Odd Netflix issue - X-High/HD no longer available - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 429 Old 11-21-2012, 03:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Update December 8, 2012: Based on information in later posts, Netflix has changed a few things. High/HD is now the 1080p feed using a new compression technique that allows a lower bitrate. Medium/HD is now the only 720p feed. X-High/HD is no longer used except for some older titles that have not been updated.

Original post below:

For the past few days, I've noticed something odd with Netflix. I'm using a WDTV Live Streaming, hardwired, on Comcast Performance cable (speed tests show 25/4).

Basically, some titles, "Star Trek: Enterprise", "Star Trek" [old series], and "Hell on Wheels" no longer go to X-High/HD. They max out at High/HD. I do get the proper 5.1 audio on ST and HoW. ST:E has always been 2.0.

I tried Will Ferrell's spoof "Casa de mi Padre", and it runs X-High/HD, as does an episode of "Louie".

The WDTV is the only device I have that supports X-High/HD and 5.1 audio, so I can't check against something else. I also ran the Vudu network test (I don't have a Vudu account), and it ran with the bar maxed out the full time.

I was just wondering if it's something odd about me, some of these titles, Netflix? Anyone else notice something?

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post #2 of 429 Old 11-21-2012, 07:27 PM
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I have been having the same issue on my PS3. I haven't been getting anything streaming in X-High HD the last few days. I checked my bandwith and it is fine but everything is maxing out at High. I checked my PS3 settings and video quality settings on Netflix.com, still can't figure it out....
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post #3 of 429 Old 11-21-2012, 08:44 PM
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I was just about to post the same thing. I see that it is not just a PS3 issue well besides watching Netflix on my computer on the Netflix website I also primary watch it on my PS3. I watched a bunch of programs which started around this week. At first I thought maybe what I was watching was only encoded in High/HD so I did not think of anything then I watched a couple of SD programs.

Well today I watched:
Mission: Impossible: Ssn 7: Underground. It only went to High HD.
Hawaii Five-O: Ssn 10: Tsunami. It only went to High HD.
Murder, She Wrote: Ssn 3: Corpse Flew... It only went to High HD.
Transformers Prime: Ssn 1 It only went to High HD.

Then I switched to the Just for Kids section and watched
Jessie: Ssn 1: Zombie Tea Party 5 . It went to X-High

The thing is that TWC just increased my bandwidth from 10/1 to 15/1 today for me.
I noticed when you watch programs in main interface it will buffer very fast and under Stereo it says Unknown. Also before when it was playing in X-High it would sometimes buffer out of nowhere even though on my router it showed the light activity blinking normally then it would play in crappy Low/SD for about a minute. It really peeved me off so I deleted the Game Data folder. It only did this in the main Netflix interface.

Well I noticed when you go into the Just for Kids interface to watch something it takes a second of two longer to buffer and under Stereo it says English and streams better.

They really need to release 2.11 and I mean now to fix these problems. As I say High/HD does not look that bad but I have the bandwidth and it should play if encoded in X-High and not buffer or drop quality.

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post #4 of 429 Old 11-21-2012, 09:36 PM
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So it sounds like it's a problem with the firmware. Strange that the kids section doesn't seem to have the same issue.....I hope it is something they are aware of and that it will get sorted out soon.
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post #5 of 429 Old 11-22-2012, 06:23 AM - Thread Starter
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I wonder if Netflix is limiting bandwidth on some TV series, or a particular media company is forcing them to?

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post #6 of 429 Old 11-22-2012, 07:38 AM - Thread Starter
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I remember that for nearly a week before Netflix made the bandwidth limit interface available on their web site, my TV (which I used for streaming at the time) had defaulted to what we would now call Low/SD, no matter what the bandwidth. Once I was able to set the maximum bandwidth (it had nothing selected when I went into it), the TV streamed properly again.

I wonder if Netflix is implementing something similar, with separate setting for series and single shows/movies, but hasn't updated the on-line settings interface yet.

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post #7 of 429 Old 11-22-2012, 11:23 AM
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Low/SD is unbearable and should not even be a option for streaming. The lowest it should default to is Medium/SD.

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post #8 of 429 Old 11-22-2012, 09:17 PM
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Watched all HD programs today including the Just for Kids section and it only went to High/HD. I hope Netflix did not on purpose lower the streams to reduce server load.

As usual Google had crap on this.

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post #9 of 429 Old 11-23-2012, 11:16 AM
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Yeah, still no X-High here either......I'm thinking you may be right.
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post #10 of 429 Old 11-23-2012, 11:48 AM
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For what it's worth, I contacted Netflix to confirm that 1080p is still available. I was told that it was and that it requires 8Mbps. When I explained the issue, how my streams were maxing out at High HD and that the audio info was displaying "Unknown", I was told that it was because my PS3 wasn't receiving enough bandwidth. I know this isn't the case but they insisted the problem was on my end and not theirs.
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post #11 of 429 Old 11-24-2012, 05:57 AM - Thread Starter
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It doesn't explain why SOME titles were coming in X-High, and others only High, even if you play them right after each other.

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post #12 of 429 Old 11-24-2012, 09:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Now, even "Case de mi Padre" is maxing out at High!! Same goes for that example short. In fact, the text disappears after a few seconds, with 1280x720 being the last shown.

Is there any way to know what the real speed is? Maybe they rearranged things and High/HD is now 1080p?

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post #13 of 429 Old 11-24-2012, 02:17 PM
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What resolution does it stream in the web browser using Silverlight? Is it 720p?
Like I said I think Netflix did this on purpose to reduce bandwith server load.

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post #14 of 429 Old 11-24-2012, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyross63 View Post

Maybe they rearranged things and High/HD is now 1080p?

I don't think so. Even thought it don't look that bad I can tell a difference especially with animated cartoons the difference bettween X-High/HD and High/HD as skin tones have a less more pinkish color to them.

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post #15 of 429 Old 11-24-2012, 07:16 PM
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I watched the documentary Indie Game last night and it hit X-High and stayed there through the end. Everything else I have watched has maxed out at High. Has anyone else contacted Netflix?
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post #16 of 429 Old 11-24-2012, 11:56 PM
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One way you know what you are getting is to see the real-time bandwidth on your router.

I checked a couple of titles tonight on my ROKU 2. My tomato router show they peak at 27 mbps and average over 10 minutes around 5.2 - 5.7 mbps which is what I would expect as netflix says their highest resolution is 'video at 4,800 kbps (1080p HD video) and 384 kbps audio (5.1 stereo).
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post #17 of 429 Old 11-25-2012, 12:35 PM
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I refuse to use DD-WRT or Tomoto on my router as it made my wireless run like crap with less range, disconnections and having it forget my password. I just stick with the stock firmware. It is not beta open source crap and is actually stable. This is on my WNR3500L by the way.

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post #18 of 429 Old 11-25-2012, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbrennan191 View Post

I watched the documentary Indie Game last night and it hit X-High and stayed there through the end. Everything else I have watched has maxed out at High. Has anyone else contacted Netflix?

Try watching it again in a few days and I bet you it will only max out at High/HD. Transformers Prime and GI-Joe Renegades use to always play at X-High until a couple of days ago and now it only maxes out to High/HD. I think that Netflix will be downgrading all HD video that is at X-High to High/HD. Of course I can't find crap on useless sites like HackingNetflix and Google News which use to be useful with news but now only care about posting stupid crap about "House of Cards" who cares or owning 9.98% of Netflix which is gossip not news. Then Google gives me old articles dating back to 2010 and when I put PS3 it gives me old crap taking about watching Netflix using the disc.

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post #19 of 429 Old 11-25-2012, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reddice View Post

I refuse to use DD-WRT or Tomoto on my router as it made my wireless run like crap with less range, disconnections and having it forget my password. I just stick with the stock firmware. It is not beta open source crap and is actually stable. This is on my WNR3500L by the way.

Sorry to hear that.

I know it is off topic - but for me Tomato is much more stable than the standard Cisco firmware.

My set up has been running without any reboots for over three months. Range is great (I get wireless by my pool over 100 ft from the house). Access points within about 30 ft see the same (~20 mbps) download speeds as my wired connections.

With Cisco firmware I was resetting my router every few weeks
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post #20 of 429 Old 11-26-2012, 10:45 AM
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I tried open soured firmware on my router and it made my wireless worse. Wired was fine of course but wireless I need a stable connection for my iPod Touch. BTW my PS3 Slim is connected wired.

Anyway everything that I in HD last night did not go to X-High even Doctor Who only went to High/HD. I just want some kind of answer from Netflix or even the so called Netflix news sites say something but nothing.

Also Google gave me one result on Yahoo answers and I responded with the same thing I said here. Otherwise the rest of the links were old crap about Netflix is now disc free.

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post #21 of 429 Old 11-27-2012, 08:25 PM
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Everything I watched today only went to High/HD.
Rockford Files: Ssn 2: The Real Easy...

Just for Kids
Mirror Mirror Only maxed out to High/HD even during the movie it went down to terrible quality for a few minutes.
Jessie: Ssn 1: One Day Wonders Only maxed to High/HD and Jessie use to always play at X-High.

This ticks me off that Netflix is reducing the quality of the streams there is no news or anything from anyone about it and like in the movie Mirror Mirror it still ended up dropping down to crappy Low/SD for a few minutes. Why the hell is Low/SD even a option. I have a 15/1 connection so there is no reason for that. Before the crappy 2.10 update it use to not go down to that terrible quality and my speeds were slower then.

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post #22 of 429 Old 11-28-2012, 05:51 AM
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Yeah, the fact that they are secretly limiting the streams is very annoying. I am surprised none if the tech sites or blogs have picked up on it yet. I have been having the same issues with drops in quality, the walking dead maxed out at Medium HD last night. I get 15mbps down and never had a problem streaming X High. Netflix has some explaining to do.
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post #23 of 429 Old 11-28-2012, 10:34 AM
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Medium HD is okay if it drops down to that for a few minutes is what it use to do before 2.10 but now to jump down to the Low/SD for a few minutes while slowly creeping back up to the highest quality is unbearable and there is no reason for that.

BTW when I mean the 2.10 update that is the software version that is on the Netflix app not the PS3 software version which is 4.31.

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post #24 of 429 Old 11-29-2012, 08:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbrennan191 View Post

Yeah, the fact that they are secretly limiting the streams is very annoying. I am surprised none if the tech sites or blogs have picked up on it yet. I have been having the same issues with drops in quality, the walking dead maxed out at Medium HD last night. I get 15mbps down and never had a problem streaming X High. Netflix has some explaining to do.

Is it really that Netflix is limiting bandwidth or simply maxing out on bandwidth? Does anyone really know? Now that the weather has turned colder and people are inside more they naturally turn to inside entertainment. I can imagine this will only get worse as we move toward the Christmas holiday. I've noticed changes in how Netflix loads HD movies, it no longer ramps up from SD to HD and stays but will often fall back to lower quality for several instances before finally locking in. I am ethernet hard-wired and use both a Panasonic 210 and WDTV Live, it happens with both devices.

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post #25 of 429 Old 11-29-2012, 11:01 AM
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So it is not just the PS3 that is causing it. Maybe it's Netflix servers and they are doing this on purpose to reduce load. I hate it though as noticed it will take a while to go to HD and stay there too.

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post #26 of 429 Old 11-29-2012, 03:08 PM - Thread Starter
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With my WDTV Live, for the first title, it would usually start Low/SD, then work up as normal. On subsequent titles, it sometimes seemed to start out trying the same max it had before. Since that sometimes didn't quite fill the buffer as fast as it wanted, it would sometimes drop down a step or two, then work back up.

PS: As the thread starter, I updated the title to better tell what this thread is about.

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post #27 of 429 Old 11-29-2012, 03:29 PM - Thread Starter
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One thing to check is what ISP is being used for the Netflix streaming, and how.

In my case, I have Comcast (Performance, SB6121 DOCSIS 3 modem), and am connected via hardwired Ethernet to a WDTV Live Streaming. I even have an Ethernet switch visible, so I can actually see the network activity of the box (and BD player, and receiver, and TV).

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post #28 of 429 Old 11-29-2012, 04:26 PM
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Same here-no X-HIGH HD only HIGH HD. This started this week. I have a download speed of 25mps according to PS3, which is way fast enough for X-HIGH HD, so Netflix must have changed something.
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post #29 of 429 Old 11-29-2012, 08:10 PM
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Even Alias and Iron Man (the animated series) would not to X-High on up to High/HD. In matter of fact nothing ever streamed in X-High this week at all.
HackingNetflix or what I call it now GossipNetflix is useless now. Searching on Google for "ps3 netflix x-high hd" only gives me one link about it on Yahoo Answers which I responded to. The rest of the worthless links are from 2010 talking about Netflix has gone disc free. Well at least back when it did go disc free it streamed more reliable and actually went up to X-High. High HD looks okay but close up I do notice it fuzzier and the colors or more washed out. Just a response for Netflix or any tech site would be helpful.

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post #30 of 429 Old 11-30-2012, 05:18 PM
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Huh. I've been playing around with this for a bit and the only thing that I've been able to get to go to X-High/HD (on the PS3 and Sony BDP-S390 which have the little stream info overlay) is "Example 8 Hour 23.976"; when I play that it gets to X-High/HD (1080p) in 10-15 seconds. Many of the big-ticket recently added titles apparently don't have 1080p encodes, but I tested things that I've seen in 1080p in the past, like Monsters, Black Hawk Down, Limitless and some TV series like Lost. I wonder what the hell's going on?

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