150"+ screen and 4k movies streaming vs disc - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 43 Old 08-05-2019, 05:20 AM - Thread Starter
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150"+ screen and 4k movies streaming vs disc

Is there a noticeable difference while movie is being played not paused?

Does the compression, that streaming services like VUDU use, affect viewing enough at these larger viewing sizes to make viewing from disc mandatory if the choice exist.

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post #2 of 43 Old 08-05-2019, 05:56 AM
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Disc is definitely better, but streaming has come a long way. It has gotten much better.
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post #3 of 43 Old 08-05-2019, 06:06 AM - Thread Starter
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What size screen do you watch your 4k movies on?

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post #4 of 43 Old 08-05-2019, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by TimHuey View Post
What size screen do you watch your 4k movies on?
Watch mostly in my dedicated room on a 9' wide scope screen from about 9' away. In my family room setup, 127" diagonal 16:9 screen from about 10' away.
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post #5 of 43 Old 08-05-2019, 08:18 AM
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I have a 150" wide screen and a native 4k projector (jvc rs2000) and I stream from Amazon and Netflix (not Hulu or Vudu) regularly using a Shield. The quality is noticeably different, but not what I would call bad. I believe Netflix maxes out 4k at 15mbps, which is decent, but still about 2-3x compressed over h.265 blu ray. Compression codecs are pretty good these days, but at some point you will run into banding, tiling, and other compression artifacts.

Overall, what I have experienced with streaming 4k is similar overall quality to 1080p on blu ray. And that is pretty good, even on a larger screen.

4k UHD blu ray on a native 4k projector with good tone mapping cannot be beat by anything, and for some highly cinematic movies, I will always wait. For "normal" movies and shows, I would choose UHD blu ray over any kind of stream if there was a choice, but I am usually content with the stream. And given a choice, I would even choose 1080p blu ray over 4k streamed, even though the overall video quality between the two is a bit of a wash. Sometimes the 4k stream with HDR can provide a better experience than 1080p even though there is the occasional artifact or a noticeable band in a gradient.

Audio is a bit of a different story though, and between compression and a general lack of Atmos content in streamed services, there is never a situation where the blu ray disc is not noticeably superior to a stream. This is particularly important for heavy action movies with lots of bass. Streams are never as well defined and can get downright sloppy on the lower frequencies. Again, that being said, it isn't terrible on a stream, just not as good*.


A good example of video quality differences was "The Meg". I first tried to watch it on a regular 1080 stream. The very dark underwater scenes at the beginning were horribly banded and tiled because it was all very subtle gradients, which don't do good under compression, even with upwards of 10mbps bitrates. Then I tried a 4k stream, and even then it was still just terrible. It was unwatchable on anything larger than a tablet. Unfortunately, when the blu ray finally came out, the movie itself was so bad I didn't make it past the 10 minute mark, even though the video was significantly improved, lol.

* - I just updated my Shield last night and one of the notes is that Netflix is now providing up to 640kbps audio. It is still 5.1+ max, but I hope to get better streaming experiences in the future.
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post #6 of 43 Old 08-05-2019, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Okay that was what I was afraid of. I always like watching the best possible version of a movie but I don't have a projector in every room or on the road and I don't want to buy the movie twice. Once on 4k disc and on streaming service. I was hoping to hear at normal viewing distances you don't really see the difference during playing of the movie. So now I have to decide if I should buy the streaming movies avengers , harry potter, interstellar, etc. Or buy the disc and be restricted to watching at home in one room. Grrrrrrr

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post #7 of 43 Old 08-05-2019, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimHuey View Post
Okay that was what I was afraid of. I always like watching the best possible version of a movie but I don't have a projector in every room or on the road and I don't want to buy the movie twice. Once on 4k disc and on streaming service. I was hoping to hear at normal viewing distances you don't really see the difference during playing of the movie. So now I have to decide if I should buy the streaming movies avengers , harry potter, interstellar, etc. Or buy the disc and be restricted to watching at home in one room. Grrrrrrr
If you buy the disc, you get the digital rights. I have downloaded onto Vudu, which I can watch on my PC or on my TV using Roku.
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post #8 of 43 Old 08-05-2019, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mike Garrett View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimHuey View Post
Okay that was what I was afraid of. I always like watching the best possible version of a movie but I don't have a projector in every room or on the road and I don't want to buy the movie twice. Once on 4k disc and on streaming service. I was hoping to hear at normal viewing distances you don't really see the difference during playing of the movie. So now I have to decide if I should buy the streaming movies avengers , harry potter, interstellar, etc. Or buy the disc and be restricted to watching at home in one room. Grrrrrrr
If you buy the disc, you get the digital rights. I have downloaded onto Vudu, which I can watch on my PC or on my TV using Roku.
Can you explain this? I can buy the disc at best buy or online and then I get the right to watch that version on VUDU, HDR ATMOS etc, how does that work. Selected current titles or any title vudu currently has?

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post #9 of 43 Old 08-05-2019, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Oh God I hope it works the other way around too. I bought some movies on VUDU and I would like the disc now. Hmmmmm.

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post #10 of 43 Old 08-05-2019, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimHuey View Post
Okay that was what I was afraid of. I always like watching the best possible version of a movie but I don't have a projector in every room or on the road and I don't want to buy the movie twice. Once on 4k disc and on streaming service. I was hoping to hear at normal viewing distances you don't really see the difference during playing of the movie. So now I have to decide if I should buy the streaming movies avengers , harry potter, interstellar, etc. Or buy the disc and be restricted to watching at home in one room. Grrrrrrr

I only buy the truly best 4k disc movies and the movies I know I'll watch more than once.. The rest i rent/stream through vudu.. What i do buy a lot of is 3D as am afraid one day they will disappear.
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post #11 of 43 Old 08-05-2019, 02:30 PM
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Oh God I hope it works the other way around too. I bought some movies on VUDU and I would like the disc now. Hmmmmm.
On vudu they have the option to buy the digital option along with the disc.. Or if you buy a disc anywhere it comes with a digital option. Make sure you redeem them on vudu not on other platforms
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post #12 of 43 Old 08-05-2019, 03:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Oh No. How many of those coupons have I just discarded or redeemed on ultraviolet. I didnt know about this. Damn

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post #13 of 43 Old 08-15-2019, 12:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Well those coupons didn't work so well when I went to redeem them lol.

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post #14 of 43 Old 08-15-2019, 01:28 PM
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Well those coupons didn't work so well when I went to redeem them lol.
Never heard of anyone having a problem trying to redeem. I have never had a problem. I use moviesanywhere.com
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post #15 of 43 Old 08-15-2019, 01:37 PM - Thread Starter
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I had numerous various problems across vudu and MA. One that comes to mind was I redeemed the Dr. Strange 3d disc coupon but was not offered the 3d option on the versions listed this was on vudu and vudu has the 3d version. I had other problems I cant remember off the top of my head. I dont think any of the 4 coupons I redeemed worked completely correctly.

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post #16 of 43 Old 08-15-2019, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
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I went to best buy to see if there was some more recent movies that might work better and had one in my hand about to purchase and noticed the note saying the MA coupon had to be redeemed by August 2018 a year ago. I gave up.

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post #17 of 43 Old 08-15-2019, 02:05 PM
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I never bother with 3D, so I can't answer if that caused problems or not.
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post #18 of 43 Old 08-15-2019, 02:57 PM
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Watch mostly in my dedicated room on a 9' wide scope screen from about 9' away. In my family room setup, 127" diagonal 16:9 screen from about 10' away.
I forget. Is it V6 in the HT room and that Stewart screen you got in the living room?

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post #19 of 43 Old 08-15-2019, 05:53 PM
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I forget. Is it V6 in the HT room and that Stewart screen you got in the living room?
V6 in the dedicated room and the Stewart screen in the family room.
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post #20 of 43 Old 08-16-2019, 12:17 AM
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I have a 150" wide screen and a native 4k projector (jvc rs2000) and I stream from Amazon and Netflix (not Hulu or Vudu) regularly using a Shield. The quality is noticeably different, but not what I would call bad. I believe Netflix maxes out 4k at 15mbps, which is decent, but still about 2-3x compressed over h.265 blu ray. Compression codecs are pretty good these days, but at some point you will run into banding, tiling, and other compression artifacts.

Overall, what I have experienced with streaming 4k is similar overall quality to 1080p on blu ray. And that is pretty good, even on a larger screen.

4k UHD blu ray on a native 4k projector with good tone mapping cannot be beat by anything
99% of movies are fake 4k, most of it is upscaled except a few titles even when you buy it from the disk because the special effects cannot be remastered cost effectively. I've seen some sites (like https://digiraw.com/4K-UHD-ripping-s...-fake-4K-list/) claim a bunch of titles are 4k, but then if you do your research fully, you'll see even most of those were just remastered to 4k from a 2k DI, which is better than real-time upscaling that we can do, but not worlds better. If it says Fake 4k in that list, it's likely completely fake 4k, as in not even upscaled in the remaster, just converted to a different format, but it probably varies. If it says "Real 4k", like 95% of it is upscaled 2k DI, but there are exceptions of course.

The highest true 4k resolution titles I've seen were mostly documentaries or stuff with no effects, but I believe Black Panther was true 3k, at least better than 2k upscaled. Although 35mm can technically be 6k, that is only on reference level movies. The exception is obviously some of the reference level 35mm stuff that had very little special effects added, but the problem is most of those DI's were still stored in 2k and the original 35mm transfer were stored improperly, so it's the same problem as in the old days. It's just a giant mess of fakery at this point. That was issue #1 with 4k back then, issue # 2 was that it was incredibly expensive to render stuff in high resolution back then for CG stuff, and especially to store it as a separate DI at an incredibly high res. So most effects were downscaled before storage even if they rendered them at a higher res.

Also, the studios were incredibly lazy in how they stored most films and they let them degrade. Cheapo storage methods means the original 35mm transfer degraded to the point where many movies are not even worth going back to the original, so they are forced to use the 2k DI. Storage costs used to be expensive enough that it was not feasible to use DI's greater than 2k. Actually the fault is mostly the movie studios for not preserving and storing stuff correctly because they were trying to save a buck. Once the studios realized most people could not tell the difference on their 65" TV's between upscaled 4k and true 4k, so then even if the remastering studio has access to a pure and properly stored 35mm transfer, they are not even bothering to remaster it, they still use the 2k DI to save money (which is sad).

There are entire documentaries that were made about how poorly they stored the 35mm movies and how they even lost many of them.

It's getting better slowly, as CG stuff is starting to be mixed in at 3k and even 4k at times, so newer movies will eventually be true 4k, but it will take a few more years of this mess probably. It wouldn't surprise me if in their infinite wisdom they release a new UHD format called Authentica 4k or something stupid where they give you a certificate of remaster with the movie, which seems to be the only hope as they are all cheating the system right now.

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post #21 of 43 Old 08-16-2019, 01:03 AM
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I watch my movies on my 55" 4K OLED and the difference between streaming and disc is definitely there.

I sit around 5 feet from it.

I also have a 110" 4K projector (just an entry level Optoma DLP) and sit 12 feet from that. the difference is much smaller on the projector than what I can see on my OLED.
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post #22 of 43 Old 08-16-2019, 01:09 AM
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I watch my movies on my 55" 4K OLED and the difference between streaming and disc is definitely there.

I sit around 5 feet from it.

I also have a 110" 4K projector (just an entry level Optoma DLP) and sit 12 feet from that. the difference is much smaller on the projector than what I can see on my OLED.
I hear you, though that's at least partially a different can of worms. You are comparing upscaled from a 2k DI to 4k to highly compressed upscale. The problem is the compression algorithms on post-upscaled content doesn't work that good, it literally is counter-active to the compression format.

If you can stream something like Black Panther in 4k, it should look much closer to the UHD disk since it was Native 3k in the actual CG and everything was taken at a higher quality. Though that depends what compression they are using and if they even bothered to do it correctly, but hopefully that is how it works.

As far as the OLED being more noticeable, that could be more about your PJ screen material and your projector's sharpness (either or / and maybe both). Could also just be the superior processing of the OLED, depends but there are a lot of variables.

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post #23 of 43 Old 08-16-2019, 01:26 AM
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You have a better chance of seeing True 4k at any Dolby Certified Cinema than you do from buying the 4k disk and watching it at home unfortunately.

The remastering methods are so messed up, that some of the movies that were shown as True 4k at a Dolby or Imax were then still lazily done in upscaled 2k on the home version 4k copy distribution. Conspiracy theories abound here, but it's probably mostly just laziness and not having the correct DI or the right software handy when the person was doing it.
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post #24 of 43 Old 08-16-2019, 07:31 AM
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99% of movies are fake 4k, most of it is upscaled except a few titles even when you buy it from the disk because the special effects cannot be remastered cost effectively.
Yes, but my post was in response to questions about the difference between streamed and disc based 4k. No matter how 4k media was mastered before being upscaled to 4k, it is going to be better when it isn't transcoded down for streaming over the internet. Netflix and Amazon stream their 4k at about 2-3x compression compared to a UHD disc. That compression will add artifacts that can easily be perceived as a lower resolution (not as sharp on fine details) even if the pixel count is still the same. Until streaming services can stream at the same bitrates that you find on the UHD disc, the discs will always be noticeably superior, especially on a larger projection screen when viewed with a native 4k projector.
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post #25 of 43 Old 08-16-2019, 07:41 AM
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You have a better chance of seeing True 4k at any Dolby Certified Cinema than you do from buying the 4k disk and watching it at home unfortunately.
But the absolute best a consumer can get is the UHD disc, so at home UHD Blu Ray is the "gold standard". We don't have anything better available for any given title and it will always be superior to a rip that was transcoded to save drive space or any stream that isn't the same bitrate as the video on the disc.

The only case you could say a streamed service with higher compression could be superior over UHD Blu Ray is if the streaming service had a significantly superior master to start with. If Netflix has native 4k master source material and then compresses it to 15mbps to get it to my house, it might actually end up better than a 4k UHD disc that was just upscaled off of a 1080p source. However, I doubt there is an actual case like this.
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post #26 of 43 Old 08-16-2019, 08:43 AM
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But the absolute best a consumer can get is the UHD disc, so at home UHD Blu Ray is the "gold standard". We don't have anything better available for any given title and it will always be superior to a rip that was transcoded to save drive space or any stream that isn't the same bitrate as the video on the disc.

The only case you could say a streamed service with higher compression could be superior over UHD Blu Ray is if the streaming service had a significantly superior master to start with. If Netflix has native 4k master source material and then compresses it to 15mbps to get it to my house, it might actually end up better than a 4k UHD disc that was just upscaled off of a 1080p source. However, I doubt there is an actual case like this.
That's true, but at the prices they are charging, it's kind of a rip off to be getting upscaled content sold as True 4k. Seems the whole world has gone to the 'fake business model', cannot trust anything these days. I wonder if that Polio shot I'm getting only works during certain weather, because maybe they changed the concoction to save 2 cents per vial

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post #27 of 43 Old 08-16-2019, 09:58 AM
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That's true, but at the prices they are charging, it's kind of a rip off to be getting upscaled content sold as True 4k. Seems the whole world has gone to the 'fake business model', cannot trust anything these days. I wonder if that Polio shot I'm getting only works during certain weather, because maybe they changed the concoction to save 2 cents per vial
To be fair, there's more to producing a 4K UHD HDR release than resolution. HDR implies increased dynamic range and there are very efficient 4K upscaling algorithms available to the studios that do a superior upscale than those available to the consumer during a realtime upscale from a 1080p BD.
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post #28 of 43 Old 08-16-2019, 10:02 AM
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To be fair, there's more to producing a 4K UHD HDR release than resolution. HDR implies increased dynamic range and there are very efficient 4K upscaling algorithms available to the studios that do a superior upscale than those available to the consumer during a realtime upscale from a 1080p BD.
I worked on a large upscale project which was abandoned because the identifiable true resolution achieved in upscaling 480p to 720p only got about halfway at best and on average even slightly less than halfway, and the results were inconsistent frame to frame. We were using the best algorithms with multiple machines doing the processing, it does work somewhat, but it's certainly not as glamorous or as close as some people believe. Upscaling seems to work with 4k so much more because it's harder to see the higher resolution for most people, but really you can tell how well it is actually working by trying to upscale a lower res sample using the same algorithm, like 480p to 720p, or 720p to 1080p. Each successive resolution seems to upscale better, but it doesn't upscale THAT much better when you adjust your zoom position to counteract the difference in resolution.

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Originally Posted by coderguy View Post
I worked on a large upscale project which was abandoned because the identifiable true resolution achieved in upscaling 480p to 720p only got about halfway at best and on average even slightly less than halfway, and the results were inconsistent frame to frame. We were using the best algorithms with multiple machines doing the processing, it does work somewhat, but it's certainly not as glamorous or as close as some people believe. Upscaling seems to work with 4k so much more because it's harder to see the higher resolution for most people, but really you can tell how well it is actually working by trying to upscale a lower res sample using the same algorithm, like 480p to 720p, or 720p to 1080p. Each successive resolution seems to upscale better, but it doesn't upscale THAT much better when you adjust your zoom position to counteract the difference in resolution.
I realize that the results are not as good when upscaling, but upscaling each frame using a computationally intensive algorithm on a high speed computer is going to be better than doing it in realtime by a BD player or projector. Additionally, the studio 2K master is probably lower compression and higher bit depth than a 1080p BD and there's more room to create real HDR and WCG than when working from a 1080p BD.
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Originally Posted by DunMunro View Post
I realize that the results are not as good when upscaling, but upscaling each frame using a computationally intensive algorithm on a high speed computer is going to be better than doing it in realtime by a BD player or projector. Additionally, the studio 2K master is probably lower compression and higher bit depth than a 1080p BD and there's more room to create real HDR and WCG than when working from a 1080p BD.
Yes, it's better, but only 25% to 30% closer on average to the next res up, it depends on the noise ratio and the lighting too as to how many sampling and sharpening techniques can be added without causing ringing.
Every movie and source upscales slightly differently, though the newer ones are more similar than not as many are using similar digital film cameras and techniques these days.

The project I was working on even had the advantage of being a still frame composite of scenery that was inanimate, except for the panning and animation of moving over the scenery itself.
So even with that advantage (which helped a lot), we still only averaged about 40% to 720p. The number of man hours and different techniques we tried was exhaustive, worked on it for almost 5 years.
There is a lot of BS in upscaling software and a lot of marketing junk just like every business has, some of it just doesn't work right.

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