Even with website image optimisation, the hair on Durotan's shoulders, colour tone and the wrinkles on his face demonstrate a crisp more realistic range, especially when viewed on a larger screen!
We new 4K UHD would take off, and we knew our customers would encourage us to get on board, and never wishing to disappoint, 4K UHD has landed!
Our favourite format is the lossless MKV which savours all that quality, and equally important TrueHD and hopefully soon, ATMOS too when available on the disc.
To understand why the MKV is our favourite, let's make a few comparisons.
Digital content sellers, renters and general streamers.
It all comes down to visual and audio quality, bitrates really!
Now, please don't get us wrong, it has to be said, those digital content providers can pack a quality compressed punch, and they have to in order to send big data down our already throttled lines, which is a subject for another day as it has a lot to do with bandwidth speeds and data allowances.
So, for the online digital content sellers to appeal to the broader audience, they need to compress their video files and heavily, and while some would say Netflix does better on some titles over iTunes, and vice versa, compression will cause degradation.
A 4K (UHD) title on the disc can easily exceed 50GB. Compression can reduce it to 4GB to 8GB depending on the length of the feature. So what gives?
Visual | Reduced quality/degradation when compressing.
It's something that in general is more noticeable when close up to the screen, which in theory is what 4K UHD is all about, but compression can smooth out the grain a director and such like intended. Colours, especially black may look a little more grey, others maybe even washed out, and some scenes can be a bit skittish from time to time.
The Apple TV 4K box actually upscales lower quality which is very smart, but the upshot is…. Compressed 4K content may look acceptable, but it will never match that of a disc. MKV lossless is therefore our favourite and in many cases, savour Dolby Vision too!
Audio | More compression.
We have always considered sound to be immersive, representing half the experience, and a TrueHD or DTS audio track can often represent half the title size on a disc…. So, yes, H.265 mp4 compresses audio too! That's fine perhaps for an average boom bar or when using your TV speakers, but if you're actually running a decent, if not supersonic home theatre/cinema setup, streaming compressed audio is way under par compared to a lossless version.
Yes, and we do now, but because you are less likely to be streaming 4K over the internet to say a remote location, we are not going to be as overzealous on compression. For example:
✓ Visual will be compression limited.
✓ Audio passthrough, no compression. However, TrueHD is not compatible with the mp4 container, but DTS and DTS-MA is.
So the upshot is, if an iTunes 4K example is 5GB, your DIGIRAW H.265 mp4 will finish around 10GB to 15GB, maybe even a little more!
Processing power within our Studio has a lot to do with price and right now, ripping to MKV lossless is a lot quicker, and requires less computing power, making the cost of a 4K 100% clone quality conversion to mkv much more price advantageous when compared to a compressed H.265 mp4 version.
H.265 mp4 can take 15 to 24 hours to finish. That's a long time to tie up a powerful and expensive computer!
✓ 4K (UHD) MKV Lossless | £8 per disc
✓ 4K (UHD) H.265 mp4 | £15 per disc.
At this time, 4K (UHD) Direct Play Video Support via Plex requires:
Download Infuse 5 from Firecore via the tvOS app store for MKV 4K (UHD) Lossless playback.
Infuse 5 from Firecore is a stunning video player that will also connect to your Plex Server and play all your titles. The best part is, Infuse 5 plays just about every file type because it uses its own player rather than the Apple TV player. Including 4K MKV lossless!
So, to play your mkv 4K title on the Apple TV4K without any hiccups, in a direct play, zero buffer scenario, you'll need to spend around £5 per year on Infuse 5 to unlock that capability, while also benefiting from DTS audio which at present is not supported by the Apple TV player either.
£5 per year represents outstanding value!
As at May /June 2018, the Emby community suggests their own tvOS player is in development and could soon be another great option.
We're busy exploring media player apps like Infuse 5 is to the iOS and tvOS devices. We'll report back soon.
With the MKV lossless in mind, and with there being many media servers, apps, TVs and clients to test, if your set up is non-Apple TV 4K, then we invite you to send us one 4K (UHD) disc for your test.
Please contact us if you would like a single 4K (UHD) free test. All we ask for is an understanding of your set up and your feedback after that. Naturally, we'll send you your disc back.
We pride ourselves on providing great support and endeavour to answer every question we get. For the quickest, most immediate response please contact us using our form below.
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