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Aero 1's Avatar Aero 1
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01-08-2013 | Posts: 607
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http://gigaom.com/2013/01/08/netflix-3d-superhd-open-connect/
Quote:
Netflix added a limited number of 3-D titles to its library Tuesday, and also introduced a new, higher-quality 1080p HD format dubbed Super HD that promises an even better picture quality than the service’s regular 1080p HD streams. The catch: Both 3-D and Super HD are only available to customers whose ISPs are using Netflix’s own Open Connect CDN.

The company has even built a page that allows you to check whether your ISP is already using Open Connect, and suggests that you should give the ISP a ring if they don’t. In other words: It’s enlisting its customers in its push to replace third-party CDNs with its own delivery network, effectively turning a complex peering war that has been largely happening behind the curtains into a catchy consumer issue.

3-D and Super HD: device support and bandwidth requirements



But first things first: It’s worth pointing out than Netflix isn’t betting its future on 3-D. The company added a few dozen titles this week, which include a few Red Bull action sports flicks as well as nature series from 3net. It also made a small number of titles available in Super HD, which can be played on the PS3, Roku devices, the Wii U, Windows 8 devices as well as some Blu-ray players and Smart TVs.

Super HD comes in two different encoding qualities, and Netflix recommends that consumers have at least 7 Mbps of bandwidth available for the higher-quality version, with 5 Mbps being enough to sustain a less demanding Super HD stream. 3-D streams need at least 6 Mbps of bandwidth, with the best quality topping out at around 12 Mbps.

Suddenly, peering is all about 3-D

That’s a lot of bandwidth, and it makes economic sense for Netflix to deliver these bits through its own CDN as opposed through networks run by the likes of Akamai and Limelight. A Netflix spokesperson also pointed out Monday that Open Connect was specifically built for Netflix streaming, which gives the company confidence that it will support those more taxing streams.

But there’s something else at play here as well: Netflix has become a major source of traffic. The company is now responsible for about one-third of all residential downstream traffic during peak times. And the question of who has to pay for that traffic has become a source of contention.

The issue blew up in 2010, when Level 3 accused Comcast of violating net neutrality by asking them to pay for delivering Netflix traffic to Comcast consumers. Comcast argued at the time that this was a simple peering disagreement. What actually happened is to this day a bit of a mystery, but Netflix may just have figured out a way to sidestep all of these business and policy issues: By enlisting the consumer, it may have found an effective weapon to pressure ISPs to get in line and sign up for Open Connect.

Not that all ISPs object the idea of a Netflix CDN to begin with: Also on Tuesday, Netflix announced that the majorty of its international traffic is now delivered via Open Connect, with major international ISPs like Virgin Media and British Telecom already getting their Netflix bits through the network. In the U.S., it counts Cablevision as one of its Open Connect-using ISPs – but CEO Reed Hastings made it clear that he wants to win over others as well. “Our goal is to have all of our members served by Open Connect as soon as possible,” he said.


http://support.netflix.com/en/node/8731#gsc.tab=0
Quote:
Netflix Super HD

Netflix now offers Super HD streaming on the following devices:
Sony PlayStation 3
Roku
Nintendo Wii U
Windows 8
Blu-Ray Players and Smart TV's with existing Netflix 1080p support
More devices coming soon!

To stream titles in Super HD, your Internet Provider needs to be connected to our new content delivery network - Netflix Open Connect. Visit our Super HD page to see if your Internet Provider is connected.
If you have a compatible device and your Internet Provider is connected to Netflix Open Connect, you can find Super HD titles by looking for the Super HD logo.
Please note that Super HD requires an Internet connection speed of at least 5Mb/s, and 7Mb/s for our highest available video quality.
For more information about Super HD and Netflix Open Connect, please visit our Super HD page and Netflix Open Connect page.


Check to see if your ISP is part of the CDN: https://signup.netflix.com/superhd

Fios is not.

Note, Apple TV 3 is mentioned in the second link, but not in the supported devices link.

https://signup.netflix.com/openconnect
Quote:
SPs can directly connect their networks to Open Connect for free. ISPs can do this either by free peering with us at common Internet exchanges, or can save even more transit costs by putting our free storage appliances in or near their network.

Major ISPs around the world have already connected to Open Connect, including Frontier, British Telecom, TDC, Clearwire, GVT, Telus, Bell Canada, Virgin, Cablevision, Google Fiber, Telmex, and more.

As part of Open Connect, we are also sharing our hardware design and the open source software components of the server. These designs are suitable for any other provider of large media files, and are very cost efficient. We welcome commentary and improvements, which will be shared with the community with the goal of a faster, less expensive Internet for all.

Open Connect is a single-purpose Content Distribution Network, and by shifting to Open Connect, from using third-party commercial CDNs, we are able to save money and keep consumer prices low.




Note: If your ISP is not part of Open Connect, you can try out SuperHD and 3D assuming you have enough bandwidth and using a paid third party DNS Service: Unblock-Us.

Unblock-Us offers a 1 week trail then its $5 a month.

Note 2: The service is flaky and mostly unreliable at the moment. Refer to this for details: http://support.unblock-us.com/customer/en/portal/questions/798579-unreliable-connections-to-us-super-hd-servers?new=798579

http://support.unblock-us.com/customer/portal/questions/802121-erratic-netflix-superhd-connection
properbostonian's Avatar properbostonian
09:20 AM Liked: 23
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This is exciting. Would like to get some feedback from folks who have CDN on video/audio quality.

Bummer about FIOS.

I am reading this at work and my employers ISP is "ready for super HD." To bad I don't have my 3D TV here. smile.gif
rdgrimes's Avatar rdgrimes
09:28 AM Liked: 215
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"Even better than HD!" rolleyes.gif
That's not saying much given the recent downgrade in bit rates and quality.
xcrunner529's Avatar xcrunner529
09:46 AM Liked: 15
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Ugh, how long am I going to be waiting for Time Warner Cable to get this frown.gif
hogues's Avatar hogues
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like streaming 3d only, not blu-ray's.
reddice's Avatar reddice
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Okay so let me get this right. Verizon FiOS and TWC don't support SuperHD and they are one of the biggest providers. If they don't then who does some unknown cable ISP?
xcrunner529's Avatar xcrunner529
11:07 AM Liked: 15
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Looks like abroad...and OARNET my provider at work wink.gif
one321's Avatar one321
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I checked from home and my ISP is in the Open Connect CDN network! My PS3 and Roku are compatible. I think my Panasonic TC-P55GT50 has existing Netflix 1080p support, but I'll have to double-check that. This is great and welcome news!
Wendell R. Breland's Avatar Wendell R. Breland
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Quote:
Super HD comes in two different encoding qualities, and Netflix recommends that consumers have at least 7 Mbps of bandwidth available for the higher-quality version, with 5 Mbps being enough to sustain a less demanding Super HD stream. 3-D streams need at least 6 Mbps of bandwidth, with the best quality topping out at around 12 Mbps

If 7 Mbps makes Super HD then Blu-ray must be Super Super Super Super Super Super Super HD. This marketing stuff makes one
rdgrimes's Avatar rdgrimes
02:15 PM Liked: 215
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Basically, they took away X-High HD and gave us "Super HD" in its place. Whoopee. rolleyes.gif
Bit rates don't lie, it's still garbage.
reddice's Avatar reddice
02:16 PM Liked: 49
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Don't see how this is a good thing. Lately certain days I have been having a problem to maintain an HD stream dropping down to Medium SD, even down to the unbearable Low SD and even doing this with SD streams. It is not my connection because various speed tests show I am getting a stead 15/1 speed. Pingtest shows a A for the quality. As I said some days it is fine. As I don't see a Super HD stream staying at Super HD even with a very fast connection. If anything they should just get rid of Low SD. Yes it is really that bad.
jagouar's Avatar jagouar
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This is a good thing because it gets Netflix's cdn piped directly to your isp and not having to go out on the internet to stream which will do wonders to making their service run better.

It does sound like they just took the existing 1080p high streams and just rebranded them (although the bitrate looks a bit higher than what they used to be) and moved them to their own cdn which I don't see as a bad thing. Every isp should want to be on Netflix's cdn assuming there is not a big cost with supporting it. Wonder what this will do for 3d.... still don't care one bit for 3d but content has been a big problem.

Also not in these articles but evidently Netflix is working on 4k streams... http://www.theverge.com/2013/1/8/3852232/4k-netflix-on-samsung-uhd-tv-hands-on-video.
andyross63's Avatar andyross63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post

Basically, they took away X-High HD and gave us "Super HD" in its place. Whoopee. rolleyes.gif
Bit rates don't lie, it's still garbage.
I'm guessing this is the newer encoding, but at a higher bitrate that should give a picture that is better than the old encodes at the same bitrate.
RangerOne's Avatar RangerOne
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The GigaOM story had an interesting update:
Quote:
Update: A spokesperson contacted us to clarify that the number of Super HD titles is already substantial, and that the goal is to have pretty much every HD title available in Super HD.

So, it looks like Netflix is encoding the entire library for "Super HD". I'm also a FIOS subscriber so I'm bumming. I bet Netflix couldn't get these ISPs to buy in so now they are counting on customer pressure to do it.

Does anyone know if Comcast is on the list?
Mr.G's Avatar Mr.G
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xcrunner529 View Post

Ugh, how long am I going to be waiting for Time Warner Cable to get this frown.gif

I've also got TWC so under 'Feedback' I decided to send them a 'suggestion' to join the new CDN.

http://www.timewarnercable.com/en/residential-home/support/contact-us.html
michaeltscott's Avatar michaeltscott
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Quote:
Originally Posted by one321 View Post

I checked from home and my ISP is in the Open Connect CDN network! My PS3 and Roku are compatible. I think my Panasonic TC-P55GT50 has existing Netflix 1080p support, but I'll have to double-check that. This is great and welcome news!

I'd like to know exactly what the bit rate of "Super HD" is. Do you have a Windows 8 PC or laptop with a 1080p screen? If so, could you play a "Super HD" title in the Windows 8 Netflix app and type CTRL-SHIFT-ALT-S to bring up the stream manager and report the highest bit rate it lists for the title? (Barring that, does "Example Short 23.976" show up as "Super HD"? If so, perhaps its high bit rate encode will have the right bit rate/resolution in of stamped on it). Thanks.

I don't know how I feel about this BS. Netflix is withhold a streaming video quality level from me, a loyal customer, because my ISP isn't hooked into their new CDN. I don't think that most people have a choice of broadband network service provider, or at least not much of one. It seems obvious that they're free to offer whatever encodes through the CDNs that they're using now that they want to. This looks to be some kind of political thing which makes it seem as though they care little for their customers' satisfaction.
undecided's Avatar undecided
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I agree.

My bandwidth 20 Mbps is sufficient for the new services but Netflix is denying it to me (my Vudu HDX works fine through my ISP).

My ISP is Comcast which is my only local option. I just checked there is no way on the Comcast website to contact them to give feedback (and really don't suggest online chat or calling them......)

I have been OK through some of the Netflix stumbles in the last 18 months - but this seems a bit rich asking me to negotiate (lobby) with Comcast on their behalf.

Really Netflix - go get the deal done with Comcast - in the meantime give me (your paying customer) the service my ISP bandwidth can support.........
rdgrimes's Avatar rdgrimes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyross63 View Post

I'm guessing this is the newer encoding, but at a higher bitrate that should give a picture that is better than the old encodes at the same bitrate.

A nice idea, but we've yet to see any evidence that its true, and have seen considerable evidence that its not. The "new encoding" is just more noise reduction.
mpalmer7's Avatar mpalmer7
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So I am one of the crazy minority that actually has an ISP in the US that supports this (Frontier Fios). I see all the Super HD stuff, but I don't see any of the 3d stuff yet. I am using a PS3 and have a Samsung 3d TV. Called Netflix and the people were friendly, but they had no idea how it works. They are looking into it because there is no list of 3d movies in my rows. I see now that it says X-HD when playing a movie, which I think is the new standard.

In all honesty, it looks nice, but nothing to freak out about. I do wish I could check out the 3d movies, but until I can choose a 3d movie (Immortals is the one movie they have) I can't say that this is a must have upgrade for Netflix yet.
michaeltscott's Avatar michaeltscott
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpalmer7 View Post

So I am one of the crazy minority that actually has an ISP in the US that supports this (Frontier Fios).

This is really starting to cheese me off. What titles have you found with Super HD encodes? Someone in the Roku forum was saying that he couldn't locate any.
undecided's Avatar undecided
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jagouar View Post

This is a good thing because it gets Netflix's cdn piped directly to your isp and not having to go out on the internet to stream which will do wonders to making their service run better.

Good (for Netflix and the ISPs).....

Netflix and the ISPs should go work out a deal.

In the meantime why is Netflix denying me these options. My 20 Mbps Comcast service can handle 3D and Super HD (OK I will roll with the description at least until I see it).

I pay my ISP for bandwidth - but I pay Netflix for the Netflix streaming.

As a long time Netflix (and generally fairly happy) customer I feel they are messing with me here......
plasma21's Avatar plasma21
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This has to be added to the long list of questionable moves by NF. First they deny doing anythig to their bit rates. Now they want me to take responsibility for NF / Verizon relationship. This is just mind boggling. I have 35/35 connection and i am being limited to less than 4 Mbps bit rate.

Perhaps the solution is to just put a vacation hold on my NF account while NF and VZ sort it out.
RangerOne's Avatar RangerOne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpalmer7 View Post

... I see now that it says X-HD when playing a movie, which I think is the new standard.
In all honesty, it looks nice, but nothing to freak out about. I do wish I could check out the 3d movies, but until I can choose a 3d movie (Immortals is the one movie they have) I can't say that this is a must have upgrade for Netflix yet...

MPalmer7,

Does it literally say "X-HD" or "X-High" on the PS3. I wondering if they've given it a new label above X-High
Wendell R. Breland's Avatar Wendell R. Breland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plasma21 View Post

This has to be added to the long list of questionable moves by NF.

Netflix says they are offering access to their Open Connect CDN for free. Wowee. It is unclear who would actually pay for the hardware.

The very big question is: what’s in this for the IP providers. There is no way they will spend money just to help Netflix. If Netflix wants Open Connect to be available to the providers then Netflix may as well get ready to pony up the cash.
Mr.G's Avatar Mr.G
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Quote:
Originally Posted by undecided View Post

In the meantime why is Netflix denying me these options.

Because they can.
Quote:
Originally Posted by undecided View Post

I feel they are messing with me here......

They are.

This reminds me of the campaigns that TWC seems to run every year whenever one of their channel broadcasters is negotiating for a higher price and they are resisting. They ask their customers to complain to broadcasters about high programming costs, seems more democratic that way. None of these campaigns are ever successful, they still end up passing the higher costs to their subscribers.
Mr.G's Avatar Mr.G
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.G View Post

I've also got TWC so under 'Feedback' I decided to send them a 'suggestion' to join the new CDN.
http://www.timewarnercable.com/en/residential-home/support/contact-us.html

Their reply today:
Quote:
Dear Mr. G,

Thank you for contacting Time Warner Cable Email Support.

I understand you would like us to join the new Netflix (CDN) content delivery network - Netflix Open Connect.

I appreciate your suggestions and we will certainly look into this and may consider this in future.

We value your feedback.

Have a great day!

Sincerely,
Dalton
Time Warner Cable Online Customer Service

michaeltscott's Avatar michaeltscott
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Rather than to bother asking my ISP to hook up to Open Connect, I'd really like a Netflix Customer Feedback form so that I could tell them to go suck on something filthy. How exactly do they expect those of us who might actually care about Super HD to respond to being told, "We're making what we believe to be a higher quality product available, but you can't have it now and we can't guarantee--or, in fact, give you any reason to hope--that it will ever be available to you" rolleyes.gif? I'm really hoping that they put up a blog post so I can make my feelings known in a comment.
plasma21's Avatar plasma21
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Couldn't agree more. I wish someone buys NF and puts a professional management in place....
Taperwood's Avatar Taperwood
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But these campaigns are hugely successful. TWC convinces the customer that the broadcasters are the bad guys so that when the price goes up they are free from blame. It's a win/win for TWC and the broadcaster without doing a thing. Oh, and don't lose sight that TWC is one of the major broadcasters. This behavior will change only when they try this and nobody cares that such and such channel will go off the air.

Things are clearly changing at Netflix. I'm happy that they are adding content and improving the streams (whether subjective or objective is another story; I think the former for most people), but I think we can all see the trend here in that they are slowly transitioning into a tiered service. Might take a few more years but I can't see any other way. I'm fine with that as long as they don't introduce advertising.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.G View Post

This reminds me of the campaigns that TWC seems to run every year whenever one of their channel broadcasters is negotiating for a higher price and they are resisting. They ask their customers to complain to broadcasters about high programming costs, seems more democratic that way. None of these campaigns are ever successful, they still end up passing the higher costs to their subscribers.

rdgrimes's Avatar rdgrimes
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People are already falling for the scam. These are not "better quality" streams, it's merely the same old quality that was previously taken away. Nobody is missing out on anything, other than the higher bitrate HD streams we all used to get.
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