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Blu-ray or online streaming?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by -, Nov 17, 2009.

  1. Guest

    I just bought the Samsung LN46B750 LCD tv and love it. Now I'm trying to decide what to do for watching movies and wanted to get some reviews on what you all are doing.

    I'm trying to decide between buying a Blu-ray player or going with online streaming. My TV allows me to use Blockbuster On Demand and Amazon On Demand, neither of which I've tried yet. Apparently there's no integration with Netflix at this time.

    So far I've read mixed reviews about online streaming. I certainly want 1080p & preferably 5.1 surround and have also read that most of these on demand services have pretty weak selection. Of course I'm also looking for the most cost effective solution as well. So should I hold off buying a Blu-ray player in hopes these services continue to improve or should I buy a Blu-ray despite the possibility of physical media diminishing in the next few years??

    Thanks!
     
  2. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Well-Known Member

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    Do both! There are lots of cheap Blu-ray players with Netflix integration already out, or coming soon. Since Netflix is the cheapest way to get Blu-ray rentals, and you get the streaming free along with that, it's a no brainer. Amazon on demand is like $5 for an HD rental, this is way more than double I'm paying Netflix on average per disc.

    For video/audio quality Blu-ray clobbers Netflix streaming. But streaming is good for when you are waiting for the next disc to be mailed, there are lots of titles that aren't on Blu-ray anyway, documentaries/dramas/comedies that aren't action sound effects spectacles, so the lack of 5.1 doesn't really matter all that much.

    Amazon HD is closer to Blu-ray, and has 5.1, but the cost is just prohibitive if you watch a lot of movies.
     
  3. TravisR

    TravisR Well-Known Member

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    By no means am I an expert but I think downloads are years away. Just think what would happen if the same number of people who go out and buy a DVD or Blu-ray of a summer blockbuster (several hundred thousand or even a million people) all tried to download a high def version of a 2 hour movie on the day it comes out. I don't think the studios are going to have the capacity to handle that demand for quite a while.
     
  4. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Well-Known Member

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    None of the services you mention, Blockbuster, Netflix or Amazon, are streaming 1080p HD. Matter of fact, you are almost always getting less than SD-DVD quality. 1080p streaming via the internet is a few years away, and highly dependent on your available bandwidth.
     
  5. Guest

    Thanks, these responses help. I'd hate to not experience 1080p on a brand new LCD so it looks like I'll have to go with a Blu-ray player. I love that my TV has internet connectivity and access to Blockbuster & Amazon but I'll probably get a Blu-ray that also supports Netflix so that I have practically every option available down the raod Luckily the prices of Blu-ray players have been dropping low enough that even if 1080p can be streamed in a few years, I won't have wasted that much money on Blu-ray.
     
  6. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    It's not an OR it's an AND.

    I have Netflix, PSN, XboxLive (and as of yesterday Zune Marketplace on the 360 too!), Amazon, iTunes, Boxee, Hulu and more.

    It's the digital equivalent of the omnivores dilemma =)
     
  7. Guest

    Since I'll probably get a Blu-ray player with streaming my next question is would you recommend wireless? Has anyone had problems streaming Netflix from a wireless router to a Blu-ray player?
     
  8. wally

    wally Well-Known Member

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    Anyone have experience with Netflix on the PS3?
     
  9. Bob_L

    Bob_L Well-Known Member

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    Yes. It works well. It's a minor annoyance that you have to have the Netflix disc in the PS3 while you're viewing (they won't integrate into the OS until next year, probably because of Netflix's deal with Microsoft), but it looks and performs just fine with my 3mbps DSL connection.
     
  10. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Well-Known Member

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    Physical media won't be going anywhere for many years.
    A very large part of the population doesn't live in cities, so no access to broadband internet. Since streaming isn't going to happen over dial-up, we're a very long way from streaming taking over physical media. Streaming may become more popular in large cities like Los Angeles, NYC, Chicago, etc., because they have huge populations with access to broadband. Besides, I think most people like to have a disc to hold on to, to watch anytime they want to, to loan to family and friends, makes them feel more like they own the movie, etc.

    Even if all the streaming services start 5.1 surround, they definitely aren't going to be doing Dolby TrueHD or dtsHD Master, for a very long time. I, personally, have no desire to stream. I could hook my PC up to my system, and stream Netflix and YouTube, but I haven't. My PC is a standalone surround system. I streamed a Netflix movie to it one day, and stopped it after about 15-20 minutes. I wasn't impressed.
     
  11. ChuckWL

    ChuckWL Well-Known Member

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    If you like to collect films in a high quality format that you can watch when you want to, buy a Blu Ray. If you are just interested in renting films and watching them in a lower quality stream away! Whatever works best for you.

    BTW...There will always be people out there that want physical media. I think streaming and physical will coexist.
     
  12. JediFonger

    JediFonger Well-Known Member

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    i agree w/Ed.

    for streaming to catch up w/Blu-Ray quality, we'll need 100Mbps up and down all across the US much like Japan/Korea/Northern Europe has. the infrastructure isn't in place... yet. hopefully it'll get there soon.

    if it is feasible, i'd luv to stream lossless 16-bit VIDEO 4k, 16k resolution and lossless 32-bit/384kHz AUDIO across a fat gigabit pipe for a flat fee of $20-50/mo just like what netflix is offering for any movie/tv ever released 100,000+ titles and so on. or... make it 3-D ;).
     
  13. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Well-Known Member
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    The quality varies by title and very dependent on bandwidth.

    Video: HD material looks a bit better than DVD (but nowhere near Blu-ray), while most SD material can look better than VHS, occasionally as good as DVD. Netflix appears to be using the AVC codec on just about every title I've watched so far. My big gripe is that if your bandwidth takes a sudden dive, the program will stop, rebuffer, and switch to the SD stream. The only way to switch back to HD is to stop and restart the program.

    Audio: Regardless if the program is SD or HD, the audio is encoded in stereo at 128 kbps using the AAC codec.

    The other downside is that there are no subtitle or captioning options, for those that require it.

    My wife and I use the service mostly to catch up on TV shows we may have missed. If you're a fan of Legend of the Seeker, it appears that Netflix offers current season episodes in HD just a few weeks after they air. My wife has found this invaluable when, for some reason, our DirecTv HD-DVR fails to record an episode.
     
  14. John Vansant

    John Vansant New Member

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  15. Matt^Brown

    Matt^Brown Well-Known Member

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    Adam Bitner - Thank you for starting this thread because I had the same exact question.

    Now I have a question. What is the cheapest BR that I can buy that still works. I did the HD DVD thing acouple of years ago and I just don't have the money right now to do it all again. Can I find a good BR player for less then a $100?
     
  16. Guest

    I guess since I started the thread I'll post a follow-up.

    Since the purchase of the Samsung LN46B750, I bought the Samsung BD-P3600 blu-ray player and the Pioneer VSX-919AH-K receiver.

    I'm very happy with my setup but here are a few observations:
    • The Samsung TV internet widgets are cool, but they have a ways to go. Response time is pretty sluggish and of course entering text via the TV remote is a pain in the butt. Blockbuster's On Demand just sucks, I've certainly ruled that out as a movie-viewing option. Have not yet tried Amazon On Demand.
    • The BD-P3600's been fine. Slightly unresponsive at times, but had no problems getting it on my wireless network and updated firmware. Love the Netflix streaming, works great. Despite having a 6mb internet connection I still only get like 7 out of 10 bars when it comes to picture quality but I don't know whether Netflix, U-Verse or my wireless connection is responsible for that. I like it for watching comedies, documentaries, etc., but would not want to watch an epic which would be much better suited on blu-ray with 1080p and DTS surround sound. The nice thing about a $12 Netflix membership is that I can do both - stream online and rent blu-rays.
     
  17. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Premium
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    Personally I would stick with Bluray as it is not only better IMHO, but you can watch it over and over and not pay everytime you watch it. And lets not forget lossless audio vs god knows what on the streaming online version ?
     

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