AVForums Movies Podcast: Is boutique publishing the future of 4k physical media?


Active Member
To be fair ... comparing NowTV to physical is the same as comparing iTunes (who upgrade your existing HD digital copy to 4K for free whenever a movie is upgraded and stream at a fairly decent bitrate) to VHS.
The NowTV stream is badly compressed, 720p, Stereo ... it's just bad.

As for when they will get to full quality have a look into Bravia Core, it's limited at the moment but shows that there is progress being made.

Jessica Noir

Well-known Member
John Carpenter's The Thing was just upgraded to 4K HDR on iTunes and the difference between that and Arrow's blu-ray taken from the same 4K scan is night and day. While the usual skin and clothing textures are noticeably better, Rob Bottin's effects look absolutely incredible and more organic than previous releases.

I'll be holding onto my Scream Factory and Arrow boxset for the extras though.


Well-known Member
I was only curious about NowTV, as many people at the time seemed to be using it. I knew it wouldn’t be good, but ended up worse than I imagined.


Active Member
The sad truth is that although 4K TV sales are on the up, most people have no idea what their TV is actually capable of. I'm pretty sure my wife would be happy with an old CRT. I've lost count of the times I've come in and she's watching something in SD. At which point, I'm like.....View attachment 1566893
Reminds me of my in-laws who watch everything in SD and in Vivid mode as they don't see any discernible difference :facepalm:

iFi audio

AVForums Sponsor
I don’t think we will. Even if our communications infrastructure could handle the majority of the country streaming disc quality 4K 24/7, I don’t think the hosting companies will increase quality. These companies are only interested in your £6-20 per month. And they’ll keep adding titles they think they need to to keep the majority interested. As long as end users lap it up, they keep it as it is because the money is still coming in. If movie studios and streaming services were only interested in providing the best quality, DVD would be discontinued by now, and we’d now be using a better encoding system for streaming. I honestly don’t see quality changing at all - I reckon they’ll provide 8K streaming with even greater compression before actual quality of 1080 films improves!

I temporarily subscribed to Mubi to see what it was like, and the compression is far too evident for me to watch. That’ll be going this month. Prime gives the biggest choice, but there’s way too much standard definition available, and if I start watching a film and it’s in standard definition, I’ll turn it off.

I’m at a point where I feel like using the monthly money I pay for (currently) three streaming services to subscribe to Cinema Paradiso to rent Blurays and 4K Blurays, and to buy films I’m interested in, and drop streaming altogether.
That's one way to look at it. I see it in a slightly more market-driven perspective. If the streaming companies do not improve constantly they won't be able to keep the customers for £6-20 a month. It is hard to argue against how the market economy operates. One company will introduce a higher-resolution stream to attract more viewers, and the others will have to follow unless they have a different set of USPs, as in the realm of video streaming the resolution alongside the size and quality of the library as well as the price is the driving factor.
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Well-known Member
@iFi audio
I’m of the opinion that the vast majority are quite happy with the current level of streaming quality - and for them I fear, content is King.

iFi audio

AVForums Sponsor
@davidf , I think the vast majority of the society shares your opinion. Content is King. Resolution most likely comes second. I am simply stressing that the resolution of the content the streaming platforms offer will improve over time.


Active Member
This week we discuss the 4K and Blu-ray publishing labels making cult classics available again. With streaming becoming monolithic, is this the only way we're going to get to see these movies again? We also find out your opinions on the best boutique releases. PLUS a podcast exclusive competition.

Presented by Tom Davies with Cas Harlow, Simon Crust and Mark Costello.

00:00:00 - Start
00:00:28 - Welcome
00:01:41 - Competitions
00:05:44 - What are 'boutique labels'?
00:07:23 - Steaming vs boutique Blu-ray releases
00:12:20 - Mark's favourite boutique label releases
00:21:43 - Simon's favourite boutique label releases
00:33:25 - Cas' favourite boutique label releases
00:40:17 - Tom's favourite boutique label releases
00:44:35 - Patreon poll results
00:50:05 - Are some Blu-rays an investment?
01:04:37 - Podcast competition

These links will be live following the live stream on Wednesday

Direct Link

To watch the video with the live chat, click the YouTube logo in the video window
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Loved this discussion, guys (Now wishing I'd watched it YouTube, instead of listening back!) I'm not a fervent collector as some of you clearly are but I recognise a lot of what makes the boutique treatment so appealing for many enthusiasts. I haven't bought physical media for ages tbh; just the odd Blu-ray and haven't taken the plunge into 4k yet. What is attractive and encouraging with these labels is how you are getting the most definitive, often uncut versions available, which years ago, you would have come by via a dodgy imported bootleg. Echoing Cas, this is where these labels really come into their own, as I would much prefer to seek out these older, niche films, bathed with glorious restorations and lavished with HDR sparkle, rather than the latest shiny, blockbuster. Keep up the good work.

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