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Nice job Mark. This thread is virtually shuttered, but today I finally stumbled on this, and a couple of the other format / delivery threads you've done. They're interesting and well executed. The technologies continue to morph, so the topic remains fluid and timely.


The shiny disc versus stream/download discussion produces some surprisingly passionate opinions. Some think Blu-Ray is the only way to go, while others feel the same way about the cloud.


At my house, we're glad to have all of these options available. We use all of them regularly. Sometimes you're sick, or the weather stinks, or the stores are closed, and getting your hands on the right shiny disc isn't possible at that moment. I've worked and wired to make as many delivery options accessible as possible. It's just great to have the choice always at your fingertips.


That said, and as your comparisons generally find, Blu-Ray routinely renders the highest quality audio and video presentation. And so we choose that format whenever we reasonably can.


There are so many factors at work. Different eyes, different equipment and different budgets in each house means that what is a "must-have" for one of us is not necessarily a "must-have" for another. Nor even a "can-have" for many.


We're really lucky to be playing with all of this. Thanks for your interesting and detailed comparisons.
 

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Has anyone made an comparisons of the Star Trek II director's cut? In addition to the out-of-print DVD, it is available for digital purchase in HD on both Amazon and iTunes.

I had some expiring Amazon instant video credit so I purchased it there. However, as Apple TV doesn't have an Amazon app, I'm using the built-in app on my Sony W800B to view it. But the info screen tells me it's streaming at 1080p. (Part of my concern about quality stems from the fact that on Netflix videos, Apple TV gives me the full 1080p bitrate at 5800kbps, whereas my TV's built-in app only gives 1080p at 4300 kbps.)

Also, is AppleTV's streaming of 1080p content generally the same quality as what you would get as downloading the file first to a PC and playing it that way? I'm just wondering how great the picture would be if I streamed it on my Apple TV. (Specifically, if it's better than what I'm getting with my TV's built-in Amazon app.)
 

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Has anyone made an comparisons of the Star Trek II director's cut? In addition to the out-of-print DVD, it is available for digital purchase in HD on both Amazon and iTunes.

I had some expiring Amazon instant video credit so I purchased it there. However, as Apple TV doesn't have an Amazon app, I'm using the built-in app on my Sony W800B to view it. But the info screen tells me it's streaming at 1080p. (Part of my concern about quality stems from the fact that on Netflix videos, Apple TV gives me the full 1080p bitrate at 5800kbps, whereas my TV's built-in app only gives 1080p at 4300 kbps.)

Also, is AppleTV's streaming of 1080p content generally the same quality as what you would get as downloading the file first to a PC and playing it that way? I'm just wondering how great the picture would be if I streamed it on my Apple TV. (Specifically, if it's better than what I'm getting with my TV's built-in Amazon app.)
Yes and no, let me explain. If you purchase a movie or tv file directly from the iTunes store it downloads into the ATV's internal memory and plays back at consistent rate, just like a download. If you stream say Netflix that is not the case because it's adaptive streaming. All Amazon streaming is adaptive and nothing can be downloaded, that's not to say it can't look good, it can, but downloads from iTunes have the potential to look better.
 

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Yes and no, let me explain. If you purchase a movie or tv file directly from the iTunes store it downloads into the ATV's internal memory and plays back at consistent rate, just like a download. If you stream say Netflix that is not the case because it's adaptive streaming. All Amazon streaming is adaptive and nothing can be downloaded, that's not to say it can't look good, it can, but downloads from iTunes have the potential to look better.
Thanks for the informative reply. I wasn't aware of that. I actually got the iTunes version as well. I couldn't tell that big of a difference between the two, but since I couldn't easily switch back and forth between the two, it's hard to tell. Given that I have a little more faith in the Apple TV than both Amazon and my TV's built-in apps, I will probably rely on the iTunes version.
 
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