Apple TV (etc) quality debate for films

BMox81

Distinguished Member

Nostromo71

Well-known Member
They sometimes offer second discs, but I guess only when the second disc doesn't contain the movie.

The only time I've noticed a release containing two discs is for the forthcoming Avengers: Endgame one. It's listed as two discs for the 4K and regular Blurays. I must keep an eye out for others like that, although I'm guessing it would only ever be an option on films that are getting close to a 3hr runtime.
 

GrazzaB

Well-known Member
It's simple, if you want the ultimate in picture/audio quality, go for the disc if you're prepared to pay the premium that comes with that.

I use both formats and love both formats. No need to have to pick a side in this debate.

Totally agree with this. I buy both and am very happy with both, pricing aside. I just struggle with the old 'all streaming is poor' narrative, and the idea that all digital content is just rented - how many of their 5-10 year old DVDs does anyone actually still watch beyond a handful? Also, as someone else said on this thread, when is the last time that your Blu-ray disc got magically updated to a 4k disc?
 
A disc is just locally stored digital content anyway. So hopefully in the not too distant future we can stream at current disc bit rates.
 

hippo99

Distinguished Member
The only time I've noticed a release containing two discs is for the forthcoming Avengers: Endgame one. It's listed as two discs for the 4K and regular Blurays. I must keep an eye out for others like that, although I'm guessing it would only ever be an option on films that are getting close to a 3hr runtime.
I’m guessing that Force Awakens & Last Jedi might also be offered as 2 discs as they both came with a separate extras disc.
 

SirTiger007

Active Member
I'm always stressing about this sort of thing, is the disc better than the streamed version, and if so by how much? Often the 4K version on iTunes is significantly cheaper than the disc, so being able to directly compare the two was worth the money!

So to test it I bought Mission Impossible:Fallout on 4K disc and Apple iTunes. I have an LG 55B8, Denon x2300 and Q Acoustic 3000i series speakers, BK Sub and some smaller speakers for Atmos ones. I play 4K discs on my Xbox One S.

Picture quality on the iTunes file was actually slightly better due to Dolby Vision (I'm not sure if the disc has DV but the Xbox won't decode it anyway) but to be honest the difference was negligible otherwise. Black levels were similar, and nothing certainly stood out that I'd have noticed if I hadn't done the tests side by side to the point where I would need to pay a premium each time.

Sound quality was where the difference really stood out. The streamed Atmos track was thin and lacked the nuance and detail of the disc version, so much so that I'd say I'd prefer a blu ray with an atmos track to the 4K streamed version now.

But when you factor price into it, it starts to get more complicated. As an earlier post said, Alita Battle Angel is £25 on disc or £9.99 downloaded; that's a lot of difference money-wise for a better sound-experience and similar picture.

So in conclusion, if the disc is in the 2 for £30 sale at HMV (or £19.99 like John Wick 3.... or £25 for any Avengers release (I know, don't @ me)) then I go disc, otherwise the price doesn't warrant the upgrade in quality for me most of the time, so I go digital.

Hope that helps!
 

Nostromo71

Well-known Member
I’m guessing that Force Awakens & Last Jedi might also be offered as 2 discs as they both came with a separate extras disc.

No, they're both single disc rentals.
 

Nostromo71

Well-known Member
I wonder why they treat them differently as they're Disney as well, so probably under the same agreement.

Also, I was just greeted with this notification when I went to my list.

"The version of Avengers: Endgame (BLU-RAY 4K) does not include disc 2 and was removed from your list"
 

jwsg

Well-known Member
When researching Itunes before deciding to go ATV 4K rather than UHD disk this time, I did see reports that some Itunes films were DV when the UK disk wasnt, which is quite important. But otherwise you're still just comparing one lossy encode with another, even if the disk can have as high a bitrate as it wants.
Sound however is different. The audio jump from DVD to blu-ray was always very noticeable and comparing streaming audio to lossless on disk is the same. You cant throw away a massive %age of the info and expect no audible difference. Maybe the bit rate will climb on streaming over time, but maybe more people have 4K TVs wanting good picture than people who have amp+spkrs so I think were stuck with the audio difference for good.
 

Broken Hope

Active Member
I tend to buy the stuff I really like on disk, or Marvel/Disney stuff, other stuff that I’d like to see but can’t justify £20+ for I’ll either buy really cheap on iTunes or wait till a 2 for £30 sale.
 

Dave M

Distinguished Member
I missed out on Overloard 4K steelbook as it sold out. Am just watching on Sky UHD and looks great.
 

Kotatsu Neko

Well-known Member
Maybe the bit rate will climb on streaming over time, but maybe more people have 4K TVs wanting good picture than people who have amp+spkrs so I think were stuck with the audio difference for good.

I think you've hit the nail on the head there.
 
Personally I would prioritise picture a long way above audio, so I'd rather they got the PQ as close to disc standard and leave the audio lacking. I would imagine a lot more people have a display that can benefit than an audio system that would.
 

MarkNorton1

Well-known Member
Not wishing to detract from the main discussion but I watched a video recently that advised to have your Apple TV set to 4k SDR with both match frame etc options ticked, tried this but personally find the menus and the screensavers not a patch on how they look with Dolby Vision enabled? Anyone else have an opinion on this? Also with the suggested settings all bar the first screensaver of the city disappear until I switch back to DV mode and then they all come back again, almost like there are 2 different versions of the screen savers?
 

jwsg

Well-known Member
I agree, and have DV 60Hz as default, but a lot of the apps dont support match range - like the catchup services - dont look good in forced DV. As it happens I only use the ATV for Itunes and Netflix as the LG has a good set of apps. I think the screensavers are different with HDR on but things might change in TVOS 13. Also I get nag messages if DV is off.
Prob the ATV owners thread might help with specifics.
 

MarkNorton1

Well-known Member
I agree, most of what I watch is in DV or at least HDR but I have watched the odd iTunes film that isn’t so probably need to remember to change it at that point.
 

Hal5

Novice Member
I’m not sure if this has been discussed here but I purchase quite a few movies on Apple TV4k but recently I have noticed that Apple have removed the 4K Dolby vision or the Atmos sound track that has been converted back to Normal HD or 5.1, I went a bit mental over this with Apple as I had clearly purchased the movies with these advertised, then I learnt that it depends on the studio, so they wrongly asked me to contact them as it wasn’t apples fault, after complaining they mysteriously reinstated the 4K (to HDR not
Dolby vision) and atmos track. Has anyone else experienced this? So I never know if they are gonna change it. I sat down one evening to watch red sparrow and wondered why it didn’t sound as good hence the downgrade to just 5.1!
 

dr no

Moderator
I’m not sure if this has been discussed here but I purchase quite a few movies on Apple TV4k but recently I have noticed that Apple have removed the 4K Dolby vision or the Atmos sound track that has been converted back to Normal HD or 5.1, I went a bit mental over this with Apple as I had clearly purchased the movies with these advertised, then I learnt that it depends on the studio, so they wrongly asked me to contact them as it wasn’t apples fault, after complaining they mysteriously reinstated the 4K (to HDR not
Dolby vision) and atmos track. Has anyone else experienced this? So I never know if they are gonna change it. I sat down one evening to watch red sparrow and wondered why it didn’t sound as good hence the downgrade to just 5.1!
The film streams are all controlled by the Studios and NOT Apple.
Time to time the studios will update the stream, either with new HDR or Sound. In this case cases they remove it from the store before reinstating it.
While its offline you have access to the HD version only. Its not a big deal, happens regularly and nothing to get worried about.
 

PlexShaw

Well-known Member
To add to that, I should mention that we have seen number of Fox films (of which Red Sparrow is one) recently have their Atmos track temporarily removed and later reinstated. This happened to me with Bohemian Rhapsody and that returned sometime later, so I would expect Red Sparrow's to return eventually.
 

Nostromo71

Well-known Member
To add to that, I should mention that we have seen number of Fox films (of which Red Sparrow is one) recently have their Atmos track temporarily removed and later reinstated. This happened to me with Bohemian Rhapsody and that returned sometime later, so I would expect Red Sparrow's to return eventually.

Another reason not to use Apple products or rely solely on streaming services for my film-watching needs.
 

PlexShaw

Well-known Member
Another reason not to use Apple products or rely solely on streaming services for my film-watching needs.
As has already been stated, the film streams are controlled by the studios, so I wouldn't use this as a "reason not to use Apple products". Usually the audio is rolled back to 5.1 to correct issues with the Atmos track, so I see this as a good thing in the main. My only real issue is the studios do not try to get the word out that it is happening, which leads to misinformation being spread.
 

Nostromo71

Well-known Member
As has already been stated, the film streams are controlled by the studios, so I wouldn't use this as a "reason not to use Apple products". Usually the audio is rolled back to 5.1 to correct issues with the Atmos track, so I see this as a good thing in the main. My only real issue is the studios do not try to get the word out that it is happening, which leads to misinformation being spread.

I have a very low opinion of Apple so I was only speaking for myself, but my comment is more directed at not relying on streaming services who are at the mercy of rights-holders. It would seriously p*** me off if I had bought an Atmos/HDR etc film and when I sat down to watch it the quality had been downgraded, even if only temporary. I'll never have that problem with physical media.
 

jwsg

Well-known Member
It's annoying when you've bought at 4K, as there's no notice, explanation, or apology, nor any reason for a reversion over many days before a new file is uploaded. But it's not a reason to avoid Apple or streaming services in general. If the whole library was unobtainable all evening then that would be a good reason. If you're happy to find shelf and wallet space for a UHD collection - maybe you haven't been through this with DVDs and then blu-rays - then your use-case will differ. But it's also annoying when the same few meme wielding posters feel the need to trivialise the problem and apologise on Apple's behalf.
 

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