Mike, Dennis, and John look at how far the streaming world has come from the Game of Thrones disaster two years ago, with HBO Max now offering reference-quality video—a standard more and more services are now able to meet. They also consider whether the affordable day & date model the studios adopted during the pandemic is likely to last, the problem of subscription overload, and wonder why Hollywood even bothered with the Oscars this year.
2:38 streaming codecs can now handle chaotic images, like of a forest fire, without distortion
4:24 the paucity of 4K HDR titles on HBO Max
5:14 the increasing number of streaming services capable of reference-quality playback
5:53 how even HD now looks better on Netflix and Disney+
7:16 Amazon and The Criterion Channel need to improve their HD playback
10:11 how streaming quality is determined by the quality of both the service and the hardware
10:30 Roku vs. Nvidia Shield vs. Apple TV vs. TV apps
11:20 John expresses concerns about streaming’s audio quality
13:04 Dennis discusses Dolby Labs’ tests that show streaming is capable of reference-quality audio
14:04 Apple TV+ vs. Disney+ vs. Netflix vs. HBO Max vs. Amazon vs. Hulu vs. The Criterion Channel
16:12 will streaming soon become the only home-video format?
19:12 the increasing problem of too many subscriptions
21:31 Sony distributing its films on Netflix and elsewhere instead of setting up its own channel
25:05 will streaming continue to do day & date or will big movies go back to debuting in theaters first?
29:21 will the strength of streaming coming out of the pandemic doom movie theaters?
33:20 was there any real value in doing the Oscars during the year of a pandemic?
34:33 the Oscars don’t adequately take streaming into account, especially streaming series
39:30 John talks about the promise of Sony’s new Bravia Core streaming service
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Michael Gaughn—The Absolute Sound, The Perfect Vision, Wideband, Stereo Review, Sound & Vision, The Rayva Roundtable, marketing, product design, some theater designs, a couple TV shows, some commercials, and now this.
Dennis Burger is an avid Star Wars scholar, Tolkien fanatic, and Corvette enthusiast who somehow also manages to find time for technological passions including high-end audio, home automation, and video gaming. He lives in the armpit of Alabama with his wife Bethany and their four-legged child Bruno, a 75-pound American Staffordshire Terrier who thinks he’s a Pomeranian.
Probably the most experienced writer on custom installation in the industry, John Sciacca is co-owner of Custom Theater & Audio in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, & is known for his writing for such publications as Residential Systems and Sound & Vision. Follow him on Twitter at @SciaccaTweets and at johnsciacca.com.