Originally Posted by mproper
If you think it was VHS quality as your post implies you were doing something wrong (wrong device, slow connection, wrong configuration). You could have come here for advice, and we'd have helped you out (or you could have spent less than $100 for a Roku 2 and enjoyed the higher quality 1080p streams and 5.1 sound). Honestly , you should probably should just stick with Blu-ray.
I have a DSL 6 Mb/s line. There are lots of titles on Netflix streaming titles that look like VHS, and/or have very noticeable motion artifacts.
I usually stream via an xbox 360 to a 720p Plasma. Many HD titles look good on my 50" screen when I am seated 13-15 feet away from the plasma. However, even HD titles on a 110" screen via a 1080p PJ (I sit 13' away from that screen) look mediocre at best when streamed via my HTPC.
I have 2 problems with Netflix:
1. Content almost always looks different on a PC vs Xbox (and to make it fair, I can sample the same material when seated a distance of 1.5 times the screen width)
2. They (as do other Steam-based content providers) tout HD with such low bit rates. But I guess the masses see 720p or 1080p and think bit rates don't play a part.