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post #31 of 6769 Old 01-26-2009, 11:44 AM
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I have Charter cable coming to my modem to a router to my laptop and I test online at Speedtest.com and speakeasy .com both give me about 10 mbps then I move the line from my laptop to my netflix dvd player and the picture quality is poor with only half the lines in the quality box. I just called Charter and went up to a 16 meg line I will see if there is any improvment, I don't think so because 10 was more then needed, the problem must be some place else. What about cable length?
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post #32 of 6769 Old 01-26-2009, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by fastlane2546 View Post

I have Charter cable coming to my modem to a router to my laptop and I test online at Speedtest.com and speakeasy .com both give me about 10 mbps then I move the line from my laptop to my netflix dvd player and the picture quality is poor with only half the lines in the quality box. I just called Charter and went up to a 16 meg line I will see if there is any improvment, I don't think so because 10 was more then needed, the problem must be some place else. What about cable length?

Cable length isn't going to be a problem and you just said that you tested by taking the cable out of your Netflix player and plugging it into your laptop, so you know that you're getting the full 10 Mbps to whatever test servers you've been using. Again, you don't know where the Netflix server is and how bad the path to it from your location is. Speedtest.net offers a ton of different servers to test around the country (and some in Canada and Central and South America) and I get the full rated speed of my service to some of them, but certainly not all (from here to Bangor, ME, for instance, I get about one third).

Increasing the speed of your service isn't likely to help, though it won't hurt and if you use any download-oriented services, it will help that (whether that's worth the increased cost is for you to decide).

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post #33 of 6769 Old 01-27-2009, 11:52 PM
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I think I have a routing problem myself. I used to have a Road Runner 10 mbps down / 1 mbps up connection, and during off-peak times, could get 4 bars (max) for their HD streams over my Xbox 360. I recently switched to a Verizon FiOS 20/5 line, and now the best I can get is 3 bars, even during off-peak times. I effectively doubled my bandwidth, but can't get the same quality as my old cable connection. So, I think there is a routing issue on Verizon's network. I can't think what else might cause this. Anyone have any suggestions?
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post #34 of 6769 Old 01-29-2009, 01:52 PM
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alot of talk about bandwidth and such, but is there any definitive consensus on picture quality?

I had the Roku device back in May. It was only SD then.
I thought the picture looked decent.

Then I did A/B testing with the SD DVD of the same movies.
There was a stark difference with the Roku having wrong colors and jaggies.

I only tested 3 movies, but in each case the DVD player in 480i won.

Is there any noticable improvement since then? How do the so called "HD movies" compare with Blu-ray or HDDVD versions?
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post #35 of 6769 Old 01-29-2009, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Hipnotiq View Post

Is there any noticable improvement since then? How do the so called "HD movies" compare with Blu-ray or HDDVD versions?

Given that the HD movies are 720p24 video streaming at 3.8 Mbps, they're not going to compare favorably with 1080p24 video averaging at least four times the bit rate on an HD video disc. The PQ varies--sometimes it's quite good, sometimes not so much. Also note that the sound is currently confined to stereo by technical limitations of the encoding that they're using for purposes of DRM (Microsoft's WMDRM doesn't support the use of DD5.1, though it does support the equivalent Windows Media Audio encoding ).

The pinnacle of home theater, it ain't, but I don't think that it's trying to be. If that's what you're looking for, I've heard very nice things about the VUDU download service, particularly their "HQX" quality encodings. Of course, you have to purchase a special-purpose box for it, much more expensive than the HDD-less Roku Netflix player, and it's a pay-per-24-hour-viewing-period scheme.

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post #36 of 6769 Old 01-29-2009, 03:35 PM
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alright, extreme overload w/ mb rates and what not, but the gist of what I'm taking from this thread anyways, is I shouldn't waste my time running 30 ft of ethernet cable from my router to my living room.

I've got fios 20 dl and 5 up. I was going to just run a hard line since my ps3 at best gets a 70% wireless connection when I'm looking at the network connection list.

I've an extra pc, http://compreviews.about.com/od/budg...rioSR5450F.htm , that i thought i could simply pick up a hd card for, run the pc to my marantz sr4002 via hdmi and voila, i'm watching decent quality movies on my netflix subscription.

Darn, i wish i'd have found this thread before I spray painted that pc black last night. Eh, the pc still looks better anyways.
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post #37 of 6769 Old 01-29-2009, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by xFLYNNx View Post

alright, extreme overload w/ mb rates and what not, but the gist of what I'm taking from this thread anyways, is I shouldn't waste my time running 30 ft of ethernet cable from my router to my living room.

I've got fios 20 dl and 5 up. I was going to just run a hard line since my ps3 at best gets a 70% wireless connection when I'm looking at the network connection list.

I've an extra pc, http://compreviews.about.com/od/budg...rioSR5450F.htm , that i thought i could simply pick up a hd card for, run the pc to my marantz sr4002 via hdmi and voila, i'm watching decent quality movies on my netflix subscription.

Darn, i wish i'd have found this thread before I spray painted that pc black last night. Eh, the pc still looks better anyways.

You can upgrade to an 801.11n router. It is capable of 300 Mbps but most people who have the BW report it limits at or near 70 Mbps. My point is, this is the best Wi-Fi available for your home at reasonable $$. I think I paid $80 for a Linksys WRT160N ( http://reviews.cnet.com/routers/link...-32815481.html )

Your service will drop up to 3 Mbps going through a switch and another 3 through a wireless router. The beauty of the WRT160N is it is a 4 port switch and a router so you barely get 1 of these drops. My testing reveals I get 20.2 Mbps download speeds directly from Modem to PC. Then I insert the WRT160N and get 18.4 Mbps via a wired connection from one of the ports and 18.6 Mbps through wireless. 802.11n is capable of higher speeds and greater distances.

If you test out < your service promises you, you might want to have a friend bring over another laptop to test your gear. Then call customer support for your provider if there is an issue on their end.

By the way, I have run 75 foot LAN before without issue.

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post #38 of 6769 Old 01-29-2009, 05:49 PM
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so i'm i right that all i need is a hdmi card, hoping that it's pretty much plug and play, run my hardline, hook into the avr and from there to the tv? is it that simple?

i've got the ethernet cable, i'd have to buy a hdmi card, i've found them from 39 to 299, not sure if i need a high dollar one or not, but really if i'm going to have to buy one for anything over 99, i should just get the roku, yea?
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post #39 of 6769 Old 01-29-2009, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xFLYNNx View Post

so i'm i right that all i need is a hdmi card, hoping that it's pretty much plug and play, run my hardline, hook into the avr and from there to the tv? is it that simple?

i've got the ethernet cable, i'd have to buy a hdmi card, i've found them from 39 to 299, not sure if i need a high dollar one or not, but really if i'm going to have to buy one for anything over 99, i should just get the roku, yea?

I'm not sure just how relevant HDMI is. If you have VGA on your PC and on the television, that should suffice. One thing that you should note is that Netflix currently does not support use of the HD encodings through the PC player. If access to them is important to you, you should invest in the Roku player.

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post #40 of 6769 Old 01-30-2009, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

Given that the HD movies are 720p24 video streaming at 3.8 Mbps, they're not going to compare favorably with 1080p24 video averaging at least four times the bit rate on an HD video disc. The PQ varies--sometimes it's quite good, sometimes not so much. Also note that the sound is currently confined to stereo by technical limitations of the encoding that they're using for purposes of DRM (Microsoft's WMDRM doesn't support the use of DD5.1, though it does support the equivalent Windows Media Audio encoding ).

The pinnacle of home theater, it ain't, but I don't think that it's trying to be. If that's what you're looking for, I've heard very nice things about the VUDU download service, particularly their "HQX" quality encodings. Of course, you have to purchase a special-purpose box for it, much more expensive than the HDD-less Roku Netflix player, and it's a pay-per-24-hour-viewing-period scheme.

thanks for the response.

your answer makes sense and I think now is too early to jump in.
i like the convience, but losing ANY degree of picture quality is not even worth consideration.
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post #41 of 6769 Old 01-31-2009, 07:36 AM
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However the sound is only in stereo as it stands right now, which is annoying. Hopefully that improves.

It probably will but until it does, that is a show-stopper for me. At least half of the experience is a great sound. Throw in the diminished PQ and download caps and it's too early for me to jump in.

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post #42 of 6769 Old 01-31-2009, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lflorack View Post

It probably will but until it does, that is a show-stopper for me. At least half of the experience is a great sound. Throw in the diminished PQ and download caps and it's too early for me to jump in.

Would be for me as well if I didn't already have the 360 and NF. However, anything that's sound-heavy I still get the BR or DVD.

Of course, there's plenty I want to see that I don't care about sound. Like An Evening With Kevin Smith (and part 2: Evening Harder). It's just him talking to an audience. I couldn't care less if it's in 5.1 or not, and I was perfectly happy watching it with NF streaming. I have plenty of other stuff as well (74 in my queue as of this writing) that I'm not hung up on sound quality for.
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post #43 of 6769 Old 01-31-2009, 07:33 PM
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I'll tell you this much, they need more HD movies than they have right now. I thought they would be adding more at a faster pace, but most the ones up they have up are not good. Of course it's my opionion, but I'm sure most would agree.
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post #44 of 6769 Old 01-31-2009, 07:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by C*Tedesco View Post

I'll tell you this much, they need more HD movies than they have right now. I thought they would be adding more at a faster pace, but most the ones up they have up are not good. Of course it's my opionion, but I'm sure most would agree.

Investing in more streaming content is very high on their list of priorities.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1114772
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post #45 of 6769 Old 06-26-2009, 08:05 AM
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I'm a BB customer but since I have Tivo HD, I wanted to try the available NF streaming. I have 6Mbps tested DSL. So I signed up and tried "Ghostbusters for the kids last night. Interface, etc was smooth enough. Setup painless. But OMG. What a piece of ___p the video was. I have a 3 chip DLP projector on a 110" screen and the thing was unwatchable. Even the 8 years old commented on how bad it looked. No wonder it's free. You couldn't pay me to watch it. I didn't expect Blu-Ray quality, but at least DVD quality. It was maybe a hair better that a SD TV feed. Pitiful, and disappointing to say the least. Might work for you if you have a 20" LCD TV. Maybe.

Pfft.
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post #46 of 6769 Old 06-26-2009, 08:40 AM
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If you would read through the thread, you'll see quality varies from title to title, and Ghostbusters probably isn't a good one.

Maybe you should try one of the newer encodes to see how it looks...like Traitor or even The Host (which is HD).

Not sure how good they'll look on a 110" screen, but they look decent on my 50" plasma (somewhere between DVD and broadcast HD, IMO).

Again, blowing it up to 110" might not be good at all...
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post #47 of 6769 Old 06-26-2009, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GetGray View Post

I'm a BB customer but since I have Tivo HD, I wanted to try the available NF streaming. I have 6Mbps tested DSL. So I signed up and tried "Ghostbusters for the kids last night. Interface, etc was smooth enough. Setup painless. But OMG. What a piece of ___p the video was.

You didn't mention how many white bars showed up when you started the playing it. It really doesn't much matter how fast your internet service is--it's how fast your connection to Netflix's server is.

I just took a look at the start of the highest-quality encoding of Ghostbusters (all bars full--there is no HD encoding), and while not particular sharp, it was okay. Mostly the picture seemed very soft.

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post #48 of 6769 Old 06-26-2009, 11:18 AM
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I'll run it again and see how many bars it shows. Didn't know to look on my first try. Might rent the DVD just to see how the source looks out of curiosity. Surely it's not that soft. Maybe my bars were low, dunno. I don't think I'll be happy with it though if it's a crap shoot on when it's good, or not. Or obviously if my connection can't swing full quality. Have to stick with full downloads elsewhere. Thanks
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post #49 of 6769 Old 06-26-2009, 01:56 PM
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I caught the last part of Ghostbusters and first part of Ghostbusters II in HD on HD cable the other night while channel surfing (AMC or USA? can't remember), and I can't say I was really impressed with the PQ (a little on the soft side). I have seen much better on those HD cable channels, so maybe it's the transfer/encode for those particular movies.

In fact, one reviewer at High-Def digest wasn't terribly impressed with the video PQ of the recent blu-ray release: http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/1674/ghostbusters.html.

I know Netflix doesn't offer it in HD, but perhaps there's just something about the way those films were shot and transfered.
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post #50 of 6769 Old 10-01-2009, 11:41 AM
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How good is the HD quality on full bars? Thinking of switching.
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post #51 of 6769 Old 10-01-2009, 01:09 PM
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How good is the HD quality on full bars? Thinking of switching.

So far IMO it's been as good as DVD quality or better, if that's possible. Looks great, in other words! I guess it depends on the speed of the connection -- so far I've been fortunate.

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post #52 of 6769 Old 10-01-2009, 01:16 PM
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So far IMO it's been as good as DVD quality or better, if that's possible. Looks great, in other words! I guess it depends on the speed of the connection -- so far I've been fortunate.

DGK

thanks. I have two Xbox 360's and two Tivo HD's, so I'm hoping it looks passable since that'd be great coverage for my place.

I think I'll try it. Even with 3 out for Blu-ray I think it's the same price as my BB right now with the old pricing.
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post #53 of 6769 Old 10-01-2009, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by b_scott View Post

thanks. I have two Xbox 360's and two Tivo HD's, so I'm hoping it looks passable since that'd be great coverage for my place.

I think I'll try it. Even with 3 out for Blu-ray I think it's the same price as my BB right now with the old pricing.

Good luck! I think you'll be glad if you do make the switch. Netflix is adding more content all the time...including (I think) more stuff in HD.

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post #54 of 6769 Old 10-01-2009, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by b_scott View Post

thanks. I have two Xbox 360's and two Tivo HD's, so I'm hoping it looks passable since that'd be great coverage for my place.

I think I'll try it. Even with 3 out for Blu-ray I think it's the same price as my BB right now with the old pricing.

You can get a trial of Netflix to try out of course.
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post #55 of 6769 Old 10-02-2009, 07:53 AM
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The real problem with Netflix isn't the picture quality, it's the audio. It isn't even surround sound so its basically like going back to stereo sound of VHS in 1996.

I really don't understand why either, even DVDs only feature a 440Kbps AC3 track and the Netflix streaming requires up to 5Mbps. Not sure why they can't find a way to fit a 400kbps stream into a 5Mbps stream. If they used Dolby Digital Plus instead, they could sound as good as DVD with about a 300Kbps stream (guess based on the improved efficiency).

On top of all this the selection of HD is pretty sad (other than TV shows) and many of the 2.35 movies are cropped to 16x9.

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post #56 of 6769 Old 10-02-2009, 08:02 AM
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Where does it show you the streaming quality? When I play a movie from my PC, I see a message "determining video quality" then the movie plays but I didn't notice anywhere what the actual quality level was.. (2 bars, 3 bars, etc..)

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post #57 of 6769 Old 10-02-2009, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by bdraw View Post

The real problem with Netflix isn't the picture quality, it's the audio. It isn't even surround sound so its basically like going back to stereo sound of VHS in 1996.

I really don't understand why either, even DVDs only feature a 440Kbps AC3 track and the Netflix streaming requires up to 5Mbps. Not sure why they can't find a way to fit a 400kbps stream into a 5Mbps stream. If they used Dolby Digital Plus instead, they could sound as good as DVD with about a 300Kbps stream (guess based on the improved efficiency).

On top of all this the selection of HD is pretty sad (other than TV shows) and many of the 2.35 movies are cropped to 16x9.

I have to agree with the selection part. Most of what is there didn't interest me when it came out ...so... that now it's free doesn't make it any more desireable. TV shows are the same... you can watch Heroes but not House, you can watch the Closer but not Supernatural, you can watch Dexter but no Sopranos....
Mixed bag which only cash to the networks will fix...are you listening Netflix.
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post #58 of 6769 Old 10-02-2009, 08:47 AM
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Agree on the audio, although I hope that's something they will be fixing soon. Also agree with the strange selection of TV shows, and the StarzPlay titles are always 16:9, regardless of OAR which is kindof annoying. I wish they'd just do their own encodes (or get them from a source which could maintain the OAR).

As for the selection of movies, I have no problems. Titles in my DVD queue are becoming available in my instant queue faster than (or as fast as) I can watch them, and I have hovered around 60 titles available for a couple months now.

I really have no problem with the PQ for most titles. Some of the older stuff is a mixed bag, but I am pretty happy with it for the most part.

Regardless, my basic rules regarding the instant service is:
  • If it's available on Blu-Ray, I have that shipped to me.
  • If it's not on Blu-Ray, but is an action or special effects movie (where PQ and AQ matter to me), I'll have the DVD shipped to me.
  • If neither of the above are true, then I'll watch it on the instant service

As such, I end up watching mostly documentaries, dramas, foreign movies, and comedies with the Instant Service....but that still leaves me around 60 movies currently in my Instant Queue.

That setup works for me and I'm more than happy with the service.
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post #59 of 6769 Old 10-02-2009, 10:47 AM
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Yeah, I wonder what factors they use to determine which shows they offer for streaming. I'd love to be able to watch more shows like House or Saving Grace or others, but I can only rent the DVDs for now, not watch them streaming. I know there's other ways to watch those shows (Hulu, the network's web sites, Fancast, etc.) but that involves hooking my laptop up to the TV if I want to see it on anything bigger than a 14 inch laptop screen...and there's no guarantee the quality will be any good that way.

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post #60 of 6769 Old 10-02-2009, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by bdraw View Post

The real problem with Netflix isn't the picture quality, it's the audio. It isn't even surround sound so its basically like going back to stereo sound of VHS in 1996.

I really don't understand why either, even DVDs only feature a 440Kbps AC3 track and the Netflix streaming requires up to 5Mbps. Not sure why they can't find a way to fit a 400kbps stream into a 5Mbps stream. If they used Dolby Digital Plus instead, they could sound as good as DVD with about a 300Kbps stream (guess based on the improved efficiency).

From the 6 November 2008 "Encoding for streaming" Netflix blog entry:
Quote:
Stereo Audio

Today, we cannot use WMDRM to deliver AC3 or DD+ audio, which means that only stereo (delivered via WMA) is available. PCs and Macs decode the WMA, and CE players also transcode to PCM for digital connections to receivers. We could technically include multichannel audio using WMAPro, but essentially no receivers are actually capable of decoding that. We are working on solutions to deliver multichannel audio for all the streams where we have suitable source, but this won't happen in 2008 for sure.

That's their excuse and they're sticking to it . It's interesting that some companies, like Amazon, are making downloads and streams available with AC3 surround, no doubt using WMDRM as well. (Is there any competing online media DRM system? If not, how does Amazon do it? Give us an investigative report on Engadget, Ben ). I do believe that most of the encodings have at least PL II sound, so they're not just flat stereo.

I don't find the selection to be too surprising, given the business model. Maybe they could add a certain number of more recent, popular films on some sort of premium basis, perhaps for an extra dollar or two per month.

Mike Scott (XBL: MikeHellion, PSN: MarcHellion)

"Think of the cable company as a group of terrorist (sic)." -- hookbill
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