4K bluray VS. Amazon streaming 4K

Fish246

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Hello,

First post here, Maybe asked a million times but......

I have a 77" Sony OLED being delivered tomorrow. Is it much of a noticeable difference between watching a 4K bluray and streaming 4K on amazon?

Thank you very much

SteveF
 

Josh Steinberg

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There unfortunately isn’t a simple answer to that. It depends on a bunch of things, some of which are in your control, some of which aren’t. But in general, if you have reliable high speed internet and aren’t sitting right on top of your set, 4K streaming can look pretty amazing.

A lot of our fellow forum members have felt that of the different streaming providers, that Apple provides the best overall technical quality with Amazon being more towards the back of the pack.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Considering how much you're probably "investing" in a 77" OLED, probably makes sense to at least see and compare for yourself perhaps using a handful scenes of your favorite movies (that you especially desire the best PQ) along w/ some consensus reference quality scenes on discs.

IF you don't already have a 4K disc player, there are very worthwhile sub-$200 ones like the Panasonic UB420 (although that one doesn't support Dolby Vision) -- the much lauded sibling UB820, which does support DV, currently can be had at a discounted $400 AFAIK. There are also Sony's own offerings (that support DV) towards the lower end.

You might find you're perfectly happy sans discs, or you might find you'd want to watch some (maybe just some of your faves to own), but not all, on 4K discs -- not everything will make full enough use of the diff or get a 4K disc release anyway.

Some also find a diff in the audio quality, but you didn't ask that, so I'm guessing probably not significant for you.

But as Josh noted, Amazon's streaming quality isn't (remotely) the best. If one goes mainly by bitrates, it seems Apple/iTunes, Disney+ and MoviesAnywhere offer the best -- I've seen different comments about Vudu being similar or possibly next lower tier... IF you plan to buy and/or rent specific titles on "digital", seems like your best bet is Apples/iTunes, except for Disney titles since none of them are 4K on Apple/iTunes (for foreseeable future)...

Do also make sure you have enough bandwidth, including on your home network setup (to the TV), to support 4K streaming (and whatever else uses it at same time). Reports are bitrates can peak around 40Mbps or so w/ 26Mbps or so avg for the best services (so far) -- Amazon (and maybe also Netflix and some others) seems to be maybe roughly 1/2 that.

_Man_
 
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Todd Erwin

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Amazon Prime Video 4K content looks best when streamed from a Fire OS device (Fire Stick, Fire Cube, etc.). YMMV on other streaming devices.
 

JohnRice

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I'm in agreement with the others on this. Prime 4K quality is fine, not impressive. Audio was mentioned, and all streaming services are (currently) limited to Dolby Digital quality, as opposed to HD audio on discs. Even with Atmos soundtracks which Prime (so far) doesn't have. The main thing I notice with Prime is when you start something, it begins at low quality, then improves. I have solid 500Mb/s internet and use a wired connection rather than WiFi, and this still happens. If I rewind or fast forward, it sometimes locks into low quality, as in worse than DVD quality, and won't improve until I completely stop and resume the program. I'm using an AppleTV 4K. If you use the apps in your TV, don't expect top notch quality.
 
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JohnRice

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iTunes, Netflix and VUDU support Dolby Atmos.
All it requires is to simply read the sentence after the one you quoted, which says "Even with Atmos soundtracks which Prime (so far) doesn't have." Those Atmos soundtracks are DD quality, not HD as with discs.

I did decide to add "currently" to my original comment, because who knows what the future might bring.
 

CC95

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Hello,

First post here, Maybe asked a million times but......

I have a 77" Sony OLED being delivered tomorrow. Is it much of a noticeable difference between watching a 4K bluray and streaming 4K on amazon?

Thank you very much

SteveF
Yes.
it’s like the difference between watching a DVD or watching a Blu ray.
it’s all about the Bit Rate. (And I have yet to see a streaming service that can stream Hdr and DV properly).
 

Tino

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All it requires is to simply read the sentence after the one you quoted, which says "Even with Atmos soundtracks which Prime (so far) doesn't have." Those Atmos soundtracks are DD quality, not HD as with discs.
No need to be rude. I read that sentence and thought it wasn’t clear.
 

JohnRice

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On the gear I have which is Atmos compatible (Marantz SR7012 and AV7703) I simply look at the on-screen display, and it says the incoming signal is Atmos. If it's HD Atmos, it says "Atmos/True HD" where DD quality just says "Atmos". Or you can look at the app. It should be basically the same with Denon. I don't know about other manufacturers.
 

tns49

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Amazon Prime Video 4K content looks best when streamed from a Fire OS device (Fire Stick, Fire Cube, etc.). YMMV on other streaming devices.
I don't now about the Sony but Amazon prime looks just as good as, if not better, from the LG OLED Amazon Prime app as from various OS devices. However none compare to a Blu-ray UHD.

And of course if you have a separate Audio system the quality from the Blu-ray player is a large leap upward.
 

Todd Erwin

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Even with Atmos soundtracks which Prime (so far) doesn't have.
Amazon just fixed the Atmos issue on their TWO series that offer Dolby Atmos - Jack Ryan and Carnival Row. Everything else, even movies you purchase, are Dolby Digital+ 5.1 audio.

And John is correct, the streaming services use Dolby Digital+ audio with embedded Atmos metadata (which is why I find it so odd that Netflix still can't do Atmos on Roku and Fire devices), while discs use Dolby TrueHD with Atmos metadata.
 

JohnRice

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Amazon just fixed the Atmos issue on their TWO series that offer Dolby Atmos - Jack Ryan and Carnival Row. Everything else, even movies you purchase, are Dolby Digital+ 5.1 audio.
I forgot Amazon did offer something in Atmos. Probably because there's only two of them.

Regarding the article Tino linked above. Reading that, which spells out some of what I understood about Atmos but doesn't seem to be widely known, seems to confirm something I've observed in my living room system, which is only 5.1, but has Atmos capability. I swear that Atmos soundtracks are more immersive than others. Since the system is only 5.1, you'd think it wouldn't make a difference, but even a 5.1 system should be able to benefit from the metadata in Atmos/DTS:X. Essentially, it's improved steering of sounds, which should be a benefit in any surround system.
 

Sam Posten

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Dolby Digital+ is a perfectly cromulent base layer for the vast majority of streaming mixes. There’s a bunch of people here who cry about it but it’s not a big deal. Pick a few of your favorite movies and test them head to head and you may be surprised at how satisfied you are.
 

Aaron Silverman

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Honestly, I consider myself something of an audio snob, and IMO Atmos soundtracks streaming on Vudu are pretty spectacular. I could probably tell the difference between one of them and the same track on disc-based TrueHD if i did a careful A/B test, but it would take a careful A/B test.

You'll probably see a bigger difference in the image quality.
 
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Jeffrey-s

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This is my first reply and it may be a bit off topic as well as answered long ago, but I presume you all have noticed how Dish Network has reduced the gigabyte data allotted to their content in their efforts to increase the amount of HD channels on their service? Many years ago when Hd was first introduced on Dish, I recorded and saved a 1 hour HD episode of “Northern Exposure” which contained 3.5g of data. It looks superb. Nowadays, you are lucky to get 2g for a 2 hour HD movie. I don’t mind the compression for most vintage dramas where quality of the picture is not as critical as nature content in Northern Exposure. Any idea why that show made an appearance on the early days of satellite HD and has never been rebroadcast to my knowledge though nowadays the quality would not be as good
 

Danny Lopez

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If you wouldn’t mind if I chime in...
This topic is very subjective. It’s based on your perception. My thoughts/opinions are that streaming could not come close to an Ultra HD Blu-ray! In 2017 I splurged for an OPPO BD203 Blu-ray Player. Thank GOD I did. Today people are trying to sell them for over $2k. To this date nothing has come close to the picture quality as well as the audio quality of this player. And I have the Apple TV 4K. BUT - ”everyone’s perception of quality is different”!...
 

DanH1972

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Hello,

First post here, Maybe asked a million times but......

I have a 77" Sony OLED being delivered tomorrow. Is it much of a noticeable difference between watching a 4K bluray and streaming 4K on amazon?

Thank you very much

SteveF
I only watch streaming apps for exclusive web TV shows... that's it. 4k Blu-ray is a superior media source all around (lossless audio, higher bitrate video, sometimes full 12 bit Dolby Vision, etc.). Since you have a Sony OLED, I would recommend the Panasonic 820 4k Blu-ray player as it has Dolby Vision support.
 

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