Originally Posted by Sebaz
"Super HD" is another thing that irritates me to no end. Since when 1080p has become "Super HD"? 1080p is HD, and 720p is lower resolution HD.
They have 1080p which is not called "Super HD". "Super HD" is just a pretentious label for their higher bit rate 1080p video encodes which they added in January for those customers whose ISPs have gotten set up for access to their Open Connect CDN. They've had 1080p HD streams since mid-October of 2010, when the installed PS3 player launched; some DD+ digital surround sound and selectable captions/subtitles were introduced with it. It was only available via PS3 until summer of 2011, when it became available on the Roku 2 XS and 2 XD (many 2011 BDPs had players which could play the DD+ sound and/or display selectable captions/subtitles, when available, but no 1080p). The Netflix players for most devices launched in 2012 had 1080p support. A notable exception is the Xbox 360, but that's just an artificial restriction by MS; Xbox Video features 10 Mbps 1080p and VUDU on the Xbox has available 9 Mbps HDX.
The original 1080p video was AVC at 4800 Kbps, with 2350- and 3600 Kbps 720p encodes; sometime in 2012 they began replacing that 4800 Kbps 1080p with 3850 Kbps 1080p and the 3600 Kbps 720p with 3000 Kbps 720p, encoded with some new tech they got from a company called eyeIO which promised to deliver the same or better picture quality at lower bit rates. Many feel that the 3850 Kbps encode is not as good as the 4800 Kbps one, but it's difficult to make an objective comparison now.
"Super HD" is the addition of 1080p encodes at 4300- and 5800 Kbps. The difference is not overwhelmingly impressive on smaller screens, though those watching on 65" and larger displays have expressed an appreciation of it. I can see the difference on this 46" LCD panel viewed from 6 to 8 feet away, but it isn't great enough to necessarily warrant the 50% increase in bandwidth consumption (from 1.73 GB/hour to 2.61 GB/hour). I have a bandwidth cap and really wish that they'd give me a way to turn off my access to the 5800- and 4300 Kbps encodes while still getting the 3850 Kbps 1080p ones but they don't. I have to settle for setting the output of my Roku 3 to 720p and watching most common things that I stream from Netflix on it.
Both of them look terrible at low bitrates, which is often the case with all these streaming providers. Wait until there's some action on the screen and pixels go crazy.
That may be your experience of Netflix HD but it's not mine. It's definitely not as good as BD but it's generally better than broadcast 1080i and 720p and I don't see any "pixellation" defects in high motion scenes (well, sometimes but very rarely you'll run into a poor encode which displays some but I can't remember the last time I saw one).