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View Poll Results: Which provider has the best quality 4k VIDEO (only)?
iTunes / Apple 108 57.45%
Movies Anywhere 18 9.57%
Vudu 23 12.23%
Amazon 5 2.66%
Disney Plus 17 9.04%
Netflix 14 7.45%
Fandango Now 1 0.53%
Google 2 1.06%
Voters: 188. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-13-2019, 02:03 PM   #1
pghflyer pghflyer is offline
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Default Best Streaming Provider for 4K VIDEO Quality?

A UHD Blu-Ray Disc will have a static consistent connection for video bitrates of 60-120MB/s and audio bitrates of 10MB...both of which will probably be the high water mark for quality for the near term. This is great but a lot of programs are only available via streaming, or that is just where it is most convenient. HUGE credit to samplop10 for his independent test providing the data points below.

CAVEATS
A lot of it depends on your ISP, the time of day/ traffic on your connection, your streaming hardware, your cable(s), your amplifier, your display, the title you have selected, etc.....and the supported quality elements may vary for the same title at every provider.....

This is all only related to UHD content, not regular HD (but the general trend is likely the same):

Order Best to Worst (Bitrate of Video File Primary, Bitrate of Audio File Secondary) & Info on General Platform Support

#1 Apple TV (iTunes Movies) - HDR10, Dolby Vision, & Dolby Atmos
Video: Average: 25 Mbps; Peak: 31 Mbps
Audio: 770 Kbps
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT207949

Apple TV Plus - HDR10, Dolby Vision, & Dolby Atmos
Video: Average: 41 Mbps; Peak: Unknown
Audio: Unknown
https://www.apple.com/apple-tv-plus/

#2 MoviesAnywhere - HDR10, Dolby Vision, & Dolby Atmos
Video: Average: 25 Mbps; Peak: 32 Mbps
Audio: 640 Kbps
https://help.moviesanywhere.com/hc/e...rt-4K-and-HDR-

#3 Disney Plus - HDR10, Dolby Vision, & Dolby Atmos
Video: Average: 17 Mbps; Peak: 29 Mbps
Audio: 770 Kbps
https://help.disneyplus.com/csp?id=c...0cf158bf961913

#4 Netflix - HDR10, Dolby Vision, & Dolby Atmos
Video: Average: 17 Mbps; Peak: 25 Mbps
Audio: 770 Kbps
https://help.netflix.com/en/node/13444

-----------------------Lower Tier Video/ Audio--------------------------------------------

#5 Vudu - HDR10, Dolby Vision, & Dolby Atmos
Video: Average: 14 Mbps; Peak: 17 Mbps
Audio: 580 Kbps
https://www.watchvudu.com/uhd/

#6 Amazon Prime - HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, & Dolby Atmos
Video: Average: 10 Mbps; Peak: 13 Mbps
Audio: 190 Kbps
https://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=11598814011

#7 FandangoNow - IMAX Enhanced, HDR10, NO Dolby Vision, NO Dolby Atmos
Video: 10-20Mb/s (anecdotal)
Audio: Unknown
https://www.fandangonow.com/ultrahd
https://www.imaxenhanced.com/

#8 Google Play - HDR10, NO Dolby Vision, NO Dolby Atmos
Video: 12-15Mb/s (anecdotal)
Audio: Unknown
https://support.google.com/googlepla.../7184994?hl=en

#9 HBONow - *NONE*
Video (HD): 4-7Mb/s (anecdotal)
Audio: Unknown
http://hbogeo.cust.footprint.net/hbonow/geo.html

Anecdotal Bitrate Sources:
https://www.macrumors.com/2019/11/04...aming-quality/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vudu
https://www.reddit.com/r/hometheater...where_bitrate/
https://www.reddit.com/r/DisneyPlus/...d_comparisons/

Last edited by pghflyer; 01-09-2020 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 11-13-2019, 03:18 PM   #2
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Itunes is best. Dis+ seems low
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Old 11-13-2019, 05:20 PM   #3
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Disney Plus should be over Amazon...but that seems like an accurate listing.
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Old 11-13-2019, 06:42 PM   #4
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Thanks, yeah until people can connect consistently and give feedback, Disney was just a guess.
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Old 11-13-2019, 06:58 PM   #5
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Big fan of VUDU 4k stream. Loads better than both Google Play and FandangoNow. I like Amazon, however , on pans, there is a studder. I don't see that stream issue with VUDU.

So far Disney + has been very good, but need more time with it.
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Old 11-13-2019, 09:37 PM   #6
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Movies Anywhere definitely, which makes it even more frustrating that several big studios don't work with them.

People big up iTunes but on my Roku TV I'm not too impressed, maybe Apple saves the high quality streams for their Apple TV 4K?

Disney+ has been disappointing for me. Basically a very slightly better Netflix..
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Old 11-13-2019, 11:27 PM   #7
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I've been most impressed with iTunes on my Apple TV 4K so far. The new 4K Bond films have practically been a revelation.
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Old 11-14-2019, 12:09 AM   #8
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I might be able to provide more streaming data / bitrates with my Apple TV 4K. I'll probably try it once I get home.

Currently, I can stream from pretty much all them:
iTunes
MoviesAnywhere
Vudu
Netflix
Amazon Prime
Disney Plus
Google Play

Does anyone know if you can connect FandangoNow to Movies Anywhere? If so I'd be able to provide data for all of them.
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Old 11-14-2019, 01:22 AM   #9
pghflyer pghflyer is offline
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Yes, FandangoNow connnects with MA.......that would be cool to get more/ more accurate bitrates

https://www.fandangonow.com/moviesanywhere
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Old 11-14-2019, 08:03 AM   #10
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Darn! I thought it was best for content and voted Netflix by accident.
Best for quality is Apple TV, by miles. For me, the difference in 4K quality (picture) disk v stream is negligible. Obviously, there is a big drop off for sound quality because you aren't ever going to be able to stream lossless quality sound.
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Old 11-14-2019, 04:07 PM   #11
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So after going through pretty much all the services, the top one was Movies Anywhere closely followed by iTunes. The bottom one was definitely Amazon Prime with the worst bitrate for both video and audio. iTunes has the drawback of no Disney movies with 4K HDR or Atmos though, only HD and up to 7.1.

FandangoNow is weird. It only lets you stream 4K HDR from a few TVís internal app. Any other device is HD only. You can get DTS-HD through the Xbox One X but no 4K of any kind. So you compromise either way and it has a lot of problems syncing your movie library with Movies Anywhere. I did not like it at all and I could not even test the bitrate since itís not available for Apple TV. Same with Google Play. You can only stream 4K HDR from within a few TVís internal app. Neither one offers 3D audio of any kind.

Iíll post pictures with the actual numbers and specs for most of them later today.
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Old 11-14-2019, 07:38 PM   #12
samlop10 samlop10 is offline
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All the bitrates are 'up to', meaning that is the highest the service offers. In order of best quality to worst (view spoiler and click full size image to see the numbers):

Movies Anywhere
[Show spoiler]

Video - Average: 25 Mbps; Peak: 32 Mbps
Audio: 640 Kbps

Supports:
4K, HDR10, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos


iTunes
[Show spoiler]

Video - Average: 25 Mbps; Peak: 31 Mbps
Audio: 770 Kbps

Supports:
4K, HDR10, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos


Disney+
[Show spoiler]

Video - Average: 17 Mbps; Peak: 29 Mbps
Audio: 770 Kbps

Supports:
4K, HDR10, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos


Netflix
[Show spoiler]

Video - Average: 17 Mbps; Peak: 25 Mbps
Audio: 770 Kbps

Supports:
4K, HDR10, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos


Vudu
[Show spoiler]

Video - Average: 14 Mbps; Peak: 17 Mbps
Audio: 580 Kbps

Supports:
4K, HDR10, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos


Amazon Prime
[Show spoiler]

Video - Average: 10 Mbps; Peak: 13 Mbps
Audio: 190 Kbps

Supports:
4K, HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Atmos


I couldn't get data for FandangoNow or Google Play, but given the limitations to get 4K HDR for both, they are, imo, not worth it anyway.

Movies Anywhere and iTunes are pretty neck-to-neck in terms of quality. Movies Anywhere is slightly better in video but slightly worse in audio, vice-versa with iTunes when compared to Movies Anywhere. Disney+ is not bad at all either (relatively anyway), with similar audio but lower video bitrate. I was actually surprised with Netflix. They seem to have improved their quality from when they first introduced 4K/HDR to now (going from 15 Mbps peak to up to 25 Mbps peak now). I think the fact they are pushing so much original content has led them to present it in better quality, and to compete better with the other streaming services as well. Vudu drops considerably compared to the top two, giving around half of the bitrate for video, and a bit lower audio as well. Prime is almost a joke tbh. They are giving 4K/HDR content bitrates which some of the other services are giving to plain old HD. The audio is not even half compared to any of the other ones. I would avoid it as much as possible except for their exclusive content.


Hope this gives people a good idea of what to expect from streaming. Even the best ones can't compare to disc quality (32 Mbps peak vs peaks of over 100 Mbps on disc) imo, but since there is content that is not available on disc at all (or the 4K has not made it to physical, i.e. most of the Star Wars), it is still informative to know which services are better than others.

From what I've noticed overall, fine detail falls apart more than anything in bright and dark highlights (they turn into Lego-land), which HDR expands, but seen by this and poorly-encoded 4K discs, it is also where the most bitrate and careful compression is needed. Fine detail, around lines especially, also falls apart. It is not that noticeable on smaller screens, but the bigger the display, the more obvious these artifacts become. That is why discs are still superior, including the fact you don't depend on a service to access them. Color banding is thankfully rare, thanks to the higher depth in color bits. Not completely gone but certainly way less than when streaming 8-bit (i.e. 99% of HD / SDR content).
I'm not saying streaming is evil at all, but I think it is important for people to see the importance of physical media and why it is still superior for quality. And like I said, not everything is on disc so streaming is still important either way.
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Old 11-14-2019, 08:00 PM   #13
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This is awesome - thanks samplop10!! Yeah this is why I keep my top 20-30 titles on blu-ray disc, but still great to know the best places for everything else.

Just curious - all those specs on your display screenshots in yellow, is that native information available via Apple TV or you getting that from your receiver or somewhere else? I don't have a single Apple product but if it is from Apple TV that is nice - I don't trust most of these services to always send me the right thing and this is exactly what I wish some of my streaming products (ex. Samsung TV apps, Chromecast Ultra) could tell me. I assume you have gig/high speed internet service so that wouldn't be a limiting factor at all?

I will take all your effort and update my top post later today, this is more support and info than I thought this question would get, thank you!!!
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Old 11-14-2019, 08:31 PM   #14
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Well, i've been looking for this type info/comparison for some time. Gratitude!

Wow, suprised on the VUDU front and their audio compared to the other top tiers. Very interesting indeed.
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Old 11-14-2019, 09:16 PM   #15
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Great work here. However, I can’t help but wonder if the difference between MA and iTunes is unreliable in this test based on the movie used being different. I understand why, based on the fact Endgame isn’t available in 4K on iTunes.

Would it be possible to compare the same film on MA and iTunes? Aquaman would be appropriate I think, as it’s available in 4K Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos on both providers.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-14-2019, 09:31 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pghflyer View Post
This is awesome - thanks samplop10!! Yeah this is why I keep my top 20-30 titles on blu-ray disc, but still great to know the best places for everything else.

Just curious - all those specs on your display screenshots in yellow, is that native information available via Apple TV or you getting that from your receiver or somewhere else? I don't have a single Apple product but if it is from Apple TV that is nice - I don't trust most of these services to always send me the right thing and this is exactly what I wish some of my streaming products (ex. Samsung TV apps, Chromecast Ultra) could tell me. I assume you have gig/high speed internet service so that wouldn't be a limiting factor at all?

I will take all your effort and update my top post later today, this is more support and info than I thought this question would get, thank you!!!
No problem. It was a good thing to know for me as well and something I wondered about until now.

That info is from the Apple TV 4K, although you need to connect it to a software with a Mac wirelessly to 'activate' the option to view that data. It's a pretty straightforward process but it's a pain keeping the Mac and Apple TV actually connected. And yes, the place I'm at has fiber optic and I'm using ATT's 1GB/s service. You can actually see the downstream for the device itself in the pictures (next to 'network bandwidth'). All the services were detecting 60 - 177 Mb/s, which is more than enough for their max bitrates. The only exception was Amazon Prime (it was detecting 16 Mb/s for some reason), but then again, doing a quick search online reveals Amazon's max bitrate is 15 Mb/s anyway. From reading the Wiki article on Vudu, it seems it could theoretically go as high as 50 Mb/s, but I have yet to read about or see any device that actually reaches that high, let alone go over 20 Mb/s.

Could I suggest when you update to include the average and max bitrates in the first post?

This is for the Apple TV of course. I imagine it could change depending on the device, but from my experience of streaming using various devices (Shield TV, Roku, Xbox One X, PS4, TV's internal apps, blu-ray players, etc.) the Apple TV 4K has been the most stable / capable so far when considering all the streaming services.

Edit: another thing to consider is that some content is not available on Movies Anywhere since not all studios participate in it (namely Lionsgate and Paramount). So having both iTunes and Movies anywhere are pretty much the two must-haves if you want to have the option to access all the movies with highest streaming quality.

Last edited by samlop10; 11-14-2019 at 09:37 PM.
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Old 11-14-2019, 09:34 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XanderAE View Post
Great work here. However, I canít help but wonder if the difference between MA and iTunes is unreliable in this test based on the movie used being different. I understand why, based on the fact Endgame isnít available in 4K on iTunes.

Would it be possible to compare the same film on MA and iTunes? Aquaman would be appropriate I think, as itís available in 4K Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos on both providers.

Thanks in advance.
I'll try to do that comparison tonight. Like I said, it's a pain keeping the Apple TV and Mac connected (I even had to do a factory reset at one point) but hopefully it'll go better today.
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Old 11-14-2019, 09:57 PM   #18
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Definitely adding as much from your test to the main post as I can. I have definitely learned a lot in the last 24 hours - honestly, I didn't even know MA had an app and their own streaming!!
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Old 11-15-2019, 01:25 AM   #19
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Vudu really fell behind didn’t they
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Old 11-15-2019, 04:16 AM   #20
samlop10 samlop10 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XanderAE View Post
Great work here. However, I canít help but wonder if the difference between MA and iTunes is unreliable in this test based on the movie used being different. I understand why, based on the fact Endgame isnít available in 4K on iTunes.

Would it be possible to compare the same film on MA and iTunes? Aquaman would be appropriate I think, as itís available in 4K Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos on both providers.

Thanks in advance.
Quote:
Originally Posted by samlop10 View Post
I'll try to do that comparison tonight. Like I said, it's a pain keeping the Apple TV and Mac connected (I even had to do a factory reset at one point) but hopefully it'll go better today.

Here are the results for Aquaman (Movies Anywhere vs iTunes) and the numbers are pretty much the same as above.

[Show spoiler]


[Show spoiler]
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