The Future of Home Video

Discuss North American DVDs and Blu-rays or other DVD and Blu-ray-related topics.
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tenia
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Re: The Future of Home Video

#251 Post by tenia » Tue Dec 29, 2015 5:13 pm

fdm wrote:I haven't paid a whole lot of attention, but my understanding is that compression has "improved" somewhat since original blu-ray days, so 4K blu-ray will not require correspondingly as much disc space as regular blu-ray does.

Bear in mind that everything that goes to disc is compressed in some manner, at least for the video portion. And similarly everything that goes over the wire will likely have some additional compression, so picture quality will usually suffer some when streamed rather than played from its corresponding disc equivalent.

(Not sure how clear that came out, but there you go, sans the math.)
Not only compression has improved but UHD BD will use the new H265 codec which is more efficient than the cureent H264 used for BD. This way, PQ can remain optimal even without having much larger files.

Not sure if Netflix is using that though.
However, I'm quite certain 25 Mbps is much more than what they're using for 1080p streaming anyway.

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Re: The Future of Home Video

#252 Post by calculus entrophy » Tue Dec 29, 2015 5:35 pm

Is there two standards for home video distribution? A blu ray (for a Criterion level transfer) requires at least 25 megabits per sec. If Netflix further alters the original 1080p master prior to the viewer receiving it (through whatever compression techniques), so that for the same movie master:

Blu-ray 1080p physical media quality > Netflix 1080p streaming quality?

My assumption then is they would follow suit for 4k. I can only judge by the end result, but the reason I went with a home solution was due to the quality degradation I saw in the presentation from Netflix 1080p content.

So, if further compression is applied in delivering 4k content, it strikes me as an issue where physical is superior?

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Re: The Future of Home Video

#253 Post by fdm » Wed Dec 30, 2015 3:40 am

tenia wrote: Not only compression has improved but UHD BD will use the new H265 codec which is more efficient than the cureent H264 used for BD. This way, PQ can remain optimal even without having much larger files.

Not sure if Netflix is using that though.
However, I'm quite certain 25 Mbps is much more than what they're using for 1080p streaming anyway.
compression, codec, that's what I was aiming at...

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Re: The Future of Home Video

#254 Post by Trees » Wed Dec 30, 2015 4:11 am

There are basically three bitrate types, one for physical/optical/drive-based media (think blu-ray at 20-40mb for 1080p), another for downloads (think torrent rips and iTunes at 7-15mb for 1080p) and then another for streaming (think Amazon Prime and Netlflix 5-10mb). Streaming is always going to be more compressed with a lower bitrate. File-based downloads, however, can be done at the downloader's leisure and therefore allow for higher bitrates (larger file sizes). Physical media allows for even larger file sizes still. Red camera company demonstrated a 10mb wavelet-compressed 4K stream a couple years ago, which came as a surprise to many, as 10mb is generally associated with 1080p streams and downloads, which are only 1/4 the data of 4K streams. Netflix's current 4K stream is around 15mb, I think, but advances in compression might get that 4K stream number down to 10mb in the not-too-distant future (per Red's tests).

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Re: The Future of Home Video

#255 Post by MichaelB » Wed Dec 30, 2015 6:34 am

An iTunes 1080p download looks appreciably worse than the equivalent on a dual-layer BD, especially if the original master has been conscientious about preserving the original grain structure. Which is exactly what you'd expect given that the former is a fraction of the size of the latter.

And given that you need an enormous screen to derive a noticeable benefit from 4K, is there any real point if the file is going to be compromised through far greater compression than it would get on physical media?

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The Future of Home Video

#256 Post by TMDaines » Wed Dec 30, 2015 8:25 am

The encoding on sites like iTunes is pretty shit on the whole though and shouldn't be seen a representative as what you can do with a specific bitrate/filesize. The quality that some encoders on private sites can squeeze into a compressed rip a fifth the size of the original is pretty staggering. As much as I love having a library of discs, I'd rather have all my barebone discs ripped or the content downloaded into Plex/Kodi.

Trees' description of "three bitrate types" is a bit heavy handed. You can perfectly stream video of the bitrate of uncompressed Blu-rays, but no legal sites offer it as the vast majority of people are unable to discern quality video at all. Why bother?

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Re: The Future of Home Video

#257 Post by Trees » Wed Dec 30, 2015 9:03 am

I didn't mean to oversimplify things or be too heavy handed, I was just trying to present a general overview of physical media vs downloads vs streaming. If anyone is curious about specific bitrates for specific platforms like Netflix or iTunes or Blu-ray, those bitrates are easy to google. As TMDaines points out, some of the private encoders (who tend to be bit-torrent rippers) have achieved very impressive results using extreme compression ratios. It's a bit of an art form to them. As time goes on, compression always gets better and better. I would not be surprised to see beautiful 4K video rendered from 10mb bitrates in the next 5 years or so, for example. Major corporations like Google are busy working on video compression algorithms. If you are willing to deal with 30mb - 50mb, beautiful 4K is already achievable.

MichaelB, the question of whether 4K is "worth it" has been debated at length across the internet for years. I would not want to open up such a can of worms here. My own personal opinion is that 4K is coming and will be the gold standard for feature-film consumption for the next decade or so at least. Some older films will never truly be native at 4K, but films that have been preserved carefully or that have been shot in the last 30 or 40 years can indeed often be restored to 4K. Also, films shot on larger formats like 65mm (Lawrence of Arabia) or anamorphic 35mm (The Thin Red Line) will certainly benefit from 4K display. In terms of screen size, you are correct that under typical viewing conditions (a couch and a TV on a wall), the display will need to be very large to really discern the difference between 1080p and 4K. However, 4K monitors on computers are fast becoming popular, including on laptops. Even the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium phone has a 4K screen. Many PC games are played in 4K now. Also, TVs are generally getting larger and larger, so at some point, all of this is going to converge. If you have ever had a chance to see 4K content on a 30-inch computer monitor, for example, it's breathtaking.

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Re: The Future of Home Video

#258 Post by MichaelB » Wed Dec 30, 2015 11:23 am

I'm afraid you completely missed the point that I was making. I'm fully aware of the differences between 1080p, 2K and 4K, and indeed between multiple gauges of film formats, but I was specifically asking whether it was worth watching a 4K video stream that had been compressed to the extent that you suggest is acceptable - given that, as TMDaines has just pointed out, iTunes 1080p downloads look pretty crappy even on a comparatively small HD monitor, at least compared with their BD counterparts.

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Re: The Future of Home Video

#259 Post by Trees » Wed Dec 30, 2015 11:45 am

It just depends. That's maybe more of a personal taste issue. As we've been discussing, I have seen iTunes 1080p movies that look horrible but seen 1080p bit torrents that look dazzling at lower bitrates than iTunes was using. It's just that the compression was done more expertly. It can also depend on the content. A Ghibli anime movie, for example, will look great even with higher compression. A darkly lit live-action movie, on the other hand, will get macro-blocking in the blacks at high compression ratios. It's the same with 1080p. I would think that for the next couple years, 4K downloads or physical media would be much better than 4K streams, until there is a significant gain in compression efficiency or a significant gain in internet speeds (I.E., Google Fiber comes to your neighborhood).

Right now what I think a lot of streaming companies are doing is using, say, 7mb for 1080, but only 15mb for 4K, when mathematically, they should be using 7mb x 4 = 28mb for 4K, since it is 4x the data. They cheat like this on 4K because the average home ISP user may struggle at 28mb.

Still, having said that, I have a 4K monitor here and almost always choose the 4K quality option if it's available on Youtube or Vimeo.

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Re: The Future of Home Video

#260 Post by calculus entrophy » Wed Dec 30, 2015 1:52 pm

Trees wrote:It just depends. That's maybe more of a personal taste issue.
Not to argue with the viewer perspective, but from a truth in advertising perspective, is this false? If a product costs more due to its resolution, does there need to be a different name or standard once Netflix (similar to a torrent) takes the content and then alters it?

When so much effort is put into the transfer and encoding when it comes to high resolution formats, why then do people skimp on the delivery without hesitation?

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Re: The Future of Home Video

#261 Post by swo17 » Wed Dec 30, 2015 1:58 pm

Resolution (immutable) and bitrate (qualitative) are two different things. Is it false advertising for both McDonalds and Five Guys to call what they sell a hamburger?

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Re: The Future of Home Video

#262 Post by Trees » Wed Dec 30, 2015 2:14 pm

It's just buyer beware, I guess. calculus, your question could also apply for existing 1080p streaming and download platforms. You guys are making an interesting point, though. With MP3 music, for example, the quality is rated by bitrate. 192kbps is considered decent quality, while 320kpbs is much higher quality. A better way of judging video should be both resolution and bitrate. Right now, resolution is advertised, but often bitrate is hidden behind a curtain.

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Re: The Future of Home Video

#263 Post by calculus entrophy » Wed Dec 30, 2015 2:51 pm

swo17 wrote:Resolution (immutable) and bitrate (qualitative) are two different things. Is it false advertising for both McDonalds and Five Guys to call what they sell a hamburger?
They certainly are, but in regards to your analogy, it would be more appropriate to focus in on the comment I made about higher res content costing more. So, this would not be hamburgers to hamburgers, it would more likely be a basic hamburger vs. some kind of deluxe or other add on.

It might just be better to stay away from analogies and stay with the specific topic of charging for 1080p or 4k when the compression/bit rate just brings it back down to a lower quality level.....

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Re: The Future of Home Video

#264 Post by MichaelB » Wed Dec 30, 2015 3:41 pm

calculus entrophy wrote:It might just be better to stay away from analogies and stay with the specific topic of charging for 1080p or 4k when the compression/bit rate just brings it back down to a lower quality level.....
I've said this elsewhere (possibly in this thread), but I genuinely think that an SD Digibeta projection makes for a more satisfying cinema-sized experience than a Blu-ray projection. Because for me, visibly poor compression comprehensively undermines the advantages of a higher resolution, and I've been quite startled by how comparatively poor Blu-ray looks when projected in a cinema given how great it looks on my home setup.

A 1080p BD and a 2K DCP are more or less the same resolution, but the DCP's vastly bigger filesize and consequently much higher bitrate makes a pretty whopping difference. And it's this (extensively practical and first-hand) experience that makes me very suspicious indeed of claims that 4K will still look great even at a filesize lower than that of a well-encoded Blu-ray, for all the improvements between the H264 and H265 codecs.

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Re: The Future of Home Video

#265 Post by Ribs » Wed Jan 06, 2016 12:59 pm

Word coming in from several sources that the UHD format will not feature region coding. Surely a sign of the dwindling market yet simultaneously absolutely amazing news.

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Re: The Future of Home Video

#266 Post by perkizitore » Wed Jan 06, 2016 1:30 pm

What about region-locked blu-rays, is there a chance that UHD players will be able to switch blu-ray regions? It will be increasingly hard to find region free players in the future, our best bet will be to find a blu-ray player and apply a hardware mod.

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Re: The Future of Home Video

#267 Post by Ribs » Wed Jan 06, 2016 1:54 pm

It appears that will not be the case, they'll still be mostly locked for DVD and BD.

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Re: The Future of Home Video

#268 Post by TMDaines » Wed Jan 06, 2016 1:56 pm

perkizitore wrote:What about region-locked blu-rays, is there a chance that UHD players will be able to switch blu-ray regions? It will be increasingly hard to find region free players in the future, our best bet will be to find a blu-ray player and apply a hardware mod.
Or just any old Blu-ray drive and a PC.

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Re: The Future of Home Video

#269 Post by perkizitore » Wed Jan 06, 2016 2:09 pm

Yeah, an HTPC is definitely the way to go.

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The Future of Home Video

#270 Post by TMDaines » Wed Jan 06, 2016 3:20 pm

I would never be without one for my main setup now. Once you live with the benefits (and work around the odd drawback) it's difficult to go back. As much as I love shopping for films, discovering what's upcoming and buying new releases, the DVD and Blu-ray formats are really quite clumsy. They were/are a revelation over VHS but are such utterly shitty restrictive formats in all honesty. You compare it it to an MKV file, for instance, and it's embarrassing.

Saying all that, I suspect I'm in the distinct minority of HTPC owners who are Blu-ray enabled or consider it to be a core feature of having one.

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Re: The Future of Home Video

#271 Post by calculus entrophy » Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:35 pm

HTPC also altered my movie watching habits. Call me weird, but I like to go QUICKLY from about 30 minutes of one movie, to a scene from another genre, followed by the intro/first scene from a totally different era. Usually there is some link like the director/setting/actor, but sometimes I just need a change up.

And also, I always wanted to re-watch certain parts of films to concentrate on them fully because I couldn't (or didn't) fully appreciate them when viewing them within the context of 2 straight hours of a film.

The HTPC has made that much more easy than using physical media, and I couldn't go back now to ONLY watching films from beginning to end.

Plus I seem to break/scratch/chip everything I own anyways.

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Re: The Future of Home Video

#272 Post by Zot! » Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:48 pm

calculus entrophy wrote:HTPC also altered my movie watching habits. Call me weird, but I like to go QUICKLY from about 30 minutes of one movie, to a scene from another genre, followed by the intro/first scene from a totally different era. Usually there is some link like the director/setting/actor, but sometimes I just need a change up.

And also, I always wanted to re-watch certain parts of films to concentrate on them fully because I couldn't (or didn't) fully appreciate them when viewing them within the context of 2 straight hours of a film.

The HTPC has made that much more easy than using physical media, and I couldn't go back now to ONLY watching films from beginning to end.

Plus I seem to break/scratch/chip everything I own anyways.
Woah dude, slow down man. You're ADHDing all over your HTPC.

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Re: The Future of Home Video

#273 Post by TMDaines » Wed Jan 06, 2016 7:03 pm

With great power comes great responsibility: just because you can rapidly flick from one movie to another doesn't mean you should.

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Re: The Future of Home Video

#274 Post by Gregory » Wed Jan 06, 2016 7:24 pm

Yeah, why should you when you could watch them all simultaneously?

"I can't stand what's happening to you, whatever it is!"

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Re: The Future of Home Video

#275 Post by calculus entrophy » Wed Jan 06, 2016 7:50 pm

TMI?

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