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post #31 of 1305 Old 01-09-2011, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by thebard View Post

No, that is my entire experience.

I can tell you that source material via netflix definitely varries in quality. "Red Dwarf" episodes for example look terrible. I noticed some pixel "holdover" during motion scenes on some movies when I first hooked it up, but my connection was also less than perfect until I experimented with positioning the wifi receiver, so I suspect (though can't confirm) that reception had more to do with that than video processing. We watched "Home Alone 3" last night (yeah, I know, my son's choice...) on our 720p projector, and the quality at least matched a DVD.

Also keep in mind that the Oppo has 2 hdmi outputs, with different video processors, so that offers additional versatility. I understand that it is primarily a blu-ray device, however, and may not be ideal for someone whose main purpose is streaming media.

So far I have compared PS3, Roku and AppleTV and the PS3 looks the best. It seems to be applying a higher quality noise reduction to the Nexflix streams in my estimation. Its colors pop a bit more and the picture (at lest on HD streams) is a little clearer. The Roku wins hands down for versatility though. So easy and fun to use!

I may try an Oppo 93 this week, but it might be too soon since they have to work out some bugs apparently. If it looks better than the PS3 I'll take it.
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post #32 of 1305 Old 01-09-2011, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by rpauls View Post

So far I have compared PS3, Roku and AppleTV and the PS3 looks the best. It seems to be applying a higher quality noise reduction to the Nexflix streams in my estimation. Its colors pop a bit more and the picture (at lest on HD streams) is a little clearer. The Roku wins hands down for versatility though. So easy and fun to use!

I may try an Oppo 93 this week, but it might be too soon since they have to work out some bugs apparently. If it looks better than the PS3 I'll take it.

Oppo has a 30-day return policy, so it couldn't hurt.

If you need/want 5.1 audio & search now, and you don't mind the remote workaround, I think you'll end up sticking with the PS3. From what I've heard, it has the cutting edge interface for Netflix.

The only dealbreaker may be if the PS3 fan noise bothers you; the Oppo is VERY quiet.
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post #33 of 1305 Old 01-09-2011, 05:05 PM
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post #34 of 1305 Old 01-09-2011, 06:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by thebard View Post

Oppo has a 30-day return policy, so it couldn't hurt.

If you need/want 5.1 audio & search now, and you don't mind the remote workaround, I think you'll end up sticking with the PS3. From what I've heard, it has the cutting edge interface for Netflix.

The only dealbreaker may be if the PS3 fan noise bothers you; the Oppo is VERY quiet.

The fan doesn't bother me at all. Can hardly hear it.

The biggest problem I've got with the PS3 is that the Netflix user interface is not very well designed. The AppleTV and Roku are so much better (intuitive, smart, putting what you need where you need it, etc). How does the Oppo rate in this regard? I'm guessing it's still pretty primitive, maybe even more so than the PS3.
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post #35 of 1305 Old 01-10-2011, 06:02 AM
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I have had Oppo 93 for about a week now and I have been using it daily for Netflix.

Wireless set up was very easy (I have a 30 MB connection)

Streaming, except for one hiccup, has worked flawlessly. I have no issue with picture quality, although sometime the source material itself is not HD (c'est la vie). I watched some older westerns and really liked the graininess of the picture....I have watched some newer movies with very sharp picture quality. I dont know enough yet about exactly what resolution is being displayed.

The hiccup: one late night it just couldnt play one particular movie and then subsequently nothing would play. Powering down helped but didnt quite fix the problem. Next morning (and for 3 days since then) everything has worked flawlessly. I plan to call Oppo and ask them about this....

Overall I am quite happy with the device, it would be perfect if it weren't for that one problem I encountered. BTW, it wasnt the network because netflix on my Ipad worked fine while I was having issues with the Opppo....

A question: are all netflix movies streamed in exactly the same format? Could there be an issue when one particular title (in this case a british tv show) would not play properly but everything else would....
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post #36 of 1305 Old 01-10-2011, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by thebard View Post
I'll jump in here... I just purchased & hooked up an Oppo bdp-93. Previously I had been streaming Netflix on the Wii. First impressions:

Wii advantages: Ease in setup (super simple network connection); interface (can navigate up/down through categories when browsing, includes search function).

Oppo advantages: Picture quality (the wii is not & won't ever be HD); ability to use universal remote; better integration in a home theater environment.

The ability to use the IR remote & program it to my universal remote was a big selling point for me; I hated having to switch to the game console to watch movies, and the tracking with the wii/sensor bar was annoying if I was watching off to the side or too far from the screen; enough so that I was willing to give up the search function. The interfaces are comparable otherwise - on the Oppo you use the "up" button and then navigate across tabs to change categories.

I also noticed that the audio levels between streaming/disc matched much better on the Oppo than on the Wii.

The Oppo connection took a little setup... the player comes with a usb wifi receiver and a usb extension, so you can position for best reception. This is something to look for if going with wireless and a blu-ray solution, as a blu-ray player is more likely to be mounted in a rack or cabinet than a game console, and interfence could be an issue. Once set, the connection has been pretty reliable.

The Oppo does not have more than 2-channel audio for Netflix at this point (nor do any other blu-ray players... only the PS3 so far), but it has the capability, so it could be implemented down the line. Just keep in mind that many of the features/selling points are like that; they depend on *Netflix*, and what they are willing to push (resolution, 5.1 audio, interface), and not so much on the receiving device.
Actually, as a small point of correction, the AppleTV 2 supports 5.1 audio from Netflix streams.

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post #37 of 1305 Old 01-10-2011, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by rpauls View Post
So far I have compared PS3, Roku and AppleTV and the PS3 looks the best. It seems to be applying a higher quality noise reduction to the Nexflix streams in my estimation. Its colors pop a bit more and the picture (at lest on HD streams) is a little clearer. The Roku wins hands down for versatility though. So easy and fun to use!

I may try an Oppo 93 this week, but it might be too soon since they have to work out some bugs apparently. If it looks better than the PS3 I'll take it.
I'm disappointed that you've given no in-depth experience with the ATV2.

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post #38 of 1305 Old 01-10-2011, 09:15 AM
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I have a PS3 fat, and PS3 slim. One hooked to my projector with 106" screen, and one to my 46" Plasma. Both provide excellent Netflix PQ and don't leave me wanting for better, and a nearly full menu in Netflix. Search is available. 5.1 DD is available. 1080P is available.

Besides Netflix, the ability to game, and play Blu-rays through the PS3 makes it easily the clear winner for me. The only negative, IMO versus something like the Roku or AppleTV 2 is the cost, but you get other major features for that added cost (as mentioned, Blu-ray and gaming)

Dan
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post #39 of 1305 Old 01-10-2011, 11:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by [Irishman] View Post

I'm disappointed that you've given no in-depth experience with the ATV2.

Let me elaborate. I actually like the ATV2 very much. I will give you some details. If you have questions just ask. I could write a lot more.

(1) The Apple TV 2 appears to have better noise reduction than the Roku, though not quite as good as the PS3. This only makes a difference in noisy video (Try Spitfire Grill for an example).

(2) The Roku has more saturated colors than either the ATV or PS3, which both look more correct.

(3) The ATV2 has a little more trouble with high bit rate portions of the streams than either the Roku or PS3. I have found some sections of movies where two of the three devices consistently suffer visible PQ degradations and compared these sequentially over and over. The PS3 will jump from X-High HD down to med HD or even high SD during these parts, and of course become blocky and smeared. (Strange, I know, I though the feed rate was just a function of the network. Apparently not. Remember, these are variable rate streams, and they have occasional peaks). At this same point in the movie the ATV will begin to introduce significant blocking artifacts on background detail. The Roku seems to barrel on nearly unaffected. I assume it has a different buffering scheme that allows it to survive instances of very high bitrate demand such as this.

(4) The ATV2 UI is so well designed and such a pleasure to use. The Roku is in second place here, and the PS3 is way behind. This aspect alone impresses me so much that I may keep the ATV even though the PS3 PQ is a little better. The user experience is worth a lot.
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post #40 of 1305 Old 01-10-2011, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by [Irishman] View Post

Actually, as a small point of correction, the AppleTV 2 supports 5.1 audio from Netflix streams.

Actually, I was referring specifically to blu-ray players, but thanks for pointing out that capability. Also, is the ATV *receiving* any 5.1 streaming content as of now? Because the Oppo also supports 5.1, it's just that Netflix isn't providing it for that device yet.

Additionally, if future-proofing is important to the OP, I believe ATV still caps out at 720p.
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post #41 of 1305 Old 01-10-2011, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by stereomandan View Post

I have a PS3 fat, and PS3 slim. One hooked to my projector with 106" screen, and one to my 46" Plasma. Both provide excellent Netflix PQ and don't leave me wanting for better, and a nearly full menu in Netflix. Search is available. 5.1 DD is available. 1080P is available.

Besides Netflix, the ability to game, and play Blu-rays through the PS3 makes it easily the clear winner for me. The only negative, IMO versus something like the Roku or AppleTV 2 is the cost, but you get other major features for that added cost (as mentioned, Blu-ray and gaming)

Dan

I agree the PS3 has the edge on quality, but the browsing experience and overall UI on the ATV2 and Roku leave the PS3 way behind imo. You'd have to try them to know what I mean. You can get it done on the PS3, but it is a pleasure on the ATV2.
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post #42 of 1305 Old 01-10-2011, 11:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by thebard View Post

Actually, I was referring specifically to blu-ray players, but thanks for pointing out that capability. Also, is the ATV *receiving* any 5.1 streaming content as of now? Because the Oppo also supports 5.1, it's just that Netflix isn't providing it for that device yet.

Additionally, if future-proofing is important to the OP, I believe ATV still caps out at 720p.

The newest Roku also supports 5.1 doesn't it? Same problem as Oppo and ATV2 though. No sources available at this time. 5.1 is *very* important to me. I have received 5.1 on the PS3, and since the other 3 devices all support it I think we are all just waiting for Netflix to release whatever SW is required to allow these other devices access to 5.1 content.

I have no way of knowing if I've ever seen a 1080 movie on the PS3 since there is no indicator. It is all just speculation at this point.
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post #43 of 1305 Old 01-10-2011, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by rpauls View Post

I have found some sections of movies where two of the three devices consistently suffer visible PQ degradations and compared these sequentially over and over. The PS3 will jump from X-High HD down to med HD or even high SD during these parts, and of course become blocky and smeared. (Strange, I know, I though the feed rate was just a function of the network. Apparently not. Remember, these are variable rate streams, and they have occasional peaks).

That indicator has nothing to do with the current instantaneous bit rate of the video, but with which of the various encodings has been choosen according to available bandwidth on your connection with the server.

Give me an example of a passage in a title where that indicator always jumps around and I'll see whether I see the same thing happening.

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post #44 of 1305 Old 01-10-2011, 11:51 AM - Thread Starter
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That indicator has nothing to do with the current instantaneous bit rate of the video, but with which of the various encodings has been choosen according to available bandwidth on your connection with the server.

Give me an example of a passage in a title where that indicator always jumps around and I'll see whether I see the same thing happening.

"My Dog Skip" Around 44 min. When boy is running toward camera through tall grass. Look at the green trees in the background (and also the PS3 rate drops).

My assumption is that the PS3 rate drops when it experiences peaks in the stream need that exceed my bandwidth. It was playing along fine at X-High HD, but the network is constantly changing, and I have only a 6 mbps feed, so there is not much room for tolerance to BW congestion. The PS3 re-evaluates the network and decides to drop to the med HD stream for a while.
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post #45 of 1305 Old 01-10-2011, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by rpauls View Post

I agree the PS3 has the edge on quality, but the browsing experience and overall UI on the ATV2 and Roku leave the PS3 way behind imo. You'd have to try them to know what I mean. You can get it done on the PS3, but it is a pleasure on the ATV2.

Can't argue with you there. They are didicated machines just for streaming, so I can see how the user interface would be much nicer.

Dan
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post #46 of 1305 Old 01-10-2011, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by rpauls View Post

The newest Roku also supports 5.1 doesn't it? Same problem as Oppo and ATV2 though. No sources available at this time. 5.1 is *very* important to me. I have received 5.1 on the PS3, and since the other 3 devices all support it I think we are all just waiting for Netflix to release whatever SW is required to allow these other devices access to 5.1 content.

I have no way of knowing if I've ever seen a 1080 movie on the PS3 since there is no indicator. It is all just speculation at this point.

All the Roku units with an optical output (the older XR unit and the new XD/S unit for sure) will pass through 5.1 if you can find a source with it.
I'm a Mac guy and wanted to go with AppleTV but the biggest drawback for me was no upgrade to 1080 for the device ever. That meant having to spend at least another $100 to whatever that the next generation of Apple TV when it came out and that was a big no-no for me and a lot of people in many of the Apple forums. That being said, I love all three of my Roku units and they have played, looked and performed flawlessly on all three of my displays (37" LCD, 34" CRT & 65" plasma)

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post #47 of 1305 Old 01-10-2011, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by rpauls View Post

"My Dog Skip" Around 44 min. When boy is running toward camera through tall grass. Look at the green trees in the background (and also the PS3 rate drops).

I watched from around 43 minutes (boy and dog sitting in graveyard being teased by shady looking men) through dogs and boys running and dog and single boy walking in the tall grass and the chat with the little girl until dog is walking by himself down a street in town; throughout, the indicator never waivered from X-High/HD.

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post #48 of 1305 Old 01-10-2011, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

I watched from around 43 minutes (boy and dog sitting in graveyard being teased by shady looking men) through dogs and boys running and dog and single boy walking in the tall grass and the chat with the little girl until dog is walking by himself down a street in town; throughout, the indicator never waivered from X-High/HD.

What speed is your internet connection?
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post #49 of 1305 Old 01-10-2011, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by stereomandan View Post

I have a PS3 fat, and PS3 slim. One hooked to my projector with 106" screen, and one to my 46" Plasma. Both provide excellent Netflix PQ and don't leave me wanting for better, and a nearly full menu in Netflix. Search is available. 5.1 DD is available. 1080P is available.

Besides Netflix, the ability to game, and play Blu-rays through the PS3 makes it easily the clear winner for me. The only negative, IMO versus something like the Roku or AppleTV 2 is the cost, but you get other major features for that added cost (as mentioned, Blu-ray and gaming)

Dan

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post #50 of 1305 Old 01-10-2011, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by rpauls View Post

What speed is your internet connection?

Cox "Premiere", 25 Mbps with non-peak "PowerBoost®" to 30 Mbps.

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post #51 of 1305 Old 01-10-2011, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Cox "Premiere", 25 Mbps with non-peak "PowerBoost®" to 30 Mbps.

Well that probably explains the differences in our observations.

I have only 6 mpbs cable modem service.

The movie is playing along fine at X-High HD until it gets to a scene where a lot more bits are required quickly, which probably maxes out my feed and the PS3 has to drop to a lower quality stream until it recovers.

Mine goes back and forth between qualities all throughout most movies. Yours probably stays on X-high HD the entire movie

Thanks for checking that btw.

Besides your PS3, do you have a Roku or ATV2?
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post #52 of 1305 Old 01-10-2011, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by rpauls View Post

Let me elaborate. I actually like the ATV2 very much. I will give you some details. If you have questions just ask. I could write a lot more.

(1) The Apple TV 2 appears to have better noise reduction than the Roku, though not quite as good as the PS3. This only makes a difference in noisy video (Try Spitfire Grill for an example).

(2) The Roku has more saturated colors than either the ATV or PS3, which both look more correct.

(3) The ATV2 has a little more trouble with high bit rate portions of the streams than either the Roku or PS3. I have found some sections of movies where two of the three devices consistently suffer visible PQ degradations and compared these sequentially over and over. The PS3 will jump from X-High HD down to med HD or even high SD during these parts, and of course become blocky and smeared. (Strange, I know, I though the feed rate was just a function of the network. Apparently not. Remember, these are variable rate streams, and they have occasional peaks). At this same point in the movie the ATV will begin to introduce significant blocking artifacts on background detail. The Roku seems to barrel on nearly unaffected. I assume it has a different buffering scheme that allows it to survive instances of very high bitrate demand such as this.

(4) The ATV2 UI is so well designed and such a pleasure to use. The Roku is in second place here, and the PS3 is way behind. This aspect alone impresses me so much that I may keep the ATV even though the PS3 PQ is a little better. The user experience is worth a lot.

Thanks for the clarification

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post #53 of 1305 Old 01-10-2011, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by rpauls View Post

Well that probably explains the differences in our observations.

I have only 6 mpbs cable modem service.

The movie is playing along fine at X-High HD until it gets to a scene where a lot more bits are required quickly, which probably maxes out my feed and the PS3 has to drop to a lower quality stream until it recovers.

I don't know about that. If it thinks that your connection can support X-High/HD, then it should have measured the speed to be high enough to support the peak bit rate of "X-High/HD" content; before giving you a 3.8 Mbps average encoding, it would have seen 5 Mbps available bandwidth (or something like that).
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Mine goes back and forth between qualities all throughout most movies. Yours probably stays on X-high HD the entire movie

It can, but that's not guaranteed. It's not the rated speed of your service that matters, but the current speed of the connection between you and Netflix's servers; that can vary (and become very low) even with the highest speed network service. The advantage of having higher bandwidth service is that connection bandwidth is not as likely to be affected by other demands on your service from other devices connected to it. If I need 9 Mbps for a 1080p stream, I can probably get and keep that despite others in my household surfing the net, performing brief file downloads, etc.
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Thanks for checking that btw.

Do you have a Roku or ATV2?

You're welcome. No, I don't have either of those--besides the PS3 and this PC, the other devices that I have connected to this system which can play Netflix streams are an Xbox and a TiVo Series3. I think that the Xbox GUI is nicer than the PS3 one (TiVo's GUI is primitive and hasn't changed in the two years since they introduced it ), but the Xbox doesn't have the PS3's adaptive bit rate streaming capability, nor are there any 5.1 and/or 1080p streams available to it.

I assume that both ATV2 and Roku implement adaptive bit rate streaming (aka "smooth streaming")? In other words, when bandwidth drops, they switch to lower bit rate encodings and back again seamlessly, without pause? (Can you overlay an indicator on the video with either device and watch that happening)? That's new on the PS3 player and neither TiVo or Xbox have that yet. The adaptive bit rate tech also allows "instant on" play (stream starts playing within 3 seconds of requesting it), by quickly buffering and displaying a low bit rate, crappy PQ encoding and gradually ramping up to a higher bit rate, higher PQ one. This ramp-up can be very rapid and, and if you've started playing something from the beginning, the best quality encoding that your connection will support will be in use long before the end of the credits. It takes 10-15 seconds for an HD stream to start playing on either my TiVo or Xbox. The Xbox has a poor-man's version of ABR streaming, which will pause very briefly when it switches encodings. TiVo used to have long pauses for rebuffering and was unable to switch to a higher rate stream if bandwidth on the connection increased.

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post #54 of 1305 Old 01-10-2011, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by subavision212 View Post

All the Roku units with an optical output (the older XR unit and the new XD/S unit for sure) will pass through 5.1 if you can find a source with it.
I'm a Mac guy and wanted to go with AppleTV but the biggest drawback for me was no upgrade to 1080 for the device ever. That meant having to spend at least another $100 to whatever that the next generation of Apple TV when it came out and that was a big no-no for me and a lot of people in many of the Apple forums. That being said, I love all three of my Roku units and they have played, looked and performed flawlessly on all three of my displays (37" LCD, 34" CRT & 65" plasma)

Do you have any 720p TVs in the house at all? Like a bedroom tv? If so, when a 1080p ATV comes out, get that for your 1080p TV, and then you can rotate out the ATV2 to that 720p tv- no worries.

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post #55 of 1305 Old 01-10-2011, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

I don't know about that. If it thinks that your connection can support X-High/HD, then it should have measured the speed to be high enough to support the peak bit rate of "X-High/HD" content; before giving you a 3.8 Mbps average encoding, it would have seen 5 Mbps available bandwidth (or something like that).
It can, but that's not guaranteed. It's not the rated speed of your service that matters, but the current speed of the connection between you and Netflix's servers; that can vary (and become very low) even with the highest speed network service. The advantage of having higher bandwidth service is that connection bandwidth is not as likely to be affected by other demands on your service from other devices connected to it. If I need 9 Mbps for a 1080p stream, I can probably get and keep that despite others in my household surfing the net, performing brief file downloads, etc.
You're welcome. No, I don't have either of those--besides the PS3 and this PC, the other devices that I have connected to this system which can play Netflix streams are an Xbox and a TiVo Series3. I think that the Xbox GUI is nicer than the PS3 one (TiVo's GUI is primitive and hasn't changed in the two years since they introduced it ), but the Xbox doesn't have the PS3's adaptive bit rate streaming capability, nor are there any 5.1 and/or 1080p streams available to it.

Ah, regarding the TiVO GUI, actually, they did change it for the Premier, but it took a step backwards. It's slow as molasses, enough to make people get fed up with it and return it.

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post #56 of 1305 Old 01-10-2011, 05:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [Irishman] View Post

Do you have any 720p TVs in the house at all? Like a bedroom tv? If so, when a 1080p ATV comes out, get that for your 1080p TV, and then you can rotate out the ATV2 to that 720p tv- no worries.

That's exactly what I've done. The LCD is only 720 and has an older Roku hooked to it. The CRT is 1080i and has the same older Roku hooked to it. I have the 1080p capable XR unit hooked up to my 1080p plasma. The point was I didn't want to have to spend another $100 bucks or more to upgrade to a 1080 capable AppleTV unit that will probably be brought out later this or next year.

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post #57 of 1305 Old 01-10-2011, 05:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post


I assume that both ATV2 and Roku implement adaptive bit rate streaming (aka "smooth streaming")? In other words, when bandwidth drops, they switch to lower bit rate encodings and back again seamlessly, without pause? (Can you overlay an indicator on the video with either device and watch that happening)? That's new on the PS3 player and neither TiVo or Xbox have that yet. The adaptive bit rate tech also allows "instant on" play (stream starts playing within 3 seconds of requesting it), by quickly buffering and displaying a low bit rate, crappy PQ encoding and gradually ramping up to a higher bit rate, higher PQ one. This ramp-up can be very rapid and, and if you've started playing something from the beginning, the best quality encoding that your connection will support will be in use long before the end of the credits. It takes 10-15 seconds for an HD stream to start playing on either my TiVo or Xbox. The Xbox has a poor-man's version of ABR streaming, which will pause very briefly when it switches encodings. TiVo used to have long pauses for rebuffering and was unable to switch to a higher rate stream if bandwidth on the connection increased.

The Roku has quality dots as well as a debug mode which you can enter with a series of button presses. In this mode it displays the video stream info when the buffering starts and sometimes after a FF or RW operation. For HD it will usually say "Playing 3.8 mbps on your 5.1 mbps network", unless the network is feeling slow for some reason, then it says it can not play at the rate it wants and is playing at a lower rate.

The ATV2 has no indication whatsoever as to what it is playing. (Typical Apple... It just works perfect, don't bother yourself with the "details" ;-) I'd prefer to have all the details) If there is a debug mode I haven't found it yet.

I don't see any real time indication on either device as speeds change during playback due to network changes, but the PQ does appear to change somewhat throughout, so something is adjusting.
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post #58 of 1305 Old 01-10-2011, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by rpauls View Post

I don't see any real time indication on either device as speeds change during playback due to network changes, but the PQ does appear to change somewhat throughout, so something is adjusting.

Sounds as though they do both implement ABR streaming. How long does it take a stream to start playing on each?

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post #59 of 1305 Old 01-11-2011, 08:22 AM
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Are all you streaming connected to ethernet or wifi and do you notice a difference? I have Verizon Fios if it matters and was considering the PS3.
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post #60 of 1305 Old 01-11-2011, 08:53 AM
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I have dsl at 5.1 Mbps, and stream Netflix to my PS3's over wifi on my Linksys G router.

Get great looking HD and 5.1 over my PS3's.

Haven't had any dropouts or problems with wifi yet after watching 100+ shows. I won't be hardwiring mine.

Dan
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