*Official* Roku 2 Media Streamer Thread - Page 15 - AVS Forum
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post #421 of 1155 Old 01-07-2012, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by hps70w View Post

There are other channels available on the Roku that provide content similar to HGTV. If you must have HGTV, I'm not sure what other streaming platforms might carry it. You can always go the HTPC route, or just hook up a laptop to your TV and stream HGTV using the HULU website.

Yeah, I showed my wife the other channels but it's not to her liking. Want to keep things as easy/simple as possible so htpc would be the very last resort. thanks for the suggestion.
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post #422 of 1155 Old 01-07-2012, 11:07 AM
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Roku Tips!


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post #423 of 1155 Old 01-07-2012, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by marcusvb05 View Post

That was exactly what was relay to me when I contact roku support.

Any other else at similar price point as the roku that has hgtv available?

The PlayOn UPnP server works fine on the Roku and has HGTV content avialable through the free Hulu channel on PlayOn - I believe PO is currently running a decent special on the lifetime license for it's server - and there's 'a lot' of other content plus 3rd party plugins and scripts for PO also
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post #424 of 1155 Old 01-07-2012, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

I'm pretty sure that there are currently no BD players with that capability. Forum member RangerOne has been keeping track of 1080p Netflix devices in his TechoftheHub.com blog (see this).

Netflix just made the necessary software widely available to OEMs this summer. Netflix player support for 1080p/5.1/CC encodings will probably be in the Spring BD player models; most of the BD player manufacturers have stated that they won't update this year's models.

Talked to a Netflix rep. He said that currently there are 9 blu ray players that have the ability to stream 1080p. They are Sharp 25u, 35u and 75u. Lg's are 650, 670 and 690. Panasonic,s 110 and 210 and finally Magnavox has one the mbp-5210/fp. Do not own any of these so I can not help if this info is incorrect. Perhaps someone out there can???
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post #425 of 1155 Old 01-07-2012, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by ordo View Post


Talked to a Netflix rep. He said that currently there are 9 blu ray players that have the ability to stream 1080p. They are Sharp 25u, 35u and 75u. Lg's are 650, 670 and 690. Panasonic,s 110 and 210 and finally Magnavox has one the mbp-5210/fp. Do not own any of these so I can not help if this info is incorrect. Perhaps someone out there can???

Are there that many movies that stream in 1080p? I have the Roku, LG and an ATV2. I don't see any difference from a video perspective.

Philip
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post #426 of 1155 Old 01-07-2012, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ordo View Post

Talked to a Netflix rep. He said that currently there are 9 blu ray players that have the ability to stream 1080p. They are Sharp 25u, 35u and 75u. Lg's are 650, 670 and 690. Panasonic,s 110 and 210 and finally Magnavox has one the mbp-5210/fp. Do not own any of these so I can not help if this info is incorrect. Perhaps someone out there can???

Hi ordo, thats strange what about Panasonic 310?
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post #427 of 1155 Old 01-07-2012, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ordo View Post

Talked to a Netflix rep. He said that currently there are 9 blu ray players that have the ability to stream 1080p. They are Sharp 25u, 35u and 75u. Lg's are 650, 670 and 690. Panasonic,s 110 and 210 and finally Magnavox has one the mbp-5210/fp. Do not own any of these so I can not help if this info is incorrect. Perhaps someone out there can???

You talked to a first tier phone CSR who offered you this information? Interesting, though not what I'd consider a reliable source. I can tell you that the Viera Connect Netflix player in the Panasonic BDT-x10 series of players does not play 1080p--as an owner of the BDT110 I am absolutely certain of that, having tested it multiple times (after every firmware update). I tested its consumption of bandwidth during a specific 10 minute passage of Ong Bak 2: The Beginning (1080p consumes 30%+ more bandwidth); since then msgohan has pointed out a quick test. If you watch Let the Right One In, a Swedish film with hard English subtitles, the subtitles above the picture will be clipped off in the 1080p encoding (see the fourth pair of shots in the top spoiler-wrapped section of this post).

The list that CSR gave you is probably the list of players with 5.1 sound and/or soft subtitle/closed caption support.

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Originally Posted by pmcd View Post

Are there that many movies that stream in 1080p? I have the Roku, LG and an ATV2. I don't see any difference from a video perspective.

See this post for a comparison of Netflix 720p and 1080p encodings. The difference is clear--whether it's enough of a difference to matter is up to you .

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post #428 of 1155 Old 01-07-2012, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by marcusvb05 View Post

Got my roku2 xs a month ago to replace my cable subscription. Did a bit of research was sure that I can get hgvt with roku2. Well, come to find now that hgtv is no longer available as a channel. Hulu has hgtv but the roku2 only stream Hulu+ which does not have hgtv. Any suggestions? thx.

My suggestion is explore the Private channels. I seem to recall seeing it in one of them, perhaps Play On, they were running a $19.95/year special last week, plus a free trial.
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post #429 of 1155 Old 01-08-2012, 09:14 AM
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Got a Roku XS and it is working out nicely. The USB Media Channel let's me play Blu-Ray MKV files perfectly. If this thing had YouTube it'd be damn-near perfect.
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post #430 of 1155 Old 01-08-2012, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by SeanFloyd View Post

Got a Roku XS and it is working out nicely. The USB Media Channel let's me play Blu-Ray MKV files perfectly. If this thing had YouTube it'd be damn-near perfect.

There's a Youtube plugin in the NokNok channel - and the PlayOn UPnP server has Youtube also - but PlayOn is a pay-for service
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post #431 of 1155 Old 01-08-2012, 10:11 AM
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Can you get a PlayOn channel for the Roku now? AFAIK, the few private PlayOn channels that were created have been "banned" by Roku. Only those people who had it installed prior to the ban have access to it. Or has Roku lifted the ban now?

If it's still banned, you may still be able to get it. I do know that the source code for the channel was being freely distributed there for a while, allowing people to load it to their box in developer mode or even re-publish the channel using new channel codes. Roku said previously they'll remove these re-published channels as they become aware of them though. At any rate, based on my past experience I've found PlayOn to be a bit unreliable on Roku. I haven't used it in ages though, so maybe it's better now.
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post #432 of 1155 Old 01-08-2012, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post


See this post for a comparison of Netflix 720p and 1080p encodings. The difference is clear--whether it's enough of a difference to matter is up to you .

The issue I was more interested in was how many Netflix titles are actually sent out at 1080p. If there were only a few then the whole 720p vs 1080p issue is academic. In many ways the issue is the same with TV broadcasters who never, as far as I know, broadcast in 1080p.

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post #433 of 1155 Old 01-08-2012, 03:45 PM
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The issue I was more interested in was how many Netflix titles are actually sent out at 1080p. If there were only a few then the whole 720p vs 1080p issue is academic.

As far as I can tell almost all of the HD titles have 1080p encodings. There currently being 3580 of them, I haven't checked them all , but I did check 30 at random once and they all had 1080p encodings. Since then I haven't personally found one that didn't in my regular watching of HD titles, though a few which didn't have 1080p encodings were pointed out to me. (A few seasons of some anime series, for one, where some other seasons of the same series did. Another title limited to 720p for some reason is Scary Movie).

When they generate the encodings for streaming, they create several at 480p (and, if they're allowed to offer the title in HD) two at 720p and one at 1080p. My guess is that they always generate a 1080p encoding for HD titles unless the IP holder forbids it and I imagine that they might not generate one if their HD source for a title is of poor picture quality. Now 5.1 sound has more limited availability. It seems to be running about 25% of the HD titles (there've only been a couple of titles with 5.1 sound which did have HD encodings).

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In many ways the issue is the same with TV broadcasters who never, as far as I know, broadcast in 1080p.

The ATSC standard allows for 1080p24, but you're right--no broadcasters that I know of have chosen to use it. It might require more bandwidth than they're willing to give up (though intuitively it seems unlikely to require more than 1080i30); maybe there are some televisions that can't handle it (probably the issue). 1080i30 and 720p60 is what they've settled on. BDs of HDTV series are generally encoded at 1080p24, just like movies.

Is your Roku a Roku 2 XD or XS? None of the other Roku models can display the 1080p Netflix encodings; I'm fairly certain that ATV and LG BD players can't either (a couple of recent model LG LCD panels had a firmware update which added that). AVS Forum member RangerOne has been keeping track of devices whose Netflix players do have 1080p in his techofthehub.com blog, in this entry.

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post #434 of 1155 Old 01-08-2012, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

You talked to a first tier phone CSR who offered you this information? Interesting, though not what I'd consider a reliable source. I can tell you that the Viera Connect Netflix player in the Panasonic BDT-x10 series of players does not play 1080p--as an owner of the BDT110 I am absolutely certain of that, having tested it multiple times (after every firmware update). I tested its consumption of bandwidth during a specific 10 minute passage of Ong Bak 2: The Beginning (1080p consumes 30%+ more bandwidth); since then msgohan has pointed out a quick test. If you watch Let the Right One In, a Swedish film with hard English subtitles, the subtitles above the picture will be clipped off in the 1080p encoding (see the fourth pair of shots in the top spoiler-wrapped section of this post).

The list that CSR gave you is probably the list of players with 5.1 sound and/or soft subtitle/closed caption support.

See this post for a comparison of Netflix 720p and 1080p encodings. The difference is clear--whether it's enough of a difference to matter is up to you .

FWIW I was very clear to the Netflix rep about running 1080p. He seemed to know enough to make sure that I had enough bandwidth claiming that there was no reason for him to look up players otherwise. Also, I questioned him about the low end (inexpensive) Magnavox player. He laughed and said that he too thought it unlikely but was assured that it did in fact have this ability.
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post #435 of 1155 Old 01-08-2012, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by JChin View Post

Hi ordo, thats strange what about Panasonic 310?

Thought this unusual as well. It could be that they are behind as he told me that they update their info every so often. The good news is that there will be a new update in February. The bad news is that we were talking also about new HDTV's that had this ability already built into them. I for got to ask him if the February update referred to the players or the tv's.....

He admitted that most of the new HDTV's that claimed Netflix compatibility can not stream 1080p. However for those who want this feature and are buying a new tv the new updates will contain this info. Just call NETFLIX as he admitted that some models (within the same manufacturers lineup) will and some won't. He had no idea why.
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post #436 of 1155 Old 01-08-2012, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post


Is your Roku a Roku 2 XD or XS? None of the other Roku models can display the 1080p Netflix encodings; I'm fairly certain that ATV and LG BD players can't either (a couple of recent model LG LCD panels had a firmware update which added that). AVS Forum member RangerOne has been keeping track of devices whose Netflix players do have 1080p in his techofthehub.com blog, in this entry.

My Roku is a 2 XD. Seems to do very well actually. The I also have Netflix on the TV. It is hard to tell what resolution is being streamed as the TV is probably scaling things. Looks good whatever it is. How would I tell with the XD?

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post #437 of 1155 Old 01-09-2012, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ordo View Post

FWIW I was very clear to the Netflix rep about running 1080p. He seemed to know enough to make sure that I had enough bandwidth claiming that there was no reason for him to look up players otherwise. Also, I questioned him about the low end (inexpensive) Magnavox player. He laughed and said that he too thought it unlikely but was assured that it did in fact have this ability.

Well, he clearly lied about the Panasonic BD players. AFAIK, the list of 1080p capable Netflix devices are Sony Playstation3, Roku 2 XS and XD, WD TV Live & TV Live Hub, LG 2011 Smart TVs, Samsung Smart Hub enabled devices and Google TV devices with the latest update (the Logitech Revue is one). These are confirmed and you'll notice that there is no overlap with the list that you were given.

The 1080p encodings were announced in October 2010 with the introduction of the installed PS3 Netflix player; until the Roku 2 was announced last year, the PS3 was the only 1080p Netflix capable product. This past summer, Netflix released the necessary software components to OEMs for adding the capability and a few more devices were updated. At this point it seems unlikely that any further devices will be updated, but I'd be surprised if any of this year's crop of devices with Netflix players weren't 1080p capable.

But hey--don't let what I say stop you. Believe your phone CSR and buy something from his list.

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post #438 of 1155 Old 01-09-2012, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by pmcd View Post

My Roku is a 2 XD. Seems to do very well actually. The I also have Netflix on the TV. It is hard to tell what resolution is being streamed as the TV is probably scaling things. Looks good whatever it is. How would I tell with the XD?

Play Let the Right One In (excellent movie, BTW). It's in Swedish with hard English subtitles on both the top and bottom of the picture, which is 2.35:1 AR, letterboxed. Subtitles on the top have their first line in the upper black letterbox bar with just the descenders dipping into the picture; any 2nd line will be entirely overlaid at the top of the picture. The 1080p encoding has a bug in that the first lines of subtitles at the top don't appear. Here are two shots of the same frame of the film, the first at 720p and the 2nd at 1080p:
http://img542.imageshack.us/img542/2...s31080high.png
http://img683.imageshack.us/img683/5...31080xhigh.png (I got this test from forum member msgohan, who acquired and posted those images). Of course at some point Netflix may fix that at which time some other test will have to be devised, if possible. Only the PS3 will tell you which encoding you're looking at (with the overlay seen in the upper lefthand corner of those pictures); actually the Xbox does as well, but it currently cannot display the 1080p encodings.

Note that to get the 1080p encoding your connection to Netflix's servers will have to have bandwidth to sustain about 7 Mbps (that's if what you're watching averages the maximum 5.1 Mbps; for some titles you may get the 1080p encodings with less).

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post #439 of 1155 Old 01-09-2012, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

Note that to get the 1080p encoding your connection to Netflix's servers will have to have bandwidth to sustain about 7 Mbps (that's if what you're watching averages the maximum 5.1 Mbps; for some titles you may get the 1080p encodings with less).

I know we have had this conversation before - but I don't think the adaptive streaming needs this kind of headroom. I think it will give you the stream your current bandwidth can support.

Today on my ROKU XS I checked 'Let the Right One In' on my 6.1 Mbps dsl (6.1Mbps is what it tests at) and sure enough the top line of the subtitles is missing.

Attached is a tomato 10 minute average 'Let the Right One In' also attached is your favorite Ong Bak 2 clip (5 - 15 minutes) also from today - as you can see both are maxing out my DSL connection and averaging over 6Mbps over the 10 minutes - I believe I am getting the 1080P stream on both using my ROKU 2.
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post #440 of 1155 Old 01-09-2012, 11:00 PM
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Here in the tomato chart for about 15minutes later from 'Let the right one drop in'. Now the buffer is filled you can see the peaks and troughs but it is still averaging 5.4 Mbps which is enough for 1080P video and 5.1 audio (and the top line of the subtitles is still missing).
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post #441 of 1155 Old 01-10-2012, 11:34 AM
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undecided, I stand by my opinion. Netflix flatly states that 1080p requires a sustained 8 Mbps (probably covering their asses) but I admit that you can get it with less, if the video in the scene doesn't get so busy that the encoder has to use every little bit. Let the Right One In has almost no action scenes--the stream itself probably never or rarely hits 5.1 Mbps even at 1080p. There's a scene near the end at a swimming pool where it gets pretty active for a while but other than that there are only moments high motion activity.

What 10 minute period are you looking at, by the way? Also, what device are you viewing it with? I'm going to run it for the 14 minutes near the beginning to get the average of minutes 5-14.

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post #442 of 1155 Old 01-10-2012, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

Netflix flatly states that 1080p requires a sustained 8 Mbps (probably covering their asses) but I admit that you can get it with less, if the video in the scene doesn't get so busy that the encoder has to use every little bit.

When I had 6 Mbps DSL (tested out between 5.1 Mbps and 5.4 Mbps) I could bounce into the PS3 highest quality level but never stay there for any period of time. I'd guess 10% or less of the time.

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post #443 of 1155 Old 01-10-2012, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

When I had 6 Mbps DSL (tested out between 5.1 Mbps and 5.4 Mbps) I could bounce into the PS3 highest quality level but never stay there for any period of time. I'd guess 10% or less of the time.

Which makes sense to me. I don't think that it requires any specific amount of bandwidth headroom; I think that it switches encodings in response to buffer levels. If the rate at which content is received drops lower than the rate of consumption, then the buffer will start emptying out and the player will switch to a lower bit rate encoding before it completely runs out; if the buffer is staying full, it switches to a higher bit rate one. There could be multiple reasons for the rate of content reception to drop; available connection bandwidth not high enough, Netflix's servers being hammered and not adapting quickly, etc. The algorithm is probably not as simple as that, but my guess is that that's the basic gist of it.

I did that test of Let the Right One In and its bit rate stays surprisingly high throughout--around 5.4 Mbps average (392.93 MB). Ong Bak 2 on the other hand, averages 6.3 Mbps for the high-action martial arts sequenc3e in minutes 5 through 14 (449.35 MB) but drops down to 3.5 Mbps for the 10 minutes after that (326.28 MB). Since the amount of data consumed in those 10 minutes includes an unplayed buffer (129 seconds on the PS3 as I recall) Let the Right One In's 392.93 MB for 729 seconds of media works out to 4.3 Mbps average; you might be able to stay on top of that with a 6 Mbps connection to the server (6 Mbps being 4.3 Mbps + 40% headroom).

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post #444 of 1155 Old 01-10-2012, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

When I had 6 Mbps DSL (tested out between 5.1 Mbps and 5.4 Mbps) I could bounce into the PS3 highest quality level but never stay there for any period of time. I'd guess 10% or less of the time.

My DSL is rated as UP TO 7.1 Mbps DSL - which I know I am not getting. It regularly tests at 6.1 - 6.2 Mbps (Vudu Speed Test and others) and the modem reports it is sync'ing at about 6.7 - 6.8 Mbps which would be consistent with 6.1 - 6.2 Mbps actual download rates.

As you can see from tomato realtime measurements my download streaming is averaging over 6Mbps over 10 minute periods on both 'Let the Right One In' and 'Ong Bak 2'. I find it hard to beleive that Netflix would be feeding me 6Mbps over a 10 minutes and not be sending the 1080P/5.1 stream which averages 5.1Mbps.....This would seem to be supported by the missing top line in 'Let the Right One In' subtitles.

I guess it is academic in the end - I am happy with the quality I am getting from my 6Mbps DSL with the ROKU 2 on Netflix streaming. I think it is 1080P - but if its not..... well I have no way of really knowing!

Device is a ROKU 2 XS.
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post #445 of 1155 Old 01-10-2012, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

Since the amount of data consumed in those 10 minutes includes an unplayed buffer (129 seconds on the PS3 as I recall)

You are making the assumption that the adaptive streaming algorithm always fills the buffer first and therefore falls back to a lower stream if it can't keep a 129 second (from your number for the PS3) full.

I really doubt that is the case. I am sure that there is a maximum and minimum buffer size for each device and the algorithm manages the stream to keep the buffer within these numbers. However I really doubt the algorithm would require keeping 2 minutes in buffer (I am not even sure if the ROKU 2 has enough spare local memory to buffer 2 minutes of a 5.1 Mbps second stream). I would think it more likely the alogorithm would want to keep maybe 30 seconds (admittedly a wild guess - which could be high or low) buffered and then source the highest stream the download can support.
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post #446 of 1155 Old 01-10-2012, 04:24 PM
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OK so according to this teardown the ROKU 2 has 256MB (2Gb) of RAM - so it would have enough memory to buffer 120 seconds of a 5.1 Mbps stream.

I would still be surprised if the algorithm required keeping a complete 2 minute buffer full (if that is what it has) at the expense of dropping to a lower quality stream.

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post #447 of 1155 Old 01-10-2012, 05:44 PM
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You are making the assumption that the adaptive streaming algorithm always fills the buffer first and therefore falls back to a lower stream if it can't keep a 129 second (from your number for the PS3) full.

No--that's not the assumption. The ideal algorithm wouldn't try to keep the buffer full and the buffer staying full for a prolong period of time would indicate that it should shift to a higher bit rate, higher quality stream (if available). A switch to a lower quality stream would only occur after the buffer dropped below some low-water mark.
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I really doubt that is the case. I am sure that there is a maximum and minimum buffer size for each device and the algorithm manages the stream to keep the buffer within these numbers. However I really doubt the algorithm would require keeping 2 minutes in buffer (I am not even sure if the ROKU 2 has enough spare local memory to buffer 2 minutes of a 5.1 Mbps second stream). I would think it more likely the alogorithm would want to keep maybe 30 seconds (admittedly a wild guess - which could be high or low) buffered and then source the highest stream the download can support.

I don't know about 30 seconds, but some low-water mark (I wrote the comment above before I read this part of your message ). If you filled up the buffer before you started streaming and the maximum speed you ever got was the average speed of the stream, dropping below that speed for a short while would empty the buffer a little. If you never exceeded the average speed, eventually the buffer would empty out and you'd have to pause and re-buffer, thus the need for a low-water mark. If your connection bandwidth fluctuated and spent more time below the average stream speed than above it, you'd still eventually dip below the low water-mark.

Less action oriented films would have 1080p/5.1 streams with average bit rates which would fit comfortably within 6 Mbps; films with occasional short periods of high action (including relatively sedate scenes featuring lots of moving objects, like a casual stroll in pouring rain) might empty your buffer out some, but when they returned to that lower average bit rate the buffer would start to fill up again.

If the player filled the buffer and your connection bandwidth stayed rock-solid at or above the average stream speed of the highest bit rate encoding, then you'd stay in that encoding. It's only when connection bandwidth fluctuates that things get difficult.

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post #448 of 1155 Old 01-10-2012, 07:12 PM
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OK so according to this teardown the ROKU 2 has 256MB (2Gb) of RAM - so it would have enough memory to buffer 120 seconds of a 5.1 Mbps stream.

I'd been meaning to test the buffer size of the Roku and just did it (removed the network cable and timed how long it continued to play with a stopwatch). I got 126 seconds, but I probably didn't start the stopwatch in a very precisely; it took two hands to yank the cable out.

It was kind of cool--at the end it put up a progress bar labelled "Loading, please wait" (or something like that) and sat there without the bar filling up. I plugged the cable back in, it filled the buffer with low quality video and continued, ramping back up to top quality (I was watching the first episode of Being Human (UK)).

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post #449 of 1155 Old 01-10-2012, 11:06 PM
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If the player filled the buffer and your connection bandwidth stayed rock-solid at or above the average stream speed of the highest bit rate encoding, then you'd stay in that encoding. It's only when connection bandwidth fluctuates that things get difficult.

I think you are right - with solid connection it looks like I can maintain the 1080P/5.1 streams with a ~ 6Mbps DSL connection. At least that's what it seems from the 'Let the Right One In' missing top line subtitles....

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Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

I'd been meaning to test the buffer size of the Roku and just did it (removed the network cable and timed how long it continued to play with a stopwatch). I got 126 seconds, but I probably didn't start the stopwatch in a very precisely; it took two hands to yank the cable out.

It was kind of cool--at the end it put up a progress bar labelled "Loading, please wait" (or something like that) and sat there without the bar filling up. I plugged the cable back in, it filled the buffer with low quality video and continued, ramping back up to top quality (I was watching the first episode of Being Human (UK)).

Good to know - I will try the same with my ROKU 2 to see if I have different buffer size with my slower DSL connection.

Thanks
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post #450 of 1155 Old 01-21-2012, 02:06 AM
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are you guys having issues with not having the netflix audio/subtitles on the roku2? started for me 2 days ago. first none of the title said hd, then that came back thursday. but the audio/subtitles still aren't available. talked with a netflix rep he's clueless on the issue. i noticed the same thing on the xbox 360 with netflix. just checking to see if you guys knew anything more on when it would be back? hate not having dolby digital plus!
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