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post #271 of 429 Old 01-12-2013, 05:44 AM
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I just noticed the lack of "x-high" last night. Just got "high" (no pun.) The show "Breaking Bad" looked slightly less brilliant. In particular the brilliant look to actors faces. I'm slightly obsessive about these things. Star Trek Enterprise and Parks and Recreation two prior "x-high" streaming titles looked slightly less awesome as well. For me I always found Netflix content to look generally better than Amazon video stream. Now they feel relatively the same.
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post #272 of 429 Old 01-12-2013, 01:06 PM - Thread Starter
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I've been watching "Enterprise" and it's always seemed a bit soft, even when it was at the old X-High. I'm currently on Season 2.

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post #273 of 429 Old 01-12-2013, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by andyross63 View Post

I've been watching "Enterprise" and it's always seemed a bit soft, even when it was at the old X-High. I'm currently on Season 2.
AFAIK Enterprise is encoded at 720p, and from what I remember of it on HDNet the earlier seasons seemed very soft anyways. I hear the forthcoming Blu-Ray is not likely not resolve this issue.

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post #274 of 429 Old 01-12-2013, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveFi View Post

AFAIK Enterprise is encoded at 720p, and from what I remember of it on HDNet the earlier seasons seemed very soft anyways. I hear the forthcoming Blu-Ray is not likely not resolve this issue.

Enterprise has a 1080p24 (3850 Kbps) encode on Netflix and was shot in 1080p (and transferred to 1080p digital from film), but it originally aired on UPN in 720p. Netflix may be working with 720p from their source, though why they decided to create a 1080p encoding from that is unknown. It is kind of soft--I captured a few frames on the Windows 8 app, here, here and here.

I'm sure that I've seen a sharper copy--could be Xbox Video, from which I think that I bought a few episodes that I missed recording.

EDIT: Yeah--the Xbox Video is notably sharper, though they're also 720p (they predate 10000 Kbps Zune 1080p; they were XBL Video Marketplace downloads). They're at a higher bit rate than Netflix, 6500 Kbps.

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post #275 of 429 Old 01-13-2013, 05:45 AM - Thread Starter
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If the original source is film that was then digitized, that may be why it has a bit of a soft look. You don't get quite the hard edge sharpness you see with pure digital. Being from 2001-2005, that is very early in HD production.

I didn't get my first HDTV until early 2004, and my cable company didn't carry the HD feed from the local UPN station until AFTER "Enterprise" went off the air. I couldn't use an antenna as the TV didn't have a digital tuner.

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post #276 of 429 Old 01-14-2013, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by gushin View Post

I'm still having different shows and movies fluctuate throughout runtime from Low/SD to High/HD (mostly on the main blu-ray player, though not on my computer). But it's not all shows. Since, for me, the issues started after the Christmas Eve outage (which affected me), I'm thinking something on Netflix's CDN's hasn't been completely fixed or is still glitching. Hard to know. I've done many things to fix this (reset router, reset modem, reset Blu-ray player, etc.), but am now certain it is not my ISP. It lies somewhere in Netflix's chain.

****Update**** 1/11/13
P.S. Problem blu-ray player is an LG BP620. When the Christmas outage happened I even had problems accessing LG apps on this player. Could it be part of Amazon AWS which Netflix and others use that may be the culprit and that service is what's glitching? Just a thought.

****Update**** 1/14/13
I decided yesterday to deactivate all my devices in my Netflix account. Re-registered all devices and had no problems streaming in High/HD on problem device: 1 episode of BBC's Wallander, 2 ep's of Nikita and 1ep of 30 Rock. Looks like this fixed my issue (for now). So, if your having issues with fluctuating picture quality maybe this will help you too. Will keep updating if any other problems develop.
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post #277 of 429 Old 01-14-2013, 09:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gushin View Post

****Update**** 1/14/13
I decided yesterday to deactivate all my devices in my Netflix account. Re-registered all devices and had no problems streaming in High/HD on problem device: 1 episode of BBC's Wallander, 2 ep's of Nikita and 1ep of 30 Rock. Looks like this fixed my issue (for now). So, if your having issues with fluctuating picture quality maybe this will help you too. Will keep updating if any other problems develop.

Well, I tried this and after reactivating my PS3 I was still stuck on "low SD"....so bad!....when trying to steam a series that should be 5.1 HD (Parenthood Season 2).
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post #278 of 429 Old 01-15-2013, 05:51 AM
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Originally Posted by skro View Post

Well, I tried this and after reactivating my PS3 I was still stuck on "low SD"....so bad!....when trying to steam a series that should be 5.1 HD (Parenthood Season 2).
Sorry to hear it didn't work. I guess after reactivating my devices they somehow connected to different CDN server(s) than before. But it's just speculation on my part.
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post #279 of 429 Old 01-15-2013, 07:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skro View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by gushin View Post

****Update**** 1/14/13
I decided yesterday to deactivate all my devices in my Netflix account. Re-registered all devices and had no problems streaming in High/HD on problem device: 1 episode of BBC's Wallander, 2 ep's of Nikita and 1ep of 30 Rock. Looks like this fixed my issue (for now). So, if your having issues with fluctuating picture quality maybe this will help you too. Will keep updating if any other problems develop.

Well, I tried this and after reactivating my PS3 I was still stuck on "low SD"....so bad!....when trying to steam a series that should be 5.1 HD (Parenthood Season 2).

There's a Netflix folder under Game Data Utility. Delete that folder and reboot the console and see if that'll help. Sometimes, strange issues are resolved when doing this.


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post #280 of 429 Old 01-15-2013, 08:31 AM
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There's a Netflix folder under Game Data Utility. Delete that folder and reboot the console and see if that'll help. Sometimes, strange issues are resolved when doing this.

Awesome, I never knew they stored the application data there. I'll give that a try tonight, thanks for the suggestion. So strange...network test on the PS3 is giving me 12-14 mbps, Amazon VOD looks great, etc. Hopefully this will work. I'll let you know if it works.
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post #281 of 429 Old 01-15-2013, 11:29 AM
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Fwiw I deleted the folder under game data, as well as the Netflix app. Reinstalled the app (it updated to 2.11) and SuperHD titles still show as High/SD. Seems like they forgot to update this aspect of the app itself. An Example Short indicates a 5800 bitrate and looks great with High/SD indicated. Pretty sure this is SuperHD and the app doesn't know how to label it.

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post #282 of 429 Old 01-15-2013, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skro View Post

Awesome, I never knew they stored the application data there. I'll give that a try tonight, thanks for the suggestion. So strange...network test on the PS3 is giving me 12-14 mbps, Amazon VOD looks great, etc. Hopefully this will work. I'll let you know if it works.

Also make sure under your account page the video quality is set to Best. This is why I hope one day they will get rid of that horrible Low/SD as when it by default is set to Good it will default to Low/SD which is anything but good.
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post #283 of 429 Old 01-15-2013, 06:27 PM
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Fwiw I deleted the folder under game data, as well as the Netflix app. Reinstalled the app (it updated to 2.11) and SuperHD titles still show as High/SD. Seems like they forgot to update this aspect of the app itself. An Example Short indicates a 5800 bitrate and looks great with High/SD indicated. Pretty sure this is SuperHD and the app doesn't know how to label it.

Yeah same problem here at first it lists it as high HD then changes right away to high SD but looks great still . Also When I choose the movies that just say HD now it says HD but always medium HD where before it was always extra high HD. I think the quality is the same but somehow the marker for what def. is, is screwed up. Oh I have to say also, I have it on many devices, PS3, 360, Wii U, Vita Wii U looks terrible totally washed out it just does not have the video processing to do video right. I find 360 looks the best, then Vita and PS3 which also has a little bit of washout, not near the Wii U though. I could never watch anything on Wii U since the latest update. It was decent until the forced the new super HD.
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post #284 of 429 Old 01-15-2013, 08:23 PM
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Well, i deleted the saved info folder, deleted netflix, reinstalled, and still get a blocky mess in SD low for at least 4-5 min (couldn't take anymore). I checked my network speed on the PS3, and was getting between 12-14 down again. I have no idea what is going on.
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post #285 of 429 Old 01-16-2013, 08:53 AM
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As another update, I went back to the boxee box (on the same network switch as my PS3, also wired), and the quality was immensely better. I don't believe there is a way to check the quality on the boxee box, as there is with the PS3, and despite being technologically inferior (no 1080p, no 5.1, I think), the same shows were far superior in quality to what I've recently been getting on the PS3 (low/med SD). They take a bit longer to load prior to playing, which has been the case for HD-labelled movies/shows in the past on the PS3 as well (they PS3 now just starts playing Low/SD immediately). Since it is a PS3 and not a pc, i'm just out of luck I suppose. I don't think there is much I can do except delete the save file and reinstall the application (which I've done). Oh well, back to the boxee box!
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post #286 of 429 Old 01-16-2013, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skro View Post

I don't believe there is a way to check the quality on the boxee box, as there is with the PS3...

Play "Example Short 23.976"; it has resolution/bit-rate info overlayed on each of its video encodes so you can see which one you're getting at any point.
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...and despite being technologically inferior (no 1080p, no 5.1, I think)...

The Boxee Box's Netflix player has 1080p video and 5.1 sound.

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post #287 of 429 Old 01-16-2013, 11:08 AM
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Hey, thanks.
I didn't know that the file you mentioned was giving accurate indications of the current bitrate. I played it once, but thought it was just fluctuating the encoded bitrate of the short film (and updating the corresponding number of the theoretical max bitrate on the screen)....and leaving it up to us to see if there was a noticeable quality change.

I didn't know it was a real reflection of the actual bitrate. Awesome. I'll compare the PS3 and boxee tonight on the same switch.
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post #288 of 429 Old 01-16-2013, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by skro View Post

I didn't know that the file you mentioned was giving accurate indications of the current bitrate. I played it once, but thought it was just fluctuating the encoded bitrate of the short film (and updating the corresponding number of the theoretical max bitrate on the screen)....and leaving it up to us to see if there was a noticeable quality change.

No, the player should make its way up to the highest that it can manage in the bandwidth available on its connections to Netflix's servers and stay there, only fluctuating if that bandwidth fluctuates. "Example 8 Hour 23.976" has those overlays too, but they replaced the 3600 Kbps 720p and 4800 Kbps 1080p ones with 3000- and 3850 Kbps encodes which don't have the info overlay so it just disappears when it gets up to them. The 3000- and 3800 Kbps encodes are properly marked in "Example Short 23.976". None of the myriad other "Example" clips have the info overlays.

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post #289 of 429 Old 01-16-2013, 04:34 PM
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Well I tried the Sample, it goes up to 5800 bitrate(super HD) 1920 X 1080 par 1:1 and stays there not sure whats going with Netflix but all the super HD movies and shows for me go to High HD and then change to High SD and stay there. Somethings bugged with Netflix did a speed connection test on all three devices and Vita all are around 15 to 18 megabits or about 1.5 megabytes per second pretty damn fast for wireless. Same speed I have always had. It's just the stupid new update that has screwed everything up I hope they fix it soon. The test was rock solid 5800 kbs once it got up to it and stayed the whole time at 1920 X 1080 with a par 1:1 glad its not me its them.
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post #290 of 429 Old 01-16-2013, 06:32 PM
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Yeah--Super HD breaks the PQ indicator in the PS3's Netflix player. We were talking about that yesterday (see this post) in the "Netflix Adds 3D and Super HD" thread.

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post #291 of 429 Old 01-16-2013, 08:49 PM
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Well, now this is strange, I tried the 23.976 short on the boxee box, and no bitrate info is showing. Any thoughts on that? Just the movie.

I tried it on my laptop and it maxed out quickly at 1280x720 at 3000 kpbs (i suppose that is the max resolution of my laptop).

Do any other devices not show the bitrate info when playing this short film?

Update: However, it is definitely a PS3 problem... the short film maxed out at 1050 kbps and 640x480 (Par 4:3...have no idea what that means). So, about 1/3 of the bitrate of my laptop over wireless...PS3 is wired. Something screwing with the PS3 netflix app (but i already erased data and reinstalled, so i'm hosed).
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post #292 of 429 Old 01-16-2013, 09:02 PM
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Just when I thought I had nipped the problem in the bud it came back again. Picture quality fluctuated a few times on program I was watching. Ran speedtest on laptop while streaming on Blu-ray player and speed was fine. As others have stated, Netflix should first fix their streaming problems then add features like Super HD.
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post #293 of 429 Old 01-16-2013, 10:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skro View Post

Well, now this is strange, I tried the 23.976 short on the boxee box, and no bitrate info is showing. Any thoughts on that? Just the movie.

I don't understand why but the Netflix players in some adaptive bit rate devices seem to use a different set of encodes. Netflix released a set of slides at some recruitment fair which stated that they prepare 120 "downloadables" for each streaming title and I read a comment somewhere that all of them are video encodes (see this slide/video presentation). They still have to support the non adaptive bit rate legacy devices, but I'd have thought that they had no more than half dozen encodes for those; for adaptive bit rate they now produce 11 encodes for Super HD titles (9 for non-Super HD). They say that they're on 900 platforms--I'd love to see the breakdown of how many encodes they create for what set of platforms and why. I'd think that every platform they stream to would be able to handle H.264/AVC (and those platforms with the new 3000- and 3850 Kbps eyeIO encodes are getting AVC since that's what the tech supposedly encodes) so that the great majority of platforms could share a single set of encodes.
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I tried it on my laptop and it maxed out quickly at 1280x720 at 3000 kpbs (i suppose that is the max resolution of my laptop).

Do any other devices not show the bitrate info when playing this short film?

Yes, but I don't know what all of them are. 1280x720 is the maximum resolution for the Silverlight web browser player. The Windows 8 Netflix app can play 1080p.
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...(Par 4:3...have no idea what that means).

Pixel Aspect Ratio--it means that the pixels aren't square (640x480 is 4:3, so for a 16:9 image the pixels can't be square). Don't worry about it--whatever renders frame for a player takes care of that.

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post #294 of 429 Old 01-16-2013, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by gushin View Post

Just when I thought I had nipped the problem in the bud it came back again. Picture quality fluctuated a few times on program I was watching. Ran speedtest on laptop while streaming on Blu-ray player and speed was fine. As others have stated, Netflix should first fix their streaming problems then add features like Super HD.

Thing is that their streaming problems aren't ubiquitous. I rarely see fluctuating PQ; the last time was during prime time on a day during the week of Christmas when everybody and his grandma was probably streaming, including tons of new Netflix playing Christmas presents.

Brief speed tests to some random site are no indication of what sort of bandwidth you'll get on a path to Netflix's servers. If you're going to do that, try a server on the other side of the country. Monitoring the servers that the Windows 8 Netflix app connects to, most of the time from here in San Diego I seem to get servers in a Limelight CDN site in either LA, about 120 miles away or in Tempe, AZ, about 350 miles away, but during peak hours I get routed elsewhere, to places like Wichita, KS, Auburn, VA and Cambridge, MA. Speedtest.net lets your choose from a ton of servers. Right now, to Phoenix I get 28 Mbps, but to Wichita I get half that (still good enough for Netflix, but I have nominally 30 Mbps service).

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post #295 of 429 Old 01-16-2013, 10:45 PM
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Wow...you know a lot about this....and to think you live in the same city that I do. Good thing I don't know exactly where you live or I'd be banging on your door for tech support a lot!

Anyway, it is baffling to me that the PS3 is so terrible at playing Netflix all of a sudden (only the past 2-3 weeks). Hopefully this is something that will be fixed on the Netflix or Sony end soon!

Thanks again MichaelScott!
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post #296 of 429 Old 01-17-2013, 02:39 AM
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I have read most of this thread and the whole thing seems baffling to me. I see no patterns or rhyme or reason. It all seems to be random. Like trying to make sense of nonsense. There are just too many variables.

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post #297 of 429 Old 01-17-2013, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

Brief speed tests to some random site are no indication of what sort of bandwidth you'll get on a path to Netflix's servers. If you're going to do that, try a server on the other side of the country. Monitoring the servers that the Windows 8 Netflix app connects to, most of the time from here in San Diego I seem to get servers in a Limelight CDN site in either LA, about 120 miles away or in Tempe, AZ, about 350 miles away, but during peak hours I get routed elsewhere, to places like Wichita, KS, Auburn, VA and Cambridge, MA. Speedtest.net lets your choose from a ton of servers. Right now, to Phoenix I get 28 Mbps, but to Wichita I get half that (still good enough for Netflix, but I have nominally 30 Mbps service).

When I tested my speed last night I tried at least half a dozen from around the country. Average of all them was 26Mbs. None were below 20. Is there a way to see where Netflix connects to their CDN on Windows 7? From what I can gather on this thread you can only do that on Windows 8.
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post #298 of 429 Old 01-17-2013, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by gushin View Post

From what I can gather on this thread you can only do that on Windows 8.

My method has only been tried on Windows 8, but I tried it with both the Windows 8 Netflix app and the Netflix web browser player and it worked equally well. Looks as though the Windows 7 Resource Monitor is pretty much the same, so go for it.

When I checked it in a web browser, I ran the Netflix player in a different kind of browser, so that the process name would be unique. I usually use Chrome, so I ran the player in IE. You launch the Resource Monitor a bit differently in Windows 7; there's an article here which tells you how to do it.

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post #299 of 429 Old 01-17-2013, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

My method has only been tried on Windows 8, but I tried it with both the Windows 8 Netflix app and the Netflix web browser player and it worked equally well. Looks as though the Windows 7 Resource Monitor is pretty much the same, so go for it.

When I checked it in a web browser, I ran the Netflix player in a different kind of browser, so that the process name would be unique. I usually use Chrome, so I ran the player in IE. You launch the Resource Monitor a bit differently in Windows 7; there's an article here which tells you how to do it.
The only device I'm having a problem with is my main Blu-ray player. Could it be the player is routed to a different CDN than the web browser? I have not had the issue using IE or Chrome.
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post #300 of 429 Old 01-17-2013, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by gushin View Post

The only device I'm having a problem with is my main Blu-ray player. Could it be the player is routed to a different CDN than the web browser? I have not had the issue using IE or Chrome.

There's ample evidence that different devices get served by different servers. PC streaming may be still different than other devices.
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