I've purged my physical blu rays but was wondering what the better platforms are for buying digital 4k movies going forward?
I started to buy movies on iTunes once I got my Apple TV. iTunes does a good job with saying what you’re getting. Such as 1080p / 4K / HDR / Dolby Atmos / iTunes Extras (which can include behind the scenes features, commentaries, and so on). They
I really like the Apple TV in general, so that is part of why I like buying movies from iTunes. But since I also have an iPhone / iPad, being able to download / watch stuff on other devices without having to do anything is an added bonus.
The only other platform I’ve used is Amazon, which is pretty bad at servicing up movies in my opinion.
I don't purchase digital stuff unless it costs next to nothing; if it isn't DRM-Free, I can't guarentee that I'll be able to access it in the future so I value it like a rental. Lawrence of Arabia was (might still be) on sale for $5 on Vudu. That was my most recent purchase. Outside of that, the only digital, 4K movie I've picked up is Midsommar ($7). It really just comes down to where things can be had conveniently for around $5. For me, Vudu has been that platform. I haven't tried Apples solution for 4K streams, but everything else fails to hit a level of image quality that would make me care to compare the solutions.
I don't understand the point of 4K streams. If you want better image quality, why are you streaming? Blurays look better. I've done side-by-sides - not that they are particularly necessary with the amount of obvious compression you get on any given service. Every time, the Bluray is vastly superior in image and sound quality to the 4K stream.
If I want a movie in my library because I know that I'll return to it repeatedly, then I buy physical. If the movie is of value to me for its visuals, I opt for the highest quality format available (4K disc). If it is valuable for some other reason, I opt for the cheapest physical format (usually used Blurays). If I'm paying for disposable entertainment in the first place, it's because it is being featured at a venue like a movie theatre. The venue is more the object of value there; getting out of the house, meeting friends on the weekends - having an excuse to get together.
4K, 1080; what's the difference when you are streaming? If you really need to purchase a digital movie, just buy where things are the cheapest and easiest to access for your available devices. Vudu is cheap, sort of reliable and widely available.
@jamesbomb: I do agree that most normal Blu-rays look better than most 4K streams, but if Dolby Vision or some other good HDR implementation is available then a 4K stream can look pretty nice. On Netflix for example it seems that the Dolby Vision stuff gets pushed through at a much higher bitrate than normal 4K content.
I've rented a couple of 4K movies off of the native Xbox/Microsoft Store movies app. The quality is fine. A little bit better than a normal Netflix or YouTube stream but obviously not as good as a UHD Blu-ray.
So a few years back when Vudu allowed multiple people to pool their Ultraviolet digital codes into a library I started swapping them, adding to our collection and doing a lot of disc to digital while it was still offered in-store at Walmart because Vudu credit was so incredibly easy to get ahold of not to mention they had a longstanding glitch where you could trick the app into thinking your dvds were blurays thus avoiding an upgrade fee.
Eventually Disney started Movies Anywhere and those sharing options went away as libraries were split into two due to certain studios (most notably Paramount) not siding with the house of mouse as UV eventually died off. Movies Anywhere has thankfully done a better job of doing what UV couldn't in expanding to as many retailers as possible with Playstation being one of the last real holdouts as even DirecTV recently got on board with the ability to have your digital purchases fall into your MA library. Certain retailers Google/YouTube...and I think Apple automatically upgrades all titles into 4K versions if you use their app to watch. So basically any retailer is fine for that particular platform.
For the Paramount UV legacy side of my collection I stuck with Vudu...which Walmart recently sold to Fandango as their own retail service (FandangoNow formerly Flixster) blows, so I imagine it will be safe for as long as the site is, and is probably saving them right now as folks certainly aren't buying movie tickets.
My problem though is, despite having nearly four hundred 4K titles digitally on Google/YouTube, I don't have a 4K television or internet good enough to stream them. Maybe one day.
I'll usually go to blu-ray.com and read the 4k review, if it scores well on quality / physical bluray I'll buy a 4k bluray, if not, whatever is cheapest on Movies Anywhere. Often that is Microsoft.
Ditto to what others have said on regular Bluray > Streaming 4k... but I'm a sucker for HDR.
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