Originally Posted by helmsman
Can anyone confirm if Netflix delivers OAR ad 1080p? Their website if awful as far as technical specifications go.
Netflix is subject to what the studios (or distributors) provide, and even though Netflix generally wants OAR, they don't always get OAR. But for a given title, the same source will be encoded for all the streams. Most modern streaming devices use one or another variant of what Netflix calls "adaptive streams", allowing the device to switch from one resolution to another under varying throughputs, which requires the whole range of resolutions to have the same aspect ratio (otherwise the picture may be changing shape every 10 seconds), from about 240p through 1080p and through "SuperHD".
Back during the first few years that Netflix was streaming, it seemed that pan-and-scan wasn't that unusual, so if there are still older streams around, they may still be pan-and-scan.
It seems that the best chance of seeing OAR in the consumer marketplace is to try to get the Blu-ray, if possible. And, especially for action, that has the least digitizing artifacts. But, second to Blu-ray, it seems that streaming would be second choice for trying to get OAR, and I consider it chance alone when I get a DVD from Netflix and it turns out to be OAR (except, of course, for material originally formatted for SD TV or HD TV); Netflix seems to still have a lot of DVDs that were mastered back when the consumer marketplace was void of HDTVs.
Nonetheless, where picture matters, or where there are action scenes, I'll generally try to get the Blu-ray as first choice, DVD as second choice (still far fewer digital artifacts than streaming), Netflix streaming as my third choice, and my Netflix plan includes all three options, though I am slowly building up a private library of discs. But where picture doesn't matter that much, I may end up streaming the title just out of convenience.