Captain America: The Winter Soldier - Blu-ray versus iTunes, Amazon, and Vudu - Page 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 215 Old 11-05-2014, 12:56 PM
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looking at the dark scene you can see amazon has huge macroblocking going on it can not keep up.

Another thing to note with these comparisons. Sometimes there are different master floating around. Who knows if they are using the same master.
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post #32 of 215 Old 11-05-2014, 01:18 PM
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With the apps launched this for preview members, Amazon and Vudu are on TiVo roamios. Both apps can output 1080/24. Amazon on the TiVo for me snaps to 1080 resolution faster than any device I've seen and holds it reliably thereafter.
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post #33 of 215 Old 11-05-2014, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by space2001 View Post
looking at the dark scene you can see amazon has huge macroblocking going on it can not keep up.

Another thing to note with these comparisons. Sometimes there are different master floating around. Who knows if they are using the same master.
But can you see it in the dark version, or just in the copy where I brightened it using Photoshop?

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post #34 of 215 Old 11-05-2014, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by joeycalda View Post
* Saved me trip to the local best buy.
You could just buy from Amazon online store and have it shipped to you
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post #35 of 215 Old 11-05-2014, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brajesh View Post
Not trying to be disrespectful, but I don't get the point of posts like this comparing Blu-ray vs. various streaming/downloadable digital formats. Blu-ray > rest, and most of us opt for the best quality possible.
Some might not be aware there is a quality difference. A lot of the things that make picture quality "better" might be subtle, but if that's the case I will always go for what might be better even if the difference is subtle... unless the cost vs. difference in quality is too great.
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post #36 of 215 Old 11-05-2014, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
But can you see it in the dark version, or just in the copy where I brightened it using Photoshop?
I see it in the original.

Also see lots of banding in streaming versions.
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post #37 of 215 Old 11-05-2014, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
It's my job. Also, sometimes people want something other than the best quality possible... convenience counts for something. I've seen an industry pro succumb to the convenience of Vudu HDX in their own million-dollar home theater.

As an analogy, if I opt to eat fast food for lunch, I know it's not going to be the best burger/chicken sandwich/taco possible. But I still want to know which convenient, compromised product is the best.

Anyhow, Blu-ray serves as the reference. What I'm writing about is which online format comes closest.
This is actually quite interesting. Amazon's new-ish 1080p streaming is really strutting it's stuff. That pretty much shows what I've qualitatively seen: Amazon's 1080p kicks ass.
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post #38 of 215 Old 11-05-2014, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by space2001 View Post
I see it in the original.

Also see lots of banding in streaming versions.
Depending on the service and the content, I do see banding pop up quite a bit. It was not an issue for me in this movie, except in the Vudu version that I was unable to get screenshots of.

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post #39 of 215 Old 11-05-2014, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Brajesh View Post
Not trying to be disrespectful, but I don't get the point of posts like this comparing Blu-ray vs. various streaming/downloadable digital formats. Blu-ray > rest, and most of us opt for the best quality possible.
I believe Blu-ray is a pretty good benchmark to hold the streaming/download formats up against, and see how the technology is progressing. After all, that is how most people consume video these days. Disc-based distribution is on borrowed time, after all...

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post #40 of 215 Old 11-05-2014, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
Since I couldn't include Vudu HDX screen shots in this comparison, I watched individual scenes and analyzed how they looked on my calibrated PN64F8500. I've written enough comparisons to know that still frames don't adequately convey the differences between formats. For example, only Blu-ray offers 24p, which my TV supports. True 24p translates to a superior cadence that none of the online-delivery formats could match. Besides, scenes with a lot of motion tend to tax compression algorithms, giving Blu-ray a visible advantage in motion resolution when it comes to action movies.

the streams are not 23p or 24p? what are they then?
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post #41 of 215 Old 11-05-2014, 02:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mightyhuhn View Post
the streams are not 23p or 24p? what are they then?
When played through my BDP-S5100 Vudu HDX reports 60p which indicates the use of 3:2 pulldown. Is that verified to be player-dependent? Same goes for Amazon, my TV reports 60p.

When I use the built-in Samsung app in my F8500, that is also 60p. I'll check my ChromeCast and my Panasonic BDP later...

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post #42 of 215 Old 11-05-2014, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by quad4.0 View Post
Once again, no lossless audio with current streaming service's. In my estimation the BD looks best anyway.
The demise of physical media is coming - but until then, I'll stick to the BD.
Its not even that simple these days . On quite a few occasions I've had to choose BD's that I had to import because of PQ differences, and sound tracks being different from one country's release to another -not to mention the different cuts.
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post #43 of 215 Old 11-05-2014, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
When played through my BDP-S5100 Vudu HDX reports 60p which indicates the use of 3:2 pulldown. Is that verified to be player-dependent? Same goes for Amazon, my TV reports 60p.
they hard encode them 60 FPS?

I can't test things like this I live in Germany. we got netflix for 1-2 months now X-).

if you use the PC you may need to manually change the refresh rate to 23p for most movies and 24p for some. I don't know what programs are used to watch things like this.

if they really hardcode this to 60 FPS that would waste quality quiet a bit...
and watching a 3:2 judder I couldn't stand this X-). and most importantly why should they do this absolutely no benefit I can think of.
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post #44 of 215 Old 11-05-2014, 04:02 PM
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I probably missed it in your original post, but what device do you use to stream Amazon?

I have been using the Roku 2 XS for over a year, and recently picked up the Amazon FireTV box. I swear, the FireTV provides a clearer HD picture to the naked eyes compared to the Roku box.

I am very impressed with Amazon and Fire TV.
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post #45 of 215 Old 11-05-2014, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

When I use the built-in Samsung app in my F8500, that is also 60p. I'll check my ChromeCast and my Panasonic BDP later...
Chromecast can only output P60.

Some Panasonic players can do P24 for streaming - but the ones that do don't automatically detect the source so need to be manually set to P24 for each title.

Hence my preference for my ancient LG B390 for Vudu HDX (with its ability to automatically switch to P24 for P24 encoded streaming titles)
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post #46 of 215 Old 11-05-2014, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by smokarz View Post
I swear, the FireTV provides a clearer HD picture to the naked eyes compared to the Roku box.

I am very impressed with Amazon and Fire TV.
If you have the bandwidth the Fire TV can get 1080P from Amazon Instant while the Roku 3 can only get 720P

Amazon Instant 1080P bit rate is fairly high (for streaming) 10 Mbps vs 5.8 Mbps for 1080P Netflix and 9 Mbps for 1080P Vudu HDX which is one reason it looks pretty good and certainly much better than 720P Amazon Instant at ~ 3Mbps on the Roku.

Shame the Fire TV can't do P24 output (but then neither can the Roku 3).
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post #47 of 215 Old 11-05-2014, 04:31 PM
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post #48 of 215 Old 11-05-2014, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post
If there's one thing that'll keep discs around, it's low prices. I've noticed ridiculous deals on Blu-ray 3-packs at Wal-mart ($7 and you still get UltraViolet license as well). If Blu-rays continue to be available as a $5-$10 impulse purchase, then they'll continue to find an audience. Enthusiasts are not going to keep that boat afloat, but Wal-mart shoppers can.
Fully agree, you don't see the time of discounting (let alone used pricing) online that you do with physical media. The fact that it often comes with a UV license now (or ugh.. Dinsey keychest thing), means you get it cheaper and you often get more (all the extras, higher rez audio, possibly DVD copy etc). That is aside from the fact that you don't actually own anything if you 'buy' it online (though doing so from a UV provider isn't as bad as buying from a Google, Amazon, Xbox, etc).
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post #49 of 215 Old 11-05-2014, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brajesh View Post
Not trying to be disrespectful, but I don't get the point of posts like this comparing Blu-ray vs. various streaming/downloadable digital formats. Blu-ray > rest, and most of us opt for the best quality possible.
yes, yes- but for lack a better source the blu ray should be considered the target ideal by which the other two are judged.

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post #50 of 215 Old 11-05-2014, 05:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by undecided View Post
If you have the bandwidth the Fire TV can get 1080P from Amazon Instant while the Roku 3 can only get 720P

Amazon Instant 1080P bit rate is fairly high (for streaming) 10 Mbps vs 5.8 Mbps for 1080P Netflix and 9 Mbps for 1080P Vudu HDX which is one reason it looks pretty good and certainly much better than 720P Amazon Instant at ~ 3Mbps on the Roku.

Shame the Fire TV can't do P24 output (but then neither can the Roku 3).
My Amazon streams fluctuated between 12 Mbps and 13 Mbps.

Also, I just tried Vudu HDX on all four devices I have that support it, no 24P just 60p from Vudu. And I can confirm the same inferior performance—with obvious banding—in the Vudu version, on all my devices.

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post #51 of 215 Old 11-05-2014, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by undecided View Post
If you have the bandwidth the Fire TV can get 1080P from Amazon Instant while the Roku 3 can only get 720P

Amazon Instant 1080P bit rate is fairly high (for streaming) 10 Mbps vs 5.8 Mbps for 1080P Netflix and 9 Mbps for 1080P Vudu HDX which is one reason it looks pretty good and certainly much better than 720P Amazon Instant at ~ 3Mbps on the Roku.

Shame the Fire TV can't do P24 output (but then neither can the Roku 3).

I have 105mbps connection with Comcast Blast. Real world speed is roughly, as tested, around 80mbps.
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post #52 of 215 Old 11-05-2014, 05:54 PM
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Everybody seems to be avoiding the one advantage that physical media has over streaming, and always will regardless of bandwidth or anything else: true ownership. I know that this has been rehashed more times than I care to count, but I want to point to a recent example of what can happen when a provider's server has the final word. When the 2014 Godzilla was released to BD, a few people on another forum complained that it was much too dark, and that the transfer was borked. These same people had calibrated their displays by either a) having a BB Geek Squad tech do it, or b) turning on the news and adjusting until the skin tones looked good (both a & b are equivalent). Vudu responded by brightening up their streaming copy (imagine turning the brightness on your TV all the way up). Now, everybody had an unwatchable online copy (If I had paid for a streaming copy, I would be pi$$ed) Even though VUDU later backtracked, those with a physical copy were unaffected.

The studios hate the fact that they have no say in the use of their movies after the sale of a physical disc, and that I am free to watch their films when, where, with whom, and how many times I please (within the parameters of copyright, of course). As has been said, convenience trumps quality these days (look at what has happened to the music industry). In today's culture, people grow up bowing to the almighty cloud, and it is as natural to them as breathing. However, it is not a matter of being an enthusiast to say that when I hand over my credit card, I am buying, not leasing. The blu-ray disc (or whatever) is completely my property: case, plastic, and content.

As a final example, imagine if Disney were to buy out Warner. I can guarantee that all streaming copies of "Blazing Saddles" would be edited in accordance with Disney’s PC leanings, which would result in little more than a 10 minute featurette. Too bad for those who are at the mercy of the streaming servers; they will have no choice. However, those of us with a physical copy will be the last ones laughing.

The streaming model can only ever be relevant in a rental context. Someone who's stamp collection consists of jpeg pictures of physical stamps stored on a remote server cannot, by definition, be considered a "collector." This merely offers the ability to view the stamp, assuming the server owner wants you to. OTOH, those with the physical stamps in their possession are independent of external variables, and can view them whenever they wish (and are unaffected when the server owner replaces a picture with another, possibly inferior, one).

In short, streaming will always cater to convenience, but if physical media dies, so will true ownership (at least, in the legal sense). To those old enough to remember, many of the same limitations plagued the DIVX model, which were also what killed it (people were not so willing to be subservient to a provider back then).
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post #53 of 215 Old 11-05-2014, 07:31 PM
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Thanks Mark,

It's interesting to see the different streaming formats leapfrog each other. It's good to see a quality competition. Vudu used to be the best, last time you ran this test they were a little behind, now they have some catching up to do!

Although I don't view movies streaming I do view TV shows streaming. So...

For me and perhaps others on the forum, what would be more relevant would be a comparison of these streaming formats to OTA broadcast, satellite, and cable. I have noticed a few threads on the topic but an official review could be nice.

Although I'm no longer "an agent of the system" since I unplugged, cable and satellite providers are starting to offer a-la-cart and on demand services and boasting better quality receivers and higher quality broadcast. How do their offerings compare to streaming? Is it enough to get me to go back?

Thanks again!
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post #54 of 215 Old 11-05-2014, 07:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Mark,

It's interesting to see the different streaming formats leapfrog each other. It's good to see a quality competition. Vudu used to be the best, last time you ran this test they were a little behind, now they have some catching up to do!

Although I don't view movies streaming I do view TV shows streaming. So...

For me and perhaps others on the forum, what would be more relevant would be a comparison of these streaming formats to OTA broadcast, satellite, and cable. I have noticed a few threads on the topic but an official review could be nice.

Although I'm no longer "an agent of the system" since I unplugged, cable and satellite providers are starting to offer a-la-cart and on demand services and boasting better quality receivers and higher quality broadcast. How do their offerings compare to streaming? Is it enough to get me to go back?

Thanks again!
Cheers
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post #55 of 215 Old 11-05-2014, 07:34 PM
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my simple issues with current streaming besides video quality being inferior to blu-ray:

1. getting locked into streaming services which don't all carry all movies/shows. otherwise be forced to change services for different movies.
2. they charge far more than I wish to pay (they aren't substantially cheaper than the blu-ray).
3. I still feel like movies from major providers are being throttled or bottlenecked and therefore slower to download than I would expect.
4. lack of the best available surround sound formats and audio quality for those of us into that sort of thing.

It's seems extremely likely that physical media will eventually become a thing of the past though one way or another.
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post #56 of 215 Old 11-05-2014, 07:56 PM
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How about a comparison between Blu-ray disc vs rips?
I use MakeMKV-Handbrake to rip Blu-rays and cannot see any difference in picture quality, even though the file size reduction is considerable (from 25GB to 9GB for example).

Here are my Handbrake settings:
High profile
output = Mkv
H.264 codec, variable framerate
RF 16 Constant quality
Optimise Video settings = x264 preset=faster, tune=none, profile=main, level = 4.0
Audio: DTS 5.1, AC3 Passthru
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post #57 of 215 Old 11-05-2014, 09:22 PM
 
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If you have the Blu-ray version, check the opening scene; when the camera is following (panning) our hero jogger ... look @ the sky.

The day that we'll see no more of them artifacts that'll be the day.
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post #58 of 215 Old 11-05-2014, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
Originally Posted by ktownhero
Any chance you could do a comparison including Google Play Movies as well? I rented from Google for the first time the other day and was pleased with the quality that came through.
Yes, I definitely can/will do that in a future comparison. Yes, I definitely can/will do that in a future comparison.
As you may already be aware of, as of yesterday, these DisneyMoviesAnywhere digital copies can be linked to Google Play in addition to iTunes. However, as of the moment anyway, the quality to a PC is only 480p at most so you would need to figure out how to capture a stream off a Google device if you want to do that.
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post #59 of 215 Old 11-05-2014, 09:34 PM
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Yes, I definitely can/will do that in a future comparison.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfy701 View Post
How about a comparison between Blu-ray disc vs rips?
I use MakeMKV-Handbrake to rip Blu-rays and cannot see any difference in picture quality, even though the file size reduction is considerable (from 25GB to 9GB for example).

Here are my Handbrake settings:
High profile
output = Mkv
H.264 codec, variable framerate
RF 16 Constant quality
Optimise Video settings = x264 preset=faster, tune=none, profile=main, level = 4.0
Audio: DTS 5.1, AC3 Passthru
This would not be useful as there are infinite combination of settings to convert it and arguably it is a (significant and pointless) waste of time to do so for viewing on a large screen (unless you are doing so to illegally upload and distribute it); 4TB HDDs are cheap so leave it at full quality if you want it on a server. Conversion for small-screen mobile device viewing is mostly irrelevant to the topic of quality. This is only about comparing the reference (Blu-ray) and popular legal streaming sources.
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post #60 of 215 Old 11-05-2014, 10:34 PM
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My Amazon streams fluctuated between 12 Mbps and 13 Mbps.
Yes when I have measured 10 minute averages of 1080P Amazon Instant streams to my Fire TV I also see between 12 - 13 Mbps https://www.avsforum.com/forum/39-net...l#post24597962

However the only times I have measured the total data downloaded and divided by the time of the show it comes closer 10 Mbps.

For instance Episode 2 & 3 of Rubicon were 46 and 42 minutes and downloaded to a Fire TV while streaming a total of 6,440.43 MB which gives average of ( 6,440.43 * 8 / 88 * 60) = 9.75 Mbps.

Not sure why the difference between the 10 minute averages and the overall data rate. There is some buffer pre-filling but it doesn't seem to account for all the difference. Some day when I have time I'll measure the complete data downloaded for a movie like Marvel's Avengers and see what the data rate was for the whole show.

That said Amazon Instant 1080P looks pretty good on a Fire TV whether its 10, 12 or 13 Mbps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
Also, I just tried Vudu HDX on all four devices I have that support it, no 24P just 60p from Vudu. And I can confirm the same inferior performance—with obvious banding—in the Vudu version, on all my devices.
For whatever reason only a few devices support 24P output from the streaming services. Seems strange especially as at least pretty much all the Blu-Ray players will do 24P out - just not for streaming. Even stranger as most streaming titles seem to be encoded at 24P whether its Netflix, Vudu etc,

There are a very few Blu-Ray Players that will output 24P from streaming services (some examples LG BD390, Panasonic DMP-BDT220, Samsung BD-F5900) plus some devices such as WD Live and it sounds like Tivo Roamio's.

Unfortunately none of the mainstream streaming devices Roku's, Chromecast, Apple TV, Fire TV etc will output 24P.....
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