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Netflix streaming quality - Page 11

post #301 of 5480
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shape View Post

Netflix's HD streams are of excellent quality on my XBox 360. The Legend of the Seeker series, in particular has an incredible picture quality, which is perhaps even better than OTA.

The best of the Netflix HD, which includes all of the recent and current season HD television series, is pretty good, though I wouldn't say that all of them are as sharp as the same series on television. (I watch Legend of the Seeker on my Xbox as well and I can't speak for how it compares since the stations which carry it in syndication locally don't broadcast the HD version). However, not nearly all of the HD streams are as good as those.

EDIT: I found something that I could compare: Torchwood: Children of Earth, Part 1 as an HD Netflix stream played on my Xbox to the same content from Blu-ray played on my PS3. I was surprised that the comparison was pretty favorable. The Blu-ray was a bit sharper, but I had to pause and match frames to see it (of course, the Blu-ray had a DTS soundtrack). Not bad at all, but as I said, not all Netflix HD streams are as good as the recent television stuff.

(As an aside, in the list of episodes for Children of Earth on Netflix, Part 2 is labelled "Episode available on disc only"; the other four parts are there. Isn't that great ? Thankfully, I don't have to watch it as a Netflix stream).
post #302 of 5480
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

(As an aside, in the list of episodes for Children of Earth on Netflix, Part 2 is labelled "Episode available on disc only"; the other four parts are there. Isn't that great ? Thankfully, I don't have to watch it as a Netflix stream).

There are a few tv series like that. The only one I can think of off the top of my head is Quantum Leap, but I know I've heard people complain about a couple others. They do seem to be few and far between as I've never ran into it with anything I was interested in, but could imagine it would be annoying.

Apparently it has to do with licensing a song or something like that used in a particular episode (it's licensed for broadcast and disc, but not streaming). I am not sure on that...just passing on what I've heard.
post #303 of 5480
Why bother to offer it at all? Whose gonna watch a five hour series when they have to miss the second hour? It wouldn't be quite so bad if you couldn't watch the last episodes--you might loose interest during the first hours--but this is kind of useless.
post #304 of 5480
That is stupid, they may as well just provide you with a link to the nearest P2P file sharing site for that missing episode, of course the problem there is you're likely to get a much better quality encode and not use the Netflix streaming for any of the episodes.
post #305 of 5480
I've subscribed to Netflix on/off over the years and decided to give it a shot again after almost a year off.

I'm really impressed with how much content there is to stream now. I was considering upgrading my cable but I think the streaming service will keep me pretty busy.


edit: I started watching "Legend of the Seeker" and I'm hooked on the series now. The PQ of the stream is pretty good.
post #306 of 5480
Quote:
Originally Posted by keenan View Post

That is stupid, they may as well just provide you with a link to the nearest P2P file sharing site for that missing episode, of course the problem there is you're likely to get a much better quality encode and not use the Netflix streaming for any of the episodes.

speaks the truth.
post #307 of 5480
Sometimes I start a streaming movie on my PS3 that plays in HD and looks really good for about 20 minutes. Then it freezes, goes back to buffering and comes back in SD. Pretty annoying.
post #308 of 5480
I tried to watch Adoration by Atom Egoyan on Netflix streaming last night and the theatrical OAR (16:9) had been chopped to 4:3, so I only watched a couple of minutes of it. I wish that Netflix would provide that information in the streaming details. I've seen that on a couple of other Starz streaming releases on Netflix which are cropped to fullscreen. This doesn't make much sense given that most computer monitors these days are widescreen and anyone watching these streams on their television almost certainly have a widescreen TV.

Ordinary Netflix SD streams usually are at 16:9 which seems to make more sense.
post #309 of 5480
^^^

seems to be the case with most (all?) starz play movies... my "guess" is that starz only has 4X3 transfers available (or alternatively, chooses to make only the 4X3 transfers available)...

ymmv...
post #310 of 5480
Could someone please advise the name of a movie from Netflix that I could use to test my streaming with my new Sony Blu-ray player? I am looking for a good test sample of known hi -quality hi-def material. My cable Internet connections runs about 10-Mbs (down).

I only activated this yesterday, so I am new to the Netflix streaming thing. I don't see where, when picking stuff to add to my "Instant" queue, that gives any indication as to the quality or "hi def-ness" of the selected material... any help?

TIA!
post #311 of 5480
30 Rock looks pretty great

go to the Watch Instantly tab, then click the "HD" genre in the genre dropdown. It'll show everything that is available in HD
post #312 of 5480
Quote:
Originally Posted by MStem View Post

Could someone please advise the name of a movie from Netflix that I could use to test my streaming with my new Sony Blu-ray player? I am looking for a good test sample of known hi -quality hi-def material. My cable Internet connections runs about 10-Mbs (down).

I only activated this yesterday, so I am new to the Netflix streaming thing. I don't see where, when picking stuff to add to my "Instant" queue, that gives any indication as to the quality or "hi def-ness" of the selected material... any help?

Quote:
Originally Posted by b_scott View Post

go to the Watch Instantly tab, then click the "HD" genre in the genre dropdown. It'll show everything that is available in HD

Or just go to:
http://www.netflix.com/WiHD?ftr=no They're up to 951 titles with HD encodings now--very big bump in recent months .

You should be aware that you can only get the HD encodings if you're using one of hte embedded devices (everything except for the low-end, SD-only Roku); you cannot watch HD emcodings on your PC.
post #313 of 5480
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

Or just go to:
http://www.netflix.com/WiHD?ftr=no They're up to 951 titles with HD encodings now--very big bump in recent months .

yeah...... that's the place that the HD dropdown takes you.
post #314 of 5480
Quote:
Originally Posted by b_scott View Post

yeah...... that's the place that the HD dropdown takes you.

Yes--the "?ftr=no" stops it from filtering out titles which you've seen and/or rated.
post #315 of 5480
ah, i see.
post #316 of 5480
You can also test your speed to the Netflix CDN by using their connection speed test page.
post #317 of 5480
Quote:
Originally Posted by MStem View Post

Could someone please advise the name of a movie from Netflix that I could use to test my streaming with my new Sony Blu-ray player? I am looking for a good test sample of known hi -quality hi-def material. My cable Internet connections runs about 10-Mbs (down).

I only activated this yesterday, so I am new to the Netflix streaming thing. I don't see where, when picking stuff to add to my "Instant" queue, that gives any indication as to the quality or "hi def-ness" of the selected material... any help?

TIA!

I would try 'Heroes: Season 4', 'Torchwood: Children of Earth' or one of the Lost series - all seem be some of the better quality HD streams from Netflix that I have seen.
post #318 of 5480
Quote:
Originally Posted by keenan View Post

You can also test your speed to the Netflix CDN by using their connection speed test page.

OK....now that I ran the test, what do the results mean ?
I have ATT/SBC DSL.

Test 1 Results

135k - 442ms - 2443 kBps (fb: 32ms)

270k - 871ms - 2480 kBps (fb: 30ms)

540k - 1752ms - 2466 kBps (fb: 32ms)

675k - 2171ms - 2487 kBps (fb: 32ms)

810k - 2608ms - 2485 kBps (fb: 31ms)

945k - 3034ms - 2492 kBps (fb: 65ms)

1080k - 3475ms - 2486 kBps (fb: 49ms)

2025k - 6659ms - 2433 kBps (fb: 31ms)

Test 2 Results

135k - 429ms - 2517 kBps (fb: 66ms)

270k - 870ms - 2483 kBps (fb: 29ms)

540k - 1749ms - 2470 kBps (fb: 29ms)

675k - 2153ms - 2508 kBps (fb: 45ms)

810k - 2611ms - 2482 kBps (fb: 32ms)

945k - 3043ms - 2484 kBps (fb: 32ms)

1080k - 3532ms - 2446 kBps (fb: 31ms)

2025k - 6654ms - 2435 kBps (fb: 31ms)

Test 3 Results

135k - 390ms - 2769 kBps (fb: 155ms)

270k - 862ms - 2506 kBps (fb: 82ms)

540k - 1750ms - 2469 kBps (fb: 34ms)

675k - 2401ms - 2249 kBps (fb: 31ms)

810k - 2611ms - 2482 kBps (fb: 31ms)

945k - 3042ms - 2485 kBps (fb: 31ms)

1080k - 3519ms - 2455 kBps (fb: 33ms)

2025k - 6687ms - 2423 kBps (fb: 47ms)

Test 4 Results

135k - 437ms - 2471 kBps (fb: 35ms)

270k - 870ms - 2483 kBps (fb: 32ms)

540k - 1774ms - 2435 kBps (fb: 31ms)

675k - 2291ms - 2357 kBps (fb: 61ms)

810k - 2685ms - 2413 kBps (fb: 51ms)

945k - 3111ms - 2430 kBps (fb: 33ms)

1080k - 3580ms - 2413 kBps (fb: 43ms)

2025k - 6630ms - 2443 kBps (fb: 47ms)

cdn/true

---------------another speedtest--------------------------

2.2 Download........... .42 upload ........I know its pathetic, but what can I say ?
http://www.speedtest.net/result/750093984.png
post #319 of 5480
Quote:
Originally Posted by MStem View Post

Could someone please advise the name of a movie from Netflix that I could use to test my streaming with my new Sony Blu-ray player? I am looking for a good test sample of known hi -quality hi-def material. My cable Internet connections runs about 10-Mbs (down).

I only activated this yesterday, so I am new to the Netflix streaming thing. I don't see where, when picking stuff to add to my "Instant" queue, that gives any indication as to the quality or "hi def-ness" of the selected material... any help?

TIA!

I was impressed with "Brotherhood" season one and two
post #320 of 5480
Likewise - I ran the test what does it mean? I have Verizon DSL and seem to be able stream HD from netflix with no problems.

Test 1 Results

135k - 11ms - 98182 kBps (fb: 441ms)

270k - 15ms - 144000 kBps (fb: 599ms)

540k - 23ms - 187826 kBps (fb: 1120ms)

675k - 56ms - 96429 kBps (fb: 1285ms)

810k - 44ms - 147273 kBps (fb: 1583ms)

945k - 489ms - 15460 kBps (fb: 1348ms)

1080k - 605ms - 14281 kBps (fb: 1547ms)

2025k - 2291ms - 7071 kBps (fb: 1431ms)

Test 2 Results

135k - 5ms - 216000 kBps (fb: 295ms)

270k - 9ms - 240000 kBps (fb: 536ms)

540k - 23ms - 187826 kBps (fb: 1025ms)

675k - 30ms - 180000 kBps (fb: 1268ms)

810k - 32ms - 202500 kBps (fb: 1512ms)

945k - 36ms - 210000 kBps (fb: 1747ms)

1080k - 155ms - 55742 kBps (fb: 1999ms)

2025k - 1557ms - 10405 kBps (fb: 2110ms)

Test 3 Results

135k - 10ms - 108000 kBps (fb: 303ms)

270k - 15ms - 144000 kBps (fb: 545ms)

540k - 24ms - 180000 kBps (fb: 1028ms)

675k - 23ms - 234783 kBps (fb: 1262ms)

810k - 35ms - 185143 kBps (fb: 1512ms)

945k - 51ms - 148235 kBps (fb: 1716ms)

1080k - 139ms - 62158 kBps (fb: 1994ms)

2025k - 1636ms - 9902 kBps (fb: 2085ms)

Test 4 Results

135k - 9ms - 120000 kBps (fb: 291ms)

270k - 12ms - 180000 kBps (fb: 539ms)

540k - 23ms - 187826 kBps (fb: 1025ms)

675k - 29ms - 186207 kBps (fb: 1268ms)

810k - 40ms - 162000 kBps (fb: 1512ms)

945k - 61ms - 123934 kBps (fb: 1752ms)

1080k - 153ms - 56471 kBps (fb: 1842ms)

2025k - 1773ms - 9137 kBps (fb: 1895ms)

cdn/false
post #321 of 5480
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond42262 View Post

OK....now that I ran the test, what do the results mean ?
I have ATT/SBC DSL.


With those results you're highly unlikely to get the best quality streaming Netflix offers, you'll need to increase the download speed in order to get "HD" bitrates from the Netflix CDNs.
post #322 of 5480
Quote:
Originally Posted by undecided View Post

Likewise - I ran the test what does it mean? I have Verizon DSL and seem to be able stream HD from netflix with no problems.

You're fine, in all instances your download speeds exceed the best download bitrate Netflix currently offers, you shouldn't have any problem with their "HD" streaming titles.
post #323 of 5480
Quote:
Originally Posted by keenan View Post

You're fine, in all instances your download speeds exceed the best download bitrate Netflix currently offers, you shouldn't have any problem with their "HD" streaming titles.

Keenan, can you advise if one of those values shown is the real key to determining the actual speed test results. I ran the test also, using the link provided... can you help interpret the results for us. I am confused as to what all of the values actually represent? Thanks!

PS Let me know if you wish me to run it again and paste the results here?
post #324 of 5480
Quote:
Originally Posted by MStem View Post

Keenan, can you advise if one of those values shown is the real key to determining the actual speed test results. I ran the test also, using the link provided... can you help interpret the results for us. I am confused as to what all of the values actually represent? Thanks!

PS Let me know if you wish me to run it again and paste the results here?

I'm not really sure what the first two numbers are, I think they're related to the size of the data portion that's being streamed and/or it might also be the different CDN locations.

The important number is the third one, that's the download speed that the data will be streaming at, in reality probably a little less. In the second post of this thread there's a chart showing the available download bitrates used by Netflix. Mike posted that over two years and I'm not sure if there's an updated speed chart since then, looking back through this thread might find one, but I believe that first chart to be fairly accurate even today. It's reposted below:

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

On the Netflix blog there's an excellent explanation of what they're doing for encoding and delivery of streaming video entitled "Encoding for streaming". In that article, under the heading "Delivered Quality", it explains that they use a four bar system of for measured connection bandwidth, for which they deliver 500, 1000, 1600 and 2200 Kbps encodings; for some content, where the source quality is particularly high, they additionally have 3400 kbps encodings which will be delivered if your line speed is high enough. The article also explains that to get a particular encoding, they have to measure a 40% higher connection speed, implying:
# Bars Encoding Req'd Speed
Four 3400 4760
Four 2200 3080
Three 1600 2240
Two 1000 1400
One 500 700

(Bit rates are in Kbps).

So your 2 Mbps line speed should get you (at best) the two bar, 1 Mbps encoding. Remember, depending upon the number of hops through the network between you and the server, the real rate for any connection may be lower than the theoretical maximum for your network service. Your distance to the nearest server for Hulu might be less than to Netflix. How many bars is it reporting?

It is what it is. If it's not good enough, wait until you have higher speed service to use it and be content with Hulu.

Looking at Raymond42262's results you can see that his download speed is right around 2400 kBps which per the above chart is barely going to get him a "three bar" encoded stream, the more bars the better the quality of the encode.

Now, Netflix has made changes since that chart was posted, in fact I think they've even changed the player they use, and might even be using "smooth streaming" which adjusts the DL speed on the fly to maintain a constant stream of video. To be honest I haven't followed the developments that closely as I've always had a connection speed well above what ever was needed.

Bottom line, it's my belief that unless you have a solid 5000Kbps download connection you're not going to get reliable HD quality streaming.

Mike Scott is fairly well versed on this subject and can probably comment in more detail.
post #325 of 5480
Quote:
Originally Posted by keenan View Post

Now, Netflix has made changes since that chart was posted, in fact I think they've even changed the player they use, and might even be using "smooth streaming" which adjusts the DL speed on the fly to maintain a constant stream of video. To be honest I haven't followed the developments that closely as I've always had a connection speed well above what ever was needed.

They aren't using Microsoft's IIS Smooth Streaming tech at this time. I'm certain that Netflix works on the player software, but I believe that, from embedded plaform to platform the code is primarily written and maintained by the hardware manufacturer. Microsoft describes some sophisticated changes which they've made to their player for the Xbox to make it run more smoothly in this MS engineering blog entry (search for "A Look Inside Netflix on the Xbox 360"--there are no anchored links within the blog ).
Quote:
Originally Posted by keenan View Post

Bottom line, it's my belief that unless you have a solid 5000Kbps download connection you're not going to get reliable HD quality streaming.

Mike Scott is fairly well versed on this subject and can probably comment in more detail.

The table that I made in that post was based on their old use of WMV3 encodings at higher bit rates; later in that blog entry they talk about the VC1 encodings, all of which are at lower bit rates, VC-1 being a more efficient codec, yielding equivalent results in fewer bits:
Quote:


The VC1 encoders are more efficient than the WMV3 encoders, so we are currently encoding VC1AP at slightly lower birates: 375, 500, 1000, and 1500kbps, all square pixel.
...
High Definition Encodes

Today we have rights to deliver about 400 streams in HD (720p). More titles will be added over time. We experimented with first-generation WMV3 encodes at 4000kbps and 5500kbps, but settled on second-generation HD encodes with VC1AP at 2600kbps and 3800kbps, which extends their accessibility down to lower home broadband connections.

At this point, everything is using the VC1AP encodings, which, according to that blurb coming in SD flavors at 375, 500, 1000 and 1500 Kbps and in HD flavors of 2600 and 3800 Kbps. Here's a table for those numbers:
# Bars Encoding Req'd Speed
HD Hi 3800 5320
HD Lo 2600 3640
Four 1500 2100
Three 1000 1400
Two 500 700
One 375 525

(Bit rates are in Kbps).

So, you should be able to get the highest quality standard def encodings if your device can measure a 2.1 Mbps connection when you start playing; you may be able to get an HD encoding on a 3.7 Mbps connection and will get one (if one is available) if you have a 5.4 Mbps connection. As I said before, you can't get the HD streams on a PC at all, presumably due to licensing restrictions. Maybe that will change in the future. Apparently digital surround sound and closed captions are on their development roadmap for this year.
post #326 of 5480
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

They aren't using Microsoft's IIS Smooth Streaming tech at this time. I'm certain that Netflix works on the player software, but I believe that, from embedded plaform to platform the code is primarily written and maintained by the hardware manufacturer. Microsoft describes some sophisticated changes which they've made to their player for the Xbox to make it run more smoothly in this MS engineering blog entry (search for "A Look Inside Netflix on the Xbox 360"--there are no anchored links within the blog ).
The table that I made in that post was based on their old use of WMV3 encodings at higher bit rates; later in that blog entry they talk about the VC1 encodings, all of which are at lower bit rates, VC-1 being a more efficient codec, yielding equivalent results in fewer bits:
At this point, everything is using the VC1AP encodings, which, according to that blurb coming in SD flavors at 375, 500, 1000 and 1500 Kbps and in HD flavors of 2600 and 3800 Kbps. Here's a table for those numbers:
# Bars Encoding Req'd Speed
HD Hi 3800 5320
HD Lo 2600 3640
Four 1500 2100
Three 1000 1400
Two 500 700
One 375 525

(Bit rates are in Kbps).

So, you should be able to get the highest quality standard def encodings if your device can measure a 2.1 Mbps connection when you start playing; you may be able to get an HD encoding on a 3.7 Mbps connection and will get one (if one is available) if you have a 5.4 Mbps connection. As I said before, you can't get the HD streams on a PC at all, presumably due to licensing restrictions. Maybe that will change in the future. Apparently digital surround sound and closed captions are on their development roadmap for this year.

I didn't know there was an HD Hi and Lo. Do you have an example of an HD Hi stream - and how do I know if I am getting it (on either an XBOX360 or BD390?)

I am also not sure about your table above - the 40% headroom was I thought for first generation PC playback - I didn't think it applied to the other hardware. If the table is correct it would suggest that Netflix 3800 kps streams need more bandwidth than Vudu HDX (one bar). I have a connection that measures at 4.5 - 4.7 mbps and can play Vudu HDX streams and Netflix HD streams - there is no doubt the HDX looks better - but I think I am getting pretty good quality on Netflix HD streams.
post #327 of 5480
Quote:
Originally Posted by undecided View Post

I didn't know there was an HD Hi and Lo. Do you have an example of an HD Hi stream - and how I know if I am getting it (on either an XBOX360 or BD390?)

The blog says that they have HD streams encoded at both 2600 Kbps and 3800 Kbps, so I put those values in the tables along with a 140% estimated required bit rate; so far as I know, there's no sure way to tell which titles have what encodings. It's possible that not all title have HD encodings at both those rates and I haven't seen anything on the Xbox or TiVo players to indicate what the stream is (in the BD-Java based PS3 player, no indication is made of encoding quality at all). When you get an HD encoding on the Xbox it displays the words "Presented in" followed by the HD logo followed by four green bars; on TiVo it displays 11 full white bars followed by the HD logo. Perhaps it's possible for fewer than the maximum number bars to appear along with the HD logo, but I've never seen it. I suspect that the interfaces just don't indicate the difference.
post #328 of 5480
Quote:
Originally Posted by b_scott View Post

30 Rock looks pretty great

go to the Watch Instantly tab, then click the "HD" genre in the genre dropdown. It'll show everything that is available in HD

Thanks b_scott; I tried it and it looked pretty good to me also. The few others I have tried look pretty rough. Nice to know it can look good with the right source material.
post #329 of 5480
Quote:
Originally Posted by MStem View Post

Could someone please advise the name of a movie from Netflix that I could use to test my streaming with my new Sony Blu-ray player? I am looking for a good test sample of known hi -quality hi-def material. My cable Internet connections runs about 10-Mbs (down).

I only activated this yesterday, so I am new to the Netflix streaming thing. I don't see where, when picking stuff to add to my "Instant" queue, that gives any indication as to the quality or "hi def-ness" of the selected material... any help?

TIA!

netflix streaming and known hi- Quality material is an oxymoron. Netflix streaming can be good, but it certainly is not "Hi Quality"

I've yet to see anything on Netflix that is even as good as OTA. And of course the audio suffers greatly too. But for the price it is a good deal, but it is nowhere near Hi Quality.

And I've seen some 30 Rock episodes on Netflix. While good they are nowhere near as good as it looks from OTA from two NBC stations in my area or from FiOS. Now it might be comaprable to the Comsast picture in my area, but that is also glaringly inferior to OTA or the FiOS feed.
post #330 of 5480
So far "Spartacus blood and sand" is the best I have viewed from N/F. It looked quite nice streaming through the PS3.

But in no way does it look as good as SAT/OTA.
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