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Netflix streaming quality - Page 121

post #3601 of 5472
So the Roku 3 is the device to have now for streaming? Its pretty new. Is it well proven?
post #3602 of 5472
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhehd View Post

Is there a consensus on the quality of streaming in the Windows 8.1 Netflix app? I'm looking for 1080p 5.1. I'm currently on Windows 7 using the SL player. The Netflix app is really the only reason I'm considering moving to 8.1. I know that it's advertised as supporting 1080p 5.1, but I'm wondering how real these claims are.

I bought a Chromecast, but it doesn't fare so well using the example stream, not even getting to 720p.

I realized I have a fat PS3 collecting dust, so I fired it up, downloaded the NF app, and it streams gloriously in 1080p with 5.1. Aside from it being loud and hot, it looks great, but what I'd really like is to keep everything in my setup on a single input, which would be a HTPC running Windows 8.1 and the NF app, as long as NF can actually deliver on 8.1.

My AVR supports DD+ and I'm using HDMI, BTW.

Also: Is there any judder in the NF app? The judder in SL drives me mad. Playback chain is Chrome > Netflix > SL > Radeon HD 4300 > HDMI > AVR. MPC-HC DXVA playback is fine. PS3 playback is fine.

Connection is 30mbit comcast.

I can't comment on the PS3 for Netflix quality, but it sounds like you already have a dedicated media player if you go that route. However, if you want everything on a single connection then I think the Netflix app in 8.1 is every bit as good as a dedicated streaming player like the Roku. Not sure how well a Radeon HD 4300 does with its on board sound chip, but my 5800 sounds excellent with 5.1 through HDMI.

However, if you compare your PS3 to a Roku 3, the Roku 3 will win hands down. Its just a better user experience. If you keep the PS3 for Netflix, I would do some cooling mods, remove that noisy fan and install a 120mm exhaust fan and also remove all the plastic that is in the way of the exhaust ports. I made my brothers xbox360 and PS3 virtually silent for him and its not difficult at all.

What ever you do good luck with it.

EDIT: What is your HTPC's current hardware specs?
post #3603 of 5472
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhehd View Post

Is there a consensus on the quality of streaming in the Windows 8.1 Netflix app? I'm looking for 1080p 5.1. I'm currently on Windows 7 using the SL player. The Netflix app is really the only reason I'm considering moving to 8.1. I know that it's advertised as supporting 1080p 5.1, but I'm wondering how real these claims are.

The app works fine and outputs DD+ 5.1 out of the HDMI connection on my sound card (some card with a Radeon 7450 chip that I bought for $45 just for that ability--I don't game on this PC, which is connected to the same 46" panel and AVR as the rest of my AV toys). The app's UI could be better--one thing that bugs me about it is that for "recently watched" it only displays 5 titles and you can't get to their descriptions without searching for them. It also does not pay any attention to Windows IR remote commands or even the multimedia function keys on my keyboard; all the other video players I use regularly do (VLC, Zune, WMP). You need a mouse or other pointing peripheral to use it.
post #3604 of 5472
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkOrPn View Post

EDIT: What is your HTPC's current hardware specs?
The 4300 works fine for the most part. Audio is fine. The only problem I've come across is fullscreen 60fps video, even at 720p. I have to play it windowed.

Specs:

Core 2 duo (something mainstream)
2 gigs of RAM
WD Red 2TB (slow)
Radeon HD 4300

It's an upgraded Dell Vostro 200.

I'd be upgrading to a nice new system, probably an AMD Kaveri based system come January, SSD, 4-8 gigs of RAM, maybe move storage duties to a new NAS.
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

The app works fine and outputs DD+ 5.1 out of the HDMI connection on my sound card (some card with a Radeon 7450 chip that I bought for $45 just for that ability--I don't game on this PC, which is connected to the same 46" panel and AVR as the rest of my AV toys). The app's UI could be better--one thing that bugs me about it is that for "recently watched" it only displays 5 titles and you can't get to their descriptions without searching for them. It also does not pay any attention to Windows IR remote commands or even the multimedia function keys on my keyboard; all the other video players I use regularly do (VLC, Zune, WMP). You need a mouse or other pointing peripheral to use it.

I should've asked about IR. I currently use the enter button on my Harmony to pause NF in SL. I've even done it reflexively when my PS3 is doing the playback. Pausing with the mouse would be a drag.

I was hoping 8.1 would do most things well enough. I actually do a lot of web browsing on the HTPC, so it needs to stay in the game. I run Shairport on it and send podcasts and Google Play Music to it from my Android devices using Airstream (requires root). It's too bad we have to mix and match components to get the best of all words.
post #3605 of 5472
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhehd View Post

I should've asked about IR. I currently use the enter button on my Harmony to pause NF in SL. I've even done it reflexively when my PS3 is doing the playback. Pausing with the mouse would be a drag.
It does respond to the SPACE key (pausing), but I don't know if the IR command set includes that.
post #3606 of 5472
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bond 007 View Post

So the Roku 3 is the device to have now for streaming? Its pretty new. Is it well proven?

My launch Roku3 has always worked very well with Netflix. But since getting my Roamio TiVos, those are my "Go To" devices for netflix streaming. I rarely use my Rokus for Netflix any more.
post #3607 of 5472
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhehd View Post

The 4300 works fine for the most part. Audio is fine. The only problem I've come across is fullscreen 60fps video, even at 720p. I have to play it windowed.

Specs:

Core 2 duo (something mainstream)
2 gigs of RAM
WD Red 2TB (slow)
Radeon HD 4300

It's an upgraded Dell Vostro 200
My brother was in the exact same boat. He has a Dell Optiplex 755, Core 2 Duo E8400, lousy 80gb HD, and crappy on board Ethernet and no wireless at all. I removed his 80gb HDD (and installed a 120mm custom exhaust fan in its place) and installed a 128gb Samsung 840 Pro SSD and an external 1TB USB drive for his movies and Steam games. I also upgraded his 2gb of memory to 4gb, and got rid of his Radeon HD 4350 (put it into the Home Server) and threw in a fantastic Intel NIC card. I installed Windows 8.1 and the Netflix app and his jaw hit the floor. Loads ten times faster than the on bpoard NIC card does and the Video has much improved PQ. Not only is the 7750 a hundred times better at processing video, it is also extremely low on power requirements (probably the worlds best low profile card for HTPC). He could not believe the difference in both sound and PQ going from his 4350 to a 7750. Gave his aging machine a hell of a lot more life span as he now see's no reason to buy another computer.
post #3608 of 5472
Why is any PC today having an issue with full screen content. Even my old video cards from 2001 had no issue running HD content at full screen. It's only 2D. And I know my old HTPCs from 2005 had zero issues running 1080P fullscreen at 60FPS into my 2005 1080P DLP set. Any crappy video card should be able to do 1080P 2D HD. I can do it without issue with my old Intel built in graphics on my 4+ year old laptop and netbook on their HDMI outputs. The laptop is a core2Duo and the Netbook is a dual core Celeron.
post #3609 of 5472
As others have said, NF on 8/8.1 is fine but is nearly impossible to control with a keyboard or remote. I much prefer using a streamer I can control with a remote. Win 8 was designed for touch and only touch. Practically no consideration was given to keyboard/mouse/remote control inside apps. Bottom line is it's ok for watching on a laptop or tablet but not an HTPC.
post #3610 of 5472
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronwt View Post

My launch Roku3 has always worked very well with Netflix. But since getting my Roamio TiVos, those are my "Go To" devices for netflix streaming. I rarely use my Rokus for Netflix any more.
Can you use a TiVo without any subscription fees, if all you intend to do is stream NF? I don't have any cable to record. Why is it better than a Roku 3?
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronwt View Post

Why is any PC today having an issue with full screen content. Even my old video cards from 2001 had no issue running HD content at full screen. It's only 2D. And I know my old HTPCs from 2005 had zero issues running 1080P fullscreen at 60FPS into my 2005 1080P DLP set. Any crappy video card should be able to do 1080P 2D HD. I can do it without issue with my old Intel built in graphics on my 4+ year old laptop and netbook on their HDMI outputs. The laptop is a core2Duo and the Netbook is a dual core Celeron.
It might've just been these videos with this video card and my particular MPC-HC config. I just tried it on another PC with an old Geforce 9600GT and it plays back fine. I can PM you the video filename if you're interested.
post #3611 of 5472
I was among the many who had problems with the ATV, while my other devices continued to get Super HD (those capable). However, now I get a blurry mess on all of my devices every single night like clockwork, once prime time rolls around. I know I'm not exactly breaking new ground when I bring this up, but it is new behavior for me, as I've never had issues in prime time before. I can understand others' frustration, since it makes Netflix useless when you most want to use it.
post #3612 of 5472
I would no go the PC route if hooking up to your TV. Some content providers like FOX & Sony restrict viewing HD content only with devices like the PS3, Roku etc. on your TV.
post #3613 of 5472
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronwt View Post

Why is any PC today having an issue with full screen content. Even my old video cards from 2001 had no issue running HD content at full screen. It's only 2D. And I know my old HTPCs from 2005 had zero issues running 1080P fullscreen at 60FPS into my 2005 1080P DLP set. Any crappy video card should be able to do 1080P 2D HD. I can do it without issue with my old Intel built in graphics on my 4+ year old laptop and netbook on their HDMI outputs. The laptop is a core2Duo and the Netbook is a dual core Celeron.
It may also depend on what software is being used, especially if it adds some overhead. Also, older cards may not support some codecs in hardware and could tax the CPU. I had an issue with some videos if I tried to play them in iTunes, but they played fine directly in Quicktime.
post #3614 of 5472
No problem last night with an episode of Lillehammer (however it's spelled) and "Devil's Pass" both in Super HD using Chromecast and U-Verse (12 mbps). No notice of any lower bitrate segments. The neighbors must have been out partying. biggrin.gif
post #3615 of 5472
Netflix works with Content Delivery Networks (and I think they have started creating their own CDN as well) to improve streaming. One example is Level 3 Communications - which not only helps deliver streaming content more effectively for Netflix, but also works with Apple to do the same...
post #3616 of 5472
Quote:
Originally Posted by neobendez View Post

Netflix works with Content Delivery Networks (and I think they have started creating their own CDN as well) to improve streaming. One example is Level 3 Communications - which not only helps deliver streaming content more effectively for Netflix, but also works with Apple to do the same...

Netflix uses a number of CDNs, Level 3, Limelight and Akamai being the principle ones. They also use Amazon servers as transaction processors, supplying the players with metadata to display in their browsers and brokering connections to content servers.

They've been working on their own CDN, Open Connect, since mid-2011. At 2013 CES they announced it, tying access to their "Super HD" and 3D video encodes to your ISP signing up for Open Connect access, with Netflix supplying direct peering of their CDN with the ISPs' networks, as well as caching servers in or near their networks. The two largest ISPs, Comcast and TWC, and several others declined to sign up and Netflix caved, giving access to Super HD and 3D to all of their customers. Subs of Open Connect partners (like me smile.gif) still get superior service and reliable access to the highest quality Netflix video.
post #3617 of 5472
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

The two largest ISPs, Comcast and TWC, and several others declined to sign up and Netflix caved, giving access to Super HD and 3D to all of their customers. Subs of Open Connect partners (like me smile.gif) still get superior service and reliable access to the highest quality Netflix video.

Comcast (16 Mbps) is still working reliably for us - many reliable 5800 Super HD streams at various times over the holidays.

What is the superior service you are getting with an Open Connect ISP? smile.gif

I am being a little factious - because I know some have problems on Comcast - but at least for us Netflix works great.

We can access multiple streams at the same time and after it's (well documented) little hiatus the Apple TV is back to starting at 5800 kpbs and holding it.

Our Chromecast has consistently got 5800 kbps Super HD even through the Apple TV hiatus.
post #3618 of 5472

I received a Roku 3 yesterday and replaced my Roku 2 XS in the main room to see if it could handle Netflix streaming better. I did see a nice consistent climb up to 3000kbps but didn't see it reach 5800 yet (though I only testing for a couple of minutes)

post #3619 of 5472
In my use of my Roku 2 and Roku 3 Boxee, both are just as capable at streaming the SuperHD bitrates.
post #3620 of 5472
Quote:
Originally Posted by undecided View Post

Comcast (16 Mbps) is still working reliably for us - many reliable 5800 Super HD streams at various times over the holidays.

What is the superior service you are getting with an Open Connect ISP? smile.gif

I am being a little factious - because I know some have problems on Comcast - but at least for us Netflix works great.

We can access multiple streams at the same time and after it's (well documented) little hiatus the Apple TV is back to starting at 5800 kpbs and holding it.

Our Chromecast has consistently got 5800 kbps Super HD even through the Apple TV hiatus.


I believe Mike was referring to the consistency of seamless Super HD streaming with Open Connect. As you know, that's not always the case with ISP's, that don't offer it. Depending on your location, amount of traffic in your area etc..you may not be experiencing the same issues that other Comcast customers have.


Ian
post #3621 of 5472
Any news on Netflix dropping those useless low def encodes? That would make my new year.

As my Roku 3 during stream would drop down to 480p rarely once like last night but then in 30 seconds be back to 1080p. However other streaming devices are not so forgiving like the ATV and it looks like a fuzzy mess where I can't even make out faces. Looking at it too long actually makes me nauseous and no joking aside I feel like I am getting a seizure.
post #3622 of 5472
I don't know if it's folks firing up their new Netflix streaming devices but over the last few nights Netflix streaming has been not what I'd call optimal. Seems as if each new stream/episode takes an extended amount of time to get to "cruising" speed and even then it does not appear to always be at the highest rate.

I was mainly using a Roku 3 and using the "test short' and it took forever, nearly halfway through the clip to get to only 3850 while just now when I tried it fired right up to 5800 in seconds.

Using Comcast with no Open Connect and the holiday season are probably contributing to my experience over the last 2 nights, and I've been watching Lillyhammer Season 2 which is probably in high demand.
post #3623 of 5472
Christmas Eve and night my Netflix was flawless on the Roku 3. Only last night during Eureka it dropped down to SD (not low def) but ramped right away around 30 seconds.

The Roku 3 went from the worse streaming device in the summer to the most reliable. Even the PS3 is not as reliable as it use to be. Having to restart the stream about three to four times because it refuses to go to go higher than that 240p, 288p crap. On the Roku 3 I might have to restart it once or twice but not often. Heck I even had SD content on the PS3 drop down to that 240p crap during a program which it has not done that since last year with that horrible v2.10.

As for the ATV the worse of the bunch it is just a paper weight. Why I keep reconnecting it well because I don't want to waste a HDMI port on my TV smile.gif. Otherwise the Roku 3 now has YouTube it has everything the ATV has plus more channels like Amazon Instant.
Edited by reddice - 12/27/13 at 11:48am
post #3624 of 5472
Quote:
Originally Posted by reddice View Post

Any news on Netflix dropping those useless low def encodes? That would make my new year.

As my Roku 3 during stream would drop down to 480p rarely once like last night but then in 30 seconds be back to 1080p. However other streaming devices are not so forgiving like the ATV and it looks like a fuzzy mess where I can't even make out faces. Looking at it too long actually makes me nauseous and no joking aside I feel like I am getting a seizure.

If Netflix were to completely drop the low def encodes such as 480p (SD) and your internet at any point not keep up with the HD stream, then you would get complete stoppage of the playback instead of simply and smoothly dropping the HD to SD. During that 30 seconds you claimed to be at 480p, your Roku 3 would not be playing at all, it would be like you paused the movie.

What would you prefer? Smooth playback into low def and then back into hi def, or complete stoppage of playback until the HD cache catches up (rebuffering)? 99% of the public would prefer smooth playback, that's why Netflix will not do away with the 480p encodes, not to mention the hundreds of millions of people who have never purchased a HD TV as of yet. Further, I have experienced exactly what you are telling us, a drop to 480p AND when using Hulu+ I get complete stuttering from the HD cache becoming empty for micro seconds. I can tell you the stuttering (stopping of playback until cache fills up) is MUCH WORSE than just dropping down to SD like Netflix does. I hate both scenarios, but the Stopping/Starting of playback is much more annoying than if it had just dropped down to SD playback for a few seconds.
Edited by SkOrPn - 12/27/13 at 11:51am
post #3625 of 5472
One thing I notice is if I watch a film in "scope" it rarely if ever drops down. I did a little encoding test by encoding a 1 minute clip of a 1080p TV show cropped to "scope". A 2:35:1 (probably 21:9) clip was 75% the size of the full screen file at around 3500 kbps and having the same quality as the full 16:9 clip at around 5500 kbps. Episode 8 of season 2 of Lilyhammer (with some fun surprise guest stars and a homage) ran a bit of the gamut again and had problems getting back up to full speed.

However would you rather have temporary low resolution or a rebuffering icon? However we should be getting what we are paying and need to become active in finding who are the real culprits in this mess.
post #3626 of 5472
I am not saying to drop 480p. What I mean is to drop the low def encodes which are 240p, 288p and 360p. 480p is 640x480 which is SD and I do watch a lot of SD content. It is the low def (240p is the worst) that makes me nauseous when viewing.

More information about low definition is here. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low-definition_television
Edited by reddice - 12/27/13 at 11:59am
post #3627 of 5472
Quote:
Originally Posted by reddice View Post

I am not saying to drop 480p. What I mean is to drop the low def encodes which are 240p, 288p and 384p. 480p is 640x480 which is SD and I do watch a lot of SD content. It is the low def (240p is the worst) that makes me nauseous when viewing.

Oh OK, I have never experienced 240p on Netflix, so I did not know it was there. I guess I misunderstood when I seen you say
Quote:
Originally Posted by reddice View Post

Any news on Netflix dropping those useless low def encodes? That would make my new year.

As my Roku 3 during stream would drop down to 480p rarely once like last night but then in 30 seconds be back to 1080p.

It clearly looked like you were suggesting Netflix to get rid of the SD 480p encodes, lol. That would be very bad. Maybe in a few years from now the Internet will be much more reliable. However, one thing is for sure as the Internet speeds up so does Netflix Bitrates. They want to stay on top as the go to streaming service and the only way to do that is to keep their streams as high a bitrate as the Internet will allow. LOL, I just wish they would do away with the stupid Super HD naming scheme and just keep upping their bitrate without the stupid gimmick names, IMO Super HD would be 4K or anything above Blu-ray. What will they call it when the hit say 8000 Kbps? Super-Duper HD? 10000 Kbps? Super Duper OMG Slap Grandma in the Face HD?
post #3628 of 5472
I hope you never experience 240p as it is really godawful. I rather watching nothing.

Just saying though as Amazon Instant on the Roku 3 does not use adaptive streaming and I am always able to get 4 dots HD starts out in HD clear and stays there the entire program. However since Amazon uses adapt dumb streaming what I call it on the PS3 I had video quality start bad and even drop down to SD.

This begs the question as I never liked adaptive streaming all the way back on the RealAudio & RealVideo days of the 1990's and even later on as it progressed to flash video. Even the standard way of streaming a AAC or MP3 station or content is better. I think buffering the video with a big chunk of data then slowly pulling the data in packets is better than starting it at slower data and adjusting the packets which adaptive streaming is and does not do such a great job at.
post #3629 of 5472
Quote:
Originally Posted by reddice View Post

I hope you never experience 240p as it is really godawful. I rather watching nothing.

You should see it at 120" .. wink.gif .. the word "blob" comes to mind ..
post #3630 of 5472
Quote:
Originally Posted by reddice View Post

I hope you never experience 240p as it is really godawful. I rather watching nothing.

Just saying though as Amazon Instant on the Roku 3 does not use adaptive streaming and I am always able to get 4 dots HD starts out in HD clear and stays there the entire program. However since Amazon uses adapt dumb streaming what I call it on the PS3 I had video quality start bad and even drop down to SD.

This begs the question as I never liked adaptive streaming all the way back on the RealAudio & RealVideo days of the 1990's and even later on as it progressed to flash video. Even the standard way of streaming a AAC or MP3 station or content is better. I think buffering the video with a big chunk of data then slowly pulling the data in packets is better than starting it at slower data and adjusting the packets which adaptive streaming is and does not do such a great job at.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgkdragn View Post

You should see it at 120" .. wink.gif .. the word "blob" comes to mind ..


Just to put things to perspective. VHS was 250i.


Ian
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