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Magness

Movie & TV Streaming/Digital Download Discussion Thread (iTunes, VUDU...etc)

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To kick off discussions I’ll offer that the Matrix is awesome in digital 4K (probably better than the UHD disc)  and I love watching Heat in 4K :P

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14 minutes ago, Magness said:

To kick off discussions I’ll offer that the Matrix is awesome in digital 4K (probably better than the UHD disc) 

 

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.... and I love watching Heat in 4K :P

 

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As mentioned in the UHD thread, my first experience with Vudu 4K/HDR was very positive as I picked up Game Night. PQ was overall excellent. Though the audio side was relegated to DD Plus which was disappointing. Nonetheless, I'll take it over spending money on a standard BD for those rare films that don't get a proper physical release.

 

I'll happily double dip and rebuy Game Night when it does get a proper release.

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7 minutes ago, Romier S said:

Though the audio side was relegated to DD Plus which was disappointing.

 

Pretty much all movie streaming and download audio adopts DD+ as the standard. There are no lossless options due to bandwidth and file size issues. Consequently Atmos for streaming/download is also an extension of lossy DD+ rather than lossless TrueHD on physical media. 

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I checked the Matrix via a full bitrate file in my Plex library + Infuse against the iTunes 4K version and they both looked really close IMO. Both are really good and the resolution and HDR image looked almost identical to me on both but, the iTunes stream definitely “flipped” to a lower res image at 2 points for me while I was watching it (I’m guessing network congestion) whereas the MKV file is on my wired network and had no drops, buffering or anything. Audio played as DTS HD MA on the file version (don’t have Atmos) and shows as DD 5.1 on iTunes and I would say the audio was noticeably different on the MKV file. The Plex+Infuse version had a much “crisper” sound as well as being louder at the same volume setting with more pronounced bass. The iTunes version wasn’t bad or anything but definitely felt like it was missing something in comparison (frequency range). 

 

My feeling is is that the trade offs are pretty good for all of these and there really isn’t a bad way to go here. Any way you chose you’re getting the best version of that movie/TV/whatever that’s ever been offered at home. The only points I would offer on each are...

 

iTunes - Convenience, cost (free upgrades on HD movies), features included, no region restrictions (regional stores) and no requirement for storage but, limited audio formats and dependent on your network 

UHD file - Personal library, uncompromised quality (audio and video) and HDD based storage but, usually no features are available and storage is substantial for full bitrate files (Matrix is 68GB)

UHD Disc - Uncompromised quality (audio and video), features included (on disc) and optical disc storage may be easier but, region restrictions, discs tend to cost more and sometimes different versions in different regions

 

In fact, to Romier’s point in the other thread I’d argue that the only wrong choice is to go with only 1 of these - chose a couple so you’re not missing anything. The same mentality we use when gaming - get a PC or have more than 1 console :)

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VUDU used to have the highest bitrate streams a few years ago when when I started using it. I preferred their HDX tech to say Amazon Prime Video. 

These days with 4K though I think most of the services seem on par -except Hulu, they don't even deliver 5.1.

 

Netflix tech seems the best in terms of quality and audio options - too bad you can't buy or rent movies from them, which is why I still give VUDU the edge here just because they support Dolby Vision + Atmos on titles you can buy/rent or redeem in UV with seemingly a bit more H/W support.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Magness said:

 

In fact, to Romier’s point in the other thread I’d argue that the only wrong choice is to go with only 1 of these - chose a couple so you’re not missing anything. 

 

I'd agree. It's why I felt it deserved its own thread, really, particularly since (as I wrote in the other thread) I think there's going to be a lot of films that we never seen in 4k reach physical media unless studios licence out a lot of content to boutique labels, but that would first require boutique labels to be supporting UHD disc in any capacity which they currently do not due to the cost and ROI for them. Hopefully that will improve though. In all honesty I'd rather dedicated niche labels handle more movies than the studios do as their quality control is generally a lot better. 

 

Movies Anywhere in the US makes accessing stuff on iTunes a no brainer really. If we had that service in the UK I wouldn't sell all my codes on eBay as I tend to do with all the Ultraviolet stuff bundled with discs over here. Nevertheless I will get an Apple TV box at some point as I tend to get rid of a few Blu-rays when I take a wild guess at what UHD discs might be forthcoming. So far I've done well with many of my guesses in getting rid of certain Blus before we even get a UHD disc announcement, but sometimes like Heat for example, I might get rid of the Blu only to find Fox are dumbasses and chose not to release a profitable and popular title amongst AV enthusiasts when they released the re-mastered Blu-ray (and the re-mastered Blu is badly compressed leaving me to suspect the 4k stream would be a better purchase). 

 

I'd really like to see the Bond films in 4k that I know are on iTunes, especially Goldeneye as the Blu-ray is quite weak. I know they still lack HDR though. Speaking of which, sometimes it seems like studios adding HDR to formally 4k only titles on iTunes is a sign that a disc might be closer to release. Similarly, you can count on an HDR upgrade to 4k only titles once a disc arrives too (I'm sure Predator will get a new file up in August when the disc arrives).

 

Can you rent titles in 4k on iTunes? I forget. 

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I own Kong Skull Island, Wonder Woman, and Pacific Rim 4K purchased from Vudu.  No qualms, but I still prefer physical copy for my HT, for the Atmos and the fact that my wifi extender keeps messing up every time there's a power hiccup and I finally just stopped trying to get it going again; can't even stream HDX from Vudu without that wifi extender.

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Daniel, Die Hard has not had HDR added yet. Which is strange as others have been updated over time. A few other titles that have disc releases, have not even updated to 4k yet.

 

 

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Something very strange. It has said X-men and X2 are 4k for a while , but does not show as it for me. I am going to need to look into that. 

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When I look at the movies tab on iTunes on my Mac and click 4k, do they only show the titles with 4k AND HDR under that listing as the Bonds, Predator...etc are not there. I didn't know if that's because they lack HDR right now, or whether they're not even in plain 4k on iTunes UK. 

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I do not know what Apple does really. None of their sorting ever shows all 4k properly. I usually just check what stuff I know is coming out on disc for the week.

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1 hour ago, Angry the Clown said:

 

Pretty much all movie streaming and download audio adopts DD+ as the standard. There are no lossless options due to bandwidth and file size issues. Consequently Atmos for streaming/download is also an extension of lossy DD+ rather than lossless TrueHD on physical media. 

 

This ^ - There's no streaming service at all delivering any of the lossless formats. And they probably never will because it's a significant chunk of the bitrate budget.

 

A typical VUDU 4K video bitstream is around 15Mbps. A typical lossless Dolby TrueHD + Atmos track is around 6Mbps with peaks that can go up to 18Mbps (hard to control average bitrate on a lossless format). DD+ is probably around .6-1.0 Mbps.

 

 

 

 

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The Martian, Starship Troopers, Fifth Element ,Close Encounters and a few other sci-fi 4K films are $5 on iTunes right now.

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I played a bit of Saving Private Ryan in VUDU 4K HDR10 - the lower bitrate definitely shows in the beach landing scene. Also it seems DNR was applied which makes sense given the much lower bitrate budget. 

 

 

 

 

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Some more movies got updated to 4K in iTunes this week and they are running another sale on some good 4K releases under $10 - just FYI

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GoT season 1 UHD has started showing up online, I think the official release is Tuesday. Does this get a free upgrade to 4K digitally as well - like HD movies in iTunes? My only experience with 4K TV is streaming so not sure how this works but, I own seasons 1-4 in iTunes HD thanks to codes with the box sets.

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Answered my own question - no iTunes TV shows (or Vudu or any other “storefronts”) are available in 4K yet. So Westworld, GoT, etc will have to be UHD to get 4K (for now).

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I wasn’t sure where UHD TV broadcasts should go but, I guess this thread is as good as any...

 

I’m really impressed with Sky Q UHD image quality on live events. For the most part, Sky Q UHD boxsets, downloads, etc have been ok but, not impressive. However, the Royal Wedding a few weeks ago and now Roland Garros (French Open) in 4K are some of the best images I’ve seen on this display. 

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BBC's UHD over iPlayer continues to be very good (apparently they're spitting out 40mbps bitrates regularly). They'll be streaming the World Cup in 4k with HLG HDR, though I've zero interest in football (I might throw on a game for 5mins just to check out the video quality though), but centre court matches for Wimbledon will be 4k with HLG so I am very keen to see that. When we start seeing TVs compatible with High Frame Rates for broadcast stuff like tennis is really going to shine even more.

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That was quick. Game Night $9.99 on iTunes. Also a bunch of other titles.

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