Apple TV (etc) quality debate for films

johnyh

Active Member
As to physical 4K Discs, then while people are daft enough to shell out £20-30 on a Disc, the prices will never drop. (If people stopped buying them they would be half the price in next door to no time)

Bill

None of us like price inflation and 10+ years plus of austerity has only increased that feeling. But playing devil's advocate I would argue that price sensitivity is what has caused the difficultly for disc producers to increase prices over that period and all they have seen with UHD disks is a chance to correct that somewhat. (What were the launch prices of Blu-rays? Add N years inflation at 2-3% what do you get? Probably more than £25? )

I do understand that there is a great range of incomes on this website and so I'm not going to suggest that £25 is cheap. But when you are paying for a premium product prices are always going to contain a lot of margin. Hey the Leicester Sq Dolby cinema can charge £40+ for a good seat now.

I would also suggest that if we all 'just stopped buying them' that producers would just stop making them (albeit after a period of discounting the current stock.)

What we need now is for the product to become less niche and then the margin and production costs can be spread over greater sales. That requires us 'daft' people to keep buying them. (Although I do baulk at prices over £25.)
 

Rizvan

Well-known Member
I used to be a hardcore disc buyer but over the last year or so I have starting buying most of my movies on Apple TV 4K, however I still do buy the odd movie on disc to add my exiting collection (mainly the fav ones).
For my setup, Apple TV 4K is good enough and I am not left thinking that the picture and sound was rubbish after watching a movie. Any body stating that streaming movies is much poorer than the disc equivalent will be wrong in most cases, I would say when comparing decent sources on both disc and streaming content, there will be about 5-10% difference.
I guess if you compared the two formats side by side, you will most likely still pick the disc version, however in isolation the streaming version is good enough not to spoil the enjoyment of the movie in my opinion. Then factor in cost.. sometimes £9.99 vs £24.99 for me the Apple TV 4K version is the better buy.

I currently have over 475 movies on Bluray with about 20 of them in 4k and around 430 movies on my iTunes :)

Which way you go is very much setup dependant, if you have a 80" + projector screen with dedicated atmos speakers and amplifier, I would go down the disc route.
However in my situation, I have a 65" OLED and Samsung Atmos Soundbar ....... so I would always look at Apple TV 4K for my content first. :)
 
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dr no

Moderator
Without doubt we are at the beginning of the end for physical media
Discs will become niche market for small user base
At some point the other streamers will match ATV and then the quality will be more than good enough for almost everyone
 

kempez

Well-known Member
I'd long been a proponent of physical discs, but then with kids and the wife being less inclined to re-watch the films I like, I'd started buying some ATV films. I've also got Netflix and Amazon Prime. Have to say: Netflix 4K content is pretty damn good. I've re-bought into 4K BR's with a player and yes, the quality is a little bit punchier than Apple and Netflix 4K and the audio certainly is a big improvement. BUT, only for when I'm watching a film on my own, or having a proper movie night with my wife. For more casual watching and for the kids: streaming beats discs hands down.

It will be pretty hard to take if my ATV purchases stop working though, but Apple must realise this is a big issue so I'm hoping they're working with studio's like Disney to sort it out.

All in all though, BRs are better but not enough for all scenario's.
 
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dante01

Distinguished Member
None of us like price inflation and 10+ years plus of austerity has only increased that feeling. But playing devil's advocate I would argue that price sensitivity is what has caused the difficultly for disc producers to increase prices over that period and all they have seen with UHD disks is a chance to correct that somewhat. (What were the launch prices of Blu-rays? Add N years inflation at 2-3% what do you get? Probably more than £25? )

There was nothing to correct. Discs costs far less to manufacture and the plants aren't making the films being sold on those discs. The owners of the plants aren't determining the price of the discs, the studios and distributors are.

The markup on a Blu-ray is ridiculous compared to how much it costs to actually manufacture it. Yes, UHD discs are more expensive, but the price of manufacture has dropped considerable since it was first introduced. This doesn't appear to have effected the price of the films being sold on them though. It is quite easy to turn out a UHD release on disc for between £15 and £20 and still make considerable amounts per sale. THe new John Wick film is advertised at £20 so how can the likes of Disney justify adding £5 extra to everything they make available?

The pricing has nothing to do with manufacturing or pressing costs and everything to do with the studios and distributors milking the buying public for every penny they think they can get away with.

The only benificial thing I can say about UHD disc releases that can justify the higher price is the inclusion of additional discs. You ordinarily get the film on Blu-ray as well as the UHD disc and even an additional Blu-ray for the extras on some occassions. As said though, the pressing and the physical discs themselves cost the manufacturers a pittance.

I buy far fewer discs per year now compared to what I used to when buying conventional Blu-rays. THe studios are effectively now getting less money from me because I'm buying fewer discs, not enough of them for the higher price to exceeed what I was previously spending. Isn't this what they did with CD and didn't they learn anything?
 
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Kotatsu Neko

Well-known Member
I watch quite a few 4K discs but as I a) don't want to pay the absurd prices, and b) don't wan the clutter of physical media anymore I just rent them all from Cinema Paradiso.

For movies I want to keep and re-watch I buy the iTunes version. The quality to my eyes on iTunes is certainly good enough. I can see the difference, but it's certainly not worth the gigantic premium for the disc. If anything I notice the audio quality difference more, but again, iTunes is still good enough. The free upgrades are a pretty amazing deal too. So much of my old iTunes library is now in 4K without me spending a penny. None of my old BDs have upgraded themselves for free.

I doubt 4K BDs or even regular BDs will be around in 5 years time. The writing is on the wall. DVDs of course will keep on trucking for many more years. Odd that a format designed for CRTs will be the last one standing long after TVs went HD, then 4K.
 

Snake79

Active Member
I don't have AppleTV but I have used many of the other 4K streaming services and while they do provide a convenient and cheaper alternative to physical media I tend to stick with rental only on those platforms where films are concerned. If I liked it I'll buy the blu-ray. I do have a couple of purchased HD movies on Amazon and Xbox due to there being no physical HD release however they are exceptions. I know they could close the service at any time and I'd lose the content which is why I won't fully commit to digital downloads.

I've had a 4K tv for near two years and I still haven't bought a 4K player which is surprising for me as I am a big film fan but the prices of the discs are just too high in my opinion. That and the lack of good mid-range players. Who would have thought that a front panel display is now considered a premium feature! I see blu-ray as the best all round format for me as it is much cheaper, the picture and sound are the best you can get (excluding 4k discs), I own them outright so no worry about losing them/being erased and I can watch what I want, when I want. No internet connection required. I guess the only negative is space, I have over 600 titles.

I can definately see why AppleTV works for others though.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
The very nature of the streaming services means that there is a very high risk of them closing their doors and packing up shop at some point in the future. Maybe Apple and Amazon can afford to weather this out, but then why would they need to keep their prices low if no longer facing competition from either competitors online or indeed from physical media. THose predicting the cessation and demise of physical media in favour of online streaming should be very wary of what they are asking for and or suggesting. Prices will be determined by a select few in such a scenario and price fixing will be rife.
 
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Lloydy92

Member
For pure image quality I think 4K discs are no more than 5-10% better than the best 4K streams. Apple TV is pretty darn close from what I’ve seen.

Unfortunately I live in an area that openreach hasn’t bothered connecting to the fibre network yet so I’m stuck with 8mbps download speed so discs and watching streams elsewhere are really the only way 4K is accessible to me but I would say that Amazon edges Netflix for image quality for me (4K, 1080p might be Netflix).

Given my film library is fairly small & I that I only buy a few select films a year (always physical media) I’m happy to spend £20-£25 on a disc if it’s been done well.
 

Nostromo71

Well-known Member
I've written before somewhere on this forum about my general distrust of streaming and how I just don't like it. I don't trust the studios and I definitely don't trust the like of Apple, Google, Amazon etc. to not screw me over. They've historically repeatedly done it and I see it all happening again.

Yes it's irrational and no I don't care that it is.

I don't think it's irrational at all to think like that.
 

hippo99

Distinguished Member
Does anyone actually know of any titles that have been pulled from sale on Apple/Amazon, & then removed from people’s libraries, rather than just hearsay that ‘you lose access if rights expire’?

I know Disney has vaulted some titles, but people who already own them can still access those films from their library.
Also on PlayStation & Xbox I have several games that were pulled from sale as the licensing rights had expired (Outrun, Marvel vs Capcom 2 & 3). However these games can still be downloaded by me from my library, even though the rights had expired & they were no longer for sale.

Also, of the digital services that have gone Kaput in recent years Blinkbox/Sainsbury’s entertainment I remember they offered refunds (should be a thread in the DVD/Blu-ray forum) for all of the purchases people made on their platform, so no customers were left out of pocket from their services closing.
 

kempez

Well-known Member
All of my Disney titles are still available to download and stream. I do see why people would be concerned though. I personally think Apple will seal a deal, but even if they don't and they have to 'take films away', I fully expect them to offer full compensation because not doing so would be a huge hit in publicity for them. Agreed.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Does anyone actually know of any titles that have been pulled from sale on Apple/Amazon, & then removed from people’s libraries, rather than just hearsay that ‘you lose access if rights expire’?

I know Disney has vaulted some titles, but people who already own them can still access those films from their library.
Also on PlayStation & Xbox I have several games that were pulled from sale as the licensing rights had expired (Outrun, Marvel vs Capcom 2 & 3). However these games can still be downloaded by me from my library, even though the rights had expired & they were no longer for sale.

Also, of the digital services that have gone Kaput in recent years Blinkbox/Sainsbury’s entertainment I remember they offered refunds (should be a thread in the DVD/Blu-ray forum) for all of the purchases people made on their platform, so no customers were left out of pocket from their services closing.

Disappearing 4k itunes movies

Apple Is Deleting Bought Films From iTunes Accounts - And Don't Expect A Refund
 

hippo99

Distinguished Member
Have you read the links that you posted as that’s not answering my question as to proof of ‘films being removed from libraries when rights expire’.


You’ve linked to the same story that was posted earlier.

Someone changed their Apple account from one country to a different country. The films they ‘lost’ were films not available in their new country. If they changed their store back to their original country, they would have access to their ‘missing’ films. It’s a story about not all films being available in every country, not a story about losing your film purchases.

I suspect if I changed my UK Apple account to a China or Saudi Arabian Apple account, I would lose access to a large number of films. If I changed it back to a UK account, I would have all my films again.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
There'll not be removed from your library if you downloaded a film, but Apple do not provide any provision by which you can download the 4K versions. If a studio doesn't renew the rights for Apple to be able to distribute the films then Apple cannot still make them available via their servers. They will no longer be available to you irrespective of whether you bought them or not. Apple make this perfectly clear withinn their own terms and conditions.

The fact is that you can only download the HD versions and Apple are under no obligation to give you access to the 4K variants so can remove them at any point in time without warning and without refunding anyone.

Apple doesn't own the films they distribute and the studios can withfrw permission to distribute those films if it pleases them. Studio are fickle at the best of times, just look at Disney right now.
 

hippo99

Distinguished Member
There'll not be removed from your library if you downloaded a film, but Apple do not provide any provision by which you can download the 4K versions. If a studio doesn't renew the rights for Apple to be able to distribute the films then Apple cannot still make them available via their servers. They will no longer be available to you irrespective of whether you bought them or not. Apple make this perfectly clear withinn their own terms and conditions.

The fact is that you can only download the HD versions and Apple are under no obligation to give you access to the 4K variants so can remove them at any point in time without warning and without refunding anyone.
Do you have any examples of any titles that have expired & that have been removed in this way & no longer can be streamed? Past or present.

Similarly if Sega & Capcom have no rights to the Ferrari/Marvel licence, why do Microsoft & Sony still make the expired games available to me to download from their servers?
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
In his original tweet, Anders Gonçalves da Silva said that he had three movies disappear from his iTunes library. After reaching out to Apple support, he was told that the “content provider” had removed the movies from the Canadian iTunes Store. In exchange for the removal, Apple offered da Silva three free movie rentals.
Apple acknowledges the viral tweet claiming it can delete movies from your iTunes library - 9to5Mac


The point being that despite the fact you are under the impression that you've bought the films and own them, Apple can legally remove them from their servers and deny you access to them whenever they want or whenever they have to in accordance with whatever deal they have with the studios who own the rights for the films.

As said, you cannot download the 4K versions from Apple.

What legal precedence or rights are you insisting will be engaged if this effects you? Your insistance that this will not happen appears to be based upon luck? I'm afrraid that the odds are not actually in your favour if this is the case and Apple will be looking after their own finacial and legal affairs rather than fighting for yours.

If Apple lose the right to distribute a film then they will cease distributing it regardless of whether or not you bought it.
 
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hippo99

Distinguished Member
Apple acknowledges the viral tweet claiming it can delete movies from your iTunes library - 9to5Mac


The point being that despite the fact you are under the impression that you've bought the films and own them, Apple can legally remove them from their servers and deny you access to them whenever they want or whenever they have to in accordance with whatever deal they have with the studios who own the rights for the films.

As said, you cannot download the 4K versions from Apple.


What legal precedence or rights are you insisting will be engaged if this effects you? Your insistance that this will not happen appears to be based upon luck?
You’re still posting the same story. The guy hasn’t lost those films. They’re still in his Australian Apple account. He just couldn’t get it to transfer over to a Canadian account. It’s still available in the Australian account that he originally made the purchases from.
Is that the only example you can find?

Personally I think it’s a bit of clickbait reporting, extrapolating the story to extremes. How is it in their or the studio‘s interest to randomly remove purchased content or downgrading films in people’s libraries?
Their digital rights T&C haven’t been tested in court yet. If a major studio did pull all their film rights leading to people ‘losing’ lots of films, then I’d suspect it would then get tested in court like the ‘Digital software rights’ ended up in court & established that people that purchased software ‘owned’ it & could sell their digital rights on to someone else.
 
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Snake79

Active Member
As mentioned Apple and other streaming platforms do not own the rights to most of their movie content rather they have a license to digitally distribute in certain regions so you are only really leasing it from them until it expires or a new deal supercedes it. You never truely own any digitally purchased movies if DRM is used.

The same can be said for games. I have a load or digitally purchased games on my xbox 360 which could one day either disappear or not work if MS pulls the plug on xbox live. I doubt they would refund everyone, it would cost them billions of $. More likely the consumer loses out.

It would be good if trading standards or the government were able to step in an clarify what a digital purchase actually is and force companies to be more transparent with their wordings as I think most people are just not aware of what it really is.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
You’re still posting the same story.

The same story gives you all that you neec to know,

If Apple lose the right to distribute a film then they will cease distributing it regardless of whether or not you bought it.
 

Smurf100

Well-known Member
Do you have any examples of any titles that have expired & that have been removed in this way & no longer can be streamed? Past or present.
I am a huge ATV fan and have purchased 100's of cheap itunes movies, however I've seen several UK people on forums complain that their copy of "What We Do In the Shadows" was deleted from their itunes library after the distributor removed and then reissued the film.
I recently got into digital movies on iTunes with the release of Movies Anywhere and got an ATV4K. How common is it for movies to be removed from your cloud library and is it a big enough problem to make buying movies on iTunes not worth it? : appletv
And what is most worrying for me is that (I believe) they weren't aware of anything having happened to their movie until they tried looking for it in their library.

A whole series of similar types of things happening is listed towards the bottom of the article at Apple Responds To Disappearing iTunes Movie Purchases Issue (this article does at least clarify that the famous internet person who has been mentioned a few times in this thread actually lost his movies due to changing the country for his itunes account, rather than for some other reason - the simple solution would simply be to create a new itunes account for the 2nd country and switch between the two as required, just like we do for our US / UK accounts/movies)
 

hippo99

Distinguished Member
The same story gives you all that you neec to know,

If Apple lose the right to distribute a film then they will cease distributing it regardless of whether or not you bought it.
That’s not the situation in that persons case though.
 

hippo99

Distinguished Member
The same can be said for games. I have a load or digitally purchased games on my xbox 360 which could one day either disappear or not work if MS pulls the plug on xbox live. I doubt they would refund everyone, it would cost them billions of $. More likely the consumer loses out.

It would be good if trading standards or the government were able to step in an clarify what a digital purchase actually is and force companies to be more transparent with their wordings as I think most people are just not aware of what it really is.
EU rules publishers cannot stop you reselling your downloaded games
 

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