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post #451 of 6399 Old 04-20-2010, 01:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by b_scott View Post

Netflix has around 1000 titles for streaming.

I am pretty sure that it was reported as 17,000+ titles as of their last earnings report.
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post #452 of 6399 Old 04-20-2010, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by PSound View Post

I am pretty sure that it was reported as 17,000+ titles as of their last earnings report.

haha whoops. I don't know what I was thinking. I think I was thinking "pages"
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post #453 of 6399 Old 04-20-2010, 03:56 PM
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Well, all I know is that I think Netflix streaming is pretty cool and looks great on my 37" Panasonic HD LCD. I'm hard wired and my router is only about 5 feet from my TV so maybe that has something to do with it but I'm quite amazed at how good the PQ is on everything that I have watched so far using my Roku box. And my Road Runner lite is only 1.98. Thought their catalog isn't very deep I'm never at a loss finding things that I have always wanted to see or see again. Easily the best investment I've made in a long while.

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post #454 of 6399 Old 04-20-2010, 04:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by subavision212 View Post

Easily the best investment I've made in a long while.

That is the key.

Without a doubt, streaming makes Netflix an absolute bargain as a consumer. And there is more than enough content to keep a household entertained, for a small fraction of what it would cost to have a mid-tier cable subscription.
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post #455 of 6399 Old 04-20-2010, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by bokes View Post

I'm streaming NF on a PS3 and the itunes on AppleTv. I do notice that Apple rentals take a few minutes to download before they allow you to start viewing. Perhaps it builds up a cache and allows for better viewing? My experience- The Apple rentals look outstanding vs Netflix.

The difference is that you're streaming from Netflix and doing what's called a "progressive download" from iTunes. In streaming, the player asks for video to play and can change the time in the clip from which that video comes; it doesn't store the video in a file. From the beginning, you can jump to any arbitrary point without waiting to download the intervening video. With the download, it's storing the clip into a file--the "progressive" part is letting you play the video before it's done downloading the who thing, but it does have to download enough to try to prevent playback from catching up to the download. You can't FF to a point ahead of what you've downloaded and you have to have enough free HDD space to store the file.

The iTunes stuff looks better (and sounds better) because they're superior encodings, but you're paying a fee for that, per-title. It should look and sound at least as good as a DVD. Netflix encodes at pretty low bit rates, because they want it to be usable by people who don't have the fastest broadband Internet service. Some of it, however, looks quite good, particularly the HD resolution encodings. Currently only stereo is available on Netflix (iTunes clips generally have digital surround sound).

Streaming does not have to be of mediocre quality--if you have an Xbox, take a look at some of the preview clips of some movies in the Zune Video Store. Those can be breathtaking (be sure to bring up the progress bar and check the maximum quality; some of them are SD).

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post #456 of 6399 Old 04-21-2010, 06:19 AM
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Thanks michael- I was a bit confused and thought Apple rentals were in fact streaming- since you can only access them for a limited time I didn't think they were actually downloaded to your system.

Anyhow- I agree Netflix is the bargin if you're cool with the quality and title library- go for it.
My taste in films sometimes runs a little deeper and the poor streaming quality- to me- was a distraction. I'd rather pay a bit more for the titles and decent quality.
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post #457 of 6399 Old 04-21-2010, 07:09 AM
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I watch streams on my ps3 and pc. Even the SD encodes for pc are not bad. Maybe not on my 88" projector, but my 24" pc monitor is fine.

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post #458 of 6399 Old 04-21-2010, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by EJ View Post

I watch streams on my ps3 and pc. Even the SD encodes for pc are not bad. Maybe not on my 88" projector, but my 24" pc monitor is fine.

Looks fine on my 50" plasma. I can see though where someone with a bigger screen may be disappointed in the SD quality, although most of them look like a DVD to me (most...not all....definitely some stinker encodes in there). I guess since Blu-Ray, people's expectations are higher, although I refuse to limit myself. My tastes also run deeper so I am not content with the limited material that's on BD (my Netflix queue with 347 titles only have ~1/3 of them available on BD)

For HD, I think the titles (again for the most part) look on par or surpasses the HD I get from DirecTV. Plus there are no station logos or commercials, which is great. I will never understand why people put down the Netflix HD feeds (for $9/month), while seemingly being happy with their cable/satellite which provide roughly the same PQ (for $80-120/month). IMO if you're happy enough with the Cable/Satellite PQ, then you should be happy enough with the Netflix HD PQ.

Recently had a Showtime free preview, and couldn't believe how crappy the HD stuff looked. And it had station logos (when did premium channels start doing that?). Give me the Netflix HD streams anyday over that crap.
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post #459 of 6399 Old 04-21-2010, 09:44 AM
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to be fair, HD on Comcast in my area looks fantastic, and the premium channels even moreso. Showtime in my area looks almost as good as a BD to my eyes on my 50" Pioneer.

The issue is, with Netflix you have to wait a year until your TV show is on disc before you can stream it, and then only if the company allows NF to.
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post #460 of 6399 Old 04-21-2010, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b_scott View Post

to be fair, HD on Comcast in my area looks fantastic, and the premium channels even moreso. Showtime in my area looks almost as good as a BD to my eyes on my 50" Pioneer.

The issue is, with Netflix you have to wait a year until your TV show is on disc before you can stream it, and then only if the company allows NF to.

I was more referring to the PQ complaints than the availability. DirectTV is infinitely better than Comcast in my area (but still looks on-par with the HD Netflix streams....for the most part anyways). I was just saying complaining about Netflix PQ (for $9/month) then being happy with the $80-120/month PQ of cable/satellite just strikes me odd....especially for 55" screens and below. The FP people have some validity.

Also, availability does depend on the show. The latest season of Heroes was available the day after(?) the episode aired, and I'm currently watching Spartacus (the Starz show that just finished its first season run...they put up episodes the day after they ran). Harper's Island also was that way, and I think there are some others, although I'm not sure off the top of my head.

Those are the exceptions rather than the rule of course. I'm hoping to see more of it in the future....making Netflix more like Hulu.
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post #461 of 6399 Old 04-21-2010, 09:56 AM
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I don't want Netflix to be like Hulu, that means ads. Instantly available as streaming will definitely either raise NF's price or have them put in ads.
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post #462 of 6399 Old 04-21-2010, 10:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by b_scott View Post

to be fair, HD on Comcast in my area looks fantastic, and the premium channels even moreso. Showtime in my area looks almost as good as a BD to my eyes on my 50" Pioneer.

The issue is, with Netflix you have to wait a year until your TV show is on disc before you can stream it, and then only if the company allows NF to.

Although that is true, the benefit to Netflix is that I am able to choose a series and watch the entire season at my pace and schedule. For some series (like Weeds), that means plowing through the entire season whenever I have time to sit in front of the TV. Other series (like Coupling) are stuff I know I can fire up whenever I want a silly laugh.
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post #463 of 6399 Old 04-21-2010, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by b_scott View Post

I don't want Netflix to be like Hulu, that means ads. Instantly available as streaming will definitely either raise NF's price or have them put in ads.

I'm the opposite. If I could get HD feeds of current-season shows, I'd cut the cable cord (or in my case, satellite cord) in a heartbeat. The 20-30 second commercial break in Hulu never bothered me (PQ is not up to snuff though). Plus you'd get "clean" screens....no station logos, no telling me what I'm watching, what's on next, what's coming up later, countdown clocks to the Olympics or American Idol or V premieres, no weather alerts and school cancellation scrolls from my local stations.

It would be a dream come true. I'd pay $50/month for the privlege of a buffet plan (which would be $30 more for Netflix than I'm paying now, but save $85 because of no DirecTV bill...for a net savings of $55/month. Awesome. Heck, I'd probably pay more than $50/month.

Of course, I would hope they'd maintain the FF functionality like the Netflix player currently has, just to avoid that 30 second commercial

I use PlayOn for Hulu now (so I can watch it on my TV) but the PQ is not that great (it's 480p, so it's acceptable if I happen to miss a show or have too many conflicts, but not great when compared to the HD feed). And FF and Rewind leave a lot to be desired. Works in a pinch though.
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post #464 of 6399 Old 04-21-2010, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by PSound View Post

Although that is true, the benefit to Netflix is that I am able to choose a series and watch the entire season at my pace and schedule. For some series (like Weeds), that means plowing through the entire season whenever I have time to sit in front of the TV. Other series (like Coupling) are stuff I know I can fire up whenever I want a silly laugh.

definitely true. But if you like to be up on what's going on with popular culture/TV shows to the minute, then NF isn't for you in that way.
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post #465 of 6399 Old 04-21-2010, 10:03 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mproper View Post

I'm currently watching Spartacus (the Starz show that just finished its first season run...they put up episodes the day after they ran). Harper's Island also was that way, and I think there are some others, although I'm not sure off the top of my head.

Legend of the Seeker is also like that.

BTW... I also watched Spartacus from Showtime this way. The season finale... Whoa!!!
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post #466 of 6399 Old 04-21-2010, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by mproper View Post

I'm the opposite. If I could get HD feeds of current-season shows, I'd cut the cable cord (or in my case, satellite cord) in a heartbeat. The 20-30 second commercial break in Hulu never bothered me (PQ is not up to snuff though). Plus you'd get "clean" screens....not station logos, no telling me what I'm watching, what's on next, what's coming up later, no weather alerts and school cancellation scrolls from my local stations.

It would be a dream come true.

Of course, I would hope they'd maintain the FF functionality like the Netflix player currently has.

I use PlayOn for Hulu now (so I can watch it on my TV) but the PQ is not that great (it's 480p, so it's acceptable if I happen to miss a show or have too many conflicts, but not great). And FF and Rewind leave a lot to be desired.

yeah but that's shows ala carte, basically. It'd be the same as cable, but just through a different name - Netflix. And it would probably cost comparably. Plus you still have to pay for internet.
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post #467 of 6399 Old 04-21-2010, 10:05 AM
 
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definitely true. But if you like to be up on what's going on with popular culture/TV shows to the minute, then NF isn't for you in that way.

True. If television is your water cooler talk, then it won't work for you. But then again, neither will Hulu, DVRs, etc.
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post #468 of 6399 Old 04-21-2010, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by PSound View Post

True. If television is your water cooler talk, then it won't work for you. But then again, neither will Hulu, DVRs, etc.

DVR's work fine. I have a Tivo Premiere and I'm pretty much up to date almost every day. I just have a lot of stuff on different stations at once.
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post #469 of 6399 Old 04-21-2010, 10:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by b_scott View Post

DVR's work fine. I have a Tivo Premiere and I'm pretty much up to date almost every day. I just have a lot of stuff on different stations at once.

Don't know the stats, but I am guessing most folks who DVR do not get caught up daily.


Either way, there is obviously still an allure to seeing first run broadcast for most/many.
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post #470 of 6399 Old 04-21-2010, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by PSound View Post

Don't know the stats, but I am guessing most folks who DVR do not get caught up daily.


Either way, there is obviously still an allure to seeing first run broadcast for most/many.

still, they would get caught up before 6 months which is usually the minimum for seasons to come to disc.. but i understand your side of it.
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post #471 of 6399 Old 04-21-2010, 10:35 AM
 
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still, they would get caught up before 6 months which is usually the minimum for seasons to come to disc.. but i understand your side of it.

Yep.

I know there are some shows that are more time sensitive than others (Lost is a big water cooler show). TV is not a huge topic of discussion for me and my friends, except in broad terms about what shows are better than expected.

And the last show that I actually made time to watch during first broadcast was Battlestar Gallactica.
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post #472 of 6399 Old 04-21-2010, 11:42 AM
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Comcast is stuck in the mud of having to use MPEG-2 whereas a lot of the streaming places like Netflix, Vudu can use MPEG-4 AVC. I'm not sure what Netflix uses however. Some may even use Divx and I wouldn't be surprised if some will make streaming apps using Ogg-Theora since they don't have to pay a license for it. However it is generally restricted to what hardware decoders are on the device leading one to wonder why CE companies haven't added Ogg-Theora to hardware since it is free (backdoor lobbying against it maybe).

Supposedly Comcast was taking MPEG-4 HBO streams and recoding them to MPEG-2. Too many boxes out there for them to replace to go to MPEG-4. And I'm not sure that the current boxes can even handle long GOP MPEG-2 which might help.

Netflix looks good here though not quite as good as Vudu HD streams and especially their HDX streams. Spartacus looks like it is a WMV file or that technology.
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post #473 of 6399 Old 04-21-2010, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by PSound View Post

Don't know the stats, but I am guessing most folks who DVR do not get caught up daily.

Oh my...I'm guilty of that. I try to keep up and watch shows at the end of the week (i.e. over the weekend) but stuff seems to come up and all of a sudden I'm behind 3 or 4 weeks. (I'm not using a DVD, rather a DVD recorder with HDD, but it's much the same as my old cable company's DVR was.)

I've found if I really want to watch a TV episode sooner, I rely more on either Amazon's VOD service (they have new episodes available usually the next day) or watch it on the network's web site. The PQ is surprisingly good, considering...some even have HD quality episodes...all free.

I still wish I could select the episodes I want to see on Netflix, rather than having to go through a whole season's worth. That's useful when I've missed much of a season's shows, but not so much if I want to see the 4, 5, or 6 I may have missed, etc. Ah well! For that I guess I'll have to stick to renting the DVD, instead.

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post #474 of 6399 Old 04-21-2010, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by DeeKaye07 View Post

I still wish I could select the episodes I want to see on Netflix, rather than having to go through a whole season's worth. That's useful when I've missed much of a season's shows, but not so much if I want to see the 4, 5, or 6 I may have missed, etc. Ah well! For that I guess I'll have to stick to renting the DVD, instead.

Can you explain this? Any show I've watched on Netflix, I am able to select which episode to play. Or do you mean only add those specific episodes to your queue?
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post #475 of 6399 Old 04-24-2010, 12:51 AM
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Is the image quality determined mainly by internet connection speed?

Do the different streaming devices differ much in image quality? For example, Roku box vs. a Blu-ray player with Netflix built in? Thanks.
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post #476 of 6399 Old 04-24-2010, 04:19 AM
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Is the image quality determined mainly by internet connection speed?

Yes. If the download bandwidth of your connection is limited, the Netflix stream will choose a lower-resolution version of the show you're watching. I have about 6.5mbps on my connection and always get the full-bandwidth stuff (even HD) so I can't speak to just how bad it gets but I suspect the lower-resolution streams you're going to get with, say, a 1.5-2.0mbps connection would look pretty bad on something like a 50" plasma.

Quote:


Do the different streaming devices differ much in image quality? For example, Roku box vs. a Blu-ray player with Netflix built in? Thanks.

No so much, according to all the reviews I've been able to find of the various equipments. I think given that we're talking highly compressed WMV (or whatever the format is nowadays) the quality of the video content is the limitation. Most any of the hardware is capable of matching the maximum video quality of those streams. The differences among the players have more to do with convenience, how snappy they respond and stuff like that (once again according to reviews I've seen).

We just grabbed a Roku box and it works fine. Look real good on the HD streams and so-so on the SD, viewed on a 50" 720p Panasonic panel from about 8-1/2 feet. If a $100 Roku can look good then I'm sure 'most any of the hardware options will work fine.
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post #477 of 6399 Old 04-24-2010, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Brent Hutto View Post

Yes. If the download bandwidth of your connection is limited, the Netflix stream will choose a lower-resolution version of the show you're watching. I have about 6.5mbps on my connection and always get the full-bandwidth stuff (even HD) so I can't speak to just how bad it gets but I suspect the lower-resolution streams you're going to get with, say, a 1.5-2.0mbps connection would look pretty bad on something like a 50" plasma.



No so much, according to all the reviews I've been able to find of the various equipments. I think given that we're talking highly compressed WMV (or whatever the format is nowadays) the quality of the video content is the limitation. Most any of the hardware is capable of matching the maximum video quality of those streams. The differences among the players have more to do with convenience, how snappy they respond and stuff like that (once again according to reviews I've seen).

We just grabbed a Roku box and it works fine. Look real good on the HD streams and so-so on the SD, viewed on a 50" 720p Panasonic panel from about 8-1/2 feet. If a $100 Roku can look good then I'm sure 'most any of the hardware options will work fine.

Thanks. We should be fine then with our 7 Mbps speed for HD? I'm thinking of buying the Pan. BD65 for streaming Netflix.
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post #478 of 6399 Old 04-24-2010, 01:11 PM
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Our connection measures quite consistently in the 6.4mbps-6.8mbps for downloads according a variety of tools including the Netflix one. So far nothing but full-bore HD with reasonably fast buffering on our Roku box. So 7mbps is plenty.

I like the Panny BD players, ours is a couple of year old BD30 that doesn't do streaming. Good Blu-Ray box. Getting the Roku was cheaper an easier than replacing our BD30.
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post #479 of 6399 Old 04-24-2010, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hutto View Post

Our connection measures quite consistently in the 6.4mbps-6.8mbps for downloads according a variety of tools including the Netflix one. So far nothing but full-bore HD with reasonably fast buffering on our Roku box. So 7mbps is plenty.

It's plenty if you can get a sufficiently high rate on a connection to the closest Netflix streaming server. The rated speed of your service only gives you maximum rate you can get on any connection but for a variety of reasons not all connections will be as fast as that. There are people who've had problems getting a higher quality or HD stream from Netflix who have 20 Mbps or better service.

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post #480 of 6399 Old 05-03-2010, 07:04 PM
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has anyone tried watching paranormal activity through the ps3? it's supposed to be hd but when i tried to watch it the other day, the video was real bad and the audio wasn't synced correctly.
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