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Django Unchained: Blu-ray vs. iTunes vs. Vudu HDX - Page 3

post #61 of 128
I love these reviews Mark. Thanks for putting in the time for these. I noticed one of these reviews that compared Amazon. Looks like amazon is not even in the running any more in your latest reviews. Is it because its not even worth comparing because its so far behind? I ask because I am trying to determine what service to begin buying TV shows on since I recently cut the cord. It seems that amazon has better offerings as far as streaming devices etc... however I am a quality nazi, and it appears that iTunes is your preferred streaming format. Am I correct in these assumptions. Any additional thoughts on Amazon vs Itunes?

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post #62 of 128
Check it out for yourself. Sony will be distributing 4k content to their new home media product.
post #63 of 128
post #64 of 128
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by terminaldawn View Post

I love these reviews Mark. Thanks for putting in the time for these. I noticed one of these reviews that compared Amazon. Looks like amazon is not even in the running any more in your latest reviews. Is it because its not even worth comparing because its so far behind? I ask because I am trying to determine what service to begin buying TV shows on since I recently cut the cord. It seems that amazon has better offerings as far as streaming devices etc... however I am a quality nazi, and it appears that iTunes is your preferred streaming format. Am I correct in these assumptions. Any additional thoughts on Amazon vs Itunes?

 

I wanted to give Amazon a real chance; it is true I was already biased against it because it is limited to 720p. Most, if not all 1080p titles on iTunes and Vudu possess superior resolution. I would not say that iTunes is my overwhelming favorite, I do think that Vudu HDX outperforms iTunes on some movies. In terms of performance it's been a mixed bag. What I am going to do going forward is replace the iTunes 720p example with Xbox video (also known as Zune). The quality I saw when I checked it out was impressive.

 

I invested in Apple's ecosystem, a side effect of having owned the first-generation iPhone. At this point the payoff is the convenience of iTunes on a PC combined with an iPad for portable media consumption. I do like how iTunes allows you to play off the cloud or download and re-download purchases. No company lasts forever, but I feel relatively secure that Apple is here to stay for a while.

 

But, when it comes to a new release modern blockbuster the preferred format tends to be Vudu HDX. It renders the most detail and it has 7.1 surround. The catches it needs to be watched on a device, like a TV app or a PlayStation or a stream Blu-ray player or Roku or similar device.

post #65 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Susilo View Post

There should be no difference, but even lowering a 30GB blu-ray to 23 GB MKV, the softening of the picture is quite apparent in my HT.

Whoever encoded it sucks at encoding. VUDU may have some magic sauce, but even with regular x264 stuff, you should be able to get it to around 10GB with no perceptible loss in quality. VUDU HDX is 6-10GB.
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Susilo View Post

Spoken like a true know it all rolleyes.gif Sony claims the requirement of a minimum file size of 100 GB for a 90-min movie. Not even Sony would expect people will get into 4K without physical media. wink.gif

That's ridiculous. They should be able to do a 90-minute movie in under 30GB even with MPEG-4 AVC (assuming about 35-40mbps, which is quadruple what 1080p uses with VUDU HDX). I mean, you can always throw more bitrate at it to cover up a crappy compression job, or just for the heck of it, but it doesn't mean it's needed. If they're good at compression, they should be able to bring it down even a bit more and not lose any visual quality.
Quote:
Originally Posted by terminaldawn View Post

I love these reviews Mark. Thanks for putting in the time for these. I noticed one of these reviews that compared Amazon. Looks like amazon is not even in the running any more in your latest reviews. Is it because its not even worth comparing because its so far behind? I ask because I am trying to determine what service to begin buying TV shows on since I recently cut the cord. It seems that amazon has better offerings as far as streaming devices etc... however I am a quality nazi, and it appears that iTunes is your preferred streaming format. Am I correct in these assumptions. Any additional thoughts on Amazon vs Itunes?

It's pretty obvious when watching Amazon that it's not as sharp as HDX/ Blu-ray, or even iTunes 1080p, but for some reason, it is a lot more pleasing to watch than iTunes, and overall is my second favorite source after HDX. They also have a lot of stuff for free through Prime.
post #66 of 128
BiggAW, by your own admission, you haven't experienced 4K in any prolonged length of time, yet somehow you're more knowledgeable than Sony engineers by saying 100Gb for a 4K movie is overkill?

If that's not trolling, I don't know what is! tongue.gif
post #67 of 128
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post
It's pretty obvious when watching Amazon that it's not as sharp as HDX/ Blu-ray, or even iTunes 1080p, but for some reason, it is a lot more pleasing to watch than iTunes, and overall is my second favorite source after HDX. They also have a lot of stuff for free through Prime.

I am curious what device you used to view iTunes. I do think that Amazon video frequently looks better than Netflix, but I have not really seen it look better than iTunes HD 1080p. If you like how Amazon video looks, you probably should check out Xbox video, which can also be viewed through the Zune player. It has a look that reminds me of Amazon, but it also has 1080p sharpness.

post #68 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Susilo View Post

BiggAW, by your own admission, you haven't experienced 4K in any prolonged length of time, yet somehow you're more knowledgeable than Sony engineers by saying 100Gb for a 4K movie is overkill?

If that's not trolling, I don't know what is! tongue.gif

It's called basic math. We know that we can do visually perfect 1080p HD at a nominal 9mbps (or maybe even less) with a tweaked MPEG-4 AVC codec (HDX). Even without HEVC then, it's not rocket science to take 9 and multiply it by 4, and voila! you've got 36mbps. So figure somewhere in the 35-40mbps range for 4k, and that's being generous. With offline encoding, we should be able to put 4k content in about 16-18mbps with HEVC. Online encoding is going to be more like a full QAM at 38mbps, based on what we've seen with current online encoding of MPEG-4 and MPEG-2 content.

Sure, you can throw more bitrate at it for no reason, but with internet distribution, it becomes pretty stupid and annoying to do so, unlike Blu-ray, where they throw a crapload of unnecessary bitrate at the video just because they can (or to cover up crappy encoding, which tripling or quadrupling the bitrate you actually need will do quite nicely), even though we know how to fit a 90 minute movie at a visually equivalent quality onto a standard dual-layer DVD, and have since before Blu-ray existed (DiVX/XViD and now H.264/MPEG-4AVC/x264).
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

I am curious what device you used to view iTunes. I do think that Amazon video frequently looks better than Netflix, but I have not really seen it look better than iTunes HD 1080p. If you like how Amazon video looks, you probably should check out Xbox video, which can also be viewed through the Zune player. It has a look that reminds me of Amazon, but it also has 1080p sharpness.

Apple TV. I find the picture to be harsh, and the compression artifacts to be, at times, really ugly. It might be because iTunes uses 1080p/24 for everything, whereas Amazon is probably using 720p60, which I prefer for many things, especially TV, which iTunes weirdly puts out as 1080p24, even stuff that was shot at 1080i60. Amazon VOD just looks nice and smooth, even though it's noticeably softer than 1080p sources. Even with the noticeable difference in sharpness, I find it to be pretty much in the "sweet spot" for most content. Certain action/ thriller types of movies, or those with really stunning cinematography however, are much better suited by VUDU HDX or even iTunes 1080p.
post #69 of 128
Basic math maybe, but the fact that 9 Mbps IS NOT ENOUGH for the best quality 1080p makes your math skewed. Every single discussion you keep going back to your holy grail... Which is VUDU HDX. Wake up, it's not the holy grail...far from it. rolleyes.gif so much for being "quality snob". tongue.gif
post #70 of 128
Very interesting article !

I'll take my BD's, for now and the near future anyways..
post #71 of 128
I cannot stream a VUDU HDX rental over my $35/month 12MBs connection. Pause to buffer repeatedly. Bumped down to HD and it finished the movie with a Dolby D sound track that I was not too sure about. NOT worth the $6.00 unless I am snowed in and cannot get to Blockbuster or Redbox.
So blu-ray for me or an increase in monthly internet and 3x the price of other rentals?
post #72 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Susilo View Post

Basic math maybe, but the fact that 9 Mbps IS NOT ENOUGH for the best quality 1080p makes your math skewed. Every single discussion you keep going back to your holy grail... Which is VUDU HDX. Wake up, it's not the holy grail...far from it. rolleyes.gif so much for being "quality snob". tongue.gif

9mbps absolutely is. And scale it up to quadruple, and you have amazing 4k at a debatably reasonable bitrate for online distribution (although 36mbps would still strain many internet connections and networks).

Yes, there is more data in Blu-ray. However, VUDU HDX has gone beyond the point of a human's ability to perceive the quality, so going farther doesn't get you anything. People who aren't quality snobs are using Amazon or iTunes. Those who are quality snobs are using VUDU HDX or Blu-ray.
post #73 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by terminaldawn View Post

I love these reviews Mark. Thanks for putting in the time for these. I noticed one of these reviews that compared Amazon. Looks like amazon is not even in the running any more in your latest reviews. Is it because its not even worth comparing because its so far behind? I ask because I am trying to determine what service to begin buying TV shows on since I recently cut the cord. It seems that amazon has better offerings as far as streaming devices etc... however I am a quality nazi, and it appears that iTunes is your preferred streaming format. Am I correct in these assumptions. Any additional thoughts on Amazon vs Itunes?
Hulu tv is excellent
post #74 of 128
As for 4k media, I do not expect there to ever be a physical format for that other than the BD data discs that Sony is supplying for use with their 84" 4k display. 4k will be downloads only.
post #75 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post

9mbps absolutely is. And scale it up to quadruple, and you have amazing 4k at a debatably reasonable bitrate for online distribution (although 36mbps would still strain many internet connections and networks).

Yes, there is more data in Blu-ray. However, VUDU HDX has gone beyond the point of a human's ability to perceive the quality, so going farther doesn't get you anything. People who aren't quality snobs are using Amazon or iTunes. Those who are quality snobs are using VUDU HDX or Blu-ray.

Apparently not only you are smarter than Sony, you are smarter than the entire Bluray Disc Association engineers too!

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1471040/bda-to-determine-if-4k-blu-ray-is-feasible/0_60#post_23273193
post #76 of 128
Bluray engineers have an agenda.
post #77 of 128
Are you Mark Henninger?

I saw your interview with Wilkenson.

So you are in the streaming camp and think Bluray is over.

Why not just tell us that? You and Scott are experts in Home Theater so why have this discussion?

Optical media is dead period.
post #78 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

I wanted to give Amazon a real chance; it is true I was already biased against it because it is limited to 720p. Most, if not all 1080p titles on iTunes and Vudu possess superior resolution. I would not say that iTunes is my overwhelming favorite, I do think that Vudu HDX outperforms iTunes on some movies. In terms of performance it's been a mixed bag. What I am going to do going forward is replace the iTunes 720p example with Xbox video (also known as Zune). The quality I saw when I checked it out was impressive.

I invested in Apple's ecosystem, a side effect of having owned the first-generation iPhone. At this point the payoff is the convenience of iTunes on a PC combined with an iPad for portable media consumption. I do like how iTunes allows you to play off the cloud or download and re-download purchases. No company lasts forever, but I feel relatively secure that Apple is here to stay for a while.

But, when it comes to a new release modern blockbuster the preferred format tends to be Vudu HDX. It renders the most detail and it has 7.1 surround. The catches it needs to be watched on a device, like a TV app or a PlayStation or a stream Blu-ray player or Roku or similar device.


Thanks for your reply Mark!

After a couple quick comparisons I tend to think that iTunes TV looks better. I am just in the market for TV shows at this point (recent cord cutter here). Only huge disappointing thing is that some of the TV shows I am purchasing DO NOT have Dolby Digital. This is highly disappointing. There is inconsistent information that Apple displays regarding what contains Dolby Digital for TV Shows. I have found items that do not have the Dolby Digital logo, however contain the Dolby Digital Track. If anyone has any tips on this would be helpful to me. Also I wonder why Apple doesn't offer streaming on their iOS devices. This doesn't make any logical sense to me at all, any clues?


Quote:
Originally Posted by nrc2112 View Post

Hulu tv is excellent

Hulu has NOTHING I want to watch. Vikings, Spartacus, Game of Thrones, Defiance, Duck Dynasty, etc... etc... I don't understand what the point of Hulu is... I really don't.
post #79 of 128
Mark. I hear on the show with Scott that you use a ps3 for Vudu and a HTPC for iTunes and you do not own a Apple TV or Roku?

We I can tell you that Apple TV on the set top box is much better than on a HTPC. On pc the iTunes movies are much softer and dependent upon the graphics card in the PC.

As for VUDU using the ps3 you are outputting RGB probably to your Visio tv so the image will be like a videogame and not 4:4:4 like film.
post #80 of 128
So what I am stating here is that in comparing these formats a real comparison much be a set top box vs set top box comparison. Not a HTPC vs PS3 comparison. To many variables like calibration of your Visio and the correct color space etc.

Thanks however for stimulating the discussion of Bluray vs streaming.

I think with a high bandwidth pipe, in the show you stated that yours is 100 Mbps, and a set top box designed for streaming like Apple TV, Roku etc. AND not a HTPC or a gaming console. You will discover that streaming is going to end optical media as ITUNES killed off CD's

Thank you
post #81 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by terminaldawn View Post

Thanks for your reply Mark!

After a couple quick comparisons I tend to think that iTunes TV looks better. I am just in the market for TV shows at this point (recent cord cutter here). Only huge disappointing thing is that some of the TV shows I am purchasing DO NOT have Dolby Digital. This is highly disappointing. There is inconsistent information that Apple displays regarding what contains Dolby Digital for TV Shows. I have found items that do not have the Dolby Digital logo, however contain the Dolby Digital Track. If anyone has any tips on this would be helpful to me. Also I wonder why Apple doesn't offer streaming on their iOS devices. This doesn't make any logical sense to me at all, any clues?
Hulu has NOTHING I want to watch. Vikings, Spartacus, Game of Thrones, Defiance, Duck Dynasty, etc... etc... I don't understand what the point of Hulu is... I really don't.
Are you referring to HULU plus or just plain vanilla HULU tv?
ITUNES has a free app called Can I Stream It? This will let you know what providers have what you are interested in.
post #82 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by terminaldawn View Post

Thanks for your reply Mark!

After a couple quick comparisons I tend to think that iTunes TV looks better. I am just in the market for TV shows at this point (recent cord cutter here). Only huge disappointing thing is that some of the TV shows I am purchasing DO NOT have Dolby Digital. This is highly disappointing. There is inconsistent information that Apple displays regarding what contains Dolby Digital for TV Shows. I have found items that do not have the Dolby Digital logo, however contain the Dolby Digital Track. If anyone has any tips on this would be helpful to me. Also I wonder why Apple doesn't offer streaming on their iOS devices. This doesn't make any logical sense to me at all, any clues?
Hulu has NOTHING I want to watch. Vikings, Spartacus, Game of Thrones, Defiance, Duck Dynasty, etc... etc... I don't understand what the point of Hulu is... I really don't.
For these shows you need to purchase on ITUNES. They are not available on streamers like Netflix and Hulu
post #83 of 128
The Vikings 2013 for example is 1.99 per episode on ITUNES or VUDU
post #84 of 128
Spartacus is only on ITUNES. I only use Apple TV for everything and Airplay is awesome as I can stream anything on my IPHONE to my 65 inch plasma for stuff not on ITUNES like Crackle TV for example.

All you really need is APPLE TV
post #85 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by nrc2112 View Post

Are you referring to HULU plus or just plain vanilla HULU tv?
ITUNES has a free app called Can I Stream It? This will let you know what providers have what you are interested in.

Thanks for the app tip. I saw the website. Didn't know they had an app.

yes, I signed up for Hulu Plus. I am NOT a fan. You can get a lot of Hulu stuff in a browser that you CANT watch via PS3. etc... I don't feel like using a browser to watch TV even though I have a HTPC. I will find some other method to get it (Apple TV / Amazon). If you are thinking piracy, nope, I do not do that. But I must say that pirated content is more easily attainable and BETTER quality then what I can PAY FOR in regards to streaming or digital download... WHAT GIVES? Companies really need to get with it.

Honestly all I really need right now to be happy is just HD TV shows wit Dolby Digital. iTunes doesn't disclose whether or not its Dolby Digital accurately. Amazon doesn't provide this information either. I don't see why its so difficult for these companies to provide audio information. If anyone knows how to do this and I am overlooking something please let me know.
Edited by terminaldawn - 5/2/13 at 9:34pm
post #86 of 128
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nrc2112 View Post

Mark. I hear on the show with Scott that you use a ps3 for Vudu and a HTPC for iTunes and you do not own a Apple TV or Roku?

We I can tell you that Apple TV on the set top box is much better than on a HTPC. On pc the iTunes movies are much softer and dependent upon the graphics card in the PC.

As for VUDU using the ps3 you are outputting RGB probably to your Visio tv so the image will be like a videogame and not 4:4:4 like film.

I've had both a Roku and an Apple TV in my house. I have a good graphics card (Nvidia GTX 660), there is no appreciable difference in visual performance. I've actually tried the Apple TV twice now, most recently just a few weeks ago—just in case I was missing something—not so.

I only use the PS3 for full playback of Vudu HDX—as in when I watch the movie—and the main reason for that is support for 7.1 surround, but also for the relative quiet as compared to having my PC on. For frame grabs I use my PC, unless there is a restriction on HDX playback for PC and Mac.


Edited by imagic - 5/3/13 at 5:08am
post #87 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

I only use the PS4 for full playback of Vudu HDX—as in when I watch the movie—and the main reason for that is support for 7.1 surround, but also for the relative quiet as compared to having my PC on. For frame grabs I use my PC, unless there is a restriction on HDX playback for PC and Mac.

Damn you got a PS4 ! Lucky guy wink.gif
post #88 of 128
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blu_One View Post


Damn you got a PS4 ! Lucky guy wink.gif

Oh, snap... thanks for catching that!

post #89 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by terminaldawn View Post

Thanks for the app tip. I saw the website. Didn't know they had an app.

yes, I signed up for Hulu Plus. I am NOT a fan. You can get a lot of Hulu stuff in a browser that you CANT watch via PS3. etc... I don't feel like using a browser to watch TV even though I have a HTPC. I will find some other method to get it (Apple TV / Amazon). If you are thinking piracy, nope, I do not do that. But I must say that pirated content is more easily attainable and BETTER quality then what I can PAY FOR in regards to streaming or digital download... WHAT GIVES? Companies really need to get with it.

Honestly all I really need right now to be happy is just HD TV shows wit Dolby Digital. iTunes doesn't disclose whether or not its Dolby Digital accurately. Amazon doesn't provide this information either. I don't see why its so difficult for these companies to provide audio information. If anyone knows how to do this and I am overlooking something please let me know.
If you look at the show details in ITUNES it has the dd sign on content that has Dolby digital.
post #90 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Susilo View Post

Apparently not only you are smarter than Sony, you are smarter than the entire Bluray Disc Association engineers too!

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1471040/bda-to-determine-if-4k-blu-ray-is-feasible/0_60#post_23273193

Those are the same idiots who went with Blu-Ray when it was easily possible to do 1080p on dual-layer DVDs with DiVX, mostly because the movie industry wanted new DRM and they were so naive that they though no one would break it. HAHAHAHAHA.

That also has little to do with streaming. Sony can throw as much bitrate as they want at it, but when another competitor, like, say, Vudu comes along and is pumping out gorgeous 4k at 32mbps, which will work on internet connections accessible to more than half the US population, and Sony is pushing out files at 150mbps, Sony is going to fail because very, very, few people will actually be able to stream them.
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