Netflix PS3 streaming comparison PIX - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 179 Old 12-30-2010, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Some screencaps from the USA service, accessed through some trickery since Canada doesn't get any of the good stuff. I chose streams based on Official Netflix Watch Instantly 5.1/1080p Title List and a couple other posts.

It's worth noting that the quality indicator isn't frame-accurate; i.e. a visible quality shift may occur and then 15 frames later the text will update to note the stream change. I made sure it was stable for my shots.

The capture process isn't completely lossless because the PS3 can't be made to output YCbCr when it isn't playing in disc mode. I have it outputting RGB Limited and whichever part of the chain that's doing the conversion to 4:2:2, I believe the capture card itself, adds dithering (visible in the second patch of the third test pattern). Of course this is nothing compared to the losses incurred by the streaming compression in the first place.

Though I'm not able to capture at 1080p24, I can say that some of the streams are at least stored in that format, as multiple captures of the same thing yielded different pulldown pattern placement. So it's a dynamic thing laid on by the app.

"Example Short 23.976" (HD / 5.1)


"24: Redemption" (HD)


"Cobra" (HD / 5.1 - defaulted to Stereo)


"Law & Order: SVU" Season 8, Episode 1 (HD / 5.1) - High vs X-High


"Lost" Season 1, Episode 1 (HD / 5.1) - X-High vs Blu-ray


"The Matrix Reloaded" (HD) - X-High vs HD DVD/BD



"The Matrix Revolutions" (HD / 5.1) - X-High vs HD DVD/BD

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post #2 of 179 Old 12-30-2010, 04:47 PM
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This is dedication


But this is what we need right now especially people around here saying streaming HD is good enough for them or as good as BD discs. You bought your HDTV and your settling for streaming? No sharpness. No fine detail.

Pictures say a thousand words.


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post #3 of 179 Old 12-30-2010, 06:57 PM
 
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Very informative, and very interesting, thank you for this work!
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post #4 of 179 Old 12-30-2010, 08:39 PM
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really terrific work. Thanks for your contribution

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post #5 of 179 Old 01-01-2011, 11:42 AM
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Good job. I almost missed this thread since it's not in the streaming or Blu-Ray sections, but I guess it's hard to find a good place for it.

Although there's no way to be certain, most of us have been going on the assumption that the 5.1 titles on the PS3 are 1080p, while anything not in 5.1 are still 720p (so 24, Cobra, and the Matrix Reloaded are probably only 720p).

I am very happy with streaming and use it all the time, but have never said it's as good as Blu-Ray, although on my particular setup Zune and Vudu come pretty close IMO. But my days of pausing the screen and walking up and turning my head sideways and squinting just right to notice any minor imperfections are far behind me, but obviously notice the difference. But since streaming (especially the high quality streams on the PS3 or Zune or Vudu) look on par or even slightly above broadcast HD, I am perfectly happy with it as a supplement to my BD rentals.

Anyway to add in a Zune or Vudu comparison shot as well (although that could get expensive )? And I'd like to see some more titles compared (or even more comparison shots in the same titles above).
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post #6 of 179 Old 01-02-2011, 05:59 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't have a 360 so I can't show Zune but I have been checking out Vudu. They at least have free previews of the first 2 minutes to get an idea, though of course it's mostly credits at that point in a movie.

I'd like to compare something that's 5.1 on Netflix and HDX on Vudu but there are only a few as far as I can see and they're older titles where the master probably doesn't have visible 1080p detail to begin with.
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post #7 of 179 Old 01-03-2011, 06:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msgohan View Post

I don't have a 360 so I can't show Zune but I have been checking out Vudu. They at least have free previews of the first 2 minutes to get an idea, though of course it's mostly credits at that point in a movie.

I'd like to compare something that's 5.1 on Netflix and HDX on Vudu but there are only a few as far as I can see and they're older titles where the master probably doesn't have visible 1080p detail to begin with.

Perhaps doing something like Inception HDX vs Blu-Ray (I say that because I did watch it last night on Vudu and thought it looked great).

Thanks again for the shots. It does show streaming (at least the higher-quality stuff) is more on-par with broadcast HD and not the blocky/pixelated/macroblocking/banding/blurry mess that's "on par with VHS and makes their eyes bleed" that some here insist it is, although it's obvious (at least for Netflix) that it's a step below Blu-Ray.

Of course, Netflix is also a step below Vudu HDX and Zune, which is why I'm curious to see some HDX shots side-by-side with BD to see how much of difference there is.

Also, I'll be the first to admit that streaming has a ways to go....especially where Netflix is concerned. If Vudu or Zune was more affordable, I'd have no problems using it more.
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post #8 of 179 Old 01-03-2011, 07:02 AM
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I have always found the PS3 (all versions including the latest) lacking in streaming Netflix whether it's SD or HD. I have compared it to close to a dozen other Netflix streamers and it comes in very close to the bottom. I use the opening scene of 24 (episode one season seven first 10 minutes or so) instantly switching back and forth...

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post #9 of 179 Old 01-03-2011, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

I have always found the PS3 (all versions including the latest) lacking in streaming Netflix whether it's SD or HD. I have compared it to close to a dozen other Netflix streamers and it comes in very close to the bottom. I use the opening scene of 24 (episode one season seven first 10 minutes or so) instantly switching back and forth...

Hmmm...I've only compared it to the 360 and found the 1080p content on the PS3 blows away the 360's quality on the same title. I do not have access to any other Netflix streamers other than the PC, which I don't have going to my HDTV so it's not a good comparison.
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post #10 of 179 Old 01-04-2011, 03:52 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't think Inception is a good pick since the film itself doesn't have that much definition to begin with.

Here's another DiCaprio movie that has a nice mix of high quality digital video and crappy upscaled analog footage just within the first two minutes. The first frame is during the fadeout instead of the static logo, in order to compare compression.

"The 11th Hour" - Netflix X-High HD/5.1 vs Vudu HDX









I also compared a frame of Robocop with the BD, primarily just because I was interested which master they used.

"Robocop" - Vudu HDX vs Blu-ray
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post #11 of 179 Old 01-04-2011, 05:48 PM
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Thanks. I don't think I've ever seen The 11th Hour but think I'll add it to my queue. Doesn't look like it's out on Blu-Ray yet.

Not familiar with the Robocop BD either (my understanding is it's not a good transfer), but definitely lots more grain in the BD shot (not that grain is a bad thing, but at first glance the HDX looks better to me, but not sure if the grain is supposed to be there or if it's a result of a bad transfer). Of course, it is only one shot...

Not to be a nitpicker (or ask a lot), but would be ideal if you could find something you have on BD that is also in Netflix 1080p, and Vudu HDX to post all three shots for easy comparison.
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post #12 of 179 Old 01-04-2011, 07:01 PM - Thread Starter
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I just remembered that the Sony Robocop was the unreleased one, so the Vudu stream is actually based on the broadcast master instead of the released Fox BD version.

Finding something good that's on all three formats is easier said than done with the limited Netflix 1080 selection. Especially since they removed the Matrix films on the 1st...
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post #13 of 179 Old 01-06-2011, 04:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Psych was on my Suggestions list so I checked it out. The first thing I noticed was that they featured Visions, the western Canadian electronics chain where I bought my HDTV, and even mentioned it by name. Kinda ruined my suspension of disbelief when this is supposed to take place in Santa Barbara (filmed in Vancouver). The second thing was that episode 1 is in 1080p despite having stereo sound only. Season 2 and later do have 5.1.

"Psych" Season 1, Episode 1 (HD)


I decided to check Weeds, and same deal. 1080p from the first episode though 5.1 starts at Season 3.

"Weeds" Season 1, Episode 1 (HD) vs Season 3, Episode 1 (HD / 5.1)


And here's two Warner titles, disc vs. streaming. The Elm Street BD shots are from Xylon. I discovered the Overscan setting in Vudu after that, so the OSD is less annoyingly placed in the Outbreak shots.

"A Nightmare on Elm Street" (1984) - Netflix X-High HD/5.1 vs Vudu HDX vs Blu-ray (US) vs Blu-ray (CA)


"Outbreak" - Netflix X-High HD/5.1 vs Vudu HDX vs Blu-ray


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post #14 of 179 Old 01-07-2011, 06:34 AM
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^ Cool. However, your HDX shots for the Elm Street and the last Outbreak shots are not at full quality (only 2 bars).

However as suspected, Blu-Ray is the best, followed by Vudu, followed by Netflix. I am surprised how well Vudu holds up (at least in the screenshots) side by side. Even though I've frequently said that Vudu looks "close" to Blu-Ray on my particular setup to my eyes, I haven't seen them side by side like that.

Thankfully on my 50" 1080p display, I don't notice a huge difference in Vudu and Blu-Ray once things are in motion (and even though my setup does lossless, my ears don't seem to be able to tell the difference...stupid lousy ears, but I am definitely not an audiophile).

Too bad Vudu is $5.99 for a rental though or I'd definitely use it more.

Also, how are you telling that that Pysch and Weeds are 1080p? AFAIK nobody has been able to identify a 720p from a 1080p source from Netflix (they both will show up as "X-High/HD"). We've only been operating under the assumption that 5.1 titles are 1080p, but that's only an assumption.
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post #15 of 179 Old 01-07-2011, 11:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mproper View Post
^ Cool. However, your HDX shots for the Elm Street and the last Outbreak shots are not at full quality (only 2 bars).
Has Vudu indicated that the bars mean different quality levels? I seem to have a tough time getting 3 bars with any consistency (while steady X-High is no problem), but I tried and tried to get any difference with that Robocop shot with 1 bar vs 2 bars. They were always identical.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mproper View Post
Also, how are you telling that that Pysch and Weeds are 1080p? AFAIK nobody has been able to identify a 720p from a 1080p source from Netflix (they both will show up as "X-High/HD"). We've only been operating under the assumption that 5.1 titles are 1080p, but that's only an assumption.
From some of the pixels and from having looked at quite a few screenshots in my time. But seriously, if you look at the edges of the Psych logo, particularly the diagonals on the 'y' and left edge of the 'h', or do some downscale-upscale tests on those shots it's quite apparent.
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post #16 of 179 Old 01-07-2011, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msgohan View Post

Has Vudu indicated that the bars mean different quality levels? I seem to have a tough time getting 3 bars with any consistency (while steady X-High is no problem), but I tried and tried to get any difference with that Robocop shot with 1 bar vs 2 bars. They were always identical.

Apparently each bar represents a better encode (similar to how Netflix works): http://forum.vudu.com/showthread.php?t=23007

Not sure if it'll make any difference though, just pointing it out.

Quote:


From some of the pixels and from having looked at quite a few screenshots in my time. But seriously, if you look at the edges of the Psych logo, particularly the diagonals on the 'y' and left edge of the 'h', or do some downscale-upscale tests on those shots it's quite apparent.

I'll have to trust you on that
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post #17 of 179 Old 01-09-2011, 07:35 PM
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These are great comparison shots. I just started using VUDU HDX this weekend and was more than impressed with the quality. I watched the A-team and then compared it to the Bluray. It was suprisingly close to my eyes with Blu winning, but didn't expect it even to be a competition.

The fact that it streams in DD+ is great too. Maybe in the near future they'll be able to run TrueHD or DTS Master.
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post #18 of 179 Old 01-10-2011, 02:00 PM
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These captures just prove my point... these companies can claim their signals are HD but it does not mean they are quality HD signals. Welcome to the MP3 world of video. It looks great on a 5" portable device... but it could look like sh!t on my 100" projection screen. Sorry I will stick with BD for quality.

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post #19 of 179 Old 01-10-2011, 02:47 PM
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I'd be curious to see how VUDU HDX compares to some of the Warner titles... Batman Begins, Blade Runner, 300, etc...

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post #20 of 179 Old 01-12-2011, 09:56 PM
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I love the Netflix streaming. It's not blu-ray, but it is spectacular for most movies that I want to randomly watch at any given time...something I cannot do without purchasing, going out to rent, or waiting for Netflix to deliver a blu-ray to me. I have no complaints.

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post #21 of 179 Old 01-15-2011, 07:44 AM
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Great comparison shots. I have to say that Netflix on x-high on my PS3 looks fantastic on my 106" screen. Not as good as the best Blu-ray transfers, but right there with some of the average transfers IMO. I'm actually surprised how good it is.

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post #22 of 179 Old 01-21-2011, 05:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stumlad View Post

I'd be curious to see how VUDU HDX compares to some of the Warner titles... Batman Begins, Blade Runner, 300, etc...

Batman Begins isn't on Vudu, Blade Runner only has credits for the first two minutes (I ain't payin 5 bucks), 300 is so much worse it's not even worth comparing -- Vudu can't handle that grain properly at all.

Insomnia is the only Nolan feature I've yet to watch and I was pleased to see that the Netflix stream is in 5.1, until I checked out a few minutes and realized what was wrong. I can handle the compression but that cropping is practically a crime.

"Insomnia" - Netflix X-High HD/5.1 vs Blu-ray cropped/resized vs Blu-ray (Cinema Squid)


So glad Warner went back and remastered The Shining before releasing it on disc.

"The Shining" - Netflix X-High HD vs Vudu HDX vs Blu-ray


"The Dark Knight" - Vudu HDX vs Blu-ray



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post #23 of 179 Old 01-22-2011, 01:44 AM
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Very interesting.

Even if this was available in canada i am still a quality freak and would probably purchase the blu ray for the best of quality.

Curious how a fellow albertan has access to vudu?
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post #24 of 179 Old 01-22-2011, 01:51 AM
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I also like how half of us are shocked at how much better blu ray discs look (me included), and the other half are shocked how decent they looked compared to the blu ray.
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post #25 of 179 Old 01-22-2011, 06:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murilo View Post

Curious how a fellow albertan has access to vudu?

There's a paid service that bypasses the location checks, for Hulu etc. as well.
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post #26 of 179 Old 01-23-2011, 08:43 AM
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Yeah The Shining shots look bad for the streaming (definitely doesn't look typical, since you can see jaggies on the sides of the "A" for example). I haven't really noticed that on most titles (including the other Vudu screenshots above that show words). Must be some encoding thing or perhaps an old encode (since it's an old title).

I assume the Vudu Dark Knight is stuck in 2.35:1 for Vudu as well? I know that movie switches aspect ratios back and forth on the BD. Or did the poster crop that to eliminate the Vudu "info" bars that should be on the top and bottom?

Also, it appears to me something is wrong with the brightness setting or something in the the Vudu shots (like in the rooftop shot...the building looks pinkish compared to the BD). That issue goes back through the screenshots (like the Outbreak ones look darker on Vudu for example). This has the effect of bringing out some detail as well (like the manhole cover on the left in the "man on the street" shot from The Dark Knight).

Count me though in the group that's surprised by how good streaming looks comparatively though. As a heavy streaming user I knew it looked good (not Blu-Ray good, but good nonetheless), and wasn't plagued with the banding/macroblocking/stutter that many seem to think it is. I just wish Netflix in-particular would straighten out some of their issues with aspect ratios and things, although this is more due to them getting the encodes from other companies (like Starz for example)...so really, those companies/channels that supply the encodes need to leap into the early 2000's and jump on the OAR bandwagon. Thankfully, this does seem to be improving for many titles (esp now that they are adding more 1080p and 5.1 titles).
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post #27 of 179 Old 01-23-2011, 06:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mproper View Post

Yeah The Shining shots look bad for the streaming (definitely doesn't look typical, since you can see jaggies on the sides of the "A" for example). I haven't really noticed that on most titles (including the other Vudu screenshots above that show words). Must be some encoding thing or perhaps an old encode (since it's an old title).

It's the fault of the master. Many old Warner transfers have a messed up horizontal resolution. Some of them made it to disc release whereas titles like The Shining and JFK were thankfully fixed prior to release. Don't know why Vudu got these old HDTV masters. CRTL+F on this thread for "jaggies".

Quote:


I assume the Vudu Dark Knight is stuck in 2.35:1 for Vudu as well? I know that movie switches aspect ratios back and forth on the BD. Or did the poster crop that to eliminate the Vudu "info" bars that should be on the top and bottom?

Yeah, it's constant like the DVD. I didn't hit Display since I was comparing the aspect ratio.

Quote:


Also, it appears to me something is wrong with the brightness setting or something in the the Vudu shots (like in the rooftop shot...the building looks pinkish compared to the BD). That issue goes back through the screenshots (like the Outbreak ones look darker on Vudu for example). This has the effect of bringing out some detail as well (like the manhole cover on the left in the "man on the street" shot from The Dark Knight).

The Netflix shots were taken with the same settings. TDK is obviously a different master than the BD since it's using a totally different part of the frame for the last shot there.
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post #28 of 179 Old 01-23-2011, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mproper View Post

Perhaps doing something like Inception HDX vs Blu-Ray (I say that because I did watch it last night on Vudu and thought it looked great).

Thanks again for the shots. It does show streaming (at least the higher-quality stuff) is more on-par with broadcast HD and not the blocky/pixelated/macroblocking/banding/blurry mess that's "on par with VHS and makes their eyes bleed" that some here insist it is, although it's obvious (at least for Netflix) that it's a step below Blu-Ray.

Of course, Netflix is also a step below Vudu HDX and Zune, which is why I'm curious to see some HDX shots side-by-side with BD to see how much of difference there is.

Also, I'll be the first to admit that streaming has a ways to go....especially where Netflix is concerned. If Vudu or Zune was more affordable, I'd have no problems using it more.

But that is the problem with Netflix. The vast majority of movies are in SD with 2.0 sound and do look closer to VHS than they do Blu-Ray.

Hard to complain about Netflix pricing, but the vast majority of their content looks pretty bad on a larger 100-120" screen. I typically only stream from them on my 42" plasma.
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post #29 of 179 Old 01-24-2011, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msgohan View Post

Batman Begins isn't on Vudu, Blade Runner only has credits for the first two minutes (I ain't payin 5 bucks), 300 is so much worse it's not even worth comparing -- Vudu can't handle that grain properly at all.

Thanks for the pics... Are you outputting to a video card with hdmi in or something? How are you able to take screen shots?

It's obvious that Vudu is not there yet. They can easily one day say "we're doing 50 mbps video", but then they'd have to have minimum hardware requirements or hardware would just have to "max-out" at whatever the hardware is capabale of.

Does HDX depend on your connection speed, or is it pre-downloaded? Just wondering because i saw the bar showed you werent at full bandwidth in that shining shot.

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post #30 of 179 Old 01-24-2011, 06:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Alberta, Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stumlad View Post

Thanks for the pics... Are you outputting to a video card with hdmi in or something? How are you able to take screen shots?

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1196020

Quote:


Does HDX depend on your connection speed, or is it pre-downloaded? Just wondering because i saw the bar showed you werent at full bandwidth in that shining shot.

There are devices where it downloads the whole file, but on the PS3 it streams. I've yet to be able to demonstrate a picture difference between 3 bars and 1, not for lack of trying.
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