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Netflix streaming quality - Page 9

post #241 of 5445
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimoHT View Post

I have a Sony KDL40W5100 and stream video from Netflix. I have streamed many movies and TV shows in SD and HD quality and always find the color depth/resolution to be less than via other sources. The sharpness of the video is fine and it streams flawlessly (e.g., no rebuffering, etc). But, blacks are quite noticeably crushed. I tried a demo HD stream from Amazon and saw the same thing.

If I am watching DVD/BluRay or DirecTV (via HDMI) or TV via off-air antenna the picture is beautiful with full color depth and no crushed blacks.

I have a 6Mb DSL service and get a consistent 5Mb.

I called Netflix and they were able to verify from their end that they were delivering their highest HD quality w/o any issues to my TV. They said a consistent 4Mb was the requirement and my service exceeded that. They suggested calling Sony.

I called Sony and they were not much help. They said that since the TV delivers the proper color depth from sources other than streaming that the issue can NOT be with the TV. I questioned whether the TV's video processing is identical with input via its LAN connection versus HDMI, RF, etc. The Sony rep said "yes." But, I don't have 100% confidence that he really knew that to be true.

In any case.... Have other experienced crushed blacks via streaming? Thoughts?

Thanks, Tim

Well, a streaming option (esp. Netflix) won't look as good as Blu-Ray or over the air HD, for sure. I would assume a DVD comparison would vary from title to title depending on the DVD and the encode quality.

For me, I find most HD stuff is comparible to what I usually get on DirecTV (maybe a few more crushed blacks and a bit more macroblocking, but not overly so). Anyways, it's acceptable, and certainly better than the pixelated mess that is CBS's NFL or CSI DirecTV.

SD stuff varies wildly, but for the most part I find it about DVD quality, give or take (taking a broad "in general" stance since there is a lot of variation).
post #242 of 5445
Quote:
Originally Posted by mproper View Post

Well, a streaming option (esp. Netflix) won't look as good as Blu-Ray or over the air HD, for sure. I would assume a DVD comparison would vary from title to title depending on the DVD and the encode quality.

For me, I find most HD stuff is comparible to what I usually get on DirecTV (maybe a few more crushed blacks and a bit more macroblocking, but not overly so). Anyways, it's acceptable, and certainly better than the pixelated mess that is CBS's NFL or CSI DirecTV.

SD stuff varies wildly, but for the most part I find it about DVD quality, give or take (taking a broad "in general" stance since there is a lot of variation).

What device(s) are you streaming to? Mine is a Sony TV KDL40W5100.
post #243 of 5445
The last couple days my streaming has been a little spotty. It'll drop from HD down to SD a lot. It's not my connection I don't think, I've done speedtest.net.
post #244 of 5445
Quote:
Originally Posted by b_scott View Post

The last couple days my streaming has been a little spotty. It'll drop from HD down to SD a lot. It's not my connection I don't think, I've done speedtest.net.

I've also had that problem using a Roku box-- several times I've rebooted the box and this has improved things.
post #245 of 5445
Quote:
Originally Posted by b_scott View Post

The last couple days my streaming has been a little spotty. It'll drop from HD down to SD a lot. It's not my connection I don't think, I've done speedtest.net.

I am not sure how much we can trust those online speed tests. In my case there is often a huge difference between different testing websites.

I pay for 8mb connections, some websites test it as 7, others as 18mb.
post #246 of 5445
I'm using PlayOn which shows the file sizes in the instant que. Most files are in the 3-4GB range but I'm wondering if that's the unthrottled size? Because my parents have a Roku and their internet connection can only support 1GB/hr maximum and yet the Netflix streaming PQ is nothing to complain about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leckig View Post

I am not sure how much we can trust those online speed tests.

The best way to test a fast connection is to download a large file and see what the sustained transfer rate is.
post #247 of 5445
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post

I'm using PlayOn which shows the file sizes in the instant que. Most files are in the 3-4GB range but I'm wondering if that's the unthrottled size? Because my parents have a Roku and their internet connection can only support 1GB/hr maximum and yet the Netflix streaming PQ is nothing to complain about.

PlayOn uses the crappiest encodes Netflix has (you can't even get the HD streams through it) so I doubt it's a good representatation since the other devices use different encodes.
post #248 of 5445
Quote:
Originally Posted by mproper View Post

PlayOn uses the crappiest encodes Netflix has (you can't even get the HD streams through it) so I doubt it's a good representatation since the other devices use different encodes.

I don't know if they're the crappiest encodes--PlayOn gets what you can get on your PC (because it's using your PC to get it), being the PC Silverlight encodings. There are no HD encodings, but some of the top quality ones aren't too bad. The best quality PC Silverlight encoding will be lower bit rate than the HD encodings. The HD encodings, when available, are definitely a big step up in PQ.
post #249 of 5445
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

I don't know if they're the crappiest encodes--PlayOn gets what you can get on your PC (because it's using your PC to get it), being the PC Silverlight encodings. There are no HD encodings, but some of the top quality ones aren't too bad. The best quality PC Silverlight encoding will be lower bit rate than the HD encodings. The HD encodings, when available, are definitely a big step up in PQ.

Maybe you are right, but my understanding was PlayOn didn't even use the Silverlight encodings and used the older ones. Does Netflix still have the non-Silverlight player that you had to opt into, or is Silverlight required now?

I am not sure though. I quit using PlayOn for Netflix after the XBOX got it (still use PlayOn for Hulu and other sources though).
post #250 of 5445
Quote:
Originally Posted by mproper View Post

Maybe you are right, but my understanding was PlayOn didn't even use the Silverlight encodings and used the older ones. Does Netflix still have the non-Silverlight player that you had to opt into, or is Silverlight required now?

I am not sure though. I quit using PlayOn for Netflix after the XBOX got it (still use PlayOn for Hulu and other sources though).

Nope--the PC player no longer gives you a choice, so the only available encodings are the Silverlight ones. It was only opt-in because the tech was new and potentially buggy. PlayOn once could not handle them, but they dealt with it. It's not clear exactly when, but in PlayOn's release notes, there's the following for the 29 July release:
Quote:


  • Fixed Netflix Silverlight playback error messaging issue.

In any case, I was watching the latest episode of Legend of the Seeker on my Xbox and paused to compare it with PC playback. The HD encoding that Xbox was playing (same one used by everything except the PC and PS3) was quite good; perhaps not the crispest 720p ever, but better than a DVD and much, much better than the best quality PC encoding.
post #251 of 5445
Well I started with the Samsung BD-P1590/1600A as my streaming device and I am really disappointed in the service. Is there a better player that could do a better job of buffering so I can get a better picture? My connection though is only about 2.2 Mbit maybe that is the biggest problem.
post #252 of 5445
After no problems, the last several days have been terrible with my Roku box. I don't say Netflix because I am having issues with Netflix, Amazon and Revision3. I have 12mbps and I am getting at least 8 everytime I check it with 10+ 99% of the time. Apple TV wireless is fast. Laptop is fast. I unhooked everything EXCEPT the ROKU and made sure and still get low quality, lots of rebuffering. I have rebooted several times and even checked with the ROKU less than 10 feet from my wireless router. Not sure what's going on but accessing the hidden menu to enable debugging shows my speeds never higher that 3, which is not accurate but even at 3, should be ok. I wrote a support email to ROKU. We'll see what happens.
post #253 of 5445
Quote:
Originally Posted by colofan View Post

Well I started with the Samsung BD-P1590/1600A as my streaming device and I am really disappointed in the service. Is there a better player that could do a better job of buffering so I can get a better picture? My connection though is only about 2.2 Mbit maybe that is the biggest problem.

I'm assuming that 2.2 Mbps is your network service speed and not the speed of the connection that you get to a Netflix server, unless the Sammy BD player gives you some way to check that. If you want to do streaming entertainment video over the Internet, I'd suggest that you upgrade to a service that's at least 5 Mbps, if Netflix is all you're interested in. There's some really high quality streaming video available (Vudu, Zune) for which I'd suggest using a service of 10 Mbps or better.
post #254 of 5445
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

I'm assuming that 2.2 Mbps is your network service speed and not the speed of the connection that you get to a Netflix server, unless the Sammy BD player gives you some way to check that. If you want to do streaming entertainment video over the Internet, I'd suggest that you upgrade to a service that's at least 5 Mbps, if Netflix is all you're interested in. There's some really high quality streaming video available (Vudu, Zune) for which I'd suggest using a service of 10 Mbps or better.

That is correct on the network speed. Is there a way to check clear to the server? The speed is all I can get since I live more in the countryside and this is a wireless connection I am going through. They claim 5 Mbps top download speed but admit that it is not sustained at that speed. I was just wondering if there was a way to buffer in enough to make this more viewable?
post #255 of 5445
Quote:
Originally Posted by colofan View Post

That is correct on the network speed. Is there a way to check clear to the server? The speed is all I can get since I live more in the countryside and this is a wireless connection I am going through. They claim 5 Mbps top download speed but admit that it is not sustained at that speed. I was just wondering if there was a way to buffer in enough to make this more viewable?

I don't know of any way that you can check the precise speed that was tested for your connection to Netflix unless your streaming device gives you a diagnostic for that. To determine what quality stream to use, a connection speed check is performed just before playback begins and the players display the result of that in the form of some number bars or "balls", possibly followed by a little "HD" logo, if the title has an HD stream and the tested speed is high enough to stream it. What are you seeing after that test (how many bars or balls out of how many possible)?

I was just checking out available rural satellite internet access services and it seems pretty bleak. Overpriced service at pathetic speeds--most providers don't offer higher than 1.5 Mbps down, and the ones which do want amazingly amounts of money for it (5 Mbps for $350/month ). Difficult to have that idyllic country lifestyle and stay on the cutting edge of communications tech.
post #256 of 5445
Quote:
Originally Posted by TSHA222 View Post

After no problems, the last several days have been terrible with my Roku box. I don't say Netflix because I am having issues with Netflix, Amazon and Revision3. I have 12mbps and I am getting at least 8 everytime I check it with 10+ 99% of the time. Apple TV wireless is fast. Laptop is fast. I unhooked everything EXCEPT the ROKU and made sure and still get low quality, lots of rebuffering. I have rebooted several times and even checked with the ROKU less than 10 feet from my wireless router. Not sure what's going on but accessing the hidden menu to enable debugging shows my speeds never higher that 3, which is not accurate but even at 3, should be ok. I wrote a support email to ROKU. We'll see what happens.

I'm coming to the conclusion that the ROKU box has some inherent problems. I know its not my connection, because everytime I have problems getting HD quality and reboot the Roku box, the problems go away--- Gotta be the box, no ? Also, I do a sustained long term speed test and always have > 15 Mbs,

Their support is worthless. They do not follow up at all.
post #257 of 5445
Are you using wireless on the Roku? My dad took his on vacation and was having issues with wireless. Two other places where it's wired I've never experienced issues streaming over 40 movies on 2-3Mbs connections. And my parents have no complaints in probably over 150 movies. IME for Netflix/Amazon streaming a wired Roku looks better and is not fussy like my Playon/WD TV Live combo. But obviously it can't do nearly as much.
post #258 of 5445
I thought it was odd that Birth of a Nation didn't have a Play button for streaming next to it in my queue, but going to the page shows streaming and I've been watching it on my computer. Makes me worry that others are this way. What gives?
post #259 of 5445
Quote:
Originally Posted by b_scott View Post

I thought it was odd that Birth of a Nation didn't have a Play button for streaming next to it in my queue, but going to the page shows streaming and I've been watching it on my computer. Makes me worry that others are this way. What gives?

It still doesn't have a PLAY button beside it in your DVD queue? When I add it to my DVD queue there's a PLAY button.
post #260 of 5445
I received the Roku HD-XR on Friday and so far have been very pleased with the Netflix streaming performance. I am operating wirelessly on Cox Cable Preferred and am getting consistently getting 4 "dots". I watched "The Deep" in HD and thought it was actually very good, although I miss my true 5.1 sound. I have watched 3 or 4 TV shows and part of a SD movie and overall am happy. I watched a couple episodes of the first season of "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and was surprised how clean it looked on my 61" set. I have had a few break-ups but so far no freezing or reloads. I think I am really going to enjoy having this toy.
post #261 of 5445
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

It still doesn't have a PLAY button beside it in your DVD queue? When I add it to my DVD queue there's a PLAY button.



And it won't come up on my netflix devices.
post #262 of 5445
FWIW, it shows up fine if I add it to my queue (with the Play button)
post #263 of 5445
maybe I need to delete and re-add it. It's been on there since October.

edit: nope.
post #264 of 5445
I am showing "The Birth of a Nation" as available via streaming.
post #265 of 5445
that's weird. Obviously from my screenshot you can see it's not for me (in the queue). But I can stream it from the title page. Odd.
post #266 of 5445
I am one of the many people who experiences choppy video.

Today I got a notification there was a new Windows Update just for Silverlight. The update title referenced a KB article "979202" which does not exist at microsoft.com (yet) or anywhere in googlespace (yet).

The description of the update is shown below:

Quote:


Update type: Important

This update to Silverlight includes functional, performance, reliability and security improvements. This update is backward compatible with web applications built using previous versions of Silverlight.

More information:
go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=180878

Help and Support:
go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=105787

Both of the above links resolve to microsoft.com (at least for now), not any page with specific information about silverlight or this patch.

So of course I applied the patch to see what it does.

After I applied the patch, I tried playing a movie and it was still choppy. Perhaps less so, but still choppy.

When I got "Player Info" from the Silverlight Menu (ctrl+shift+alt+M while playing in a window (not in full-screen mode) it reported this new version number:

Netflix Streaming Media Player
Software Version: 1.0.19.1
Silverlight Version: 3.0.50106.0

If I understand the basic issue correctly, "V-Sync" is not currently implemented in Silverlight 3 . It doesn't appear to have been added with this update.
post #267 of 5445
just wanted to say that i have been watching season 5 of lost to get ready for the season premier coming up in a couple of weeks.

the hd quality has been outstanding. i was really shocked when watching it through my ps3. also, little to no picture blips or glitches..
post #268 of 5445
Quote:
Originally Posted by KLJ View Post

just wanted to say that i have been watching season 5 of lost to get ready for the season premier coming up in a couple of weeks.

the hd quality has been outstanding. i was really shocked when watching it through my ps3. also, little to no picture blips or glitches..

I agree - the HD video quality of Lost (and Heroes) streaming from Netflix is very good - would be even better with 5.1 audio hint hint netflix...
post #269 of 5445
I got my Netflix-PS3 disc yesterday in the mail. Having read the reviews ... I was not expecting much in terms of PQ. I have Comcast high-speed cable (speedtest.net? 18 Mb/s)

Imagine my surprise when I plopped it in and watched a fascinating documentary in 720p (Title - "Manufactured Landscapes"). It looked better than DVD (the documentary disc is DVD only). The clarity was astonishing for a streaming video. Only on fast panning video does the low frame rate become a problem.

I watched a few SD streams as well ...

Netflix SD < DVD < Blu-Ray
DVD < Netflix HD < Blu-Ray

Back to the documentary ... I had arbitrarily picked it from the Instant Watch list ... but it was so mesmerizing ... I watched the whole thing. Its kinda of like an urbanized "Baraka".

Thumbs up for Netflix.
post #270 of 5445
I'll say this again, but there are some HD streams that look as good as if they would be put up on OTA or blu-ray.
Conan The Barbarian is a good example of this. If the blu-ray versions of some 80's movies like Predator/Commando/Ghostbusters etc... are any indication, then it would barely look better on a blu-ray unless they completely remaster it.

Obviously the HD streams aren't anywhere on par with top tier blu-ray PQ, but people are doing a disservice saying all the HD streams are just as good as as unconverted DVD.
There are major differences in quality among them.
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