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Old 09-30-2011, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
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I have been using a PS3 to stream Netflix and have watched the evolution of the Netflix app on the PS3. I have been mostly happy with it for video quality and the way it displays titles and does searches. (Although lately the audio and video have been pretty badly out of sink. And I've also been having some problem the PS3 where a primary color is dropping out and I have to restart the PS3 and then it works fine for a week or so some hardware is starting to fail.)

But that is not what I am writing about. Last week while at Costco I decided to make the move to a Harmony remote and a new Bluray/DVD player. I bought a cheap Sony BDP-BX38.

The player works okay but I find that the Netflix app looks really different and is much harder to use because the display of titles is smaller on the screen. On the PS3 it seems the movie title images are at least twice as big. I think the new cheaper device is displaying smaller movie images with much more black space around them. I don't get why the interface should be that way? Also the scroll function forward and back while streaming is terrible compared to the PS3. It is not easy to go back a few seconds or few minutes. It has to load the buffer which can take a lot of extra time. I can understand why that might be the case as it does take some memory to be able to buffer the stream and the new cheaper unit may be lacking sufficient memory for a large enough buffer.

I am thinking of returning the BDP-BX38 because of those things. I am willing to go up in price from that extremely cheap BDP-BX38 to get a better display of titles and better buffering. Can someone recommend the next step up that will get me there?
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Old 09-30-2011, 10:38 PM
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Here's a list of the major players and the embedded version of the Netflix app.
http://www.techofthehub.com/p/netflix-ui-gallery.html

Note that 5.1 audio is only available on the Roku and PS3 (there might be another AppleTV??, but as I write, I can't recall).

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Old 10-01-2011, 12:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for that interesting link to graphics of the Netflix interfaces. I don't see anything on there that looks like my cheapo Sony interface so it is missing some. If I plug my BDP-BX38 back in I will take some screen shots and submit them to that site.

This evening I unplugged the BDP-BX38 with the intent to return it. But when I plugged back in my PS3 the PS3 coincidentally finally bit the dust, or so it appears. I was able to get it to start up at first and then it said it needed to do an update and then crashed during the update and has not been able to start again. I am googling trying to figure out what it is but if it is a real hardware failure I think I will not put anymore energy into it.

It now occurs to me that I could just get my Roku player back from my mom who isn't using it and just plug that in for streaming and just keep the BDP-BX38. I haven't used a Roku box in over a year and the interface was pretty good as I remember and it has probably been updated.
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Old 10-01-2011, 10:02 AM
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^Sounds like your Sony has this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTk0vXUYplU particular interface...

The updated Roku NF app is also featured in that gallery link. Sorry to hear about your PS3.I really miss the NF app I had on it before they changed it. There were single page views of the queue and all the various genres, allowing you to easily scroll down to find...

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Old 10-01-2011, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westly-C View Post

Note that 5.1 audio is only available on the Roku and PS3 (there might be another AppleTV??, but as I write, I can't recall).

That's not true. From the top of the "Official List of Netflix Watch Instantly Titles w/5.1 Sound":
Quote:


Players known to be capable of playing the 5.1 soundtracks available on the titles in this list:
  • Playstation 3
  • Apple TV 2
  • Roku 2 (presumably HD, XD and XS--XS verified); requires DD+ decoding AVR
  • Boxee Box (reportedly coming)
  • WD Live Plus
  • 2011 Panasonic products with Viera Cast/Viera Connect apps (DMP-BDTx10 series of BD players confirmed--I own one ; TVs with Viera Connect don't currently have support)
  • At least some Toshiba products with Net TV (55WX800 confirmed)

I have a Roku 2, PS3 and Panasonic DMP-BDT110 (one of the things on that list you linked to--all have 5.1 sound.

The PS3's support is in question. It cannot bitstream the 5.1 channel DD+ it gets from Netflix and converts it to 7.1 channel LPCM, which often seems to be stereo--that's my personal observation with my launch-model 60GB PS3 "Fat". I recently compared the opening scene of the Lost pilot (about 2:30 in), part of an airliner crash on a tropical beach, with the crackle of flames and the loud whine of a still running jet turbine over screaming injured people, people calling out for help, and people calling to others who were on the flight with them--a chaotic scene and very active soundscape. Both my Roku 2 and BDT110 bitstream the DD+ to my AVR and it sounds great; the PS3 sounds distinctly flat and 2 dimensional. (The VUDU player on my PS3 also outputs 7.1 channel LPCM for the DD and DD+ soundtracks, but it sounds great).

The PS3 and Roku 2 are currently the only devices which can play 1080p Netflix encodings.

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Old 10-01-2011, 01:22 PM
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^Thank you for the correction and additional list of devices. It was late, and I was in a rush and couldn't remember them.

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Old 10-02-2011, 06:50 AM
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A someone who owns 3 Sony streamers (EX700 TV, S370 and S380 BD players), the Netflix interface is basically the same on all. It's actually been updated a few times, although not always to the best. It used to only list your queue, but now crams that into one row with only the first 3-4 showing, with other junk on other rows.

Also, remember that the players do not have high-power CPU's and memory. There may be limits on their 'browser' and API.

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Old 10-02-2011, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyross63 View Post

A someone who owns 3 Sony streamers (EX700 TV, S370 and S380 BD players), the Netflix interface is basically the same on all. It's actually been updated a few times, although not always to the best. It used to only list your queue, but now crams that into one row with only the first 3-4 showing, with other junk on other rows.

Also, remember that the players do not have high-power CPU's and memory. There may be limits on their 'browser' and API.

You make a good point about these players not having powerful CPU and/or much memory. However, compare NF UI with Vudu UI on S380 (I have S480 but I think Vudu UI should be the same). Vudu is light years ahead comparing to NF or Amazon.
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Old 10-02-2011, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeschmoe007 View Post

You make a good point about these players not having powerful CPU and/or much memory. However, compare NF UI with Vudu UI on S380 (I have S480 but I think Vudu UI should be the same). Vudu is light years ahead comparing to NF or Amazon.

This is at the heart of my dislike dor the PS3 Netflix UI. The console has the horsepower to handle the more functional interface I had before the switch to the current one. Yet they deliberately chose to give us the less functional, less flexible one.

And yes,the Vudu app is simply spectacular. It even displays chapter thumbnails, and you can actually advance to them, or go back. Wow...

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Old 10-02-2011, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by regfman View Post

Thanks for that interesting link to graphics of the Netflix interfaces. I don't see anything on there that looks like my cheapo Sony interface so it is missing some. If I plug my BDP-BX38 back in I will take some screen shots and submit them to that site.

This evening I unplugged the BDP-BX38 with the intent to return it. But when I plugged back in my PS3 the PS3 coincidentally finally bit the dust, or so it appears. I was able to get it to start up at first and then it said it needed to do an update and then crashed during the update and has not been able to start again. I am googling trying to figure out what it is but if it is a real hardware failure I think I will not put anymore energy into it.

It now occurs to me that I could just get my Roku player back from my mom who isn't using it and just plug that in for streaming and just keep the BDP-BX38. I haven't used a Roku box in over a year and the interface was pretty good as I remember and it has probably been updated.

Have you checked to see if there is a firmware update available for your bx38? Often a new Netflix interface is pushed with the new firmware.

http://esupport.sony.com/LA/perl/swu...99&mdl=BDPBX38
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Old 10-02-2011, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeschmoe007 View Post

You make a good point about these players not having powerful CPU and/or much memory. However, compare NF UI with Vudu UI on S380 (I have S480 but I think Vudu UI should be the same). Vudu is light years ahead comparing to NF or Amazon.

Yeah--the memory, processor argument doesn't necessarily hold water. These player GUIs are not horribly memory/processor intensive applications. The Netflix player on my Panasonic DMP-BDT110 is sluggish in comparison to the PS3 (both are variants of the HTML5/Webkit Netflix player and both had identical GUIs until they swapped the Netflix one on the PS3 out for one that nobody likes), but the VUDU player is identical and just as smooth and responsive as on the PS3.

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