Physical vs Digital media (film)

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by appleuser15, Jan 18, 2016.

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Do you prefer physical copies or do you stream?

  1. I stream

    6 vote(s)
    35.3%
  2. I prefer Bluray

    11 vote(s)
    64.7%
  1. appleuser15 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2015
    #1
    Hi guys, just curious as to whether you prefer purchasing your movies physically (Bluray or dvd) or you just stick to streaming, simple really.

    Thanks
     
  2. Strider64 macrumors regular

    Strider64

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2015
    Location:
    Suburb of Detroit
    #2
    I haven't bought a physical movie (DVD) in ages, it's easy and convenient just to buy/rent it digitally, plus it takes up less space. :D
     
  3. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #3
    Not really that simple as lots of people buy/rent discs AND buy/rent via streaming.

    Given Netflix some of us rent discs and do streaming, rent/buy from Vudu, get Amazon Prime, and less I fail to mention - iTunes.

    Though I don't argue about streaming services, it is still an absolute that disc playback provides the highest level of presentation as compared to streaming and then many people can't tell or don't care about the difference.
     
  4. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #4
    I would say it *can* provide the highest level of presentation. There's no guarantee that the source/print your Blu-Ray is made from wasn't garbage.

    A.
     
  5. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #5
    You can say what you want. I find it amusing you get into middle school "exceptions" comments when the fact remains that a disc does provide a medium for best play over streaming period. Find a commercial disc vs streaming where streaming does a better job. You can't and please don't blather on about home made videos and the like when the only apples to apples comparison is commercial blue ray discs vs streaming. Game Over.
     
  6. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #6
    Defensive much?

    I am sorry if the difference between theory and practice bothers you.

    A.
     
  7. joema2 macrumors 65816

    joema2

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    #7
    DVD was good in the standard def era, the DVD player experience was pretty good and the other options were limited.

    Today everything is high-def, and DVD only carries 1/6th of the bits of 1080p, so viewing a DVD program that was shot on 1080p is throwing away 5/6ths of the resolution.

    Blu-Ray has the resolution but in general the player experience is poor -- clunky, slow, and many movies are stuffed with commercials and trailers that can be difficult to bypass.

    If you have fast broadband, downloading can actually provide a better viewing experience than Blu-Ray. You don't have to fool with a clunky player, you can watch the program immediately, and some distribution formats like iTunes have extras just like DVD/Blu-Ray movies do, etc.

    One problem with streaming or downloading is some ISPs have monthly data caps, so this limits how much high-def content you can watch.
     
  8. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #8
    Not theory but reality but go back to your "a ha" moment and relish it. Now time for you to have the last word.
     
  9. Alrescha, Jan 19, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2016

    Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #9
    As you wish. Just one example.

    "The Fifth Element"

    The Blu-Ray release was notoriously bad. Infamously bad. Quotes from various places:

    "the original Fifth Element disc, widely cited as one of the ugliest Blu-rays ever"

    "The single most shocking disappointment of this Blu-ray disc is seeing the poor condition of the film elements used for the video transfer. Sections of the movie are covered in dirt and scratches, and even the best-looking parts exhibit random speckles every few minutes."

    "By HD standards the video looks very filtered and pasty. The image is rather flat, without much sense of depth. Sharpness and detail are on the whole only modestly better than the DVD edition, and in selected shots I actually found the DVD to have better fine object detail."

    Thousands (millions?) of the discs flooded the market. They still exist: in bargain bins, on eBay, Craigslist, and so on. I know, I have one (1).

    Happily, the iTunes version is made from a different print. Remastered, cleaned, restored. If you have one of those Blu-Rays, the iTunes streaming version will blow you away in the first five minutes. It's not subtle, it'll hit you right in the face.

    Make no mistake: you can buy the new version on Blu-Ray too - if you can identify it, and find it.

    The original point, the only point, was that "Blu-Ray" is no guarantee of perfection. Or best presentation. Blu-Ray is just as susceptible to GIGO as anything else.

    A.

    (1) well, I only a rip now. I gave my Blu-Ray player and all my discs away.
     
  10. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #10
    I agree with this comment. It's not to put down anyone, but if you any blu ray, it will be hands down superior to any digital streaming file because the BR is uncompressed. Simple as that. It can hold umpteen times for data.

    Some movies are upwards of 25 GBs. Take the same movie and it might be 5 GBs as a streaming file. It's pure mathematics from there.

    What some people forget is the audio. I'll take a BR over a streaming file any day for the simple fact it's uncompressed.

    BUT it's not like streaming files are horrible so the convenience is a huge factor.

    Plus the cost of external hard drives is cheap so backing up is incredibly affordable.
     
  11. Gymnut, Jan 20, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2016

    Gymnut macrumors 68000

    Gymnut

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2003
    #11
    You're on the right track however, Blu-Ray is also a "compressed" standard. It relies on H.264 or the older MPEG2 encoding, so in reality you are not watching an "uncompressed" version, in the strictest sense of the term; It's just not realistic to use uncompressed formats in the delivery pipeline. Even the audio in Blu-Ray is likely to have compression applied to it(dolby digital).

    I'm more inclined to believe that physical media yields the better quality(for now) just based on the fact you can only fit so much data down the internet pipeline. Yeah, it would be great to have 8K delivery, but if your internet connection can't process that data, it'd be buffering every few seconds and while you'd have the highest resolution possible on your $110,000 television, it kinds of kills the viewing experience if it's cutting in and out.

    H.265 and the more advanced codecs in the future will likely diminish the "quality gap" with more efficient encoding, in that whatever image quality loss is negligible vs physical media; but not everyone, myself included, can afford to have fiber optic internet.

    And the reality is, unless you’re a “pixel-peeper”, whatever quality loss exists in a digital download shouldn’t make the viewing experience unwatchable. I’m perfectly happy with the HD purchases I’ve made through the iTunes store, and like many others, value the convenience of having a digital library that can be accessed through multiple devices, including the television, as opposed to having a shelf of optical media.
     
  12. hvfsl macrumors 68000

    hvfsl

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Location:
    London, UK
    #12
    If I want to keep a movie, I will buy the BluRay. If I want to rent, then I go with streaming. It's not just about the BluRays being better quality (in sound and video), but you are at the mercy of content companies suddenly taking away your right to play the movie if you stream. Disney have done this a few times, where if you haven't kept a local copy of the movie somewhere, you lose access to it.

    Plus BluRays generally come with a digital copy these days, so you get the best of both worlds. Although I will admit that I sometimes get a bit impatient for the disks to arrive, in which case I will just download of a BT site (with my connection I can normally download in a few hours).
     
  13. ForkHandles macrumors regular

    ForkHandles

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    #13
    I buy physical media very rarely these days. It makes very little sense to, as my kids use the discs as frisbees and scratched them to bits. I used to buy DVDs and handbrake them onto my iMac, there I could choose which devices they played to, this was still very cumbersome. I have found that renting / buying from the iTunes Store allows me a lot more portability than before, in a family house this is a real bonus. This is preferable to buying a disc and getting a free download.

    The kids can take their pads home or abroad and watch the video library there.

    As far as video quality quality is concerned the world will always have audiophiles and videophiles who demand perfection in the medium, long may they work tirelessly to improve the quality for all during this transition from analogue to digital. For me it matters much less, I have enjoyed great music on Long Wave radio and have spent hours enjoying black and white films shot 50 to 100 years ago. The story and the melodies are the fundamental factor.
     
  14. northernmunky macrumors 6502a

    northernmunky

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Location:
    London, Taipei
    #14
    Neither. I rent the blu-ray, rip the blu-ray, compress with Handbrake (decent bitrate in H.265 maintaining all picture quality & smallest file size), and store on my 20Tb NAS, network accessible to any PC/Mac/Raspberry Pi (XBMC) in the house.
     
  15. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #15
    Rent to rip is NOT a decent exercise. Blue Ray discs are already compressed so you are compressing something already compressed so no, you are not maintaining all the picture quality and smallest file size. However, pirating aside, if you find the final file to your liking, then enjoy.
     
  16. northernmunky macrumors 6502a

    northernmunky

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Location:
    London, Taipei
    #16
    I beg to differ, but first of all of course its compressed, how do you think it gets on the disc? Blu-ray is the highest quality you can currently get for consumer use to work with unless you work for the studios and can get hold of the master print. :cool:
    Blu-ray is also compressed to H.264, naturally at a very high bitrate, but low enough to maintain compatibility with earlier players. Largely a lot of detail that can still be maintained in H.265 if you balance the datarate well, and the amount of time you're willing to spend to compress each frame without too much noticable difference unless you have your face pressed to the screen :eek:. You can easily more than half an average BD full length movie.
    I also pay to rent discs, so the studios still get their share. :)
     
  17. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #17
    You're polling a population that revolves around Apple, who has basically rejected Blu Ray and wants the faithful to opt for iTunes Store movie purchases & rentals instead.

    It's like attending a Republican convention and polling the attendees on which political party is best. Or doing another poll with this group asking which OS is better, Windows or OS X?

    Objectively, it mostly comes down to this decision: in general, do you care about best quality picture AND sound or do you care about convenience? If the former, there's no contest- blu ray all the way. If the latter, streaming works. If you are somewhere in the middle on this topic, flip a coin... or which way do you lean (quality favors BD, convenience favors streaming).

    Our Apple bias can make us spin 50 reasons why iTunes > BD with pretty much all being variants of "convenience" or "ecosystem." But if one cares about picture quality, iTunes video (and streaming in general) will tend to be a relative tradeoff. AND/OR if one cares about audio quality, Dolby Digital is a 1992 technology; audio has come a LONG, LONG way since then. For the moment BD is King at 1080p and 4K BDs have just arrived to replace that King with a new one. 4K BDs with modern audio tracks are far superior to anything we can get out of streaming sources (even those with some 4K now).

    No matter how this poll would come out, facts are facts.
     
  18. Kaspin macrumors member

    Kaspin

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2015
    #18
    I'm in the buy the disc and rip it camp. Not necessarily because of the quality, but more so that my hatred of any form of DRM trumps everything else.
     
  19. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #19
    Sure, take a lossless audio file, compress it to 320 aac then again to 198 aac. Maybe you wont hear the difference on some low end systems but put up a middle of the road system and you will hear the difference. Going from a H.264 or VC-1 Blue Ray and compressing it again absolutely will render differences whether H.265 or 264. Btw, it is not about compressing each "frame." Perhaps a look at what really goes on in compression would be helpful. For now, let's simply disagree.
     
  20. northernmunky macrumors 6502a

    northernmunky

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Location:
    London, Taipei
    #20
    Of course there will be a small difference, even the colour space will noticably alter (if you're watching side by side), but no ones watching the source/output at the same time are they? If you arent to fussed about that difference, you'd never know. I think you're being just a teeny weeny bit pedantic perhaps?

    OK then, considering I look after an On Demand platform for a major TV station, I think I know a little bit about compression. :p

    I'd simply prefer a 5-10Gb files, as opposed to a 40Gb file you can't stream anywhere.
    As for your audio information, studies have consistently shown the vast majority of people can't tell the difference between lossless and 320. I can't even tell the difference! But hey, most of the time, I set my home encodes to simply pass through audio without altering it, someties I'll drop it down to 160, depending on how great the movie is and how much I care about preserving every pixel.

    BTW, its called Blu-ray, not 'Blue Ray' (just my own little padantic note)
     
  21. ajforbes20 macrumors regular

    ajforbes20

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2011
    Location:
    USA
    #21
    I just buy the Codes for digital movies. Its much cheaper than blu rays and paying or the full movie on iTunes
     
  22. sarge macrumors 6502a

    sarge

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2003
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #22
    I subscribe to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, in addition to having a cable subscription which provides me with additional on-demand streaming options (TMC, HBO, etc.). It probably comes as no surprise that many of the titles I own on Blu-ray are not available on any of these services (Hulu is great for the Criterion Collection but even they don't have all the titles online - Criterion rights often lapse and titles go out of print). This is the number one reason why I buy physical media. For the common criminal, I suppose this is a justification to steal.

    Living in a densely populated area my network is at 100% capacity and frequently chokes during peak hours. Verizon has stopped laying fibre so there is little hope that Fios will be available in my neck of the woods anytime soon. So there's that.

    As for the quality of the Blu-ray presentation, I think most people can differentiate between good and great but they just aren't all that discriminating in the end. I have the last plasma Samsung made (which I've calibrated) and I use an Oppo blu-ray player which uses 'a MediaTek decoder for de-intetrlacing and scaling, a Marvell QDEO Kyoto 2 chipset for post processing, and a Cirrus Logic CS4382A digital to analog audio converter' so the hardware is doing signal processing that you're not getting when you rip it (unless you're running the file back thru the unit I suppose). The point is everybody who comes over comments on the picture quality, but I doubt a single one goes home and decides to buy a $500 blu-ray player and new OLED display. To each their own.
     
  23. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #23
    I notice that, too.

    The image and sound quality from blueray appears vastly superior to pure digital copies.
     
  24. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #24
    I too have a plasma TV (Panasonic) and an Oppo Blue Ray player. I buy discs, play them first time and this allows me the experience as well as checking to make sure the disc is in good shape. I then archive my disc and later, I play it also on the Oppo for all of its goodness via network. I find for movies, Oppo and Plasma (and a decent audio set up) is a winning combo for me.

    I use Hulu, Netflix streaming, Amazon Prime video as well. Sometimes I rent a disc and if I like it that much, I purchase the title from BB or on Amazon. I keep things relatively simple and for me, just being able to sit back and enjoy a quality presentation with ease is a joy.
     
  25. sarge macrumors 6502a

    sarge

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2003
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #25
    Nice. I'm just old enough to remember a time before home video so if you missed it at the theatre you might not ever see it again. Blu-ray, Plasma and 7.1 surround sound is a dream come true really. Still, it can't totally replace the theatre experience...I was crushed to learn that the curtain is coming down on the greatest movie palace in NY in the next couple of weeks. I saw Star Wars there 2 weeks ago - the writing was on the wall. The Ziegfeld has a 1200 seating capacity and my GF and I were 2 of maybe 30 people in the entire place for a 7pm showing.
     

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