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post #1441 of 1462 Old 12-14-2014, 02:29 PM
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UPDATE - Yup! The Fire refused to connect at any resolution into a DisplayPort input (I don't have an HDMI ready monitor other than my projector) other than to give a blocky low-res rendition of its menus. When I try to play anything it says

"Error Code: PLAYREADY_HDCPFAIL"

And manually setting the display resolution gets an "unsupported resolution" message at all settings, even 720/50Hz.

This is a lot more annoying than I thought it would be.

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post #1442 of 1462 Old 12-14-2014, 03:58 PM
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Philnick, TL;DR, sorry--can you succinctly state exactly what equipment you're trying to get 1080p Amazon on? What's running the streaming app and how is it connected to your TV and to the network?

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post #1443 of 1462 Old 12-14-2014, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philnick View Post
...................

Does Amazon limit "HD 1080" to purchased or rented content on Amazon Instant Video and limit Prime streaming to "HD" (720)? I could test that possibility by making an exception to my rule against paying for streaming content but I'd appreciate hearing from someone here who has actually gotten Prime to stream at 1080 or done that experiment and determined that Amazon itself is to blame.
No they don't limit purchased or rented content. I tested most of the titles you listed and had no problem getting "HD 1080P" to show up on my FireTV or FireTV sticks.

Can you try your FireTV at another location with a different Internet connection?

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post #1444 of 1462 Old 12-14-2014, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post
Philnick, TL;DR, sorry--can you succinctly state exactly what equipment you're trying to get 1080p Amazon on? What's running the streaming app and how is it connected to your TV and to the network?
I'm using a brand-new Amazon Fire TV, connected via HDMI to my 1080p projector and via Dolby Digital over optical to my pre-HDMI AVR. This is in my basement theater. The Fire is replacing an old Roku XD|S that I'm giving to my daughter. I got the Fire to step my Prime video up to 1080 from the 720 I got from the Roku.

The Fire is cabled via ethernet to a Verizon FIOS box that I use as a MoCA bridge over coax to another FIOS box in my second-floor apartment. (I learned about using used FIOS boxes to do MoCA bridging from a thread here.) That's connected via an ethernet cable, LAN jack to LAN jack, to my main router, an old Linksys WRT54G plugged into my Comcast Xfinity cable modem/router. The Linksys is the only router allowed to give out addresses on the network.

It turns out that according to TestMy.net my Linksys is dropping the 80 Mbps output of the Comcast router down to 25 Mbps, and that even if I connect the FIOS bridge directly to the Comcast router, the FIOS bridge has a maximum speed of about 35 Mbps, which isn't enough for my Fire to switch from "HD" to "HD 1080."

I'm using TestMy.net because it's a lot more rigorous than speedtest.net ("Ookla"). TestMy.net lets you download files consisting of random bits as large as 200 MBytes to test sustained throughput.

At this point I'm leaning towards moving the Comcast cablemodem/router down to the theater, plugging the Fire and the Oppo directly into it, and using the MoCA bridge to provide connectivity to the PC upstairs, which I've been happy enough with at its current speed. That way I can still stream music off my upstairs PC into the Oppo, since it will still all be one big happy network.


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post #1445 of 1462 Old 12-14-2014, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronwt View Post
No they don't limit purchased or rented content. I tested most of the titles you listed and had no problem getting "HD 1080P" to show up on my FireTV or FireTV sticks.

Can you try your FireTV at another location with a different Internet connection?
I assume you mean that they don't limit 1080 to purchased or rented content - they certainly wouldn't make that worse than Prime!

My post at the top of this page describes what happened when I brought my Fire upstairs and plugged it directly into my Comcast cablemodem/router and a computer monitor with an HDMI to DisplayPort cable, since the only HDMI display I have is my projector. Long story short - the Fire will connect to a non-HDMI monitor only to show its menus at 480i (if that) but won't play anything at all!

I'll have to "bring the mountain to Mohammed" by taking the Comcast cable modem down to my theater to see if its direct output will get me 1080 from Prime.


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post #1446 of 1462 Old 12-14-2014, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philnick View Post
I'm using a brand-new Amazon Fire TV, connected via HDMI to my 1080p projector and via Dolby Digital over optical to my pre-HDMI AVR. This is in my basement theater. The Fire is replacing an old Roku XD|S that I'm giving to my daughter. I got the Fire to step my Prime video up to 1080 from the 720 I got from the Roku.

Got it.

Quote:
It turns out that according to TestMy.net my Linksys is dropping the 80 Mbps output of the Comcast router down to 25 Mbps, and that even if I connect the FIOS bridge directly to the Comcast router, the FIOS bridge has a maximum speed of about 35 Mbps, which isn't enough for my Fire to switch from "HD" to "HD 1080."

I'm using TestMy.net because it's a lot more rigorous than speedtest.net ("Ookla"). TestMy.net lets you download files consisting of random bits as large as 200 MBytes to test sustained throughput.

Another test that you might want to try is SpeedOf.Me. 25Mbps ought to be enough to get Amazon's 10 Mbps 1080p encodes. Of course, I can't confirm that since I have nominally 100 Mbps service on Cox San Diego South, on which SpeedTest.net tells me I'm getting 117 Mbps and SpeedOf.Me gives me 85 Mbps (TestMy.net gives me 71 Mbps, but it for some reason tests speed to a server in Dallas, about 1300 miles from here; then again SpeedTest.net gives me similar speed to a Dallas server, just much higher ping).

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post #1447 of 1462 Old 12-14-2014, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post
. . .Another test that you might want to try is SpeedOf.Me. 25Mbps ought to be enough to get Amazon's 10 Mbps 1080p encodes. Of course, I can't confirm that since I have nominally 100 Mbps service on Cox San Diego South, on which SpeedTest.net tells me I'm getting 117 Mbps and SpeedOf.Me gives me 85 Mbps (TestMy.net gives me 71 Mbps, but it for some reason tests speed to a server in Dallas, about 1300 miles from here; then again SpeedTest.net gives me similar speed to a Dallas server, just much higher ping).
TestMy.net lets you change the city you're testing to, same as SpeedTest.net - it's just a bit harder to find. Click the word Servers next to where it says what city it's testing to get the list of cities.

Changing the server city on TestMy.Net can make a major difference: just now, testing from my Linksys to Dallas was still around 25Mbps, while simply changing the server city to Washington, DC yielded 43.3 Mbps. SpeedOf.Me, testing to NYC (with no obvious way to change that) yields about 35 to 40.

In the next few days I'll try bringing the cable modem/router downstairs to see what plugging the Fire directly into it does.

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post #1448 of 1462 Old 12-14-2014, 07:18 PM
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+1 for testmy.net
Cox in my area does a "speedboost" that ookla and speedtest.net do not compensate for. So for safety I always choose 50MB as the download on testmy.net

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post #1449 of 1462 Old 12-14-2014, 07:35 PM
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You're killing me....screw all of you with your high speed access! Just ran testmy.net and got a whopping 2.4mbps. No choice here but dsl from Century Link....

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post #1450 of 1462 Old 12-14-2014, 10:55 PM
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The price of the Amazon Fire just dropped $20 to $79. No idea for how long.

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post #1451 of 1462 Old 12-15-2014, 09:40 PM
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Just watched Borgman tonight....strange flick, quite captivating. Recommend.

"I realize that somebody playing free music isn't as commercial as a hamburger stand. But is it because you can eat a hamburger and hold it in your hand and you can't do that with music? Is it too free to control?" - Don Van Vliet (aka Captain Beefheart) discussing commercial success in the music biz


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post #1452 of 1462 Unread 12-18-2014, 07:33 PM
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Exclamation

I just realized that while my Amazon Fire TVs (I'm on my second, after returning the first, both bought within the past week or so), put a grey "HD" on screen in the lower left corner that lights up in white when it's getting an HD signal, there's no grey "1080" there to be lit up when appropriate - so it doesn't seem to be set up to ever explicitly say "HD 1080" like some folks here have been reporting. (And the Fires downloaded the latest firmware as soon as I set them up.)

Since some folks here said they got that message on their Fire TV, I thought that maybe there were other more expensive versions of the Fire TV, but there only appears to be one Fire TV model.

My old Roku XDS changed its output resolution to match the incoming resolution, so I could check on what it was getting by asking my projector what the Roku was sending, but the Fire TV doesn't do that kind of dynamic up- and down-shifting of its output to match its incoming signal.

Whatever the Fire is set to in the setup menu, either manually by the user or by having it auto-negotiate with the display what the display can handle, it stays at - regardless of what it's getting - until it's changed in setup, so asking the projector what resolution it's getting doesn't tell you what the Fire is getting.

I'm getting 25-48 Megabits per second (averaging in the thirties) on a laptop plugged into the same router the Fire is plugged into, as tested by a site that lets you ask for a 200 MegaByte file of random bits for a sustained download (TestMy.Net), so I'm just going to have to assume that on the Fire, "HD" in grey means 720 and "HD" lit up (which I get most of the time) means 1080. It certainly looks like 1080.

Anyone know any different? (I've cross-posted most of my queries here in the "Ready for Prime Time" Fire TV thread, and been met there with resounding silence.)


Last edited by Philnick; 12-19-2014 at 02:10 AM.
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post #1453 of 1462 Unread 12-19-2014, 03:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philnick View Post
My old Roku XDS changed its output resolution to match the incoming resolution, so I could check on what it was getting by asking my projector what the Roku was sending, but the Fire TV doesn't do that kind of dynamic up- and down-shifting of its output to match its incoming signal.

Most TVs momentarily decompensate when you change input signal resolution (on my old TV this was visually ugly; on my new TV the screen blanks for a second). It would not be good for adaptive bitrate streaming, particularly in situations where available bandwidth is causing frequent video encode switches from 720p to 1080p and back. In the day of the XDS there was no adaptive bit rate streaming.

In the Amazon Instant Video UI which is now on most embedded player apps the 1080p indication looks like this:

Spoiler!


I guess that they add the "1080p" part dynamically since it's not there all of the time. (I was trying to test this but for some bizarre reason I can't get HD video from Amazon at 2 AM though the various speedtests are telling me that I have 80+ Mbps available to their test servers ).

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post #1454 of 1462 Unread 12-19-2014, 07:02 AM
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Just had an idea that I'll test tonight:

Because my AVR is pre-HDMI, in setting up my Fire TVs, I set the audio output to classic Dolby Digital over Optical. Could it be that the Fire doesn't have the ability to downgrade Dolby Digital Plus to traditional Dolby Digital, and that by making that choice I was indirectly setting it to use the 720 stream - which is sent as Dolby Digital?

I'll experimentally set it to Dolby Digital Plus tonight. I probably won't get any sound over the optical connection, but it'll tell me if that's what's going on, since I believe my internet connection is capable of turning on the "HD 1080p" indicator.


Last edited by Philnick; 12-19-2014 at 07:07 AM.
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post #1455 of 1462 Unread 12-19-2014, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philnick View Post
I just realized that while my Amazon Fire TVs (I'm on my second, after returning the first, both bought within the past week or so), put a grey "HD" on screen in the lower left corner that lights up in white when it's getting an HD signal, there's no grey "1080" there to be lit up when appropriate - so it doesn't seem to be set up to ever explicitly say "HD 1080" like some folks here have been reporting. (And the Fires downloaded the latest firmware as soon as I set them up.)

Since some folks here said they got that message on their Fire TV, I thought that maybe there were other more expensive versions of the Fire TV, but there only appears to be one Fire TV model.

My old Roku XDS changed its output resolution to match the incoming resolution, so I could check on what it was getting by asking my projector what the Roku was sending, but the Fire TV doesn't do that kind of dynamic up- and down-shifting of its output to match its incoming signal.

Whatever the Fire is set to in the setup menu, either manually by the user or by having it auto-negotiate with the display what the display can handle, it stays at - regardless of what it's getting - until it's changed in setup, so asking the projector what resolution it's getting doesn't tell you what the Fire is getting.

I'm getting 25-48 Megabits per second (averaging in the thirties) on a laptop plugged into the same router the Fire is plugged into, as tested by a site that lets you ask for a 200 MegaByte file of random bits for a sustained download (TestMy.Net), so I'm just going to have to assume that on the Fire, "HD" in grey means 720 and "HD" lit up (which I get most of the time) means 1080. It certainly looks like 1080.

Anyone know any different? (I've cross-posted most of my queries here in the "Ready for Prime Time" Fire TV thread, and been met there with resounding silence.)
I always thought HD grayed out is an SD resolution. HD lit up is 720P resolution. And HD 1080P is a resolution of 1080P. My three FireTV Sticks and my FireTV all will ramp up to HD 1080P. But on a title that has no HD encode, I don't think there is a grayed out HD. Which would make sense because it couldn't ramp up to HD.

WHen I was comparing one of the titles recently between my FireTV Stick and Roku box. When HD was lit up it seemed to match what was shown on the Roku. Which has been 720P AFAIK. But as soon as the FireTV stick switched to HD 1080P, it became more detailed and sharper and was a noticeably better picture than what the ROku was showing.

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post #1456 of 1462 Unread 12-19-2014, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philnick View Post
Just had an idea that I'll test tonight:

Because my AVR is pre-HDMI, in setting up my Fire TVs, I set the audio output to classic Dolby Digital over Optical. Could it be that the Fire doesn't have the ability to downgrade Dolby Digital Plus to traditional Dolby Digital, and that by making that choice I was indirectly setting it to use the 720 stream - which is sent as Dolby Digital?

I'll experimentally set it to Dolby Digital Plus tonight. I probably won't get any sound over the optical connection, but it'll tell me if that's what's going on, since I believe my internet connection is capable of turning on the "HD 1080p" indicator.
Scratch that theory. I set my Fire TV to all the other audio output choices - Auto, Dolby Digital Plus over HDMI, Dolby Digital Plus Off - and still never saw the Fire say "HD 1080p" even though my connection tested at 30 Mbps downloading 200MB randomized files from TestMy.Net immediately before and after, my main router is set to prioritize my Fire's MAC address, and I unplugged or turned off everything else attached to the router the Fire was plugged into while testing the Fire.

By the way, in all the settings other than Dolby Digital Over Optical I got stereo from the optical - it never went silent. If and when I can increase my connection speed I'll try this experiment again. Maybe I'll borrow a small HDMI monitor to use while connecting the Fire directly to the Comcast cablemodem/router to see what happens.

I'm not going to drop ethernet down two floors outside my house unless I know it will make a difference, particularly since the image quality I'm getting now is pleasing enough for streaming.

I shoot for top quality on media I own, while I hold radio, tv, and streaming to a lower standard - their role is in letting me find out about and audition things before I buy them.

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post #1457 of 1462 Unread Yesterday, 11:29 PM
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Exclamation Dolby Digital over Optical does not block 1080p!

Did the 'spearymint I promised:

Phase One: Give the Cablemodem's gigabit router the role of my old Linksys WRT54G

Verfied that the gigabit router built into the Comcast cablemodem could do the port-forwarding I need for remote access to my various computers, and MAC filtering to buttress the WPA2 security.

Transcribed all my settings in the Linksys, and reconfigured the Comcast to match.

Took my old Linksys 10/100 mbps Wifi G router out of the center chair ("Comcast, you have the conn.")

I now have twice the speed: 80mbps to my main machine, as measured by TestMy.Net (Ookla thinks it's half again that much: 120Mbps).

Phase Two: Test whether this will, in fact get me what I want

Borrowed a 21.5" HDMI 1080p monitor so I could plug my Fire TV directly into the Comcast box.

And I finally saw the holy grail of the HD 1080p flag on the screen - with the Audio still set to Dolby Digital over Optical, thoroughly disproving my speculation that my audio configuration was defeating 1080p. Surround sound with 1080 is possible with my old pre-HDMI Yamaha AVR.

This was with a short ethernet cable, but to do this could mean dropping an ethernet cable about 100 feet long from the second floor down to my basement, so I found a long (though not that long) cable to connect the Fire to the Comcast box, to see what that would do.

I still got 1080p, but saw some digital haze artifacts - and this was on a 21.5" screen - my projector throws a 131" diagonal 16:9 image!

The easy way to be happy with this would be to move my cablemodem down to the theater, reversing the signal flow over my MOCA link, using it to instead send internet connectivity upstairs to my main computer.
"There's still some power left in the LEM's batteries, maybe we can use a sneak back current to help power up the Command Module." - Ken Mattingly, Apollo 13.

I could live with that, since it would merely put my PC back to the speeds I've been comfortable with for years. The only downsides would be having to go down to the basement to deal with loss of connectivity - a very rare occurrence - and losing my VOIP emergency landline - since the phone plugs into the cablemodem - which isn't a big deal - the only calls I get on that number are junk calls, and it still relies on a battery built into the cablemodem, unlike a real landline.

Whaddya think?

Running a second cablemodem just for the Fire would be expensive, and dropping ethernet down two floors outside my house a hassle that might still only give me noisy 1080p.

By comparison, moving the cablemodem down to the theater will be a trivial reconfiguration: just cable it to the theater's MOCA box instead of the one on the second floor, and plug my Fire, Oppo, and laptop directly into the Comcast box.

I could even flash the Linksys back to defaults, turn off its DCHP server, and use it in a bridge configuration in its old location as a switch to connect my PC and networked printers!


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post #1458 of 1462 Unread Today, 05:32 AM
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^^ I have only been skimming this but through the following combo I have gotten wired internet connections extended all over the house with good results-

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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post #1459 of 1462 Unread Today, 08:33 AM
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^^ I have only been skimming this but through the following combo I have gotten wired internet connections extended all over the house with good results-

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I've been using a pair of used Verizon FIOS boxes for several years to extend my network from the second floor to the basement theater. Verizon FIOS boxes are made by Actiontec - they're MOCA boxes (like your first link) that also include four-port WiFi b/g routers (essentially equivalent to my Linksys WRT54G). My pair tops out at around 40 Mbps.

MOCA is conceptually similar to powerline networking (your second link) but instead of using the household power wiring, with all of the noise it carries (like spikes from electric motors) using the household cable tv wiring, a much quieter environment.

While your second link claims to go up to 500 Mbps, I don't really believe it - and powerline networking, like MOCA, only works within subsets of the wiring that are electrically-connected.

What I'm now planning is simply to use my existing MOCA link in the opposite direction - to drive my main pc on the second floor with the cable modem relocated to the other end of the link (in my basement theater).

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post #1460 of 1462 Unread Today, 08:46 AM
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All I know is I get the same speedtest.net results through any of those connections (even including some ethernet switches) as I get connected directly to my modem.
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post #1461 of 1462 Unread Today, 08:53 AM
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All I know is I get the same speedtest.net results through any of those connections (even including some ethernet switches) as I get connected directly to my modem.
Speedtest.net doesn't insulate its tests from the kinds of short-term "speed boosts" that ISPs use to make their connections look better than they are continuously. In my testing, Speedtest.net rates my connections about half again as fast as does TestMy.net, which lets you use a 200MB download to test true continuous speed.

This is similar to the amplifier power rating wars in the last century, with manufacturers quoting IHF (Institute for High Fidelity) "peak power" instead of RMS (root mean square) continuous power output.

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post #1462 of 1462 Unread Today, 09:04 AM
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I think Time Warner ISP stopped the turbo boost years ago. I used to see the effect in Usenet downloads. Again, I am ethernet connected everywhere I need to be in a house that was not pre-wired. I get a pretty solid level line about 5 mbps above what I pay for. Someone could speed and noise test or whatever all they want and I would not change anything.
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