Amazon updates Fire tablets & TV products, introduces $50 tablet & $100 4K Fire TV

1235711

Comments

  • Reply 81 of 212

    I'm with you.  The only reason I got a FireTV was Plex.

    I might have to give it a try on FireTV. I used it on the desktop and I didn't care for it.

    tmay wrote: »
    Oh, you mean like 4k vs UltraHD as in who will win in the marketplace, and why will early buyers of 4K be sad?

    Yeah 4k is a standard, but it doesn't necessarily describe what the market is going to end up with, which was also Sog's 8K point; the market hasn't settled on what it wants.

    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/07/new-patent-group-threatens-to-derail-4k-hevc-video-streaming/

    It isn't all settled; hence why wise buyers are waiting.


    No, it's all settled. The path has been set for many years now, which is why it's been established in HW, SW, and content, and why buyers are buying 4K UHDTVs. The only barrier was cost, which is now gone for that market segment. Or, you're saying Apple is lying about 4K video on their iPhone.

    As I understand it, it would be a simple Software/Firmware update.


    In re 4K content:  As I understand it, Apple could do this:
    1. Where 4k source is available -- encode it using h.265 instead of h.264
    2. Add h.265 decoding to the New AppleTV

    Encoding h.265 is time-consuming and difficult on a desktop or server -- but it only needs to be done once.

    Decoding h.265 is somewhat more difficult than h.264 but could be done on an A8 and added to the New AppleTV with a Software/Firmware update.

    As the New AppleTV doesn't require battery, Apple could crank up the clocking on the A8 APU/GPU -- making the decoding difference minimal.


    The big advantage, is that h.265 delivers the same or better quality in half the file size and bandwidth of h.264.


    Also, H.265 is used by the new iPhone 6S.

    Note, the iPhone last year was doing HEVC encodes and decides on the fly, just not for 2160p content.
  • Reply 82 of 212
    Are we seriously going to have this 4K argument again, over and over? Sigh.

    Welcome to the mundane life of AI posters. :lol:
    Btw, what's with the creepy Ted Koppel-esque avatar?
  • Reply 83 of 212
    herbapou wrote: »

    I put them on a USB card and play it on the TV that way.  Sucks really.

    You mean you bought UHD before the ecosystem was in place. Yeah. Welcome to the early adopter land: DIY required.
  • Reply 84 of 212
    Quote:



    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

     

    And a sure fire way to have a house full of tears.

     

    Trust me.  Even little kids know the difference between a POS Kindle and the iPad.  


     

    Uh, no. I got my 3 year old a Kindle Fire HDX and he absolutely loves it. I got it brand new for $150. He has quite a few educational games on it that he plays, but by far his favorite feature is watching episodes of Curious George which are free with my Amazon Prime account.

     

    I wasn't about to spend $300 or more on a tablet for my son -- that's just ridiculous IMHO.

  • Reply 85 of 212
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    Welcome to the mundane life of AI posters. :lol:
    Btw, what's with the creepy Ted Koppel-esque avatar?

    I think that's Dr. Who.
  • Reply 86 of 212
    Are we seriously going to have this 4K argument again, over and over? Sigh.

    Sure. Because once it's mainstream, it'll just be plug and play, and everyone will have it. But it's not mainstream. The ecosystem is almost nonexistent. TV manufacturers rushed ahead to sell this feature back in 2013, knowing full well that most consumers would not see 4K content, so they lured them in with "upscaling HD" and other digital processing trickery. So we're in that period of time where early adopters chase after any source of (pseudo-)4K content, and defend it to people who are waiting for the final plug-and-play ecosystem to fall into place.

    I'm waiting for that. There will be more choices for content, more content, a more mature hardware spec, and price competition to keep people from gouging consumers. And when that day comes, nobody will argue. It will simply be the new TV.
  • Reply 87 of 212
    rwesrwes Posts: 200member
    Why was the timing "right" for their Retina displays when there was little to no content at the time, compared to now with the Apple TV and 4K? Your argument is completely shallow at best.

    the launch of a 4K (capable) streamer vs. the launch of the Retina displays isn't a good comparison IMO.

    Apple launching Retina display(s) if it didn't control the OS and several first party apps, which it could update to support the display, I think, would be more like it launching the Apple TV with 4K support. They were just more in control of things with the Retina launch and we all know how much Apple likes control.
  • Reply 88 of 212
    rwes wrote: »
    the launch of a 4K (capable) streamer vs. the launch of the Retina displays isn't a good comparison IMO.

    Apple launching Retina display(s) if it didn't control the OS and several first party apps, which it could update to support the display, I think, would be more like it launching the Apple TV with 4K support. They were just more in control of things with the Retina launch and we all know how much Apple likes control.

    When the subject is being ahead of the curve, it's an apt comparison.
  • Reply 89 of 212
    rwesrwes Posts: 200member
    When the subject is being ahead of the curve, it's an apt comparison.

    How frequently is Apple really ahead of the curve though? How many Apple execs use the line, "we wait till it's ready", or some variation of that. Yes, sometimes they are ready before others (iPhone), but more frequently, they are ready after and get it right? (iPod, iPad)

    I'm sure plenty of people here could list iOS features that were first on other platforms, but later (not all of them) implemented (coped) (better) by Apple?

    I'm not going to pretend to know the future - time will judge how they do with the Apple TV.
  • Reply 90 of 212
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

     



    for me, Youtube, Netflix and my own 4k home video.


     

    How much of your view time is watching this stuff. probably a small %

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JBDragon View Post

     

     

    Well I assume Amazon will start dishing out 4K content.   Netflix has some 4K content, at least for their own newer programs.  but really, are you actually streaming 4K content, or really highly compressed, but lower quality B.S. 4K.  You're not even streaming 1080P Blu-Ray Quality, 4K content can't be much better then the so called 1080P streaming content.

     

    If you actually want 4K, need to wait for Ultra Blu-Ray to be released.


     

    Exactly. 4K is the same gimic that HD was 15 yrs ago. I use to go into peoples home who would show off their HD tv and talk about how much better the quality was and had not clue the content feeding the HD TV was still SD. Cable company did not update their video broadcast system to give real HD quality until around 2005 to 2007. Unless you were watching content from a DVD you HDTV as only doing SD quality.

     

    There is so little 4K content today no broadcaster today can support 4K, and yes I get they Netflix and others are claiming they streaming 4K but is to highly compress it not better than current HD, but hey they get to charge extra since they can claim the original content is 4K. Anyone who understands this stuff, know that bitrate to your home depend on the bandwidth to you home. Netflex does a good job of determine the average bandwidth to your home and setting the overall compression correctly. One person have have very good quality and another less than good.

     

    In the end I find it funny that you have all these people who went out and bought 4K TV for thousands of $ and seem convince they are watch 4K content at its best. If the HD conversion is any indication of what will happen, we are still another 5 to 7 yrs away from full 4K bandwidth content will be readily available. in the mean time most people are over paying for the technology they have just so they can say they were first.

  • Reply 91 of 212
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

     

    both Youtube and Netflix so called 4k is worse quality than standard 1080p bluray.

     

    Your home video's should look great though.  

     

    Just keep in mind next years AppleTV will probably be 4k. 


     

     

    I am not sure that will be true, reason being the availability of true 4K content. There are lots of things outside Apple control to truly enable 4K content. 4K content today will take 4x the bandwidth of HD content to stream, and to transport over the cable operator video networks. Today and you pointed this out, the 4K content is highly compress as such itsquality is about equal today's HD content at full bandwidth.

     

    Because of this and the fact most consumers will not update their TV for another 5 to 7 yrs it makes no sense to have something that has 4K output which most content does not support and the viewing devices do not support. I could be wrong but Apple is usually not many years ahead of the adoption rate of new technologies. At most they may be a yr behind for obvious reason. Remember Apple does not play the bigger, faster, better marketing scam all the other companies do.

  • Reply 91 of 212
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

     

     

    How much of your view time is watching this stuff. probably a small %

     

    Exactly. 4K is the same gimic that HD was 15 yrs ago. I use to go into peoples home who would show off their HD tv and talk about how much better the quality was and had not clue the content feeding the HD TV was still SD. Cable company did not update their video broadcast system to give real HD quality until around 2005 to 2007. Unless you were watching content from a DVD you HDTV as only doing SD quality.

     

    There is so little 4K content today no broadcaster today can support 4K, and yes I get they Netflix and others are claiming they streaming 4K but is to highly compress it not better than current HD, but hey they get to charge extra since they can claim the original content is 4K. Anyone who understands this stuff, know that bitrate to your home depend on the bandwidth to you home. Netflex does a good job of determine the average bandwidth to your home and setting the overall compression correctly. One person have have very good quality and another less than good.

     

    In the end I find it funny that you have all these people who went out and bought 4K TV for thousands of $ and seem convince they are watch 4K content at its best. If the HD conversion is any indication of what will happen, we are still another 5 to 7 yrs away from full 4K bandwidth content will be readily available. in the mean time most people are over paying for the technology they have just so they can say they were first.


    You make good points. Only reason I chose a 4k TV when I bought a new one is the price. The deal I got was great and I needed a new TV. 4K does look pretty stunning. Netflix 4K does look really good. I don't have bandwidth issues where I live. The 4k movies on Directv do look pretty good imo although I'm sure they are pretty compressed. I still think 4k looks better, even if it's not at its best. 

     

    I agree. It's going to take many years before we start seeing regular 4K TV channels. The conversion from 480p to 720/1080 took forever on cable/satellite. The HD DVD/Blu ray war didn't help matters either. 

  • Reply 93 of 212
    I remember when the gimmick was "720p = HD" and DirecTV had [email protected] as "HD" because back then ATSC HD was being invented, pushing [email protected] was beyond what was capable in 1999. We're in those early days of 4K still. There will be compression, puffery, trickery, incompatibility and complaining until it all gets sorted out.
  • Reply 94 of 212
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post





    As I understand it, it would be a simple Software/Firmware update.





    In re 4K content:  As I understand it, Apple could do this:

    1. Where 4k source is available -- encode it using h.265 instead of h.264

    2. Add h.265 decoding to the New AppleTV


    Apparently A8 has H.265 in the SOC so the new ?TV theoretically could decode H.265 if it was enabled in software.

     

    On iPhone 6, Apple uses H.265 only for FaceTime which seems weird. It can't play an H.265 video in iTunes.

     

    Perhaps it has something to do with licensing.

  • Reply 95 of 212
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Boltsfan17 View Post

     

    You make good points. Only reason I chose a 4k TV when I bought a new one is the price. The deal I got was great and I needed a new TV. 4K does look pretty stunning. Netflix 4K does look really good. I don't have bandwidth issues where I live. The 4k movies on Directv do look pretty good imo although I'm sure they are pretty compressed. I still think 4k looks better, even if it's not at its best. 

     

    I agree. It's going to take many years before we start seeing regular 4K TV channels. The conversion from 480p to 720/1080 took forever on cable/satellite. The HD DVD/Blu ray war didn't help matters either. 




    I worked in the digital video industry for many yrs. We been working on 4K for a while and we have setups with HD and 4K monitors side by side both showing HD or 4K content at the same time. I will not argue the 4K monitor looks a little better even with HD content being display. The only time 4K is truly looks good is when you have full bandwidth 4K video. The problem is this, no network, STB or streaming  hardware today has the ability to real time decode 4K full bandwidth content. They can decode and display compress 4K video but not full bandwidth. Most people can not even tell the different you have to be knowledgeable in knowing what you are looking at.

     

    Here is the other issue with buying a TV most manufactures especially Samsungs set their TV to be bright and over saturated so when you look at compare to other TV's which are set correctly the human eye fakes you into thinking it is a better picture.

  • Reply 96 of 212
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post



    I remember when the gimmick was "720p = HD" and DirecTV had [email protected] as "HD" because back then ATSC HD was being invented, pushing [email protected] was beyond what was capable in 1999. We're in those early days of 4K still. There will be compression, puffery, trickery, incompatibility and complaining until it all gets sorted out.



    yep I remember that too. I worked for the company who developed DirectV compression/decompress systems back in the 90's and in 95 we were testing HD content with their system and we have a $30K TV in our labs which could do HD content and it really did not look much better than the SD at the time.

     

    The best gimic was when the cable companies tried competing against DTV all digital content by taking analog broadcast video with analog noise in the video and they digitize and compress it can told people they had HD digital video. Most of DTV content at the time came from original digital content before they compressed it.

  • Reply 97 of 212
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,541member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

    but the question is could you acheive the same picture quality as current streaming 4k with a less compressed 1080p stream?

     

    My answer is yes.  Gradients/Camera noise, posterization, ect is not because of resolution.  It is because of compression. The proof is that Bluray discs that have far less compression than current 1080p streams is just as good or better than 4k streams.

     

    If Netflix did a less compressed 1080p stream it would match their 4k stream in quality.  The reason Netflix is pushing 4k streaming is to give an excuse to charge more. They will continue to offer a low quality 1080p stream (compared to Bluray it sucks) and upcharge for fake 4k.


    I don't often agree with you and your completely over-the-top commenting, but this observation is correct.

     

    4k from Netflix and YouTube no doubt looks better than "their" HD streaming - but that is because their HD is very heavily compressed (more so than content you would get on sat/cable, which is itself worse than OTA).  If these companies simply streamed their HD at the same bitrates as their 4k, you would see much less of a difference.

     

    If someone has invested in a 4k TV and some components, and enjoys the picture quality they see, then great.  It is worth it to them, but it bears a reminder that they are the very small minority.  

     

    To get a really "noticeably" better picture quality from a "streamed/broadcast" source of 4k, compared with a "very good" 1080p source requires:

    - A TV larger than 60 inches assuming typical distance of seats from the TV

    - Enough bandwidth to stream it without huge compression actually affecting the 4k more than 1080p.  This rate is higher than the average US broadband rate.

     

    The changeover from SD to HD (720p/1080i) took about 10 years to hit majority of households & TV's in use from the first (production) TV's on the market.  We are about 3 years in with 4k right now.  It has a ways to go.  The end.

  • Reply 98 of 212
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post



    So you're saying 4K video on an iPhone is stupid. Got it!

     

    Well - judging by THX's visual acuity formulas for 1040, you'd look pretty silly with a 4k-display phone that close to your face.   And talk about eyestrain...

  • Reply 99 of 212
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,541member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

    I worked in the digital video industry for many yrs. We been working on 4K for a while and we have setups with HD and 4K monitors side by side both showing HD or 4K content at the same time. I will not argue the 4K monitor looks a little better even with HD content being display. The only time 4K is truly looks good is when you have full bandwidth 4K video. The problem is this, no network, STB or streaming  hardware today has the ability to real time decode 4K full bandwidth content. They can decode and display compress 4K video but not full bandwidth. Most people can not even tell the different you have to be knowledgeable in knowing what you are looking at.

     

    Here is the other issue with buying a TV most manufactures especially Samsungs set their TV to be bright and over saturated so when you look at compare to other TV's which are set correctly the human eye fakes you into thinking it is a better picture.


    Good points.  I would say that 4k doesn't require fully uncompressed streams to look good (that would be over 12Gbps!! and uncompressed is never streamed to consumers), but rather it does require about 4x (or more) bitrate of an HD stream for the same codec.  Blu-Ray discs would stream about 30Mbps with H.264, so with UHD having 4x resolution (+ more colour information), it would need about 120Mbps to show all of that 4k resolution with the same compression quality.  H.265 might cut that in half - so 60Mbps to get that 4k video improvement over BR.  Now, clearly 1080p streaming services have much lower bitrates - you could argue about 8-10Mbps H.264 is "pretty good" - so with H.265 4k could provide a pretty good stream at maybe 16-20Mbps.  That is higher than the US average broadband rate though.

     

    One other point on the TV's - not only are the settings of the TV's set to unnaturally bright and saturated colours, but to push 4k TV's now, the stores use much better content (much less uncompressed) for 4k, vs. what they show on HD steams (poor quality stream from cable).  It is all about the upsell.  

  • Reply 100 of 212
    mstone wrote: »
    As I understand it, it would be a simple Software/Firmware update.



    In re 4K content:  As I understand it, Apple could do this:
    1. Where 4k source is available -- encode it using h.265 instead of h.264
    2. Add h.265 decoding to the New AppleTV
    Apparently A8 has H.265 in the SOC so the new ?TV theoretically could decode H.265 if it was enabled in software.

    On iPhone 6, Apple uses H.265 only for FaceTime which seems weird. It can't play an H.265 video in iTunes.

    Perhaps it has something to do with licensing.

    I thought I had read somewhere that the A8 (or A8X) had h.265 decoding in hardware -- I surfed, but can't find a link.

    I think the A9 in iPhone 6S can encode h.265 with 4K video from the camera -- and the new iMovie running on the iPhone 6S can manipulate/edit 4k video.

    If this is all true, then it would be very attractive, socially, to send short iPhone videos to your New AppleTV via WiFi or the cloud.
Sign In or Register to comment.