NEWS: Arrow launches UK subscription VOD service

carpman0401

Active Member
Interesting, could be a good option. I think choice is a good thing.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
I for one don't particularly welcome this. Not because I've anything against Arrow and I wish them all the best, but because it is an indication that physical media is on its way out. The introduction of such services simply serves to erode the rather tenuous grip disc based media still has.

Disc based physical media is still superior in quality to what you'd get via any streaming service, yet physical media is slowly being replaced with such services.
 
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moraghan

Active Member
I for one dopn't particularly welcome this. Not because I've anything against Arrow and I wish them all the best, but because it is an indication that physical media is on its way out. The introduction of such services simply serves to erode the rather tenuous grip disc based media still has.

Disc based physical media is still superior in quality to what you'd get via any streaming service, yet it is slowly being replaced with such services.

I think it's only a matter of time before streaming technology improves so much (more powerful players, faster internet speeds, superior compression algorithms etc) that the differences between that and physical media will be virtually eliminated. LBH probably about 1% of the general public could be bothered even looking for a difference, never mind spot or hear the difference even now.

Having said this, all hope is not lost ... just look at vinyl ... that is enjoying a mini boom.

Personally, I no longer purchase physical media. I simply buy from Apple .... in the hope that if we ever have a 'supposed' improved quality (Eg. 8K ... however unlikely) then I will get my existing stuff upgraded for nothing. Also, it's just so convenient that I can watch the stuff anywhere. I personally can live with the fact that I know its not the ultimate in quality ... its a tradeoff ... and I totally understand people who think otherwise.
 

Plektrum

Active Member
I for one don't particularly welcome this. Not because I've anything against Arrow and I wish them all the best, but because it is an indication that physical media is on its way out. The introduction of such services simply serves to erode the rather tenuous grip disc based media still has.

Disc based physical media is still superior in quality to what you'd get via any streaming service, yet physical media is slowly being replaced with such services.

I think some things are sadly inevitable - especially from a mass market perspective and the decline of physical media is one of those - for example Warner Bros and Universal formed a joint venture to handle physical distribution so the studios are likely to reduce resource as time goes on and they own/build platforms.

I think however it declines there will probably be a robust market for collectors/enthusiasts and those after the best AV quality...and thankfully that is where Arrow excels and prospers! I think this platform just enhances their brand for their customers who are likely to stream and continue to buy physical discs from them.
 

lgans316

Distinguished Member
No thanks to subscription based service. Will stick with iTunes or get the discs.
 

MagicHour

Standard Member
One of the biggest issues I have with these Boutique label Streaming sites, and this applies to Curzon, Mubi, BFI etc, is that they are targeted for the laptop user and not the Home Cinema lover with large screens and Surround sound amps.
In most cases the audio is dumb downed or down mixed, often to 2.0, and for the horror genre this can have a massive reduction in how the film is received and indeed perceived.
 

moraghan

Active Member
One of the biggest issues I have with these Boutique label Streaming sites, and this applies to Curzon, Mubi, BFI etc, is that they are targeted for the laptop user and not the Home Cinema lover with large screens and Surround sound amps.
In most cases the audio is dumb downed or down mixed, often to 2.0, and for the horror genre this can have a massive reduction in how the film is received and indeed perceived.

I had no idea that was the case. I assumed it would just be the best available on the device ... eg. 5.1 or Atmos If on say Apple TV and stereo if on laptop. That seriously sucks.
 

invisiblekid

Distinguished Member
One of the biggest issues I have with these Boutique label Streaming sites, and this applies to Curzon, Mubi, BFI etc, is that they are targeted for the laptop user and not the Home Cinema lover with large screens and Surround sound amps.
In most cases the audio is dumb downed or down mixed, often to 2.0, and for the horror genre this can have a massive reduction in how the film is received and indeed perceived.
Surely 99% of Arrow's horror collection is most likely original, which at best would be 2.0.

A fiver is a good price, and I'd very likely not buy/watch on disc most of what's on offer here so I'd be happy to watch a lot on here

However, there is no way I'm getting gyet another subscription service. Might dip in for a month, but that's it. Anything really good and I'm buying the disc, so longs as they are still released of course.
 

FevreDream

Well-known Member
I'm a big fan of Arrow's Blu-ray, and more recently UHD, releases so I'll give the free trial a go, but can't see me continuing after that.
 

darksideofthe

Active Member
Taken from the Arrow help page:

"By default, all videos on our site playback using a technology called adaptive streaming. This process breaks a video up into smaller chunks. Our player then delivers these segments sequentially in real-time.

We generate multiple playback versions, and the player will intelligently choose the highest quality possible based on your network connection, graphics processing ability, and player size. As long as the original source file and their viewing environment support it, videos can be viewed in resolutions up to 1080p. (We hope to be able to offer higher qualities such as 4K in the future.)

That said, we always encode at an above-average quality level, as we value quality video over anything else. Each playback resolution has its own cap in order to preserve smooth playback over the internet, and these caps correspond with our bandwidth requirements for each viewing quality. For instance, we cap 1080p video at 5 Mbps, which is significantly higher than other online video services.

For audio, we encode to two stereo channels, regardless of the channels on the original video file. We will always encode audio up to 256 Kbps, but if the internet connection does not need to use all the available bitrate, the player will provide as much as needed, given your setup."


Only Stereo and 256 Kbps. Isn't it 2021? :facepalm:
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
That is basically lower quality audio than you'd get via most if not all TV channels. The video quality isn't too good either and is again comparable to what you'd expect from HD TV channels.

You get 2 channel and 5.1 via HD TV at 384 kbps.
 

unground

Active Member
Would be interesting to know the business decisions behind the cap on video/audio bandwidth. If Arrow are targeting the same type of demographic as they are with their disc releases then I'd expect a lot of Arrow customers to have pretty speedy internet. And of course to be looking for high video and audio quality.

Presumably it costs more money to squirt more data and I guess Arrow probably doesn't have the buying power of bigger players (no idea how much this is a factor).

So are Arrow doing as much as they can while offering a profitable service? Or are they being needlessly stingy.

I've no idea how the economics and practicalities of streaming work. Perhaps an article?
 

Fake Shempz

Active Member
Strange decision from Arrow on this. Their customer base are likely to be a more discerning crowd who appreciate picture and audio quality - lets face it, this is why we buy their Blu-rays/UHDs...etc. So why would they only go with 1080p (capped bandwidth) and 2 channel stereo sound.
 

Plektrum

Active Member
Strange decision from Arrow on this. Their customer base are likely to be a more discerning crowd who appreciate picture and audio quality - lets face it, this is why we buy their Blu-rays/UHDs...etc. So why would they only go with 1080p (capped bandwidth) and 2 channel stereo sound.
A couple of titles on their Amazon and now defunct Apple Channels did have 4K (possibly an advantage of someone carrying the service for them) so I suspect right now, it's probably a trade off to get the platform going and reach scale. Also it may also stand to reason they may not have many 4K masters within their SVOD catalogue...
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
A couple of titles on their Amazon and now defunct Apple Channels did have 4K (possibly an advantage of someone carrying the service for them) so I suspect right now, it's probably a trade off to get the platform going and reach scale. Also it may also stand to reason they may not have many 4K masters within their SVOD catalogue...
\\

So why would this prevent them still streaming the 4K content at 4K? Doing so wouldn't prevent them also streaming lower resolution content alongside it.
 

Plektrum

Active Member
\\

So why would this prevent them still streaming the 4K content at 4K? Doing so wouldn't prevent them also streaming lower resolution content alongside it.
Your guess is as good as mine! I can only assume it’s strategic and/or maybe just to ensure overall consistency across the platform?
 

darksideofthe

Active Member
They say they're hoping to go 4K in the future, so if it's a good solid 1080p stream, then I could live with that (for a while). But the lack of 5.1 and only very compressed Stereo is really poor.
 

mitch

Distinguished Member
They say they're hoping to go 4K in the future, so if it's a good solid 1080p stream, then I could live with that (for a while). But the lack of 5.1 and only very compressed Stereo is really poor.
I tweeted them and they said it’s currently a technical limitation that they will be looking to sort out in the future.
 

darksideofthe

Active Member
Ah, nice one. They should add that info to the help page and make it clear they are working on better sound and picture for the future.
 

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