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Comparison finds iTunes 1080p video nears Blu-ray disc quality - Page 2

post #41 of 208
Pretty bad video quality if you ask me. I'll just stick to Blu Ray for now.

And yes, I do notice this difference on my TV set.
post #42 of 208
I'm all for not owning any physical media...but I think, at this point in time, if you want the best movie watching experience, it's still a 1080P LED large flat screen TV with a Blu-Ray player.

I was an early adopter of the ATV and I think it is fantastic piece of equipment. But I can rent a Blu-Ray movie from RedBox for $1.50 and that, to me, trumps everything right now.

I watch a lot of movies and only about 1 out of 25 would I ever consider "owning" and watching again. The days are gone where I will give anyone $5 to watch a movie anymore.
post #43 of 208
Yeah, try projecting a Blu-ray onto a 40' screen and see what that looks like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveBalmer View Post

The user stated that Blu-Ray quality is the closest quality to theatrical distribution quality, not that Blu-Ray has the same video quality as that of theatrical distribution.
post #44 of 208
True physical media is always going to have higher quality than streaming/downloading. That isn't the point. The point of streaming/downloading is convenience.


Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

I'm all for not owning any physical media...but I think, at this point in time, if you want the best movie watching experience, it's still a 1080P LED large flat screen TV with a Blu-Ray player.
post #45 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

True physical media is always going to have higher quality than streaming/downloading. That isn't the point. The point of streaming/downloading is convenience.

Understood!
post #46 of 208
Right- Like my blow up doll gives me a "near" real girl orgasmic experience.
post #47 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I think it's a useful comparison. Regardless of the technical specifications people only care about how good it looks and sometimes a comparison is the only way to do that. Is the Blu-ray required to watch most movies? Personally, I don't think so. For certain kind of movies I prefer Blu-ray but not usually. As Mr. H states the biggest issue is banding as it's easily noticeable. That alone can pull you out of a film. Maybe someone should start a website that rates which films according to such metrics so I know if Rob Roy will be worth it on Blu-ray or if iTS 1080p will be sufficient.

You can make the comparison based on nothing else but the technical specifications. Quantifying video quality based on a few stills from a movie is useless, because movies can have wildly differing image characteristics that affect encoding. In the end only 2 things matter: encoder quality and bitrate. Unless Apple invented some kind of uber encoder technology nobody has ever seen before, bitrate is all that matters. If H264 movies I have at 3 times the bitrate of iTunes content are already inferior in quality to Blu-Ray content, with the relatively modest setup I have, I think you can safely assume iTunes 1080p content is very noticeably inferior to Blu-Ray 1080p, to the point that it's very noticeable.
post #48 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by LMGS View Post

Why don'y you tell us what you really think?? You may not realize it, but that is all it is, what YOU think..

I really don't care whether Apple supports Blu-ray or not, because that's not where the money is, for them.. But I will never give up the quality of Blu-ray.. And to ME video quality is only half of the full HD experience.. The audio on Blu-ray is amazing.. And I do have the setup to take advantage of the audio on Blu-ray..

Like most people today who grew up listening to mp3s, they will never know what true high fidelity music is.. And now thanks to streaming video, then will never know the quality they are missing..

Just like Windows is "good enough" for the people who use it.. I guess video downloads is "good enough" for people who don't know any better..

The difference is apple is actively trying to make the quality of the video better and has been making improvements.
post #49 of 208
Hmmm......for you the difference between Blu-ray and streaming/downloading. Is like the difference between a real woman and a blow up woman?


Quote:
Originally Posted by iSheldon View Post

Right- Like my blow up doll gives me a "near" real girl orgasmic experience.
post #50 of 208
Blu- ray is great- usually come with a free iTunes S movie anyway to watch from the cloud to your iPad or iPhone. I for one would never buy an HD iTunes movie. That's like AT&T 3G HSPA passing for 4G.
post #51 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by d-range View Post

You can make the comparison based on nothing else but the technical specifications. Quantifying video quality based on a few stills from a movie is useless, because movies can have wildly differing image characteristics that affect encoding.

They are showing the exact same still. So the comparison is fair.


Quote:
In the end only 2 things matter: encoder quality and bitrate. Unless Apple invented some kind of uber encoder technology nobody has ever seen before, bitrate is all that matters.

Engineers are always improving video encoding. Media codecs and encoders are a constant work in progress.
post #52 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by d-range View Post

You can make the comparison based on nothing else but the technical specifications. Quantifying video quality based on a few stills from a movie is useless, because movies can have wildly differing image characteristics that affect encoding. In the end only 2 things matter: encoder quality and bitrate. Unless Apple invented some kind of uber encoder technology nobody has ever seen before, bitrate is all that matters. If H264 movies I have at 3 times the bitrate of iTunes content are already inferior in quality to Blu-Ray content, with the relatively modest setup I have, I think you can safely assume iTunes 1080p content is very noticeably inferior to Blu-Ray 1080p, to the point that it's very noticeable.

You can make a technical comparison to Monster cables over other cables to find Monster are technically superior but that doesn't mean you'll get a perceptible difference in quality over generic cables... which is what matters. Hence my comment about it being useful to be compared because a perceptible comparison is what people know, not a technical one.

Then even if one is perceptibly better the consumer has to factor in cost and convenience to see if it's worth their trouble. The greater the difference in quality the easier it is to warrant a greater difference in cost and lowered convenience.

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post #53 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

You can make a technical comparison to Monster cables over other cables to find Monster are technically superior but that doesn't mean you'll get a perceptible difference in quality over generic cables... which is what matters. Hence my comment about it being useful to be compared because a perceptible comparison is what people know, not a technical one. Then even if one is perceptibly better the consumer has to factor in cost and convenience to see if it's worth their trouble.

Actually, even that comparison is meaningless.

There is a tradeoff between quality and convenience. Lots of people will be happy with Apple's 1080p. Some people won't. They're free to continue to use Blu-ray disks if they wish. Heck, they can even use a green magic marker to write on the outside of their CDs if they think it helps.

Ultimately, it's a personal decision. Since I'm perfectly happy with DVD quality, I suspect that Apple's 1080p will be fine for me. Heck, if the movie's any good, I'll even watch it on VHS. It's just another variation of the 'specs' game. Some people are more interested in the technical details than the experience.
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post #54 of 208
VERY encouraging to hear that an iTunes 1080p download is pretty darn close to the visual quality of a Blu-ray. For movies where I'm not super concerned about bonus features and the best possible presentation, an iTunes download is looking extremely attractive. Especially when you add in the ability to stream the movie and not have to bother with backing up the digital file.

The one last hurdle to me is price. An iTunes download really needs to be cheaper than the Blu-ray.

District 9
iTunes: $19.99
Amazon: $13.20

The Killers
iTunes: $14.99
Amazon: $11.99

This Is It
iTunes: $17.99
Amazon: $9.49

Rango
iTunes: 19.99
Amazon: $16.49

That's not to mention all the movies studios haven't released to iTunes for sale in HD. Title like:

Psycho
A Star Is Born
A.I. Artificial Intelligence
Blazing Saddles
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
The Dark Knight
Ever After
The Fantastic Mr. Fox

And on, and on, and on....

The studios need to get their act in gear when it comes to HD download pricing and availability.
post #55 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Back in my day we didn't have a choice of black or white, it was one or the other, and we only got one frame per second of this fancy 30 fps crap.

You had a choice?!!!!!

You have no idea how lucky you were.
post #56 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

I have to disagree with the article's conclusion. It's all about that final comparison that clearly shows banding in the iTunes version. Banding is obvious when it occurs (as opposed to other things such as "sharpness" which often require zooming in and doing pixel-to-pixel comparisons) and to me is highly distracting and annoying.

Blu-Ray is clearly (and unsurprisingly given the vast difference in bit-rate) vastly superior to the iTunes encodes when it comes to banding and to me it is therefore a bad joke to suggest the two are anywhere close to being on a par.

As predicted. Someone can't stand one aspect of the difference and therefore it is all bad. The article said "especially given the immense savings in space and lack of physical media". They qualified this but still issues. Now that's a bummer.
post #57 of 208
Bs nowhere near blue ray, sure the compression is welcome and the lower, much lower sized file, and for me who couldn't care less if it's VHS or blue ray, it suits me just fine, but for people who value detail in image to say apple nears blu ray is a sham.
post #58 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by sambira View Post

As predicted. Someone can't stand one aspect of the difference and therefore it is all bad.

The title of the article is "Comparison finds iTunes 1080p video nears Blu-Ray Disc quality". I reject this conclusion as the banding in the iTunes version is obvious whilst there isn't any in the blu-ray version. Banding is easily noticeable and has a highly adverse affect on perceived video quality so iTunes 1080p video does not near Blu-Ray quality.

Further, as others have pointed out this is a shoddy comparison and one made using a larger, higher-quality screen would likely reveal further issues. And, no-one has mentioned that this comparison used just one single movie file and made no mention of one aspect of video that is particularly adversely affected by low bit-rates: high-speed motion.

It is inevitable that scenes with high-contrast and high-motion will look vastly better on Blu-Ray rather than iTunes.

Note that I'm not making an argument about the worth of iTunes downloads. I'm just saying that it's a joke to pretend that the quality could possibly come close to blu-ray.
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post #59 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post

The difference is apple is actively trying to make the quality of the video better and has been making improvements.

Good that they are not passively trying to make their video quality better, but actively...
post #60 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Hmmm......for you the difference between Blu-ray and streaming/downloading. Is like the difference between a real woman and a blow up woman?

Yes if you're a film aficionado - ask Neil Young.
Enough w the Apple iTunes' drek trying to pass for a full experience. Sadly no one cares and everyone prefers to be dumbed down for convenience sake. The masses have no taste. Great products playing crap quality.
I feel sorry for those who've never experienced a true HD experience in their living room.
post #61 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by iSheldon View Post

Yes if you're a film aficionado - ask Neil Young.
Enough w the Apple iTunes' drek trying to pass for a full experience. Sadly no one cares and everyone prefers to be dumbed down for convenience sake. The masses have no taste. Great products playing crap quality.
I feel sorry for those who've never experienced a true HD experience in their living room.

Oh get off your high horse, Mr. "Afficianado". People have different priorities. Not everyone "cares" about something as trivial as a movie; there are more important things, and when some choose to watch a movie, convenience may well hold the trump card. Doesn't mean people are dumbed down. I appreciate the quality of BDD but also appreciate the convenience of digital streaming. I tend to favor the latter, as I'm not really "in" to building an elite home theater. My money is better spent elsewhere.

You act like convenience is bad. What snobbery.
post #62 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Banding is easily noticeable and has a highly adverse affect on perceived video quality so iTunes 1080p video does not near Blu-Ray quality.

Because banding NEVER - EVER happens in Blu-ray.



Quote:
Note that I'm not making an argument about the worth of iTunes downloads. I'm just saying that it's a joke to pretend that the quality could possibly come close to blu-ray.

Do you believe you are an unbiased voice of reason?
post #63 of 208
Not surprised at the results. I currently rip all of my blu-ray movies on my iMac to my HTPC mini, using approx 3500 Kbps for the encoding. Mine are all downsized to 720P though since my remote TV's are using Apple TV's. The bump up to 1080P is probably not something I'll do yet simply because the hardware I have on the remote TV's doesn't support 1080P (they are older 720P TV's as well). It's common knowledge you can squeeze a 1080P video into a relatively small file size like 4GB (or less) and still get 'decent' quality. I have a 65" LED TV and regularly look at the quality of my encodes at extreme close range to judge the quality. I find that 3500 bitrate is my magic spot to an acceptable encode on my TV and my viewing distance, and therein lies the value of the article. Plenty of folks chiming in on the value (or lack thereof) of the article fail to realize that this isn't going to please everyone, but it gives them a decent idea of what sort of minimum quality to expect (obvious from the pics that the quality is indeed approved). It's up to the individual to determine if it's worth the price.

Why tear down the article when it was never meant to be some yard stick, but rather a general indicator as to what to expect? It could never be those things as each person will always use their own subjective experience to determine if the quality meets their needs. As with all topics on quality, people will just have to try it and judge for themselves.
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post #64 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Because banding NEVER - EVER happens in Blu-ray.

I know what you are trying to say, but are you really going to compare the top quality of one thing (iTunes video) to the bottom quality of another (banding on a poor blu-ray release)?
post #65 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by iSheldon View Post

Right- Like my blow up doll gives me a "near" real girl orgasmic experience.

Remember when people used to claim that MP3s were "near" CD quality?

What a friggin joke.

But it goes to show, again, that convenience trumps quality. Pretty much everywhere, pretty much every time.
post #66 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

Oh get off your high horse, Mr. "Afficianado". People have different priorities. Not everyone "cares" about something as trivial as a movie; there are more important things, and when some choose to watch a movie, convenience may well hold the trump card. Doesn't mean people are dumbed down. I appreciate the quality of BDD but also appreciate the convenience of digital streaming. I tend to favor the latter, as I'm not really "in" to building an elite home theater. My money is better spent elsewhere.

You act like convenience is bad. What snobbery.

convenience covers a lot of things, some would define it as something that saves a resource (time, petrol, or even money). To me a Blu-ray movie is cheaper to purchase, and cheaper to rent. Plus with blu-ray I get the advantage of better audio
post #67 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

You can make a technical comparison to Monster cables over other cables to find Monster are technically superior but that doesn't mean you'll get a perceptible difference in quality over generic cables... which is what matters.

Cables are but one step in the chain. And Monster is hardly the poster boy for quality cables.

It is kind of like comparing a BMW to a Ferrari - especially if both of them are running bald retreaded tires and low octane gasoline.

Monster cables are OK, but on many or most systems, regular cables are fine. On a high end system, Monster Cables are like putting mediocre tires on your Ferrari. On most systems, using monster cables would be like putting ZR rated tires on a Ford Escort.

IOW, they are wasted on most systems, and not good enough for high end systems.
post #68 of 208
I'd imagining Neil Young would wish to be left out of comparing media quality with a real woman vs a plastic toy.

The rest is simply your opinion that you wish to project onto other people.


Quote:
Originally Posted by iSheldon View Post

Yes if you're a film aficionado - ask Neil Young.
Enough w the Apple iTunes' drek trying to pass for a full experience. Sadly no one cares and everyone prefers to be dumbed down for convenience sake. The masses have no taste. Great products playing crap quality.
I feel sorry for those who've never experienced a true HD experience in their living room.
post #69 of 208
Yes because quality is not the only variable. Convenience and ease of use are also important. You guys wish to highlight quality and ignore everything else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

I know what you are trying to say, but are you really going to compare the top quality of one thing (iTunes video) to the bottom quality of another (banding on a poor blu-ray release)?
post #70 of 208
People said the same thing about CD's. They complained that CD's did not sound as good as vinyl. People were giving up sound quality for the convenience of the CD.

Why should the same thing not happen to the CD?



Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

Remember when people used to claim that MP3s were "near" CD quality?

What a friggin joke.
post #71 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Yes because quality is not the only variable. Convenience and ease of use are also important.

And That is why Apple is a very very good choice for most people. Apple "gets it".
post #72 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Yes because quality is not the only variable. Convenience and ease of use are also important. You guys wish to highlight quality and ignore everything else.

Convenience differs between people, what you think is convenient might not be convenient to me. Saving money is a convenience I like, so renting or purchasing Blu-rays is much more convenient.
post #73 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

Saving money is a convenience

Only if one write his own dictionary.
post #74 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by kpluck View Post

Please, for everyone's sake, don't drive until you get your eyes checked and get the appropriate corrective lenses.

Instead of using crappy screen images (which, in some cases do show noticeable differences) from a mediocre 23" LCD, do the same test on a good quality 50" or bigger plasma then get back to me.

I expect this type of garbage analysis from AI, but from Ars??

UPDATE: Turns out, "30 Days of Night" wasn't even the best BD transfer. From http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/30-Day...Blu-ray/13310/


-kpluck

Except that's NOT the movie they used. That's some straight to DVD movie. The movie they used was the Theatrical release of 30 days of Night:
http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/30-Day...t-Blu-ray/646/

Here's a quote from that review of the BRD as well:
"This is a first-rate effort from Sony (again) and even though the final score comes just shy of perfection, this one comes close. Well done."

I think you need to get YOUR eyes checked. Learn to do some proper research next time if you're going to try to use it to blast someone else's (very valid) opinion.
post #75 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

HEVC. Game, set, match, and it's not even finalized yet.

Yes...Let's compare something that's available today to something that's going to be voted on as a standard in 2013.
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post #76 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

Only if one write his own dictionary.

And use many of existing dictionaries that state the exact same thing
post #77 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

The title of the article is "Comparison finds iTunes 1080p video nears Blu-Ray Disc quality". I reject this conclusion as the banding in the iTunes version is obvious whilst there isn't any in the blu-ray version. Banding is easily noticeable and has a highly adverse affect on perceived video quality so iTunes 1080p video does not near Blu-Ray quality.

Further, as others have pointed out this is a shoddy comparison and one made using a larger, higher-quality screen would likely reveal further issues. And, no-one has mentioned that this comparison used just one single movie file and made no mention of one aspect of video that is particularly adversely affected by low bit-rates: high-speed motion.

It is inevitable that scenes with high-contrast and high-motion will look vastly better on Blu-Ray rather than iTunes.

Note that I'm not making an argument about the worth of iTunes downloads. I'm just saying that it's a joke to pretend that the quality could possibly come close to blu-ray.

100% Spot on. I'm very excited about the convenience and quality of the 1080p iTunes downloads through my new AppleTV coming Friday. It's certainly 'good enough' as they say, but to call it near Blu-Ray quality, certainly not.
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post #78 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

Cables are but one step in the chain. And Monster is hardly the poster boy for quality cables.

It is kind of like comparing a BMW to a Ferrari - especially if both of them are running bald retreaded tires and low octane gasoline.

Monster cables are OK, but on many or most systems, regular cables are fine. On a high end system, Monster Cables are like putting mediocre tires on your Ferrari. On most systems, using monster cables would be like putting ZR rated tires on a Ford Escort.

IOW, they are wasted on most systems, and not good enough for high end systems.

Monster cables are a waste of money and an easy scam for the gullible when in the digital realm. This isn't some analog signal facing signal degradation at every turn. A $3.99 cable from Amazon will perform just as well as a Monster "high speed" cable. The very idea that a cable is somehow high speed with a digital signal is laughable. I'm surprised they haven't cracked down on these folks for misleading advertising.
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post #79 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

And use many of existing dictionaries that state the exact same thing

Really? I'd love to see some of the many dictionaries which define convenience in a manner which could include saving money.

Want to cite a few?
post #80 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJRumpy View Post

Monster cables are a waste of money and an easy scam for the gullible when in the digital realm. This isn't some analog signal facing signal degradation at every turn. A $3.99 cable from Amazon will perform just as well as a Monster "high speed" cable. The very idea that a cable is somehow high speed with a digital signal is laughable. I'm surprised they haven't cracked down on these folks for misleading advertising.

I agree WRT digital signals, but WRT analog signals, the cabling can be a factor if the resolution of the rest of the chain is sufficient.
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