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livfoss
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Is an HD movie really full quality HD?

Yesterday I rented a very recent on-demand movie, "Arrival", paying the extra for HD (I may even have paid twice since my Tivo box crashed the first time I tried). I was disappointed with the quality of the picture, and even more, the sound. Compared to say a normal TV channel in HD - for example Pixar's "Brave" which was on BBC HD today - look at that red hair!! - the picture seemed quite fuzzy and the sound was muffled - made a lot worse because apparently there were no subtitles. I'm using a Toshiba HD TV that shows both TV and Blu-ray HD pictures really sharply.

I felt cheated. I should probably have tried to rent this movie via my Amazon TV stick or iTunes on an iPad. Certainly the Amazon version of the trailer (shown on the same TV and streaming down the same cable) is superior to the Virgin version (and by the way the Virgin 'Preview', which is just the same trailer as available elsewhere, is shown in the wrong aspect ratio!).

Is there anything I can do? I would have liked to talk to someone at Virgin, but it seems impossible to contact a human being for an issue like this.

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Superuser
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Re: Is an HD movie really full quality HD?

HD using broadcast channels (including OD) is almost exclusively 1080i format. Movies streamed via the internet are more likely to be "Native HD" or 1080p so will look somewhat better than their broadcast counterparts.

I can only suggest trying a different HDMI lead, as this may be the culprit.

su1718.jpgCable customer since 1993. Services: FH TV, Sky Sports & Movies (2xV6), Talk Anytime Phone, VIVID 350, Virgin PAYG Mobile

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livfoss
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Re: Is an HD movie really full quality HD?

Thanks for that info - I will look up the difference between 1080p and 1080i. I can't quite see why BBC1 HD via the Tivo box was superior to my OD movie, but I promise you it was, and of course they both used the same cable between the Tivo box and the TV. I am not clear if sound quality is associated with screen resolution or not, but that was also an issue. I will pursue the HDMI cable suggestion - I know that some cables are superior to others. I'll report back if anything changes.

I still resent the fact that I can't easily talk to a VM person about this kind of thing on the phone. Human beings ought to be more available for technical queries, in my opinion.

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Chortleman
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Message 4 of 7
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Re: Is an HD movie really full quality HD?

Don't waste your money on an expensive HDMI cable, you will not get any improvement in picture quality over using a cheap one.  An HDMI cable will either work or not work... that's it.

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cybmole
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Re: Is an HD movie really full quality HD?

Quality is subjective. HD just rates how many pixels on screen at once. 1920 x 1080 for full hd.static image

But a movie on blu ray disc can be 20-40gb. The streaming version may be only 5-10gb and some rips can be way smaller. To my eyes, a netflix hd stream looks the same as a blu ray but i am not a film critic with a 99 inch plasma screen😀

If you read reviews,some blu ray and some streams are technically poor, others are very good. Some of that is due to the quality of the original camerawork, some is due to the care and attention, or lack of, during coversion to disc or to stream

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cybmole
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Message 6 of 7
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Re: Is an HD movie really full quality HD?

Quality is subjective. HD just rates how many pixels on screen at once. 1920 x 1080 for full hd.static image

But a movie on blu ray disc can be 20-40gb. The streaming version may be only 5-10gb and some rips can be way smaller. To my eyes, a netflix hd stream looks the same as a blu ray but i am not a film critic with a 99 inch plasma screen😀

If you read reviews,some blu ray and some streams are technically poor, others are very good. Some of that is due to the quality of the original camerawork, some is due to the care and attention, or lack of, during coversion to disc or to stream.

The folks who claim to be able to tell the difference between hdmi cable brands are in the business of selling them or writing for specialist magazines who need the advertizing dollars. Not an objective source, and basic science says there cannot be a difference. It is just 0&1 bits in a stream, so it either works or it doesnt. Adding gold plating or exotic materials cwnnot crearte deeper blacks, whiter whites... to think otherwise is like believing that your printer will print better with a cable upgrade

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cybmole
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Re: Is an HD movie really full quality HD?

This article

http://www.expertreviews.co.uk/tvs-entertainment/8035/skyhd-vs-virgin-media-tivo

Concludes that virgin on demand quality is crap

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