Originally Posted by sonoftumble
The reasons for the poor quality - especially with the dark scenes in S8, E3 - were caused by two major factors:
1) The use of H.264 compression, which is a necessary evil in the world of 1080P streaming. Check out this article from Tech Crunch regarding GoT S8, E3, and the role H.264 played. It's very informative: https://techcrunch.com/2019/04/29/wh...s-the-science/
2) Tens of millions of viewers all watching the same feed at the same time - which overwhelmed HBO's servers, causing additional compression. I rewatched S8, E3 later in the week and found that the picture quality was improved.
However, the biggest contributor was easily H.264 compression and how it handles (or doesn't) dark scenes.
The good news is that when (if) these shows become available in 4K/HDR, they will also move from H.264 to H.265 - which is a much more efficient codec. Hopefully they will be available in Dolby Vision - as that will eliminate any banding.
True enough both points, I work in TV Engineering so I'm with you on this stuff.
1) The change to 12 bits and the HDR EOTF curve are the biggest benefits to darker scenes, there is some benefit in H265 when severely overcompressed but hey would be nice if they didn't do that quite so much, H264 can look very good if they want it to.
2) I did look at a short dark scene in Ep1, to help someone at a customer get their TV black level correct. Wow was that over over over compressed, it was the HBO stream and it was days after the premier.
I will certainly buy this on Bluray or UHD Bluray if (it will be when) they release it but I expect they have a bunch of second and third tier broadcaster and streaming providers worldwide to milk before that happens.
I don't really care about Dolby Vision, only have a projector at home and I really don't like the control over production process politics behind Dolby Vision.
I'm just hoping that Apple have slightly better standards than HBO have demonstrated and it not just the same stream re-sold.
I wouldn't be surprised if there's a re-graded version of the truly dark night scenes around by now, all very well applying extreme cinematic techniques to a TV series but if everyone insists on streaming it and watching on phones and tablets in unsuitable environments they really ought to produce something suitable for the market.