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AVS Forum Newsbreaker Mark Henninger talks about his ongoing series of comparisons of movies delivered on Blu-ray and the online streaming services iTunes and Vudu, including how streaming has improved over the past year, how he conducts comparisons with screen caps and photos, what still frames can tell us, the value of "pixel peeping" and brightness enhancement, the strengths and weaknesses of Vudu versus iTunes, answers to chat-room questions, and more.

 

 

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They can improve streaming all they want but until the ISPs improve their services (speed and reliability) including taking the caps off, it won't make one bit of difference. Also, until the streaming companies come up with a way that I can play the movie as many times as I want, when ever I want, at no additional cost, I'll take my blu ray hard copy.
 

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I agree on the ISP part. Reliability is probably more of a concern. 2 times I host a Vudu party and my connection drop and everyone have to wait (and no ETA
...) Fortunately, they resolved within 15-20mins, but still I think I will not ditch my blu-ray and go 100% streaming.
 

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Great show guys.



I don't think I will ever be able to switch completely to streaming. I use streaming as a convenience, but watch Blu-rays for my dedicate theater. Nothing like optimum performance from physical media.


It'll be interesting to see H.265 and it's specs. That might be a game changer.
 
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To stream the best quality 1080p stream movies at the rate of watching 8 movies a month, I'll need an internet plan that costs me $200 per month. It's still cheaper for me to buy 8 blu-rays a month and have a 60GB cap internet plan AND I get to keep the shiny disc after watching them
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Wilkinson  /t/1469771/blu-ray-vs-streaming#post_23240690

AVS Forum Newsbreaker Mark Henninger talks about his ongoing series of comparisons of movies delivered on Blu-ray and the online streaming services iTunes and Vudu, including how streaming has improved over the past year, how he conducts comparisons with screen caps and photos, what still frames can tell us, the value of "pixel peeping" and brightness enhancement, the strengths and weaknesses of Vudu versus iTunes, answers to chat-room questions, and more.

bluray wins....
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kascnef82  /t/1469771/blu-ray-vs-streaming#post_23242006



bluray wins....
 

I agree, Blu-ray does win. It wins every time in terms of ultimate quality. Every comparison that I have done has demonstrated that. The point of these comparisons is to determine the suitability of the online distribution formats for viewing in a home theater environment. I want to know which online distribution format actually looks the best, on a movie-by-movie basis.

 

In some cases, the quality of the online distribution versions is simply unacceptable. I was just taking a look at Silver Linings Playbook on Vudu HDX and it looked absolutely terrible, suffering from frequent bouts of macro blocking artifacts. Django Unchained looked quite good, never distracting—and shadow areas were much cleaner than Silver Linings. 
 

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Mark, is it the case of the provider recompressing the master with fast single-pass method? I toyed around with Skyfall and I recompress the extracted data with 10 mbps with "slowest (highest quality), dual-pass". And although it took 600% longer than "fastest, single-pass", the quality is markedly better than Vudu HDX quality.
 

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Just to chime in. For those complaining about ISP issues. We can also have severe problems with disks. Lately, nearly every bluray I have gotten from Netflix has had points where they stutter and many have frozen up completely (and I had to get another disk). Though my internet connection may slow, I rarely have a streamed movie shut down completely. It is true, though, that you notice a real difference in picture quality when streaming vs. the disk.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3dmaven  /t/1469771/blu-ray-vs-streaming#post_23242578


Just to chime in. For those complaining about ISP issues. We can also have severe problems with disks. Lately, nearly every bluray I have gotten from Netflix has had points where they stutter and many have frozen up completely (and I had to get another disk). Though my internet connection may slow, I rarely have a streamed movie shut down completely. It is true, though, that you notice a real difference in picture quality when streaming vs. the disk.
 

When it comes to movie rentals, I prefer Vudu HDX. Especially for new release blockbusters, because the 7.1 surround can make a difference. I find using Netflix for Blu-ray discs to be a hassle and I agree that scratches make playback unreliable. Because I pay for premium Internet, streaming never falters. I don't really have an issue with iTunes' HD offerings either.

 

Both iTunes and Vudu HDX offer a download option in addition to streaming. If the reliability of an Internet connection is in question, downloading the rental from Vudu HDX or iTunes HD is probably the best way to ensure an uninterrupted viewing experience.
 

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There's an obvious difference in picture and sound quality with blu-ray. I rarely watch movies twice, so $1.50 or so for a Redbox blu-ray is an awesome bargain for me.


One thing I've notice though, is the trend towards "rental discs" being sued with Red Box. These discs lack some of the "extra features" found on retail discs such as uncut versions of films, alternate endings etc. Kind of a bummer.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by badchad65  /t/1469771/blu-ray-vs-streaming#post_23243988


There's an obvious difference in picture and sound quality with blu-ray. I rarely watch movies twice, so $1.50 or so for a Redbox blu-ray is an awesome bargain for me.


One thing I've notice though, is the trend towards "rental discs" being sued with Red Box. These discs lack some of the "extra features" found on retail discs such as uncut versions of films, alternate endings etc. Kind of a bummer.
Rental discs can also lack the uncompressed soundtracks that are one of the main attractions of Blu-ray.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic  /t/1469771/blu-ray-vs-streaming#post_23243996


Rental discs can also lack the uncompressed soundtracks that are one of the main attractions of Blu-ray.

Interesting. Is there an obvious way to determine this? Every time I pop a disc in, my receiver (usually) notes I'm listening to "Doldby True HD". By definition, does that indicate its uncompressed?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by badchad65  /t/1469771/blu-ray-vs-streaming#post_23244140



Interesting. Is there an obvious way to determine this? Every time I pop a disc in, my receiver (usually) notes I'm listening to "Doldby True HD". By definition, does that indicate its uncompressed?
Yes, you got it. If your receiver reports that you are listening to Dolby true HD, then you are listening to lossless sound. Same goes for DTS HD-Master audio. Literally uncompressed audio comes in PCM format—but for all practical purposes, uncompressed and lossless are the same thing quality wise.
 

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For me, it's all about the uncompressed audio! If they ever get to a point where I can enjoy a movie uninterupted by the compression faults,( that will never happen) and how can they offer DTS-MA or DD HD audio? Maybe for some the plain 7.1 dolby is ok, but I invested in an Oppo and the nuforce board,( that I love!), so I look forward to a good soundtrack. Yeras ago it was all about video quality. DTV had s video and I rented all my moveis there. It was better than what I was getting at home. They can't get near the quality now of a BD.
 

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Are you aware of the music that is out there also uncompressed? They are putting music on blu ray now and trying to make it a standard. There are about 100 or so titles now, as a new format - Pure Audio is making it's way. Replacing sacd-and dvd audio that special equipment was needed. You must hear the quality of the sound! If you think that BD movie was good, try" Dark Side of the Moon", on BD! a 5.1-stereo, and 4.0 (quad) original version is on it. As is "Wish you were here" now they have come to where you can acsess audio tracks with the color coded buttons on the remote. from 2.0 to 3.1 to 7.1 etc.

see this:
http://www.pureaudio-bluray.com/?cat=1


besides what is done, there are more also, a little different but all playable on a blu ray machine, and all high resolution, lossless.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3dmaven  /t/1469771/blu-ray-vs-streaming#post_23242578


Just to chime in. For those complaining about ISP issues. We can also have severe problems with disks. Lately, nearly every bluray I have gotten from Netflix has had points where they stutter and many have frozen up completely (and I had to get another disk). Though my internet connection may slow, I rarely have a streamed movie shut down completely. It is true, though, that you notice a real difference in picture quality when streaming vs. the disk.

Our streaming quality is o.k. for sitcoms etc., but that's about it. And regarding Netflix; Aside from the occasional, physically, broken disc, I have had extremely good luck with Netflix rentals. I would estimate that less than 1% of the Netflix rentals, I have received, exhibit any kind of audio or video anomalies! Also, I have yet to receive a Netflix rental that doesn't provide me the highest res audio codecs, as I have read from forum members in other threads. So in a few of words; it's "Bluray for me"!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by quad4.0  /t/1469771/blu-ray-vs-streaming#post_23244191


For me, it's all about the uncompressed audio! If they ever get to a point where I can enjoy a movie uninterupted by the compression faults,( that will never happen) and how can they offer DTS-MA or DD HD audio? Maybe for some the plain 7.1 dolby is ok, but I invested in an Oppo and the nuforce board,( that I love!), so I look forward to a good soundtrack. Yeras ago it was all about video quality. DTV had s video and I rented all my moveis there. It was better than what I was getting at home. They can't get near the quality now of a BD.
Quote:
Originally Posted by quad4.0  /t/1469771/blu-ray-vs-streaming#post_23244228


Are you aware of the music that is out there also uncompressed? They are putting music on blu ray now and trying to make it a standard. There are about 100 or so titles now, as a new format - Pure Audio is making it's way. Replacing sacd-and dvd audio that special equipment was needed. You must hear the quality of the sound! If you think that BD movie was good, try" Dark Side of the Moon", on BD! a 5.1-stereo, and 4.0 (quad) original version is on it. As is "Wish you were here" now they have come to where you can acsess audio tracks with the color coded buttons on the remote. from 2.0 to 3.1 to 7.1 etc.

see this:
http://www.pureaudio-bluray.com/?cat=1


besides what is done, there are more also, a little different but all playable on a blu ray machine, and all high resolution, lossless.

+1! The audio portion is, for me, of greater importance.
 
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