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When free market competition doesn't work


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No doubt I'm not the only person to have received an email from Netflix to inform me that my standard HD subscription is going up from $13.99 to $15.99 a month from November.

 

The pathetic reason advanced by Netflix for this 11.4% increase is so that they can provide better quality content.

 

The real reason is so that they can keep throwing ever-increasing amounts of money at ever-decreasing quality product to compete with the many other providers now in operation.  Can someone explain to me how it will be possible for all these providers to survive?  Who will want to pay upwards of $50 a month just on the offchance that a favourite film or TV show will be on one of them?

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Amazon Prime Video which is part of the standard Prime membership, can be had for $59 a year (or could when I last paid mine).   Content seems great to me.  Plenty to watch.

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I joined Amazon Prime to get free shipping or something (I can't remember exactly).

@aussievintage is correct, there're a lot of interesting documentaries along with TV shows and movies,  for me the amount of music shows and documentaries has been one of the best things.

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Or Apple TV with a really limited set of ready to go content but plenty of "Pay to rent" offers.  

 

haha I had to laugh at how bad the Ui and experience was with Apple TV when I tried it the other day.

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Complaining about a $2 increase to a total of $15.99 and later talking about $50/month?! This makes no sense.

 

 I just canceled my foxtel which is almost exactly as the OP described, i.e: $49/month and I liked about 3 shows.

 

For the cost, Netflix is much better value. A few years ago I thought it had crap content, but they've improved dramatically and I watch it often now. Definitely worth paying a bit extra for them to produce more of this quality content. 
 

As said Prime represents great value too. Apple TV+ continues to produce more/better content and is free when buying an Apple device.

 

Honestly, the only ones that aren't good value (that I'm familiar with) is foxtel/kayo. If you love sports, you're stuck with them though. Kayo is one of the worst apps I've used btw. I'd never pay for it on that alone.

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17 minutes ago, Esoterica said:

Complaining about a $2 increase to a total of $15.99 and later talking about $50/month?! This makes no sense.

sorry, forgot to type the ironic emoji, but even if I did would most recognise it :P

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2 hours ago, pwstereo said:

I joined Amazon Prime to get free shipping or something (I can't remember exactly).

@aussievintage is correct, there're a lot of interesting documentaries along with TV shows and movies,  for me the amount of music shows and documentaries has been one of the best things.

 

Good music on the limited Prime Music too.  Also books if you have a Kindle.

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3 hours ago, frednork said:

sorry, forgot to type the ironic emoji, but even if I did would most recognise it :P

What I meant  was that you'd need to spend over $50 a month on several services to get enough choice.

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43 minutes ago, Bronal said:

What I meant  was that you'd need to spend over $50 a month on several services to get enough choice.

 

I subscribe to any that interest, and 'park' them, keeping just 2 active at any time.  For example, I have Stan and Foxtel Now on park at the moment.    If something big is added to one of them, or I just want a change, I switch them round.

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Yes I agree that many different suppliers with different (but same type) of content means you have to buy into every subscription to get maybe just a handful (or less) of the shows you want from each one. 😡 Or as I have done - just choose one and live with it 😁

 

On a side topic - why don't most of them provide Atmos soundtracks ?? 😭

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26 minutes ago, niterida said:

On a side topic - why don't most of them provide Atmos soundtracks ??

Annoyingly, if they have them at all, they make you buy the UHD subscription to get them

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8 hours ago, frednork said:

sorry, forgot to type the ironic emoji, but even if I did would most recognise it :P


Say what now? I was talking about the OP 🤣

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1 hour ago, aussievintage said:

Annoyingly, if they have them at all, they make you buy the UHD subscription to get them


That's an extra 2 or 3 bucks extra per month on Netflix. A no brainer for me wanting to watch in 4K. I cannot remember if they have atmos though. Apple TV+ does though. Dunno if it's extra as I've never paid, since I got it with my Apple TV 4K. Hmm that reminds me, I've probably had it for almost a year. I'll have to start paying for it, but will happily do so. It's getting better all the time. I just had a quick look and heaps of stuff has atmos (dolby vision too). I thought it was mainly rentals or purchases, but even series like Morning Wars and their new show Tehran has atmos 👍 as do many of their film productions.


Edit: Looks like almost all + content has atmos! Tiny World (cool nature doco series), Ted Lasso and Long Way Up to add  to the aforementioned. Pretty great that Apple are doing it right. That's one thing that annoys me about Netflix, the PQ and SQ is not high on many titles and it seems to vary from one device ro another. I suppose that's one of the advantages of having a proprietary box like Apple TV.

 

Edited by Esoterica
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18 minutes ago, Esoterica said:

That's an extra 2 or 3 bucks extra per month on Netflix. A no brainer for me wanting to watch in 4K. I cannot remember if they have atmos though.

 

That would be nice for me to know for sure.  I had been told it does.

 

18 minutes ago, Esoterica said:

I just had a quick look and heaps of stuff has atmos (dolby vision too).

 

Does it actually transmit it when you are streaming?  Titles in Netflix may have it, but doesn't mean they choose to stream it.

 

20 minutes ago, Esoterica said:

That's one thing that annoys me about Netflix, the PQ and SQ is not high on many titles

I hate the heavy compression that results in "contour lines" in finely shaded stuff, like night scenes, and skies.  Also they get horrible noise in dark scenes, again I think from compression.

 

 

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1 hour ago, aussievintage said:

That would be nice for me to know for sure.  I had been told it does.


I'll check next time I'm on there mate. Just watching the last few episodes I haven't seen of Britannia now, as it's my last day with Foxtel.

 

1 hour ago, aussievintage said:

Does it actually transmit it when you are streaming?  Titles in Netflix may have it, but doesn't mean they choose to stream it.


Yep. The good thing with Apple TV 4K, is you get the best quality possible. If it says atmos, you get atmos. It also does HDR and up to 4:4:4 colour, but it is picky about which cable to enable that. Ime getting anything to output 4:4:4 is problematic anyway. You can set the A TV to match frame rate and resolution (I think) to your display anyway. Because you have hardware providing the source, I imagine it's much more reliable than say an app streaming, like chromecast uses or an inbuilt app. Other hardware like Nvidia Shield exist too. I have Netflix native app on my TV, but prefer to use the Apple TV app.
 

I don't have the best internet (4G wifi router) and the picture goes low res sometimes, but only for brief periods. Considering my average net, I'm very happy with the quality it gives me. If you have good bandwidth, you shouldn't have any issues.

1 hour ago, aussievintage said:

I hate the heavy compression that results in "contour lines" in finely shaded stuff, like night scenes, and skies.  Also they get horrible noise in dark scenes, again I think from compression.


Yeah it can be a mixed bag. I've watched a lot of stuff on my Apple TV 4K and boy, the picture is stunning on some titles. E.g: I watched Joker 4K via my projector the other day and kept being amazed at how good it looked. Like with physical copies, some are better than others, but in general UHD content looks good streamed via ATV 4K.

Edited by Esoterica
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On the topic title though, irrespective of the price rise, the free market is in my opinion ruining it now, as due to the success early of Netflix, every company and their dog have tried emulating it, including incessantly now more than ever these has been dinosaurs like cbs and nbc just further diluting the market with more and more services. And the sheer volume of content is just too much.

 

Prime is great as they offer way more than video. Way more. And much less cost. Netflix I only keep as my wife uses it.

 

And I can't even understand how foxtel or any cable survives. Station logos and advertising put it below even free to air. It is a damn abomination.

 

 

Edited by Mobe1969
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14 hours ago, aussievintage said:

 

That would be nice for me to know for sure.  I had been told it does.

 

Does it actually transmit it when you are streaming?  Titles in Netflix may have it, but doesn't mean they choose to stream it.

 

To get Atmos from Netflix you must have 4K subscription and there are only limited devices that can stream Atmos from Netflix - Nvidia Shield and XBOX 1 are 2 of them - there are others but limited range. So I had to buy an XBOX as well as pay for 4k when I only have a 1080 display just to get Atmos sound🤬

It clearly states whether it has an Atmos sound track on the app so you know if it is Atmos or not, but you are right in that if  a movie is released with Atmos it doesn't necessarily mean the Netflix version has Atmos.

Its an absolute joke.

But at least you get some Atmos - I have my internet and phones with Optus so I get a free Fetch TV with all the latest movies (which I still have to pay for separately) but there is no Atmos at all with Optus !!

Edited by niterida
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8 minutes ago, niterida said:

Nvidia Shield and XBOX 1 are 2 of them - there are others but limited range.

I use chromecast.

 

9 minutes ago, niterida said:

So I had to buy an XBOX as well as pay for 4k when I only have a 1080 display just to get Atmos sound🤬

 

It's so annoying.  

 

10 minutes ago, niterida said:

but there is no Atmos at all with Optus !!

I have not seen it come up with Prime either - but again, via chromecast

 

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Yeah pretty sure Chromecast doesn't do Atmos at all ??

I thought Apple TV+ might be the way to go as I have read that they have loads of Atmos movies but I just went to Apple TV site to see what movies they have and I couldn't find a list anywhere on the web !!

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8 minutes ago, niterida said:

Yeah pretty sure Chromecast doesn't do Atmos at all ??

 

Well, it can in one sense.  I downloaded some atmos demo trailers onto my phone, and played them via the chromecast.  The result was fantastic atmos sound, and atmos being reported as present.

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49 minutes ago, niterida said:

Yeah pretty sure Chromecast doesn't do Atmos at all ??

I thought Apple TV+ might be the way to go as I have read that they have loads of Atmos movies but I just went to Apple TV site to see what movies they have and I couldn't find a list anywhere on the web !!


Download the app and look through the titles. If you see my earlier post in here, I did just that, and found that almost all Apple TV+ titles have atmos. Like you say, some movies that have atmos sound on disc, don't necessarily have it on streams. Iirc, Star Wars didn't. I rented the last episode on Apple TV and was hoping that it had atmos, being made for it with spaceships flying etc. but it makes sense that the studio wouldn't allow it to be exactly like the disc, or they wouldn't sell as many. 
 

Since Apple produced content can be made however they like, they can do atmos for everything. And that's exactly what they seem to be doing, which is great, although unnecessary for most content imo.

 

I'm not sure if you can get the app on non-apple devices, but I have apple music on my android phone, so it's possible.

 

I've bought and rented lots of movies on ATV and I'd estimate around a third have an atmos track. Again, i's mainly up to the studio I think.

 

As an example, here's what I "own"...

 

Back to the Future - 4K, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos

Saving Private Ryan - 4K, DV & DA

Ford vs. Ferrari - 4K, DV & DA

Joker - 4K, DV & DA

White Boy Rick - 4K & DV

 

As you can see, I stick almost exclusively with the best available sound and vision, and I can assure you, they are excellent quality, and a hell of a lot cheaper than physical media.

 

 I really should work for apple lol.

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1 minute ago, Esoterica said:

Since Apple produced content can be made however they like, they can do atmos for everything. And that's exactly what they seem to be doing, which is great, although unnecessary for most content imo.

Still, I wish the others would do the same

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, aussievintage said:

 

Well, it can in one sense.  I downloaded some atmos demo trailers onto my phone, and played them via the chromecast.  The result was fantastic atmos sound, and atmos being reported as present.


According to this website only Vudu offers it via chromecast ultra. You could probably get other apps to stream atmos, but not netflix, itunes and prime. So I don't know how (if?) you actually did.

 

https://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-stream-dolby-atmos-from-netflix-itunes-vudu-and-amazon/

 

I originally bought a Chromecast for a cheap way to stream kayo and view pics etc. on phone or ipad, on my TV. The cost of Apple TV 4K was prohibiting.

 

As the old saying goes, "you get what you pay for". The experience was horrible tbh. The fact it relies on apps on your devices and runs on chromecast (which is awful compared to airplay) meant I gave it away once buying my ATV4K. 

 

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I also have had the $2 price increase with Netflix and thought wow - that is like 50 cents  a week !! 🤣

Hardly anything - and to me that is worth it - I find good content on there and enjoy their documentaries too.

It also is very reliable and steams well for me - I use Chromecast - no issues at all with that.

 

I used to rent movies on DVD before I got Netflix a couple of years ago - used to cost me $9.00 to rent one movie - and I would have to drive there and take it back.

 

I also have Prime membership for the free shipping and find they have good shows & movies included so between the two I am OK with stuff to watch - 

only I find Prime does not stream so great sometimes it can buffer - and is a little buggy - (through Chromecast) but overall it is OK.

 

I really feel for the price Netflix is pretty good value to be honest...................I have no complaints.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, April Snow said:

I also have had the $2 price increase with Netflix and thought wow - that is like 50 cents  a week !! 🤣

Hardly anything - and to me that is worth it - I find good content on there and enjoy their documentaries too.

It also is very reliable and steams well for me - I use Chromecast - no issues at all with that.

 

I used to rent movies on DVD before I got Netflix a couple of years ago - used to cost me $9.00 to rent one movie - and I would have to drive there and take it back.

 

I also have Prime membership for the free shipping and find they have good shows & movies included so between the two I am OK with stuff to watch - 

only I find Prime does not stream so great sometimes it can buffer - and is a little buggy - (through Chromecast) but overall it is OK.

 

I really feel for the price Netflix is pretty good value to be honest...................I have no complaints.

 

 

The next email you'll get from them will be offering your existing membership for $2 a month more without ads.

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On 22/10/2020 at 9:16 AM, niterida said:

To get Atmos from Netflix you must have 4K subscription and there are only limited devices that can stream Atmos from Netflix - Nvidia Shield and XBOX 1 are 2 of them - there are others but limited range. So I had to buy an XBOX as well as pay for 4k when I only have a 1080 display just to get Atmos sound🤬

It clearly states whether it has an Atmos sound track on the app so you know if it is Atmos or not, but you are right in that if  a movie is released with Atmos it doesn't necessarily mean the Netflix version has Atmos.

Its an absolute joke.

But at least you get some Atmos - I have my internet and phones with Optus so I get a free Fetch TV with all the latest movies (which I still have to pay for separately) but there is no Atmos at all with Optus !!

Worse than that (Atmos support) is native frame rate support. The abomination that is 60p 3:2 pull down conversions of native 24p material is a crime. And in some cases, it isn't just the hardware manufacturers not supporting it. I was told with the Panasonic uhd players, netflix wouldn't allow them to do it. I think there are only a couple of devices that do native frame rate. Apple TV and I think the Nvidia Shield.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I used to have Foxtel, got rid of it after many years due to the ridiculous cost and poor content (I'm not interested in sports).  Also because they never upgraded the 1st.generation box that output in r/g/b - when I asked them about it they said it was because I didn't request marketing info.  They didn't agree when i said offering a better quality service wasn't marketing info, it was good customer service.  They fought tooth and nail to keep me when I tried to cancel, eventually I told them to stop throwing offers at me to stay.

 

So I joined Netflix, partly due to the cost, and partly because everyone who had it said how fantastic it was and they had every movie that had been made.  Funny about that, with very rare exception, every movie I've been waiting decades to watch that I put in the search wasn't on Netflix.  I'm not into watching many series, and I would have expected more music content.  It's now frustrating that there are things I want to watch, and I find they are on the other services.  I agree that the competition is diluting the quality, I hope the competitive forces rationalises the industry within a few years.  But all in all, $15p/m for Netflix is much cheaper than Foxtel, and I can often find a decent movie to watch when I want to. 

 

 

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10 hours ago, audiofeline said:

So I joined Netflix, partly due to the cost, and partly because everyone who had it said how fantastic it was and they had every movie that had been made.  Funny about that, with very rare exception, every movie I've been waiting decades to watch that I put in the search wasn't on Netflix.

Have a look at the USA version, lots more content than what we get here in AU.

You can set up a VPN and watch the USA version. It's easy enough to have a look before you go to that trouble, use the Opera browser (has a built-in VPN) on your computer and login to the USA Netflix site and have a look for the content you want.

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