Streaming vs Cable vs Physical Media

Discussion in 'Streaming and Digital Media' started by bigshot, Jun 11, 2014.

  1. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Yeah, again I'm not going to watch blockbusters via streams but the vast majority of people will be just fine with it. And for non blockbusters the streams DD+ has been more than satisfying to me. I salute your principles Dave but I think you are gonna be part of a very small crowd on this one.
     
  2. bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

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    You don't appear to know what Dolby Digital is. There are different kinds of Dolby Digital and different bitrates, and number of channels. Dolby Digital is a brand name, not a specific product. They make different kinds of products, all of which fall under the Dolby brand.

    I am sure that streaming with a good solid Dolby Digital Plus 5:1 soundtrack would be indistinguishable from blu-ray for you. The only artifact I've ever noticed on streaming is a little bit of banding as scenes fade to black. Other than that small thing, it looks and sounds great.
     
  3. bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

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    I find that the picture quality I get from Netflix with my Roku 3 is head and shoulders better than the web interface through my computer.
     
  4. johnmcmasters

    johnmcmasters Stunt Coordinator

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    I live in Brooklyn, NYC, and have both Netflix and Amazon Prime streaming services. I tried Hulu but the incredibly interruptive commercials finally made me cancel. If I wanted to be forced to suffer through commercials, I'd watch "live" TV. There are ways to make Hulu play commercials for a specific title all at once -- so they don't interrupt viewing -- but it is, or was, very cumbersome.

    I have Time Warner cable -- and, honestly, the only reason I'm keeping the cable TV service is for:

    1. Turner Classic movies
    2. The Fox College Sports channels -- I am a college baseball junkie and when the college baseball season starts Fox College Sports is priceless, to me at least. I also enjoy the soccer and rugby channels enormously.

    My Time Warner internet service is 100mbps. Which usually means an actual performance at around 40mbps during peak viewing times in my neighborhood. The ever increasing demands put upon ISPs by streaming and downloading can be a real problem in some neighborhoods and cities.

    My physical library, including books, lps, irreplaceable VHS tapes, CDs, DVDs, LDs, and Blu-Rays, numbers in the thousands -- cramming the shelves of my rather small apartment and spilling over onto the floor in the form of stacks. I love having a physical library at my fingertips that I can actually browse -- but over the years, lest you think this is just an example of an old fart hoarding, I've also gotten rid of hundreds and hundreds of items of physical media. Just recently I gifted to a cousin an entire archived collection of lps -- not sure of the number but they took up 40 feet of shelving in total (including a complete Beatles collection and my collection of soundtracks and Broadway musicals). My cousin was very happy...

    I'll keep my library because there are times when I want to watch a particular film -- or an entire series. For example over the weekend I wanted to watch "Legend of the Lone Ranger" in order to compare the Barry score and how it was used in the film with the Barry score as used in "Body Heat". For specific needs like that, a physical library, for me at least, is a given. On Sunday I watched 6 Mr. Moto films -- an experience that could not be replicated with the two streaming services to which I subscribe.

    I simply don't trust the corporate reliability of streaming services and their "ownership" of given titles. My viewing needs and wants are usually fairly specific -- although, of course, I am constantly skimming the indices of Netflix and Amazon to see if a title strikes my fancy. But once watched via streaming, it goes "poof" in my estimation as far as my being able to rely on rewatching or reevaluating goes. The streaming experience is, to me, much like the good old days when one would catch a film in a theater knowing that it was probably the only time you'd ever see it -- back when I was a kid the broadcasting of some films was a true "event" with folks finally being able to watch something they'd only remembered fondly but vaguely.

    So I don't personally welcome a return to those good old days vis a vis streaming.

    Another component of streaming, that I don't believe has yet been mentioned, is the metering by internet providers for downloading and streaming. Many ISPs are capping streaming and making consumers pay through the nose for more downloading capacity. This, it seems to me, is a real deterrent for media-junkie guys like me who watch tons of media at all times of the day and night -- and who have a limited budget. Rent and basic utilities come first!!!!!!

    So...yes...streaming is great...sort of like junk food in my experience. Cable, for me, is becoming a service to meet very specific needs. And my Physical Media Library is becoming more and more, not less and less, irreplaceable. An oasis in the midst of so much corporate skimming and consumer gouging. Just IMHO.
     
  5. Dave Moritz

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    Did not care much for Dolby Digital Plus ether, sure it was an improvement over the original Dolby Digital but I avoid it when at all possible. I still have my laser disc collection even though I do not really watch them. Most of them are ether Dolby Surround or Dolby Digital with some titles in DTS. Laser disc was a better alternative to VHS back in the day but we finally have blu-ray disc.

    Jurassic_Park_DTS.jpg


    I registered some movies with Ultraviolet but never went back to it.
     
  6. bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

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    There is probably something wrong in your system that makes sufficient bit rate sound bad to you.
     
  7. bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

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    I have a Fios connection with 5/15. I've checked the connection at all times of the day, and I always get 5/15. I never have a problem with any streaming service, except with the computer using Silverlight and the web interface. The Roku 3 locks in to HD faster and looks better overall.
     
  8. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Wow. Just wow. /boggle
     
  9. bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

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    I think his system has problems decoding the DD+ and is defaulting to regular Dolby. He might be using a very old AV amp with a DAC that doesn't support DD+ or he may have it configured wrong. (Or perhaps he is a bat and has bats' ears.)
     
  10. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    I have much respect for your posts over the years Dave so please take this in the constructive manner I intend it: You seem to be the only person on the planet making a fuss over the "inferior" quality of Dolby Digital, so either your passion for DTS is clouding that or your equipment is faulty or misconfigured.

    I like DTS too. But its availability in no way makes DD qualitatively, measurably or subjectively worse except in possibly the most obscure of double blind A/B tests.
     
  11. bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

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    I don't even think those "obscure double blind tests" exist. When a format exceeds the thresholds of human hearing, it's good enough in my book. I don't make a sound system to please bats.
     
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  12. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Due to the hype of some folks I respect I just purchased and watched Snowpiercer on my AppleTv, via my basement projector onto a 120" screen. This is the first time I have ever paid cash for a Digital only film, up till now I have only gotten them as codes with physical media or as 99 cent rentals. The quality was outstanding, I would say 90% of the way to Blu quality both sound and video and had I had guests there they would not have known it wasn't a disk unless I told them. Very impressive and way better than the quality I get off my fios TV box
     
  13. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Sam, thanks for your remarks because I think I'm going to do something similar to you. You actually purchase it instead of renting it?
     
  14. Josh Steinberg

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    I was thinking about checking this movie out... I noticed that via Vudu, it was $7.99 for an HD rental, or $13.99 for an HD purchase. So I'm a little tempted to buy instead of rent with the rental price being so high.
     
  15. Robert Crawford

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    That's where i"m at too regarding rental versus purchasing. One way or another, I'll do something before the weekend is done.
     
  16. Dave Moritz

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    Dolby Digital has always sounded bad to me and during the days of dvd when we had Dolby and DTS i would prefer DTS hands down every time. I have had both HD-DVD and Bluray from the beginning and still have my 1st gen player in the factory box in the closet and the 2nd gen player in the rack with the other gear.

    "Did not care much for Dolby Digital Plus ether, sure it was an improvement over the original Dolby Digital but I avoid it when at all possible."

    What I guess I should have said is I was not sold on Dolby Digital Plus even though it was an improvement over Dolby Digital. I have had a few different configurations over the years and it has always been the same even on demo systems at dealers and other peoples systems. The last movie on Bluray I purchased was The Shooter as far as Dolby Digital only and I have refused to purchase any other Blu-rays that are Dolby Digital only. I am by no means anti Dolby and Dolby has had alot of influence and help make both theatrical and home theater what it is today and has had a long history in just plain audio for decades. There are a few things that put me against paying for content that resides from a company server where you have to stream it to watch it. The fact that you actually do not own it, you have to have internet with a minimum speed to watch it, if you lose your internet there goes all the movies you purchased online, if the company goes under so does your movies and why be satisfied with dvd quality audio when we can have superior audio on Blu-ray disc? There are lots of people that are happy with Dolby Digital and like it or believe it is good enough and that is fine. I am just saying for me I do not see any value in buying a movie that you have to stream over the internet that is not on a physical media.

    "There is probably something wrong in your system that makes sufficient bit rate sound bad to you."

    Sure it is not my system as it doesn't matter what system I hear a DD track on it sounds flat and muddy to me, kind of compressed. I still remember Dolby's argument stating that Dolby's bit rate was sufficient when they where being compared to DTS back in the day. Dolby's argument was that DD was so efficient that they did not need to use the bit rate that DTS used. So a short time later after HD-DVD came out in a move to compete with DTS, Dolby released Dolby Digital Plus. And about the same time Dolby offered Dolby True HD on Blu-ray and a few HD-DVD titles so after all the insisting that Dolby did that DD did not need more bit rate there replacement formats went to way of more bitrate. Dolby Digital Plus was better than Dolby Digital but my opinion that is was just a hot rodded version of Dolby Digital and nothing more. I how ever am very happy with uncompress PCM, Dolby True HD and DTS HD Master Audio.

    In the days of DVD I only supported DTS and many people know that here, not a big surprise. :D Today with Blu-ray discs giving us a much better home theater experiences along with the great picture HDTV's give us it sure has surpassed everything we have had in the past. I am just very passionate about sound and find it hard to believe that the online experiences can not be brought up to the standards of Blu-ray disc. Why pay for HD quality video in a streaming service and end up with what was on dvd audio wise? Sure it gets the job done but is it really good enough? I mean no disrespect to anyone here and I know that many people are going to have different opinions and I know that a number of times my opinions will not line up with others and that is ok. For me I refused to buy Terminator 3 again till it was available in lossless audio, luckly I found it in Dolby True HD from the UK.

    "I have much respect for your posts over the years Dave so please take this in the constructive manner I intend it: You seem to be the only person on the planet making a fuss over the "inferior" quality of Dolby Digital, so either your passion for DTS is clouding that or your equipment is faulty or misconfigured."

    I know I am not the only one not satisfied with DD. And of course I am taking this in a constructive manor but I am also like I have said before am just very passionate about audio quality. Maybe I am very picky but I also do not see it as a bad thing ether. I have heard Dolby Digital play back on McIntosh systems, Krell, Parrasound, Adcom, Integra ect. and I can still get into the movie but in the end I was always ehh it was Dolby Digital. I can deal with Dolby Digital when just renting or watching HBO but the thing is that it can be way better than the old DD. In the end I might get a streaming service but what I honestly see no value in is buying/leasing content that requires a internet connection. For right now I have more bandwidth than the average person but when I end up moving in the future that may not be the case. I prefer to have my content on a physical media and renting is one thing but buying, for me no thanks. The fact that they are just repackaging the old dvd track and using it with HD picture is not a big reason to buy content via streaming as far as I am concerned. Many other people must be happy with it because the streaming services have no gone out of business.

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  17. Dave Moritz

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    One of the things I am considering is getting a network switch to place by my ht receiver so I can play music from my pc and maybe I might get netflix to watch tv shows and some older movies I do not have. But purchasing something you can never own, just not me. :D
     

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  18. Robert Crawford

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    Yes, we hear you loud and clear.
     
  19. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Yeah it was $15 to buy or $7 to rent, figured no sense skimping. Very interested in hearing your experiences!
     
  20. bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

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    Take a look at the file size of the movie you bought, divide it by the running time and figure out how much it would take to stream that file. I bet it's the exact same file they stream to people with solid connections.
     

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