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Old 05-14-2013, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi. I'm sure this information is already on here, but I can't find it.

What is the lowest speed at which my Roku can stream channels like Netflix and Amazon, clearly and reliably?

Right now, I have 25 meg download speed on my cable Internet, but it runs $75 a month. I have a feeling that is overkill, plus I'm trying to lower my expenses to pay off bills.

My options are...

16 Meg for $55
8 Meg for $45
3 Meg for $30

Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:03 PM
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It depends on what type of video quality you want. I've attached below the recommended streaming speeds from Netflix. You can do a similar search on the other websites you like to stream from. Hope this helps.

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Old 05-14-2013, 08:45 PM
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Note that you can visit that "Internet Connection Speed Recommendations" support page directly. That way you can follow the links on it, if desired.

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Old 05-14-2013, 11:22 PM
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The links above give great info.

From experience when I switched to cable last summer I initially had 8 Mbps (check this is true download speed from your ISP and not some power boost or similar number) which will give you the best quality Netflix and Amazon - but won't sustain the very highest quality Vudu HDX (you will still get 2 bar HDX which is still good quality).

If you are likely to have multiple people streaming then you may need more bandwidth. I have Comcast Blast 16 Mbps and can comfortably stream Netflix from 3 Roku 2's (1 XS @ 1080P and 2 LT 720P) simultaneously - or even Vudu HDX 3 bar and 2 720P Netflix streams.

It also depends on your TV - watching a large screen 55+" from 8' or less you may prefer the highest quality Vudu / Netflix - but for a single stream with a reliable 3 Mbps connection Netflix / Amazon should look OK on smaller screens if you are trying save $
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Excellent. Exactly what I was looking for. I think I will go with 16 med and see how that does. It does save me $20, which on top of saving $150 by dropping cable is okay by me.

Our living room TV is 60" with 1080p and we are pretty close, probably 8' or less, so poor quality video really shows.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 05-15-2013, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by undecided View Post

I have Comcast Blast 16 Mbps and can comfortably stream Netflix from 3 Roku 2's (1 XS @ 1080P and 2 LT 720P) simultaneously - or even Vudu HDX 3 bar and 2 720P Netflix streams.
Just a note that Comcast is in the process of upgrading Blast! to 50/10. You will need a D3 capable modem to get the full speed. The standard Preferred Tier is going from 15/2 (20/4 with PowerBoost) to 25/5 (no PowerBoost).

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Old 05-15-2013, 09:00 PM
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Yeah, they doubled mine to 50 and I had them roll me back to 25 for a $10 a month savings.
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by andyross63 View Post

Just a note that Comcast is in the process of upgrading Blast! to 50/10. You will need a D3 capable modem to get the full speed. The standard Preferred Tier is going from 15/2 (20/4 with PowerBoost) to 25/5 (no PowerBoost).

Yes I know thanks. A good summary here http://www.dslreports.com/faq/15643

My area isn't due for the upgrade until the summer (even though my last two monthly bills had an insert saying that the new upgraded speeds were now available). I have a D3 modem and get 4 bonded download channels so I think I am set.

I am only paying for Performance (8 Mbps here ignoring PowerBoost) - they gave me Blast (16 Mbps here ignoring PowerBoost) when I complained I was getting 8 Mbps vs the 20 Mbps promised in the online offer when I signed up

We'll see what I get after the upgrade.
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Old 05-16-2013, 12:07 PM
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Something was up last night as after weeks of having no problems with HD streams, no rebuffering, I could NOT get an HD selection to stream at anything but ~1.5 mbps. The preplay speed test even showed 10 mbps. So this had something to do with NF. BTW, this was the 3rd episode of a series I've been watching that has been in HD so far.
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Old 05-16-2013, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Conrad View Post

Something was up last night as after weeks of having no problems with HD streams, no rebuffering, I could NOT get an HD selection to stream at anything but ~1.5 mbps. The preplay speed test even showed 10 mbps. So this had something to do with NF. BTW, this was the 3rd episode of a series I've been watching that has been in HD so far.

What's the "preplay speed test"? You're using a platform which does a test just before playing and tells you what speed it's seeing?

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Old 05-17-2013, 11:50 AM
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Sony's NF player will do a network speed check each time you play a title. It is followed by the buffering of the title where the bitrate is also displayed. And at any time you can select "Display" on the remote to see the playing bitrate.
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Conrad View Post

Sony's NF player will do a network speed check each time you play a title. It is followed by the buffering of the title where the bitrate is also displayed. And at any time you can select "Display" on the remote to see the playing bitrate.

What device? Not the PS3 or BDP-S390.

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Old 05-17-2013, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Conrad View Post

Sony's NF player will do a network speed check each time you play a title. It is followed by the buffering of the title where the bitrate is also displayed. And at any time you can select "Display" on the remote to see the playing bitrate.

What device? Not the PS3 or BDP-S390.


This Sony model-BDP BX58 has a speedtest that pops up when launching a stream on Hulu. The poster didn't show an example of Netflix on his. Skip to the 12:55 min mark. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbNPCVxiGdc


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Old 05-17-2013, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westly-C View Post


This Sony model-BDP BX58 has a speedtest that pops up when launching a stream on Hulu. The poster didn't show an example of Netflix on his. Skip to the 12:55 min mark. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbNPCVxiGdc

Yeah--I have a Sony BDP-S390 and it does the same thing for Hulu Plus and (I believe) Amazon. Its Netflix player, however, is the same UI as the PS3 and does not report a bit rate test result just before playback. You can see which video encode it's currently playing by pressing SELECT (pad) or DISPLAY (remote), now represented as vertical resolution: "480 SD", "720 HD", etc.

The BX38 is an older model with a non-adaptive-bitrate Netflix player, without support for 1080p, 5.1 sound or subtitles/captions. I think that the older players have a Sony proprietary Netflix interface that's much like the Amazon and Hulu ones which does display the results of a quick network connection speed test, as demonstrated here on the SMP-N200, which also lacks the advanced features (adaptive bit rate playback, 1080p video, digital 5.1 sound, subtitles/captions).

BTW, you can set a start time for a YouTube clip by appending something of the forum "#t=12m55s" to the end of the URL. You can leave the "m" or "s" out if you want it to start at the first second of a particular minute or the specified second of the first minute.

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Old 05-18-2013, 12:42 PM
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I have a Sony BDP-S480. My beef with it is that it could be showing the current time of the video on the panel rather than just saying "VIDEO". I'm sure the bosses didn't have it in the spec or it might. The time is available by pressing Display.
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Old 05-19-2013, 08:36 AM
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My Sony BDP-S590 does a speed check when I stream from Amazon. I am all for saving a little money here and there and have not opted for the higher speed services offered by my cable company--Bright House Networks. I have their basic Internet service and usually get speeds of 10Mbps--which is usually verified when I use Amazon. Although it has been my experience that the weak link is somewhere outside my own network--when I get sub-par speed from Amazon, Netflix, or Vudu--my connection is still usually around 10Mbps. There are so many opportunities for problems to pop up between me and the source, that the excess bandwidth from premium services would be wasted under the current streaming requirements. Of course I am usually the only user in my house so if you have a big household, the extra bandwidth may indeed be necessary.

Bob

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Old 05-20-2013, 04:21 PM
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I have 50/8 connection.

Amazon HD is 18 MBit/sec (peak, bandwidth see-saws between 0 and 18) max. Vudu HDX is 8 MBit/sec sustained. I don't have Netflix.

You should be fine with 16 down (I used to have 15 down and there is no difference in streaming Amazon or Vudu). At 8 down I think you may start seeing some quality reduction but I think you would still be fine. Considering you need to lower your bill I would drop to 8 down and see how you like it.
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Old 05-20-2013, 04:37 PM
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Amazon HD averages something like 2.5 Mbps but like most of these players it will suck data down as fast as it can to fill the buffer. 5 Mbps down is more than good enough to stream it as long as you're not doing anything more with the connection. If you want the 3850 Kbps 1080p Netflix video encode w/384 Kbps DD+ 5.1 sound you should be able to keep ahead of it with 5 Mbps down service. The 4300- and 5800 Kbps "Super HD" encodes with 5.1 sound will take 6- and 8 Mbps down service (rounded up; 5.6- and 7.4 Mbps actually). You'll only get Super HD if your ISP is set up for access to Netflix's Open Connect CDN; if it is there's currently no way to decline the Super HD encodes while getting the non-"Super" HD video encodes (if you have a bandwidth cap you might not think that Super HD is worth 50% more).

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Old 05-21-2013, 12:32 PM
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You can get some pretty good encoding with low bitrates using MP4. However I find the rates that NF claims to use to be a bit high which makes me think they don't use all the bells and whistles for lower bitrate encoding because older computers or devices might not be able to decode those well. Newer chipsets can handle very compressed streams without a burp.
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Old 05-21-2013, 12:50 PM
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Netflix has been using H.264/AVC for their adaptive bit rate encodes at least since the introduction of the installed PS3 player two or three years back. In the past they used VC-1 and presumably still do for encodes produced for legacy players. They have also been using a technology from a company called eyeIO which supposedly provides higher quality AVC video encodes at lower bit rates and have subsequently replaced their 3600 Mbps 720p encode with a 3000 Mbps one and their 4800 Mbps 1080p encode with a 3850 Mbps one; they also have a 2350 Mbps 720p encodes. I'm sure that they'd claim that their 3000 Mbps 720p is superior to Amazon's 720p. Personally I don't know; Amazon's 720p looks pretty decent.

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Old 05-26-2014, 10:05 PM
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Hi Everyone, 

 

I  just joined this site and would like help figuring out which level of satellite service to order in rural Powell River, B.C., Canada.  I need a minimum of 4-6 hrs internet service per day and would like to stream 1-2 movies per night. 

 

The only game in town offers 4 levels of service with varying upload [kbps] and download [mbps] speeds- which I assume are related to bandwidth- and something called "download softcap" [?] per 24 hours: 

                

Levels:    upload/kbps     download/ mbps     download softcap       cost per month

1             384                  1.5                           350                             $  60

2             384                  2                              425                             $  80

3             384                  2.5                           500                             $ 120

4             500                  3                              600                             $ 150

 

These rates have to be higher than the US because of low rural demand, and because I am not a techie I'd really appreciate any feedback about which level would be a best fit before committing to a contract. 

 

Of course there is also a "Fair Usage" policy with limitations on usage. . . and the weather. . . sigh. 

 

Thanks to anyone who has a few minutes to reply  :)

Patricia

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Old 05-27-2014, 12:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annika View Post

Hi Everyone, 

I  just joined this site and would like help figuring out which level of satellite service to order in rural Powell River, B.C., Canada.  I need a minimum of 4-6 hrs internet service per day and would like to stream 1-2 movies per night. 

The only game in town offers 4 levels of service with varying upload [kbps] and download [mbps] speeds- which I assume are related to bandwidth- and something called "download softcap" [?] per 24 hours: 
                
Levels:    upload/kbps     download/ mbps     download softcap       cost per month
1             384                  1.5                           350                             $  60
2             384                  2                              425                             $  80
3             384                  2.5                           500                             $ 120
4             500                  3                              600                             $ 150

These rates have to be higher than the US because of low rural demand, and because I am not a techie I'd really appreciate any feedback about which level would be a best fit before committing to a contract. 

Wow. You have my deepest sympathies. Are you sure that there's no 4G wireless coverage or something? That horribly expensive 3 Mbps down should get you 720p, but I'd be really worried about that "24 hour soft cap". It's got to be in Mbytes and an hour of even 640x480 Netflix with stereo sound, which you could get with the cheapest package, would consume 516 Mbytes.

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Old 05-27-2014, 04:28 PM
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Hi,
If you believe the lie that the cable company promote, you need 20MB/SEC. The truth is it not really not the speed that matters as much as the type of network. Cable Modems are on a shared network. The maximum bandwidth that you will get with cable is dependent on all your neighbors and what they are doing with their cable network connections. About 10 years ago, I compared the same rated speed DSL to the same rated Cable speed. DSL easily beat the Cable internet. I have DSL through Century Link and am able to stream HD(X) content from Vudu, Netflex XBox Video and more with no problems. My speed on the DSL is 8MB/S and its content al through the data.

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Old 05-27-2014, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Embry View Post

Cable Modems are on a shared network. The maximum bandwidth that you will get is dependent on all of the neighbors and what they are doing with their cable network connection.

Not so much with Docsis 3.0 modems, where your connection is bandwidth drawn dynamically from 8 channel frequency bands. I get the nominal speed of my connection (currently 100 Mbps) from the headend 24/7/365. Getting what you pay for from the single 6 MHz band you get assigned on a Docsis 2.0 modem is dodgy, but my cable provider won't lease those anymore (I own my 3.0 modem).

In any case, with cable 10 Mbps service is overkill for most streaming. If you want VUDU's 9 Mbps 1080p or 10 Mbps 1080p from Xbox Video or Amazon Instant Video or Netflix's 15.5 Mbps 4K streams you obviously need a faster connection, but otherwise not.
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Old 05-28-2014, 03:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annika View Post

Hi Everyone, 

I  just joined this site and would like help figuring out which level of satellite service to order in rural Powell River, B.C., Canada.  I need a minimum of 4-6 hrs internet service per day and would like to stream 1-2 movies per night. 

The only game in town offers 4 levels of service with varying upload [kbps] and download [mbps] speeds- which I assume are related to bandwidth- and something called "download softcap" [?] per 24 hours: 
                
Levels:    upload/kbps     download/ mbps     download softcap       cost per month
1             384                  1.5                           350                             $  60
2             384                  2                              425                             $  80
3             384                  2.5                           500                             $ 120
4             500                  3                              600                             $ 150

These rates have to be higher than the US because of low rural demand, and because I am not a techie I'd really appreciate any feedback about which level would be a best fit before committing to a contract. 

Of course there is also a "Fair Usage" policy with limitations on usage. . . and the weather. . . sigh. 

Thanks to anyone who has a few minutes to reply  smile.gif
Patricia
For movies I would consider having Netflix send physical discs and going with the level one service for internet service for things you may actually need the internet for. At a download of 3 mbps i don't think you will be very happy with streaming, and at 150 dollars that's a very expensive experiment. And with satellite things like rain fade(weather problems) can mess things up.

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Old 05-28-2014, 03:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

Not so much with Docsis 3.0 modems, where your connection is bandwidth drawn dyanamically from 8 frequency channels. I get the nominal speed of my connection (currently 100 Mbps) from the headend 24/7/365. Getting what you pay for from the single 6 MHz band you get assigned on a Docsis 2.0 modem is dodgy, but my cable provider won't lease those anymore (I own my 3.0 modem).

In any case, with cable 10 Mbps service is overkill for most streaming. If you want VUDU's 9 Mbps 1080p or 10 Mbps 1080p from Xbox Video or Amazon Instant Video or Netflix's 15.5 Mbps 4K streams you obviously need a faster connection, but otherwise not.

And there you go again, you just admitted to the fact that cable requires a higher rate speed to do the same work that a lower speed DSL can do. Like I said above I can do it all on 8MB/S DSL.

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Old 05-28-2014, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by tenthplanet View Post

For movies I would consider having Netflix send physical discs

Does Netflix offer disc by mail to Canada?

Last time I looked Wild Blue (US) internet service, via satellite, was quite expensive for just a few gig a month. Have kin several miles from Dallas TX and they pay $80.00 a month for Verizon wireless data because the only other option is dial-up.
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Old 05-28-2014, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Embry View Post

And there you go again, you just admitted to the fact that cable requires a higher rate speed to do the same work that a lower speed DSL can do. Like I said above I can do it all on 8MB/S DSL.

I said that you didn't need more than 10 Mbps, a common cable network service speed, not that you needed at least 10 Mbps (though right now, my cable system's data plan speeds leap from 5 Mbps plan to a 25 Mbps plan, the difference in price being $14). My exact words were, "10 Mbps service is overkill".

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Old 05-28-2014, 12:34 PM
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There are two broadband carriers in my neighborhood: Comcast and AT&T U-Verse. A third Astound has been setting up shop but is not on my street yet though I've seen installation vans a couple blocks away. Believe me AT&T and Comcast are blitzing like hell to get people on a contract before Astound shows up. Astound doesn't do contracts. Their broadband is cheaper with the promo being 55 mbps at $35 for 12 months and 100 mbps at $45 for 12 months. I can see why AT&T is nervous. Looking at Astound's site it does look like they nickel and dime you a bit and they do have a 300 GB cap before extra charges kick in.

Second element to this discussion is that compression technology is getting so good that you may not need that much speed in the future. I get "Continuum" on VUDU (they had a sale for the season) via HDX which blows any other streams I get out of the water. That said, the kids are out of school again and summer nights may be difficult to get a stream off Netflix at full SuperHD. Last night it was buffering and it was after 10 PM.
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Old 05-29-2014, 11:15 AM
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After posting yesterday I downloaded the Astound price list. They have a 5 mbps service for list at $29.95 a month 100 GB cap and then the next one up is a 55 mbps at $49.95 a month with a 300 GB cap. They have 110 mbps service with a 1 TB cap.
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