Using a PC for NetFilx streaming - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 03-29-2009, 08:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry if this was answered elsewhere in the forums.

I'm trying to understand the hardware requirements of Netflix streaming. I have a PC hooked up via DVI->HDMI adapter with a dual core 3800+ amd, 2 Gb DDR and a 6800GT video card running Vista 32bit. I've used this PC to play back 1080P blu-ray rips without any problems, however the netflix is unwatchable. The quality is decent, but the lipsync is way off. If I watch this on my 6600 quad core with 8Gb of ram and an 8800GTX running Vista 64 bit, it works very well.

I know the first PC is a little dated but it is well beyond what NetFlix states for required hardware. Also, I can play a 13meg 1080p files and watch hulu or Joox videos without any issue. The nature of this performance seems to be more software related, so maybe I have a codec/driver issue. Perhaps I should reinstall.


Right now I'm having terrific success with PlayOn running through my main PC streaming directly to PS3 or even to my DirectTV tuner (although no FF/ReWind is NOT cool), but I don't want to spend money on PlayOn when I have a physical computer hooked up to the TV.

So does anyone use a PC in their home entertainment for Netflix or is it all Roku and XBOX360 users. If so, what system and hardware do you use and what has been your experience? Anyone else use PlayOn or a similar bridging software (preferably somthing free?).
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post #2 of 12 Old 03-29-2009, 10:21 PM
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I've done some initial testing and playback is smooth. Here's what i'm using:
Windows XP SP2
CPU AMD|A64 X2 5800+ 3.0G AM2 1M
MB ASUS M3A78-EM AM2+ 780G/SB700 RT
1GB Ram.
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post #3 of 12 Old 03-30-2009, 09:44 AM
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I use playon, streaming wireless to a ps3. Host computer is a 1 GB, 2.1 GHz dual-core. This provides excellent results.

Former USSB uplink operator.
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post #4 of 12 Old 03-30-2009, 09:47 AM
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ARe you using the Silverlight player on the PC? This (IMO) is a horrible player and may be causing some of the results you see. Of course, once you opt-in to the Silverlight player, you can't get back out of it.
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post #5 of 12 Old 03-31-2009, 09:55 PM
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I suppose it's possible the PC is causing the lipsynch problems. I recently bought a Roku and it has the problem as well. It seems like a problem with the server.

Before I bought the Roku I built a HTPC on the cheap with used parts I picked up from Craigslist. It had a AMD 3800+ X2 . I needed a video card with DVI so I bought an ATI X700 used. I had a spare gig of ram for it. At any rate, it streamed Netflix pretty well. I have a buddy with a much faster Intel based machine and much nicer video card. I don't know if it's because of HDMI or what but he has trouble streaming and has to lower the rez on the card to 640X480 or some low rez.

I hated the sound of the Realtek audio on the board. I thought I might get a better image with a better video card. Instead of buying those I bought the Roku and now have access to "high definition" feeds. The day the Roku was delivered the motherboard(which was always flakey) died. Good timing.
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post #6 of 12 Old 04-01-2009, 04:41 AM
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I used a MacBook with DVI-SVGA to the TV. The picture was ok but sound only in the laptop's speakers. With HDMI, do you get sound to the TV or AV system? I ended up wearing some headphones.
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post #7 of 12 Old 04-01-2009, 09:14 AM
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it dont really requie all that much computer to do the netflix streaming I have it running on a pentium 4 2.4 with only 512 ram and an old nvidia 5200 without issue. I do force netflix to highest bitrate with the shift key function. But I have no issues, and IF I do, it is usually netflixs issue not mine.

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post #8 of 12 Old 04-01-2009, 01:07 PM
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i do force netflix to highest bitrate with the shift key function

huh?
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post #9 of 12 Old 04-02-2009, 03:54 AM
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I recently started streaming Nrtflix to my PC. I have a stock Vaio TP 20E with 4GB Ram. It has an Nvidia 8400M GT GPU and Core Duo 2.1 CPU (3MB cache, 1066 MHz FSB).

I am connected via hdmi to my receiver (I've also tried direct to my Pioneer PRO 151FD monitor - 60 inches).

I've watched around 3 movies so far and no issues. I prefer the Netflix user interface to Hulu by a mile, PQ is about the same as Hulu 480p (may be slight edge to Hulu). No issues with audio synch or buffering in between a movie. Zero. With Hulu (or Apple TV) once in a while I do get buffering. Rare though.

My broadband is 20mpbs download, but can go down to 9mpbs or so.

I also noticed that while even 720p Huku video is silky smooth using Safari on my set up, Netflix has an ever so slight chopiness when panning. I can tell because I am watching on a 60 inch screen from 9 ft away. It's not an issue. Of course, for Netflix I use IE 8 with the Silverlight plugin.

Netflix strength for now is their nice selection and user interface. With roku and other players do you first need to add titles via a queue or can you just select instant play? for me the later is important.
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post #10 of 12 Old 04-02-2009, 05:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by av.pallino View Post

I recently started streaming Nrtflix to my PC. I have a stock Vaio TP 20E with 4GB Ram. It has an Nvidia 8400M GT GPU and Core Duo 2.1 CPU (3MB cache, 1066 MHz FSB).

I am connected via hdmi to my receiver (I've also tried direct to my Pioneer PRO 151FD monitor - 60 inches).

I've watched around 3 movies so far and no issues. I prefer the Netflix user interface to Hulu by a mile, PQ is about the same as Hulu 480p (may be slight edge to Hulu). No issues with audio synch or buffering in between a movie. Zero. With Hulu (or Apple TV) once in a while I do get buffering. Rare though.

My broadband is 20mpbs download, but can go down to 9mpbs or so.

I also noticed that while even 720p Huku video is silky smooth using Safari on my set up, Netflix has an ever so slight chopiness when panning. I can tell because I am watching on a 60 inch screen from 9 ft away. It's not an issue. Of course, for Netflix I use IE 8 with the Silverlight plugin.

Netflix strength for now is their nice selection and user interface. With roku and other players do you first need to add titles via a queue or can you just select instant play? for me the later is important.

You still need to add them.
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post #11 of 12 Old 04-02-2009, 07:43 AM
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Netflix may just have replaced 90% of my Hulu and 50% of my Apple TV viewing time
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post #12 of 12 Old 04-02-2009, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mproper View Post

ARe you using the Silverlight player on the PC? This (IMO) is a horrible player and may be causing some of the results you see. Of course, once you opt-in to the Silverlight player, you can't get back out of it.

I am using this. Not sure there is an option. When I selected to play, it asked me to install it. What player are you using? One could uninstall Silverlight, and if you're using Vista simply roll back your OS to a previous state (worst case scenario).
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