Amazon Prime TV - General Service Quality (UHD, HDR, Bitrate) - UK vs Rest of World (RoW)

eliotcole

Active Member
Hi,

I've long been noticing this, and brought it up numerous times either publicly on Twitter, or privately in tickets, with Amazon ... yet it keeps happening.

Amazon's recent disasterous (full) takeover of Comixology, too, leads me to believe that this problem is endemic at the big A, and not just a few isolated issues. I truly think that they have a business process issue ... or (same thing really) the UK division of any given service is run by some person in a broom-closet at a warehouse.

Either that, or they actually never switched off the bandwidth limitations on their UK services, limiting bitrate and overall quality for those using the service here.

Numerous times I'll see a big 'get' for them released on the service without the UHD / HDR version that they definitely have the licence for, like Wrath of Man in Dec/Jan. Which they only then 'switch on' the HDR or UHD after someone @'s them on Twitter, or a month or so in.

Recent exclusives (like Outer Range, or TEN PERCENT) were advertised with UHD/HDR, yet when played (on multiple TVs, 2 ISPs, an XBox and an NVidia Shield) did not deliver the goods in any way, shape, or form.

This person, here, mentions it, but I couldn't really find (sorry) a decent thread to either bring this up in, or ressurect.

Yet I mentioned those two examples on Twitter and within a day, suddenly they're working. This is not even close to a 'yay me' thing, as it's exasperating! I saw screenshots from someone else's watch of THE CONTRACTOR, and oh boy, it was a million miles from the bit-starved mess I saw on my B7.

I don't want to crap on Amazon from a height, here ... I am fond of the service that doesn't foist stuff on me like Netflix, and I applaud the overall artistic quality of what they produce ... but it feels like outside of the US, one is a second class citizen in almost every way.

((( is India still getting insanely high quality? or did that stop? )))

Anyway, I'm starting this thread as an ongoing thing, not a 'help me' thing ... because I can't believe this is some kind of 'limited account', or isolated incident.

Also ... and I'm only saying this in the softest possible voice ... but ... in England there are both Trading and Advertising standards that legally prohibit falsly advertising stuff. I'm wondering if this isn't straying into that territory just a little ... as it is consistently happening.

Anyone else?
 

jml8

Standard Member
Agreed, if you play something that Prime video claims is 'UHD HDR' it is extremely unpredictable whether this will actually be the case. Even when HDR is triggered I seem to have most content in 1080p rather than 4k (Outer Range was doing this the other day). Would be great if someone (avforums staff..?) could flag this up more publicly, and get amazon to fix things a bit.
 

eliotcole

Active Member
FWIW, it's not just a TV thing, they've recently completely fudgeed over Comixology users that happen not to be in America, too.

This is what makes me think it's literally a sh*t business processes kind of thing.

Like, I could romp on in there, learn some AWS scripting, and maybe sort this sh*t out.

But a small part of me wonders if it's either money saving by leaning on the old (and highly wrong) impetus from the UK government to the streaming companies to bitstarve the country.
 

eliotcole

Active Member
They recently turned on HDR on the Outer Range, and almost out of spite it's a horrific low bitrate mess ... I wasn't being fussy, but I literally couldn't continue watching it the quality was so bad in the darker portions of the screen.

It was reminiscient (but not that bad) of that famed GoT episode. 😏

Tested in the early morning, UK time, on 3 devices, 2 separate 60Mb+ VDSL connections with nothing else going on, and ran tests from other streaming services for other content to validate streaming wasn't throttled globally.

I've tweeted at them for the new Katherine Ryan show, but I was less firm on this one as I suspect it wasn't filmed in UHD/HDR. That said, it would be one of the rare Amazon productions that weren't ... unless it was a purchase by them.
 

lgans316

Distinguished Member
Amazon Prime have increased the 4K HDR video bit rates few months ago. They even upped the bit rate of content that was uploaded last year. It's now around 15 Mbps average similar to Netflix but peaks at around 18 Mbps. Earlier it used to be 10 Mbps average and 15 Mbps peak.

Their HD bit rate is now better than Netflix and similar to Disney+.

The problem with Prime is audio. It's mostly [email protected] 192 Kbps. The Atmos ones are 448 Kbps.

I had posted my findings in Blu-ray forums.
 

eliotcole

Active Member
This is interesting to me (I've not come to argue 👍) because I have seen it on some content.


However, the issue that I'm raising is (what would appear to be) a business processing issue with the available quality for given content. It's why I brought in the comiXology side reference, in that they don't do the things they should be doing.

The reason I mention the processing is the matter that it's inconsistent, so it's not for everything.

l will invent 2 examples, first, a TV show that has been made, and is advertised as available in UHD HDR (badges are on):
  1. It actually was never available in one or either quality (actually rare)
  2. It should be available, but doesn't trigger either despite proven bandwidth

Sometimes, though, it's there!

IRRC the remake of Call My Agent didn't get UHD HDR until a few days later. I think it came on the same time as Open Range.

Second, using Wrath Of Man as a literal example, we knew that they actually had the high quality UHD HDR available, as a casual search indicated that they had the copy available. I know that licensing can be different for UHD, but literally a few hours after prompting them about it on Twitter, suddenly they'd flocked the switch on the decent quality.

Couple of questions, if you don't mind ... and they're not asked combatively, purely curious:
  1. Are you referring to UK bitrates?
  2. Where is this information coming from?

I agree with the audio issue, too, as I've just played (another example of this) Oblivion on my B7, and I get Dolby Digital +, but on Shield it is only in stereo. I mention it as a good example as it advertiser's HDR without sending HDR. But you're spot on with the Atmos mention, because they've used it sparingly ... and I can't help but think that it backs up a(n unlikely) supposition that this is all intentional money saving stuff. Still, they apply their full on Vision and Atmos about as frequently as I buy a round! 😅


@lgans316 said:
Amazon Prime have increased the 4K HDR video bit rates few months ago. They even upped the bit rate of content that was uploaded last year. It's now around 15 Mbps average similar to Netflix but peaks at around 18 Mbps. Earlier it used to be 10 Mbps average and 15 Mbps peak.


Their HD bit rate is now better than Netflix and similar to Disney+.


The problem with Prime is audio. It's mostly [email protected] 192 Kbps. The Atmos ones are 448 Kbps.


I had posted my findings in Blu-ray forums.


I asked those questions before your quote, because I've experienced great bitrate from d+ and vudu, bitrate being key, I guess ... and yet, in THE BOYS latest episode they've even got the black bars suffering from crush! More of their own content is crushed to oblivion if you look at the apartment (and some restaurant scenes) in GOLIATH, at the bitrates you're listing that shouldn't be an issue in HDR10, or even prime's 'special' HDR.



That's just ridiculous ... especially when I'm using it at 02:00 or something ... I should be getting decent quality, and on something like THE BOYS or OPEN RANGE it's distracting enough that I have to stop watching.
 
Last edited:

Kotatsu Neko

Distinguished Member
The problem I have with Amazon's video quality is there's an incredibly noticeable keyframe pop every second. It's visible in darker areas and it's absolutely non stop. It only happens with Amazon, even relatively bitrate starved services like Netflix don't suffer from it. It drives me nuts and makes me avoid anything overly dark on the service.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Samsung S95B QD-OLED Review - A Quantum Leap for OLED!
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom