Netflix boosts its audio quality...

Discussion in 'Apple TV Apps' started by Colonel Badger, May 1, 2019.

  1. velocityg4 macrumors 601

    velocityg4

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    Georgia
    #2
    Now if only they'd give an option to default to 2-Channel audio. Rather than automatically playing 5.1 channel. I don't have a 5.1 system and 5.1 audio is much quieter than 2-Channel.
     
  2. jole26, May 1, 2019
    Last edited: May 1, 2019

    jole26 macrumors member

    jole26

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2018
    #3
    From today, Netflix are improving the quality of their streamed audio.

    "The bitrate on 5.1 surround sound will increase from 192 Kbps to 640 Kbps. The bitrate used to deliver Dolby Atmos will increase from 448 Kbps to 768 Kbps.

    Our high-quality sound feature is not lossless, but it is perceptually transparent. That means that while the audio is compressed, it is indistinguishable from the original source."

    https://www.flatpanelshd.com/news.php?subaction=showfull&id=1556717977
     
  3. BODYBUILDERPAUL macrumors 65816

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    Feb 9, 2009
    #4
    Damn! Beat me to it man!
    This is really great news as things can only get better and better with even better compression methods to come.
    Really hoping that iTunes will follow with their entire catalogue. Certainly, there's nothing stopping them with ATV 4K as it's purely and streaming box with iTunes film.
    Come on iTunes - you've an incredible vision experience with 4K Dolby Vision film and Match frame rate - let's have a really crisp audio track! (It's saddening when so many YouTube vlogs sound far more immersive than the audio on some iTunes films). And why is the volume so low on many iTunes films?
     
  4. jetjaguar macrumors 68030

    jetjaguar

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  5. BODYBUILDERPAUL macrumors 65816

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    #6
    Well i'm grateful. It's something that's good as that can only lead to others taking note and following.
    Maybe people in the west have things too easy now and are taking everything for granted. Coming from a media/radio/broadcasting background, i'd say that it is a big deal. It's pushing streaming in an ever increasing positive direction.
     
  6. JeffPerrin, May 1, 2019
    Last edited: May 1, 2019

    JeffPerrin macrumors 6502

    JeffPerrin

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  7. BODYBUILDERPAUL macrumors 65816

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    #8
    I always find it interesting that whenever something about improvements in audio quality is posted on the Apple TV forum very very few people comment. To me, this shows that the majority of people simply are not bothered about audio. This kind of highlights the reasoning behind Apple to stick with 256kbps for music and kind of explains why no streaming company has ever gone with Dolby True HD for film audio.
     
  8. jole26 macrumors member

    jole26

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    Aug 20, 2018
    #9
    It's a fair point. I would assume the majority of tv watchers either use their tv speakers or a basic stereo soundbar.

    Streaming services also have to take into account that their customers may not have the Internet bandwidth to handle better audio too.

    But I'd guess there's a significant number that want it and would expect it for a paid service.
     
  9. JeffPerrin macrumors 6502

    JeffPerrin

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    Jul 21, 2014
    #10
    True that most people won't really notice a difference. However, streaming services employ lossy codecs to accommodate bandwidth costs and limitations. (Even Dolby themselves promote E-AC3 and Atmos for streaming over TrueHD) While most people won't notice the difference between 256kbps and 10mbps audio, they WILL notice the enormous jump in data usage (towards either their monthly bill or data cap).

    I would like to see Apple Music offer a "HD lossless" purchase option. However, on the Apple TV front, the more important issue I'd like to see addressed is improving the quality of the on-board Dolby decoder. Last time I checked, the sound quality is still diminished in clarity and artificially compressed when compared to an unprocessed signal "passed-through" to the AV receiver.
     
  10. BODYBUILDERPAUL macrumors 65816

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    #11
    Data caps. Certainly when it comes to broadband, the US seems to suffer with that compared to us in Europe and the UK where it's been unlimited data for many many years for the majority.

    I truly don't believe that Apple will ever offer a HD Lossless option for Apple Music, their products such as AirPods and HomePod would not show any difference in sound quality. Certainly with say Tidal who charge £20 a month for lossless, i've never met anyone who pays that each month for music streaming. Personally, I felt that Apple Music should be £5 a month. My view is if I have Netflix in 4K for £10 a month, why would I pay the same just for music? But then, I don't consume music nowadays - for me, it's more in the background.
    --- Post Merged, May 2, 2019 ---
    Yes - what i truly want is for my weekly film to sound super clear from my TV speakers - just like my YouTube vlogs etc. I hate it when with a film you are constantly lowering and upping the volume because the dialogue vs sound effects/music is not balanced - that's ruins the experience.
    I've also noticed that iTunes downloads suffer with their audio if downloaded at 720p as opposed to 1080p. The 720p is more weak and has a metallic compression to the audio on some film - Call Me By Your Name is an example. Amazing sound on 1080p download but if downloaded at 720p, there sound if nasty - very compressed with a metallic sound to the voices.
     
  11. JeffPerrin, May 2, 2019
    Last edited: May 2, 2019

    JeffPerrin macrumors 6502

    JeffPerrin

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    #12
    Never say never. :) Two things to consider:

    1. The competition could force Apple's hand. For ex., This week's news says Amazon are rumored to be working on a HD audio service. If other services follow suite, so will Apple.

    2. Apple does request artists submit high quality files to iTunes - up to 96/24 wav or aif. They obviously are thinking ahead in terms of being able to offer higher quality audio someday. 256kbps AAC is pretty darn good for a lossy codec. So the Apple lossless codec seems like a logical choice (IMO).
     
  12. BODYBUILDERPAUL macrumors 65816

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    #13
    Absolutely Jeff!
    I'm hoping that with the Netflix news yesterday that Apple will go the DD+ route for all of their catalogue instead of DD at the very least.
    Shows the beauty of competition! And with the millennials from my world observations, there's no loyalty to streaming brands/platforms over time - when one outperforms they'll make the switch!

    PS Jeff, I wonder why iTunes never went the max to 320kbps AAC route as opposed to 256? When I used to rip a few discs over the years i'd save them as a 320 and a ALAC just for archive (but I couldn't hear the difference between the two).
     
  13. x-evil-x macrumors 601

    x-evil-x

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    #14
    Your system Should be able to set it in two channel mode stereo no?
     
  14. velocityg4 macrumors 601

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #15
    Every time I play a new episode of a show or a movie. Netflix chooses 5.1 automatically. There is no option in the Netflix app to choose two channel as the default. You can only choose the default language. So, 5.1 plays to a two channel system. It works but 5.1 feeds are much quieter at any given volume setting than the same show/movie in two channel.
     
  15. x-evil-x macrumors 601

    x-evil-x

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    Jul 13, 2008
    #16
    cant you change the sound quality in appletv to stereo so everything should get pushed to two channel
     
  16. x-evil-x macrumors 601

    x-evil-x

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #17
    not a big deal to you.
    do you have a 5.1 setup? then you would appreciate things like this.
    having a atmos setting in the living room and a 5.1 setup In my bedroom I want the best audio I can get.
    Its night and day difference from a disc to streaming. Most people notice right away if if you have a decent 5.1 system.
     
  17. ActionableMango macrumors G3

    ActionableMango

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    Sep 21, 2010
    #18
    If you can't benefit from the better audio, you're not getting it in the first place. It's not like Netflix has just one single highest-possible-quality encode and that's what they send to everyone, only to be wasted on most people. In 2010 Netflix reportedly had roughly fifty encodes per title. Your available hardware capabilities and bandwidth determine which encode is streamed to you. And that was 8-9 years ago--these days I've heard it is up to 120 encodes per title.

    If your hardware and bandwidth can handle it, but there's an artificial limitation that Netflix can't know about, like a data cap, then that's on you. There is a manual setting for data usage in the profile settings. The appropriate solution is for you to use that, not for everyone else to have the bar lowered.
     

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17 May 1, 2019