Originally Posted by scJohn
My information is old but for 720P they had/have 2 encode rates: 2600K and 3800K. I have no idea what the encode rate is for 1080P but I would guess that it is less that 6000K based upon their recommendation of 8.0+ Mbps connection speed for 1080P.
Note: they recommend 3.0 Mbps for DVD and 5.0+ Mbps for 720P. There is a 1.5 Mbps recommendation but who would want to watch that on a TV. Maybe an IPad type device or smartphone.
This was answered back where he asked it:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott
2.6 Mbps (what the PS3 calls "Medium/HD") and 3.8 Mbps (High/HD) and 1080p at 5.1 Mbps (X-High/HD).
2.6 Mbps and 3.8 Mbps were numbers mentioned in Netflix's "Encoding for streaming
" blog entry, coming up on its 3rd anniversary--no update on that information has been posted. My measurements indicate that those numbers hold true today for embedded players and that the bit rate for the single 1080p encoding is 5.1 Mbps (1080p is currently only available on the PS3 and Roku 2). The PC encoding bit rates seem to have recently changed to 2.35 Mbps and 3.6 Mbps for 720p. Note that the quoted maximum bit rate on Netflix's "Manage Video Quality" page is 2.3 GB/hour, aka 5.1 Mbps.
The Netflixhelps Twitter account revealed some numbers for bandwidth requirements for the various encodings--the tweets are quoted here
at HackingNetflix.com. The numbers were "3Mbps for DVD quality and 5Mbps for HD quality for the duration of the film" and (in a second tweet) "5+ mbps for HD and 8+ mbps to get 1080p on the PS3". The blog entry stated that they require 40% headroom for the encoding that you get--available bandwidth has to be greater than the bit rate of the encoding to accumulate a buffer, otherwise the player would have to stop and wait any time the bandwidth dipped below that bit rate. 140% of 3.8 Mbps is 5.3 Mbps; 140% of 5.1 Mbps is 7.14 Mbps--8 Mbps is 57% headroom, which seems a bit over the top. Whatever.