Apple TV+ boasts highest bitrate of any 4K streaming service, report says

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited December 2019
Industry watchers are taking a closer look at Apple TV+ following its release on Friday, with one report claiming the service offers the highest bitrates of any 4K streaming product.

See


According to testing conducted by FlatpanelsHD, 4K streaming bitrates on Apple TV+ are higher than most iTunes movies. It is assumed the blog is comparing Apple TV+ against iTunes' 4K content library.

While the evaluation is ongoing, "See" benefits from the highest bitrates with an average of 29 megabits per second and a peak bitrate of 41 Mbps. How often Apple TV hits that peak bitrate, and for how long, is unknown.

"It's worth pointing out that Apple TV+ uses variable bitrate with a quite wide span from low to top, so the console must run for some time to calculate the average bitrate," writes Rasmus Larsen, FlatpanelsHD's founder and editor-in-chief.

Higher video bitrates suggest more data throughput from server to Apple TV or Apple TV 4K receiver, which generally translates to higher quality picture reproduction. Owners of equipment capable of taking advantage of the additional content information could in some cases discern a difference between a show streaming at 29 Mbps and another streaming at 20 Mbps.

Beyond "See," an inspection of "The Elephant Queen" shows an average bitrate of about 26 Mbps and a peak of 30 Mbps, while "Snoopy in Space" averages 13 Mbps with a peak of almost 24 Mbps. Though its average and peak bitrates lag behind other Apple TV+ offerings, numbers for "Snoopy in Space" are relatively high for a cartoon, the report said.

Overall, Apple TV+ streams at approximately 1.5 times to 2 times the bitrate of an HD Blu-ray disc and about half that of a UHD Blu-ray disc. The measurements take HEVC and AVC encoding into consideration.

In its testing, FlatpanelsHD achieved audio bitrates of 386 Mbps, a comparatively low score that owes to the test setup's lack of a connected Dolby Atmos receiver. Bitrates would "most likely" be higher with an Atmos system.

Apple TV+ launched last Friday with a slate of about ten original shows and movies. The service, including 4K content, is priced at $4.99 a month, though customers who purchased an iPhone, iPad, Mac or iPod touch after Sept. 10, 2019, are eligible for a year of free access.
applesnorangesjahblade15ngcs1
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 46
    On the one hand, yay for fidelity. On the other hand, woe to peoples data caps. 
    bigtdsrusswllamadavgregwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 46
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    Good to hear!

    When I'm streaming video, I want the quality to be as high as possible, obviously. I don't have any data cap limits on my home internet, like a few other extremely unfortunate people point out sometimes. Bring it on! The higher the bit rate, the better!

    With something like Netflix, their standard plan doesn't even grant you 4K.
    15ngcs1
  • Reply 3 of 46
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,471member
    I must say the 4K Apple TV watching Apple TV + and using two HomePods was amazing, it was the best audio I have ever heard from a TV set up.
    applesnorangeslostkiwirazorpittmay15ngcs1watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 46
    kevin keekevin kee Posts: 1,291member
    Good thing my internet at home is unlimited. Watching See on 65" QLED screen in 4k full resolution is such a joy.
    applesnoranges15ngcs1watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 46
    mobirdmobird Posts: 683member
    Odd how many of the folks here on AI jump up and down with glee with the higher quality video streams being offered but when others on AI lament the lack of higher quality music being offered, they are treated like lepers...
    applesnorangesjcs2305razorpitphilboogiechemengin1davgregcy_starkmanrundhvidCarnage
  • Reply 6 of 46
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    mobird said:
    Odd how many of the folks here on AI jump up and down with glee with the higher quality video streams being offered but when others on AI lament the lack of higher quality music being offered, they are treated like lepers...
    Not me. I've always said that Apple should provide high bit rate lossless music for those who prefer it. I would agree that the average person doesn't care about that though.
    mobirduraharawatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 46
    Buh, I'm not familiar with the way such things are engineered, but is it possible the bit rate is high because few people are using the service? And, thus, it will drop when it becomes more popular?
  • Reply 8 of 46
    I wonder if they fixed the incredibly buggy Finder in 15.0. It's completely unusable.
    mobird said:
    Odd how many of the folks here on AI jump up and down with glee with the higher quality video streams being offered but when others on AI lament the lack of higher quality music being offered, they are treated like lepers...
    That's because the "higher-quality" music isn't actually higher in quality, not past a certain point. Google for "Nyquist sampling theorem".
  • Reply 9 of 46
    Buh, I'm not familiar with the way such things are engineered, but is it possible the bit rate is high because few people are using the service? And, thus, it will drop when it becomes more popular?
    No. That is not possible.
    15ngcs1
  • Reply 10 of 46
    Wait! What?

    “Audio bitrates of  386 Mbps”

    I think you mean kbps. That sounds reasonable for Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 but Netflix offer 960 kbps for Dolby Atmos.  

    4K Blu-Ray Dolby Atmos audio can easily reach 4 or 5 Mbps and I’ve never seen any streaming service come close. 
    gregoriusmcy_starkman
  • Reply 11 of 46
    kevin keekevin kee Posts: 1,291member
    uktechie said:
    Wait! What?

    “Audio bitrates of  386 Mbps”

    I think you mean kbps. That sounds reasonable for Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 but Netflix offer 960 kbps for Dolby Atmos.  

    4K Blu-Ray Dolby Atmos audio can easily reach 4 or 5 Mbps and I’ve never seen any streaming service come close. 
    I am using Samsung Series 7 3.1.2 Channel Atmos Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer, and See easily reach 4Mbps.
    15ngcs1
  • Reply 12 of 46
    Buh, I'm not familiar with the way such things are engineered, but is it possible the bit rate is high because few people are using the service? And, thus, it will drop when it becomes more popular?
    No, there’s no link to the number of users and the quality offered. Unless Apple doesn’t want to fork over the money to the CDN providers when they have millions of subs.

    The way streaming services work is they generate a piece of encoded content and then segment it into 4-8 sec chunks (sometimes vice versa). These are organized with playlists or manifests that tell the player what segment to play in what order. All these files are pushed out to content delivery networks which are composed of hundreds or thousands of servers for high availability and scalability. And, generally, they can scale on demand. 

    That  said, I worked for a major OTT live TV provider, and we found that 1.5 Tbps (yes, terabits per second) combined throughput isn’t an easy problem to solve. It’s exactly why Netflix built their own CDN; because even the likes of Akamai couldn’t keep up. 
    edited November 2019 king editor the graterundhvidwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 46
    netroxnetrox Posts: 1,159member
    "In its testing, FlatpanelsHD achieved audio bitrates of 386 Mbps, a comparatively low score that owes to the test setup's lack of a connected Dolby Atmos receiver. Bitrates would "most likely" be higher with an Atmos system." 386Mbps???? Surely, it's a typo and meant to be Kbps?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 46
    MacPro said:
    I must say the 4K Apple TV watching Apple TV + and using two HomePods was amazing, it was the best audio I have ever heard from a TV set up.
    Wow...then you must have never heard a quality home theater set-up before.  Two HomePods is pure garbage compared to a true Home Theater surround setup.
    muthuk_vanalingamchemengin1linkman
  • Reply 15 of 46
    So now Apple is trying to push the 'quality' of the stream...too bad all 9 shows are boring as hell and not worth watching.  Pathetic for a streaming service with only 9 shows.  They are all getting lousy reviews.  Way to go Apple.
    chemengin1AppleExposed
  • Reply 16 of 46
    So now Apple is trying to push the 'quality' of the stream...too bad all 9 shows are boring as hell and not worth watching.  Pathetic for a streaming service with only 9 shows.  They are all getting lousy reviews.  Way to go Apple.
  • Reply 17 of 46
    mobird said:
    Odd how many of the folks here on AI jump up and down with glee with the higher quality video streams being offered but when others on AI lament the lack of higher quality music being offered, they are treated like lepers...

    Are you sure they are the same people?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 46
    Nice. I want this higher bit rate on my Apple Music as well.
    mobirdwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 46
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,671member
    apple ][ said:
    With something like Netflix, their standard plan doesn't even grant you 4K.
    Which is actually viewed as a welcome choice, for those without a 4k TV. Or a capped Internet connection. Please see beyond your own preference and understand that people can have a different view than your own.
     
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 46
    In its testing, FlatpanelsHD achieved audio bitrates of 386 Mbps, a comparatively low score that owes to the test setup's lack of a connected Dolby Atmos receiver. Bitrates would "most likely" be higher with an Atmos system. It's supposed to be 386 Kbps
    watto_cobra
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