Do you still buy physical media?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by entropyfl, Nov 1, 2018.

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Do you still buy physical media? (DVD/BR)

  1. YES

    151 vote(s)
    55.7%
  2. NO

    92 vote(s)
    33.9%
  3. STREAMING ONLY (Netflix/Prime etc)

    28 vote(s)
    10.3%
  1. priitv8 macrumors 68040

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    Estonia
    #251
    May I ask : what's so special about LP's then? They take up even more space than any 12cm optical disc.
     
  2. fluamsler macrumors member

    fluamsler

    Joined:
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    Location:
    near Basel, Switzerland
    #252
    Sure you may ask! :)
    I prefer LP's because of it's better dynamic range (here are some examples). You can't record a LP with the same loudness as a digital media. The record studio have to use a different mastering setup for the LP's which shows how bad the digital copies are sometimes. Some labels like MFSL are specialized on remastering music for LP's (but these are pretty pricey).
    Even after decades most of my LP's are in a very good condition (I own many used LP's from the late 70ies or early 80ies). There are many examples of (often early) CD which have destroyed themself and are unplayable. And better a LP that scratches while playing than a CD that "jumps." ;)

    Optical media had their right to exist in the 80ies up to the 2010s but today optical medias are dead for me. Vinyl is a niche but they are still requested: https://www.statista.com/statistics/694926/vinyl-album-sales-genre/

    It depends. You can compress the LP covers a bit while this is not possible with plastic CD covers.
    But I agree: for average music listeners LP's are not necessary. But to put a record to the turntable is something different than just tapping on the "Shuffle" button on a Spotify playlist.
     
  3. priitv8 macrumors 68040

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    Estonia
    #253
    I will need to wrap my head around the numbers in that table. What strikes me most is that according to that table, vinyl record is supposed to surpass even SACD in DR.
    How can this be? Noise floor of a vinyl recording is higher than CD, let alone SACD/Hi-Res.
    Maximum amplitude of vinyl groove has mechanical limits.
    So I need to understand what exactly does this DR figure quantify and how can it be explained.
    If the information is available on that site, you can just provide me with a link.

    PS What also bothers me with vinyl is the extremely low channel separation (compared to digital media).

    EDIT: Seems I should start reading here: https://wiki.hydrogenaud.io/index.php?title=Myths_(Vinyl)#Effect_of_vinyl_mastering_on_dynamic_range
     
  4. BODYBUILDERPAUL macrumors 65816

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    #254
    I have DJ friends that combine iTunes with vinyl! Technics 1200G turntables with a DJ Serato special disc. MacBook Pro is connected to the Technics turntable and the iTunes files 'appear' on the vinyl as such. How incredible is that. So it still gives a 100% vinyl feel experience. My friends are OBSESSED with their Technics 1200Gs and Pioneer DJM mixers :) :) :)
     
  5. priitv8 macrumors 68040

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    #255
    It is definitely a legend. I have the home-user version of that player - SL-1600MK2 - bought for nothing as "broken" on eBay.
     
  6. BODYBUILDERPAUL macrumors 65816

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    #256
    Fantastic! These Technics last for 20 years+ just incredible engineering!
     
  7. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

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    #257
    If an LP has greater dynamic range than its CD version then it's because it was poorly mastered or burned from a low-DR source.

    This is completely contrary to my experience. Most of my LPs have scratching and popping, and often did so soon after the first few plays. Over time, the grooves wear down and it just gets worse. On the other hand, I still have my very first CD - Dave Grusin's Glenn Miller Orchestra: In the Digital Mood from the early 1980s (DDD). Fantastic DR and sound quality.
     
  8. Ploki macrumors 68040

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    Jan 21, 2008
    #258
    CDs are pointless anyway, absolutely no benefits over files.

    As far as LP goes:
    i don't have an expensive player and it doesn't scratch/pop much, or on new presses, at all.

    LPs generally have greater dynamic range because they have different masters, on proper releases anyway. That's of course purely engineer's choice, but it's industry practice.
    You could have more dynamic range in high quality downloads or CDs with no issues...
     
  9. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    #259
    Sure, if you can buy lossless audio files (e.g., Apple). But that will be the same as the file on the CD. But that's a different argument than CD vs. LP.

    Play an album 50 times and report back to us. The stylus wears the plastic down. Can't get over the physics of that.

    Again, contrary to my experience. I have a number of LPs and of those I truly enjoy, I bought the CDs to replace them. There is no comparison in sound quality, including dynamic range. For example, with Pink Floyd's High Hopes (The Division Bell) you have to really focus to hear the French horns. But on the CD they're perfectly easy to hear. Moreover, pass the digital signal through a modern sound processor (e.g., DTS:X) and you get a fuller audio experience. Granted, you can pass LP audio through the same processor but you then need a turntable with a A to D converter.
    Never said you couldn't.
     
  10. Ploki macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    #260
    Wearing down the vinyl doesn't cause pops and scratches tho, at worst it causes gradual high-frequency content loss.

    What you are describing about french horns could be caused by plenty of factors; dynamic range arguably being the least of it. (less harmonics present due to high-frequency roll off of the vinyl, channel crosstalk causing phase cancellation, etc)

    I'm not a fan of passing music through processors; it usually just ruins it in one way or another.

    But then again, when i want a blast of an experience i listen to it in my studio. :)
     
  11. fluamsler macrumors member

    fluamsler

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2016
    Location:
    near Basel, Switzerland
    #261
    Yep. But CD's can swallow even a terrible dynamic range. If you would master a LP too loud the needle jumps out of the groove because of too high deflection (even if the tracking force is set up correctly). ;)
    Here are some examples of too loud recorded Albums (in german). http://befootec.de/loudness-war-wie...lauter-werden-und-deshalb-schlechter-klingen/

    I think it depends on how careful you handle the LPs, how often you play them, how good your tonearm is adjusted and the quality of the needle. But I completely agree: a bad tonearm setup can wreck your LP's pretty quickly.
     
  12. BODYBUILDERPAUL macrumors 65816

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    Feb 9, 2009
    #262
    Whilst I love my iTunes and iPhone for my music and film, I respect 100% the vinyl fans and truly appreciate what they love about it. The artwork can be tremendous and I grew up with it!
    And I LOVE IT whenever I am in the world, when I walk into a cool bar with friends and see the DJ spinning vinyl on the Technics ESPECIALLY if it's 70s FUNK or old skool breakdance hip hop or jazz :) It really adds to the atmosphere, vibe! (On the other hand, I've seen people DJ off laptops and that truly horrifies me!!!)
     
  13. priitv8 macrumors 68040

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    Estonia
    #263
    AFAIK Apple does not sell lossless music. iTunes offers DRM-free AAC at 256kbps.
     
  14. MagnusVonMagnum macrumors 603

    MagnusVonMagnum

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    #264
    They "generally have greater dynamic range" ??? I don't think so.

    WTF kind of albums are you listening to that have such garbage dynamic range on CD? YES, I agree there are SOME out there (e.g. I like Tori Amos's Choirgirl Hotel better on LP, but her first three albums? NO WAY. The first two are analog recorded and the third was 90% straight to DAT tape. I have all four of those (plus some later albums) on LP and CD. Choirgirl is better on LP because its dynamic range is poor and it's a little harsh. The LP is SLIGHTLY better (certainly less harsh at least with my cartridge). Boys For Pele (3rd album recorded digital save the drums) once cleaned up iZotope RX sounds very "CLOSE" to the CD, but I still give the CD the edge.

    Speaking of iZotope, it's UNREAL for cleaning up LP clicks, pops and even analog tape hiss from the master without damaging the music. You can sample filters of a click or hiss if you can isolate them and it will search for and remove it from the entire song or even album.

    Now if you're listening to metal bands from the late 90s or newer pop music, yeah, I wouldn't doubt they would be bad. Frankly, IMO the whole "mastered for iTunes" thing literally means LOWER dynamic range (i.e. louder average levels). Then there's The Red Hot Chili Peppers "Californication" album. It was RUINED by crushing the dynamic range to the point of clipping all over the place on the album. There is a bootleg of the album out there that was before the mastering engineer destroyed it. It shows that the original mix was still poor dynamic range and clipped a few places, but it's 500% improved over the studio release.

    The only record I would say REALLY impressed me here for sounding better than the already well regarded CDs releases (plural) was Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon 30th Anniversary LP. I read that two plants produced it and one screwed it up big time so it has an average bad rating. I must have gotten the good one since I recorded it on the first play at 24/96 here and it had not ONE click the first play and the bass in particular was incredible (more incredible when you consider it should be better on the CDs and I've got ALL the CD versions from Capitol to 20th Anniversary to Mobile Fidelity to the SACD and Alan Parsons 5.1 mixes, etc.). I can't say the same for my copy of The Final Cut (way inferior to the CD) or my particular copy of Wish You Were Here (clearly recycled vinyl as it's quite noisy; iZotope cleaned it right up, but it's still nowhere near as good as the Mastersound CD. Hell, I still prefer the Mastersound CD of Roger Waters' Amused To Death over the newer 24/96 and 5.1 versions (I didn't like his changes to the album at all) and at least in my home theater room with 11.1.6 (17 speakers and a sub), the stereo version (that has Q-Sound) with just two speakers images to 90+ degrees, same as the surround version, only smoother and with the original album version.

    Now there's still plenty of vinyl that isn't on CD or iTunes or anywhere PERIOD but Vinyl (and back in the day cassette and 8-track). Wild Cherry's (as in Play That Funky Music White Boy) 2nd, 3rd and 4th albums come to mind. They had some great songs that never got air play on them. I found them for less than they went for originally when you consider inflation still shrink-wrapped. I got a slightly defective 4th album (hole a bit off center and some noise at the end of one track that shouldn't be there) and bought another one that was perfect for $11. I transferred ALL my LPs to the computer at 24/96 Apple Lossless. You can correct any channel deviation in cartridges, etc. (my cartridge is off in level by 2.6dB in the right compared to the left; it's lower in the right. That's easily fixed after the recording is transferred and then I don't have to play with the balance). Plus there's no pops/skips if you clean it up and then you're good to go with "perfect" copies of the LP that sound as good as they ever could the first play.
     
  15. Ploki macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    #265
    3 albums come to mind (that i have on vinyl) that appear to be less compressed than their digital counterparts:
    lana del rey - born to die
    daft punk - random access memories
    massive attack - mezzanine
     
  16. CEmajr macrumors 601

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    Dec 18, 2012
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #266
    No.

    I ripped my entire DVD collection to a few external hard drives back around 2010-11 and used to plug them into my PS3 and watch movies that way.

    Today my setup:
    - A pair of 3TB Time Capsules with my legacy movie and tv show collections as well as any other videos I accumulated over the years that are also linked to my iTunes library on my Mac.
    - This allows me to access any of them from the Apple TV connected in my living room.
    - There’s an app for iOS called FE Explorer that can access all the files and folders on those Time Capsules, giving my iPhone and iPads access to them from anywhere in the house.
    - I also use Netflix and a couple other options for streaming any content that I don’t already have.
    - A side bonus: My ISP (Spectrum) gave a free tv box with the internet service that I use to watch local channels for live sports.

    I think the last blu ray I bought was circa 2011.
     
  17. ftaok macrumors 603

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #267
    Can you plug in a HDD to the Time Capsule (or network in general) and use FE Explorer that way? Does the HDD have to be formatted in a certain way? Lastly, can FE Explorer AirPlay to an AppleTV?

    Thanks.
     
  18. CEmajr macrumors 601

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    Dec 18, 2012
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #268
    I believe you can plug an HDD into them but I’m not 100% sure since the included storage takes care of my library. I haven’t tried it. Yes FE Explorer can airplay from the iPhone or iPad to the Apple TV. That’s probably my most preferred way to watch movies and tv shows since you don’t have to go through the hassle of adding them to iTunes before being able to watch them on the Apple TV.
     
  19. Tech198 macrumors G5

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    Mar 21, 2011
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #269
    There would be more of a reason people would be forced to CD's over the sheer scope the music they want is not available in vinyl.

    There's only so much you can listen to

    Daft punk came on vinyl? (I just had to look that one up, because i didn't believe it).. I guess the push to keep doing it today on vinyal is because people still have them and still. profit is profit..no matter the volume.
     
  20. Ideanj macrumors member

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    Apr 30, 2013
    #270
    I have 2 HDD’s connected to my Time Capsule via a USB Hub, from which I use Infuse on my iOS devices and Apple TV’s to stream and download my media. I tend to purchase Blu-Rays and rip them to the HDD using MakeMKV in order to have the quality of Blu-Ray with the convenience of streaming.
     
  21. ftaok macrumors 603

    ftaok

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    #271
    I tried Infuse (can't remember which version) and I could never get it to work correctly. Might need to give it another shot, perhaps.
     
  22. Ideanj macrumors member

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    Apr 30, 2013
    #272
    Let me know if you want a step by step of how I got mine working. Now that it’s all connected it’s working flawlessly.. it is worth noting that I need my devices to be connected to the 5GHz network as the 2.4GHz network resulted in a ton of buffering.
     
  23. MagnusVonMagnum macrumors 603

    MagnusVonMagnum

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    Jun 18, 2007
    #273
    Vinyl sales are at the highest they've been since the early 1990s from what I've read. I'm not sure I agree with the reasoning (how about just pushing for properly mastered CD versions for high-end audio?).

    I have an AppleTV 4K for streaming my iTunes library, but I moved on to an NVidia Shield (running KODI) to be able to pass through Dolby Atmos and DTS:X and Auro-3D and a Zidoo X9S to be able to play true MVC 3D titles without needing the discs. I buy Blu-Rays all the time, though and dump/rip and/or encode them for playback as they typically have far higher quality sound on them than any streaming service (iTunes Atmos is at least a good step in the right direction, but most DTS:X titles have no Atmos soundtrack on iTunes either so if you want the best soundtrack for all titles you have to be flexible. I often buy 4K titles even though my projector is 2K/3D because they have Atmos/X soundtracks on them (which I can move over to the 2D or 3D version if necessary using a 4K "Friendly" drive and MakeMKV on my Mac which the Zidoo can then play directly just fine. I even stuffed Atmos and Auro-3D versions of the soundtrack into the same 3D MVC files in a few cases (which would never fit on a Blu-Ray, but saves space on a hard drive since the video is shared).
     
  24. Macalicious2011 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Location:
    London
    #274
    Interesting. I might start buying and sipping 4K Blurays too and putting them on a drive that makes them available to any device in the house.
     
  25. priitv8, Jan 31, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2019

    priitv8 macrumors 68040

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    Estonia
    #275
    That really works, not that much in context of aTV, though.
    UHD Blurays do not come with DD+ soundtracks, so you will be missing TrueHD Atmos and left with DD5.1
    Also, there is no way to make use of Dolby Vision in the form it is encoded on the bluray.
    Lastly, in my experience, aTV 4K does struggle with video bandwidth over 50Mbps (very common rate on UHD BD).
    That applies to the stock QuickTime-based player, though.
    Infuse seems to play high-bitrate streams better.
    That is why I use my bluray player to watch UHD rips. I lose Dolby Vision, but retain lossless Atmos and subtitles.
    You also need to factor in heavy space requirements, as a full-feature film in UHD HDR takes anywhere from 50-100GB a pop.
    So, 1TB stores approx 10..15 movies.
    Last but not least - there are not many tools available for the trade. I have yet to find a TSMuxer tool that would handle HEVC video.
    Whenever you are facing Dolby Video or Atmos, you find yourself in a walled garden.
    There is nothing that would convert or re-encode any of it either to smaller or different format stream.
    To make UHD rip enjoyable on aTV 4K, these two tools would be needed:
    1. Dolby Vision converter from profile 7 into profile 5
    2. Dolby Atmos converter from TrueHD into Dolby Digital Plus
     

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