Is Online Delivery Acceptable for Home Theater Use? - Page 4 - AVS Forum
View Poll Results: Is Online Delivery Acceptable for Home Theater Use?
iTunes HD and Vudu HDX are totally acceptable for HT use 38 11.41%
iTunes HD and Vudu HDX are barely acceptable for HT use 25 7.51%
Vudu HDX and Blu-ray are acceptable for HT use, iTunes HD is not 37 11.11%
iTunes HD and Blu-ray are acceptable for HT use, Vudu HDX is not 7 2.10%
Blu-ray is acceptable for HT use, iTunes HD and Vudu HDX are not 226 67.87%
Voters: 333. You may not vote on this poll

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post #91 of 171 Old 03-11-2013, 06:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by comfynumb View Post


I'll be looking forward to your comparisons on Life of Pi. Based on these, it's getting a bit harder to see a difference but out of the download bunch, I'm starting to take notice on how good Vudu looks. Who would have thought Wallyworld would be a good alternative to the media giants? Yes I can see that blu-ray is better. But the downloads look considerably better than they did only a short time ago.

Take a look at the dot patterns in the image. iTunes is fudging it, showing a lot less complexity, the 1080p version is only a bit sharper then 720p, without adding any resolution. The Blu-ray and Vudu crops show the same amount of increased pattern detail in that region. It's indicative of what I saw throughout Wreck-IT Ralph.

I'll make it easy to see the difference; here's a serious bit of pixel peeping, roughly equivalent to looking at a 200" screen from less than a foot away. smile.gif

Edit - The dot pitch is equivalent to a 200" screen, but viewing it on the web, it's more like being a few feet away from such a screen as opposed to under a foot, unless you look at your own screen really closely!


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post #92 of 171 Old 03-11-2013, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post

Take a look at the dot patterns in the image. iTunes is fudging it, showing a lot less complexity, the 1080p version is only a bit sharper then 720p, without adding any resolution. The Blu-ray and Vudu crops show the same amount of increased pattern detail in that region. It's indicative of what I saw throughout Wreck-IT Ralph.

I'll make it easy to see the difference; here's a serious bit of pixel peeping, roughly equivalent to looking at a 200" screen from less than a foot away smile.gif



Yes I can see it better in those shots. There is no hiding when I can see the pixels. Now I'm even more impressed with Vudu. Thanks for the images they helped.
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post #93 of 171 Old 03-11-2013, 10:59 AM
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I dont mind wathcing movies from Apple and they actually look pretty good on my sony 50ES. However its the motion that gets me. I see a lot more jittery type motions with Apple Tv than from any Blue Ray. Thus a sub par rateing.
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post #94 of 171 Old 03-11-2013, 05:10 PM
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You claim that you can see the difference using 60" from 9' away yet on the other thread you were adamanat that it's impossible for me to see the difference on my 96" from 9' away.

So it seeMs like if it suits you, the law of physics works in your favour and when I claim it, you accused me of (your quote) watching the video on a 200" from 5' away and the rest of the people who can claim the difference are (again, your quote) video snobs.

PS the average customer is not watching 42" from 15' away because the stores (plural) that I consult for, more than 60% of the sales are 60" or higher and less than 20% bought between 32" to 47". The average viewing distance for these clients is 10' from the screen.

Are they Best Buy and Wal-Mart? If they're not, they have little relation to the average consumer. You're twisting what I said. The time when I can see it is VUDU HDX @ 1080p vs. Amazon @ 720p, or VUDU HDX vs. iTunes @ 1080p. Where no one will be able to see it is VUDU HDX vs. Blu-Ray.
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I've done a few comparisons and there is a surprising amount of variability in quality with the online delivery versions. Skyfall and Argo were directly compared to Blu-ray and I found Blu-ray was better for both movies, not by a huge margin but definitely better. Life of Pi is coming out on Blu-ray tomorrow, which will allow me to complete that comparison. After that, my next comparison will be Wreck-It Ralph, followed by the 3D re-release of Top Gun. Next week brings The Hobbit and Zero Dark Thirty. That's good enough to take the total number of comparisons that include Blu-ray from two to seven in a bit over a week's time.

The first screen shot attached to this article is from Argo, I have added another from Wreck-It Ralph, which I am duplicating here. It's one of the best frames in the whole movie for comparing actual resolution.


That's a great example of how VUDU is matching Blu-Ray quality.
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I dont mind wathcing movies from Apple and they actually look pretty good on my sony 50ES. However its the motion that gets me. I see a lot more jittery type motions with Apple Tv than from any Blue Ray. Thus a sub par rateing.

Yeah, it has something to do with the way they do 1080/24p, as I can see it on TV shows and movies from iTunes, but not on anything else. That may be the reason why I prefer Amazon 720p over iTunes 1080p, even though Amazon is slightly softer than VUDU HDX or Blu-Ray.
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post #95 of 171 Old 03-11-2013, 05:43 PM
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Have to admit it's very close. I opened Mr Magic's pixel comparison on my iPad and IMO blu-ray still has the edge, but it probably will not be long before they are equal. Although I've never watched a Vudu movie this makes me want to try it. How is the sound quality compared to blu-ray? That would be the breaker for me. How do you purchase them from Vudu versus renting them? Is that the ultra violet part? Also do you have burn rights for your purchase?
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post #96 of 171 Old 03-11-2013, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by comfynumb View Post

Have to admit it's very close. I opened Mr Magic's pixel comparison on my iPad and IMO blu-ray still has the edge, but it probably will not be long before they are equal. Although I've never watched a Vudu movie this makes me want to try it. How is the sound quality compared to blu-ray? That would be the breaker for me. How do you purchase them from Vudu versus renting them? Is that the ultra violet part? Also do you have burn rights for your purchase?

Idk about UV, but you can buy or rent from the on-screen UI. I only rent, so I can criss-cross services at will and not end up with a mess of owned content on different platforms. I guess technically I own a bunch of stuff on iTunes, like TV shows, but it's highly doubtful I'll ever touch any of them again.
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post #97 of 171 Old 03-11-2013, 11:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by comfynumb View Post

Have to admit it's very close. I opened Mr Magic's pixel comparison on my iPad and IMO blu-ray still has the edge, but it probably will not be long before they are equal. Although I've never watched a Vudu movie this makes me want to try it. How is the sound quality compared to blu-ray? That would be the breaker for me. How do you purchase them from Vudu versus renting them? Is that the ultra violet part? Also do you have burn rights for your purchase?

When you buy a Blu-ray and redeem an Ultraviolet code, what you get is ownership rights for a Vudu file. Vudu purchases are simply made in the same screen where you can also rent the movie. Vudu's audio is not as good as Blu-ray, whether this actually matters depends on the movie. With older movies it really does not matter. A new, big budget movie with a 7.1 DTS HD Master soundtrack beats all the electronic-distribution formats in terms of SQ just about every time. I have far more invested in sound than I do visuals, and I do think Blu-ray can sound special. Whether it's enough of a difference to matter is incredibly subjective, and also depends on the quality of the home theater system and like I said, the movie itself. Vudu's 7.1 channel Dolby Digital Plus does sound better than iTunes, which is limited to 5.1 channel Dolby Digital. When Vudu is 5.1, it sounds the same to me as iTunes. There is no provision for burning Vudu files to disc.

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post #98 of 171 Old 03-12-2013, 05:51 AM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post

When you buy a Blu-ray and redeem an Ultraviolet code, what you get is ownership rights for a Vudu file. Vudu purchases are simply made in the same screen where you can also rent the movie. Vudu's audio is not as good as Blu-ray, whether this actually matters depends on the movie. With older movies it really does not matter. A new, big budget movie with a 7.1 DTS HD Master soundtrack beats all the electronic-distribution formats in terms of SQ just about every time. I have far more invested in sound than I do visuals, and I do think Blu-ray can sound special. Whether it's enough of a difference to matter is incredibly subjective, and also depends on the quality of the home theater system and like I said, the movie itself. Vudu's 7.1 channel Dolby Digital Plus does sound better than iTunes, which is limited to 5.1 channel Dolby Digital. When Vudu is 5.1, it sounds the same to me as iTunes. There is no provision for burning Vudu files to disc.



That answers my questions thanks. So with the ownership rights you an stream this for the 7 years I'm reading about, anytime you want? It's almost like your movie in the cloud, so to speak. It sounds perfect for having the classics, like the Godfather movies and others.
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post #99 of 171 Old 03-12-2013, 07:16 AM
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Ok so vudu looks almost as good when veiwing pixels, but does that really tell the whole story? What about motion resolution and artifacts (blocking,banding,etc.)??? I find those things can be more important (and distracting) than the resolution itself.
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post #100 of 171 Old 03-12-2013, 07:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok so vudu looks almost as good when veiwing pixels, but does that really tell the whole story? What about motion resolution and artifacts (blocking,banding,etc.)??? I find those things can be more important (and distracting) than the resolution itself.

Those issues certainly are important, banding used to be what kept me from watching anything but Blu-ray. I can't make sweeping statements, but I have not seen banding in a while. Certainly not on recent new releases via Vudu HDX or iTunes HD. I've witnessed about 10 seconds of blocking in about 8 hours of movie comparisons. On my PC I used to experience motion related issues on occasion, but a video card upgrade completely eliminated that. My PS3 never falters with Vudu HDX, I consider it one of the best platforms for the service, since the PS3 also allows downloads.

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post #101 of 171 Old 03-12-2013, 08:05 AM
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post #102 of 171 Old 03-12-2013, 08:24 AM
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Although VUDU HDX is the only format that's visually equivalent to Blu-Ray, I find that Amazon VOD, even at 720p is much better than iTunes 1080p- it's a little softer, but much more pleasing to watch. iTunes is cold and harsh with the compression artifacts, and the whole 24p thing is nice for movies, but bizarre for TV shows. I find Amazon 720p to probably be second only to VUDU HDX/Blu-Ray, and far ahead of any cable format.

Why is that bizarre? 99% of tv shows these days are filmed at 24p. Blu-ray tv shows are also released at 24p if that is the way they were filmed.

Amazon VOD looks worse than itunes from everything I've seen. There was a huge thread awhile back that had screen comparisons from every streaming/download service, but the screens got lost when the image host went down. Amazon looked worse in every comparison that was posted.
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post #103 of 171 Old 03-12-2013, 09:16 AM
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Blu Ray 8D smile.gif



I've heard very little about 8D. Wouldn't that require different equipment for video, like a special blu-ray player? I don't want to go off topic, so I'll just ask a quick question.
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post #104 of 171 Old 03-12-2013, 09:39 AM
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PQ is one thing, and there is just not enough bandwidth to deal effectivly with stuff liike the IMAX scenes in the Dark Knight, plus the audio is a big deal for me.
I can't see a real good picture and lossless audio in the same stream. It's just too much to handle.I suppose they will get it down, until then it;s block buster and music on BD.
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post #105 of 171 Old 03-12-2013, 09:43 AM
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blu ray all the way! end of the topic!

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post #106 of 171 Old 03-12-2013, 10:17 AM
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I just went over all this on Mr. Magic's other thread. I'm a disc guy and before that I was a VHS guy, and for music LP's and everything in between. The last thing I want to give up is my shiny discs. But if you think greater bandwidth isn't available for less money than ever before, take a look online. Comcast just lowered my triple play bill by 20% and all I did was ask. I had one of their 4 year old Arris modems and it was causing a problem streaming from two devices at once. They sent me the newest Arris and what a difference. I was at 17-18 Mbps down tops with only one device connected now I'm nearly 25 with several devices running at once. Is that enough for the latest technology about to come out? Probably not but their tech stated the new modem was ready for future upgrades. Some other Internet companies are offering speeds over ten times faster than mine. Yeah for a premium but I see prices falling with more competition. As far as quality goes why can't streaming/download movies be good enough for at least some of our movie watching? Like it or not here it comes.
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post #107 of 171 Old 03-12-2013, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by comfynumb View Post

I just went over all this on Mr. Magic's other thread. I'm a disc guy and before that I was a VHS guy, and for music LP's and everything in between. The last thing I want to give up is my shiny discs. But if you think greater bandwidth isn't available for less money than ever before, take a look online. Comcast just lowered my triple play bill by 20% and all I did was ask. I had one of their 4 year old Arris modems and it was causing a problem streaming from two devices at once. They sent me the newest Arris and what a difference. I was at 17-18 Mbps down tops with only one device connected now I'm nearly 25 with several devices running at once. Is that enough for the latest technology about to come out? Probably not but their tech stated the new modem was ready for future upgrades. Some other Internet companies are offering speeds over ten times faster than mine. Yeah for a premium but I see prices falling with more competition. As far as quality goes why can't streaming/download movies be good enough for at least some of our movie watching? Like it or not here it comes.

That's great, but not all areas are like that. Around here, 24 Mbps is about the max you can get..and at a premium. Not to mention, not all internet providers are as great with customer service and lowering prices as yours. Around here it seems they will bend over backwards for new customers, but after your first 12 months, your rates get jacked up. I've got the top tier offered, paying 90 bucks a month(for just internet), and the highest test I've gotten is right around 20 Mbps. Most people around here are not so lucky. Even with the 16-18 Mbps, streaming movies is hit and miss. Turn off data on the cell phones, and don't use the computer, otherwise there is a good chance you'll lose connection. Talks of downloading movies with devices like the PS4 do not yet seem feasible. Streaming quality is improving and is getting close to blu-ray, the bandwidth is far better then it was 5 years ago..and things will keep getting better. It's coming, but we are not there yet. Most people around here only have max 10 Mbps, because it is the only affordable option(I probably would too if I didn't need a faster connection for work). Drive 5-10 miles out of town, and the only option is satellite internet.. A very close friend has this problem, and it is spotty at best. Internet is slow, but usable.. and streaming netflix almost always results in lag and dropped signal. I have not done a speed test there, but imagine it is not good. We have a cabin 3 hours north, and unless you are right in the small town, your only option there is satellite as well, as is much of the northern half of WI and most of the U.P. Some areas have DSL, but outside of mid-size towns and cities, there are few options capable of reliable streaming and downloading. I would imagine this is the case in most other states as well? OR maybe I'm just not up to speed on the options out there?

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post #108 of 171 Old 03-12-2013, 01:30 PM - Thread Starter
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That's great, but not all areas are like that. Around here, 24 Mbps is about the max you can get..and at a premium. Not to mention, not all internet providers are as great with customer service and lowering prices as yours. Around here it seems they will bend over backwards for new customers, but after your first 12 months, your rates get jacked up. I've got the top tier offered, paying 90 bucks a month(for just internet), and the highest test I've gotten is right around 20 Mbps. Most people around here are not so lucky. Even with the 16-18 Mbps, streaming movies is hit and miss. Turn off data on the cell phones, and don't use the computer, otherwise there is a good chance you'll lose connection. Talks of downloading movies with devices like the PS4 do not yet seem feasible. Streaming quality is improving and is getting close to blu-ray, the bandwidth is far better then it was 5 years ago..and things will keep getting better. It's coming, but we are not there yet. Most people around here only have max 10 Mbps, because it is the only affordable option(I probably would too if I didn't need a faster connection for work). Drive 5-10 miles out of town, and the only option is satellite internet.. A very close friend has this problem, and it is spotty at best. Internet is slow, but usable.. and streaming netflix almost always results in lag and dropped signal. I have not done a speed test there, but imagine it is not good. We have a cabin 3 hours north, and unless you are right in the small town, your only option there is satellite as well, as is much of the northern half of WI and most of the U.P. Some areas have DSL, but outside of mid-size towns and cities, there are few options capable of reliable streaming and downloading. I would imagine this is the case in most other states as well? OR maybe I'm just not up to speed on the options out there?

Those are valid points, it may well be that when online delivery matches Blu-ray in terms of sound and picture quality, optical media will survive because infrastructure upgrades are not economically viable in rural settings, and also not everyone will want to pay for the higher tiers of service that make it a convenience instead of a hassle. The same will be true for gas vs. electric cars, it will make a lot more sense to go electric living in a city than it will the countryside.

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post #109 of 171 Old 03-12-2013, 01:42 PM
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That's great, but not all areas are like that. Around here, 24 Mbps is about the max you can get..and at a premium. Not to mention, not all internet providers are as great with customer service and lowering prices as yours. Around here it seems they will bend over backwards for new customers, but after your first 12 months, your rates get jacked up. I've got the top tier offered, paying 90 bucks a month(for just internet), and the highest test I've gotten is right around 20 Mbps. Most people around here are not so lucky. Even with the 16-18 Mbps, streaming movies is hit and miss. Turn off data on the cell phones, and don't use the computer, otherwise there is a good chance you'll lose connection. Talks of downloading movies with devices like the PS4 do not yet seem feasible. Streaming quality is improving and is getting close to blu-ray, the bandwidth is far better then it was 5 years ago..and things will keep getting better. It's coming, but we are not there yet. Most people around here only have max 10 Mbps, because it is the only affordable option(I probably would too if I didn't need a faster connection for work). Drive 5-10 miles out of town, and the only option is satellite internet.. A very close friend has this problem, and it is spotty at best. Internet is slow, but usable.. and streaming netflix almost always results in lag and dropped signal. I have not done a speed test there, but imagine it is not good. We have a cabin 3 hours north, and unless you are right in the small town, your only option there is satellite as well, as is much of the northern half of WI and most of the U.P. Some areas have DSL, but outside of mid-size towns and cities, there are few options capable of reliable streaming and downloading. I would imagine this is the case in most other states as well? OR maybe I'm just not up to speed on the options out there?



A week ago on another thread I was totally against 4K. I'm not all the way convinced that I'll actually see a difference in picture quality. But that led to wanting to try the streaming/download thing, which I admit I really haven't done much of. I know what you mean about some areas not having very fast speeds or if they do your going to pay through the nose for it. IMO my 24 Mbps will not be nearly enough to stream/download 4K unless I want to suck up all the bandwidth in my house and wait 4 hours to watch a movie. Which I'll never do. Right now i have enough bandwidth to stream Sirius or IR while my son is playing his Ps3 online with his buddies, and laptops are on and phones and everyone is happy. Would everyone be happy if I'm streaming a movie and they tried? Probably not. But it does look like speeds are coming up and prices are starting to come down, at least in my area. But if we are going to move to the next movie level a lot has to be done, and I'll never pay 2 bills a month for Internet service alone. I probably would spend a buck a month, IF the speeds are real. I'm not up to speed really, just trying to learn myself.
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post #110 of 171 Old 03-12-2013, 03:08 PM
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Those are valid points, it may well be that when online delivery matches Blu-ray in terms of sound and picture quality, optical media will survive because infrastructure upgrades are not economically viable in rural settings, and also not everyone will want to pay for the higher tiers of service that make it a convenience instead of a hassle. The same will be true for gas vs. electric cars, it will make a lot more sense to go electric living in a city than it will the countryside.

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A week ago on another thread I was totally against 4K. I'm not all the way convinced that I'll actually see a difference in picture quality. But that led to wanting to try the streaming/download thing, which I admit I really haven't done much of. I know what you mean about some areas not having very fast speeds or if they do your going to pay through the nose for it. IMO my 24 Mbps will not be nearly enough to stream/download 4K unless I want to suck up all the bandwidth in my house and wait 4 hours to watch a movie. Which I'll never do. Right now i have enough bandwidth to stream Sirius or IR while my son is playing his Ps3 online with his buddies, and laptops are on and phones and everyone is happy. Would everyone be happy if I'm streaming a movie and they tried? Probably not. But it does look like speeds are coming up and prices are starting to come down, at least in my area. But if we are going to move to the next movie level a lot has to be done, and I'll never pay 2 bills a month for Internet service alone. I probably would spend a buck a month, IF the speeds are real. I'm not up to speed really, just trying to learn myself.


Agreed, 100%. And while I cannot wait until bandwidth increases to the point that downloading is widely feasible as well as streaming and download quality match that of blu ray, it is not there yet. If I didn't need my high dollar internet for work I would not be paying it. Most in my area, and I'd imagine most in other semi-rural to rural areas are in similar situations. For those people (and me if I didn't need it for work), they are paying around 25 bucks for a mediocre, but sufficient (if not doing much streaming) internet. With "high speed"internet (~24Mbps max, ~17Mbs actual) being around 90 dollars here, it would essentially cost an extra 75 dollars a month to get the ability to stream. one netflix account is 8 bucks, if you want to have even 2 tv's watching at once, make it 16, 3 tvs would be 24 etc... Hulu plus appears to be the same cost, 8 dollars per account, so 16 for two accounts, 24 to have 3 tv's watching it. Vudu can be anywhere from 1 dollar for a movie, 2 dollars for a 2 day pass, on up to over 20 dollars for some movies. (Downloading still impractical). So if you choose just one of the above options and want to watch it on two devices at once, it's conservatively going to cost 15 dollars/mo. 15 for the streaming service plus that extra 75 to upgrade your internet to a capable connection= at least 90 dollars per month for streaming.

Dish network ranges from 25 bucks for the first 12 months (50 after that) for their basic package up to 40 bucks for the top tier package (75 after 12 months). Looking at other cable and dish options, prices seem to be pretty comparable to this, if not cheaper. So even after the 12 months, it would still be 15 dollars cheaper to have the top tier dish package compared to the cost of having just one streaming media service. Let's say you have an average package.. out the door you're at 65 bucks, making dish network is 25 bucks a month cheaper then streaming from one service provider. I know that costs vary around country, and many people have access to faster, cheaper internet.. but for a large number of people living in semi-rural to rural areas, I think these are pretty typical numbers.

So for many rural households, an average cable/dish package costs 25 dollars less then the average cost to stream tv. What are the pros and cons? Is it worth it? Yes it's convenient and commercial free. You can also watch what you want, when you want and in many cases have access to movies that you're not going to see on regular tv. But that's where it ends. Until bandwidth catches up, and faster internet becomes more available at lower costs- it certainly isn't cheaper. You are not getting local stations. (Yes you can get an OTA antenna, but in many areas, such as my location on the lower end of a ravine and many other rural areas with hilly landscapes or large trees, not all local stations come, and some that do are of poor quality) With the potential to miss a few local stations, you may not be able to watch your local news or sports or anything else you'd like to see on local tv. What about sports? Assuming you do get all of your local stations, there are still many situations where your local team isn't even on local tv. Being near Green Bay, you'd be surprised how many games are on ESPN or similar stations... not to mention your other sports or college games you want to watch. You don't get that streaming.. at least not legally, in good quality. Yes there are options like the nfl package on ps3 and similar deals, but that 350/yr exta for the nfl package and I don't know what else if you want other sports. My point is - while at first glance, it appears that cutting the cord is a great option.. sacrificing a few things to gain convenience and save money... for a lot of people, that isn't really the case.

For me and and many others- we want it, we're ready for it, but the cost, quality, speed, and availability are just not where it needs to be yet. Personally, since I've already got a faster internet for work- the cost of the faster internet is less of an issue.. but even so- the quality is just not quite where it needs to be for movies AND I'd really like to see more pay-per-view NFL sports or more affordable sport-packages/options offered... it would be great if that NFL package offered on PS3 was available on other devices, or better yet- be offered within netflix/hulu as an "upgrade" option (wishful thinking I know.... Cable companies will never let that happen at affordable prices).

As for the big picture... Bandwidth is improving, faster internet is becoming more available, costs are coming down, streaming services are getting better, capable devices are getting better, and people are ready for it. We're getting there, it's coming, but we're not there yet.

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post #111 of 171 Old 03-12-2013, 03:19 PM
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Agreed, 100%. And while I cannot wait until bandwidth increases to the point that downloading is widely feasible as well as streaming and download quality match that of blu ray, it is not there yet. If I didn't need my high dollar internet for work I would not be paying it. Most in my area, and I'd imagine most in other semi-rural to rural areas are in similar situations. For those people (and me if I didn't need it for work), they are paying around 25 bucks for a mediocre, but sufficient (if not doing much streaming) internet. With "high speed"internet (~24Mbps max, ~17Mbs actual) being around 90 dollars here, it would essentially cost an extra 75 dollars a month to get the ability to stream. one netflix account is 8 bucks, if you want to have even 2 tv's watching at once, make it 16, 3 tvs would be 24 etc... Hulu plus appears to be the same cost, 8 dollars per account, so 16 for two accounts, 24 to have 3 tv's watching it. Vudu can be anywhere from 1 dollar for a movie, 2 dollars for a 2 day pass, on up to over 20 dollars for some movies. (Downloading still impractical). So if you choose just one of the above options and want to watch it on two devices at once, it's conservatively going to cost 15 dollars/mo. 15 for the streaming service plus that extra 75 to upgrade your internet to a capable connection= at least 90 dollars per month for streaming.

Dish network ranges from 25 bucks for the first 12 months (50 after that) for their basic package up to 40 bucks for the top tier package (75 after 12 months). Looking at other cable and dish options, prices seem to be pretty comparable to this, if not cheaper. So even after the 12 months, it would still be 15 dollars cheaper to have the top tier dish package compared to the cost of having just one streaming media service. Let's say you have an average package.. out the door you're at 65 bucks, making dish network is 25 bucks a month cheaper then streaming from one service provider. I know that costs vary around country, and many people have access to faster, cheaper internet.. but for a large number of people living in semi-rural to rural areas, I think these are pretty typical numbers.

So for many rural households, an average cable/dish package costs 25 dollars less then the average cost to stream tv. What are the pros and cons? Is it worth it? Yes it's convenient and commercial free. You can also watch what you want, when you want and in many cases have access to movies that you're not going to see on regular tv. But that's where it ends. Until bandwidth catches up, and faster internet becomes more available at lower costs- it certainly isn't cheaper. You are not getting local stations. (Yes you can get an OTA antenna, but in many areas, such as my location on the lower end of a ravine and many other rural areas with hilly landscapes or large trees, not all local stations come, and some that do are of poor quality) With the potential to miss a few local stations, you may not be able to watch your local news or sports or anything else you'd like to see on local tv. What about sports? Assuming you do get all of your local stations, there are still many situations where your local team isn't even on local tv. Being near Green Bay, you'd be surprised how many games are on ESPN or similar stations... not to mention your other sports or college games you want to watch. You don't get that streaming.. at least not legally, in good quality. Yes there are options like the nfl package on ps3 and similar deals, but that 350/yr exta for the nfl package and I don't know what else if you want other sports. My point is - while at first glance, it appears that cutting the cord is a great option.. sacrificing a few things to gain convenience and save money... for a lot of people, that isn't really the case.

For me and and many others- we want it, we're ready for it, but the cost, quality, speed, and availability are just not where it needs to be yet. Personally, since I've already got a faster internet for work- the cost of the faster internet is less of an issue.. but even so- the quality is just not quite where it needs to be for movies AND I'd really like to see more pay-per-view NFL sports or more affordable sport-packages/options offered... it would be great if that NFL package offered on PS3 was available on other devices, or better yet- be offered within netflix/hulu as an "upgrade" option (wishful thinking I know.... Cable companies will never let that happen at affordable prices).

As for the big picture... Bandwidth is improving, faster internet is becoming more available, costs are coming down, streaming services are getting better, capable devices are getting better, and people are ready for it. We're getting there, it's coming, but we're not there yet.



I definitely hear what your saying. Add up the prices of cell phones. Internet, cable or dish, landline (I still need one) and whatever you want to throw in there. We are going broke. I guess we'll see where it all goes. For now I'll wait it out.
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Why is that bizarre? 99% of tv shows these days are filmed at 24p. Blu-ray tv shows are also released at 24p if that is the way they were filmed.

Amazon VOD looks worse than itunes from everything I've seen. There was a huge thread awhile back that had screen comparisons from every streaming/download service, but the screens got lost when the image host went down. Amazon looked worse in every comparison that was posted.

Huh? Who's shooting TV on cinema cameras? They're probably shooting a lot of it at 1080/60p or 1080/60i. That, and no one actually views it in 24p, since TV is a lot of 1080/60i and 720/60p. Amazon is a little softer, but it's more pleasing to watch.
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Agreed, 100%. And while I cannot wait until bandwidth increases to the point that downloading is widely feasible as well as streaming and download quality match that of blu ray, it is not there yet. If I didn't need my high dollar internet for work I would not be paying it. Most in my area, and I'd imagine most in other semi-rural to rural areas are in similar situations. For those people (and me if I didn't need it for work), they are paying around 25 bucks for a mediocre, but sufficient (if not doing much streaming) internet. With "high speed"internet (~24Mbps max, ~17Mbs actual) being around 90 dollars here, it would essentially cost an extra 75 dollars a month to get the ability to stream. one netflix account is 8 bucks, if you want to have even 2 tv's watching at once, make it 16, 3 tvs would be 24 etc... Hulu plus appears to be the same cost, 8 dollars per account, so 16 for two accounts, 24 to have 3 tv's watching it. Vudu can be anywhere from 1 dollar for a movie, 2 dollars for a 2 day pass, on up to over 20 dollars for some movies. (Downloading still impractical). So if you choose just one of the above options and want to watch it on two devices at once, it's conservatively going to cost 15 dollars/mo. 15 for the streaming service plus that extra 75 to upgrade your internet to a capable connection= at least 90 dollars per month for streaming.

That's extreme. Most places have cable internet that's pretty much one price, maybe with an option to pay $10-$15 more for faster speed, which is not needed unless you have a bunch of streams going, at least on the streaming side, since it's great for downloads. 4K is probably coming through DirecTV first. It's 38mbps with HEVC, so it's not that out of control, although we certainly don't have the bandwidth to have a lot of 4K channels.
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post #113 of 171 Old 03-12-2013, 06:05 PM
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Visual quality is getting there, but in my experience with iTunes and the other major streaming services (Amazon Prime and Netflix mainly), the audio quality is still way behind DVD. If streaming services can offer me blu-ray quality audio, then I'll consider switching, but until then I'll keep buying movies I really care about on blu-ray.
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post #114 of 171 Old 03-12-2013, 06:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Visual quality is getting there, but in my experience with iTunes and the other major streaming services (Amazon Prime and Netflix mainly), the audio quality is still way behind DVD. If streaming services can offer me blu-ray quality audio, then I'll consider switching, but until then I'll keep buying movies I really care about on blu-ray.

iTunes uses the exact same format as DVD - Dolby Digital. Vudu HDX uses Dolby Digital Plus with either 5.1 or 7.1 channels and they claim to use a bitrate 40% higher than DVD. The sound quality of digital-distribution movies is generally as good or better than DVD.

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post #115 of 171 Old 03-12-2013, 07:22 PM
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Not to go off topic, but if there's a music streaming or download service with blu-ray quality audio I've yet to find it. The main one that claims the highest bit rates IMO is either fudging the numbers or something gets lost in download, because it just isn't "master" quality. It is better than a standard download though. I own MSFL's and they are pretty hard to beat. Yes recorded with a little less volume, at least the ones I have, but really good quality. As far as movies go the video quality is way better than it was not all that long ago and there's nothing wrong with the sound quality. I still want the Blu-ray Disc of all the good action movies but for many of them I'm going to try Vudu. Not much need for me to own a drama or comedy on blu-ray. Put Mr Magic's comparison pic on a good computer screen and take a hard look. I'm a show me person, not arrogantly that is just my nature but there's the proof.
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post #116 of 171 Old 03-13-2013, 10:22 AM
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With all this talk about how fast your connection is, the reality is that it doesn't matter as most providers are still putting at least a soft cap on your service. Your ISP is salivating at the thought of overage fees.

Looky here!
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post #117 of 171 Old 03-13-2013, 11:43 AM
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I didnt vote because I've never used either iTunes HD or Vudu and can't conclude on those. I will say though that in general, I prefer Blu-Ray over streaming. I want to get the best possible viewing experience that I can. With that said, it also very much depends on what I'm watching. If my wife and I are just getting a movie in, often times we'll just stream something from Amazon Instant, (and in the past Comcast OnDemand, when we had cable). Same if I just want to casually watch something, like a comedy, etc. I find that for the types of movies we're watching, I don't really care as much about the picture and sound quality. But, if it's something I really care about watching, and am watching to experience the movie, it's Blu-Ray all the way.
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post #118 of 171 Old 03-13-2013, 02:05 PM
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Huh? Who's shooting TV on cinema cameras? They're probably shooting a lot of it at 1080/60p or 1080/60i. That, and no one actually views it in 24p, since TV is a lot of 1080/60i and 720/60p. Amazon is a little softer, but it's more pleasing to watch.
That's extreme. Most places have cable internet that's pretty much one price, maybe with an option to pay $10-$15 more for faster speed, which is not needed unless you have a bunch of streams going, at least on the streaming side, since it's great for downloads. 4K is probably coming through DirecTV first. It's 38mbps with HEVC, so it's not that out of control, although we certainly don't have the bandwidth to have a lot of 4K channels.

Most TV series are recorded in 24p. TV shows (reality crap, talk shows) are recorded in 60i

Remember USA is not the only place in the world, something that you might have to be reminded about. For the ENTIRE Canadian region (another thing to be remembered: Canada is larger in size than USA), in order to get ample bandwidth and high speed internet to watch even only 8 movies a monthlus the regular a ount of surfing you'll need to pay, after tax, at least $200 a month. Plus don't forget the rest of the world.

You think the studios will kill physical delivery when only part of the US can do streaming easily and cost effectively? There is only one thing on the studios' agendas: profit. Killing physical media to go streaming-only means alienating about 70% of the worldwide market.

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post #119 of 171 Old 03-13-2013, 06:33 PM
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Most TV series are recorded in 24p. TV shows (reality crap, talk shows) are recorded in 60i

Remember USA is not the only place in the world, something that you might have to be reminded about. For the ENTIRE Canadian region (another thing to be remembered: Canada is larger in size than USA), in order to get ample bandwidth and high speed internet to watch even only 8 movies a monthlus the regular a ount of surfing you'll need to pay, after tax, at least $200 a month. Plus don't forget the rest of the world.

You think the studios will kill physical delivery when only part of the US can do streaming easily and cost effectively? There is only one thing on the studios' agendas: profit. Killing physical media to go streaming-only means alienating about 70% of the worldwide market.

Given that most of the stuff on TV is reality and talk shows, well, there's your answer I guess. There is a little bit of reality TV that's not crap. And nature/ Animal Planet type of shows, which are sort of reality TV, a little bit documentary, and a bit something else. I'm pretty sure those are all 1080p/60, and some of them use GoPros and such as well.

That's a political issue, not a technical issue. There's no reason why the ISPs can't open the pipes up, but there isn't good enough regulation to deal with the problem. The US is way behind many other countries in fast, ubiquitous internet connections. The movie studios aren't going to kill off physical media, they will just let it fade into irrelevance and eventually die on it's own in the coming decades.
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post #120 of 171 Old 03-13-2013, 07:21 PM
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You make laugh! Political issue? LOL!!! rolleyes.gif

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