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Identifying Atmos Content Is Like Pulling Teeth (1 Viewer)

Aaron Silverman

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I bought Baby Driver on Vudu. The PQ is nothing like a disc, but the Atmos track is actually really good.

Neat, Ford vs. Ferrari is on sale this week! But, hm, Vudu only offers it in 5.1. (There are a lot of movies not offered in Atmos on Vudu; a long sad story.)

Hey, Apple has it with an Atmos track! But after buying it on iTunes and spending literally hours on chat and phone with Apple and Samsung (for the TV app) tech support, it turns out that Apple ONLY supports 5.1 audio on any device other than the actual Apple TV box. (LG says their TV app will support Atmos and DV later this year, but no word on any others.)

It looks like the Amazon Prime app on my TV supports a DD+ stream, so should be able to pass Atmos, but there is literally no way to determine what kind of audio track Amazon content includes without actually buying it and trying to play it. (I don't have Prime; sue me!)

Google Play also seems to support DD+, but it too doesn't say anything about what kind of audio tracks are included with individual movies.

Fandango Now, no dice.

Am I crazy? I realize that it's not exactly super mainstream, but why is it so freakin' hard to just tell customers what you're selling???

(Side note: Does anyone here know whether any services other than Apple offer Ford vs. Ferrari with an Atmos track? :) )
 

Aaron Silverman

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So I managed to get on a chat with a support person at Amazon. Apparently, when you see the "AD" logo in the icons for a movie, that means it has "Atmos Dolby." Yes, the official Audio Description logo that says "Audio Description" in a little popup when you hover the mouse cursor over it.

I poked around, and it seems to be true. As far as I could tell, the AD logo only appears on relatively recent UHD releases. Sigh. . .

(Also, Ford v. Ferrari no longer seems to be available in 4K on Amazon. They couldn't tell me why. . .)
 

John Dirk

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So your issue is more with streaming platforms than studios. Streaming certainly has its place but when I want a good high quality audio experience I look for a disc.
 

Aaron Silverman

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Hmm. I have both and to my eyes the stream and the Disc are virtually identical when viewing the iTunes stream thru ATV4K on my LG OLED.

What kind of signal do you have? My TV is practically on the other end of the house from my router. To be honest, I was kind of surprised by the quality of the stream! :)
 

Cranston37+

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Looks and sounds great to me on iTunes. Glad I could get it at $7.99.
 

Todd Erwin

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Ford v. Ferrari no longer seems to be available in 4K on Amazon. They couldn't tell me why
Ford vs Ferrari is technically a Fox title. Amazon does not stream Fox movies in 4K. To my knowledge, the only Atmos content on Amazon is their original series Jack Ryan.

Have you checked the movie on the Movies Anywhere app? They support Dolby Atmos on some titles.
 

Todd Erwin

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So I managed to get on a chat with a support person at Amazon. Apparently, when you see the "AD" logo in the icons for a movie, that means it has "Atmos Dolby." Yes, the official Audio Description logo that says "Audio Description" in a little popup when you hover the mouse cursor over it.
No, it means Audio Description. Take anything an Amazon Chat Support agent tells you with a grain of salt.
 

Aaron Silverman

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No, it means Audio Description. Take anything an Amazon Chat Support agent tells you with a grain of salt.

I know that. I explained it to the rep. I even sent her a link to the official ADP website, with the official logos (including the one they're using). She told her supervisors. She said that they told her that it means "Atmos Dolby" in their listings. At that point I figured that maybe they were actually using the icon incorrectly. Honestly, would it surprise you? :)
 

Todd Erwin

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I know that. I explained it to the rep. I even sent her a link to the official ADP website, with the official logos (including the one they're using). She told her supervisors. She said that they told her that it means "Atmos Dolby" in their listings. At that point I figured that maybe they were actually using the icon incorrectly. Honestly, would it surprise you? :)
With all of my dealings with Amazon Chat agents, I'm more inclined these days to think that the agent and their "supervisors" have no idea what they are saying and that the logo is more likely being used correctly.
 

Aaron Silverman

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BTW - I checked Movies Anywhere, and the movie is only 5.1 there, too. Sorry!

Thanks. It's really a shame how many Vudu movies don't include the Atmos track. Baby Driver was the first digital movie I ever bought, and I thought to myself: "great, that was easy!" Famous last words!
 

Tino

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It's $7.99 on every service for the next few days. I got it on iTunes too, but I'm probably gonna call them and return it, because I have no plans to buy an Apple TV box any time soon.
Duh. Thought we were discussing Underwater. Got two threads confused. Never mind.
 

Aaron Silverman

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Now I'm twisting my brain in knots, trying to figure out if it's more likely that the Samsung app for Apple TV will get Atmos support (which the LG app is supposed to get later this year) or that Vudu will start including the Atmos soundtracks on more movies. 'Cause that's how my brain works.
 

Aaron Silverman

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Turns out that once I added all the services to MoviesAnywhere, then (at least for movies from studios that contract with MA), it doesn't matter which service you buy the movie on; you can access the corresponding quality on the other services. It also makes all the extras available. So if you buy a movie on service 1, and service 2 has some extra features, you can fire it up on service 2 and watch the extras. Pretty handy!
 

ManW_TheUncool

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I recently started digging at the PQ/AQ comparison thing since I finally decided to buy into "digital" for some stuff.

Had thought Dolby Atmos means lossless audio like on discs, but apparently, that's not the case for streaming -- it seems just about as lossy as DD+... maybe even more so since it needs to handling the additional channels. That's disappointing.


Also, are there good, reliable comparisons of PQ between streaming from iTunes, Movies Anywhere, Vudu, et al? I assume audio probably shouldn't be significantly diff if the same format.

I googled some and only found some comparisons on other usual suspect forums, including Reddit, and they all seem to think iTunes and MA offer substantially higher bitrates than Vudu, et al -- often much higher for video (at least for high quality transfer sources) and somewhat higher for audio...

I woulda thought Vudu would be very comparable to iTunes for bitrates, but if the diff is real and substantial and only possible w/ an AppleTV STB, not AppleTV app on Roku, that'd push me to consider getting an AppleTV sooner than later...

So far, I haven't really notice much PQ diff between the two via Roku on my 1080p (entry level) FP setup. I suppose I might also switch to using the MA app instead of Vudu app for applicable titles...

_Man_
 

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