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post #8011 of 8070 Old 01-25-2016, 10:48 AM
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Watched the first episode of the 100 on the W10 app and it showed 7500 as the highest bitrate. I don't understand why they would increase the bitrate? I though they were going to reduce bandwidth not increase it.

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post #8012 of 8070 Old 01-25-2016, 10:56 AM
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IMO, that is a glitch. Can't be real since it looks so bad.
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post #8013 of 8070 Old 01-25-2016, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Westly-C View Post
IMO, that is a glitch. Can't be real since it looks so bad.
Thanks. I though so.

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post #8014 of 8070 Old 01-25-2016, 12:27 PM
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Watched the first episode of the 100 on the W10 app and it showed 7500 as the highest bitrate. I don't understand why they would increase the bitrate? I though they were going to reduce bandwidth not increase it.
Gotta keep up with the VUDUs and Amazons, I guess. What I recall of "The 100" it is shot soft so it won't benefit much from higher bitrates. Sharpening filters add edge enhancement which make things stand out more though are generally not favored by filmmakers. Sometimes I wonder if VUDU does their own encoding because when Amazon might have a show the following morning it's often not available on VUDU until late afternoon. VUDU doesn't seem to add sharpening and neither does Amazon.

Two shows on Netflix showed around 5.8 mbps last night. I see that streaming was hit hard on the East Coast due to the weather and probably big hits after the game.

Watching NBC's "Shades of Blue" on Hulu showed 614 MB received or about what they run on their website at 720p. It didn't look that bad but I am wondering if it is VBR because their streams on the site are VBR not CBR. "Shameless" however was up at around 4 mbps.
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post #8015 of 8070 Old 01-25-2016, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian Conrad View Post
Watching NBC's "Shades of Blue" on Hulu showed 614 MB received or about what they run on their website at 720p.
Six hundred megabytes? Are you sure about that?

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post #8016 of 8070 Old 01-25-2016, 01:50 PM
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If my math is right, that works out to 1.4 Mbps if that's a one hour show. Seems a little low, but not surprising for Hulu.
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post #8017 of 8070 Old 01-25-2016, 02:10 PM
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If my math is right, that works out to 1.4 Mbps if that's a one hour show. Seems a little low, but not surprising for Hulu.
Oh, he was referring to the file size!

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post #8018 of 8070 Old 01-25-2016, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Westly-C View Post
IMO, that is a glitch. Can't be real since it looks so bad.

I don't think so. The debug display shows it crawling up through the the other bit rates to get there. Besides--I thought that you said that you're not getting those encodes from anything on Win 8. The last time I looked at The 100's video it looked pretty sharp, though the first time I examined it with the altered set of encodes it was mediocre. Perhaps they re-encoded it.

Their stated goal with these custom bit rates is not only to reduce bandwidth consumption, but to get the formula right for every title. The 100 is full of visually complex scenes set in a forest and no doubt can use some extra bits. They do expect to achieve an overall reduction because they stream lots of animation and other visually simple material for which they can get equivalent PQ with 25% as much bandwidth as they're using now.

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post #8019 of 8070 Old 01-25-2016, 02:48 PM
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Upon review indications are that they did re-encode. When the change was first noticed, the set of encodes for The 100 were 230-, 300-, 490-, 750-, 1150-, 1690-, 2370-, 4020- and 7500; now I'm seeing 150-, 240-, 370-, 490-, 750-, 1150-, 1780-, 2370-, 3830- and 7500 Kbps.

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post #8020 of 8070 Old 01-25-2016, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by mailiang View Post
Six hundred megabytes? Are you sure about that?
Ian
Yup and not surprising other. NBC has changed the protocol on their website but before that some of the browser downloader add-ons could assemble the DASH file segments into one playable file around 600 MB at 720p. Figured that wasn't going to last for long.

CBR (Constant Bitrate) files are generally used for DASH and are larger. In DASH you actually have one file for each resolution and have a manifest sends the file out in segments allowing for resolution switching. Apparently got it working for VBR (Variable Bitrate) where files can be much smaller or just not switching resolution. I would think that VBR might not have consistent indexes between resolutions but maybe they've worked it out. I need to do my homework (after I get this app I'm working on shipped).

mdavej, yes that's what my calculations show too. Like I have been saying the technology keeps developing.
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post #8021 of 8070 Old 01-25-2016, 05:26 PM
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I don't think so. The debug display shows it crawling up through the the other bit rates to get there.
I meant glitch as in mistakenly labeled. Poor choice of words, sorry. Remember when the PS3 app's debug display showed bizarre bitrate labeling a couple years back? People were so confused over what HD bitrate stream they were getting, until NF's techs went in and corrected it. The cynic in me has been wondering if they are deliberately monkeying around with the display indicators to throw off aggressive scrutinizers (like me) as they work on replacing the older files...

I checked the data meter under my Comcast account after watching a couple of those encodes (actually, I check it daily ), and there was no spike in usage, which suggested to me, along with how poor the encode looked, that it wasn't really going beyond the file size of a 5800 stream.

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post #8022 of 8070 Old 01-25-2016, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westly-C View Post
I meant glitch as in mistakenly labeled. Poor choice of words, sorry. Remember when the PS3 app's debug display showed bizarre bitrate labeling a couple years back? People were so confused over what HD bitrate stream they were getting, until NF's techs went in and corrected it. The cynic in me has been wondering if they are deliberately monkeying around with the display indicators to throw off aggressive scrutinizers (like me) as they work on replacing the older files...

I checked the data meter under my Comcast account after watching a couple of those encodes (actually, I check it daily ), and there was no spike in usage, which suggested to me, along with how poor the encode looked, that it wasn't really going beyond the file size of a 5800 stream.

That bug in the stream status display (not just on PS3) was not about bit rate, but whether the stream was HD or not. It kept displaying "1080 SD" and idiots thought that it was different from "1080 HD". There's obviously no such thing as "1080 SD"; 1080 res is, by definition, high def. Eventually they just took the SD/HD label off the resolution display.

I sincerely don't think that this is a bug. The player reads the video file manifest when it starts playing and gets that list of encoding bit rates from there and that's what it displays. It is consistent on a per-title basis and most things still use the original set of encode bit rates.

It should be noted that 7500 Mbps is not particularly special. Amazon annoyingly uses 10 Mbps for all of their 1080p, as does Xbox Video; VUDU uses up to 9 Mbps for HDX 1080p.

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post #8023 of 8070 Old 01-25-2016, 08:17 PM
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Okay--I just played an episode of The 100 in the Windows app, waited until it reached the 7500 Kbps encode then monitored its network bandwidth consumption on the "App History" tab of Task Manager (right-clicked the column headings and added "Downloads" then hit "Delete usage history" before starting a 10 minute countdown timer). I recorded 596.8 MB consumed at the end of 10 minutes:

596.8 MB × 8 bits/byte = 4774.4 Mb ÷ 600 seconds = 7.957 Mbps.
Close enough for government work . It's possible that by MB they meant mebibytes (2²⁰) but if so the rate would be even higher. I'll repeat the experiment to verify.

EDIT: I tried it again and got 570.8 MB consumed in 600 seconds (a different 10 minutes):

570.8 MB × 8 bits/byte = 4566.4 Mb ÷ 600 seconds = 7.610 Mbps.

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post #8024 of 8070 Old 01-25-2016, 08:56 PM
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Jane the Virgin also has a funky set of encode bit rates (130-, 170-, 260-, 400-, 560-, 830-, 1150-, 1780-, 2260- and 3830 Kbps, where the highest bit rate is 1080p).

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post #8025 of 8070 Old 01-25-2016, 09:27 PM
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How was the PQ of Jane? Was it as good as an HD stream has always looked?

I watched a newly added movie tonight, Curve, using the IE browser. It streamed at 5800 the entire time. Looked good. It occurred to me, since this was a new addition, shouldn't it have had the newer encoding process, rather than the old standard they are moving away from? This isn't a complaint, it's just that it was strange for a new title to not have been transitioned upon being added.

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post #8026 of 8070 Old 01-25-2016, 11:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westly-C View Post
How was the PQ of Jane? Was it as good as an HD stream has always looked?

Jane looks good.

Quote:
I watched a newly added movie tonight, Curve, using the IE browser. It streamed at 5800 the entire time. Looked good. It occurred to me, since this was a new addition, shouldn't it have had the newer encoding process, rather than the old standard they are moving away from? This isn't a complaint, it's just that it was strange for a new title to not have been transitioned upon being added.

I went through the first several titles in the "Recently Added" list (including Curve) and didn't find any with these strange sets of bit rates. I went through the Netflix Originals and found quite a few until I got tired (I stopped with Tom Segura:

  • Marco Polo: 100 Eyes: 100-, 160-, 220-, 330-, 490-, 750-, 1050-, 1540-, 1960-, 2870- and 4420 Mbps.
  • Narcos: 150-, 220-, 300-, 460-, 680-, 1050-, 1470-, 2150-, 3160- and 6190 Kbps.
  • Making a Murderer: 100-, 180-, 230-, 370-, 590-, 870-, 1210-, 2740-, 4420- and 7150 Kbps.
  • The Ridiculous 6: 100-, 180-, 240-, 400-, 620-, 910-, 1330-, 1960-, 3650- and 5360 Kbps.
  • Master of None: 100-, 200-, 260-, 400-, 590-, 870-, 1210-, 1780-, 3320- and 5110 Kbps.
  • Chef's Table: 100-, 190-, 240-, 370-, 510-, 790-, 1100-, 1620-, 2490- and 5110 Kbps.
  • Hot Girls Wanted: 170-, 230-, 380-, 650-, 1050-, 1470-, 2490-, 4220-, 5360- and 7500 Kbps.
  • Tom Segura: Mostly Stories: 80-, 100-, 160-, 240-, 370-, 510-, 790-, 1210- and 2490 Kbps, where the last two are 720p and 1080p resp.

Some others had strange bit rates for the first four or five but ended in the standard 5-6. EDIT: I've been through more of the list of Netflix Originals and found several more titles with custom encode bit rates (28 in all, out of 104). They don't seem to be saving particularly much on animations; their bit rate optimization algorithm needs work.
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post #8027 of 8070 Old 01-26-2016, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post
That bug in the stream status display (not just on PS3) was not about bit rate, but whether the stream was HD or not. It kept displaying "1080 SD" and idiots thought that it was different from "1080 HD". There's obviously no such thing as "1080 SD"; 1080 res is, by definition, high def. Eventually they just took the SD/HD label off the resolution display.
It still reads 1080 SD on the older UI.


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post #8028 of 8070 Old 01-26-2016, 08:25 PM
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Last night I obsessively went through the rest of the list of Netflix Originals and recorded the non-standard encode bit rate sets. Here they are, wrapped in [SPOILER] tags to protect the uninterested.

Spoiler!

Though there's some repetition of bit rates, no two sets are the same; in a couple of cases the same bit rate is used for different resolutions. Curiously Bojack Horseman, used as an example in their "Per-Title Encode Optimization" tech blog article, was not among them. nor is Orange is the New Black, also discussed in that piece. They don't seem to be saving much on animation; some of those titles have 7500 Kbps encodes. I'd call this a work in progress.

We do know that they've applied this treatment to some titles outside of the Netflix Original "genre", since neither The 100 or Jane the Virgin is in that list.
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post #8029 of 8070 Old 01-26-2016, 08:36 PM
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I just discovered that the encode set bit rates vary from episode-to-episode of a series. "Chapter 8" of Jane the Virgin, which I cited above has encodes at 130-, 170-, 260-, 400-, 560-, 830-, 1150-, 1780-, 2260- and 3830 Kbps, whereas "Chapter 1" has 100-, 190-, 260-, 400-, 590-, 870-, 1270-, 1780-, 2740- and 5360 Kbps encodes. In their article they talked about possibly changing up from scene-to-scene.

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post #8030 of 8070 Old 01-26-2016, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Westly-C View Post
IMO, that is a glitch. Can't be real since it looks so bad.
I dont know about that episode or show but they did announce that they started encoding in 7500 kbps for action titles and movies in their blog.
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post #8031 of 8070 Old 01-27-2016, 08:42 AM
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So just like there BS story years ago of saving bandwidth with there eyeIO 3850kbps 1080p encodes that saved tons of bandwidth just for them to turn on there 5800kbps 1080p encodes for everyone increasing traffic and congestion. Now with there "improved" 7500kbps data caps are going to get hit faster and congestion is going to get worse. Really Netflix just say you are going to use more bandwidth to improve PQ from the start instead of lying.

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post #8032 of 8070 Old 01-27-2016, 01:59 PM
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As I mentioned they may be starting to use VBR encodes instead of CBR so you might start seeing a lot of variation depending on the title.

And for the skeptics, I watched "Fear of the Walking Dead" episode 2 last night on Hulu+ which came in for 44 minutes at 1846 MB. Do the math.

Michael, did you say you have an Amazon Fire TV?
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post #8033 of 8070 Old 01-27-2016, 02:17 PM
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Posted this as a stand-alone thread a while back, but it got no response. Perhaps this group can help. . .

Picked up some Chromecast devices over the holidays. Love Chromecast, for the most part, but have one major frustration with Netflix.

The irritation with Netflix is that each show starts out with very low resolution (in many cases bad enough that there is no sound for the first few seconds of an episode) before "building up" to full quality.

I understand this is an adaptive bandwidth thing, but I'd like to hold off and buffer a bit more until there is full quality. Once the quality is there it remains great, until the next episode starts, so it's not a basic bandwidth limitation in the house. Native Netflix apps (in the same spot in the house) don't seem to have this problem. Is there any fix for this, either on the Chromecast or Netflix side?
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post #8034 of 8070 Old 01-27-2016, 02:22 PM
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I have the original FTV Stick, purchased for $20 as offered to Prime members at launch. I also dusted off my PS3 and attached it to my system. I don't, however, have a way to measure bandwidth consumed by them, having been too chicken to install Tomato on my router (an old ASUS RT-N16). I recently measured bandwidth used by the Netflix app on Windows using Windows' task manager.

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post #8035 of 8070 Old 01-27-2016, 03:55 PM
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Asus routers have really good bandwidth measuring tools. It is the Netgear routers that have a UI that is from 2005. Limited and ugly on even there top of the line Netgear routers. I had enough that I flashed Kong's DD-WRT on the R7000 which gives way more features. Also fixes a annoying bug whenever I reboot my router and/or cable modem my Fire TV's show offline then I have to reboot them to get it connected. It seems the IP address change frequently on stock firmware and the Fire TV's chocks.

I can also check my real-time bandwidth usage but only a few minutes real time. Not over a period of 24 hours like the Asus.

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post #8036 of 8070 Old 01-27-2016, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by JGM View Post
Posted this as a stand-alone thread a while back, but it got no response. Perhaps this group can help. . .

Picked up some Chromecast devices over the holidays. Love Chromecast, for the most part, but have one major frustration with Netflix.

The irritation with Netflix is that each show starts out with very low resolution (in many cases bad enough that there is no sound for the first few seconds of an episode) before "building up" to full quality.

I understand this is an adaptive bandwidth thing, but I'd like to hold off and buffer a bit more until there is full quality. Once the quality is there it remains great, until the next episode starts, so it's not a basic bandwidth limitation in the house. Native Netflix apps (in the same spot in the house) don't seem to have this problem. Is there any fix for this, either on the Chromecast or Netflix side?
Nope, not really. The consensus to resolve the ramp-up annoyance has been to buy a better device that keeps the app in RAM all the time.
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post #8037 of 8070 Old 01-27-2016, 04:00 PM
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Nope, not really. The consensus to resolve the ramp-up annoyance has been to buy a better device that keeps the app in RAM all the time.
Too think that is the reason why I got the Chromecast watching there bogus Google conference saying that Netflix starts fast by preloading the program before you load it and looks great when really it is the same speed as the 1st Gen Chromecast which also starts up in mud SD. Also casting from my phone and tablet drains the battery 4%-6% in a average 45 minute program which is about the same if I just watched it on the phone.

I will most likely disconnect my Chromecast. I don't need it no more. My Roku 3 which I connected again yesterday can cast the live Disney XD in HD and it stays there. It use to before drop down to SD and not ramp up again.

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post #8038 of 8070 Old 01-28-2016, 12:19 PM
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As I mentioned they may be starting to use VBR encodes instead of CBR so you might start seeing a lot of variation depending on the title.

And for the skeptics, I watched "Fear of the Walking Dead" episode 2 last night on Hulu+ which came in for 44 minutes at 1846 MB. Do the math.

Michael, did you say you have an Amazon Fire TV?
I'm not sure why you keep bringing up Hulu+ in this thread...so how 'bout we move this discussion back to this thread:

Who has HULU Plus?
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post #8039 of 8070 Old 01-28-2016, 12:44 PM
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I'm not sure why you keep bringing up Hulu+ in this thread...so how 'bout we move this discussion back to this thread:

Who has HULU Plus?
Because, Mr. G, we are discussing the effects of streaming video and how it is done and in comparison to other services. I guess we can dumb it down to whether Netflix has pretty pictures or not if that suits you.
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post #8040 of 8070 Old 01-28-2016, 12:48 PM
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I have the original FTV Stick, purchased for $20 as offered to Prime members at launch. I also dusted off my PS3 and attached it to my system. I don't, however, have a way to measure bandwidth consumed by them, having been too chicken to install Tomato on my router (an old ASUS RT-N16). I recently measured bandwidth used by the Netflix app on Windows using Windows' task manager.
The reason I asked is I am thinking of spiffying up the interface on my Android TV tool and posting on Google Play as well as Amazon. I have apps available on both. Android TV devices don't seem to have a data usage section on Setting like other Android devices have.
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