Why Amazon Prime Video is better than Netflix for watching series and movies (that are on both platforms)

During the confinement, in SamaGame and in SamaGame we were paying attention to the reduction in image quality that the main streaming services were applying so that Internet traffic did not become congested, since from the European Union they transmitted that there was a risk of reaching a lot of pressure In the net. Finally there were no problems of any kind, but quality reduction lasted longer than expected.

That gave me the idea of ​​comparing the main services available in Spain, to see which ones offered the best bitrate and with what codec (H.265 / HEVC, H.264 / AVC, etc). The winner was clear: Apple TV +, followed somewhat by far by Disney +, Netflix and Prime Video, in that order. However, as we already discussed, the important thing was not only the number, but also the codec.

Prime Video and Netflix coincide in some content in Full HD: according to our tests, the quality provided by Amazon in them is higher

In this sense, I have been doing tests comparing content available on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, which They are the platforms that offer higher quality than those that have a lot of content from different production companies (HBO, unfortunately, cannot be taken into account for this), and I have observed that Prime Video is better in Full HD compared to what the numbers said, thanks to the fact that it broadcasts all its contents in HEVC / H.265, opposite to Netflix, which below 4K broadcasts in the old H.264, a less efficient format and which, at the same bitrate, offers less quality.

H.264 vs H.265: what the theory says

H.264 is a high compression codec that began to be developed in 2003 and whose last version dates from June 2004. It has been key in the success of high definition, because thanks to its compression and quality over MPEG-2, the codec used in DVD has allowed Blu-Ray and quality mass streaming video to exist.

But like everything, it ends up becoming relatively obsolete, and for 4K video a new codec was needed, the H.265 or HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding). H.265 has been associated with that resolution since the arrival of the first 4K TVs (actually since the first generation of really prepared, because there was no content before), and is the format used in 4K Blu-Ray.

Why? The first reason is simple: it allows the space occupied by files of similar quality to be cut in half thanks to better compression algorithms. At equal bitrate or bitrate, video quality in H.265 is much better than in old H.264, and the artifacts are much less obvious.

With a lower bitrate, as we said, occupying less, H.265 is also better up to a certain ratio. It is ideal for 4K because, despite carrying frames four times larger than those of Full HD, with bitrates such as 15-25 Mbps, an image quality is obtained that without being that of a physical disk, is absolutely enjoyable on Netflix, and on all on Disney + and Apple TV +. Although looking ahead there is already a new codec war, it is important to mention that H.265 is more than ready for 8K and high frame rates.

Amazon Prime Video versus Netflix: What Happens in Practice

As I said at the beginning, I have been able to perform tests with an Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K and with an LG OLED C9 TV, both in the Fire applications and in the native ones on TV. Thanks to an Amazon developer tool, when watching video b (and HDR type etc).

With this tool I have been able to verify that even old series such as ‘Stargate SG-1’, present on Amazon without even 720p resolution (640 x 360), are encoded in HEVC / H.265, as seen in the codec section of the information that the Fire Stick 4K gives. On Netflix, on the other hand, everything that I have been able to test below 4K video is encoded in H.264 / AVC.

Above, using H.265 they look splendid and in 4K they beat Amazon thanks to their Dolby Vision. Perhaps with other devices there is better support, but in the many in which I have tried (also with PC and Mac laptops, and in summer with the Apple TV 4K) they tell me that reality is as I describe it.

To see what differences there are in practice, I have compared 1080p content found on both platforms, like the film series ‘Oceans’, ‘Aquaman’, ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘V for Vendetta’, among others like ‘Friends’, and in my opinion, the differences are very palpable, especially when viewed on televisions Large 4K.

Prime Video apps are worse, but picture quality can make up for it. The Harry Potter saga, for example, on Amazon is in 4K HDR, while on Netflix it is only in Full HD.

Netflix boasts of its compression and achieves wonders, but the truth is that with H.264 it cannot approach what Amazon achieves with H.265 in FullHD video. It is something very evident in dark scenes, or in bright ones where there are dim areas. There, the naturalness and texture of skins in low bitrates like the ones we talked about on Prime and Netflix (4-6 mbps) is conspicuous by its absence in complicated scenes on Netflix, and it holds up surprisingly well on Prime.

It shows in sharpness, but also in artifacts. With this bitrate you can never expect wonders, but where Prime Video sometimes gives you a homogeneous and fixed image in terms of color and texture continuity, Netflix gives you a video full of moving artifacts. The difference becomes dramatic in fine detail. When there is a very intense solid color reflecting off one face of the skin, for example, Prime has a hard time showing detail, for example, but on Netflix it gets to wash off completely. Let’s see concrete examples. It is a pity that due to DRM issues we cannot take screenshots, so I have chosen to take photos of the screen trying to show the differences that I saw.

Netflix compression on the Full HD content we have analyzed destroys film-grain detail and introduces artifacts that Prime Video solves much better.

The first example is from ‘Aquaman’. First we will see the photo I took on TV playing the Amazon Prime Video version and then the Netflix version. Beyond the variables that you introduce that both photos do not come out the same, andIn the case of Amazon, I see that the wrinkles on the skin are more outlined, and the skin in general has more texture. In addition, in the beard you can see that Amazon retains the detail much better when compressing. In motion, the differences are more noticeable. For those who want to do the test, this is the scene where Aquaman is with his father at the bar.

In the next scene, I have captured George Clooney’s face at the beginning of ‘Oceans 11’. Without perhaps being so dramatic the difference, because for me in the first example it is, in the cheekbone that is to the left of the nose, in Amazon Prime Video I see that the pores of the skin are clearly shown, while on Netflix, although the detail is not bad, the image comes loaded with an amalgam of artifacts I repeat, in person and in motion they are better appreciated.

In other examples of the film it is still appreciated. On this shadowed wall, in the case of Amazon Prime Video, classic film grain is seen alongside the lines on the wall, while In Netflix, in addition to not being able to appreciate the detail or the separation between the different tiles, the grain is destroyed by artifacts.

Yet another example where is clearly visible in the letters at the bottom of the poster and in the shadow detail behind the columns.

In scenes where the camera puts the emphasis on letters on a plain background, like the one we see below, it is also perfectly observed that the text on Amazon is cleaner and more detailed (despite the fact that the photo is not good), while in Netflix the detail is smoother and text is surrounded by compression artifacts. Perhaps the Amazon shot is not appreciated too well, due to the effects of the screen that the camera captures, but the Netflix problem is perfectly observed.

In the last comparison we have made, in the first chapter of ‘Friends’, there is also much more grain in the Amazon Prime Video image than the Netflix image. We may not like the film grain, but the reality is that the Blu-Ray from which the videos of both platforms are extracted contains that grain and is how the series was recorded, so it reflects reality much better. We can see it both in the face and in the yellow jacket and in the blue garment.

Since I first saw Friends in high definition, which was on Netflix, i thought the image contained a lot of artifacts on the faces and they were heavily washed, at once. Phoebe’s face is the perfect example to realize this.

In summary, it would be appreciated if Netflix could encode all its contents again to offer them in H.265 or in more modern codecs such as AV1 or H.266, because in movies and series from a few years ago and today it offers a lower image quality. And it is not a trivial topic. During the quarantine, many people complained about Netflix’s image quality outside of 4K, and we already know that it was not because it was not 4K, but because at an already limited quality, they applied large bitrate reductions, which weighed down greatly the experience.

If the content is 4K, no problemThere, those of Reed Hastings do it very well and offer Dolby Vision where Amazon only offers, in general, HDR10.


How to know if your mobile is playing Netflix, Disney + or Amazon Prime Video in maximum quality

Most streaming platforms offer different playback qualities to their users. These have settings in the respective apps, although companies Limit aspects like resolution or HDR to select Android phones. How do you know which ones are compatible with the highest quality? We teach you how to find out.

Mobile not only provides access to messaging and games, but watching movies and TV shows is generally one of the ways to take advantage of the phone’s growing screens. And Netflix is ​​generally one of the most used, along with other platforms like Amazon Prime Video or Disney +: all offer a more or less voluminous catalog that can be viewed in different qualities. As usual, not all mobiles can access the best breeding conditions. But do you know why and how to know if your mobile is suitable? The key is in Widevine, a file protection or DRM system.

Widevine, the DRM that dictates reproduction quality

This is one of the key aspects of any Android mobile and the first thing to know whether your mobile can play high resolution streaming content or not. Widevine is a protection system or DRM which ensures reproduction of protected content to avoid copying and sharing. On Android, most platforms use this system. And manufacturers certify their phones with Widevine so they can access streaming apps.

One of the key aspects of Widevine DRM is that it Divides devices into two levels for their playability: L1 and L3 (Widevine is L2 level, but not used on Android). In terms of resolution, here’s how the two certifications work:

  • These mobiles Widevine L3 certified They will have access to playback on Netflix, Disney + or Amazon Prime Video up to maximum SD resolution (standard or basic, up to 720p).
  • Widevine L1 offers high resolution playback, above 720p. The decoding process is more demanding than Widevine L3, many midrange to low range mobiles are not certified for the top level (the reason is often attributed to the material contained). Additionally, having a Widevine L1 certified mobile means that it is also compatible with the lower level, L3.

Having a phone with Widevine L3 or L1 makes a remarkable difference as the reproduction quality differs greatly from one to another. It doesn’t matter if your mobile phone has an FHD screen if it is certified with Widevine L3: Netflix, Disney +, Amazon Prime Video and the rest of the usual platforms they will only download the SD version of the streaming; so you can see the somewhat pixelated content.

As long as your mobile has a high resolution screen, if your mobile has Widevine L3, you will see Netflix in SD

How do you know which Widevine level your mobile understands? You can check it as follows:

  • Download an app that can read DRM certification. For example, DevCheck Hardware and System Info. This app offers a wealth of information with everything your Android has, hardware and software.
  • Open the app and go to the « System » tab.
  • Go down to where it says « Widevine » and look at the security level, « Security Level ». It will appear there if you have L1 or L3. If your mobile is not Widevine certified, this part should appear blank.

Widevine L1 Safety Certified

With Widevine, you can access content in SD or HD resolution, depending on the level of security in DRM. And if your mobile doesn’t incorporate any certification, such as cooked ROMs, you may be able to use a Magisk module, like the one from XDA developers.

Can your mobile phone stream Netflix in HDR?

Besides resolution, which is a fundamental aspect of the quality of any video, Netflix offers HDR playback to just a few phones. And it does not matter here that your mobile has a screen compatible with HDR standards: Netflix will only play this way if the phone is certified by the platform for it.

To know Which phones are compatible with Netflix in HDR you need one of the following:

GOOGLE Googloe Pixel 3 et Pixel 3 XL
Honor play
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
Huawei Mate 20
Huawei P20
Huawei P30 and P30 Pro
LG G7 One
LG Q9 One
LG V30
LG V35
LG V40
ONEPLUS OnePlus 7 and 7 Pro
RAZER Razer Phone
Razer Phone 2
SAMSUNG Samsung Galaxy Fold et Fold 5G
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Samsung Galaxy Note 9
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 et Note 10+
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
Samsung Galaxy Tab S4
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6
Samsung Galaxy S9 et S9 +
Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite
Samsung Galaxy S20, S20 + et S20 Ultra
SONY Sony Xperia 1
Sony Xperia 1 II
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
Sony Xperia XZ1
Sony Xperia XZ2
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
Sony Xperia XZ3
TCL TCL 10 Pro
XIAOMI Xiaomi Mi 9T and Mi 9T Pro
Xiaomi Mi 10 et Mi 10 Pro
Xiaomi Redmi K20 et K20 Pro

Whether you meet the requirements does not imply the highest quality

Ok, your mobile is compatible with Widevine L1. It’s even certified to play HDR content. Now, are you still going to get access to the highest quality streaming available? The answer is no, because other factors also come into play.

In addition to compatibility with certificates and reproduction standards, streaming depends on the quality of your network, whether it is WiFi or mobile. This way if your internet connection is saturated, surely you can only access SD playback. You will even enjoy terribly pixelated scenes with drops of « frames » against which you can do nothing. And there is one final point to keep in mind: most streaming platforms has reduced quality by confinement, you will therefore not appreciate the 100% clear image at all stages of the day (the platforms have chosen to lower the « bitrate » or the flow, the amount of information that passes per second).

Source: Frandroid


Which streaming service has better picture quality: we compare Netflix, HBO, Disney +, Prime Video and seven other platforms

Over the past few months, due to lockdown and demands from the European Union, major video streaming services have reduced bitrate or bit rate and resolution which in several cases has become too visible.

When practically all the services returned to normal (Netflix partially, Amazon did not confirm anything), we wanted to compare the speed and the resolution of the main services, in order to be able to determine what are the image quality indicators in this new normal.

The tests we carried out with a tool for developers of Apple TV 4K, we will therefore only include data from applications present in the device’s App Store, so that all data is directly comparable. The flow rate that we will show in the comparison table is the average number, not the peaks, as the tool shows. The maximum quality may vary by title, but we’ve picked some that represent the best of each platform.

Apple TV + dominates, Disney + and Netflix follow

Apple TV + 26 Mbps 8,84 Mbps 2,56 Mbps
Disney + 16,59 Mbps 7,42 Mbps 4,42 Mbps
Netflix 16,64 Mbps 6,44 Mbps 3,06 Mbps
Video premium 10,02 Mbps 5,12 Mbps 3,18 Mbps
HBO ND 3,75 Mbps 2,55 Mbps
The movie ND 4,13 Mbps 2,57 Mbps
FlixOlé ND 6,66 Mbps 2,68 Mbps
Atresplayer Premium ND 3,68 Mbps 2,4 Mbps
RTVE Alacarta ND ND 2,79 Mbps
Sky ND ND 3,26 Mbps
FuboTV ND ND 3,2 Mbps

As we have seen in our tests, The category’s highest dominator at 4K is Apple TV +, and it’s a newcomer. The speed exceeds by almost 10 Mbps that of its maximum competitors in this regard, Disney + and Netflix, who are more or less couples after childbirth (Not all Netflix series and movies are 100% quality today.)

Amazon is also far from the podium, but maybe that’s because they haven’t restored their peak quality yet (although they do offer 4K, which they did not do while in custody). We asked the company about this, to no avail. According to data from Flatpanels, the maximum quality in 4K should be around 15 Mbps, equal to that of the rest of the big ones in 4K.

Try Apple TV +

Try ‘Altered Carbon’ on Netflix

Try ‘Avengers: Endgame’ on Disney +

From here, 4K and HDR run out, and practically with it also what we can consider very good picture quality with the codecs they use. In 1080p, history repeats itself, with the podium again being led by Apple and followed by Disney + and Netflix. After them and Amazon comes the first surprise: a platform like FlixOlé, depending on the content chosen, can have a correct speed of 6.66 Mbps, higher than that of HBO and FILMIN, depending on the titles and scenes, they have a quality that can be problematic, as we saw with chapter 8 × 03 of “Game of Thrones” compared with the Blu-Ray version.

“Westworld” on HBO. Low bit rate with AVC / H.264

RTVE Alacarta, Sky and FuboTV do not have content available in 1080p, so they have to be content not to make a mistake at 720p, but of course, it’s bad video to fill as many millions of pixels as a 4K or 8K display implies. In the arena where they go head to head, the 720p Arena, the winner is Disney +, and Apple drops a bit, although now we will analyze why it looks better than some of its weaker rivals having even lower bitrate, because there is life beyond the numbers.

The numbers are not everything to explain the quality of the image

Despite the fact that Apple doesn’t win at 720p, it still looks a lot better than others with similar bitrate numbers. The key is in the codec: QHVC section of HEVC.

Throughout the article and looking at the table, we mentioned that the quality of the Apple TV + is a step or a step and a half above the rest at 1080p and 4K. And it’s true, however, Even if there had been a connection between Apple TV + and HBO, the painting wouldn’t tell the whole story.

And that wouldn’t be because, in the first place, it doesn’t count that Apple (and the two that top the list) offers its original content in HDR Dolby Vision, which can be much larger than the resolution to have a spectacular color gamut and, above all, enormous detail in highlights and shadows, those in which with the standard dynamic range (SDR) it is difficult to distinguish what is going on in them.

The numbers don’t explain everything, but Netflix, Apple, Amazon and Disney have all the extras to deliver the best in addition to speed.

But there is more. A good bit rate is just as important as a good compression algorithm and a good codec. And this is what explains that despite the fact that Apple TV + is one of the losers in 720p bitrate, then it looks much better in this resolution than HBO, FILMIN, Atresplayer, etc. The explanation is that all of these platforms, the ones that don’t have 4K or HDR, encode using H.264 / AVC, which is much less efficient than H.265 / HEVC or similar than Apple and others use it with their HDR content. With SDR content and only available in Full HD, the big ones also encode in AVC.

So, All things being equal, between HBO and Apple TV + at 720, Apple’s video looks much better.. So, 4K video compressed in H.265 can be viewed just as well (or even better for other exclusive features) than H.264 32 Mbps. And H.266 again promises a similar advance. This is why it is so important that departments embrace technical innovations presented by hardware manufacturers and consortia.

Source : Engadget


Sports documentary series All-in: Team Jumbo-Visma to Prime Video

The sports documentary series All-in: Team Jumbo-Visma will premiere exclusively on Prime Video in the Benelux on March 1.

A look behind the scenes of the world’s best cycling team, in which Jonas Vingegaard wins the Tour de France thanks to team play, Wout van Aert the green and Tom Dumoulin directs his farewell.

The six-part sports documentary series All-in: Team Jumbo-Visma, the best cycling team in the world according to UCI ranking, was followed behind the scenes for a year. In the successful year 2022, in which the team wins the Tour de France, nothing has been hidden from the cameras, which provides an insight into the success formula of the cycling team. In the sports documentary series, produced by Southfields Stories, we see the leaders Wout van Aert, Tom Dumoulin, Jonas Vingegaard and Primoz Roglic not only on the bike and around the race, but also in their private lives.

Nothing secret in All-in: Team Jumbo-Visma

It results in a document in which nothing remains secret. The fierce discussions on the bus, doubts in the hotel room, the pain of losing and the sweet taste of winning: everything is in the picture.

In the sports documentary series, the viewer is there from the very first moment. At the training camp at the end of 2021, sporting director Merijn Zeeman lays the foundation to dethrone two-time Tour winner Tadej Pogacar. The preparatory races and altitude training courses show from the inside how the greatest ambition is being fulfilled: winning the Tour de France. While everyone counts on the experienced Primoz Roglic to be the right man on behalf of Team Jumbo-Visma to conquer the yellow, it is precisely his student Jonas Vingegaard who wins the largest cycling race in the world.

Wout van Aert completes the success story by also winning the points jersey. It is the first time in 25 years that a team takes home both the yellow and the green jersey and the team also takes home the polka dot jersey and six stage victories.

But there is more than just the Tour de France. We also see Tom Dumoulin getting back on his bike after a sabbatical. His quest starts with an altitude internship in Colombia, but in the Giro d’Italia it turns out that a return to the top is no longer possible. Soon after, he decides to put away his bike for good, which leads to a candid Dumoulin on the beach in Sydney.

All-in: Team Jumbo-Visma is a sports documentary series about friendship, team spirit, doubts, the pain of falling and the joy of getting up. All-in: Team Jumbo-Visma is produced by Southfields Stories. Author Frank Heinen has actively co-written the series. Independent experts will also have their say, such as cycling journalists and former top cyclist Tom Boonen.


Prime Video and Atresmedia come together to create the definitive subscription: Atresplayer Premium Familiar comes to Amazon

Amazon’s alliances to fill its video streaming platform with channels are continuing, now with the incorporation of Atresplayer as a channel on Prime Video: starting today Atresplayer Premium Family will be available as a subscription to the Amazon service. The price is maintained.

The pack that gives access to Amazon’s free deliveries grew in services year after year to include everything from free music to a huge number of movies, series and documentaries under the Prime Video umbrella. In Spain we are still far from what Amazon includes with Prime in the United Statesboth in content and in price (there it is worth more than double, $139 per year), but little by little we are catching up on channels, even with our own options: Atresplayer is coming to the Amazon platform.

Atresplayer Premium Familiar arrives as a channel on Amazon Prime

Amazon and Atresmedia have sealed an agreement under the subscription service of the Spanish company Goes as an optional channel to Prime Video. This implies that anyone who has Amazon Prime, and wants to access Atresplayer content, does not have to subscribe to said platform: they can do it directly through Amazon.

Prime Video will offer access to all the content that Atresplayer Premium Familiar already includes independently. Poison, Cardo, The nights of Tefía, The protected… and upcoming releases; such as FoQ: The Next Generation, A New Dawn, Dressed in Blue and The Purple Net, all can be seen on the new Prime Video channel.

To qualify for the Atresmedia subscription, it is first essential to be a subscriber to Amazon Prime. The cost of the Spanish platform is 7.99 euros per month, exactly the same that Atresmedia offers through its own media. And only the Premium Family option will be available, not the more accessible Atresmedia Premium subscription: this, whose cost is 4.99 euros per month, is left out of Prime Video. Also the option to subscribe for a year (it is exclusive to the Atresplayer app and website).

Atresmedia Player Familiar joins a long list of channels that are already present on Prime Video; such as MGM+, Flixolé, DAZN, La Liga Smartbank, Acontra+ or AMC+. The advantage of having these subscriptions as channels is that no separate app needed: Both downloads and streaming are done through the Prime Video app.