Originally Posted by Datagg
The real enemy last night on GOT was digital video compression. Wow it was horrible. Certainly solidifies, garbage in garbage out. Shame on HBO/ cable networks for such compression. i wonder if the newer OLED can handle compression better over my C7.
Anyways I digress.
Originally Posted by Ph8te
Low bitrate/compression is bad either way. Last nights episode would have been a true torture test. I don’t have major issues, personally via my ATV4K and HBOGO, I know what to expect when watching. The discs are what I’m really waiting for.
A complaint heard round the world regardless of the panel tech we watch TV with. When it comes to digital video compression and this GoT "Battle" episode, there is a common thread.
Name the source: HBO GO, HBO NOW, HBO via Amazon, HBO via cable/satellite, etc. - streamers vs. broadcast - they all have one thing in common: H.264 - the 1080P codec which has been in use for over a decade. Although it looks great on Blu-ray where compression is somewhat mild, it's very inefficient vs. H.265 which was developed for 4K. H.264 falls flat on its face when it comes to low light or noisy content because it doesn't like to be compressed very much.
This particular GoT episode was/is an H.264 torture test. For starters it was daaaark - 80 minutes of daaaark! I can't imagine trying to watch this episode on an LCD local dimming panel. The blooming would have sent me over the edge. On top of that, there was extreme noise in some scenes; especially flying through the snowy clouds, or Bran "seeing" through the ravens. Personally, I didn't think it was all that terrible, but when you know what to look for, it's hard to "un-see" it.
If we could have watched the same episode using H.265 HDR10 or Dolby Vision, those compression artifacts would not have been present, or not nearly as much of an issue. Specifically Dolby Vision, because it does not allow compression. I personally watched on my AppleTV 4K running the HBO GO app. Had the same issues as any other content delivery service. Basically, GoT was handcuffed by the current TV infrastructure.
Looking forward to the day when the entire series will be released either on UHD Blu-ray or when Apple's iTunes has a Dolby Vision package.