• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

4K HDR BluRay V Streaming

Peluvius

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 5, 2021
Messages
498
Likes
489
I have been reading through a few threads recently but cannot find any thread specifically comparing the difference between 4k HDR local BluRay playback against the commonly available streaming services. I am still buying BluRay disks because I notice a big difference in picture quality in particular and still a difference in most audio soundtracks (for movies made or re-mastered in the last 10 years or so).

I listen to Tidal and find it is the same to me as CD playback. I notice the difference between the master and standard HiFi streaming for some music (not all). Why can't the video streaming services deliver audio with the same quality as tidal in multichannel? Or do they and I am just imagining things?

I understand BluRay will deliver a 128Mbps stream to your media system (combined image and audio), Netflix around 17Mbps and Apple 40Mbps. So clearly there is a difference in the quantity of data being used to reproduce. I understand the audio delivery for streaming services is compressed as opposed to the HD master uncompressed audio delivery from dedicated players.

Netflix make the following claim in literature:
  • 5.1: From 192 kbps (good) up to 640 kbps (great/perceptually transparent)
  • Dolby Atmos: From 448 kbps up to 768 kbps (Dolby Atmos is available for members subscribed to the Premium plan)

My wife gets angry with me for still buying disks but I do intend to continue with this for as long as I notice a difference in the quality of replay. What are the facts here?

Do most of us here still buy disks or is streaming close enough in quality terms to make that a waste of money?
 
Last edited:

twsecrest

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Nov 27, 2018
Messages
687
Likes
223
Location
California
I'm going to guess that if streaming services offered the same video/audio quality as Blu-ray, people would stop buying Blu-ray.
And the studios want to sell as many Blu-ray disks as possible.

And if I was running a streaming service (movies or music or other), I would not want to use a bigger file than I needed to.
The smaller the file size (movie or music), the less storage space (hard drives) streaming service needs, the less electricity the streaming service needs to pay for.
Companies like Netflix have to pay companies like ATT to have a big connection (lots and lots of bandwidth) to the Internet.
So if Netflix up the file sizes, it might have to pay for a bigger connection to the Internet and having to pay more for it.

Music files are way way smaller than movie files, so streaming music services to not incur much, if any increase in costs, for offering HD-music.
 

NewbieAudiophileExpert

Active Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2022
Messages
279
Likes
99
A good 1080p Blu-Ray is miles better than a 1080p stream - especially in the context of audio.

A great 1080p Blu-Ray is basically like a mediocre 4K UHD steam, except with perfect audio.

A 4K UHD is flat out better than netflix, it has to be, based on physics - the thing is though, that some streams, especially AppleTV are really good on their own.

Comparing Tidal to CD is kinda stupid, since no one can tell the difference between CD quality and 'hi-res', but you can defs tell the difference between CD quality and a low bitrate stream, such as spotify's data-conscious options.

Perhaps we can say that netflix is like spotify and Tidal or better yet, Apple music's lossless and high-res library is like Kaleidoscope for movies.

For example, when I download 'The Eagles' Hotel California on apple music, it's like 300MBs, where as the MP3 would have been like 7.5 mbs.
 

RadioBuddha

Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2021
Messages
75
Likes
17
I have been reading through a few threads recently but cannot find any thread specifically comparing the difference between 4k HDR local BluRay playback against the commonly available streaming services. I am still buying BluRay disks because I notice a big difference in picture quality in particular and still a difference in most audio soundtracks (for movies made or re-mastered in the last 10 years or so).

I listen to Tidal and find it is the same to me as CD playback. I notice the difference between the master and standard HiFi streaming for some music (not all). Why can't the video streaming services deliver audio with the same quality as tidal in multichannel? Or do they and I am just imagining things?

I understand BluRay will deliver a 128Mbps stream to your media system (combined image and audio), Netflix around 17Mbps and Apple 40Mbps. So clearly there is a difference in the quantity of data being used to reproduce. I understand the audio delivery for streaming services is compressed as opposed to the HD master uncompressed audio delivery from dedicated players.

Netflix make the following claim in literature:
  • 5.1: From 192 kbps (good) up to 640 kbps (great/perceptually transparent)
  • Dolby Atmos: From 448 kbps up to 768 kbps (Dolby Atmos is available for members subscribed to the Premium plan)

My wife gets angry with me for still buying disks but I do intend to continue with this for as long as I notice a difference in the quality of replay. What are the facts here?

Do most of us here still buy disks or is streaming close enough in quality terms to make that a waste of money?

Full screen fast forward is superior for me as well, I can't be bothered with HBO Max or Netflix on my regular TV because the small thumbnail fast forward preview box is conducive to accurate fast forwarding, I will sometimes watch Netflix/HBO Max on my Macbook Pro, but that is it, I know that some streaming devices utlize different fast forward techniques, if I could find a blu-ray player or Roku like device that had a larger fast forward thumbnail or full screen fast forwarding like a DVR on Directv, I would use the services more.
 

GXAlan

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 15, 2020
Messages
1,369
Likes
2,169
Depends what you are watching. No doubt the UHD Blu Rays are better but great stream is still enjoyable. The question is if you think you are going to watch something twice or if the first time experience is worth the price of buying and selling the disc when done. Or if you want to support the artists.
 
OP
Peluvius

Peluvius

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 5, 2021
Messages
498
Likes
489
I'm going to guess that if streaming services offered the same video/audio quality as Blu-ray, people would stop buying Blu-ray.
And the studios want to sell as many Blu-ray disks as possible.

They still sell Vinyl & CDs and there are a range of streaming quality options available. Commercial viability relates more closely to the value proposition to the individual. No one in my family or event my immediate circle of friends gives half a toss about video or audio quality so they buy media based on price, convenience, availability.....
Comparing Tidal to CD is kinda stupid, since no one can tell the difference between CD quality and 'hi-res', but you can defs tell the difference between CD quality and a low bitrate stream, such as spotify's data-conscious options.

My point in relation to Tidal was a question. Why can't / don't the streaming services use a system like that to deliver a lossless sound track? The answer should be obvious to anyone who has any appreciation for compression/streaming/codecs etc....that information has a half-life of 6 months these days....

My guess is it is driven by the value proposition again, more data, more bandwidth = more costs that the majority won't pay for.

A few years ago now I was involved in a start-up that had developed a technology to distribute movie masters to cinemas via satellite using a store-forward system. Not streaming this was file transfer however part of the value proposition was the delivery of the material in a suitable quality. There was a lot of interest until they were told the price.

Full screen fast forward is superior for me as well, I can't be bothered with HBO Max or Netflix on my regular TV because the small thumbnail fast forward preview box is conducive to accurate fast forwarding, I will sometimes watch Netflix/HBO Max on my Macbook Pro, but that is it, I know that some streaming devices utlize different fast forward techniques, if I could find a blu-ray player or Roku like device that had a larger fast forward thumbnail or full screen fast forwarding like a DVR on Directv, I would use the services more.

The fast forward and rewind functions on almost all of my streaming services are absolutely broken....I can relate to your experience. Each service seems to be a uniquely difference combination of multiple long and slow button presses...
 
OP
Peluvius

Peluvius

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 5, 2021
Messages
498
Likes
489
Depends what you are watching. No doubt the UHD Blu Rays are better but great stream is still enjoyable. The question is if you think you are going to watch something twice or if the first time experience is worth the price of buying and selling the disc when done. Or if you want to support the artists.

For me I am more than happy to pay for a BluRay HDR disk (unless it is a stupid price, they vary). I equate it to the cost of a movie ticket. Where I am a seat at a movie will set you back $20. Me and the missus, $40. Most of the disks I buy these days are between $20 and $30. I like the Snacks better at home too, as well as the sound :cool: parking is easier....
 

dadregga

Active Member
Joined
May 27, 2021
Messages
140
Likes
294
I (locally) stream 4K UHD rips via Plex, which to me is the best of both worlds.

I want a physical copy of every movie I love, and I want to put that copy on my LAN for easy family access.

That gives me a personal streaming service I have total control over, and I never have to worry about losing anything to content deals expiring, mergers, etc.
 
OP
Peluvius

Peluvius

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 5, 2021
Messages
498
Likes
489
I (locally) stream 4K UHD rips via Plex, which to me is the best of both worlds.

I want a physical copy of every movie I love, and I want to put that copy on my LAN for easy family access.

That gives me a personal streaming service I have total control over, and I never have to worry about losing anything to content deals expiring, mergers, etc.

I cant find any stats on the Plex website, do you have any data in terms of streaming rates or filesize? The only vague reference to us was this:

1663368877281.png


How big is an HDR movie with a 9.1 HD soundtrack?

I can usually see a nod to audio quality on most of the streaming marketing content but it is vague and not possible to determine if it is relevant or not.
 

NewbieAudiophileExpert

Active Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2022
Messages
279
Likes
99
They still sell Vinyl & CDs and there are a range of streaming quality options available. Commercial viability relates more closely to the value proposition to the individual. No one in my family or event my immediate circle of friends gives half a toss about video or audio quality so they buy media based on price, convenience, availability.....


My point in relation to Tidal was a question. Why can't / don't the streaming services use a system like that to deliver a lossless sound track? The answer should be obvious to anyone who has any appreciation for compression/streaming/codecs etc....that information has a half-life of 6 months these days....

My guess is it is driven by the value proposition again, more data, more bandwidth = more costs that the majority won't pay for.

A few years ago now I was involved in a start-up that had developed a technology to distribute movie masters to cinemas via satellite using a store-forward system. Not streaming this was file transfer however part of the value proposition was the delivery of the material in a suitable quality. There was a lot of interest until they were told the price.



The fast forward and rewind functions on almost all of my streaming services are absolutely broken....I can relate to your experience. Each service seems to be a uniquely difference combination of multiple long and slow button presses...
I think it's mostly just because most people don't care about the quality of audio as their Samsung A950A 16.1 channel soundbar thuds away.

For those of us who have an AVR + 'audiophile' speakers, we don't mind spending a bit more on a 4K UHD or Blu-Ray player and $10-20 dollars on a movie.
For me I am more than happy to pay for a BluRay HDR disk (unless it is a stupid price, they vary). I equate it to the cost of a movie ticket. Where I am a seat at a movie will set you back $20. Me and the missus, $40. Most of the disks I buy these days are between $20 and $30. I like the Snacks better at home too, as well as the sound :cool: parking is easier....
Yeah, that's how I see it, as well - it's not like Kaleidoscope isn't as good as the physical copy, it's just that it's so expensive.
 

JeffS7444

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 21, 2019
Messages
1,967
Likes
2,879
I reduced my movie-buying by 90%+ once I realized that I was accumulating a lot of stuff which I never watched more than once, nor did I really care to, regardless of how good the sound and picture. These days I mostly concentrate on titles not regularly available in my area via cinema or streaming. Which is why I got "Thermae Romae" in my collection:
But I bought the DVD, not B-D, because I suspected that I wasn't going to like it enough to spend 80+ USD for the B-D!
 
Last edited:
OP
Peluvius

Peluvius

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 5, 2021
Messages
498
Likes
489
I reduced my movie-buying by 90%+ once I realized that I was accumulating a lot of stuff which I never watched more than once, nor did I really care to, regardless of how good the sound and picture. These days I mostly concentrate on titles not regularly available in my area via cinema or streaming. Which is why I got "Thermae Romae" in my collection:

But I bought the DVD, not B-D, because I suspected that I wasn't going to like it enough to spend 80+ USD for the B-D!

I slowed down buying disks when the streaming stuff became popular. Went for a few years just using those but then realised what I was missing and started buying them again, first BluRay and now 4k HDR stuff. I figure why go to town on your gear and then compromise on the source.

I don't buy standard BR or DVDs any more, half my garage is filled with the bloody things....
 

dadregga

Active Member
Joined
May 27, 2021
Messages
140
Likes
294
I cant find any stats on the Plex website, do you have any data in terms of streaming rates or filesize? The only vague reference to us was this:

View attachment 231352

How big is an HDR movie with a 9.1 HD soundtrack?

I can usually see a nod to audio quality on most of the streaming marketing content but it is vague and not possible to determine if it is relevant or not.
You put the video files on a hard drive in your house and use Plex to stream them to your devices. It will stream the original file without re-encoding or compressing it if it can, or re-encode if, say, your phone or set-top box can't handle a particular codec.
 

Human Bass

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2018
Messages
473
Likes
495
It's all about bandwidth. Stream services will compress the video and audio enough to still look good for the average viewer but clearly inferior to a blu-ray version.
 

RadioBuddha

Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2021
Messages
75
Likes
17
It's all about bandwidth. Stream services will compress the video and audio enough to still look good for the average viewer but clearly inferior to a blu-ray version.

Is that why they don't or maybe can't offer full screen fast forward?
 
OP
Peluvius

Peluvius

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 5, 2021
Messages
498
Likes
489
You put the video files on a hard drive in your house and use Plex to stream them to your devices. It will stream the original file without re-encoding or compressing it if it can, or re-encode if, say, your phone or set-top box can't handle a particular codec.

I am in Australia, there does not seem to be that service available here. How big a file is a 4k HDR movie? The last time I digitised an uncompressed 4k HDR movie it was 40 gig.
 

NewbieAudiophileExpert

Active Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2022
Messages
279
Likes
99
I am in Australia, there does not seem to be that service available here. How big a file is a 4k HDR movie? The last time I digitised an uncompressed 4k HDR movie it was 40 gig.
Mate, i think he is referring to ripping Blu-Rays and 4K UHDs and storing them on hard drivers, either on your computer or Network Attached Storage dedicated PC, then accessing these via your TV or BD-player's LAN storage menu - or you can use a Raspberry Pi with Kodi or something installed.

And yes, you're right - Blu rays and 4K UHDs are usually 30-100 Gigabytes large - so you'd need your NAS or PC to have very large hard drives storage capacity (16-18 terabytes).

So I thought it was easier to just have a shelf with blu rays on it lol - although creating a digital library is not out of the picture.
 
OP
Peluvius

Peluvius

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 5, 2021
Messages
498
Likes
489
Mate, i think he is referring to ripping Blu-Rays and 4K UHDs and storing them on hard drivers, either on your computer or Network Attached Storage dedicated PC, then accessing these via your TV or BD-player's LAN storage menu - or you can use a Raspberry Pi with Kodi or something installed.

And yes, you're right - Blu rays and 4K UHDs are usually 30-100 Gigabytes large - so you'd need your NAS or PC to have very large hard drives storage capacity (16-18 terabytes).

So I thought it was easier to just have a shelf with blu rays on it lol - although creating a digital library is not out of the picture.

:facepalm: OK, got than now. I assumed Plex was a streaming service but yes, I just didn't read it properly.
 

JeffS7444

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 21, 2019
Messages
1,967
Likes
2,879
Luckily, I got the Harry Potter 8-movie UHD collection at a good price, because talk about underwhelming. I think the UHD movie Atmos soundtracks are a bit better at not sounding like multiple mono channels, but picture-wise, until the last 2-3 movies, the transfers scarcely look 2K, let alone 4K HDR.

Some of the best-looking and sounding content that I've experienced to date has come from Apple's TV+
 
Top Bottom