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Best possible Netflix streaming device - Page 8

post #211 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lionelman View Post
The only hiccup now is that while the DENON AVR-989 displays 7.1 channel possibility while playing a DVD & I get rear channel audio, when I switch to NETFLIX, the same display changes to DVD-Stereo. I know that the PS is supposed to get 5.1 audio even with NETLIX, so what can I do to get it? Is there some setting in the PS or NETFLIX setup that I have missed? So, yes I am thrilled with the PS unit’s abilities, but the set-up for a novice like me was 3 days & still counting. Thanks to all for inputs & comments. Looking forward to hearing from you about my last question concerning the NETFLIX rear audio.
Wow, all that pain from a bad HDMI cable....that sucks.

While the PS3 is the only device that can get 5.1 streams from Netflix, only a subset of Netflix titles are 5.1.

As mentioned before there are several PS3 interfaces (so I"m not sure which one you have), but it should be indicated if a title is HD or 5.1. It should look something along these lines (see the "5.1" box)


There is a list of known ones here: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1297186

You may also be able to set your Denon to Dolby Pro-Logic II for the stereo stuff (it'll try to make a 5.1 track out of the stereo....obviously not true 5.1 but better).
post #212 of 1242
Wow, that was a lot of trouble because of a bad cable. I'm sure everyone here can share a similar story.

Keep in mind that it wasn't the price of the hdmi cable that was the problem. The problem was that the cable was defective or damaged, not that it was of lower quality. Ironically, high quality cables are just as likely to cause problems. For instance, many a poor soul has accidentally ripped a plug off of a receiver or other component, merely by unplugging a monster cable. Monster cables are notorious for gripping so tight that they cause damage upon removal. Also, expensive plugs tend to be encased in more plastic, which you think would prevent problems. While it does in some scenarios, it also leads to other types of damage. An example is an expensive and bulky hdmi cable that puts stress on the socket because of its inflexibility and weight. This can cause the socket to come loose from the circuit board.

In other words, any hdmi cable is fine... as long as it isn't damaged.

Your denon receiver can easily play all netflix videos so that sound comes out of all speakers. Unfortunately, most netflix videos are only stereo instead of 5.1 dobly surround. However the denon can apply pro-logic decoding to the stereo movies to achieve surround sound. This is exactly how surround sound was achieved back when everyone was using VHS tapes.

To get sound from all speakers... On my denon remote, pushing the "Dolby/DTS Surround" button will accomplish this. There is no step 2.

After pushing the standard button, the denon will use dolby pro-logic on stereo netflix videos and dobly digital on 5.1 netflix videos. The denon will remember the setting so that you don't have to do anything when playing movies in stereo and 5.1.

Supposedly netflix is delivering dolby digital plus on 5.1 videos. However these are only playing back as dobly digital (without the plus). There is nothing that can be done about this other than to wait for Sony to correct the problem. But because no other device can do this either, it isn't what I would consider a drawback of netflix on the PS3.
post #213 of 1242
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by plasma21 View Post
Sorry if this has already been addressed (I couldn't find it...)...

How does PS3 Netflix PQ compare to Oppp93? Obviously the comparison can only be made for 720p content since Oppo doesn't have access to 1080p stream. I find the Oppo PQ to be quite good. Just wondering if PS3 is substantially better..

Given that the 1080p selection on Netflix is quite limited, I dont mind not having access to it just yet....Hopefully somewhere down the line the 1080p stream is opened up to other devices...
I carefully compared the PS3 slim and Oppo 93 side by side at both 720p and 1080p. To my eyes the PS3 picture quality was clearly better. This was true for both HDMI1 and HDMI2 Oppo outputs. It's just not as good as the PS3. Wish it was, because I think it is a great device otherwise. FW updates may improve the Oppo in the future.
post #214 of 1242
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post
"X-High HD" on the PS3 is synonymous with 1080p. I can't even remember the last time an HD stream didn't have X-High HD available. I think 720p only HD streams are out there, but I am not finding them.
I understand your point, but I am not sure this is 100% correct.

I was able to verify that X-High HD does in fact only appear when the PS3 output is set to 1080, so I agree with you here, but that does not necessarily mean the stream is 1080.

I did a comparison a while back in which I compared the PS3 output at 720p (achieving high HD) vs 1080p (achieving X-high HD)for the same Netflix stream and I could not see any difference in resolution or quality. I posted some still photographs to support this. This makes me think that the stream was only 720p to begin with.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...9#post19875759

I do agree that even at 720p the PS3 HD Netflix output is better than any other Netflix device I've tested.

EDIT: I see we already discussed this. Did you get new information since then indicating that that x-high HD means 1080p? Last I heard this was still unconfirmed. Was there a recent announcement from Netflix?
post #215 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by rpauls View Post

EDIT: I see we already discussed this. Did you get new information since then indicating that that x-high HD means 1080p? Last I heard this was still unconfirmed. Was there a recent announcement from Netflix?

What we know about X-High/HD is that I measured (with my router's firmware, shown here) roughly the same 10 minute, high action period of The Good, the Bad, the Weird as averaging 4.5 Mbps in High/HD and 5.8 Mbps as X-High/HD, a 28% higher bandwidth stream. We also know that the Netflixhelps Twitter account said that X-High/HD should indicate a 1080p stream.
post #216 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

What we know about X-High/HD is that I measured (with my router's firmware, shown here) roughly the same 10 minute, high action period of The Good, the Bad, the Weird as averaging 4.5 Mbps in High/HD and 5.8 Mbps as X-High/HD, a 28% higher bandwidth stream.

My DSL line (6Mbps of which 5.2Mbps is available at best) will flirt with X-High/HD. At best it might be displayed one-third to half the time I view a title... with High/HD being displayed the rest of the time.
post #217 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

My DSL line (6Mbps of which 5.2Mbps is available at best) will flirt with X-High/HD. At best it might be displayed one-third to half the time I view a title... with High/HD being displayed the rest of the time.

And that is the problem. Sometime people with lower bandwidth service will see X-High/HD when they shouldn't have the bandwidth to qualify for it (I remember that rpauls' network service is about the same as yours). Netflixhelps has stated that you need 8 Mbps to get a 1080p stream. (My service is rated to 25 Mbps peak with bursts to 30, though I think we're getting seriously ripped off lately).

What we need is for someone with service like that to do the same sort of observation of bandwidth use and see if they see any difference in the average bit rate for High and X-High. Unfortunately that someone would have to have the same kind of firmware in his router.
post #218 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

What we know about X-High/HD is that I measured (with my router's firmware, shown here) roughly the same 10 minute, high action period of The Good, the Bad, the Weird as averaging 4.5 Mbps in High/HD and 5.8 Mbps as X-High/HD, a 28% higher bandwidth stream. We also know that the Netflixhelps Twitter account said that X-High/HD should indicate a 1080p stream.

Thank you again for do doing this test and contacting netflix for confirmation. It really has put the issue to rest.

Unless contrary evidence turns up, I think it is safe to say that "x-high hd" = "1080p".
post #219 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

Wow, that was a lot of trouble because of a bad cable. I'm sure everyone here can share a similar story.

Keep in mind that it wasn't the price of the hdmi cable that was the problem. The problem was that the cable was defective or damaged, not that it was of lower quality. Ironically, high quality cables are just as likely to cause problems. For instance, many a poor soul has accidentally ripped a plug off of a receiver or other component, merely by unplugging a monster cable. Monster cables are notorious for gripping so tight that they cause damage upon removal. Also, expensive plugs tend to be encased in more plastic, which you think would prevent problems. While it does in some scenarios, it also leads to other types of damage. An example is an expensive and bulky hdmi cable that puts stress on the socket because of its inflexibility and weight. This can cause the socket to come loose from the circuit board.

In other words, any hdmi cable is fine... as long as it isn't damaged.

Your denon receiver can easily play all netflix videos so that sound comes out of all speakers. Unfortunately, most netflix videos are only stereo instead of 5.1 dobly surround. However the denon can apply pro-logic decoding to the stereo movies to achieve surround sound. This is exactly how surround sound was achieved back when everyone was using VHS tapes.

To get sound from all speakers... On my denon remote, pushing the "standard" surround sound button will accomplish this. There is no step 2.

After pushing the standard button, the denon will use dolby pro-logic on stereo netflix videos and dobly digital on 5.1 netflix videos. The denon will remember the setting so that you don't have to do anything when playing movies in stereo and 5.1.

Supposedly netflix is delivering dolby digital plus on 5.1 videos. However these are only playing back as dobly digital (without the plus). There is nothing that can be done about this other than to wait for Sony to correct the problem. But because no other device can do this either, it isn't what I would consider a drawback of netflix on the PS3.

Thanks for the tips from yourself & Grumpy, system sounds better now.......
post #220 of 1242
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

Thank you again for do doing this test and contacting netflix for confirmation. It really has put the issue to rest.

Unless contrary evidence turns up, I think it is safe to say that "x-high hd" = "1080p".

I was a valuable test. I think it's safe to say that X-high HD = higher bit rate.
post #221 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lionelman View Post

Thanks for the tips from yourself & Grumpy, system sounds better now.......

A correction to my previous post:

On my newer Denon remote, the button to press is labeled as "DOLBY/DTS SURROUND". It was called "STANDARD" on an earlier Denon remote. This button will apply the best/correct surround option no matter whether the video has two channel stereo or 5.1 surround sound.

So now that you've had the PS3 for a few days. What's your take on the final result. Was it worth the hassle? It's always interesting to see how expectations and viewing habits change once streaming is adopted.
post #222 of 1242
Thread Starter 
Well just when I was all set with the PS3's outstanding Netflix performance along comes Amazon on Tuesday and offers unlimited free video on demand to all it's prime customers. (I have been a prime customer for years, so for me it means free streaming).

The down side, of course, is that the PS3 does not get Amazon Video On Demand. Had to go and buy a Roku.
post #223 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by rpauls View Post

I was a valuable test. I think it's safe to say that X-high HD = higher bit rate.

Other than them changing that indicator to say "1080p", I don't know what else could be done to convince you . I cannot believe that they'd bother to add 5.8 Mbps 720p encodings when they already had 2.6 Mbps and 3.8 Mbps ones. Of course, that's as per the 11/08 blog entry; the 4.5 Mbps I observed for a 10 minute chunk at High/HD doesn't jibe well with that, so they may be doing something different now, particularly for the PS3 (the PC player has a control to select a fixed encoding and the ones it advertises match the blog).

Since I measured a 10 minute average higher than you ought to be able to maintain with your network service, I suspect that when the PS3 player tells you that you're getting X-High/HD it may be lying due to some bug. Of course, that's just speculation; we may never know what's going on.

It'd be nice if they'd change "Low/SD", "Med/SD", "High/SD", "Med/HD", "High/HD" and "X-High/HD" to "Low 480p", "Med 480p", "High 480p", "Med 720p", "High 720p" and "1080p" .
post #224 of 1242
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

It'd be nice if they'd change "Low/SD", "Med/SD", "High/SD", "Med/HD", "High/HD" and "X-High/HD" to "Low 480p", "Med 480p", "High 480p", "Med 720p", "High 720p" and "1080p" .

Yes! 1080p is such a selling buzz word these days. If either Netflix or the PS3 knows it's got a 1080p stream you'd think they would indicate this very clearly to the user. 1080p sells! That's why I can't understand the vagueness.
post #225 of 1242
tell us more about amazon and the roku.

hows the quality and selection compared to netflix?
post #226 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by rpauls View Post

Well just when I was all set with the PS3's outstanding Netflix performance along comes Amazon on Tuesday and offers unlimited free video on demand to all it's prime customers. (I have been a prime customer for years, so for me it means free streaming).

The down side, of course, is that the PS3 does not get Amazon Video On Demand. Had to go and buy a Roku.

Yeah--I'm stone broke until Thursday, but it will be difficult for me to resist buying a Roku XD when I have cash again, just to play with it. Given that I have this PC, a TiVo, a PS3 and an Xbox 360 connected to this 46" 1080p LCD panel and surround AVR, all of which can stream Netflix and play several other forms of video, I never had an excuse to buy a dedicated streamer, but Amazon will push me over the edge, I think . (I just entered my 5th year of Prime membership, so the streaming is gravy).
post #227 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

A correction to my previous post:

On my newer Denon remote, the button to press is labeled as "DOLBY/DTS SURROUND". It was called "STANDARD" on an earlier Denon remote. This button will apply the best/correct surround option no matter whether the video has two channel stereo or 5.1 surround sound.

So now that you've had the PS3 for a few days. What's your take on the final result. Was it worth the hassle? It's always interesting to see how expectations and viewing habits change once streaming is adopted.

I love it! Yes, worth the hassle, especially now that the system "sounds" right. I see this free-Amazon angle is available now, but not for the PS3 & I don't care as $8 a month is all I pay not having cable or satellite. Thanks for all the help!
post #228 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by rpauls View Post


Let me elaborate. I actually like the ATV2 very much. I will give you some details. If you have questions just ask. I could write a lot more.

(1) The Apple TV 2 appears to have better noise reduction than the Roku, though not quite as good as the PS3. This only makes a difference in noisy video (Try Spitfire Grill for an example).

(2) The Roku has more saturated colors than either the ATV or PS3, which both look more correct.

(3) The ATV2 has a little more trouble with high bit rate portions of the streams than either the Roku or PS3. I have found some sections of movies where two of the three devices consistently suffer visible PQ degradations and compared these sequentially over and over. The PS3 will jump from X-High HD down to med HD or even high SD during these parts, and of course become blocky and smeared. (Strange, I know, I though the feed rate was just a function of the network. Apparently not. Remember, these are variable rate streams, and they have occasional peaks). At this same point in the movie the ATV will begin to introduce significant blocking artifacts on background detail. The Roku seems to barrel on nearly unaffected. I assume it has a different buffering scheme that allows it to survive instances of very high bitrate demand such as this.

(4) The ATV2 UI is so well designed and such a pleasure to use. The Roku is in second place here, and the PS3 is way behind. This aspect alone impresses me so much that I may keep the ATV even though the PS3 PQ is a little better. The user experience is worth a lot.

Based on your review I ended up getting the ATV2. It's an excellent pure streaming device! Great UI. Thanks for the excellent write ups.
post #229 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony A. View Post
tell us more about amazon and the roku.

hows the quality and selection compared to netflix?
I have three Rokus, one with a 37" LCD, one with a 34"CRT and an XR (the old high end model that has been replaced by the XD/S) connected to my 65" Panasonic plasma in my HT. All do a great job with both SD and HD streams. Even on the 65" I'm quite pleased with how fine the PQ is. I also use Amazon VOD (not a prime member-yet!) with all three displays and again, everything looks great. I was again especially impressed with the HD stream from Amazon on my 65" display. I recently watched Red and it looked (and sounded) great. Have not had any problems (all my units are hard-wired which I swear helps a lot) but from time to time (not often) depending on the time of day, the stream gets bumped down from HD to four dots. Even when this happens, PQ is still fine. This happens maybe 2-3 times a month if that. The Rokus are amazing little boxes that offer you so much more because of their extra channels (both private and public).They offer, I think, upwards of 60 or 70 channels now. I have been watching all the past episodes of HD Nation and Tekzilla on the Mediafly channel and they also look very good in HD. I can't say enough about what a great value these units are depending on what you're looking for. I ended up buying the XR unit because it was able to be upgraded to 1080p with a recent firmware update so it is future-proofed for now. I wasn't in the mood to have to buy another APTV unit next year when they added 1080p capability and I have a 24" iMac that it would have worked great with.
post #230 of 1242
So I got a PS3 yesterday (needed the web browser...don't ask) and hooked it up parallel to the Oppo93. Hooking up the PS3 to the TV and the wi-fi was a snap.

I am blown away by the ease of use and the speed of the PS3. The user interface allows you to navigate a matrix as opposed to a list on the Oppo. By itself, not a huge deal. However, I am shocked by how fast the movies load and (more importantly) how quick the FF and REW is on the PS3. Movies load in 3 secs and FF/REW is blindingly fast.

Also, it helps that the netflix interface on the PS3 is not stark, blinding white (as in the Oppo) which causes a faint buzz in the vt25.

I didn't even get the PS3 for the Netflix but may have to keep it just for that....
post #231 of 1242
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by plasma21 View Post

So I got a PS3 yesterday (needed the web browser...don't ask) and hooked it up parallel to the Oppo93. Hooking up the PS3 to the TV and the wi-fi was a snap.

I am blown away by the ease of use and the speed of the PS3. The user interface allows you to navigate a matrix as opposed to a list on the Oppo. By itself, not a huge deal. However, I am shocked by how fast the movies load and (more importantly) how quick the FF and REW is on the PS3. Movies load in 3 secs and FF/REW is blindingly fast.

Also, it helps that the netflix interface on the PS3 is not stark, blinding white (as in the Oppo) which causes a faint buzz in the vt25.

I didn't even get the PS3 for the Netflix but may have to keep it just for that....

I also compared these two and decided to return the Oppo. I didn't see that the Oppo added any benefit other than looking like a real piece of high end AV gear rather than a "toy". Netflix is better on the PS3, and BR is pretty much a wash.
post #232 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by rpauls View Post
I also compared these two and decided to return the Oppo. I didn't see that the Oppo added any benefit other than looking like a real piece of high end AV gear rather than a "toy". Netflix is better on the PS3, and BR is pretty much a wash.
True that. Netflix is far better on the PS3 than any other device out there, period. BR playback quality is the same, on at least the players I own and used to own, including the Oppo, PS3, Smasung 2550, pioneer-320 & 51, Panasonic 85, Sony 1000ES and S570.
post #233 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by rpauls View Post

I also compared these two and decided to return the Oppo.

Yeah I am going to do the same. I have an Oppo 93 that I use for dvd/bluray/cd and another that I use mainly for Netflix. That one will go back.

I do love Oppo and their customer service. Also the bluray playback, dvd upconversion, CD playback are impeccable on the 93. I was watching "Cyrus" on DVD and the PQ was so good that I had to double check whether it was a bluray....
post #234 of 1242
I'm secretly suspecting that the 1080p NF streams aren't really, but are in fact, 720p.

But I'm cynical. And, to me, pq is VERY important. OTA and BRD pq have spoiled the crap out of me, so that I'm not seeing anything in the HD NF streams I'VE seen that look markedly better than DVD.

And to me, it needs to for me to sink more money into streaming in my home. With Blu-ray, I don't have to dig deep into data-rates to know it's a phenomenal picture. The phenomenal picture betrays itself. HD streaming needs to do that, for me.

Am I alone?
post #235 of 1242
I'm partial to my my Roku box, but I guess to each is his own. I did notice though the latest Roku XDS supports 1080P, but I have yet to see any content from Netflix in that category. I really wish 5.1 support would also come to the Roku box, but right now only see the PS3 as others have mention. Hopefully it will trickly down in the next few months.
post #236 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by [Irishman] View Post

I'm secretly suspecting that the 1080p NF streams aren't really, but are in fact, 720p.

But I'm cynical. And, to me, pq is VERY important. OTA and BRD pq have spoiled the crap out of me, so that I'm not seeing anything in the HD NF streams I'VE seen that look markedly better than DVD.

And to me, it needs to for me to sink more money into streaming in my home. With Blu-ray, I don't have to dig deep into data-rates to know it's a phenomenal picture. The phenomenal picture betrays itself. HD streaming needs to do that, for me.

Am I alone?

No you are not alone. Of the four streaming capable devices I own, the PS3 is by far the best at streaming Netflix, Samsung 2550 a distance second, Roku HD third and Sony S570 is just a total crap. Netflix has some HD titles that look better than SD-DVD when streamed using the PS3 but to approach the PQ of Blu-ray is just a dream at the moment not to mention the old and crappy titles they offer for streaming. I have tried to stream a few titles but I just can't watch them after 10 minutes.
post #237 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by av.pallino View Post

Based on your review I ended up getting the ATV2. It's an excellent pure streaming device! Great UI. Thanks for the excellent write ups.

When I was looking for a "streamer" I briefly considered the Apple TV but ended with the Roku XD mainly because it could do both Netflix and Amazon. I previously owned the fat PS3 which I gave to my daughter in another city and streaming on her system seems flawless with great PQ. She uses Charter Cable while I have Time Warner in my area. Both players are ethernet wired so I have no experience with the wireless features. The really reasonable price for the Roku HD is what really sealed the deal for me.
post #238 of 1242
I have a Roku, Apple TV2, and Samsung 6500 Blu Ray--all can stream Netflix but so far I have to give the nod to ATV2.

I haven't checked this myself but I read a post on MacRumors that indicated ATV was now able to stream 5.1 sound from Netflix. Note it is called MacRumors--also it may be tied into the next software update to ATV--some have installed the next update prior to release. Many seem to think that ATV will be getting the next update--know as 4.3 for iPhone and iPad.
post #239 of 1242
Have an older Sony Blu-Ray player and got interested in upgrading when the Sony S770 was listed as one of Sound and Vision products of the year. In particular, my older Sony loads very slow and has older audio decoding. The S&V write up commented on how fast the load time was on the S770. Crutchfield recommended PS3 over S770. After completely reading this thread, would like a recommendation on what to buy.

Criteria I am interested in:

Blu-Ray quality from disc (1080p)
Fast disc start up
Latest sound processing (DTS HD master audio) via pcm HDMI (important)
Netflix wifi streaming (not ethernet)
Pandora streaming

I am not a gamer, and price is really not an issue.
Strange I cannot find PS3 detail specs anywhere. With PS3 realize I will need to also by Harmony adapter for my Harmony One.

Would appreciate thoughts from you knowledgable guys.
post #240 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack the cat View Post

Have an older Sony Blu-Ray player and got interested in upgrading when the Sony S770 was listed as one of Sound and Vision products of the year. In particular, my older Sony loads very slow and has older audio decoding. The S&V write up commented on how fast the load time was on the S770. Crutchfield recommended PS3 over S770. After completely reading this thread, would like a recommendation on what to buy.

Criteria I am interested in:

Blu-Ray quality from disc (1080p)
Fast disc start up
Latest sound processing (DTS HD master audio) via pcm HDMI (important)
Netflix wifi streaming (not ethernet)
Pandora streaming

I am not a gamer, and price is really not an issue.
Strange I cannot find PS3 detail specs anywhere. With PS3 realize I will need to also by Harmony adapter for my Harmony One.

Would appreciate thoughts from you knowledgable guys.

The PS3 is a no-brainer solution for you, though I don't know about BD start up speed, having never used any other BD player. I just tried the Avatar disc and got a notice at 30 seconds ("This Blu-ray disc has been manufactured...") and the top menu at 54 seconds. (Mine is a launch-model 60 GB "fat").

It can process DTS MA and DD TrueHD internally and deliver it to your receiver over HDMI as 7.1 PCM or it can provide them as bitstreams to AVRs which can process the formats internally.

It is currently the most capable Netflix streamer, with support for 5.1 soundtracks, closed captions and 1080p encodings.
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