Disney takes over Hulu.

Discussion in 'Cord Cutters Club (Internet TV)' started by Jhon69, May 14, 2019.

  1. NashGuy

    NashGuy SatelliteGuys Pro

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    Getting the premium a la carte services (HBO, Showtime, Starz, Epix, Cinemax) as Apple TV Channels or Prime Video Channels gives you better picture quality than you're going to get in the standalone apps (HBO Now, Showtime, Starz, Epix Now, and, well, there is no Cinemax standalone app). And they have WAY better PQ for their on-demand streams than you're going to get watching the linear channels from cable or satellite. That's generally true of all streaming subscription on-demand sources versus cable/satellite.

    One Thing We Don't Talk About When We Talk About Cord-Cutting

    BTW, when a service offers you their entire library on-demand, then linear channels become kinda pointless. I do think it's nice when at least one linear channel is offered (the way that Showtime offers the east and west feeds of their original channel in their app) because sometimes you just want someone to serve something up to you to sample rather than go out foraging for content. But the idea of these services maintaining a multiplex of linear channels seems passe as they morph into SVODs.

    I noticed that when AT&T (who owns HBO now) created their new channel packages for DirecTV Now recently, they included HBO in them, not as an add-on but just part of the base package. But it only comes with the main HBO channel plus HBO Family and HBO Latino (plus the full on-demand library, of course). Sooner or later, I bet we'll see AT&T kill all those other HBO channels: HBO 2, HBO Signature, HBO Zone, etc. They're not really differentiated content-wise and don't serve a purpose as HBO becomes primarily an SVOD.
     
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  2. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Master

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    Do you have numbers to back this up or are you reasoning that it simply must be true?

    I'll only be subscribing to HBO for another few weeks so I guess it doesn't matter for me. The other HBO show I watch, Last Week Tonight, shows up on regular YouTube pretty quickly and Westworld isn't due until some time in 2020.

    Speaking of Westworld, I hear that it may be moving to Amazon after Season 3.
     
  3. Zookster

    Zookster SatelliteGuys Pro

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    I agree that linear channels are moot, except in at least one instance I've noticed that HBO doesn't post a new episode of a certain show in the on demand library at the time it airs on live linear TV. And Amazon Channels' linear HBO channels was no help to me, as it didn't show what was coming up, so I didn't know when to expect it to air. No biggie. It was probably past my bedtime anyway.

    At the opposite extreme, Starz posts new episodes in its app beginning at midnight the day the episode airs on live linear TV. Being on the West Coast, I was able to watch the final episode of American Gods on Saturday night at 9pm, the day before my subscription was set to renew, allowing me to cancel without missing the season finale (or having to renew to watch that one episode).
     
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  4. NashGuy

    NashGuy SatelliteGuys Pro

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    I've seen multiple reports around the web in which folks have posted the bitrates for HBO in the HBO Go/Now apps vs. in the Amazon Prime Video app and now the new Apple TV app. The bitrates are significantly higher when streamed from Amazon and Apple vs. from HBO directly. (Sorry, I don't recall the numbers off the top of my head but if you do some searches, including the Apple TV section of Reddit, you can find them.)

    I've also seen the difference with my own eyes when it comes to streaming through Prime Video. Showtime looked somewhat better there than in the Showtime app (which itself has better PQ than the HBO Go/Now apps). HBO looked considerable better via Prime Video than in its own native apps. That said, my observations/comparison were made awhile back.
     
  5. NashGuy

    NashGuy SatelliteGuys Pro

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    Yeah, shows that actually broadcast live, like Real Time with Bill Mahr, take a few/several hours to show up for on-demand streaming. Which makes sense. But everything that was previously filmed should show up right at the same time on-demand as it debuts on the live channel.

    Yeah, I've noticed Showtime doing that sometimes too, although only with certain series.
     
  6. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Master

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    The Roku Channel does offer an app. It wants you to be using Wi-fi but it is definitely there. If you're going to play the game, you have to keep up.
    You win some, you lose some. Due diligence can be particularly involved with OTT.
     
  7. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Master

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    Do you think that's fair?

    Back in the day, many of the services weren't offering full surround sound or were doing 720p. Things change and you have to be vigilant. Going forward, we might see some services transcoding to better compression formats that will further frustrate attempts at direct comparison. HEVC and VP9 are real and they work well enough with enough devices to warrant making them available.
     
  8. Zookster

    Zookster SatelliteGuys Pro

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    In the context of my previous post in this thread, I was referring to the fact you don't get login access privileges to the premium channel's app when signing up through the Roku Channel. Obviously you get access to the premium channel's content through the Roku Channel app, but you don't necessarily get all the content that would be available in that premium channel's own app on demand. (If you're going to post in threads on topics you have no real experiential knowledge of, you have to keep up. ;) )
     
    #28 Zookster, May 19, 2019
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
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  9. SpaethCo

    SpaethCo Pub Member / Supporter Pub Member / Supporter

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    I pulled these a couple weeks back.

    Manifest file for Game of Thrones from HBO via Amazon: Paste2.org - Viewing Paste f5cvYXtp
    Manifest file for Game of Thrones from HBO NOW: Paste2.org - Viewing Paste kWffIX0V

    HBO NOW's defined peak bandwidth is just north of 7mbps, HBO via Prime is 15mbps. Same video codec, just double the bitrate.

    You can confirm these numbers using the developer tools on the streaming device of your choice. (Playback HUD on Apple TV, System X-Ray on FireTV devices)
     
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  10. NashGuy

    NashGuy SatelliteGuys Pro

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    Yeah, I'd say it's fair. But you can believe what you like.
     
  11. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Master

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    Apparently that's not really a win so really doesn't matter, does it?
    I subscribe to the HBO channel through the Roku Channel because Amazon seems to go down when GoT comes on (6pm Pacific). I was watching other Amazon content yesterday that ended at 6pm and was given an error and the interface didn't recover for a few minutes. Since I only subscribe for GoT, I haven't noticed anything missing from HBO's library. HBO does seem to be pushing some older content (i.e. Deadwood) pretty hard but that's what they have come to.

    Ultimately, I'll probably acquire the discs for GoT that like offer much higher bitrates than the streaming versions. I did notice that the final episode had a lot less banding than episode 4. It appeared that they had raised the luminance pedestal to the point that all the blacks were mostly a single dark gray. I imagine this trick was applied to all the streaming versions.
     
  12. ncted

    ncted SatelliteGuys Pro Pub Member / Supporter

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    I noticed the banding was reduced as well, for better or worse. As for Amazon's HBO channel, we watched the whole final season with no issues. On my 70" Sony, it does look better than on HBO Now, FWIW.

    I think they are pushing Deadwood because of the movie coming out this summer. They've also started advertising a bunch of new shows, hence the really annoying 2 minute trailer before the final episode of GoT that everyone had to FF through.
     
  13. Zookster

    Zookster SatelliteGuys Pro

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    Not having login privileges to the HBO Now/Go app by signing up through the Roku Channel was a deal-breaker for me and the main reason I went with Amazon Channels this time when I signed up for HBO mainly for GoT.

    As someone was commenting here or in another thread, I did notice that the picture quality was noticeably better watching GoT via the Prime Video app (Roku) than the HBO Now app. I has watched episodes 3-5 in HBO Now.
     
  14. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Master

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    I guess the question that needs to be answered is how the quality of the Roku Channel version compares with the Amazon Prime version.

    Having access to Now or Go is a non-issue if all you want it GoT (that ends next week with the recap).
     
  15. Zookster

    Zookster SatelliteGuys Pro

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    I wasn't willing to take a chance on the quality of the Roku Channel's HBO for the final season of GoT (I simply had no idea if it was any good, but had misgivings given it normally specializes in back catalog ad-supported content; whereas Amazon specializes in new movie rentals and purchases).

    I just did a little test and much to my surprise the film "Gravity" on the Roku Channel is in DD+ audio and the PQ looks pretty good. However, another relatively recent film, True Grit, was only 2-channel audio. So hit and miss.

    At any rate, for me personally, when I plop down $15 for HBO, I try to get my money's worth and don't want to take any chances on certain content not being available. As it's turned out this month, while looking for something to kill 30 to 60 minutes without starting a new TV series or a movie on HBO, I found some older comedy specials and documentaries I don't know that I could've found via Amazon Channels (at least not easily assuming they are there).
     
  16. ncted

    ncted SatelliteGuys Pro Pub Member / Supporter

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    In considering Hulu Live, I had a question:

    With the enhanced DVR, can you FF on all channels? YTTV and Sling have limitations on CBS and ABC respectively. I cannot find where Hulu has any of these limitations, but stuff like that is not always well documented.
     
  17. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Master

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    I wasn't interested in other content and signed up during the free week promotion so I wasn't out any money if it didn't pan out. The picture quality outside of episode 4 was acceptable and the sound was AC-3.

    To make assumptions about what you're going to get with a particular service is folly and until recently, possibly stepping over dollars to pick up dimes.
     
  18. SpaethCo

    SpaethCo Pub Member / Supporter Pub Member / Supporter

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    On recordings after the full airing is complete? Yes.

    When pausing Live TV, or viewing recordings in progress? It depends. Some channels have forced commercial breaks for programming still in progress; ie, if you pause a game on NBCSN that goes through a commercial break, you can FF to that commercial break but then you'll have to watch the commercials before you can FF any further.
     
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  19. Zookster

    Zookster SatelliteGuys Pro

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    Just to clarify, with YouTube TV, no channels disallow fast-forwarding of any part of the recorded versions of shows in your cloud DVR library, including shows still currently recording (live). However, CBS stations, including CW and Pop, lock your DVR recording when a VoD version of that particular show/episode is available, which usually happens by the next day and remains for four to five weeks. The VoD version generally has commercial breaks that the user can't fast-forward through on most devices. And this generally only affects prime time programming on those channels. You can still fast-forward the rest of the content of the VoD version of the program. And if you watch your cloud DVR recording the same night the show airs, it works like any traditional DVR would, allowing fast-forwarding, including commercials.

    Wow. That's messed up. Hulu is looking less and less like a viable option should I ever feel the need to leave YTTV. I'm constantly behind live on sports and news (with the unlimited DVR, I record everything). I don't necessarily do that to avoid commercials, but it would be a pain if I just want to check in on a game to quickly see what I missed and be forced to watch a bunch of commercials every time.
     
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  20. ncted

    ncted SatelliteGuys Pro Pub Member / Supporter

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    This behavior is the kind of thing that totally blows the WAF. With Dish, if we are watching an in-progress recording on CBS, we can FF through commercials (assuming we don't run out of buffer). Then, if one of us wants to rewatch the same show on the weekend (because it is very nuanced and detailed, so it is hard to keep up without repeated viewings), we can FF through commercials then. It sounds like we may not be able to do one or the other, depending on which service we chose.
     

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