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Apple TV 4K official

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Sam Posten, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Dave - I’m not Atmos yet but if I’m reading the tea leaves right:

    -With iTunes, it seems that audio and video options aren’t tied together, and it’ll play the best Of each that your system can handle. So if there’s a movie that offers both UHD and Atmos, but you are only HD and Atmos, you’ll get HD video and Atmos audio.

    -Vudu seems to have audio and video locked together. So the UHD and Atmos are bundled together there, so if your system can’t do UHD, it’ll play back the HD version with whatever audio is locked to that format (usually DD+ 7.1 or 5.1).

    I can’t verify that 100% but I can verify that improvements in iTunes masters will flow downwards to lower resolutions and that doesn’t seem to be the case for Vudu. I can test that because my TV is UHD and my PJ isn’t. So when iTunes gets a new UHD master for a movie, if I watch that movie on my PJ in HD, it’s an HD version of the new master and not the previous one. In Vudu, when there’s a new UHD version, that’ll play in UHD, but if you watch in HD, you get the older HD master and not a new HD version of the new master.

    The AppleTV using iTunes seems the best option for taking advantage of whatever your system can do now with what’s the best option available.

    I’m really much more impressed with what iTunes is delivering compared to everyone else. The AppleTV in connection with iTunes seems to be designed to give you the best experience based on what you have, not to force you to upgrade everything to be able to enjoy anything.
     
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  2. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    Yes, I think you've got it. iTunes will stream 1080p with Atmos. With Vudu and Amazon Prime, Atmos is restricted to 4K streams only. As for the Movies Anywhere app, I have yet to find a single title that has Atmos, so I'm guessing Atmos is not yet available there.
     
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  3. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Ah. I didn’t know that different apps had different (audio-video) versions of the content.

    Good to know iTunes seems to be doing it right — giving options to the viewer.

    I might take a flyer and buy a 4K aTV to try things out.
     
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  4. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Producer

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    Netflix now officially supports Atmos & high quality 5.1 audio:
    https://www.macrumors.com/2019/05/01/netflix-gains-high-quality-audio/

    Meanwhile, their monthly price is now up to $15.99
    Not sure how they will compete with $8 (half price to Netflix) Disney when it comes out. Speaking of Disney, did they say anything about 4K/UHD support?

    Lastly HBO video quality has become awful- last Sunday’s GofT was so compressed it wasn’t funny
     
  5. Worth

    Worth Cinematographer

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    To be fair, that episode was a real compression torture test. Dark lighting, low contrast, fog, fast-action and cutting - it's like they deliberately set out to make it damn near impossible to compress.
     
  6. Wayne_j

    Wayne_j Cinematographer

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    I wouldn't judge HBO's streaming quality at a time when millions of people were watching the same file at once and as Worth said it was an episode that was terrible to compress.
     
  7. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    Do you really think that millions of people were "watching the same file"? They weren't. HBO's streaming quality is just terrible. The only time I've ever used their Go app is to watch Season 7 and Season 8 of GoT, and it's been this bad all along.
     
  8. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Producer

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  9. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    So I realize this is the Apple TV discussion, so my experience may not be appropriate or reflective of what you all see. But when I use HBO Go via my two TVs native apps (Samsung KS8000, Sony XBR-65X900F) the resolution and quality of Game of Thrones is near blu-ray quality. This includes viewing S8E3, which was a horribly over-compressed/artifacty/blocky experience when viewed over my HD cable feed from Spectrum-formerly-TimeWarner.

    I will say the one thing I notice is, upon first launch, the quality of HBO Go is pixel-y/blurry, likely due to low bit rate as the stream starts to pick up strength. But within about 10 seconds, usually well before the program starts because HBO likes to put a promo before GoT, the image sharpens up and looks darn-near BD quality. And yes, I own all previous seasons on BD so I know what they should look like. But I will say when I'm too lazy to go out to fetch my season discs, I've never been disappointed by watching the episode on HBO Go. Connected via 400mbps cable internet, as a reference point.
     
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  10. Message #710 of 758 May 1, 2019
    Last edited: May 1, 2019
    dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    This is good information Carlos, but as I've mentioned previously, I have 80Mbps broadband and HBO Go is the ONLY app on my ATV4K that delivers such poor quality video. Literally the only one. It's practically unwatchable. Everything else looks fantastic, with the exception of the occasional outlier stream that just has a poor source. For example, streaming 4K on Netflix, iTunes, and Amazon is very close to 4K UHD disc quality. So, my only conclusion can be, based on personal experience, is that the problem lies either with HBO or with their ATV4K app. Either way, it's unacceptable. It amazes me that HBO allows their crown jewel show to look this piss-poor.
     
  11. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    My wife reported a problem with the video quality when viewing the premiere if Game of Thrones (I don't watch that show) - I think it was just a matter of them being slammed by the demand. For the next week's episode, she waited to start watching it until it had been online for an hour or so, and reported a much better experience.

    I think Game Of Thrones on HBO at the exact moment of showtime is a bit like trying to buy concert tickets the moment they go onsale with Ticketmaster. Some people get lucky and do just fine, others experience frustration.
     
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  12. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    True enough, Josh. Since we have no idea what HBO's network topology, data distribution, or scaling capabilities are like, all could be a factor for something that's in such high demand. Perhaps the company should consider spending some of the $1 BILLION the show makes each year to beef up their streaming infrastructure.
     
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  13. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    From a business perspective, I wonder what incentive there is for them to do that.

    I fear this is one of those things that because many people can access it at exactly 9pm, and that anyone who can't can play it just fine anytime after that, and with a show big enough to break their service only coming along once in a while, there may be no reason for them to do anything about it. Same thing with Ticketmaster - every time a big arena or stadium show goes onsale, it's a disaster. Always has been, probably always will be. Or look at the recent ticketing debacle with AMC theaters and Avengers presale tickets - their system went down for hours at the moment the shows went onsale. Ultimately, the movie still had the biggest opening weekend of all time, because people did manage to get tickets, just not at the moment that they were originally told they would be able to. I'd love for AMC to fix their issue. But the realist or cynic in me says that if a movie like that only comes along once a year, they'll simply decide it's not worth spending a bunch of money to fix it when their bottom line isn't killed by people being delayed in buying tickets.
     
  14. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    Well, from a personal perspective, I can tell you that based on my experiences with HBO Go, I would never subscribe to any HBO service for anything other than what I'm doing now - to watch a single program. They've lost me as a regular customer. Probably not enough of a blow to make them move, I'll admit. ;)
     
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  15. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I don't blame you in the least. I ended up asking for a refund from a recent Kickstarter thing I did because the people running it didn't deliver what they promised to deliver in the way they promised to deliver it. It was irrelevant to me that some other people got what they had paid for, or that other people didn't mind that they didn't. I didn't get what I signed up for, and that was unacceptable to me. Ultimately, the best we can do is vote with our wallets and hope that if we're unhappy with something, that we're not the only ones who feel that way.

    My unusual work schedule kinda helps me out on this - for the few streaming shows I watch, I'm usually still in the office at the moment they actually get posted to the different apps. By the time I get home, the demand has calmed down, and they play back just fine. But I'd probably be a bit more outraged if I was home and waiting all day for showtime and then couldn't play it. I don't think I'd appreciate that at all!
     
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  16. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Understood. As I mentioned in the other thread, it's super frustrating that on the HBO Go apps that I have access to (on those two TVs) there is no way to display the bit rate or resolution like you can in the Netflix app on the same TVs. 80mbps should be more than enough to have a good picture, although you should benchmark to make sure you're getting what your provider is claiming to give you. Years ago when I had a different provider and was promised 50mbps, when I benchmarked using online tools it regularly measured in at 20mbps with some peaks reaching higher.

    Given how good my viewing experience has been, I'd have to wonder if it's the HBO Go app on ATV. I have an old Apple TV I haven't used in years, it was pre-4k version. Maybe if I can find it and dig it out of the closet, I'll plug it in and see how HBO Go looks on that. If it looks bad, we have the answer. If it looks good, then perhaps your app is inappropriately throttling the resolution based on what it *thinks* your connection speed is. Sometimes apps will estimate your speed lower than what it's capable of and downgrade the resolution, opting for "smoother" over "sharper". Who knows.
     
  17. Message #717 of 758 May 2, 2019
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
    Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Producer

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    I think we are all seeing the same thing, just interpreting it differently. AppleTV to my OLED/HDR/4K LG (via top of the line Spectrum) produces images that are way beyond Blu-ray Disc quality with something like the iTunes HDR/4K movies, or Netflix series like “Our Planet”
    Again, if you look at my above linked article, the feed compression via HBO NOW or GO is the same whichever your hardware, but some service (say you rented HBO via Amazon Prime) get you better bit rate.
    Lastly I really hope that the soon to be released, “rent HBO through me” TV app from Apple can also, like Amazon do their own, higher bit rate stream. Pure hope - no info supporting that
     
  18. Worth

    Worth Cinematographer

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    I think Ticketmaster is just plain corrupt. They want to direct you to the resellers, which are more profitable, and they also just happen to own.
     
  19. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    And the artist themselves work with Ticketmaster to sell higher priced tickets on their resale service too. But even before all of that started - Onsales were always a disaster and there’s no motivation to fix it because all the inventory sells anyway.
     
  20. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Any rumors or speculation on a new Apple TV this year?

    I kinda want to buy a 4K for the theater, and move that HD to the bedroom. I’m in no hurry. But if I thought there was refresh likely I might do it this summer during a staycation.

    MacRumors buying guide says to wait. But I don’t know if that’s just because it’s been so many days.
     

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