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post #271 of 1920 Old 01-25-2013, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

As for HD video disc bit rates, those vary a great deal as well. I see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was encoded at 12.8 Mbps and Troy at 11.7 Mbps--both got 4.5 of 5 stars for video quality in their High-Def Digest reviews. I'm certain that there are titles encoded to BD at higher bit rates with terrible PQ. In short, bit rate does not equal picture quality.

I know what you are trying to say but if you bit starve a encode it will show. Give it enough bits and the artifacts go away and I think that is the reason most folks think more bits = better picture and in the general sense is true.

I would not compare Blu-ray bit rates with Netflix bit rates. The encoding of a BD is a multi pass process and the coder can flag areas that would require human input to fine tune. I would wager that Netflix (and probably most other IPTV providers) use a automated, one pass, coding of their titles and doubt very seriously they manually QC the end results like they do for a BD.

Do you know of a single BD title with high bit rates that has terrible PQ and you can attribute that PQ to the bit rates?

For readers: do not confuse video data reduction (compression) with transfer and mastering, they are completely two different processes. That old saying of garbage in = garbage out still applies. IOW, if you source master is sub par you could do a perfect encode but the end result is still sub par.
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post #272 of 1920 Old 01-25-2013, 12:04 PM
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A video in the Panasonic Hollywood Labs. This is BD disc authoring. The source has been transferred and mastered elsewhere.



Some info on video compression here. There are many links at this site.
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post #273 of 1920 Old 01-25-2013, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Apostate View Post

The details of the said negotiation is considered "privileged," or in more common term, "insider" information by the SEC. It is illegal to disclose such information since it can prejudice stock price. People, i.e., hedge fund managers, go to jail for improperly disclosing privileged information.

"Insider trading" is trading based on information that people working for a company are aware of, but no one outside of the company knows anything about. If that information is leaked to a small number of people and those people make trades based on things that they know are happening (like a surprise revelation of major loses or highly favorable acquisitions or agreements reached with other companies) then those people profit (or avoid loss) because of an unfair advantage and that's why it's illegal. If a disclosure is made about the state of ongoing negotiations to the press then the information becomes public and everyone monitoring the involved companies can use that information to guide their trades without anyone having an unfair advantage. Trading based on information available to everyone (i.e., in a statement made to the press) is not insider trading and not a violation of SEC regs. From the relevant SEC rule, Code of Federal Regulations, Title 17 Part 243 (aka Regulation FD, for "Full Disclosure"):
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§ 243.100 General rule regarding selective disclosure.

(a) Whenever an issuer, or any person acting on its behalf, discloses any material nonpublic information regarding that issuer or its securities to any person described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the issuer shall make public disclosure of that information as provided in § 243.101(e):

(1) Simultaneously, in the case of an intentional disclosure; and

(2) Promptly, in the case of a non-intentional disclosure.

Companies are free to reveal whatever they want about anything, including details of ongoing negotiations, as long as they do it publicly.

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post #274 of 1920 Old 01-25-2013, 12:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

Companies are free to reveal whatever they want about anything, including details of ongoing negotiations, as long as they do it publicly.

Can you give an instance of where a company offers details of ongoing negotiation in public? Why would any company negotiate with another company which will disclose details to the public? What would any company gain by violating the confidentiality of a good faith negotiation?
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post #275 of 1920 Old 01-25-2013, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

"Insider trading" is trading based on information that people working for a company are aware of, but no one outside of the company knows anything about. If that information is leaked to a small number of people and those people make trades based on things that they know are happening (like a surprise revelation of major loses or highly favorable acquisitions or agreements reached with other companies) then those people profit (or avoid loss) because of an unfair advantage and that's why it's illegal. If a disclosure is made about the state of ongoing negotiations to the press then the information becomes public and everyone monitoring the involved companies can use that information to guide their trades without anyone having an unfair advantage. Trading based on information available to everyone (i.e., in a statement made to the press) is not insider trading and not a violation of SEC regs. From the relevant SEC rule, Code of Federal Regulations, Title 17 Part 243 (aka Regulation FD, for "Full Disclosure"):
Companies are free to reveal whatever they want about anything, including details of ongoing negotiations, as long as they do it publicly.

When Cablevison was at war with News Corp for raising their fees, there was a ton of press releases detailing the negotiations. Mike Francessa of The Fan sports radio did a personal interview with a Fox official, and condemned them for not having a viable reason for avoiding binding arbitration, leaving Cablevision sports fans in the dark at the height of the base ball playoffs.



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post #276 of 1920 Old 01-25-2013, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendell R. Breland View Post

I know what you are trying to say but if you bit starve a encode it will show. Give it enough bits and the artifacts go away and I think that is the reason most folks think more bits = better picture and in the general sense is true.

With everything being equal I totally agree with that. Use an encoder and give it a budget of 25 Mbps average then use that same encoder and give it a budget of 5 Mbps average and the former result will be notably superior. But there are constant innovations in encoding technology which can yield better results in fewer bits than older tech; eyeIO's encoding tech, if it works as well as advertised, is not the first such improvement. There's obviously a limit to this and I would never claim that 3.85 Mbps 1080p Netflix encode is equivalent to a 40 Mbps encode of the same thing on BD, but it's not a straight "A > B" thing.

(I'd be surprised if Netflix's encodes weren't multi-pass. The tighter the bit budget the more crunching you need to achieve a decent result. There's no reason for them not to crunch on them as much as they need--computing is cheap and time between their receiving a video source from a content provider and needing to release it is probably not tight).

Take the example of two frames from the same picture, Outbreak, one from the 4800 Kbps 1080p Netflix AVC encode and one from the the 15 Mbps BD VC-1 encode. The BD is discernibly sharper, but you might not guess that the Netflix version was encoded in less than one third the bits. Obviously comparison of single frames does not tell the whole story and there might be notable artifacts that you can only see by watching it run, but I think that, by and large, Netflix's encoding process does quite a good job within the limits imposed. My objection was to the suggestion that Netflix's HD streams do not constitute HD "in the conventional sense". It's generally not as good as a BD but often better than HDTV and cable.

My method for comparing frames (Click to show)
I like to use the Chrome browser to compare these because in Chrome fullscreen is fullscreen, with no horizontal or verticle scroll bars. If you're reading this post in Chrome, just drag one of the screenshot links in the paragraph above to the new tab control on the far right of the open tabs in this window. Drag the tab created by that off into its own window then drag the other link into that window's new tab control. With that window selected, hit F11 to go fullscreen, then CTRL-TAB to instantly switch back and forth between the images.

Those screenshots were collected by forum member msgohan and originally posted in his "Netflix PS3 streaming comparison PIX" thread. Sadly ImageShack converted all of the myriad 1920x1080 HDMI screen captures posted in the thread into 800x400 reductions. I'd copied off a few to my PC, including these two.

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post #277 of 1920 Old 01-25-2013, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

Netflix's encoding process does a quite good job within the limits imposed. My objection was to the suggestion that Netflix's HD streams do not constitute HD "in the conventional sense". It's generally not as good as a BD but often better than HDTV and cable.

I may be clueless in terms of my knowledge of software engineering, but I trust what I see. And although it may not apply to all the movies on Netflix I have streamed, many of them look even better then when I've seen them on DTV.


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post #278 of 1920 Old 01-25-2013, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apostate View Post

Can you give an instance of where a company offers details of ongoing negotiation in public? Why would any company negotiate with another company which will disclose details to the public? What would any company gain by violating the confidentiality of a good faith negotiation?

The example that I already gave, TWC's interminable negotiations for carriage of the NFL network. We were all told the details of their disagreement while negotiations were ongoing. I'd imagine that TWC wanted their customers to know why they weren't getting the NFL Network, thinking that at least some of them would sympathize with their stance.

TWC has similar reasons now. By revealing that they think that what Netflix is asking of them is unreasonable and why they think that, they may keep those customers who agree with them mollified, and have those customers demand of Netflix that they get off their high horse and give them what other customers who don't pay any more than them are getting. They've done that with their "unprecedented access", "holding Super HD hostage" and "TWC can handle their traffic without their private CDN" comments already; if there was a strong disconnect over money it would be no more or less reasonable to voice that.

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post #279 of 1920 Old 01-25-2013, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mailiang View Post

I may be clueless in terms of my knowledge of software engineering, but I trust what I see. And although it may not apply to all the movies on Netflix I have streamed, many of them look even better then when I've seen them on DTV.


Ian wink.gif
I've seen TV shows on Netflix look better than OTA broadcasts. Psych on ION and Burn Notice on My Network TV look better on Netflix than over the air.

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post #280 of 1920 Old 01-26-2013, 12:54 AM
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The author of this Forbes OP ED article makes some interesting points (while critiquing a new book called Captive Audience) http://www.forbes.com/sites/bretswanson/2013/01/21/big-broadbands-secret-plan-to-deliver-wildly-popular-content-and-apps-to-happy-consumers/

From the article 'broadband is easily cable’s most profitable product, precisely because the universe of content is so diverse, compelling, and mostly free. Isn’t this an incentive for broadband providers to encourage a flourishing, open Internet?'

and

'But last week Netflix flexed its newfound confidence. Netflix is now withholding its new Super HD content from its own subscribers – unless the subscriber’s broadband provider agrees to host Netflix’s content for free. The law professors who dreamed up Net Neutrality are rolling over in their ivory towers.'

I still think Netflix is handling the SuperHD and 3D roll out poorly. - but as has been said before 'Open Connect' would seem to be in everyone's (customers, ISPs and netflix) best interest. Hopefully Netflix and the ISPs will find a way to work it out.......

Another article on the same book http://www.policymic.com/articles/22841/susan-crawford-internet-is-critical-to-society-and-should-be-regulated-like-a-utility

I think it is good that there is more public discussion of these issues.

A different take of course - but I think think that is the point.

I love to read media that is likely to be pro and against any position - maybe that is why I am undecided smile.gif

Edit - I like this quote from the article ''To use Crawford’s words, “the United States now has neither a competitive market for high-speed wired internet access nor government oversight.”

My comment - absolutely true there is no competitive market. Realistically my only option is Comcast.
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post #281 of 1920 Old 01-26-2013, 05:20 PM
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The blog post has a link to a (purported) Netflix PowerPoint presentation describing Netflix Content Delivery (including some detail on Open Connect).

http://publicknowledge.org/blog/netflix-cdn-v-cable-guys-or-comcast-v-level-3

See the link to the PowerPoint presentation in the second paragraph.

The conclusion of the blogger is also interesting.

' This is the ‘doomsday scenario’ predicted by net neutrality advocates about how the content side and the provider side would get into an arms race and risk fragmenting the ‘net and stuff. You know, the one folks who opposed net neutrality told us (a) could never happen, and (b) if it did, that would be the free market at work. ....................................we are on the slide to fragmentation that we Cassandra’s who actually study (rather than worship) free market economics predicted.'
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post #282 of 1920 Old 01-27-2013, 06:14 PM
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I get my Internet connection from a private school network, as we live in employer-provided housing on campus. Any idea if there's any way those types of connections will ever be able to access Netflix's new HD streams?
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post #283 of 1920 Old 01-29-2013, 05:06 AM
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The latest Apple Tv update has added support for Super HD. The icons show up when you're browsing and I've noticed a visible improvement in quality. It seems pretty much anything that was previously in HD, is now Super HD if you're internet provider supports it.
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post #284 of 1920 Old 02-05-2013, 09:46 PM
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Just wanted to chime in that bitrate != picture quality unless you are comparing bitrates of identical or very comparable encoding algorithms. You can't compare MPEG2 ATSC broadcasts with H264 bluray bitrates because its just a different measurement. H264 will always get higher quality / lower bitrate simply due to the algorithm.

The trade off is computational cost of the decode. MPEG2 is very computationally cheap to decode and was selected because at the time of ATSC ratification it was of neglible cost to include the computing power needed in every television.

With the iPhone/bluray era H264 finally got hardware accelerated chips at a cost that consumer electronics companies could add to devices, again at neglible cost and get better quality / bitrate.

Looking to the future you're going to see stuff like Redray delivering 4K video using their proprietary wavelet-based encoding at only 20M/s which is amazing. But it likely requires a ton of computing horsepower in their redray player and isn't ready for broad consumer electronics due to cost.

Netflix is now using the eyeIO encoder which may be comparable to H264 but without knowing the details we can't assume the bitrates are remotely comparable as a function of PQ.

One reason the new netflix high bitrate streams are probably only available on certain devices is they likely have to use a software decode rather than hardware if its not an H264 derivative and the little processing power in a SmartTV or Bluray player isn't capable enough.

So that's my take as somone whk has spent plenty of time comparing bitrates, PQ and computational cost of MP2, VP6, WebM (VP8), H264 and other proprietary codecs and I can say with certainty that bitrate is utterly meaningless when discussing picture quality unless you're talking about the exact same codec.
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post #285 of 1920 Old 02-06-2013, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
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Just wanted to chime in that bitrate != picture quality

I can assure you that in the early days of MPEG-2 MPHL it was very expensive. In 1998 we paid more than $50,000 for our Barco Pictor HD encoder, the Dolby Digital 5.1 encoder was a separate purchase. At that time there were just a few ATSC STBs and they were several hundred each. A MIT MDP-100 PCI ATSC tuner card was about $350.00. In 1994 a DirecTV (MPEG-1.5 >2) STB was $700.00 (included 18" dish & LNB).

No, eyeIO and SuperHD all play on H.264 devices. Please note eyeIO makes a lot of claims about their H.264 encoders and provides 0 proof to back them up. And the Netflix claim that SuperHD is better than HD rolleyes.gif


Edit: Just for fun I did some searching and found a Barco Pictor on eBay. FWIW, in later years Harmonic designed better boxes and essentially dominated the market by my retirement in 2004.
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post #286 of 1920 Old 02-06-2013, 11:16 AM
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Interview with Reed Hastings at the Washington post where he gives Netflix's position on developing their content, ISPs, Open Connect and other subjects.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/netflix-takes-on-hollywood-with-original-shows/2013/02/01/e9ec6e02-6b23-11e2-ada3-d86a4806d5ee_story.html?wprss=rss_business

Some of the questions (in bold) and his answers from the interview below.

Talk about your relationship with the telecom ISPs. What are pain points in that business relationship ?

Right now, it’s not really painful at all. The customer experience is great. You click and you watch. In the long term, there is potential conflict because we’re capitalist and they’re capitalist and everyone wants to expand their profit pool.

ESPN and HBO get a percentage of total cable cost. Cable costs 70 bucks and ESPN gets like 6 bucks of that.

So we look at it and say, “Hey, there’s a $60 ISP bill that is hugely profitable for ISPs. Maybe we should get a part of that because [consumers] are getting broadband to get Netflix.”

They say, “One-third of our bits, our costs, are Netflix, and so Netflix should pay part of our costs.”

There will be some battle around there. Our basic view is that there is a safe medium that avoids all the [television] carriage battles that we’ve had over 15 years.

What are you doing to that safe medium?

We have Open Connect, how we connect to their networks. It’s servers that have all our discs. We bring the servers and connect them to their networks. We have to carry the bits to where they want, to each metro area, at our cost. The ISPs carry them. And we don’t charge them, and they don’t charge us.

Are they happy?

Small ISPs are thrilled. But the big guys, they are used to better deals than that and they don’t want smaller guys to have the same deal.

What do you need from Washington?

There is this ISP battle stuff. In an ideal case, we need nothing at all because it will all be worked out commercially. AT&T and Comcast in particular are very sophisticated with their regulatory mechanism. Yes, we compete with them on the video side. but we are also one of the main reasons people get broadband.

What makes you think you are driving broadband adoption?

In peak traffic on a Friday, 30 percent of it is Netflix.

But ISPs could say you gobble up so much bandwidth because your service is so bandwidth-intensive.

We don’t gobble anything. Their users choose to watch us. They sell a service to their members, and their members are using it.
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post #287 of 1920 Old 02-06-2013, 03:23 PM
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Unblock-us now supports Super HD. There's a free week trial for you guys to fool around with if you're interested.

I can't seem to get over 3850 bitrate on it for some reason even though the SuperHD symbol does show up. You would think my FIOS 85/35 connection would be enough? Oh well...

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post #288 of 1920 Old 02-06-2013, 04:20 PM
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Unblock-us now supports Super HD. There's a free week trial for you guys to fool around with if you're interested.

I can't seem to get over 3850 bitrate on it for some reason even though the SuperHD symbol does show up. You would think my FIOS 85/35 connection would be enough? Oh well...

Works for me smile.gif. Thanks for the tip. This might be worth an additional $5 a month until Cox sets up with Open Connect.

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post #289 of 1920 Old 02-06-2013, 04:24 PM
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Works for me smile.gif. Thanks for the tip. This might be worth an additional $5 a month until Cox sets up with Open Connect.
Have you tested the bitrate? I ran the 23FPS SuperHD Framerate test on both my PS3 and BDT220 and both maxed out at 3850.

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post #290 of 1920 Old 02-06-2013, 04:56 PM
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Have you tested the bitrate? I ran the 23FPS SuperHD Framerate test on both my PS3 and BDT220 and both maxed out at 3850.

I'm getting 4300 Kbps and 5800 Kbps in the Win 8 app, but it's taking a gawd awful long time to get up there; like 3 minutes to hit 4300 Kbps and 4 to get to 5800 Kbps. On the PS3 I see the Super HD logo in the title descriptions but I'm not getting up above 3850 there or on the Roku (and there are no relevant network setting on the Roku). I'll give my BDT220 and TiVo Premiere a try.

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post #291 of 1920 Old 02-06-2013, 05:04 PM
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Okay--got to 5800 Kbps on the PS3. I don't know how long it took cause I was checking out the TCP connections it had open on my router using a PC web browser (had a couple opened on ipv4_1.lagg0.c055.ord001.ix.nflxvideo.net; curiously none on AWS) .

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post #292 of 1920 Old 02-06-2013, 05:09 PM
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On the Win8 app it ramped up to 5800Kbps right away. I couldn't get any higher than 3850Kbps on either the PS3/BDT220 regardless of how long I ran the test. Let me try it again.

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post #293 of 1920 Old 02-06-2013, 05:25 PM
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Are you seeing any adverse effects with any of your other Internet related activities? I've used VPN connections before but never set it via the router which will change access for everything on the LAN.
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post #294 of 1920 Old 02-06-2013, 05:35 PM
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Are you seeing any adverse effects with any of your other Internet related activities? I've used VPN connections before but never set it via the router which will change access for everything the LAN.
With Unblock-US you can change the DNS on your router, but I just changed it on my PS3/Blu-Ray player directly.

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post #295 of 1920 Old 02-06-2013, 05:36 PM
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I tried setting explicitly setting the BDT220's DNS servers and turning DNS Auto Configuration off; it never accesses a server in the nflxvideo.net domain, instead opening a couple of Limelight servers (and an AWS one). It shows the Super HD logos in the descriptions, which kind of surprised me.

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post #296 of 1920 Old 02-06-2013, 05:38 PM
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I set it on my router and cannot get higher than 3850 on any of my devices including the PS3. Lame.
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post #297 of 1920 Old 02-06-2013, 05:46 PM
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Ok I played almost all the way through and then played the example short again and got to 5800. Weird.
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post #298 of 1920 Old 02-06-2013, 05:48 PM
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Huh. My TiVo Premiere's getting Super HD and ramped up to it quickly. Very surprising inasmuch as the TiVo is the redheaded stepchild of all of my devices which have that UI (the one on the PS3). It doesn't have people search or Just for Kids or even scroll-forward/back-by-three. I suspect that the BDT220 is just not an allowed device, even though it can see which titles have Super HD encodes (as expected, apparently every HD that's not limited to 720p). EDIT: The BDT220 should work, inasmuch as Netflix says, "Blu-Ray Players, Smart TV's, Home Theaters, and Streaming Players with existing Netflix 1080p support" should.

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post #299 of 1920 Old 02-06-2013, 06:01 PM
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The list of devices says "various 1080p Blu-Ray players" so the BDT220 should do it. Well it should work at least on my PS3 and I can't seem to get over 3850. The fact I am getting 5800 on the Win8 app immediately is frustrating. It's probably more Netflix's problems with the new tech than anything.

In any event, The Win8 app is 1080p, and AFAIK it can do 5.1 so I might spring for the extra $5/mo anyways. My PC is connected to my HDTV. I'd rather use my BDT220/PS3 but my PC will work for now.

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post #300 of 1920 Old 02-06-2013, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

Huh. My TiVo Premiere's getting Super HD and ramped up to it quickly. Very surprising inasmuch as the TiVo is the redheaded stepchild of all of my devices which have that UI (the one on the PS3). It doesn't have people search or Just for Kids or even scroll-forward/back-by-three. I suspect that the BDT220 is just not an allowed device, even though it can see which titles have Super HD encodes (as expected, apparently every HD that's not limited to 720p). EDIT: The BDT220 should work, inasmuch as Netflix says, "Blu-Ray Players, Smart TV's, Home Theaters, and Streaming Players with existing Netflix 1080p support" should.

Is this with using Unblock-US? I noticed about an hour ago that the SuperHD badge also appeared on my TiVo Premiere. I'm updating my Apple TV now to see if it also has the "Super HD" badge.
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