or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › Video Components › Video Download Services & Hardware › Amazon Prime Instant Video
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Amazon Prime Instant Video - Page 28

post #811 of 1235
Tonight, I went into the Amazon app in my Roku XDS (last year's model - the last 1080p model to have an optical SPDIF output, which I need for surround sound from the Roku since my AVR is pre-HDMI - I use analog multichannel with my disk players).

Rango and Iron Man 2 are both in HD with DD 5.1 - as confirmed by the AVR's display of which channels are live - while Thor and Captain America are in SD, and make no claim to be otherwise (so I didn't start them up).

I watched the first minute or so of Iron Man 2 and all of Rango - both are formatted in 2.35 or 2.2. The image and sound quality seemed good on both.
Edited by Philnick - 9/9/12 at 7:00am
post #812 of 1235
More and more bizarre! Amazon's web site shows no available HD version of Rango. The only version of it that I see in the Roku 2 XS' or PS3's Amazon players is a 2D one with stereo sound. The same is true of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which was also mentioned in that Amazon PR about the Epix deal.

If it were available in HD it's page at Amazon should have a big blue banner above the page reading, "Available in HD for playback on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Roku or other HD compatible devices"; clicking that banner would bring you to an Amazon page for the HD version. It's inexplicable that you can find an HD copy of it with your Roku XDS.
post #813 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

Again, I'm getting Dolby D from Iron Man 2 played on my Roku 2 XS. The "HD" transfer of Thor on Netflix is absolutely terrible. Many of these Epix-deal titles are limited to 720p on Netflix which still looks great for most of them (but definitely not Thor).
As I stated in my complaint on the Roku forums, I put the following on my Amazon Watchlist (all films newly available due to the Epix deal): Captain America: The First Avenger, Thor, Iron Man 2, Super 8, True Grit and Warrior. All of them are listed as being available in HD on Amazon (those links are to HD versions of their pages), all show up as HD with 5.1 sound in the PS3's (truly outstanding) Amazon player but only Iron Man 2 shows up as HD with 5.1 sound in the Roku 2's Amazon player. If you search for them from within the Roku's player no HD version shows up in the results.

I have no idea why I was only getting stereo from Iron MAn 2 last night. But I just tried it again, and now it's showing up as 5.1.

If I do a search for IM2 on the Amazon Instant Video app on the Roku2, it does show up as HD in the search results. The first result is Iron Man 2 in HD and the second result is Iron Man 1 in SD(which can only be purchased)
post #814 of 1235
I'm sorry, I phrased that poorly. Of the stuff that I listed (Captain America: The First Avenger, Thor, Iron Man 2, Super 8, True Grit and Warrior) only Iron Man 2 shows up as HD with 5.1 sound on the Roku 2; also true in search results for the title. All of the rest are available in HD w/5.1 sound and none of them show up as such, even in search results.

My initial opinion was that it's better watching these on Netflix (and it definitely is if your only other choice is the Roku), I noticed that only Thor has 5.1 sound on Netflix (and a horrible HD video transfer). I don't think that any have a 1080p transfer, so Netflix doesn't offer superior video quality. In a working Amazon player, like the PS3's, all of them have digital surround sound, which is an at least equally important immersion factor for me. Given all that, I'd probably prefer to watch them in a good Amazon player.
post #815 of 1235
Someone in the Roku forums thought that one of the titles seemed to be in HD even though it doesn't say it and I think that he's right. If you play one it shows four balls but not "HD", but in debug mode it says "playing 2.5 Mbps stream" and it outputs Dolby D 5.1 whether the description says it's there or not (including Rango and Transformers: Dark of the Moon, both of whose pages on Amazon's site now say that they're available in HD). If I play something standard def with stereo sound the debug message reads, "playing 1.3 Mbps stream".

So the bug on the Roku 2 isn't as bad as it seemed, but it's still a bug biggrin.gif.
post #816 of 1235
Whatever it is it is far from Blu-rays 25-50 Mbps. Are these devices being used on smaller displays?
post #817 of 1235
I've got plenty of BD titles that are only a 19Mb/s bitrate and are even in MPEG2.

The streaming services can do a decent job considering the bitrate they are using. Your average person will not have an issue with it. I'm not talking about people that frequent AVS.
post #818 of 1235
Here's a list of BD titles sorted by video bit rate. The lowest is South Park: The Complete Fifteenth Season at 7.05 Mbps average. There's lots of visually impressive things on that list encoded at relatively low average video bit rates: Troy 11.77 Mbps, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 12.87 Mbps, 2001: A Space Odyssey 13.39 Mbps, Batman Begins 13.7 Mbps, Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix 13.88 Mbps, to name a few.

Amazon 720p HD at 2.3 Mbps (which includes the audio, I think) is certainly not the best, but streaming video in generally is not really aimed at A/V-ophiles. The best products available are VUDU and Microsoft's Zune Video (available to stream only on the Xbox, 720p-only downloadable to PCs); these top out at 9 Mbps and 10 Mbps respectively. It takes a sharp eye to tell the highest quality stream from BD video. Netflix has 720p encodes at 2.35- and 3.6 Mbps and 1080p ones at 4.8 Mbps, with 192 Kbps stereo and 384 Kbps DD+ 5.1 sound.

Of course, none of them offer lossless audio, much of which is encoded at 4 Mbps or higher.
Edited by michaeltscott - 9/10/12 at 1:52pm
post #819 of 1235
I think I'll stick with media players like the Popcorn Hour which will stream bit for bit identical Blu-ray. iPad playback is one thing I save save movie watching mostly for the big screen.
post #820 of 1235
I think of streaming media as being like radio: it gives me a chance to see something well enough to decide if it's something I want to own in a higher-resolution permanent copy. Even on my 9.5 foot by 5.33 foot 1080 /p projection system, it looks decent. Not quite as sharp as Blu-ray, but certainly enjoyable, as long as it's in 720p, what streaming media calls HD.

For me, Amazon Prime represents a free alternative to renting films - free for me since I've had Prime for many years for the fast shipping.

Things I've bought on Blu-ray after seeing them on Prime include the Firefly and Pushing Daisies tv series, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Chaplin.

I discovered Rango a few nights ago - I'd heard of it when it first came out but not seen it until now. It's fun, but one I probably won't bother buying, however.
Edited by Philnick - 9/10/12 at 2:29pm
post #821 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philnick View Post

... 720p, what streaming media calls HD.

It's what the ATSC calls HD as well--many, many HDTV stations are 720p, including ABC and Fox.

Netflix, VUDU and Zune all offer 1080p video encodes as well.
post #822 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philnick View Post

I think of streaming media as being like radio: it gives me a chance to see something well enough to decide if it's something I want to own in a higher-resolution permanent copy. Even on my 9.5 foot by 5.33 foot 1080 /p projection system, it looks decent. Not quite as sharp as Blu-ray, but certainly enjoyable, as long as it's in 720p, what streaming media calls HD.
For me, Amazon Prime represents a free alternative to renting films - free for me since I've had Prime for many years for the fast shipping.
Things I've bought on Blu-ray after seeing them on Prime include the Firefly and Pushing Daisies tv series, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Chaplin.
I discovered Rango a few nights ago - I'd heard of it when it first came out but not seen it until now. It's fun, but one I probably won't bother buying, however.

It depends on preferences I suppose. With a dozen or so releases per week worldwide I can not keep up with but would like to see I do not do much buying or archiving. It has to be best PQ and AQ available every time for me.
post #823 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

It's what the ATSC calls HD as well--many, many HDTV stations are 720p, including ABC and Fox.
Netflix, VUDU and Zune all offer 1080p video encodes as well.

It's more about compression than resolution.
post #824 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

It's what the ATSC calls HD as well--many, many HDTV stations are 720p, including ABC and Fox.
Netflix, VUDU and Zune all offer 1080p video encodes as well.

And they call them things like HDX.

I've got nothing against 720p for transient media - I'd just rather not confuse the public any more than it is already by calling 720 High Definition when 1080 is widely distributed but not really understood by the public, who may not realize that there's a difference, undercutting its adoption.
post #825 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philnick View Post

And they call them things like HDX.

VUDU does; Netflix and Zune just call it HD. VUDU gives it a different name because they offer it as a separate option at a different price point. With Zune and Netflix you can't ask for 720p-only; if you have the bandwidth and the server's responsive enough you get 1080p (although both have a subset of titles for which they have 720p but not 1080p encodes). Of course, for Zune this results in all HD being sold at VUDU's HDX price.

HDTV defined HD video long before BD and HD DVD hit the scene; according to the ATSC specs, HD resolution is 1280x720 and 1920x1080. Then the marketers came out with the term "Full HD" to refer to 1920x1080.
Edited by michaeltscott - 9/10/12 at 6:12pm
post #826 of 1235
Ok. I only boarded the HD train when the dust settled in the disk format war - that's when I bought my first blu-ray player and 1080p projector - so I didn't realize that the term HD had been applied to 720 before streaming media came along - I had always thought of 720 as a "halfway" spec.

So what will the marketers call the next level in resolution, "Fuller HD"?

That may be a moot point, given how poorly they've done in bringing about consumer adoption of 1080.
post #827 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post


Something is broken in the Roku Amazon player; other titles that Amazon announced as getting in that Epix deal are listed on Amazon's site as being available in HD and in fact show up as being in HD with 5.1 sound on the PS3's Amazon player, but don't show either HD or surround sound in the Roku 2's player. If you search for the titles with in the Roku player no HD versions show up in the results. I complained about it here in the Roku forums.

Exactly the same thing here, Roku HD.
post #828 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

VUDU does; Netflix and Zune just call it HD. VUDU gives it a different name because they offer it as a separate option at a different price point. With Zune and Netflix you can't ask for 720p-only; if you have the bandwidth and the server's responsive enough you get 1080p (although both have a subset of titles for which they have 720p but not 1080p encodes). Of course, for Zune this results in all HD being sold at VUDU's HDX price.
HDTV defined HD video long before BD and HD DVD hit the scene; according to the ATSC specs, HD resolution is 1280x720 and 1920x1080. Then the marketers came out with the term "Full HD" to refer to 1920x1080.

Sure you can ask for 720P from VUDU. They call it HD. That is their 720P content while HDX is 1080P. You can save a dollar and purchase the 720P content instead of the 1080P content. Or if you have purchased the HDX 1080P content you can drop the stream down to the HD/720P stream if you want. And only play back that 720P stream and not touch the 1080P/HDX stream.
post #829 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronwt View Post

Sure you can ask for 720P from VUDU. They call it HD.
I'm sorry--I said (and you quoted), "With Zune and Netflix you can't ask for 720p-only", not VUDU. I also said (and you quoted), "VUDU gives it [1080p] a different name because they offer it as a separate option at a different price point." Was there something there that seemed to beg clarification rolleyes.gifsmile.gif?
post #830 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomanystraydogs View Post

Exactly the same thing here, Roku HD.
It turns out that, even though it doesn't say that the titles are in HD or that they feature 5.1 sound and when you play them it doesn't say that it's playing HD, it will in fact play HD and DD 5.1. Still a bug, since it fails to display the title thumbs and their attributes in their descriptions properly, but not as serious a bug as I thought.
post #831 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

I'm sorry--I said (and you quoted), "With Zune and Netflix you can't ask for 720p-only", not VUDU. I also said (and you quoted), "VUDU gives it [1080p] a different name because they offer it as a separate option at a different price point." Was there something there that seemed to beg clarification rolleyes.gifsmile.gif?

redface.gif I was probably in a rush while at work. I remember reading it a couple of times and still didn't catch that. I think I kept seeing Zune as Vudu for some reason. Oh well. Sorry about that.redface.gif
post #832 of 1235
Panasonic DMP-BDT220 and Amazon Watchlist. Apparently not in the cards yet, click here for more info.
post #833 of 1235

Is anyone else picky about sound on Amazon Instant Video?

 

I have a Panasonic 2009 BD-60 Player (with both with VieraCast and Amazon Instant Video app)

I have a new Amazon Prime Subscription.

 

SD and HD Movies play ok, but I'm only getting PCM (non-bitstreamed 5.1) to my Onkyo amp. I think it might be PCM Pro-Logic or something. HD meter is all-bars-blue. I can see SD being PCM, but you would think HD would be DolbyDigital/DTS 5.1 (at least as good as DVD sound).

 

BD-60 is connected to Onkyo via HDMI. Cat5e to router. TW 20mb cable modem.

 

Is this normal or do I have something setup wrong?

 

Is there a list that shows what sound formats are supported on what devices?

 

Is there a free Amazon Prime HD/5.1 (verified) movie that I can use for testing (to maybe help tell if it's the videos are my setup)?

post #834 of 1235
^^^^
You'll only get stereo from the Panasonic. Your AVR can matrix surround from that.
post #835 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tesla1856 View Post

Is anyone else picky about sound on Amazon Instant Video?

I have a Panasonic 2009 BD-60 Player (with both with VieraCast and Amazon Instant Video app)
I have a new Amazon Prime Subscription.

SD and HD Movies play ok, but I'm only getting PCM (non-bitstreamed 5.1) to my Onkyo amp. I think it might be PCM Pro-Logic or something. HD meter is all-bars-blue. I can see SD being PCM, but you would think HD would be DolbyDigital/DTS 5.1 (at least as good as DVD sound).

BD-60 is connected to Onkyo via HDMI. Cat5e to router. TW 20mb cable modem.

Is this normal or do I have something setup wrong?

Is there a list that shows what sound formats are supported on what devices?

Is there a free Amazon Prime HD/5.1 (verified) movie that I can use for testing (to maybe help tell if it's the videos are my setup)?

Check out the firefly tv series - that's about the highest video and audio quality you'll see on Amazon Prime.

I get that in HD with DD 5.1 through my Roku XDS, connected via optical SPDIF to my pre-HDMI Yamaha AVR, which confirms on its front panel display that the audio for that show is DD 5.1.

However, if you check the page at Amazon's site that says what various devices are set up for with Amazon VOD, you may see that the Panasonic Blu-ray players are only being sent stereo. At least that's what I found last summer when I set up my Amazon Prime rig, and why I opted to go for the Roku. As far as I know, Roku and PS3 are the king Amazon players - and if you already have a Blu-ray player, the Roku is the less expensive way to go. (It also has a huge number of services available, since it keeps its interface open for anyone to write a "channel" for - my Roku screen saver is a free "private channel" that's a weather-station readout that reports all the usual info for whatever zip code you set it to.)

This is not a matter of what the devices are capable of but what Amazon chooses to write as an app for a device - that's not delegated to the player manufacturers but kept jealously in-house by Amazon.

- Phil
post #836 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tesla1856 View Post

Is there a free Amazon Prime HD/5.1 (verified) movie that I can use for testing (to maybe help tell if it's the videos are my setup)?

You can see a list of HD Amazon Prime Instant Video titles with 5.1 sound here. But as rdgrimes points out, you probably won't get 5.1 sound out of a Panasonic device. I have the 2012 DMP-BDT220 3D BD player and its Amazon Instant Video player does not feature 5.1 sound support (I also have a 2011 DMP-BDT110 which doesn't feature 5.1 sound out of Amazon either).

Devices I have whose Amazon Instant Video players do feature support for 5.1 sound are a Roku 2 XS, Playstation 3 and Sony BDP-S390 BD player (a 2012 model)..
post #837 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philnick View Post


 page at Amazon's site that says what various devices are set up for with Amazon VOD, you may see that the Panasonic Blu-ray players are only being sent stereo.

Where is that page exactly? I saw no page that mentions supported sound formats for specific brands or models.

 

I've now tried Firefly (HD), IronMan2 (HD), and many others marked as 5.1 (at both Amazon and TVandMoviesNow.com). Still only getting stereo PCM with Panasonic 2009 BD-60.

 

Since it's also not working on even newer Panny's, I conclude this is not going to work any better. Stereo PCM is adequate, but it's very 10 years ago. For use on portable devices or the bedroom TV (TV speakers) this is ok, but for Panasonic to build this into TVs and HDMI-BD players (for use in main Living Room or Home Theater) and supply only stereo is pretty short-sighted. And the obsession with HD video when audio lags 10 years behind? ... what's up with that?

 

Thanks everyone for the help. At least I know I have everything setup right.


Edited by Tesla1856 - 9/14/12 at 2:40pm
post #838 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post


Panasonic device...  I have the 2012 DMP-BDT220 3D BD player and its Amazon Instant Video player does not feature 5.1 sound support

Unbelievable.

 

2012 model, Blu-Ray 1080p-HD Master Audio, 3D capable, HDMI v1.4 ... and stereo streaming?! confused.gif

 

I'm not sure who dropped the ball here, but if it was Panasonic ... really changes my opinion of them and their gear.

post #839 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philnick View Post


This is not a matter of what the devices are capable of but what Amazon chooses to write as an app for a device - that's not delegated to the player manufacturers but kept jealously in-house by Amazon.
- Phil

So, you are saying Amazon is in control?

 

How do we provide feedback to Amazon, that will actually get to the right department?

 

The pricing on Purchased Videos (that stay in your library forever) is mostly the same as physical discs. Like they expect people to buy them instead of real discs. The playback experience should be closer to DVD. I would gladly take 720p and DD5.1 .

post #840 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tesla1856 View Post

How do we provide feedback to Amazon, that will actually get to the right department?

Click here, then click the Contact Us button on the right side of your screen. In the next screen you will need to sign in to continue.

I have requested the Watchlist be made available for the Panasonic DMP-BDT220. I forgot about requesting 5.1 sound.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
AVS › AVS Forum › Video Components › Video Download Services & Hardware › Amazon Prime Instant Video