Anyone notice a drop in video quality on Netflix? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 08-23-2012, 01:28 AM - Thread Starter
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For the last several days, I've been driving myself crazy trying to pinpoint the source of the poor video quality that I've been seeing on Netflix. I was thinking at first that it might be one of the new pieces of gear in my video chain or possibly even the results of my latest grayscale calibration because the drop in quality just happened to coincide with these changes.

However, finally fed up, I decided to try out Amazon Prime. I streamed X-files on both Netflix and Amazon (same episodes) and I've come to the conclusion that about 90% of the video issues I'm seeing are a direct result of Netflix. These problems NEVER existed on Netflix before. They are new.

I am seeing significant compression artifacting. False contouring a.k.a. color banding. Bad pixelation.

It appears to be worse on some types of content than others, but nothing seems completely immune.

Anyone else notice this drop in quality?

I'm about this close to dropping Netflix altogether and switching to Amazon exclusively.

P.S.

My internet connection is not the problem. I've got enough bandwidth to stream 1080p from Vudu with no problem. Last time I checked, I was consistently pulling 15Mbps.
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post #2 of 19 Old 08-23-2012, 09:01 AM
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I wish I could answer this questions for you, but Netflix isn't worth the $8.00 dollars a month anymore wink.gif.

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post #3 of 19 Old 08-23-2012, 09:22 AM
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@gusgus: I would love to know how many others are coming to that conclusion.

@gremmy: When I had Netflix streaming, visual artifacts were due to low transmission bitrates from Netflix that occurred due to Internet traffic congestion. Netflix will lower the bitrate if it detects congested throughput between you and their servers. Your Internet service speed may not matter if their servers are the culprit. There was a little bar-graph quality meter in the Netflix interface that showed what type of quality I was getting -- the best quality (highest bitrate) was when all the bars were lit. When there was only 1 or two bars the PQ was crappy and not worth watching.

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post #4 of 19 Old 08-23-2012, 09:39 AM
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@gusgus: I would love to know how many others are coming to that conclusion.

Me 2. I've been renting more movies from blockbuster than I use to. I don't mind spending more $$ for more selection. Hell, I wouldn't mind paying $20 or more a month to Netflix if they were to update their content (I'm paying about $70 a month to DirecTV). This is something, which will be very difficult for them to do now since they've lost so much $$$, and everyone else is pretty much wanting to do their own streaming as well.

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post #5 of 19 Old 08-23-2012, 11:17 AM
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I dropped the streaming and retained the disk rental when they separated the two businesses. I always thought it would be a huge mistake for them to suddenly push aside the disk rentals like a poor step-child and put all the eggs in streaming -- especially when the content providers woke up and wanted most of the pie for themselves. I'm glad Quikster never saw the light of day.

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post #6 of 19 Old 08-23-2012, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm getting Netflix's best feed, as far as I can tell. The image quality is still very poor. The only thing that looks okay are cartoons (because they are bright and don't have smooth color gradations).

And as I mentioned, Prime looks great in comparison. Unfortunately I really hate the Prime interface, but I guess I can live with it.
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post #7 of 19 Old 08-23-2012, 02:04 PM
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Give Netflix a call with your problem. What can it hurt?

- kelson h

The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of the low price is forgotten . . . life is too short to drink bad wine

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post #8 of 19 Old 08-23-2012, 06:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Give Netflix a call with your problem. What can it hurt?

Good point. I guess I'll give their customer service a shot.
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post #9 of 19 Old 08-24-2012, 08:01 AM
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What are you using to stream? Have you tried your streamer directly to the display device? Have you tried a different streamer to eliminate the original as the problem?

All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Movies

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post #10 of 19 Old 08-24-2012, 06:06 PM
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Have you checked your Video Quality setting in your Netflix account on the website? (It's set to Medium by default to save bandwidth data usage costs)

If you change it to high your video should start off poor quality but increase to one of the higher qualities with 20 seconds or so. (So dont judge it too soon)
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post #11 of 19 Old 08-26-2012, 08:09 AM
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We just signed up for the free NetFlix gig and we to are disappointed with the video quality, but we are much more disappointed with the selection. I went into the NetFlix account settings and changed to their highest quality video streaming.

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post #12 of 19 Old 08-26-2012, 08:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pronghorn/az View Post

We just signed up for the free NetFlix gig and we to are disappointed with the video quality, but we are much more disappointed with the selection. I went into the NetFlix account settings and changed to their highest quality video streaming.
Jeff

Since the day Netflix decided to change their stream + DVD plan, they have been getting worse simply due to cash. They do not have the cash to support / get what they need anymore. All the big networks are starting their own streaming business too. Netflix will be like the Roman Empire. I do not believe the will last much longer. I remember when Netflix CEO was admired, and he even was labeled as one of the top CEOs by Forbes magazine. I wonder what is he thinking now?

However, I think if Netflix was to combine DVD+Streaming again for $10 bucks they'd get more business even with their lack of content and poor streaming quality, but I don't think that will happen any time soon.

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post #13 of 19 Old 08-26-2012, 09:36 AM
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Is there an alternative? Was looking at Amazon Prime. But just started this whole streaming thing so not sure.

Jeff
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post #14 of 19 Old 08-26-2012, 09:50 AM
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I'm fairly happy with Prime's selection, but consider it "free" since I joined prime for my shopping addiction!

I got addicted to Sons of Anarchy and The Tudors on Prime. They also have a large selection of science and documentary. you should be able to search the catalog online and see if it's up to your liking.

Downside is their UI. No real "queue" like Netflix. On my Panasonic Blu-Ray, their app don't even remember which episodes of a series have been watched. That's a pain.
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post #15 of 19 Old 08-26-2012, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pronghorn/az View Post

Is there an alternative? Was looking at Amazon Prime. But just started this whole streaming thing so not sure.
Jeff

Right now for online streaming you've got: OLDFlix, Vudu, Amazon Prime, and Hulu. Vudu is a pay-per-view, but the audio and video quality is probably the best out of the online streaming services. Thereafter, there are some programming that you can watch via YouTube.

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post #16 of 19 Old 08-26-2012, 10:01 AM
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I have a Sony S590. There is an Amazon Video content in the menu but can't remember if it's Prime or not at the moment (senior!). I did the VUDU internet connection test and it came out as 5868 download speed and a 754 upload speed. Not stellar by any means, but we live in a rural area.

Jeff
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post #17 of 19 Old 08-26-2012, 02:08 PM
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I can certainly understand complaints with Netflix streaming catalog and price changes etc.... But I have no issues with the quality of the picture on my Pioneer Kuro or my Panasonic plasma. It's as good as almost all of the channels on my cable feed which is quite good indeed.

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post #18 of 19 Old 08-26-2012, 06:43 PM
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For me it looks the same as always through my Xbox360, Roku, and Panasonic Blu-ray player, just okay. I was never impressed with Netflix's picture quality but it satisfied the lazy creature in me.
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post #19 of 19 Old 08-27-2012, 07:07 AM - Thread Starter
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I am using a PS3 for streaming.

Video quality is set to the highest setting on Netflix, same as always.

Yes, I have tried running the PS3 directly to the TV -- that's how I determined that the problem was not elsewhere in my video chain. There are multiple things going on, but the biggest seems to be the feed from Netflix itself.

Still haven't called Netflix customer service. Just haven't had time.
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