Amazon Instant - Films now available to buy/download in High Def which are not on Blu-ray Disc

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD discs' started by Pecker, Feb 26, 2014.

  1. Pecker

    Pecker
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    Hopefully the thread title is clear.

    This is a place to list films you've seen at Amazon Instant which you can buy on download, but which are not currently out on Blu-ray Disc.

    Add whatever you see. Be flexible.

    MASTER LIST

    Bananas
    Creatures the World Forgot
    Curse of the Mummy's Tomb
    Dracula Has Risen From The Grave
    Fail-Safe (1963)

    Front, The
    Husbands and Wives
    Melinda and Melinda
    Play It Again, Sam
    Purple Rose of Cairo, The
    Revenge of Frankenstein
    Sorry, Wrong Number
    Stage Fright
    Wait Until Dark
    Wrong Man, The


    Steve W
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  2. Pecker

    Pecker
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    Okay, first up, two of my favourite films which are not yet out on Blu-ray Disc anywhere on the planet (as far as I'm aware) can now be purchased in HD from Amazon Instant on download.

    Fail-Safe (1963)
    Wait Until Dark (1968)

    Steve W
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  3. Pecker

    Pecker
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    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  4. theblob

    theblob
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  5. Pecker

    Pecker
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    Cheers, keep 'em coming.

    Reviews too, if that's okay. Let us know if you have the DVD and if the download looks any better.

    I'll try to set up a master list in Post 1.

    Steve W
     
  6. dabots

    dabots
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    Hi Pecker, are all the Amazon HD downloads at the same bitrate and resolution? (the latter presumably 1080p, and the codec presumably H.264 / AVC?) Would you be to find out if other digital download services (e.g. VUDU HDX, iTunes Store etc.) offer any of these films at a higher bitrate, and if so, what DRM is used?

    Am I right in saying that 1080p24 Blu-Ray maxes out at 50Mbps, and the Kaleidescape Store for well-heeled customers is the only download service that offers anything near that, given that some of the downloads - which include the retail extras - exceed 50GB? Even the 4K Sony FMP-X1 must have a lower bitrate as the downloads are apparently far smaller than 200GB. However, Sony's "Next-Generation 4K Media Player" prototype supports H.265 / HEVC, so hopefully we'll see HEVC versions of The Hobbit films at 2160p24 2D at 100Mbps (100GB), 2160p24 3D at 100Mbps (200GB), 2160p48 2D at 200Mbps (200GB) and 2160p48 3D at 200Mbps (400GB).

    Are my calculations correct?
     
  7. Pecker

    Pecker
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    I've no idea.

    I haven't downloaded anything yet - it wasn't until today when they went live that I found out if I had a device capable of playback!

    I'll let you know as soon as I know, but others may be able to chip in first.

    In short, I'm not expecting the films to be up to Blu-ray Disc standard. For now, I'm just looking for the best version available.

    I know some baulk it the phrase 'better than the DVD' for Blu-ray Discs, but if there's no physical release I'm just after the best version I can get my hands on.

    Even if a title is 'just' 720p and DD 5.1, that should be good enough to project, for me.

    Of course, with the odd title I might get my fingers burned. But then again, that's true with Blu-ray Discs, too.

    If I find the quality is generally sub-standard, I'll give up.

    Steve W
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014
  8. Pecker

    Pecker
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    Hitchcock:

    Stage Fright
    The Wrong Man


    Steve W
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  9. mentasm

    mentasm
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    Krull, although no idea if the quality is any good. If it is I might even consider it. It'd have to be better than the Netflix version for me.
     
  10. Pecker

    Pecker
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    I think I said this at the other thread, but I don't mind saying it again.

    If this was seven years ago, and Blu-ray Discs and downloaded HD films had arrived at the same time, I'd not be downloading everything which wasn't on Blu-ray.

    But I've got about 85% of films I want to buy, so I don't mind mopping up a few others. I think of the 15 'missing' from my Top 100 there are two available for HD download. I really don't mind spending £20 on these two and buying the Blu-rays if and when they appear.

    Anyway, it'll be a week or two until I get my first downloads - I'll let you know how I get on then.

    Steve W
     
  11. hippo99

    hippo99
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    1-2 weeks to get the download. Are you still on dial up?:D;)
     
  12. Pecker

    Pecker
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    You'd think so. I have an old bloke on a bike with a basket on the front, brining it over one pixel at a time.

    Nah, just got to set the player up and get a HDD going.

    Steve W
     
  13. orac1971

    orac1971
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    will buy film downloads when DRM is removed so I can play it anywhere... until then, no thank you.
     
  14. Pecker

    Pecker
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    Orac, I share your sentiment.

    I want to be clear - I would not advocate ditching Blu-ray Discs, or buying on download instead of Blu-ray Disc, or starting a collection in downloads, or whatever.

    For me, it's as simple as this.

    Some films that I love took years to come out on DVD. Some never came out on DVD.

    I have most of the catalogue titles I want on Blu-ray Disc, but I'm still mopping up a few.

    But there are still a few titles available on Amazon Instant Video in HD which are not on Blu-ray Disc, and which I suspect never will be, or at least not for a very long time.

    If you buy something on Amazon Instant you can watch it wherever you want, on a suitable machine registered to your account. I've recently acquired a Kindle Fire, and that's as portable as I need. If it ever goes belly up I can transfer the film to any new Kindle I buy.

    If I had 100 or 200 films in the pipeline I wouldn't be doing this. But a tenner a pop to mop up a handful of titles is fine.

    The choice is simple and stark. With films like the one in my next post (see below),I suspect it's a case of buy it on download or never see/own it in High Def, at least not for many years.

    Steve W
     
  15. Pecker

    Pecker
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    Latest one spotted, a noir gem.

    Sorry, Wrong Number

    Steve W
     
  16. Pecker

    Pecker
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    Okay, I had a watch of Fail-Safe and Wait Until Dark, comparing both to the SD DVD.

    Hmmm.

    Well, it's better. I mean if push came to shove, on my 140cm tall screen, I'd rather watch the HD version.

    But Blu-ray Disc, it ain't. And worth £10, it ain't.

    The problems are not DNR, or EE, or softness.

    The problems are twofold.

    Firstly, all they've done is scanned the film, reduced the file size, and put it up for sale. The print damage, etc is far more noticeable than on the DVD, for both films.

    Secondly, due to the compression, it's like a gauze has been placed over the picture. It's a bit like artificial grain, but not quite. But it definitely has the appearance of a sharp motion picture with something unmoving placed in front of it. And it's fairly clear that this is due to compression. What is on the screen in sharp, but unless the object moves a lot, it's completely static onscreen.

    I suspect that a modern film without too much grain, or something shot digitally, wouldn't have quite the same problem.

    In future I think I'd be happy to rent at c.£2.50 a title. But I'd only buy at £10 a title if it was absolutely a Top 10 favourite, or thereabouts.

    Steve W
     
  17. HugoFJH

    HugoFJH
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    Really interested to hear the above , thank you Steve.

    Very disappointed with the results, but I cant say Im surprised.

    I think there are going to be alot of services offering nothing more than scanned / compressed files for d/l (all of course under the "HD service" banner of choice)
     
  18. Pecker

    Pecker
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    To be fair, I suspect the films will look fine on all but the largest flat screens, unless you're sat on top of the display.

    You know, for watching on say a 50" set at maybe 3m distance I bet there's enough of a HD upgrade to be worth it, and some of the issues won't be so bad.

    If it's one of your favourite films, and not on Blu-ray, I'd say it's worth £2.50 or £3.50 or whatever it is for a rental while you wait for the disc to appear.

    I suppose I'm disappointed because, whilst I wasn't expecting "almost as good as Blu-ray Disc", it was a hope - an outside bet. Instead it's maybe half way between DVD and Blu-ray, which would probably have been a more realistic expectation.

    Steve W
     

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