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Amazon Prime Anyone else sick of playing the "How Do I Get The Best Pic Quality from Amazon Prime App" game? (1 Viewer)

Carlo_M

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First, let me list my hardware and for those who know me, you know that as both a techie and a 25 year HTFer, I've got everything set up optimally so I do not believe this is a setup issue.
  • LG C2 OLED (but this has also happened on a C1) with the Amazon Prime App
  • Apple TV4K 2022 128GB (but this has also happened on an ATV4K 2021 64GB version)
  • Denon AVR-4500h receiver
  • Zeskit HDMI 2.1 48Gbps certified cables
  • 500Mbps streaming service, so bandwidth isn't the issue
  • Direct ethernet connection to both the ATV4K and the LG (so wi-fi isn't the problem)
    • I've even purchased a USB 3.0 to ethernet adapter for the LG C2 so I actually get 320Mbps speed (vs. 92Mbps since the TV only has 100 Base-T ethernet and the USB is only 2.0 so it caps at 320Mbps). I've benchmarked and confirmed these numbers using Speedtest on the ATV4K (where I routinely get over 400Mbps, and using the Netflix bandwidth test on the LG (320Mbps result)
What I'm specifically annoyed over is several things which I have to factor in to decide what device/app combo to get the best PQ.

Issue #1 - the iOS Prime App doesn't support Dolby Vision
I can't believe this is still an issue. At this point I have to think Amazon is just effing with Apple, because literally every other major app has figured it out. So example #1 of "playing the best PQ game" - if I want to watch a DV show (e.g. The Rings of Power), it has to be by using the Prime App on the LG C2.

Issue #2 - Inconsistency in getting what's advertised in terms of UHD
Example: The Lost City (Bullock, Tatum, Pitt 2022 movie). Says it's in UHD HDR. Using Prime App on LG C2...it caps at HD (it even says HD on the in-app menu). No matter how many times I restart it, or allow it to play and "get up to speed" in terms of buffering...it's stuck on HD. Also, being HD, it never triggers HDR either (TV will say HDR or DV on the top right if it gets that signal).

Go to the Prime App on the ATV 4K...and UHD (confirmed by clicking on information on the LG, 2160p). But no HDR.

Anyone else experiencing what I am? I keep my apps up to date, manually checking for updates on the ATV4K regularly, and the LG won't launch the app if it detects an update is available.
 

Clinton McClure

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I read where Amazon doesn’t support Dolby Vision on ATV4K. I’m not complaining because Rings of Power looked spectacular in 4K HDR10.
 

Carlo_M

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LOL AmbuLAnce (not that I'm going to watch it, the app just recommended it to me so I clicked on it) has the reverse problem that The Lost City has.

It's advertised as UHD + HDR, but the HDR only works on the LG Prime App, not the Apple TV Prime App (which does at least give you 4K but no HDR).

So depending on how close attention people pay, they are likely not getting everything the subscription is supposed to be giving them. Maybe because the streaming service is "bundled in with Prime Membership" and most people use Prime for the 2 day free shipping, people aren't as up in arms about it. But can you imagine if Netflix or Disney+ or HBO Max advertised things as 4K or HDR/DV and then didn't deliver the promised resolution or HDR format?
 

ManW_TheUncool

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I don't get sick of that "game" since I simply don't play it, LOL -- I only do Prime for a month or two each year (and still haven't even reactivated for this holiday shopping season so far) and don't watch much of anything on their streaming service when I do (re)activate anyway... :P

With how little I ever bother to watch on their service plus being primarily a FP user (where HDR doesn't matter nearly as much), just not worth playing that "game" at all -- and the PQ aspects that would matter all that much to me, eg. encode, bitrate, reliability/stability of stream, they pretty much suck at no matter what anyway...

_Man_
 

ManW_TheUncool

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I read where Amazon doesn’t support Dolby Vision on ATV4K. I’m not complaining because Rings of Power looked spectacular in 4K HDR10.

I only recently caught some glimpses of that show at my brother's home (in part because I was avoiding it until I reactivate my Prime and can watch it in my own setup at my own leisure), and I don't know... Maybe it's whatever processing my brother's Samsung flat panel kept enabled (as he's no video/cinephile/enthusiast), but I was not impressed w/ what I saw -- it just looked very artificial/enhanced and thoroughly digital video-like w/ almost that soap opera effect/look.

I mean... I suppose one might consider it "spectacular" looking, if that's the look one's actually going for... but it certainly doesn't remind me of Peter Jackson's LotR look (whether on my current or prior FP setups or on prior DLP or CRT RPTVs I've owned... or even on my current PC's high quality, NEC LCD monitor)...

_Man_
 

DavidJ

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LOL AmbuLAnce (not that I'm going to watch it, the app just recommended it to me so I clicked on it) has the reverse problem that The Lost City has.

It's advertised as UHD + HDR, but the HDR only works on the LG Prime App, not the Apple TV Prime App (which does at least give you 4K but no HDR).

So depending on how close attention people pay, they are likely not getting everything the subscription is supposed to be giving them. Maybe because the streaming service is "bundled in with Prime Membership" and most people use Prime for the 2 day free shipping, people aren't as up in arms about it. But can you imagine if Netflix or Disney+ or HBO Max advertised things as 4K or HDR/DV and then didn't deliver the promised resolution or HDR format?

I wondered about AmbuLAnce (which is one of Bay's better efforts, BTW). It looked good in 4K, but I was wondering why it wasn't in HDR. I've encountered this on other titles too.
 

Clinton McClure

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I only recently caught some glimpses of that show at my brother's home (in part because I was avoiding it until I reactivate my Prime and can watch it in my own setup at my own leisure), and I don't know... Maybe it's whatever processing my brother's Samsung flat panel kept enabled (as he's no video/cinephile/enthusiast), but I was not impressed w/ what I saw -- it just looked very artificial/enhanced and thoroughly digital video-like w/ almost that soap opera effect/look.

I mean... I suppose one might consider it "spectacular" looking, if that's the look one's actually going for... but it certainly doesn't remind me of Peter Jackson's LotR look (whether on my current or prior FP setups or on prior DLP or CRT RPTVs I've owned... or even on my current PC's high quality, NEC LCD monitor)...

_Man_
It had to be the processing his Samsung was using. As you said, he’s no cinephile and likely has video smoothing turned on to give it the dreaded soap opera effect. I didn’t see any on the panel in my HT. You’re right that it doesn’t look as good as Lord of the Rings (and some of the effects shots looked more like a cgi cutscene from a video game) but mostly, it looked great.
 

Carlo_M

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I wondered about AmbuLAnce (which is one of Bay's better efforts, BTW)
I haven't really liked a Bay film since the original Bad Boys, The Rock and Armageddon. I missed The Island which is another film that friends tell me is one of his better [somewhat] recent works. If things get slow over the holiday weekend I may check out AmbuLAnce.
some of the effects shots looked more like a cgi cutscene from a video game
Can I ask which ones? I usually have a pretty good eye for bad CGI (the rest I can easily spot but if it's not offensively bad it's just all part of the suspension of disbelief, just like matte paintings, optical effects, etc.) and I didn't see anything in Rings of Power that I'd classify anywhere near as bad as video game CGI quality. Granted over the length of 8 hour long episodes my attention will have undoubtedly wandered. Rings of Power's budget was somewhere in the neighborhood of $500 million and since none of the actors are as well known as PJ's cast, I'd wager most of that money went into what we see onscreen, both practical sets and CGI. To my eye, there was very little that made me think "oh there's where having a TV series budget vs. a movie budget hurt the end product." In fact, I can't think of any.
it just looked very artificial/enhanced and thoroughly digital video-like w/ almost that soap opera effect/look
This was most certainly your brother's TV settings. I am extremely sensitive to SOE (like obsessively); it really bothers me. I can definitively say on a properly set up TV (and I don't mean ISF calibration, I mean just turning off the "smoothing/smooth motion" settings that are enabled in all of them by default from the factory) there is no SOE in Rings of Power.
 

DavidJ

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I haven't really liked a Bay film since the original Bad Boys, The Rock and Armageddon. I missed The Island which is another film that friends tell me is one of his better [somewhat] recent works. If things get slow over the holiday weekend I may check out AmbuLAnce.

If you do, let me know what you think. I like the original Bad Boys and The Rock too. I thought this had more in common with those than most of the recent stuff.
 

Todd Erwin

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Issue #1 - the iOS Prime App doesn't support Dolby Vision
This is actually an issue across most devices currently, even Amazon’s own FireTV devices. I tried calling tech support about it and got nowhere. Agents blamed the content provider (which almost made me fall out of my chair considering that the two programs I was calling about were Prime Originals Wheel of Time and LOTR), my device (again ROFL), my TV, and then “that program is not available in DV.” Further googling the issue showed that users of Roku, Fire, Android, and Apple devices or smart OS were all having this issue and that tech support was clueless.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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If you do, let me know what you think. I like the original Bad Boys and The Rock too. I thought this had more in common with those than most of the recent stuff.

Never saw Bad Boys, but did get around to watching Ambulance on Prime the other day. Glad I didn't bother to buy the 4K disc on sale. Once is probably (more than) enough. I like The Rock, but this feels a bit too much like Michael Bay's bombastic-ADHD-on-roids or something burying an otherwise pretty decent popcorn-ish flick (along The Rock's line), LOL...

_Man_
 

ManW_TheUncool

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This was most certainly your brother's TV settings. I am extremely sensitive to SOE (like obsessively); it really bothers me. I can definitively say on a properly set up TV (and I don't mean ISF calibration, I mean just turning off the "smoothing/smooth motion" settings that are enabled in all of them by default from the factory) there is no SOE in Rings of Power.

Ok, it did/does look much better (and more natural) on my setup... though much of it still quite digital/CG/artificial looking that's quite different from Peter Jackson's aesthetics for his LotR and Hobbit trilogies.

Of course, I have more nits to pick about other aspects of the show, especially what they did w/ Galadriel's character, which I feel is probably much too great a divergence, but that's a different kind of (non-tech) nit of course.

BTW, I didn't notice this issue watching the LotR prequel, so maybe it only started happening the last couple weeks or so, but I've been running to some issues mainly w/ 4K streams (on Prime) w/ my ATV4K, eg. some occasional stuttering/dropped frames, problem w/ skipping intros/recaps (and probably the fastforwarding/skipping function in general) that causes either complete failure (after lengthy resuming/rebuffering? attempt) or skipping ahead additional couple minutes or so.

Anyone else notice or come across these new (increasingly annoying) issues/problems?

_Man_
 

TJPC

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Sorry, butI really don't care about the quality of the image and sound on any streaming service. As long as the picture and sound allow me one watch of the program I am satisfied. These services to me are for the viewing of ephemera which I will watch once, enjoy, and probably forget by the time their new season arrives. Anything that is precious to me is still saved in my library of discs, if I can purchase them.

We have watched many many streaming shows, and I am interested in the content of their plots etc. not the perfect quality of their sound and image. This does not in any way criticise those who do care. Having grown up watching TV on 3 or 4 channels in black and white, that turned into wavy lines when an airplane went over, I guess my priorities are different. 😊
 

ManW_TheUncool

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^Ha! Know what you mean, BUT we're not kids still back in the stone ages of TV (and very limited breadth of personal entertainment options, etc in general), LOL.

Even though I do actually have more time to spend on hobbies, etc these days, there still isn't really quite that much time to go around for all the different things I'd love to do... so would much rather not waste it on very subpar presentations of such even if I ultimately deem it unworthy to add to my collection.... Time wasted can't be recouped afterall... :P

Still, we all have varying standards of what's acceptable/good enough of course... :D

:cheers:

_Man_
 

BobO'Link

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I use Amazon for watching things I purchase via "digital credits" and really don't pay much attention to the PQ/AQ of anything. As long as it plays, doesn't look like a VHS/bootleg, sounds OK, and doesn't constantly buffer, I'm OK. Until recently, I watched everything on my laptop. I was gifted a Roku Express several months back and now use that. It's perfectly OK with the PQ/AQ which usually looks as good as most of my better DVDs. I also have "old eyes" and don't see image issues a younger person would likely see (I rarely see improvements of a BR over a well produced DVD of the same content using the same master). I mainly wish for a UI that works better. But that's with *any* streaming service - all of them have absolutely horrible user interfaces.
 

sleroi

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I am very frustrated with the prime app as well. I have a Roku ultra and original programming such as Rings of Power and the English say UHD/HDR and play as such and look fantastic. Movies such as the Expendables and Lost City are advertised as UHD/HDR but only play as HD with no HDR. It makes no sense.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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I use Amazon for watching things I purchase via "digital credits" and really don't pay much attention to the PQ/AQ of anything. As long as it plays, doesn't look like a VHS/bootleg, sounds OK, and doesn't constantly buffer, I'm OK. Until recently, I watched everything on my laptop. I was gifted a Roku Express several months back and now use that. It's perfectly OK with the PQ/AQ which usually looks as good as most of my better DVDs. I also have "old eyes" and don't see image issues a younger person would likely see (I rarely see improvements of a BR over a well produced DVD of the same content using the same master). I mainly wish for a UI that works better. But that's with *any* streaming service - all of them have absolutely horrible user interfaces.

Yes, my eyes have been growing (noticeably) older as well over the last 10 years (although still not particularly bad for HT viewing so far... and of course, helped by having a 120" PJ setup) -- seems typical as we enter our early-to-mid-40's... and now, I'm about to enter my mid-50's.

I would consider just watching much of this streaming on my PC (and do often enough w/ The Criterion Channel and some others), but then, my PC setup lacks surround sound (which is certainly fine for TCC and whatever other old, classic catalog fare).

But yeah, most/all(?) streaming service UIs are pretty lame (at least in some respects)... though Amazon "takes the cake" amongst the various major platforms/apps...

_Man_
 

Carlo_M

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Interestingly, Amazon may have "silently" updated the Prime iOS app to support Dolby Vision...but haven't updated the show listings to reflect that.

Since I use my AppleTV for a few apps, I decided to launch the Prime app to see what was what. Went to Rings of Power and it's still listed as UHD and HDR with no mention of Dolby Vision. But now upon launching it, my C2 registers it as a Dolby Vision signal, and Atmos soundtrack. So in the 6 or so weeks since my first post in this thread, they've enabled DV at least for the episode of RoP I was sampling (the one where Galadriel is at sea weather the storm with another person).
 

Carlo_M

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And just after I post that, I see that Jurassic World Dominion plays in HDR10 in the LG Prime app...and in standard non-HDR 4K in the iOS Prime app.

One step forward, two steps back...
 

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