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Netflix streaming quality - Page 74

post #2191 of 5444
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post

I have the BDP-s370, and have not had the problems that you have. Must be a user issue.

Are any of the "Manage Video Quality" page for your account?
post #2192 of 5444
I changed from the lowest to the highest quality for Netflix, and actually the BDP-s370 does not skip like it did with the lowest. The Roku XD that we have even likes the higher setting. At first, I thought because we had the 12meg package with U-Verse, that the 370 did not want to behave, but it was just changing the bandwidth, that fixed it. That and I run the 370 in 1080p on our Panny Plasma. The Roku is always in 720p on our Sony LCD, and actually I like the picture on our Plasma a whole lot better.
post #2193 of 5444
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Mack View Post

I have a Sony 370 at work and my friend has one and NF looks great on both

Compared to what? What other devices are you running to compare it to? I find the image soft at best when compared to my other streamers -that 's all. When I first got the 370 I had it in the same setup as my 2550 so comparisons were easy, the 370 was lacking detail. Now it's relegated to a tertiary system that is little used for streaming.
post #2194 of 5444
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post

I have the BDP-s370, and have not had the problems that you have. Must be a user issue.

I seriously doubt that..... I've been doing HD TV since 2001, and have 4 different 7.1 and 5.1 AV setups in my home and have installed a great many others. The Sony as a streamer is just a poor product. As a BD unit it's fine.
post #2195 of 5444
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt L View Post


Compared to what? What other devices are you running to compare it to? I find the image soft at best when compared to my other streamers -that 's all. When I first got the 370 I had it in the same setup as my 2550 so comparisons were easy, the 370 was lacking detail. Now it's relegated to a tertiary system that is little used for streaming.

Ps3
post #2196 of 5444
Matt, I am not that critical, when it comes to PQ, as some make it all out to be. I can tell the difference between providers, when it comes to hd programming. As for the Sony & the Roku, I can tell the difference between them, but I do not begrudge my choice in which set has which unit.

As for the Sony, I have never had any of the problems with it, when watching blu-rays, or streaming video. A lot has to do with quality of the stream, which I would say that Netflix has come a long way in a short while, in allowing the U.S., now to be able to change the quality that a person wants.

One thing that I have noticed, is that Netflix, will use varying bit rate on their streams, depending on what is happening. Watching The Expendables, some scenes are running 6meg, others around 1.2, so yes they are doing some creative algorithm, when it comes to their service.
post #2197 of 5444
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Mack View Post

Yep. Same thing. Very frustrating and bordering on unwatchable. If it were YouTube and free, sure but not for a pay service

Just catching up on this thread......
I wasn't streaming for a week (vacation), and when I returned home I noticed consistent frame skipping/stutters on material that was flawless previously (original Star Trek, Hawaii 5-0).
I'm using the embedded Samsung application on a "C" series panel. I'm familiar with the periodic stutter/cadence problems on some material due to encoding errors, but this new behavior I'm seeing is random and frequent enough to be very annoying. At first I thought I'd accidentally activated the Samsung motion processing and that it was having difficulty with the streaming material, but that's not the case.
It's definitely a new behavior (for this program material anyway....), and it's not related to my network performance (consistent 12 Mbps).
post #2198 of 5444
I called Netflix and they blamed it on Samsung 100%. "It is not Netflix" I was told. It has become so irritating that I may just cancel my $26.00 a month expense today. Thank you Netflix for making my decision to save some money, easy.
post #2199 of 5444
Given that it took Samsung several months to get the new Netflix interface working right I'm not surprised Samsung would get the blame. According to the thread on the C5500 over on the Bluray players second and Samsung support on CNET other players like the LG and Panasonic had the same problems but fixed it in days after release. There still is a bug that if you play a DVD or Bluray and then go to Netflix the audio won't play on a stream. You have reboot the player or briefly play an MP4 video clip off the USB drive.
post #2200 of 5444
Just to confirm what others have said, I've seen some jitter on the ps3 now when it plays at X-High/HD. Anything below that didn't seem to have the the problem. It's not terribly noticeable though. Not sure if it's a result of the ps3 firmware update or the Netflix app update.
post #2201 of 5444
Quote:
Originally Posted by theslug View Post

Just to confirm what others have said, I've seen some jitter on the ps3 now when it plays at X-High/HD. Anything below that didn't seem to have the the problem. It's not terribly noticeable though. Not sure if it's a result of the ps3 firmware update or the Netflix app update.

Where do I find X-High/HD setting?
post #2202 of 5444
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackB View Post

Where do I find X-High/HD setting?

It's not a setting. It's a quality indicator. Press "info" or whatever it is on your remote and it'll pop up in the upper left (along with the time remaining and stuff like that).

From worst to best quality, you should see one of the following:
  • Low/SD
  • Medium/SD
  • High/SD
  • Low/HD
  • Medium/HD
  • High/HD
  • X-High/HD

Of course you'll only see the "HD" indicators for HD material. Usually mine starts right off in Medium or High/SD then ramps up within about 10 seconds to X-High/HD. It uses adaptive technology, so if you leave it up, you might see it switching back and forth between them, depending on your connection.
post #2203 of 5444
Quote:
Originally Posted by mproper View Post


It's not a setting. It's a quality indicator. Press "info" or whatever it is on your remote and it'll pop up in the upper left (along with the time remaining and stuff like that).

From worst to best quality, you should see one of the following:

[*]Low-SD[*]Medium-SD[*]High-SD[*]Low-HD[*]Medium-HD[*]High-HD[*]X-High-HD

Has anyone with a Boxee Box ever figured out how to get information like this?
post #2204 of 5444
Quote:
Originally Posted by met_fan View Post

Has anyone with a Boxee Box ever figured out how to get information like this?

Or a Rokou2 box?
post #2205 of 5444
Other than the PC Netflix player, I haven't heard of any others which will give you realtime information like this while a title is playing. It seems likely that others may have hidden debugging displays that no one's exposed yet (or that I just haven't heard about). There's a debug mode on the Roku that you can activate which used to tell you the speed of the first encoding used when you started a title (still works for the Amazon player) but doesn't do anything in the Netflix player today. (To get into the screen to activate Roku's debug mode, hit HOME 5 times, REW 3 times and FF twice, very quickly. You can also set a limit to the stream speed).
post #2206 of 5444
Yeah, it appears they removed the indicator from Roku 2's, based on what I'm reading. That is disappointing. Without knowing what quality you are getting, how are you supposed to know if you have bandwidth/speed/network issues or if the encode just is bad?

All we'll get is posts of "the quality sucks" and not be able to tell if it's a subjective "sucks" or if it's a hardware/network/bandwidth issue and they're not receiving the highest quality available.

And of course I told my parents to get a Roku 2 that I'm going up this weekend to hook up and now I won't be able to tell what quality they are able to achieve with their sortof-slow DSL connection (short of eyeballing it based on how my completely different setup, TV, configuration and PS3 looks for a particular title).

**sigh**
post #2207 of 5444
Quote:
Originally Posted by mproper View Post

Yeah, it appears they removed the indicator from Roku 2's, based on what I'm reading. That is disappointing. Without knowing what quality you are getting, how are you supposed to know if you have bandwidth/speed/network issues or if the encode just is bad?

All we'll get is posts of "the quality sucks" and not be able to tell if it's a subjective "sucks" or if it's a hardware/network/bandwidth issue and they're not receiving the highest quality available.

And of course I told my parents to get a Roku 2 that I'm going up this weekend to hook up and now I won't be able to tell what quality they are able to achieve with their sortof-slow DSL connection (short of eyeballing it based on how my completely different setup, TV, configuration and PS3 looks for a particular title).

**sigh**

it's very obvious when the quality is SD and when it is also higher HD quality. With the adaptive bitrate it starts at a low SD quality and quickly ramps up to the highest HD quality if the bandwidth is available.
post #2208 of 5444
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronwt View Post

it's very obvious when the quality is SD and when it is also higher HD quality. With the adaptive bitrate it starts at a low SD quality and quickly ramps up to the highest HD quality if the bandwidth is available.

Yes, I know how it works and the difference between SD and HD is noticeable. The difference between Low HD and Medium HD is not as noticeable. The difference between High HD and X-High HD is not as noticeable to the naked eye (at least to me).

I'll obviously be able to tell if it's 480 vs 1080. I may not be able to tell if it's low 720p vs medium 720p for example.
post #2209 of 5444
Quote:
Originally Posted by mproper View Post

Yeah, it appears they removed the indicator from Roku 2's, based on what I'm reading. That is disappointing. Without knowing what quality you are getting, how are you supposed to know if you have bandwidth/speed/network issues or if the encode just is bad?

All we'll get is posts of "the quality sucks" and not be able to tell if it's a subjective "sucks" or if it's a hardware/network/bandwidth issue and they're not receiving the highest quality available.

Given their use of adaptive bit rate tech, they'd have to do something like the PS3's overlay; doesn't seem like that big of a deal to me, but I don't know their system. They often start with a crap low bit rate encoding (sadly, they don't ramp up nearly as quickly as the PS3 does--perhaps they'll work on that); would it be at all helpful to know that bit rate? You really want to know the bit rate of the encoding that it can maintain in the available bandwidth on its connection to Netflix' servers, the one that it eventually ramps up to. The old system would test and try to figure that out, then tell you the bit rate of that initially chosen encoding, as well as the speed that they tested: "Playing a 3800 Kbps HD stream on your 12 Mbps connection" or something like that. As I said, that still works in the Amazon player.
Quote:


And of course I told my parents to get a Roku 2 that I'm going up this weekend to hook up and now I won't be able to tell what quality they are able to achieve with their sortof-slow DSL connection (short of eyeballing it based on how my completely different setup, TV, configuration and PS3 looks for a particular title).

You can take your PS3 with you with which to test the connection. Did you go to your parents' last weekend and help them self-install their connection as planned, or did they not get the equipment in time?
post #2210 of 5444
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

You can take your PS3 with you with which to test the connection.

I realized later that you don't need your PS3--you can play a title on a PC and hit SHIFT-CTRL-ALT-D to see the bit rate of the encoding that's playing. (Hit SHIFT-CTRL-ALT-D before blowing the video up to fill the screen; you might have to hit it a few times before you get a response).

I did that today and got some unusual bit rate numbers. Before it seemed to follow the pattern stated in that old "encoding for streaming" blog entry, but now I saw a maximum bit of 1750 Kbps for SD and 3600 Kbps for HD. Formerely those would have been 1500 Kpbs and 3800 Kpbs.
post #2211 of 5444
Different devices can perform differently on the same Internet connection though. The ps3 receives different Streams than the other devices. Same for the pc. There's no way to know for sure, but they're likely being delivered from different machines in the server farms.

The ps3 would be the best test for your scenario if you're looking to get a quality info display that is equivalent to the roku2. They play the same streams and no other devices play those particular streams.

Edit: oops, just realized who I was replying to. You're probably aware of this but I'll leave the post here in case anyone else finds it interesting.
post #2212 of 5444
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

You can take your PS3 with you with which to test the connection. Did you go to your parents' last weekend and help them self-install their connection as planned, or did they not get the equipment in time?

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

I realized later that you don't need your PS3--you can play a title on a PC and hit SHIFT-CTRL-ALT-D to see the bit rate of the encoding that's playing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

The ps3 receives different Streams than the other devices. Same for the pc.

Thanks for the advice guys. Michael - I didn't go last weekend so I'm heading up today.

I talked to my dad last night and unfortunately, the Verizon tech came out and said the signal is fine to the pole outside the house, but then there's a ton of interference on the cable/wire that leaves there and goes into the house. That wire/cable from the pole to the house is about 40 years old (hasn't been replaced since they moved in). The tech said they can expect about .5Mbps until they come out next week (after I am gone) and replace that wire.

Anyways, I'm going up this weekend to hook up the DSL kit they got, but the signal won't be anywhere near as good as it will be next week (after they replace the wire).

Therefore I'm not even going to bother taking my PS3 or anything. I'll just have them run a bandwidth test after they get the new wiring and make a judgement call. If questionable, I'll be going back for Thanksgiving and Bambi season, so can check it out then.
post #2213 of 5444
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

Different devices can perform differently on the same Internet connection though. The ps3 receives different Streams than the other devices. Same for the pc. There's no way to know for sure, but they're likely being delivered from different machines in the server farms.

The ps3 would be the best test for your scenario if you're looking to get a quality info display that is equivalent to the roku2. They play the same streams and no other devices play those particular streams.

Edit: oops, just realized who I was replying to. You're probably aware of this but I'll leave the post here in case anyone else finds it interesting.

I think that there are three sets of encodings. The oldest is VC-1 w/WMA stereo sound and I think that only the Xbox and TiVo are still using that. The PC player uses yet another set, probably VC-1 w/WMA sound as well, but arranged for Netflix's adaptive bit rate scheme. The third and most prevalently used set is AVC w/DD2.0 sound, which originated with the PS3, arranged for adaptive bit rate streaming. There's a set of DD+ 5.1 sound encodings which can be used with that final set. That set is also used by Roku 2 and the Panasonic DMP-BDTx10s and no doubt a host of other devices (possibly everything other than the Xbox and TiVo).

Why would you think that it's likely that they're being delivered from different servers? I can't think of a single reason why they would do that.

It doesn't matter insofar as testing is concerned because all three sets used to have encodings at the same bit rates--the averages comes out the same for 720p and SD in the bandwidth consumption tests that I've run. The PC set may have recently changed, given the numbers that I saw yesterday. In any case, mproper only needs to know the highest encoding he's getting from the servers local to his parents on their network service.
post #2214 of 5444
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

Why would you think that it's likely that they're being delivered from different servers?

Load balancing in massive CDNs is sometimes accomplished based upon somewhat disjoint caching between nodes (or sets of nodes). Granted, I'm not anywhere close to an expert on the subject and don't have any knowledge of exactly how this CDN is operating. They tend to keep that kind of proprietary technology secret.
post #2215 of 5444
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

Load balancing in massive CDNs is sometimes accomplished based upon somewhat disjoint caching between nodes (or sets of nodes). Granted, I'm not anywhere close to an expert on the subject and don't have any knowledge of exactly how this CDN is operating. They tend to keep that kind of proprietary technology secret.

I certainly realize that they have to be load balancing, but doing it based on the set of encoding seems unlikely and pretty expensive; intuitively, it seems like you'd need more servers to do it.

Who know? I suppose there's a chance that you're right, but I still doubt it.
post #2216 of 5444
Ya might wanna download the free version of "Expression" from Microsoft to see what the Silverlight codec has to offer. Sure you can only do VC-1 with the free version but many of the options are there including DRM that one can play with thought many don't work on the free version. For instance you can take a video file and encode it with on of the server templates and it will generate 8 different streaming files from postage stamp size to 1080p. Some of the HD files are at different bitrates so they can be switched any time. One file I encoded to HD was VERY soft during any action and detailed on near still images (actor closeups). Of course it had a 1 mbps bitrate too but it didn't pixelate but just got soft. You can also create customized templates.

I've also been playing with some encodings using the WebM codec with the encoder plugin for Firefox. A 44 minute action video came in at about 900 MB few artifacts and a 720p 100 minute video at 2.3 GB. A 100 minute 1080p file with 5.1 sound at a little over 4 GB. All played fine with Firefox 6 and the Chrome browser. I don't have anything YET to play them on my HD set.
post #2217 of 5444
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

Do you mean this (apparently the interface on their 2011 BD players)?


If so, it doesn't look better in that shot (presuming we're even talking about the same UI on the PS3). Of course, that's just the top. Maybe wonderful things happen when you hit the "See All" buttons.

This is the same as Netflix UI I see on the SONY Bravia TV- hit See All and it is pretty good

The current PS3 interface is similar- but there is NO see all- and it will only show you 4-5 selections on the left to right scroll

pretty un-useable if you are trying to find something
post #2218 of 5444
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtiner View Post

Just catching up on this thread......
I wasn't streaming for a week (vacation), and when I returned home I noticed consistent frame skipping/stutters on material that was flawless previously (original Star Trek, Hawaii 5-0).
I'm using the embedded Samsung application on a "C" series panel. I'm familiar with the periodic stutter/cadence problems on some material due to encoding errors, but this new behavior I'm seeing is random and frequent enough to be very annoying. At first I thought I'd accidentally activated the Samsung motion processing and that it was having difficulty with the streaming material, but that's not the case.
It's definitely a new behavior (for this program material anyway....), and it's not related to my network performance (consistent 12 Mbps).

Well, I've verified what's changed.....
My ISP upped my BW (for free) while we were away on vacation. We had been capped at 5 Mbps, but with the change to 12 Mbps, it appears Netflix is streaming at a different level (I have no indication of what level of service I'm receiving; just that I see it shift occcasionally, for a minute or so, from HD to SD). It's 100% consistent that when I cap my quality at the Netflix site to "better quality", the skipping is gone, but HD programs aren't streaming in HD. The 5 Mbps cap must have put me somehwere between "better quality" and "best quality" where I could still get HD (perhaps 720?) but not the best HD. Now I'll have to dig through the Samsung flat panel threads..........
post #2219 of 5444
Quote:
Originally Posted by mproper View Post

Thanks for the advice guys. Michael - I didn't go last weekend so I'm heading up today.

I talked to my dad last night and unfortunately, the Verizon tech came out and said the signal is fine to the pole outside the house, but then there's a ton of interference on the cable/wire that leaves there and goes into the house. That wire/cable from the pole to the house is about 40 years old (hasn't been replaced since they moved in). The tech said they can expect about .5Mbps until they come out next week (after I am gone) and replace that wire.

Just a quick update. I got it all hooked up for them and it tested at 1.5Mbps at speedtest.net. Still waiting on them to replace the bad cable/wire going to the pole, but hopefully they are closer to 3. I decided to hold off on recommending they get a combo BD/Netflix player or a BD and separate Roku until the new wire is in this week and then make a judgement call.

I did set up their (sigh) Wii so they could at least use it. They seemed to be ok with that for a short-term solution until I tell them what to buy. Looked like crap to me of course.
post #2220 of 5444
With such a low bitrate being available, perhaps 1080p streaming is no longer even a factor when deciding on hardware. Maybe the differences in user interface become the deciding factor... In my opinion, the AppleTV2 has the best netflix interface. It is more instantly responsive to button clicks and has better screen layouts and interaction design. Yet I can't comment on how well it handles low bandwidth compared to the other streaming boxes.
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