Mike bought a copy of the The Martian and it comes with a digital download. But he has the choice of getting it from iTunes or "Ultra Violet." Which one will work best with most of his devices? Leo says that iTunes will work on Apple Devices and Windows, but not Android. And he can't stream it on anything but an Apple TV.
Scott says that 2016 will be the year of Ultra HD Blu-ray which will not only have 4K, but high dynamic range as well. HDR gives your image more "pop." HDR will give the image 5-6 additional stops of dynamic range, and it provides far more detail in shadows and bright ambient light. So with HDR, you can enjoy the best of both worlds.
Jonathan's external Blu-ray burner for his laptop has just died. Are there any good external Blu-ray burners for Mac? Leo says that just about any Blu-ray burner would work, if he could find software to drive it. Apple doesn't sell one because they don't want to support Blu-Ray burners due to privacy issues.
45 years after they broke up, the Beatles continue to outsell just about everyone. Lately, they released a Blu-ray of videos of all their hit songs and it's selling out everywhere. 31 million copies sold!
Scott says that Vizio has dropped 3D completely from its entire line of HDTVs and is moving towards High Dynamic Range. Leo says that some people are confused between HDR and high frame rate, or HFR. Scott says that some TV makers are still in the HFR camp and many people don't like it because of it makes the image look like a soap opera. Scott also says that LCDs can make the problem worse with motion blur and then frame interpolation is applied that makes the image look even more plasticy. How can you get rid of the soap opera effect? Look for black frame insertion.
Lance says that he doesn't think 4K streaming will ever take over 4K Blu-ray discs. Scott says that the median downstream bandwidth in the US is far less than what 4K requires, and even if it did, with data caps, your streaming would be terribly limited every month. Leo agrees and says that he's seen 4K streaming and it's nowhere near as good as a Blu-ray experience. Scott says it's because the streams are compressed and that is part of the problem.
Scott joins us to talk about streaming in 4K and how it isn't really 4K quality. You would need a 4K TV, but it barely reaches Blu-ray quality. So you end up spending extra money for the same quality you have from your Blu-ray player. Samsung, though, has a new line of 4K TVs that offer high dynamic range (HDR) quality. The problem is, there are five different standards for 4K HDR, including a standard by SMPTE and 4 proprietary standards like Dolby Vision. So Scott says it's still not time to buy 4K. But soon you won't have much of a choice.
Mike just bought a 65" Samsung curved 4K TV. He wants to know if they're going to be coming out with Blu-ray players soon. Leo says that there will be a new 4K Blu-ray player later this year and some are already streaming in 4K, like Netflix. But the problem is, to get all that streamed, they have to significantly compress it. It's really early now and standards are going to change.
Scott is getting questions about 4K and if it's a good idea to buy an A/V receiver to get ready for it. Scott says no, because no standards have been settled yet. And why are there so many 4K TVs out? Scott says that the TV manufacturers even caught Hollywood off guard, and even though there's some great deals out there for 4K TVs, the odds are they won't be supported in the adopted standards once they do come out. Not only that, but according to Joe Kane, the 4K TVs are just HDTVs with 4x more pixels.
Sam is looking for a Blu-ray player for the grandkids. Leo says that blu-ray and DVD players are fairly inexpensive. What Leo says may be a better option is to get them a Playstation or Xbox One. They come with blu-ray drives built in. But if he just wants to get the player itself, there really isn't a difference between them at this point.