Hi-res stream vs blu ray audio

Richard Q3050i

Novice Member
Hi I was wondering what people’s views are about streaming vs Blu-ray audio . Ive invested in some blu ray audios and tested them against the , apparent , same hi res stream on Amazon music HD. Although both Blu-ray and stream are 24/96 the blu ray sounds more detailed , sharp and a wider soundstage . I was wondering if this is due to my streaming equipment or are bluray audio that much better than streaming the same quality track?

I’m running blurays from a Sony uxp x800 player , Sony str dn1080 amp, q acoustics 3050i 5.1 pack, chord C screen cable. Streaming through a Amazon Cube latest gen with high res settings on
 

andy1249

Distinguished Member
With streaming, you have only the “word” of the service provider that it actually is high res and not scaled.

They don’t say what master or version they are streaming so you really have no clue.

with the disc, you have a known version of a known title.

Most streaming services don’t stand up well to comparisons with actual high res discs.

In fact I strongly suspect that all streaming services start with mp3 or thereabouts and scale up depending on what is requested by the user, because actual server space is expensive!
 

chenks

Well-known Member
blu-ray audio every time.
 

Richard Q3050i

Novice Member
With streaming, you have only the “word” of the service provider that it actually is high res and not scaled.

They don’t say what master or version they are streaming so you really have no clue.

with the disc, you have a known version of a known title.

Most streaming services don’t stand up well to comparisons with actual high res discs.

In fact I strongly suspect that all streaming services start with mp3 or thereabouts and scale up depending on what is requested by the user, because actual server space is expensive!
Thanks Andy , really helpful
 

oneman

Well-known Member
With streaming, you have only the “word” of the service provider that it actually is high res and not scaled.

They don’t say what master or version they are streaming so you really have no clue.

with the disc, you have a known version of a known title.

Most streaming services don’t stand up well to comparisons with actual high res discs.

In fact I strongly suspect that all streaming services start with mp3 or thereabouts and scale up depending on what is requested by the user, because actual server space is expensive!
I doubt if Amazon or any of the big streaming services are storing as mp3, no need to. For 50 million songs at roughly 150MB per song (that is for Ultra HD, HD is only 50MB per song) is only 7.5PB, a drop in a ocean for the hyper-scalers.

However as you say a lot has to do with where the data came from. If they have access to the master recording would be the best option or if they have re-mastered older tracks.

They also don't say how many tracks are HD which is lossless CD quality at 44.1 KHz sampling rate or Ultra HD which is 192KHz sampling rate. But if you are sampling poor source then you are going to end up with poorer quality even if you do AI quality improvement on it. Its like transferring a VHS tape to digital, you can sample it at HD or even 4K but original is less than SD so it can never be better than that unless you do processing on it.

You also need to take into account codecs and playback software and hardware that is doing DAC. You said Amazon was 96KHz, though Amazon say they are using either 44.1KHz or 192 KHz. And Amazon are stating that streaming Ultra HD is 12MB a minute streaming but downloaded is stored at 150MB for 3 1/2 minute so something screwy going on there. Its supposed to be lossless using FLAC which is still compressed but not no bits thrown away so download size and streamed size should be the same.

Anyway, lots of variables to take into account.
 

lgans316

Distinguished Member
Assessing audio quality is a tricky one.

Let's not forget some of the DVDs still have full bandwidth audio over neutered ones we see on Blu-ray and what was the DVD audio bit rate? 384 Kbps DD / 448 Kbps DD / 768 Kbps DTS / 1.5 Mbps DTS.

What's the max audio bit rate on streaming? Atmos - 768 Kbps, DD+ - 640 Kbps.

Codecs are being improvised continuously.
 

andy1249

Distinguished Member
I doubt if Amazon or any of the big streaming services are storing as mp3, no need to. For 50 million songs at roughly 150MB per song (that is for Ultra HD, HD is only 50MB per song) is only 7.5PB, a drop in a ocean for the hyper-scalers.
That being the case , then it should be trivial to add some trust in the form of release dates , master version year of release and catalog number to the metadata.
Then we could do some real comparisons.

If you buy a title , even a digital download , it has a release date and catalog number.
The fact that these are not available for comparison from streaming sites speaks volumes as to what may be happening in terms of manipulation of the data.

There have already been some major artists ( Neil Young ) objecting to the "versions" of their material on streaming sites , saying that what they are streaming is definitely NOT the masters that they recorded.
Rather its digitally manipulated ( Scaled ) versions of their songs that the streaming service have marketed as "masters".

 
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oneman

Well-known Member
That being the case , then it should be trivial to add some trust in the form of release dates , master version year of release and catalog number to the metadata.
Then we could do some real comparisons.
No idea, I am sure if you contact Amazon they will tell you. Though there are $13 a month vs $20 for tidal and I am sure the vast majority of listeners will be happy with the service. If there is one thing that Amazon does well and its knowing its target audience.

If are talking about absolute quality, I the amazon service is 35% cheaper so ultimately there probably is a difference.
 
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Richard Q3050i

Novice Member
Thanks for the replies everyone . Last week I splashed out and bought a blue sound node 2i streamer , chord interconnect cables, Tacima mains conditioner and the difference Is night and day. Steaming now sounds better than CDs. I’m not saying that will be the case for everyone , I’ve got no doubt physical discs are better than streaming. The weak link in my system is no longer the streamer, it’s my CD player. I’d highly recommend the node 2i and the tacima really improved detail for £40, an absolute bargain for the improvement
 

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