Giving Up on Blu-Ray: Why I Switched to The Cloud - Page 6 - AVS Forum
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post #151 of 706 Old 06-11-2014, 05:43 AM - Thread Starter
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I would seem like channel separation would not be affected by compression, unlike other audio parameters. Has anybody tested this?
I would agree with you on this statement Mark. I wonder if Scott Wilkinson has any input on the matter?
I know he's very knowledgeable with regards to audio and he has his own "scientific test" with 24/96 and if it's discernible.

 

I'll definitely ask for @Scott Wilkinson's opinion


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post #152 of 706 Old 06-11-2014, 05:44 AM
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Two points to add to your post:

1) Vudu (or any other streaming service) is probably focusing on the majority of the population who either use the basic TV speakers, basic soundbar or a basic HTiB approach. So they're not going to invest in paying for the quality audio (and necessary bandwidth that goes along with it to deliver it) that most won't even use.
On the flip side, I can bet you that everyone who uses Vudu is watching it on their HD TV. So trying to cut costs by passing lackluster video will be very noticeable to the majority and not in their best interest to make money.

2) They're also probably banking on that most people's HTiB or AVR do not indicate what signal is being passed to it. So they won't think anything of it because their AVR may fake in the surround sound where necessary. Also DD has been used for such a long time as the gold standard that the general population still accepts it as the gold standard not realizing (or caring) that newer formats DTS-MA / D-THD) have taken its place. Remember, DTS-MA and D-THD is only available on blu-ray. Cable TV programming still touts 5.1 Dolby Digital (where available).

 

I would reconsider that bet.  There are many who use Vudu, iTunes, etc. as the delivery method to watch movies and TV on their tablets, computers, and even their phones.  That's one of the primary benefits of these digital delivery services.  I suspect that the number of people using these services to watch movies on the big screen only, are dwarfed by the number who watch it on much smaller screens.  However, if physical media does not progress in quality in the next couple of years, I could see that trend changing to more of a 50/50 split.

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post #153 of 706 Old 06-11-2014, 05:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Two points to add to your post:

1) Vudu (or any other streaming service) is probably focusing on the majority of the population who either use the basic TV speakers, basic soundbar or a basic HTiB approach. So they're not going to invest in paying for the quality audio (and necessary bandwidth that goes along with it to deliver it) that most won't even use.
On the flip side, I can bet you that everyone who uses Vudu is watching it on their HD TV. So trying to cut costs by passing lackluster video will be very noticeable to the majority and not in their best interest to make money.

2) They're also probably banking on that most people's HTiB or AVR do not indicate what signal is being passed to it. So they won't think anything of it because their AVR may fake in the surround sound where necessary. Also DD has been used for such a long time as the gold standard that the general population still accepts it as the gold standard not realizing (or caring) that newer formats DTS-MA / D-THD) have taken its place. Remember, DTS-MA and D-THD is only available on blu-ray. Cable TV programming still touts 5.1 Dolby Digital (where available).

 

I would reconsider that bet.  There are many who use Vudu, iTunes, etc. as the delivery method to watch movies and TV on their tablets, computers, and even their phones.  That's one of the primary benefits of these digital delivery services.  I suspect that the number of people using these services to watch movies on the big screen only, are dwarfed by the number who watch it on much smaller screens.  However, if physical media does not progress in quality in the next couple of years, I could see that trend changing to more of a 50/50 split.

 

Smaller screens that are reaching absurdly high resolutions, I might add. And those devices can play content on big screens. Blu-ray player/movie serverHTPC of the (near) future is a tablet full of files.


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post #154 of 706 Old 06-11-2014, 05:50 AM
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I love how the topics of "look at me, I ditched the disc" or "physical media is dead" comes up quite often, but when you get down to it, everyone still agrees that blu-ray quality is superior, and even more so the larger of an image that you look at of course, but the idea of convenience trumps quality for some people.

Remember when MP3s were first out all across college networks? The quality was noticeably lower than a CD, but people ate them up because they could share music for free and very easily... Not legally, but easy. (Yes, I know that CDs are also compressed analog recordings too, so MP3s are compressed versions of already compressed audio, but I am not an audiophile, so for me I don't care).

For those 3/4 of the AVS users who are using blu-ray, we are the group that want the best that is readily available. I buy the movies that I really want to see on their release dates anyway, so that isn't an issue, and I live about 3 miles from multiple RedBoxes and a real, old fashioned video rental store that has the new releases (with full audio, unlike some RedBox releases) on release day too.

I then get the best picture and sound available to the consumer market.

Plus, there are so many internet providers putting data caps on people, that it wouldn't take too long to hit for many of us. I have a 250GB cap and my provider is already ripping me off at $75 month for 12Mb down and 1Mb up. My family is currently using about 185BG of that cap, and that is from online gaming, Skype, YouTube (I was surprised at how much this was of our monthly usage), etc. To get a larger cap, just so that I could stream even if the quality was perfect, would cost me almost $200 a month to get a 500GB cap, 20Mb down, and 2Mb up.

No thanks. I can buy the best quality for a lot less than that. Even if it WAS cheaper though, I still want the detail, better color, and fewer artifacts that blu-ray gives me at 138".

Then again, I have my house set up for gigabit and I have a media library with all of my blu-rays and DVDs on it so that I can stream across the network at either 100% quality to my HTPC, and at whatever quality I want to my Rokus (I pick the highest setting) on the smaller 55", 50", or 32" TVs in the house. So I guess that I HAVE gone to streaming, but I control the source, transmission, reception, and playback. Since I rip at 100%, I can get 100% blu-ray quality anywhere in the house, all driven by a slick and pretty interface, I can watch the trailers, see the cast listing, sort however I want, etc. And that is all already downloaded (trailers too) so that I don't have any lag or waiting on anything. It actually seems a LOT better than a plain disc based setup, but the blu-rays are still at the core of the system... Oh, and no more forced trailers (ala Disney), or warnings, etc. I tell it to play, and it plays just the movie. OK, maybe there is a .89 second delay (less than 1 second for those who missed the decimal point there).
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post #155 of 706 Old 06-11-2014, 05:51 AM
 
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I will never stream a movie, until the audio is on par with blu-ray. Currently most streamed stuff is just awful audio quality. The pictures getting close.
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post #156 of 706 Old 06-11-2014, 05:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Wasn't trying to minimize that issue. Definitely a big one. But with Vudu & iTunes, if you can buy it, you can download it, negating the need for an internet connection to watch in the future.

I guess that for those that are able to, you can take the iTunes copy and put it on a media server and then compare this version to the Blu-Ray by plying both of them through a Blu-Ray player.
Then members can directly compare the video/audio for themselves since the only variable would be the source of the material.

 

My BDP streams Vudu, so making that comparison with HDX vs. Blu-ray is easy enough—although when I did my iTunes vs. Vudu vs. Blu-ray comparisons, I used a HTPC so I could capture screen shots and compare those.


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post #157 of 706 Old 06-11-2014, 05:53 AM
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Smaller screens that are reaching absurdly high resolutions, I might add. And those devices can play content on big screens. Blu-ray player/movie serverHTPC of the (near) future is a tablet full of files.


And on the smaller devices, you are exceeding the capabilities of the human eye anyway, so why?

Just like these 4K displays. I am all for higher resolution, but people are buying them because they are curved (tells you the intelligence level of the consumer market), but don't realize that until you get to really large displays, the curves actually create a visual distortion of the image at the far left and right. Thank you slick marketing for making "curved" screens be worse than flat, but telling people that it is better.

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post #158 of 706 Old 06-11-2014, 05:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Smaller screens that are reaching absurdly high resolutions, I might add. And those devices can play content on big screens. Blu-ray player/movie serverHTPC of the (near) future is a tablet full of files.


And on the smaller devices, you are exceeding the capabilities of the human eye anyway, so why?

Just like these 4K displays. I am all for higher resolution, but people are buying them because they are curved (tells you the intelligence level of the consumer market), but don't realize that until you get to really large displays, the curves actually create a visual distortion of the image at the far left and right. Thank you slick marketing for making "curved" screens be worse than flat, but telling people that it is better.

 

I think curved screens are silly, however there is no evidence of consumer adoption of the form factor.


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post #159 of 706 Old 06-11-2014, 06:03 AM
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You know one thing that I find interesting? You are a photographer who concerns himself with image quality and composition, and yet you are OK with sub-par audio/video quality. (Yes, I clicked your link in your signature.) You wouldn't compress your photos to the point that they are noticeably worse (even if just slightly when viewed on a "smaller" display), would you?

Just found that interesting.
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post #160 of 706 Old 06-11-2014, 06:07 AM
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Quote:Originally Posted by HockeyoAJB 

I would reconsider that bet.  There are many who use Vudu, iTunes, etc. as the delivery method to watch movies and TV on their tablets, computers, and even their phones.  That's one of the primary benefits of these digital delivery services.  I suspect that the number of people using these services to watch movies on the big screen only, are dwarfed by the number who watch it on much smaller screens.  However, if physical media does not progress in quality in the next couple of years, I could see that trend changing to more of a 50/50 split.


I agree, but remember that the PC and many tables have resolutions that are the same or better than 1080p (albeit on a smaller screen) and most recent cell phones have at least 720p.

The point I was trying to make was that as a consumer, we've been conditioned to expect HD video. The same push was never done for the audio side. So I was trying to make the point that they are trying to make sure they were up to par on the video side of the digital copy because that's what most consumers are concerned about and look for. Whereas the audio quality was never emphasized and thus they can skimp out and reduce the quality of it (and overall file size) because it's not viewed as important as video. I guess it has to do with the mass acceptance of MP3 as an audio standard.


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post #161 of 706 Old 06-11-2014, 06:13 AM
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Oh the shame of it all - Jack Ryan HDX (new movie) on Vudu - STEREO. Purchase Blue Ray - true surround sound. I don't see the advantage of this new movie on Vudu.
That is just one example of the masses being screwed over by stream rental/purchase option. I don't believe that just because a movie is new, it would be more likely to be superior to some of the older films. Then again, nothing stops Vudu and others from improved files for stream distribution. FYI, the films I named it is very noticeable the difference in audio.

What are you talking about?

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post #162 of 706 Old 06-11-2014, 06:17 AM
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I have a 250GB cap and my provider is already ripping me off at $75 month for 12Mb down and 1Mb up.

You definitely getting a bum deal on your internet. I think it depends on where you live (infrastructure and competition).I can get 75Mb/35Mb with no caps for $115 but that includes cable (350 channels) and digital phone.

For an extra $55/month you can jump to 150/65 or you get the 500/100 deal for $330 (with cable & phone) if you plan on downloading the entire Library of Congress collection in 1 week.

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post #163 of 706 Old 06-11-2014, 06:18 AM - Thread Starter
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You know one thing that I find interesting? You are a photographer who concerns himself with image quality and composition, and yet you are OK with sub-par audio/video quality. (Yes, I clicked your link in your signature.) You wouldn't compress your photos to the point that they are noticeably worse (even if just slightly when viewed on a "smaller" display), would you?

Just found that interesting.

When I prepare a file for the Web I use just enough compression to get the job done, but I do use it. For print, it's uncompressed. What amuses me is Blu-ray is only 2 megapixels! I've shot gigapixel images. Blu-ray is child's play in pro photo terms. With 4K, we'll have something to talk about.
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post #164 of 706 Old 06-11-2014, 06:20 AM
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If you can live without the best quality possible (both video AND audio), then ditching BD isn't such a bad idea. But BD is still the best quality out there.It simply can't be beat. Granted, a lot of the streamed stuff these days looks pretty impressive, but more times than not the audio is still nowhere near comparison values, and to me the audio is just as important as a quality picture.

I just can't see ditching BD anytime in the near future. At least not until the streamed audio quality gets better.

I agree 100%. If you have invested in a nice audio system, the streaming audio quality is always significantly inferior to Blu-ray...at least from my experience. The "thin" sounding audio takes a lot away from the experience. Maybe some good tactile transducers would trick your mind into thinking that you are getting richer audio. I don't have any...so don't know. 

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post #165 of 706 Old 06-11-2014, 06:23 AM
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You definitely getting a bum deal on your internet. I think it depends on where you live (infrastructure and competition).I can get 75Mb/35Mb with no caps for $115 but that includes cable (350 channels) and digital phone.

For an extra $55/month you can jump to 150/65 or you get the 500/100 deal for $330 (with cable & phone) if you plan on downloading the entire Library of Congress collection in 1 week.


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post #166 of 706 Old 06-11-2014, 06:28 AM
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I guarantee that you break laws every day. Speed limits, jaywalking, connecting to open wifi networks without explicit permission (your phone likely does this automatically as you walk around town), singing Happy Birthday in public...

If you don't want to rip your own discs for other reasons then that's fine. But to refuse because of a law is just silly.
It's not illegal to sing "Happy Birthday" in public. It is a copyright violation if your singing it has anything to do with profit, eg. the local diner singing "Happy Birthday" to a patron. Other than that it's legal.
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post #167 of 706 Old 06-11-2014, 08:32 PM
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Imagic,

What are your audio components?

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post #168 of 706 Old 06-11-2014, 08:44 PM
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Imagic,

What are your audio components?
These are his subwoofers:
DIY: Build the SumpSub Ported Passive Subwoofer


I believe that he has Behringer pro audio mains and at some point he had Andrew Jones bookshelf speakers for surround.
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post #169 of 706 Old 06-11-2014, 10:31 PM
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Tuesday night, I left the music store where I teach and picked up Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. I avoided watching it while it was being broadcast because I wanted to watch it in the best possible way available today. On Blu-ray.


Tonight, I slid the cardboard sleeve off the set. I then took my nail clippers and used them to make a small slit in the plastic wrap cover then proceeded to tear it off.


I then took off the small titled label from the top of the case. I opened the case and removed disc one. I pressed eject on my remote and the tray for my OPPO Blu-ray player and inserted the disc.


I then closed the drawer, and satisfied, I sat back and waited approximately 30 seconds until the disc menu started. I then started Episode 1.... a brilliant experience. Can't wait to watch the rest.


I loved every second of that entire process. For me, it gave my whole purchase meaning.


Streaming trivializes the whole experience. Even the audio/video experience is lacking in comparison. Streaming turns the act of watching cinema into a completely vapid and meaningless act.


Streaming is the opiate of the masses. Marshall McLuhan was right. The medium IS the message.
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post #170 of 706 Old 06-11-2014, 11:07 PM
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Quote:Originally Posted by imagic 

I would seem like channel separation would not be affected by compression, unlike other audio parameters. Has anybody tested this?

I would agree with you on this statement Mark. I wonder if Scott Wilkinson has any input on the matter?
I know he's very knowledgeable with regards to audio and he has his own "scientific test" with 24/96 and if it's discernible.
A very good question. I would think that lossy compression wouldn't affect channel separation, but I'm not sure. I'll have to investigate that one.

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post #171 of 706 Old 06-11-2014, 11:26 PM
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Tonight, I slid the cardboard sleeve off the set. I then took my nail clippers and used them to make a small slit in the plastic wrap cover then proceeded to tear it off.


I then took off the small titled label from the top of the case. I opened the case and removed disc one. I pressed eject on my remote and the tray for my OPPO Blu-ray player and inserted the disc.


I then closed the drawer, and satisfied, I sat back and waited approximately 30 seconds until the disc menu started. I then started Episode 1.... a brilliant experience. Can't wait to watch the rest.


I loved every second of that entire process. For me, it gave my whole purchase meaning.

+1. When I go to my man cave to watch a movie, I fire up the projector, blu ray, receiver, amplifiers, and Darblet and I know something awesome is about to happen. I like switching out my blu rays from the player - it's tangible and tactile and it's a ritual that I quite enjoy (and I can probably do it as fast as anyone rummaging through their UI to get to their downloaded movie). Clicking through screens and subscreens to get to the movie I want makes it rather meh to me.
@imagic , so sad you don't like curved screens - I love mine.


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post #172 of 706 Old 06-11-2014, 11:49 PM
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Quote:Originally Posted by RickyDeg 

For me, 50% of the advantage with Blu-ray's is the lossless HD sound.
Why invest so much time and money on a sound system and then go back to lackluster audio for the sake of convenience?

Not giving up on discs just yet, thank you. Streaming does not appeal to me.


That's where I am too.
Audio is definitely sub par in streaming services IMO.
They are indeed. A big reason not to give up on discs. A friend of mine just abandoned Blu-ray for streaming cause his wife and kids loved the convenience, which I can understand, but I can tell he's not happy due to him sitting there with a pretty expensive set-up and lossy sound. No good.

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post #173 of 706 Old 06-12-2014, 02:44 AM
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I will stream movies occasionally from Netflix, but I really miss the lossless sound that I get from an actual BluRay disc. I will consider switching to streaming from The Cloud on a permanent basis only when the sound AND picture quality rivals that of an actual disc.

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post #174 of 706 Old 06-12-2014, 02:50 AM
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Quote:
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It's not illegal to sing "Happy Birthday" in public. It is a copyright violation if your singing it has anything to do with profit, eg. the local diner singing "Happy Birthday" to a patron. Other than that it's legal.
Wrong. The law applies to any public performance. ASCAP requested royalties from the girl scouts for singing copyrighted works around the campfire (non profit). They later withdrew but not because the law was against them.

Regardless, you have missed the point. Which was there are lots of silly laws that people break all the time. If my examples don't work in your jurisdiction then im sure you can think of some others. To say "im not ripping my discs because it's against the law and im a wonderful paragon of virtue" is pointless and hypocritical because you've already broken a dozen dumb laws by lunchtime.
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post #175 of 706 Old 06-12-2014, 02:54 AM
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We do all tend to make video the focus of streaming. It's the audio-the lack of lossless codecs that has me back. I wish the audio were emphasized and given importance by the services as much as the video.
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post #176 of 706 Old 06-12-2014, 02:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Thxtheater View Post
We do all tend to make video the focus of streaming. It's the audio-the lack of lossless codecs that has me back. I wish the audio were emphasized and given importance by the services as much as the video.
+1 I agree completely. Unless I missed it, this point was not discussed in the original article. For those of us who like our lossless sound, streaming is not yet ready for prime time. I mean no disrespect to my friends who don't care as much about SQ as I do.

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post #177 of 706 Old 06-12-2014, 04:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Exclamation Obeying the law is pointless and hypocritical?

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Originally Posted by elario View Post
Wrong. The law applies to any public performance. ASCAP requested royalties from the girl scouts for singing copyrighted works around the campfire (non profit). They later withdrew but not because the law was against them.

Regardless, you have missed the point. Which was there are lots of silly laws that people break all the time. If my examples don't work in your jurisdiction then im sure you can think of some others. To say "im not ripping my discs because it's against the law and im a wonderful paragon of virtue" is pointless and hypocritical because you've already broken a dozen dumb laws by lunchtime.
ygtbkm I have no idea why you think it's appropriate to make fun of me for having ethics. Keep your criticism to yourself, please.
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Last edited by imagic; 06-12-2014 at 04:15 AM.
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post #178 of 706 Old 06-12-2014, 04:18 AM - Thread Starter
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I will stream movies occasionally from Netflix, but I really miss the lossless sound that I get from an actual BluRay disc. I will consider switching to streaming from The Cloud on a permanent basis only when the sound AND picture quality rivals that of an actual disc.

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1080p quality on Netflix is not comparable to Vudu HDX or even iTunes HD—not even close. Same goes for the sound.

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post #179 of 706 Old 06-12-2014, 04:40 AM - Thread Starter
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+1. When I go to my man cave to watch a movie, I fire up the projector, blu ray, receiver, amplifiers, and Darblet and I know something awesome is about to happen. I like switching out my blu rays from the player - it's tangible and tactile and it's a ritual that I quite enjoy (and I can probably do it as fast as anyone rummaging through their UI to get to their downloaded movie). Clicking through screens and subscreens to get to the movie I want makes it rather meh to me.
@imagic , so sad you don't like curved screens - I love mine.
I don't like curved TV screens. Curved screens make sense for projection, and make no sense for TVs.

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post #180 of 706 Old 06-12-2014, 04:43 AM
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Quote:Originally Posted by Brian Hampton 

If you can't hear the difference you're practically deaf...have that checked. Hearing aid tech is good now.

I think more than anything you are constantly trying to convice yourself this was a good idea.

And, so long as that works, more power to ya.


remember you're in the 'everything sounds the same' forum
God isn't that the truth!

ALL streaming services, including VUDU look awful to me. Loss of detail, compression artifacts...
And the audio sounds like its being sent through a string.

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