How do the Streaming services compare with UHD Bluray


Active Member
Started to buy more itunes since Atmos and 4k, but how does this compare to UHD Bluray? Are the Bit rates comparable or could they be in the near future. Basically for best should I always buy the UHD bluray?

If you give UHD Bluray 100, what would Video be and what would Audio be on the various platforms, ie itunes, Amazon, Netflix, SkyQ and reasons.



Well-known Member
I think you’ve probably opened up a can of worms here! The biggest mistake I think the naysayers make (in my opinion) is to lump all the streaming together as if the quality is all the same. I’ve bought the odd film on Rakuten and Google Play which are HD but clearly don’t look anything like as good as an HD Blu-Ray, but in my opinion, the best steaming providers provide superb picture quality, and now atmos is on Apple TV and Netflix there isn’t much gap in sound quality on certain titles. However, DTS-HD / TrueHD on BR / UHD is certainly superior to the standard DD5.1 on a lot of streamed films.

My Apple TV movies in 1080p look great, 4K stuff like Ready Player One looks (and sounds) amazing even on my 90” projection screen and many titles are in Dolby Vision which the UHDs aren’t (and to be fair my PJ can’t do).

To be fair UHD is the best, and I wouldn’t trade it for my favourites, nor indeed would I pick a streamed film if it cost anywhere near as much as the disc and it didn’t have any extras (which is why I still buy a lot of Blu-rays - look at the amazing release of The Changeling this week for example), but IMO the price difference for many titles is a big factor when the extras are available on both.

PS in terms of a % it varies hugely - I wouldn’t have thought my ATV 4K stream of Ready Player One was anything but a great UHD, while my 4K version of A Quiet Place sounded great with atmos but the image seemed slightly soft, whereas the BR and UHD versions got great reviews for picture quality. So I think it depends! But I do think you would have to be incredibly picky not to be happy with Apple TV 4K stuff, for both sound (now atmos is present) and picture. Once people start to complain about the atmos being compressed on streaming I think you’re into an additional layer of nitpicking that I can’t believe anyone would notice when actually sitting down to watch a film - the Ready Player One race sequence sounds stunning in atmos on the ATV.

Edit - update - I watched parts of Avengers Infinity War (HD, iTunes) and it looked good but not quite Blu-ray level due to being a little bit soft. However this was on the projection screen and I doubt it would look anything but great on a TV. But I think for a real competitor to BR/UHD in terms of picture you need to be viewing the 4K files on Apple TV rather than HD. Wouldn’t stop me buying any HD films at a cheaper price though, I only noticed probably because it’s a film I really wanted to watch on the projector.

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Does Apple TV let you keep the films?

I've tried subscriptions from Netflix, Amazon Prime and Now TV, and they all have their limitations. The first two have very poor choice of films, Now TV has great choice but is only 720p and stereo.

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