HBO Max- May 2020 launch - Page 6 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #151 of 291 Old 05-28-2020, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by TitusTroy View Post
if people want access to HBO Max outside of the Amazon or Apple Channels then they need to buy a streaming box (or have access to a Smart TV that has it as part of its built-in apps)...this is how it works with Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Video, Netflix etc...why should HBO operate under a different set of rules?
Okay. I am not trying to argue for a position one way or the other. I hear you.

I think the issue is that there are 5 million customers currently that get HBO through Prime Channels and I think they expected it to become HBO Max on Wednesday and it did not. Amazon is advocating for them, not out of altruism, but because they get a cut of that monthly subscription fee. Not sure how many get HBO currently through Roku Channels program. I guess AT&T believes most of them will cancel their current subscription model and subscribe directly. Time will tell.

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post #152 of 291 Old 05-28-2020, 12:47 PM - Thread Starter
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I think the issue is that there are 5 million customers currently that get HBO through Prime Channels and I think they expected it to become HBO Max on Wednesday and it did not. Amazon is advocating for them, not out of altruism, but because they get a cut of that monthly subscription fee. Not sure how many get HBO currently through Roku Channels program. I guess AT&T believes most of them will cancel their current subscription model and subscribe directly. Time will tell.
I don't think most of those people care about HBO Max...they just want access to the same HBO content they had previously...most people outside of the folks that follow tech probably don't even know what HBO Max is...and for the few they do care they just want to get something for free

if the Amazon Channel people were previously getting regular HBO and they still continue to get HBO, why should they be entitled to get HBO Max?
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post #153 of 291 Old 05-28-2020, 01:14 PM
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Well, if you are a Prime Channel subscriber and you want HBO Max that way, you don't win.

BUT, I believe that the reason HBO Max stayed at $14.99 was because of contractual commitments to all of the cable providers that they would not undercut the pricing they have in place for HBO customers. Such a tangled web of greed. AT&T, Roku, Amazon and all the Cable providers want their cut and not one of them wants to concede one penny. So, here we are....
Correct, existing contracts with legacy video providers like Comcast were a factor in AT&T not offering HBO Max at a lower price. If they had you'd probably see Comcast et al. blocking the usage of the app on their systems.
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post #154 of 291 Old 05-28-2020, 01:23 PM
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if the Amazon Channel people were previously getting regular HBO and they still continue to get HBO, why should they be entitled to get HBO Max?
That is the situation today. You can still use HBO NOW, HBO GO on Roku and Fire TV devices or the HBO Roku Channel and HBO Prime Video channel to access HBO linear content.

And any of those Roku and/or Prime Video channel subscribers to HBO would ask why a Cable Provider subscriber is entitled to HBO Max at no extra cost, but they are not? Just depends which side of the access channel you are on. It is like trying to put toothpaste back in the tube. Netflix, HULU and Prime Video never went down the Channels path. So, they are not 'taking' something away.

I wonder which path PEACOCK streaming will choose? And when ViacomCBS rolls all of their content into one consolidated platform (CBS Network, Viacom Networks, CBS ALL ACCESS and Pluto TV) will they want to pull CBS ALL ACCESS off of Prime Video Channels and Roku Channels?
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post #155 of 291 Old 05-28-2020, 01:28 PM
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That is the situation today. You can still use HBO NOW, HBO GO on Roku and Fire TV devices or the HBO Roku Channel and HBO Prime Video channel to access HBO linear content.

And any of those Roku and/or Prime Video channel subscribers to HBO would ask why a Cable Provider subscriber is entitled to HBO Max at no extra cost, but they are not? Just depends which side of the access channel you are on. It is like trying to put toothpaste back in the tube. Netflix, HULU and Prime Video never went down the Channels path. So, they are not 'taking' something away.

I wonder which path PEACOCK streaming will take? And when ViacomCBS rolls all of their content into one consolidated platform (CBS Network, Viacom Networks, CBS ALL ACCESS and Pluto TV) will they want to pull CBS ALL ACCESS off of Prime Video Channels and Roku Channels?

I don’t see why any large streaming service would want to get into the “channels” deal at this point. Sure, if you’re a stand-alone cable channel like Starz or Epix I could see it, but Netflix, Hulu, and Disney don’t want to do that, and I don’t blame the people behind HBO Max for not wanting to either. I mean Amazon is part of their competition, so why would they want to give them a percentage of their subs? Does Netflix? (I assumed they didn’t, but I don’t know)
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post #156 of 291 Old 05-28-2020, 01:41 PM
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I don’t see why any large streaming service would want to get into the “channels” deal at this point. Sure, if you’re a stand-alone cable channel like Starz or Epix I could see it, but Netflix, Hulu, and Disney don’t want to do that, and I don’t blame the people behind HBO Max for not wanting to either. I mean Amazon is part of their competition, so why would they want to give them a percentage of their subs? Does Netflix? (I assumed they didn’t, but I don’t know)
Because they always have. Remember, this is not the same HBO anymore, HBO is now a subsidiary of AT&T and AT&T wants to change the game in how the product is distributed and expectedly, they're running into some headwinds. I copied the below from Joseph Adalian's Buffering newsletter available from Vulture.

Note the boldened line in the second paragraph, AT&T wants to change that pricing dynamic along with the distribution dynamic.

Spoiler!
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post #157 of 291 Old 05-28-2020, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Amazon won't support HBO Max without Prime Video Channels tie-in

A company spokesperson told Engadget that it wants to offer the new service through Prime Video Channels, arguing that it was a “priority” for the company. “We believe that if you’re paying for HBO, you’re entitled to the new programming through the method you’re already using,” the spokesperson said, pointing to nearly 5 million of the channel’s subscribers who use Channels

HBO parent WarnerMedia didn’t directly address Amazon’s points of contention, instead saying that its workers “look forward” to a deal that’s “on par” with how Amazon allows access to Disney+, Hulu and Netflix...

https://www.engadget.com/amazon-on-h...Up8lH1xOfu6-gm

sounds like both sides are digging in for a long fight...I wonder who's going to blink first?
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post #158 of 291 Old 05-28-2020, 01:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Because they always have. Remember, this is not the same HBO anymore, HBO is now a subsidiary of AT&T and AT&T wants to change the game in how the product is distributed and expectedly, they're running into some headwinds. I copied the below from Joseph Adalian's Buffering newsletter available from Vulture.

Note the boldened line in the second paragraph, AT&T wants to change that pricing dynamic along with the distribution dynamic.
but even in that article you linked to is what I've been saying all along...this isn't some crazy request by WarnerMedia, it's been the norm for years...why does Amazon/Roku want to all of a sudden change the rules?

"WarnerMedia wants consumers to have to watch Max programming in the Max app, and not as part of the internal ecosystems platforms such as Roku and Amazon have created on their devices...This isn’t some crazy demand by WarnerMedia, by the way: Netflix and Disney+ don’t let their shows slum around in other platforms’ unique universes...Sure, titles will show up in the Apple TV or Fire TV interfaces, but when you click to watch, you get taken to an outside app...I don’t know why Roku and Amazon are demanding HBO play by a different set of rules — if that is indeed what’s happening — but Greenfield thinks it’s because regular HBO has been okay with having its content disaggregated on those platforms"
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post #159 of 291 Old 05-28-2020, 01:48 PM
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Amazon won't support HBO Max without Prime Video Channels tie-in

A company spokesperson told Engadget that it wants to offer the new service through Prime Video Channels, arguing that it was a “priority” for the company. “We believe that if you’re paying for HBO, you’re entitled to the new programming through the method you’re already using,” the spokesperson said, pointing to nearly 5 million of the channel’s subscribers who use Channels

HBO parent WarnerMedia didn’t directly address Amazon’s points of contention, instead saying that its workers “look forward” to a deal that’s “on par” with how Amazon allows access to Disney+, Hulu and Netflix...

https://www.engadget.com/amazon-on-h...Up8lH1xOfu6-gm

sounds like both sides are digging in for a long fight...I wonder who's going to blink first?
I believe AT&T will blink first, you simply can't ignore one of the two largest streaming platforms, Amazon has some 100 million-plus Prime video subscribers. Amazon does not need HBO Max, AT&T does need Amazon though. AT&T has spent mountains of money on acquisitions like Warner Media and even more money on content for those acquisitions, it needs to do whatever it takes to increase revenue to pay for all that, Amazon/Roku can't be ignored.
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post #160 of 291 Old 05-28-2020, 01:56 PM
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but even in that article you linked to is what I've been saying all along...this isn't some crazy request by WarnerMedia, it's been the norm for years...why does Amazon/Roku want to all of a sudden change the rules?

"WarnerMedia wants consumers to have to watch Max programming in the Max app, and not as part of the internal ecosystems platforms such as Roku and Amazon have created on their devices...This isn’t some crazy demand by WarnerMedia, by the way: Netflix and Disney+ don’t let their shows slum around in other platforms’ unique universes...Sure, titles will show up in the Apple TV or Fire TV interfaces, but when you click to watch, you get taken to an outside app...I don’t know why Roku and Amazon are demanding HBO play by a different set of rules — if that is indeed what’s happening — but Greenfield thinks it’s because regular HBO has been okay with having its content disaggregated on those platforms"
Because they always have in the past, AT&T wants to take away from Amazon and Roku something they've had for years, this is the model that's been used since the beginning. Those other services were never part of the "Channels" offerings so they can't be compared to what AT&T wants, it's apples and oranges. This is just poor planning-rushing to market and poor negotiations on the part of AT&T. I don't agree with everything Adalian says but there is some interesting information in the article. To be clear, it's AT&T that wants to change the rules, not Amazon and Roku.
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post #161 of 291 Old 05-28-2020, 01:57 PM
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Because they always have. Remember, this is not the same HBO anymore, HBO is now a subsidiary of AT&T and AT&T wants to change the game in how the product is distributed and expectedly, they're running into some headwinds. I copied the below from Joseph Adalian's Buffering newsletter available from Vulture.

Note the boldened line in the second paragraph, AT&T wants to change that pricing dynamic along with the distribution dynamic.

Yes - that’s more or less what I was getting at
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post #162 of 291 Old 05-28-2020, 01:59 PM
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HBO Max- May 2020 launch

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Originally Posted by Keenan View Post
Because they always have in the past, AT&T wants to take away from Amazon and Roku something they've had for years, this is the model that's been used since the beginning. Those other services were never part of the "Channels" offerings so they can't be compared to what AT&T wants, it's apples and oranges. This is just poor planning-rushing to market and poor negotiations on the part of AT&T. I don't agree with everything Adalian says but there is some interesting information in the article. To be clear, it's AT&T that wants to change the rules, not Amazon and Roku.

How long has HBO been in the channels, a year or so? Maybe that was the Apple version, not Amazon, but even still, HBO Max is a different product than regular HBO.
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post #163 of 291 Old 05-28-2020, 02:00 PM
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I believe AT&T will blink first, you simply can't ignore one of the two largest streaming platforms, Amazon has some 100 million-plus Prime video subscribers. Amazon does not need HBO Max, AT&T does need Amazon though. AT&T has spent mountains of money on acquisitions like Warner Media and even more money on content for those acquisitions, it needs to do whatever it takes to increase revenue to pay for all that, Amazon/Roku can't be ignored.

100 million doesn’t really mean anything. One of these articles that have been linked to said there are about 5 million HBO subscribers through Amazon Channels.
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post #164 of 291 Old 05-28-2020, 02:16 PM
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I don’t see why any large streaming service would want to get into the “channels” deal at this point.
Key phrase is 'at this point'. At this point, HBO Max feels it is big enough with enough leverage to take a different position. But, 5 years ago when HBO NOW launched they were more than happy to leverage a Roku and/or Prime Video channels distribution model for success. 5 million subscribers to HBO through Prime Video Channel was likely considered a success.

I am not saying that HBO Max doesn't have a right to take this position, it was just poorly communicated and executed. If this was their position all along they should have spent more time communicating this in the months that led up to the launch. They could have communicated how grateful they were to Roku and Amazon for the success of a growing HBO streaming service via their respective Video Channels program that has led up to the launch of HBO Max. And now that HBO Max is ready to launch they are excited for everyone to experience their content with an exciting new standalone app and home screen that will guide them through all of the HBO and Warner content. As such, the video channel distribution model would be phased out as HBO Max is released. HBO NOW and HBO GO would continue to be available within the video channel model through a transition phase. At that point you give everyone enough time to get upset and eventually accept that YEA, Netflix, HULU, Prime Video and even the new APPLE TV do the same thing. Now, it would have been up to Roku and Amazon to decide if they wanted to make an announcement that HBO Max would not be on their platform and explain why. Instead, every Roku and Amazon user is upset and everyone is pointing and wagging fingers at each other. Yikes....

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post #165 of 291 Old 05-28-2020, 02:21 PM
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100 million doesn’t really mean anything. One of these articles that have been linked to said there are about 5 million HBO subscribers through Amazon Channels.
Right, but the point is that Amazon is the second-largest streaming platform/device behind Roku, that's far too many potential viewers/dollars to ignore.
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post #166 of 291 Old 05-28-2020, 02:32 PM
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Right, but the point is that Amazon is the second-largest streaming platform/device behind Roku, that's far too many potential viewers/dollars to ignore.

I wonder how many people who have a Roku or a Firestick also have another way to stream? I would guess a substantial number.
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I wonder how many people who have a Roku or a Firestick also have another way to stream? I would guess a substantial number.
I have three (3) Roku TV's and three (3) Fire TV Stick 4K devices attached to each Roku TV. I was all in with Roku TV's until the FOX Superbowl 'hissy fit'. That drove me to a deal on Fire TV Stick 4K devices as a backup alternative. I figured I would be covered for any one of them (streaming devices) getting into shenanigans with a content provider. I guess I should have 'planned' better. LOL!!

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post #168 of 291 Old 05-28-2020, 03:28 PM
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Below is the article I saw referencing the bitrate differences from HBO to HBO Max.

https://www.flatpanelshd.com/news.ph...&id=1590578825
I'm not so sure that's the case on the Shield TV/Android TV app. On both HBO Go and Max we're getting DD5.1, which leads me to believe they're the same streams. I need to check the bitrate, maybe through WRT-Merlin on my Asus router.

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I have three (3) Roku TV's and three (3) Fire TV Stick 4K devices attached to each Roku TV. I was all in with Roku TV's until the FOX Superbowl 'hissy fit'. That drove me to a deal on Fire TV Stick 4K devices as a backup alternative. I figured I would be covered for any one of them (streaming devices) getting into shenanigans with a content provider. I guess I should have 'planned' better. LOL!!

You’d have thought you’d be safe. My guess is Roku will get sorted out before Amazon.
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Last night, I watched Shutter Island on HBO Max; the streamer was an Apple TV 4K. This is a widescreen movie, so I zoomed the lens of my Sony Projector to a 110" diagonal. The picture quality was great, about equal to a Blu-ray disc. The frame rate was also correct. Since the Apple TV does not send bitstream audio, all I could tell is that audio was shown as "Multi PCM" on my receiver.

Re the problems between HBO and Amazon and Roku. Why in the world should they expect to get a big cut of HBO Max revenue for doing nothing more than letting HBO Max put an app on their devices?
I am assuming your ATV4K audio setting is set to Atmos/PCM(best setting)? Could you force DD5.1 and see what happens?
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So I do have HBO Max but I was signing in with my ATT phone credentials. Says to use ATT TV Now credentials.

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post #172 of 291 Old 05-29-2020, 11:10 AM
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Young Sheldon to Stream on HBO Max, Alongside Big Bang Theory
https://tvline.com/2020/05/29/young-...heory-spinoff/

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Thumbs UP to THE SARAH JANE ADVENTURES and TORCHWOOD being available on launch day.
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post #174 of 291 Old 05-29-2020, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
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And any of those Roku and/or Prime Video channel subscribers to HBO would ask why a Cable Provider subscriber is entitled to HBO Max at no extra cost, but they are not?
that is a good point...seems like every cable provider (even the smaller ones like RCN) have reached deals to provide HBO Max free to customers who are already signed up with the HBO cable channel...so Roku/Amazon customers definitely have a good argument...but the issue is that when subscribed through Amazon/Apple etc the customer is paying directly to Amazon/Apple who get a bigger cut...
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post #175 of 291 Old 05-29-2020, 01:36 PM
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that is a good point...seems like every cable provider (even the smaller ones like RCN) have reached deals to provide HBO Max free to customers who are already signed up with the HBO cable channel...so Roku/Amazon customers definitely have a good argument...but the issue is that when subscribed through Amazon/Apple etc the customer is paying directly to Amazon/Apple who get a bigger cut...
Absolutely. This is about HBO Max wanting as much of the $14.99 a month fee as possible. Nothing wrong with that. The question is will all of those subscribers through Roku Channels or Prime Channels switch to a direct subscription model if that is their only option on their platform of choice? I believe it is 5 million HBO subscribers through Prime Channels. That is $75 million a month. Just about $900 million for the year. Will HBO Max capture all of that? We shall see.......

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post #176 of 291 Old 05-29-2020, 02:55 PM
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I have access to a friends HBO subscription and may watch another episode of Love Life....(E1 was kind of a drag) but the overall PQ/AQ is so sad that I would almost never use it to watch movies. I did watch the Good Boys movie which turned out to be rather bad so I'm glad I didn't blind buy it.
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post #177 of 291 Old 05-29-2020, 03:43 PM
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I have access to a friends HBO subscription and may watch another episode of Love Life....(E1 was kind of a drag) but the overall PQ/AQ is so sad that I would almost never use it to watch movies. I did watch the Good Boys movie which turned out to be rather bad so I'm glad I didn't blind buy it.
What did you watch it on? What streaming device? What type of TV?

I watched episode 1 of LOVE LIFE and sampled quite a few big action movies and found the Picture Quality just as comparable to any other service offering a 1080p video stream.

FYI. I watched with a side loaded version of HBO Max for Android TV on a Fire TV Stick 4K device connected to a 55" 4K/HDR/Dolby Vision TV. The picture quality was far from 'so sad'. Looked like a quality 1080p video stream. I can't comment too much on audio, since it was only Stereo. But, even that sounded just fine with my soundbar processing it into a surround experience. I am sure audio will be 5.1 when we finally get an official app released for Roku and Fire TV devices.
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TCL Roku-TV 55P605 (4K/HDR/DV) | VIZIO SB36512‑F6 ATMOS Soundbar | Fire TV Stick 4K
TCL Roku-TV 43S425 (4K HDR) | Fire TV Stick 4K
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post #178 of 291 Old 05-29-2020, 08:42 PM
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Imma 'grandfathered' subscriber of AT&T TV NOW (GO BIG Pkg) and I get this 'free'! The show "2019 Rock n Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremony" looks great on my 1080P 11 yr old Sammy HDTV, and my 9 yr old Pioneer 1122K AVR reports it as Dolby Digital + 5.1 surround sound!
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post #179 of 291 Old 05-30-2020, 02:33 AM
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What did you watch it on? What streaming device? What type of TV?

.
I used ATV4K to Sony VW285ES native 4K projector to 127" 2.40:1 screen (zoomed in to 16:9 mode which results in about 100" screen). In a dedicated HT.

And yea,..it does look like other 1080p services so I guess I should have watched it on a TV, then it would have been fine.

p.s. The second episode was also a drag ... I realize the finale must reward you for suffering through the other episodes of the season but I'm giving up or maybe I'll just wait and watch the last episode of the season whenever that shows up

=Brian
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post #180 of 291 Old 05-30-2020, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Hampton View Post
I used ATV4K to Sony VW285ES native 4K projector to 127" 2.40:1 screen (zoomed in to 16:9 mode which results in about 100" screen). In a dedicated HT.

And yea,..it does look like other 1080p services so I guess I should have watched it on a TV, then it would have been fine.

p.s. The second episode was also a drag ... I realize the finale must reward you for suffering through the other episodes of the season but I'm giving up or maybe I'll just wait and watch the last episode of the season whenever that shows up

=Brian
You were probably stretching the limits on that 1080p stream with your HT!!

I threw up CATWOMAN via web browser to my 100" 1080p LED projector last night. The movie and dialogue were awful. Halle Berry and the PQ looked awesome!!

TCL Roku-TV 55P605 (4K/HDR/DV) | VIZIO SB36512‑F6 ATMOS Soundbar | Fire TV Stick 4K
TCL Roku-TV 43S425 (4K HDR) | Fire TV Stick 4K
TCL Roku-TV 32S301 (720p) | Fire TV Stick 4K
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