Originally Posted by michaeltscott
You'd enjoy watching with pauses for 20 seconds every couple of minutes or so to refill the buffer with video at a quality level that you don't currently have the bandwidth to keep up with? My guess is that most people would find the shifting quality levels to be much
Not at all, but to me the obvious solution to all this is the proper use of buffering to download as much as it's needed to play the whole thing at the best quality from start to finish, however long it takes. I never bought movies on iTunes, however I bought some movies on Blu-ray that come with that Ultraviolet thing where you can download the movie from iTunes included in the price of the BD. So I got a few that way, even though it's pointless because if I have the Blu-ray why do I care to watch a lower quality version, but regardless, that 4.44 GB file downloaded in about 30 minutes or less, and if I were to watch the movie that way, I wouldn't have to put up with either quality changes or rebuffers. Of course it wouldn't be necessary for Netflix to send the whole file, but if they send one quarter of the file before starting to play, and that ensures that it will play without interruptions or looking like crap, then I'd be happy to wait. Am I going to die if I have to wait ten minutes to watch something properly? No.
The way it is now, Netflix's service is absolute crap. I'm paying TWC $71 a month to have a 20 Mbps connection that works really well for everything else, not only on the Roku but on my PCs, Blu-ray players, etc. In fact, other than the occasional video on YouTube, the only streaming service that stops to rebuffer is Netflix. Even if I watch something on browsers, for example, Conan on his website, which is a 720p stream, never drops or stops, and the same goes for Hulu, both on a browser and the Roku box, and the best of them all, Amazon Prime. So when is this company going to realize that along with tons of new customers you have to invest in more equipment?
Originally Posted by michaeltscott
The website player and Win8 Netflix app have the ability to fix a bit rate. Left-click the video to give the player keyboard focus and type CTRL-SHIFT-ALT-S; this will bring up a menu for the Stream Manager. Click the "Manual Selection" check box and then one of the bit rate radio buttons.
I'll never understand these criticisms of Win8. I've been running it since launch and haven't had a single problem with it. I only use the Start screen UI to kick off Win8 apps and primarily use the classic desktop. It's nearly indistinguishable from how I used Win7 and is palpably faster and smoother. (It also does some cute things like automatically rebooting in the middle of the night to apply critical updates and doing its very best to restore your desktop to exactly
the way it was). Maybe I'm just lucky. Win 8.1 supposedly brings back some form of the Start button and the ability to boot to desktop.
I downloaded the 8.1 preview to install in my HTPC using an old hard drive, and disconnecting the other two drives so they don't get anything changed by this piece of garbage OS. The only reason I'm wasting time installing it it's because I recently started watching Breaking Bad, and I'm sick of the constant drops in quality watching on the Roku. However, can you see how pathetic it is that if you want to use a fixed bitrate, every single time you open a new stream Netflix makes you open the stream manager? At least that was the case last time I tried that on a browser window.
However, even if it works better than anything else, after finishing Breaking Bad there's no chance I'm going to pay even 1 cent to have that POS Windows 8 in my computer. I tried both the 8.0 and the 8.1 consumer previews and they are the worst piece of garbage software ever made. If to you it's "nearly indistinguishable from how I used Win7" then you must've used Windows 7 the wrong way, because Windows 8 takes several extra steps to do something as simple as shut down or reboot the computer. As for "palpably faster and smoother", that's not Windows 8, that happens every time you reinstall Windows from scratch, because Windows (all versions) is a mediocre OS that gets more bloated as time goes by and it saves caches all over the place, and you install more software. I re-installed Windows 7 two weeks ago, and it's also noticeably faster and smoother than it was towards the end of the 8 month old installation. Start installing software on your Windows 8, give it a few months and it will be as slow as Win 7.
Besides, even if it was insanely fast, if I have to look at that horrible GUI all day I would shoot myself. I'm not talking about the tiles, the tiles are OK, but they would be useless to me because I don't care for tablets. But the desktop is so ugly that it makes me want to pull my eyes out.