Film and Episodic Content Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Random Thoughts' started by purr1n, Jan 8, 2020.

  1. Pharmaboy

    Pharmaboy Friend

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    Right you are. Maybe it shows--I'm in tech/overload status, red lights flashing.

    The proper full name for it is "Apple 4K TV (2021)."

    I'm leaning towards the Roku Ultra 4K/2021. Not only would it allow me to easily subscribe to/view the Criterion Channel--but it would let me connect via ethernet cable, the way I'm accustomed to using the 4K TV in a spot of low WiFi coverage.
     
  2. YMO

    YMO Scatologically ribald obsessive

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    @crenca you been boomering up things as of late. ;)

    @Pharmaboy before you decide on a streaming box, I would focus on what each platform brings to the table.

    For starters, I just avoid all the streaming sticks since they have limited processing power, weak Wi-Fi, and other issues I had with them like slow interfaces. I feel the Fire Sticks and the Roku sticks are just made to throw them in the trash after awhile.

    However, the Roku Ultra boxes are my recommendation if you want to use Roku. The interface is simple, the Roku Ultra supports ethernet, the default remote control has a built-in headphone jack for "silent" listening, and has a pretty good Android/iOS app support with extra features. My issue with Roku has been weak 24p support on most apps and addddass issue. It bugged me to death before I put my 2019 Roku Ultra back in its box over a year ago. However, for those who want to step up their steaming game, the Roku Ultra is the one that I recommend for most people, even if all of their hardware is on the weak side on SOC and long term support. But they do a good enough job that most people won't care.

    The Fire TV devices from Amazon are almost all sticks except for the Fire TV Cube. I would recommend get the Fire TV Cube since it supports ethernet via its included adapter, Alexa voice support if you care about that, and a modified version of Android where you can side load apps to it if you want. Downside is its Amazon, which you get the best value from their devices if you are a Prime member. Also, cheaper hardware cost due to addadddsss (this is becoming a normal theme with streaming boxes since this is a fact). If you are in/out the Amazon eco system, then the Fire devices are also a good thing. Also I forgot if the Youtube app is back on the Fire devices, since you couldn't get a native Youtube app on the Fire devices unless you side load the crap out of it.

    Google TV (was Android TV) biggest benefit is other hardware makers can use the OS for streaming boxes. You also have tons of options here but honestly I would focus on the TOTL Nivida Shield Pro since that shit is still getting updates after coming out almost five plus years ago and ethernet. Still does a lot of things right on steaming and I think it has the best version of Plex. Also downside is not all apps support 24p, it works best IMO with an Android device/phone, and adddassss. Also due to the older age of the Shield hardware, it doesn't support the latest crap like 4k Youtube and other stuff. So more/less you are picking up an older Google TV device that has great long term support if you got it years ago and still kicks ass.

    Apple TV devices are all streaming boxes with ethernet support. They are also the highest priced of the bunch due to Apple tax. However, with the higher cost you see very little ads and other hardware refinement. 24p support is just about there on almost all apps, and if you are in the Apple ecosystem then you can use something like an iPhone with FaceID to do a picture calibration for the picture settings of your Apple TV device. The device works well with your other devices, like Airplay...but I think the latest Roku Ultra supports Airplay. A lot of people love the long term support Apple does with their Apple TV boxes and they love that it just works. Downside is the cost and it works best if you are in the Apple ecosystem.

    Another thing to worry about is the browsing experience. Each streaming box OS will "guide" you to their own preferred streaming service so they can make more money off of you. You can search for a movie and all the common searches will tell you that you must rent it. But you know that same movie is on this streaming app for free but it isn't part of the OS search.

    Long story short: Research each OS and devices, then compare what services/devices you have and then decide what works for you. Hard to recommend the Apple TV if one you aren't in the Apple ecosystem and two you don't care about 24p support. Also for me it is hard to recommend the Fire TV Cube if you aren't in the Amazon ecosystem. However, you can still access your apps (including getting the Criterion Channel) on all of these streaming boxes without worry. I do focus on the experience itself since that is a thing for me.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2022
  3. ogodei

    ogodei Headphone Heaven Gatekeeper

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    For this reason I use 'justwatch' to find where stuff is available for streaming. Search for a movie, it lists the services where you can rent, buy or watch it free. You can create a free account for the service which offers customized searches and 'watch later' lists in exchange for (presumably) showing you ads. But its just as easy to do an internet search for the movie title along with the string 'justwatch' , the first link usually gets you there and no ads.

    I'll also give another reason to use the Nvidia Shield Pro: You can go into settings and turn off ALL the banners, recommendations & 'watch next' crap that shows up in the home screens. I get unreasonably pissed off when they shove that stuff in front of you, I wont rant but I'm tempted. At least for now you can turn it all off, that's what induced me to use these throughout the house.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2022
  4. YMO

    YMO Scatologically ribald obsessive

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    You don't need to rant @ogodei since tons of people of people ranting when Google TV brought in addddaaassss to the Shield. It wasn't Nvidia fault, it's Google doing what they do best.
     
  5. Pharmaboy

    Pharmaboy Friend

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    @YMO, thanks for your informative posts. I'm really learning things here....

    I lean towards Roku Ultra for several reasons, only one of which has been mentioned:
    1. It's easy to download and use the CC app on Roku (unlike the Amazon box)
    2. The Amazon & Apple ecosystems appear confining, especially Apple. Roku seems less so. I already have one Roku stick on another TV. It was a beast to install, but easy to live with thereafter
    3. Plus my cable provider now permits streaming of all their channels (that I pay for) as an alternative to using a cable box--but only via Roku devices. So adding a 2nd Roku device to my arsenal represents a different kind of future proofing
    I tend to agree with you about the sticks. For longterm reliability, it's all about the power supply, and they just don't have solid power supplies.

    Can you amplify this comment: "My issue with Roku has been weak 24p support on most apps and addddass issue."

    Do these comments apply to the latest Roku box/2021? I'm assuming 24p means judder on some films streamed on some apps...? And ads are displayed where--on main screen?

    BTW, I don't use any streaming service's app to actually research content. I do that all on a computer with full browser (using IMDB and other site) and no remote control to mess with. So I don't care much about the fluidity/transparency of apps in that sense.

    (I'm a dinosaur)
     
  6. YMO

    YMO Scatologically ribald obsessive

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    @Pharmaboy stop saying you old, we are all old. If it makes you feel better, I'm getting more gray hair on my chest now and I'm finally getting my Salt 'n Pepper on my hair, but I'm still the official SBAF ape.

    On topic, I'm glad you are researching and discovering that Roku might be the one that will meet most of your needs. It's still their boxes that I recommend to most people since you aren't locked down on a device or services (unlike Amazon and Apple) and their mobile apps on both Android and iOS is pretty good.

    One thing I forgot to say that that Youtube was almost off the Roku devices due to a contact dispute. That was recently resolved so Youtube still lives on Roku devices. These servicing disputes will be more coming on these streaming boxes, which is why some people use two streaming boxes for their needs. When things get more segregated on both the content providers and streaming boxes, more issues will arise for consumers in my opinion.

    So your comment:

    I believe Roku still have issues with 24p judder on their 2021 Ultra Boxes and below. It's a long term issue with Roku and that's why I stop using my Roku Ultra. Lon.TV did a great Youtube video about the 24p issue and why those who are anal about 24p judder prefer to use Apple TV boxes (but he does reference that Apple TV has a weak version of Plex and the Nvidia Shield has the best version of Plex). Lon.TV hit the major points that are balanced and I am in agreement with him. I still stand by that for most people Roku is the great sweet spot unless you can't unsee 24p judder.



    Roku can sell their boxes for cheap because the cost is being subbed with addddasss. Perfect example is when the screensaver is on and you see ads. Browsing in Roku you will see ads. Honestly most people don't care about the ads, because that's how they can get their Roku stuff for cheap. Roku don't really make money on hardware, it is on the servicing side that they bring in the $$$$.

    Lon.TV also did a good overview video of the different streaming platforms and I am also in full agreement with him on it.



    End of the day the research each device/os, then see your use case and your current purchased hardware, and make a decision on what works for you.
     
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  7. crenca

    crenca Friend

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    Adass (or rather the ability not to see them) are important me not only because they bother me, but because I have children in the house and I do my best to keep them from their little eyeballs. I have Roku set up to only see the single ad you cannot permanently disable within Roku OS, the one to the right of your apps/channels on the home page. This one is static (not a video/changing gif) and has no sound so I tolerate it. When a Roku screen server comes on (I have the fish tank on right now) no ads.

    However, what happens when you enter apps/services/channels is up to that particular app. Netflix for example does not allow you to block their constant self promotion. For example if pause a show/flick and walk away, Netflix displays its own "screen saver" which is advertisements of their own crappy (and often "mature") programing, so I have to be intentional when I use Netflix. Peacock (which I really only use to stream Premier League) and Disney are better, but they still try to promote their own programming at different points in the aps. But none of this is Roku's fault so to speak.

    I don't use Roku OS for anything - I don't use its movie/programming search and whatever else it has, so maybe that's why I don't see ads (besides the homepage static)?
     
  8. YMO

    YMO Scatologically ribald obsessive

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    Curious @crenca, what services do you stream?

    I'm reviewing on subbing a few more services but I know I am not a fan of the major US network offerings. I don't really care for Hulu (which is another front for Disney), Netflix, and Disney+. HBO Max is a good mix of movies (since its HBO), enough content, and other stuff that make it interesting. Also I can pay it on an annual basis to save me some shekels.

    Also for everyone, crenca did a great job on why I hate adass. I don't care what is on my TV, but it is harder to control the adass if you have children. Like I'm willing to pay more money to shut that crap off.
     
  9. crenca

    crenca Friend

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    Right now we subscribe NetFlix, Disney, Peacock (which I pay an extra $5 a month to turn off in-programing ads), and Prime (its a side benefit to the shipping) which we only occasionally use to rent a specific movie. I have been meaning to drop NetFlix but the wife keeps making excuses by finding something specific which she occasionally watches. Even when I add Criterion (probably today), it's all significantly cheaper than a cable bill, but like I said cost is just a side benefit as I do it to control ads and what my children watch through device and in app parental controls.

    Roku comes with "Pluto TV" and other free aps that just stream live network/cable channels, but I uninstall all that crap. I remember we considered Hulu TV a few years back, but you could not disable all the ads at the time - though you could pay extra for fewer, which I think is stupid but apparently people do it.

    Ad control combined with some semblance of parental controls are my first, second, and third priority. Won't even consider a service without it, which is why legacy over-the-air and cable is a no go for me.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2022
  10. Pharmaboy

    Pharmaboy Friend

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    Well, this has been an epic 24 hrs of immersion in alien tech for me. But thanks to you and several others here, the picture is snapping into focus:
    • I do care about frame rate anomalies, having seen it on various TVs before
    • My 2018 TOTL LG/77" has built-in streaming apps that display native frame rate, so I haven't been seeing frame rate anomalies to date
    • I can't readily subscribe to Criterion Channel on this LG w/o resorting to an external stick or box that allows easy download & installation of the CC app
    • Apparently all external sticks/boxes except Apple TV 4K have incomplete or nonexistent settings/control of frame rate matching
      • All the box/4K solutions do allow ethernet connection, which I greatly prefer due to weak WiFi at the location of the big TV
    • Net/net: If I want CC on this TV and ethernet connection, I have to buy an Apple TV 4K & subscribe to CC. Total cost ~$250 to get going
      • Gaming is a non-factor for me, so Plex integration and other gaming related features are a moot point for me
      • I have no other Apple devices, so I'm equally numb to the Apple "ecosphere"
      • All I want is for streaming apps to work seamlessly and well with my LG TV, and apparently that's easily done w/Apple TV 4K
    "I'm fresh outta bullets"

    Thanks to all here for helping me understand this stuff.

    FWIW, one great the ironies here is that among my relatives and friends, I know far more than anyone else about TV/video tech. I've helped people set up TVs, 4K blu rays, etc. I can even briefly explain the difference between OLED vs LCD screen tech, and did so more than once. But the whole "how to get CC" + "frame rate matching" thing was new to me.
     
  11. YMO

    YMO Scatologically ribald obsessive

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    One thing I have to say to you @Pharmaboy and others is you do not need to be in an ecosystem or be very into a service to use a streaming box from the big four tv OS streaming systems. In other words, you do not need to be in the Apple ecosystem to get the benefit of the Apple TV (but with their other products the Apple TV works in the Apple ecosystem like using your iPhone as a picture calibration device that is good enough but not on a professional level), you do not need to have a Prime membership to use the Fire TV devices, or use Android currently to get an Android/Google TV streaming box. Roku is the most neutral with regards to what hardware you currently use in your home.

    Pharmaboy does bring up that the built in streaming apps within the Smart TV will normally not have any frame rate issues. However, I prefer dumb TVs over Smart TVs because it will not take long for the SOC that is in the Smart TV to run slower and not being supported by the OS for new apps. This is why I always get a streaming box even if a newer TV can already steam your apps already. I prefer having the TV just being a display and just display/output sound, no internet crap and etc.

    I would bet money that if Pharmaboy gets a good streaming box that isn't a stick, they will discover that it will be faster/better performance to use over the built in SOC that's in the 2018 LG TV.
     
  12. Pharmaboy

    Pharmaboy Friend

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    I agree with everything said here. The final paragraph makes an excellent point.

    It's easy to see w/my LG OLED how often all the apps update themselves. It's only a matter of time until this or that app is superceded by a different/better one that may not be available for download. And as I'm finding with CC, some apps cannot be readily used with a given TV, no matter how excellent it otherwise is.... So using a smart TV as a display-only device makes a lot of sense to me.
     
  13. crenca

    crenca Friend

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    Second episode of Boba Fett is better, much more compelling. Even the looking back sequences do not seem a mere rehash.

    I signed up for the Criterion streaming service, and after @YMO mentioned Kagemusha I realized I had only seen snippets and have never sat down and watched it beginning to end. They don't make movies like this anymore. Only at a couple of spots did my brain, so used to more recent flash-scene filming, say to itself "this has gone on long enough". I admit I'm not that convinced by the ending as far as plot, but boy what a movie.
     
  14. SoupRKnowva

    SoupRKnowva Official SBAF South Korean Ambassador

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    I just finished watching Invasion on Apple TV+, and honestly, this is the show they should have led with, not the entirely too mediocre For All Mankind. I can’t believe people aren’t talking about it more, it just flew completely under the radar, and it knocked my socks off. Highly recommended
     
  15. YMO

    YMO Scatologically ribald obsessive

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    After watching Kagemusha last night, it is easy to tell that this was Kurosawa's warmup to Ran, which I really prefer over Kagemusha. However, still a great film. For those who might say it was a little too long, the long sequences are done for impact on the viewer (including the final battle). The nightmare part of the film is great. I love how Kurosawa does the film shots with the tons of extras on the film without any issues.

    Also, Kagemusha is based on Japanese History (the "shadow warrior" part isn't the accurate part). Now I know why Kagemusha will be removed from the CC, 20th Century Fox owns the international rights to the film and they only gave CC a limited time to have the rights.

    On TV news, I been watching Ted Lasso on Apple TV+. Finally a TV show that doesn't have woke BS and just tell a story that doesn't make me feel like shit after watching each episode.
     
  16. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    I can't think a more played out franchise than Scream at this point (nearly every entry opens the exact same way ffs), but I'll be seeing the latest disappointing entry tomorrow. It's free, so the only reason I'm going.
     
  17. Pharmaboy

    Pharmaboy Friend

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    Had no idea another SCREAM film was in the offing. Why on earth would that mess come back again?

    On another, possibly more hopeful topic: I am a dedicated fan of Lee Child's great series of books starring the character, Jack Reacher. These books are notoriously hard to make into screenplays because, despite the intense/violent action scenes, much of the plot logic takes place in Reacher's mental assessments of events and military planning for ass kickings to follow.

    Yes, two films were made starring Tom Cruise. The good news is with Cruise attached, these films could be made. The bad news is they were such inadequate representations of the source material.

    After years of delay, Amazon Prime will launch Season-1 of REACHER, their entry in the Jack Reacher genre. Fingers crossed that they do justice to the books. The trailer makes me feel moderately hopeful (at least Alan Ritchson looks the part, which Tom Cruise definitely did not).
     
  18. crenca

    crenca Friend

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    Better cross your toes and your hairs too, Amazons quality so far has been mostly bad to really bad IMO.
     
  19. Pharmaboy

    Pharmaboy Friend

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    If you refer to quality of Amazon's original programming, I can't really agree. IMO the quality of the following shows is well above average (the first 3 are superior):

    GOLIATH
    COUNTERPOINT
    BOSCH
    THE BOYS
     
  20. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    As I predicted Scream 5 was a trainwreck. Some cool moments here and there, mostly from the old characters, but bland new characters, derivative plot and humor, and a laughable killer reveal make this hard to recommend unless you're a completionist .
     

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