Very few studios are as staunch as BelAmiOnline, they have a set of standards for their production and the guys who model for them – and they stick to it.
A European power house, BelAmi have been around for approaching two decades and monopolise some of the most beautiful jocks with the hottest bodies. BelAmi manage to retain a larger number of exclusives for much, much longer than any other studio that comes to mind.
Bel Ami clearly define their content in to three categories:
– Sex Scenes: after a change in direction a while back, these are bareback and seem to range from duos to almost the entire roster.
– Solos: a single stud in a solo session, sometimes including an interview or photo-shoot.
– Photos: action shoots, higher quality couple shoot, solo’s (called pin-ups) and some fantastic art collection shoots which are of an amazing production standard.
– Backstage: behind the scenes videos from other content. Some of this is actually good and gives a great opportunity to see the guy’s personalities which are generally awesome.
The production quality has continuously improved year on year. There hasn’t been a single instance in recent memory where a sub-par set has ruined a scene. This is whether it’s an outdoor or indoor scene – either at a Bel Ami studio or one of trips away at some exotic location or other (Africa?!?).
The most beautiful, toned, big dicked and uncut jocks from Central Europe seem to make their way to Bel Ami. Both gay-for-pay and gay models enter into every single action scene with more enthusiasm than you’ll find anywhere else.
As of writing, there are over 1,000 sex scenes, over 600 solo scenes and over 150 backstage scenes. Of these, 27 scenes are shot in 3D which are available as 1920 x 1080 SBS files (a few are available in anaglyph – that red/blue thing, though at 720p).
Bel Ami joined the HD trend late, very late. For a couple of years, scenes have been released in 816p – this is obviously not a common format, it is 1440 by 816 pixels. This is obviously more than 720p, but only fills about 50% of a 1080p screen (in terms of number of pixels). If you have a higher resolution screen – 1440p or 4k, then that is 28% and 12% of the available screen space being utilised respectively. As for iPads? Well, the native resolution of 816p means it is only filling 33% screen.
This is important, as if you are watching it full screen on any device, then the image is being stretched, which reduces the image quality.
Bizarrely, Bel Ami release their content in a massively variable data rate – ranging from 2,605 kbps to 16,292 kbps in the sample of 816p content checked. Basically, bigger is better – a higher bit-rate 720p can look better than a very low bit-rate 1080p video. A lot of studios will produce a video at the lowest bit-rate that doesn’t compromise quality (smaller bit-rate means smaller file which equals faster downloads for the user!). Bel Ami, mostly, manage this quite well; though sometimes it is a little off which results in some artifacting (when the video gets blocky in places).
Again, we come to the production vs delivery quality situation with Bel Ami. There are some amazing photo sets available to members – especially the Art Collections. Though for 2015, the resolution is very low. We’ll break this down in to three types:
Picture sets from scenes are mostly 1134 x 655px (only enough to fill 74% of an iPhone 6 or 81% of current low end Android phones or 36% of most high end Android phones). Worse, these are also screen-grabs which makes them a little blurry and unfocussed.
The photo-shoots are different; the production is great and the quality of the image is much, much better – helped by truly talented photographers. Once again, delivery lets it down with low resolutions – portrait shots at 667 x 1017px and landscape shots are 1135 x 774px.
Art Collections are the saving grace, 1500 x 2250px – and they deserve it. The quality of these shots is fantastic and deserve that extra space – interestingly, the older shoots were of a higher quality at 1955 x 2609px. As nice as the current quality is, I can’t understand why, as time has moved on, Bel Ami reduced the quality of media delivered when they’ve increased the standard of production.
Bel Ami’s tour advertises 7 updates a week. Now, don’t expect these to all be sex scenes because they’re not (and that truly isn’t a problem). These updates are performance scenes, backstage videos and photo-shoots.
It’s well balanced and allows an independent studio to maintain high production quality and satisfy most reasonable customers.
Site Design / Usability
Until recently, this was the biggest flaw with Bel Ami. A recent redesign has changed this considerably.
For the first time, the user interface of the members’ area reflects the design that’s portrayed in the tour. A great move as it was a little deceptive before. It’s now clean, well thought out and the types of content are clearly separated in to the relevant sections, with simple categories to filter these yet further.
The only two areas in need of work are minor and don’t negatively affect user experience as they currently stand:
– Pictures within scenes should be presented in a more aesthetically pleasing way (hey, looks matter!)
– A search function.
he menu in the members’ area links to the following:
– Movies: This is NOT a membership bonus as it is pure advertising. Whilst some of the scenes from Bel Ami movies are currently available to members’ through the site, not all are.
– Chat: This is also NOT a membership bonus. Again, this is purely advertising for an affiliated cam site, as with most sites, it’s actually just a branded service from a bigger provider.
Another point that could be misleading is the fact that the tour shows a menu that indicates what type of content you can expect. Right up there is ‘Kinky Angels’, which, whilst operated by Bel Ami, is a separate website and NOT included in your membership.
What IS included for members is a fantastic Forum. It’s not common place, but for Bel Ami it’s right. There’s a real community over at Bel Ami – a membership community, it’s great how active this community is and there’s some really relevant and interesting stuff going on. Even better, George Duroy can be seen participating from time to time.
Bel Ami use SegPay and OrbitalPay as payment processors, with Epoch as an option.
Both Credit Card and Direct Debit payments can be accepted (though DD charging a premium). Credit Card options are numerous:
– $34.95 for 30 Days ($29.95 per month rolling thereafter)
– $79.95 for 90 Days ($29.95 per month rolling thereafter)
– $149.70 for 180 Days ($29.95 per month rolling thereafter)
– $49.95 for 30 Days (One-time)
– $279.95 for 1 Year (One-time)