Originally Posted by msgohan
I tried the Netflix Super HD test on a different day and it told me I don't have it. So who knows, now.
You're in Canada, right? Not all providers outside of the US are hooked into their Open Connect CDN, but they claim that most are. (I just read someone in Canada with Shaw say that he isn't). Go to https://signup.netflix.com/superhd
; if it says "Your Internet Provider is ready for Super HD!" in green letter underneath the picture of a TV, then you're in. (Sometime last week my ISP, Cox Communications, went live with Open Connect/Super HD access).
If your ISP is not set up for Open Connect access, you could sign up for a trial at Unblock-US.com; when you're using Unblock-US' DNS servers you should be able to get assigned Open Connect servers (nflxvideo.net domain). When I use it I set its DNS server addresses in my router; I haven't noticed any ill effects of doing that and there's no way to set it locally in my Roku 2 XS. It's currently a bit unreliable (except for the Win8 Netflix app and TiVo Premiere). You can test whether you've been connected to Super HD servers by playing "Example Short 23.976
", which won't play for me at all when using Unblock-US' DNS servers unless my player's been assigned Open Connect stream servers. (If your ISP is set up for Open Connect access you should get connected to those servers every time). My procedure for making sure that I'm on Super HD servers is to start the player and test to see if I can play "Example Short"; if not, I restart the player and test again (usually I get it within 6 attempts). Let it play for a while and watch it get up to the 4300 Kbps and 5800 Kbps "Super HD" video encodes. Note that once you get assigned Open Connect servers it won't necessarily hold on to them if you stop playing something, so you might want to test between uses.
Before they unveiled Super HD Netflix replaced the 4800 Kbps 1080p encode with a 3850 Kbps 1080p one and the 3600 Kbps 720p encode with a 3000 Kbps 720p one. These are encoded with technology which they obtained from a company called eyeIO which supposedly delivers as-good-or-better picture quality at reduced bit rates. For HD titles there now are 2350- and 3000 Kbps 720p encodes, which the PS3's updated quality indicator will call "720 HD", a 3850 Kbps 1080p encode which will display "1080 HD" and for most HD titles 4300- and 5800 Kbps 1080p encodes which will display "1080 Super HD".
Unfortunately you cannot tell which "720 HD" or "1080 Super HD" encode you're getting on any platform other than the Win8 Netflix app, in which you can both see what you're getting and control the maximum one that you get with the Stream Manager dialog, activated with CTRL-SHIFT-ALT-S (the dialog covers too much of the frame to leave it on in a frame capture).
I finally have both the time and motivation to grab some frames. Where there specific requests besides the Lost image?
Anything with lots of tiny sharp focused details. You know me--I like close-ups of human faces, the more weathered, wrinkled and hairy the better. I don't care for comparing landscapes, since generally nothing in the frame is in very sharp focus. I'd love some frames of the new encodes to compare to ones you got of the old encodes; unfortunately many of my favorites that you captured aren't available anymore in the US, like those frames from The Matrix Reloaded
in the top post and from the titles of The Resident
. If you sign up for an Unblock-US trial, you can get The Matrix Reloaded
in Super HD in Brazil and Outbreak
in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland (unfortunately those last four countries don't have access to "Example Short" so you can't use it as a test).
You might want to get some new stuff for comparison of the encodes: is Super HD actually much better than the 3850 Kbps encode or is it a case of "the Emperor's new clothes"
? One of my favorites that I've discovered is this
frame from The Grey
, a close-up of Liam Neeson's craggy, bearded, frost-covered face (that example is the 3850 Kbps 1080p encode, captured from the Win8 Netflix app with PrintScreen); it's at around 19 minute in--that scene, inside the cramped space of a crashed plane's broken body, is full of good stuff for comparison, both close-ups and wider shots. (I love that poster frame, but if it's in the film I haven't found it).