iTunes TV Show Quality Too Soft/Compressed?

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by iSearch, Sep 16, 2016.

  1. iSearch macrumors member

    iSearch

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2015
    #1
    I wanted to buy the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) series on iTunes (480p only), but after noticing heavy compression artifacts and softness in the preview videos, I decided to buy the seasons on Amazon Video, which are very sharp and match the video quality with the DVDs. However, Amazon has had this strange pricing error for the third season, leaving out the entire season pass option, and has done nothing about it.
    [​IMG]
    So, I decided I would reconsider iTunes, but only if the quality is great. But, it's not just this show's previews that have the compression/softness issue, but other shows like The Batman (2004). On Vudu, the previews for The Batman are very sharp and clear, whereas on Amazon, it's slightly sharper, but a little blocky. Granted, these shows are in SD, but the iTunes previews don't accurately represent the best picture from other sources.

    My question is, do iTunes preview videos accurately represent the video quality of the purchased TV episodes?
     
  2. M. Gustave macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2015
    Location:
    Grand Budapest Hotel
    #2
    It's highly unlikely. Previews have to load quickly, not burning through hundreds of MB's of data, and taking minutes to buffer.

    I've always been impressed with iTunes video quality.
     
  3. iSearch thread starter macrumors member

    iSearch

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2015
    #3
    That's reassuring. I'll buy an episode just to see what it's like. If I don't like it, I will just request a refund. Thanks!
    --- Post Merged, Sep 16, 2016 ---
    Well, the quality isn't really an improvement from the preview, aside from slightly better colors. It still has the same softness and compression artifacts, so I reported a problem regarding it. Sure, it may not be a huge deal, but if better quality is offered elsewhere, then I'll take that over the convenience of iTunes. Should digital distribution be the future of media, then companies need to take quality seriously with the same, if not better, standards as physical media.
     
  4. M. Gustave macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2015
    Location:
    Grand Budapest Hotel
    #4
    What are you viewing the show on? You realize "SD" quality tv shows prior to the mid 2000s are all encoded at 640x480, which then has to be stretched up to your retina or hd screen dimensions.
     
  5. iSearch thread starter macrumors member

    iSearch

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2015
    #5
    I'm watching it on my 19 inch 1440x900 Acer x193w monitor. I also watched it on my iPhone 5, and it was the same. The Amazon Video version is also encoded at 640x480, but it has a much higher bitrate at over 6000kbps and a size of 424 MB, versus iTunes' 1484kbps and 253 MB. File size may be irrelevant in some cases, but I put it down here to give a better idea on how well compressed the sources are.

    The problem I have is that there is way more "mosquito noise" on iTunes than on Amazon Video and the DVD I own. In the shot below, the mask on the other versions is for the most part smooth and clean, whereas the iTunes version looks like it's made out of construction paper, for lack of a better term.

    Amazon Video
    [​IMG]
    DVD
    [​IMG]
    iTunes
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Rigby macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #6
    Not disputing that there are differences, but these numbers don't add up. Why would the Amazon file have 1.6 times the size but over 4 times the bitrate?
     
  7. M. Gustave macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2015
    Location:
    Grand Budapest Hotel
    #7
    iTunes is actually a horrible video player.

    And I don't see any huge difference between any of those examples. Maybe you should stick to blu-ray if every little artifact is going to bother you?
     

Share This Page