what you are doing is subsidizing the rest of the online experience by saying that it's part of the price of watching Netflix.

The point is the price of Netflix does not equal the price of Netflix and the price of a broadband connection.

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Old 06-19-2014, 10:00 AM
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It's animation, but it is immensely complex animation. However, what I really honed in on was the weak soundtrack. It's not always the case with DD+, but for this feature the sound was not as crisp as I suspect the Blu-ray will be. The Lego movie looks like a good candidate for a Blu-ray vs. iTunes vs. Vudu comparison.
Mark, what I think should be the next part of your online streaming study is a comparison of VUDU versus M-GO, Target Ticket and CinemaNow (its PPV competitors).

One nice feature of the Roku 3 is that I've been able to try all of these services, something not possible with other streamers. If I recall correctly I think VUDU is the only one that offers DD+.

Whether or not Comcast is throttling VUDU is just conjecture, no one has proven this is the case. So let's leave that sleeping dog lie for now.

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Old 06-19-2014, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Mark, what I think should be the next part of your online streaming study is a comparison of VUDU versus M-GO, Target Ticket and CinemaNow (its PPV competitors).

One nice feature of the Roku 3 is that I've been able to try all of these services, something not possible with other streamers. If I recall correctly I think VUDU is the only one that offers DD+.

Whether or not Comcast is throttling VUDU is just conjecture, no one has proven this is the case. So let's leave that sleeping dog lie for now.
I'll consider writing another comparison of online services, like I did for Star Trek 2.

I'm not sure why Comcast/Vudu throttling that every came up? Vudu is ultra-reliable for me, whether it's via ChromeCast or by BPD-S5100, I get three-bar HDX. If Comcast is throttling Vudu, I have not experienced it. On the contrary, I've used a bandwidth meter and I've seen Vudu fill the buffer at over 50 Mbps.

Right now, Blu-ray, Vudu, and iTunes are the big players when it comes to rental/purchase of movies. I'm not going to start collecting movies on those other services.

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Old 06-19-2014, 10:46 AM
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Right now, Blu-ray, Vudu, and iTunes are the big players when it comes to rental/purchase of movies. I'm not going to start collecting movies on those other services.
True.

But let me correct myself, M-GO provides DD+ but Target Ticket is just stereo as far as I can tell. Also CinemaNow is only available to me via my WDTV Live, not on the Roku 3.

All three services allow you to link your UV movie library, so you can test without buying a new title. The exception being CinemaNow which only allows for a download of a UV title.

I can tell you're not interested so I won't mention this again.

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Old 06-19-2014, 11:33 AM
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True.

But let me correct myself, M-GO provides DD+ but Target Ticket is just stereo as far as I can tell. Also CinemaNow is only available to me via my WDTV Live, not on the Roku 3.

All three services allow you to link your UV movie library, so you can test without buying a new title. The exception being CinemaNow which only allows for a download of a UV title.

I can tell you're not interested so I won't mention this again.
I maintain my UV library (all two dozen titles) with both Flixster & Vudu, largely because Flixster (owned by Warner Brothers) was the first UV service I joined. The first movie I redeemed was Dark Knight Rises (a Warner Brothers film) and the instructions on the leaflet directed me there. I have since signed up with Vudu, primarily because they were offering 5 free HDX movies for signing up, but also because I wanted to see if there was a difference in PQ between an HD movie from Flixster and the HDX version from Vudu. As yet, I have not done a close enough comparison to determine if there is a difference or not, but I am assuming that Vudu HDX would be slightly better. I will check the audio formats included with the Flixster and Vudu versions to see if there is a difference.

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Old 06-19-2014, 12:59 PM
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I have comcast and VUDU HDX runs full bars no problem. In my experience some VUDU titles can come close, but not as good as blu ray. The main differences I see are:

1) Banding
2) softer image/less detail
3) less contrast
4) no 24p support with wither my PS3 or Roku
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Old 06-19-2014, 01:18 PM
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I have comcast and VUDU HDX runs full bars no problem. In my experience some VUDU titles can come close, but not as good as blu ray. The main differences I see are:

1) Banding
2) softer image/less detail
3) less contrast
4) no 24p support with wither my PS3 or Roku
And sometimes black crush.

2014
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Old 06-19-2014, 01:52 PM
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And sometimes black crush.
Had 5 DVD’s converted to HDX right after Walmart started disc to digital* program. All were 2.35 (2.39, 2.40) on DVD. To my dismay one of the titles (Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome) was cropped and zoomed on the HDX version. That ended the disc to digital for me. Have about 35 HDX titles but rarely watch them because we have the Blu-ray version.

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome has since been released on BD and has the OAR.

*Makes one wonder if these folks know anything about disc.
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Old 06-19-2014, 03:20 PM
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Most people do not run a business on line in a home setting. DSL is fine for the vast majority of my use.
It's happening with a lot. Lots of small businesses online from home nowadays.

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And sometimes black crush.
What causes that?
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Old 06-19-2014, 03:35 PM
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Black crush usually a side effect of over-compression.

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Old 06-19-2014, 04:28 PM
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...some people feel that physical media offers more security—that a disc represents ownership and a license to a cloud-based product does not. I've read many comments along the lines of, "What happens if the cloud-based movie service goes out of business?"
Out of business, hell. The corporation that controls your access to entertainment media will alter the terms of the agreement, Vader-style, whenever they feel like it. I'm a cold dead hands type of guy when it comes to physical media. If you have to connect to someone else's server to watch it, you don't own it, and you never will. That HDX slogan in your screenshot above really says it all. The fact that they would feel the need to tell their customers "You Own It" shows their desperation to deny reality for the sake of profit.
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Old 06-19-2014, 09:47 PM
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I just wrapped up a similar discussion with J_Palmer_Cass, my point is that the sole purpose of an internet connection is not movie streaming, so I don't factor it.
Irrelevant. Now you're just rationalizing things away. For email and other such tasks I can rely on just about any crap connection.... even dial up and/or cell connection. You can't however stream without an internet connection which meets or exceeds a minimum speed, quality and cap limit, so you MUST include it as part of the package.

If we're going to talk about this then at least be honest.
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Old 06-20-2014, 05:29 AM
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Irrelevant. Now you're just rationalizing things away. For email and other such tasks I can rely on just about any crap connection.... even dial up and/or cell connection. You can't however stream without an internet connection which meets or exceeds a minimum speed, quality and cap limit, so you MUST include it as part of the package.

If we're going to talk about this then at least be honest.

The incremental cost of the internet connection is what matters. In addition, people are mixing together personal use and business use. They work out of home and use their high speed internet connection as a business expense.

We did not even hit on what it costs to stream movies to their I-phone or other portable device!
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Old 06-20-2014, 05:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Irrelevant. Now you're just rationalizing things away. For email and other such tasks I can rely on just about any crap connection.... even dial up and/or cell connection. You can't however stream without an internet connection which meets or exceeds a minimum speed, quality and cap limit, so you MUST include it as part of the package.

If we're going to talk about this then at least be honest.
If you are happy with "just about any crap connection," more power to you.

The point is self-explanatory... unless the only thing you do on the Internet is watch Netflix, then the cost of Netflix does not equal the cost of Netflix plus that Internet connection. It's very simple, and I'm being totally honest.

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Old 06-20-2014, 05:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, check this out...

I asked Vudu what the peak bitrate was for a 3D HDX movie. The first rep could not answer, so I asked that a product specialist comment. The reply I got will probably freak out some people here, but I'm just going to copy-and-paste it...

"We have no concrete bit rate for HDX movies but the average is 40 Mbps. If you have any other questions please feel free to contact us."

Obviously this will require verification, it's the first time I've heard of Vudu using a bitrate that high. I specifically mentioned it was a press inquiry. It's not clear if the answer is specific to 3D HDX, last time I measured regular HDX (2D) it averaged 9 Mbps.

However, if Vudu no longer places specific restrictions on bitrate (9 Mbps average with 20 Mbps peaks), that could explain the incremental increase in overall quality that I've noticed.

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Last edited by imagic; 06-20-2014 at 05:58 AM.
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Old 06-20-2014, 08:19 AM
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Well, check this out...
VUDU used to have a speed test but I do not see a link on their site anymore. My service is only 10 Mbps and we have viewed a few of our HDX movies with little buffering. My service does not use speed boost and does not exceed 10 Mbps therefore the claim of HDX at 40 Mbps is dubious.

AFAIK, all online streaming (or downloads) that offers 3D uses SbS or ToB so the data rate should be about the same as 2D. Only Blu-ray uses frame packed 3D and has full resolution in H and V.
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Old 06-20-2014, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
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VUDU used to have a speed test but I do not see a link on their site anymore. My service is only 10 Mbps and we have viewed a few of our HDX movies with little buffering. My service does not use speed boost and does not exceed 10 Mbps therefore the claim of HDX at 40 Mbps is dubious.

AFAIK, all online streaming (or downloads) that offers 3D uses SbS or ToB so the data rate should be about the same as 2D. Only Blu-ray uses frame packed 3D and has full resolution in H and V.
I agree that 40 Mbps sounds quite dubious. I'm on Vudu's forums now, and I plan to engage the engineers directly, in order to get straight answers going forward. I did find a post from an engineer that says the company uses both SbS and ToB for 3D, although it's not clear when or why the company uses one or the other. Anyhow, clearly 3D on Vudu is inferior to Blu-ray, and as I mentioned in the OP, I do plan to continue purchasing 3D movies on Blu-ray.

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Old 06-20-2014, 11:22 AM
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VUDU used to have a speed test but I do not see a link on their site anymore.
Log into your account information, that's where it's located.

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Old 06-20-2014, 03:16 PM
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The point is self-explanatory... unless the only thing you do on the Internet is watch Netflix, then the cost of Netflix does not equal the cost of Netflix plus that Internet connection.
So then, disconnect your internet and tell us all how well an average streaming evening goes for you.

Whether or not you use that connection for other things is irrelevant. Point of FACT. You can not stream without a reliable internet connection. You therefore MUST work that into your overall streaming costs. If you wish to lie to yourself and rationalize this away then hey... knock yourself out... it doesn't bother me at all.
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Old 06-20-2014, 03:19 PM
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I have a question for those using "phantom center channel" setups.

What do you do when you watch a movie that uses only the front center channel? They're rare, but not non-existent, Examples include the Blu-ray of the Errol Flynn Adventures of Robin Hood, and the DVD of the original Mel Brooks movie The Producers (the one with Zero Mostel & Gene Wilder).

Will a "phantom center channel" rig redirect sound sent to the center channel to front left and right?

Philnick is offline  
 

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