Amazon does annoy me sometimes.......

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Harpers Tate, Aug 9, 2022.

  1. Harpers Tate

    Harpers Tate Member

    (Amazon Prime UK)

    They have a habit of using exactly 24fps (rather than the more common 23.976 fps) for some, seemingly random, titles.

    That in itself wouldn't be an issue except - as far as I can tell from observation, it's done, not by actually speeding the title up (by about 3 seconds per hour), but by hard resampling a 23.976 fps original at 24. The outcome is that every approx 40 seconds, there is an exactly duplicated frame which puts a judder in any motion.

    There doesn't seem to be a pattern to their use of this frame rate. For example, in the entire 7 seasons of the TV series "Elementary" one, just one, episode (6x15) is at 24fps. The rest are 23.976. Odd movies come like this too. It's almost as if someone in their encoding dept. doesn't know that the term "24" normally means 23.976 and hits the 24 button or types 24 thinking they are doing it right.

    Many perhaps wouldn't notice. Sadly, I do. And for anything I want to archive (as opposed to simply watch once and discard) the purist in me forces me to fix it. I'd rather not have to.......
  2. Ch3vr0n

    Ch3vr0n Translator NL

    23.976 is a valid fps rate under the 24hz NTSC standard. I'm afraid you'll have to complain to them why they mix up fps's between seasons/episodes.
  3. Harpers Tate

    Harpers Tate Member

    I know 24 does not necessarily mean 23.976. However the standard (for HD content) 23.976 is often referred to (yes, incorrectly) as 24p.

    Exact 24 fps film material transferred to 23.976 is NOT achieved by adding any frames; it is achieved by displaying the exact same sequence of frames at the imperceptibly slower rate - i.e. frame accurate but slowed by 0.01%. I seriously doubt that makes any perceptible difference to the viewer.

    The NTSC TV broadcast system uses 29.97fps and that is obtained from 23.976 film content by adding an extra frame in every 4 to make 5. On commercial DVDs, where the source was a film (as distinct from true NTSC video), the actual content is a frame-accurate 23.976, with the addition of pulldown flags that direct the player to duplicate every 4th frame to make an NTSC output at 29.97fps that older TVs can cope with. This is how a modern player, given a modern "24p" capable screen and an HDMI handshake to communicate this back to the player, is able to do away with the extra frames - by simply ignoring the pulldown flags and playing the raw 23.976 content, frame by frame.

    Whilst exact 24p is a valid video standard alongside 23.976, it's hardly ever (or never?) used on commercial video content - as you say. So one presumes that Amazon always starts with 23.976 (unless, of course, it's 25/PAL).

    What's annoying (as I say) about Prime is the manner in which they appear to obtain exact 24 from what is presumably a 23.976 source - not by speeding the material up 0.01% (as, arguably they should if they really want exact 24), but by duplicating a frame every ~40 sec. It maintains the exact original duration of the 23.976 source but adds jerks (in pans and other large movements). Thing is - I don't see a good reason, so I must suppose it's a mistake that someone makes when they re-encode their source for streaming distribution.

    I doubt such an approach would bear any fruit.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2022
  4. DrXenos

    DrXenos Well-Known Member

    Sorry, I deleted my comment because I misunderstood what you were saying. No worries...
  5. DeepSpace

    DeepSpace Well-Known Member

    I heard about something similar on a series. However, I care not. The only thing I know is that 60 fps is smoother than 30 fps, and when a movie is 24fps the one moving scene is just as stuttery as 23,976fps. 0,024fps do nothing for that.
    I have not much knowledge about encoding and so on, but for me it is unclear why someone should invent such a weird number anyway instead of going with 24fps straight.

    Is it much more annoying for me that they remove things every now and then or that some things aren't available at all. Not Amz, not NF, not even on DVD or BD (I could understand if they don't want to release a BD if the material is not good enough for HD or if it is just a small series, but not even a DVD?? Why?).
    Some things are even listed at Amz, but it only says "currently" not available in your region. Why list it then when you don't have it?
    That way, some things are unavailable entirely. So either you have to get it on "another" way or, when they have it in another region (when you can sell it in the US or at Amz jp, why can't you sell it in germany as well? I WANT to buy it! I WANT TO give you money! Why can't I??), you have to use VPN and get it that way.

    Or the fact that they don't sort the pages. When there is a sale (like 3 BDs for the price of two), then the list is an absolute mess. Let's take Star Trek as an example, since it surprisingly was at sale last time as well. But it is not limited to Star Trek, it is a general issue.
    Season two of Voyager is on the first site. Season three on the second site. Then I have DS9 Season four on the fourth site, along with two seasons of TNG. etc. Season one of Voy comes somewhere after that and I cannot see some things at all.

    Why don't have ALL seasons of Voyager AT ONE site? Then ALL seasons of DS9, following with TNG.
    I understand of course that they want to give you different things, so you might choose that, and that, oh and that as well. But why do I have to see the same things over and over again? When someone does not want to buy Star Trek (or in my case, other series), fine, then skip it. But since it is out of order, I still have to see Star Trek at page 9, even though it could be everything on just two or three pages. Then I could just skip these two or put everything in my cart and be done with it.
    There is no reason for them to do that. It is just inconvenient since I have to search through all sites to find the other seasons, and that costs time.

    The other thing is because they have diferent versions of some discs. Why do I see the Season 1 BD on site 1, and then, on site two, I get the DVD, but also for season 1?
    First of all, you can already see if they have multiple things for one disc even without the second listing because it says BD, DVD and 4k (if available) below the name of it, so the second listing is not necessary at all. Second, why not show BOTH ENTRIES ON THE SAME PAGE, one after another?
  6. Harpers Tate

    Harpers Tate Member

    Historically, TVs' refresh rates were controlled internally by referencing the frequency of the mains power supply - long before sophisticated electronic clocks coud be used.

    In the USA (and certain other places) this is nominally 60hz but I believe in practice it is (and probably always has been - since long before television) 59.94 hz.

    Along comes early TV with a 59.94hz refresh rate governed by the mains. So broadcasts have to match this. They are interlaced with each frame split line by line into two; each full frame therefore comes in at half the mains frequency = 29.97 fps.

    Films have been shot at 24fps for a long time. Getting that into a 29.97 TV signal means either playing it way to fast or by adding extra frames as required to pad. And that's most easily (and unnoticeably) done if the pattern is regular. 24 doesn't fit a pattern to get it to 29.97; but 23.976 does; every 4th frame is duplicated to make 5. Hence 23.976.

    (Early dependence on the mains also explains why we have PAL at 25 fps; our mains is 50hz; our old TVs synced at 50hz; 24fps movies "only" need playing 4% faster to fit).
    DeepSpace likes this.
  7. DeepSpace

    DeepSpace Well-Known Member

    Ah ok, so they were forced to do so because of technical reasons. Well, that was before my time, my laptop is from 2010 or something and Windows claims it has already 60hz.
    I know the 4:3 TVs, my grandparents had them and I think my grandpa still has the one in the garden, but I never had much to do with the technical things, I only used them.
    Thanks for the explanation!
    whatever_gong82 and DQ like this.
  8. DQ

    DQ Well-Known Member

    The 4:3 TVs my grandparents had? Either I am getting old or that really wasn't THAT long ago!
    whatever_gong82 likes this.
  9. DeepSpace

    DeepSpace Well-Known Member

    It was only when I was a kid that they had it, later they replaced these two with flatscreen TVs at home. But since it is still working and he doesn't need it that much (only in summer) there is no point in buying a new one for the garden as well (I haven't even seen it the last two years, but I think it is still the old one). They always tried to keep and repair things instead of throwing them away, so I never got to a person that purchases a new phone every year. I only bought a new one because the speakers of the last failed. My current phone is still working, but the cam is crap and I will never get Android 10 (I only got one update instead of two as it should be at least and the security patch (not that I care) is at July 2019...), so I could buy a new one. But it itself still works, I don't play games that much and when I don't power use it (I do most things on my PC and so I mostly only use it for WhatsApp, Twitter and Chrome) I can use it for two days.

    Same goes for my laptop. It is over 10 years old (grandpa says they bought it when Windows 7 came out, google says that was 2009 and it sounds quite accurate), but now I have the PC and only use it to be portable, when I am not at home. And that is rarely. So while it is slow and doesn't loads site instantly etc, it is still perfectly fine and so there is no reason to buy a new one. Because if I would, this would then lay around useless. Instead I bought a SSD and maybe I will upgrade the RAM. Also I want to try if I can insert the graphics card of a similar model of that series into that one.

    Sorry for my little rant, but this is general chat so I think it is fine.

    Edit: This implies the question, why did I buy a new PC then if the old works fine? I am not sure, I just got a little shopping spree (google says that is the right word) and just decided to buy one. The processor of my old PC had a strange bug, and I thought that I would get into 4k gaming at one time. But until now I still have a 1080p monitor and had no time to game, some little tests and look-intos aside. And soon there will be the 4080 that is said to be even faster than the 3000 series and there is DDR5 Ram that is supposed to come, so I could've just waited for that. Maybe. And the old PC isn't even sold yet, I thought I would maybe use it for something but nothing till now. I even forgot it since it is not sitting at home.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2022
    DQ likes this.
  10. DQ

    DQ Well-Known Member

    Dude don't feel bad. I have been building my own PCs for decades now I guess. And to me there is NOTHING as fun as getting all the parts in, laying them all out and physically building that machine. I love it. Seriously, if I had a chance to go on a date with Salma Hayek or get a chance to put together a state of the art machine, well I would probably pick Salma BUT I would think about it! Unfortunately, it's very expensive to build a new machine so I only do it once every so many years depending on what gets released when. I need a new GPU but I am waiting for the new stuff to come out. I try never to buy every generation of tech I try to skip at least 1 if not 2.
    DeepSpace likes this.