Odd Netflix issue - X-High/HD no longer available - Page 13 - AVS Forum
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post #361 of 429 Old 02-20-2013, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Jottle View Post

Thanks for clarifying! Glad all is seamless with the transition, at least on my end.

One way they could compress the stream (where compression means throwing away detail that someone thinks you won't miss) would be to give you a picture that is sharp up close, but becomes less so where there is detail in the background. Just a thought.

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post #362 of 429 Old 02-20-2013, 04:11 PM
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Funny, you wrote this. Without any proof or theory, I thought that the background on netflix looked soft even when the face of the person in foreground looked sharp. I wasn't sure if that was how the picture was to start with. Now that you wrote exactly what I observed it makes sense to me, at least.
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post #363 of 429 Old 02-20-2013, 06:02 PM
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Perceptual coding has been in use for audio compression for a long time (filtering out elements in the source which are out of the range of human hearing). I believe that perceptual video coding is a part of H.264; improvements in that are probably the basis of eyeIO's claimed increase in efficiency (picture quality/bit rate) of their H.264/AVC encoding.

Wow! eyeIO's encoder has been awarded THX certification! From that PR:
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The new THX Digital Cinema HD Video Encoder certification program tests 46 critical data points in six major categories using evaluation test material developed by the top seven Hollywood studios to produce a score that objectively assesses picture quality. A THX score of 90 on a scale of 100 is considered ‘THX Excellent Quality’ and eyeIO’s H.264 First-generation encoder was able to produce an exceptional 95.528 score at an Internet streaming bitrate of 5.8 Mbps—an astonishing performance metric in today’s professional digital media.

Could it be a coincidence that Netflix's higher Super HD encode bit rate is 5.8 Mbps? I doubt it smile.gif.

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post #364 of 429 Old 02-20-2013, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vishwa Somayaji View Post

Funny, you wrote this. Without any proof or theory, I thought that the background on netflix looked soft even when the face of the person in foreground looked sharp. I wasn't sure if that was how the picture was to start with. Now that you wrote exactly what I observed it makes sense to me, at least.

I'm glad you saw it too. It is really obvious to me in Netflix's Example Short. It is so extreme there, that sometimes it is difficult to spot where the sharp spot is. Of course you can film a scene with a short depth of field, so I was just speculating. I think I see the same thing in House of Cards. If the scenes are generally dark, and the main action is between characters in the foreground, a lapse in background detail is somewhat obscured.

Again it is just speculation, but I become suspicious when someone promises such a reduction in bandwidth.

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post #365 of 429 Old 02-23-2013, 01:25 PM
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I am sure some of the more seasoned people in the video field would weigh in on this. SuperHD is relatively recent, not available through all ISPs yet, and even when available, the appliance doesn't always get the suerhd stream. When I watched house of cards I felt that and then you eloquently put it in words.
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post #366 of 429 Old 02-23-2013, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vishwa Somayaji View Post

SuperHD is relatively recent, not available through all ISPs yet...

True.
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...and even when available, the appliance doesn't always get the suerhd stream.

My ISP, Cox Communications, is now set up for access to streaming servers in Netflix's Open Connect CDN. If a player gets assigned to those servers, the Super HD video encodes will always be available, if any exist for the title being played. Whether or not you'll get them given the current conditions on your connection to those servers is uncertain, but that's true of the old 720p and 1080p encodes (all of the encodes, actually). The player will play the highest bit rate video encode that it can keep its buffer full of; if, for whatever reason, its buffer starts to quickly drain, it will switch to buffering a lower bit rate/lower picture quality video encode--that's adaptive bit rate streaming. You need about 1.2 times the encode bit rate in bandwidth available on your server connections to consistently keep ahead of the stream, so about 5200 Kbps for the 4300 Kbps Super HD encode and about 7000 Kbps for the 5800 Kbps one.

Now that my ISP is set up for Open Connect I always get assigned to Open Connect streaming servers, regardless of the device that I'm using (my 1080p-capable Netflix playing devices are a Roku 2 XS, PS3, TiVo Premiere, Panasonic DMP-BDT220, Sony BDP-S390 and the Win8 Netflix app running on this PC). For about a week, before my ISP had access, I was using Unblock-US.com's DNS servers to get Super HD and was getting assigned Open Connect servers probably less than half the time and had to repeatedly stop and restart the player to get them.

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post #367 of 429 Old 02-24-2013, 10:15 AM
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My experience mirrors the latter part of your statement, and rightly so. I am in Canada and Shaw is not part of the Open Connect CDN. Using unblock, I get on superhd many times but not always. In my non scietific survey, I observed that windows 8 app has the best chance of connecting to superhd. Despite all these, I am optimistic that it will only get better, at least for us in the north. I am also certain it is not the bandwidth issue as all my appliances(2 panasonic BDT220s, Samsung bd-e6500, windows 8) are hard wired with a 50Mbps service.
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post #368 of 429 Old 02-24-2013, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vishwa Somayaji View Post

My experience mirrors the latter part of your statement, and rightly so. I am in Canada and Shaw is not part of the Open Connect CDN. Using unblock, I get on superhd many times but not always. In my non scietific survey, I observed that windows 8 app has the best chance of connecting to superhd.

For me, the Win8 app and my TiVo Premiere always get Open Connect servers while I'm using Unblock-US. Apparently Netflix creates multiple sets of video encodes tailored to sets of platforms (I have no idea why all devices from the last few years can't use a single set of H.264 encodes), and supposedly these reside on different servers. Perhaps there's less demand for servers which have the PC and TiVo specific encodes.

Customers have been hashing this issue out with Unblock-US in a couple of threads in their support forums; you can see one of them here.

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post #369 of 429 Old 02-24-2013, 01:32 PM
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Thanks Michael. Incidentally, I read that thread earlier and I was surprised to find out that different devices connect to different servers, which later supported what I was seeing with my own blu ray players.
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post #370 of 429 Old 03-04-2013, 01:28 PM
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By the way, the PS3 stream info overlay has a working time counter again (at least it does for me cool.gif).

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post #371 of 429 Old 03-04-2013, 04:05 PM
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The timer is working again for me. Good they were able to fix it without having to update the app because they only update it every few months especially that long with the terrible 2.10 version until 2.11 came out in January.

The Windows 8 app is updated more frequently at least twice a month. One week it was updated twice.

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post #372 of 429 Old 03-28-2013, 09:28 PM
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My ISP (verizon) is not part of the open connect but i just signed onto netflix on PS3 and the resolution information is back. I now get up to 1080p again.

Anybody else get this?

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post #373 of 429 Old 03-28-2013, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saprano View Post

My ISP (verizon) is not part of the open connect but i just signed onto netflix on PS3 and the resolution information is back. I now get up to 1080p again.

Anybody else get this?

They made that change to the PS3 player a while back; maybe you're just now getting it? I posted the version information for all of the devices I have with PS3-style Netflix player UIs here. Yesterday, the "UI Build" part changed for all of them. On my PS3 it went from " API.Next2_2013_03_11-196-t" to "433-t". Most of the others went from "409-28-p" to "API.Next2_2013_03_11-202-p". (You can get this version information by entering UP UP DOWN DOWN LEFT RIGHT LEFT RIGHT UP UP UP UP in the Netflix player; it will also give you an option to remove the device from your Netflix account).

The previous UI version on my PS3 already had the switch from "Medium/HD", "High/HD", etc to "720 HD" and "1080 HD". So what used to be called "Medium/HD" and "High/HD" now both display "720 HD"; what was once "X-High/HD" is now "1080 HD" and if you have access to the Super HD encodes if it gets to them it displays "1080 Super HD".

The change that I notice in the PS3's player is a more aggressive encode ramp up. The first thing I tried streaming ("Example Short", of course smile.gif) started at 3850 Kbps and ramped up to 5800 Kbps within 5 or 6 seconds. Most subsequent stream starts began at "1080 Super HD" (no way to tell if 4300- or 5800 Kbps); occasionally they dropped back to "720p HD" for a few seconds, but more frequently they didn't. I banged on this extensively, rebooting the box a few times to make sure. I hope that they can institute that behavior in the other players with a future UI upgrade. [This paragraph copied verbatim from another post biggrin.gif].

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post #374 of 429 Old 03-29-2013, 05:59 AM
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Yeah i always had the SD or HD info. It use to say medium/HD, medium/SD, high/HD, Xhigh/HD. But recently it change to just medium/HD and high/HD and quality took a hit. I think this is when everyone was complaining about the picture. Then last night i turned on netflix and i saw 384, 480, 720, 1080p. The PQ has improved alot too. Weird.

My UI is still the same.

EDIT- Are you talking about the design of the UI or just the software version?

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post #375 of 429 Old 03-29-2013, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saprano View Post

EDIT- Are you talking about the design of the UI or just the software version?

I'm talking about parts of the software design which changed when the it was updated with a new version. For the PS3 I got the change from "High/HD", etc to "720 HD", and so forth several weeks ago. My other two devices with that stream info display were still displaying "High/HD". On Tuesday all of my devices got a bump in UI Build version and started displaying "720 HD", etc. (Sadly, only the PS3 displays "1080 Super HD" so on the others the top three video encodes all display "1080 HD", a bug that they'll hopefully fix by and by).

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post #376 of 429 Old 03-30-2013, 07:10 AM
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I'm wondering even though i'm getting 1080p that's not superHD is the quality back to the way it was before? It looks like it. The High/HD limit was bad.

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post #377 of 429 Old 03-30-2013, 09:04 AM
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If you're not getting Super HD you're not receiving anything different than before. "1080 HD" is the same as "High/HD" was before. (2350- and 3000 Kbps 720p were "Medium/HD", 3850- and 4300 Kbps 1080p were "High/HD" and 5800 Kbps 1080p was "X-High/HD". Now 2350- and 3000 Kbps 720p are "720 HD", 3850 Kbps is "1080 HD" and 4300- and 5800 Kbps are "1080 Super HD".

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post #378 of 429 Old 03-30-2013, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

If you're not getting Super HD you're not receiving anything different than before. "1080 HD" is the same as "High/HD" was before. (2350- and 3000 Kbps 720p were "Medium/HD", 3850- and 4300 Kbps 1080p were "High/HD" and "X-High/HD". Now 2350- and 3000 Kbps 720p are "720 HD", 3850 Kbps is "1080 HD" and 4300- and 5800 Kbps are "1080 Super HD".

And with most content, they all look good to me. wink.gif



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post #379 of 429 Old 03-30-2013, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

If you're not getting Super HD you're not receiving anything different than before. "1080 HD" is the same as "High/HD" was before. (2350- and 3000 Kbps 720p were "Medium/HD", 3850- and 4300 Kbps 1080p were "High/HD" and 5800 Kbps 1080p was "X-High/HD". Now 2350- and 3000 Kbps 720p are "720 HD", 3850 Kbps is "1080 HD" and 4300- and 5800 Kbps are "1080 Super HD".

Something has definitely changed. The PQ looks so much better. I was thinking a placebo at first but i noticed the improvement immediately. Also, movies that were once full screen with high/SD are now 480 with their original aspec ratio. A Boy and His Dog is one film where i noticed this. It use to be full screen.

Some HD titles like The Rum Diary now show the original 1.85:1 aspec ratio too. I might not have superHD, but the quality from before, which was bad, is better.

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post #380 of 429 Old 03-30-2013, 01:00 PM
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I dunno--maybe they re-encoded some stuff. I'm pretty sure that this UI change had nothing to do with it.

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post #381 of 429 Old 03-30-2013, 03:15 PM
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A number of movies-and some tv shows that were part of the Starz package and presented in SD, have been reacquired directly from the studios. In those cases, Netflix gets to create their own encodes, in HD and 16:9, rather than stuck streaming the versions Starz provided.


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post #382 of 429 Old 05-07-2013, 05:50 PM
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The resolution information is gone again on my app on PS3. Now it says a bunch of random things and numbers. Anybody else notice this recently?

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post #383 of 429 Old 05-07-2013, 06:39 PM
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I just noticed it about an hour ago. Further, I think the PQ is distinctly worse. I hope the latter is only my imagination.
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post #384 of 429 Old 05-07-2013, 06:42 PM
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PQ is the same for me. Just the info is messed up.

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post #385 of 429 Old 05-07-2013, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saprano View Post

The resolution information is gone again on my app on PS3. Now it says a bunch of random things and numbers. Anybody else notice this recently?

Not random things; version numbers of various player components. They've beefed up the version info dialog (UP UP DOWN DOWN LEFT RIGHT LEFT RIGHT UP UP UP UP); now it's got a menu with multiple pages of info and a server connection test. You'll note that you can bring that stuff up by pressing SELECT (pad) or DISPLAY (remote) even in the browser--you don't have to be playing a title. That's got to be a bug; they'll get an earful from users about it. It's an undocumented feature but one which is much used.

Thankfully that display isn't screwed up on my WD TV Live, (though it still sadly can't indicate when it's getting the Super HD encodes) smile.gif.

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post #386 of 429 Old 05-07-2013, 10:05 PM
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Roku 3 was giving me problems (HD content kept switching to blurry SD) while watching Knight Rider so I fired up the PS3 and it updated the UI (the app is still v2.12) and it is so much faster but I too noticed that the display just shows a bunch of info instead of the time and video quality however I had no problems with watching Knight Rider. I think it will be fixed soon.

As for the PS3 I am going to start to use it more. I still can't believe with the faster processor of the Roku 3 and double the buffet the PQ can keep going to a blurry mess while watching a program yet the PS3 does not have that problem with the same program. Yes sometimes it will take 10 or so seconds to ramp up even SD programs and others ramp up right away on the PS3 yet the Roku 3 takes longer and sometimes drops quality.

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post #387 of 429 Old 05-08-2013, 06:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reddice View Post

Roku 3 was giving me problems (HD content kept switching to blurry SD) while watching Knight Rider so I fired up the PS3 and it updated the UI (the app is still v2.12) and it is so much faster but I too noticed that the display just shows a bunch of info instead of the time and video quality however I had no problems with watching Knight Rider. I think it will be fixed soon.

As for the PS3 I am going to start to use it more. I still can't believe with the faster processor of the Roku 3 and double the buffet the PQ can keep going to a blurry mess while watching a program yet the PS3 does not have that problem with the same program. Yes sometimes it will take 10 or so seconds to ramp up even SD programs and others ramp up right away on the PS3 yet the Roku 3 takes longer and sometimes drops quality.

I've had this problem on occassion with my LG BP620 blu-ray player. Last weekend was epecially bad. But for the most part once the quality ramps up to HD it stays there. It may have been Netflix was just really busy on the server the Roku connected while when you used the PS3 it connected to a different server.
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post #388 of 429 Old 05-08-2013, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gushin View Post

It may have been Netflix was just really busy on the server the Roku connected while when you used the PS3 it connected to a different server.

Bingo. We've seen ample evidence that different devices get different treatment at the Netflix end. Sometimes that helps, sometimes it hurts. I see it here all the time comparing various devices on the same title. The different interfaces may also be a factor.
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post #389 of 429 Old 05-08-2013, 09:31 AM
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^^^ Yeah pretty much the same experience I had last evening trying to watch 48 Hours on the Roku 3 - a blurry mess much of the time. Luckily I signed off in time to watch Grimm at 9 PM/C on my TWC cable box. The problem could just be in my region but at this rate I'm not worried that streaming will replace DVD/Blu-ray's in the foreseeable future.

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post #390 of 429 Old 05-08-2013, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr.G View Post

The problem could just be in my region but at this rate I'm not worried that streaming will replace DVD/Blu-ray's in the foreseeable future.
Completely agree on this point. If studios are thinking 4K streaming is a viable option they're crazy. 1080p is problematic now.
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