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Best possible Netflix streaming device - Page 28

post #811 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by johng View Post

Michael, I see that you are correct. I was looking at an SD title. Following your instructions, I selected an HD title "The Expendables", and indeed it has the "HD" logo and looks much better....on my 24" Asus computer monitor. The bit-rate for video is 3600, so if I understand correctly, that would put the image as roughly the equivalent of 720p. Do you know any method of testing the output of the Roku2? Based upon your comments and those of others who have posted to this thread, I agree that something is wrong. Exactly 'what' is the open question.

I would try something that's in 1080p/5.1. AFAIK, HD/stereo titles can be 720p or 1080p, but all HD/5.1 titles are 1080p.

Why don't you try something like Lilyhammer? That way you'll be sure you're getting 5.1 and a 1080p stream (well, at least you'll be watching a title that should be in 1080p).
post #812 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by johng View Post

Michael, I see that you are correct. I was looking at an SD title. Following your instructions, I selected an HD title "The Expendables", and indeed it has the "HD" logo and looks much better....on my 24" Asus computer monitor. The bit-rate for video is 3600, so if I understand correctly, that would put the image as roughly the equivalent of 720p.

3600 Kbps is the bit rate of their highest quality 720p encoding.
Quote:
Do you know any method of testing the output of the Roku2? Based upon your comments and those of others who have posted to this thread, I agree that something is wrong. Exactly 'what' is the open question.

Unfortunately I don't. You can put the Roku into a diagnostic mode which will tell you something when you start things playing in other players (like Amazon) and in the older Roku models' Netflix player but doesn't in the Roku 2. The Roku 2's Netflix player now uses a technology called adaptive bit rate streaming: if, for whatever reason, it can't keep its buffer full with content at the quality level its currently using it will seamlessly start using a lower bit rate, lower quality version of the stream; when conditions improve it will revert to using higher quality versions. Previous Netflix players would test the available bandwidth when you started playing, choose the highest quality version of the stream which it could play in that bandwidth and if things changed such that it couldn't keep up with that it would pause and re-buffer a lower bit rate/quality version of the stream and never go back. The new tech avoids that pause, which is extremely annoying. The Roku 2 Netflix player will usually start streaming a lower quality encoding and gradually ramp up to better--it does this slower than some other players and it might take it several seconds sometimes to get to the higher quality encodings--I've seen it dwell in crappy encodings for 10 seconds or more. This isn't particularly annoying if you're starting from the beginning since by the end of the credits it will generally have reached the highest quality you're going to get, but it can suck if you're resuming something you'd walked away from. (To get into diag mode, BTW, hit HOME 5 times, REW 3 times and FF twice smoothly and without pausing for more than a half second or so between; you can try to force a streaming bit rate in the menu which appears, but that doesn't seem to do anything to the Netflix player either and the highest rate on the menu is lower than Netflix's highest).

Try the Lost pilot--its PQ and AQ are pretty high. Make sure that you go into the title's "Audio and subtitles" menu and select DD+ 5.1 sound (I assume that you're routed via HDMI through an AVR or some separates which can process DD+). Make sure that you wait for a bit to let it reach the higher quality encodings.
post #813 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by mproper View Post

I would try something that's in 1080p/5.1. AFAIK, HD/stereo titles can be 720p or 1080p, but all HD/5.1 titles are 1080p.

I think that only very few HD titles lack 1080p encodings. I haven't run into any myself but a couple have been pointed out to me (some seasons of some anime series where other seasons did have 1080p and Scary Movie come to mind). There's no reason for them not to create a 1080p encoding unless the IP holder has explicitly forbidden it (or they just made a mistake).
post #814 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

I think that only very few HD titles lack 1080p encodings. I haven't run into any myself but a couple have been pointed out to me (some seasons of some anime series where other seasons did have 1080p and Scary Movie come to mind). There's no reason for them not to create a 1080p encoding unless the IP holder has explicitly forbidden it (or they just made a mistake).

Ah...i thought there were still a fair bit of 720p only encodings floating around. Regardless, he's getting 720p on his PC (as expected since it's not a 1080p capable device, correct?).

Quote:
Originally Posted by johng View Post

Following your instructions, I selected an HD title "The Expendables", and indeed it has the "HD" logo and looks much better....on my 24" Asus computer monitor.

So did it still look horrible through the Roku 2?
post #815 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

I think that only very few HD titles lack 1080p encodings. I haven't run into any myself but a couple have been pointed out to me (some seasons of some anime series where other seasons did have 1080p and Scary Movie come to mind). There's no reason for them not to create a 1080p encoding unless the IP holder has explicitly forbidden it (or they just made a mistake).

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

3600 Kbps is the bit rate of their highest quality 720p encoding.
Unfortunately I don't. You can put the Roku into a diagnostic mode which will tell you something when you start things playing in other players (like Amazon) and in the older Roku models' Netflix player but doesn't in the Roku 2. The Roku 2's Netflix player now uses a technology called adaptive bit rate streaming: if, for whatever reason, it can't keep its buffer full with content at the quality level its currently using it will seamlessly start using a lower bit rate, lower quality version of the stream; when conditions improve it will revert to using higher quality versions. Previous Netflix players would test the available bandwidth when you started playing, choose the highest quality version of the stream which it could play in that bandwidth and if things changed such that it couldn't keep up with that it would pause and re-buffer a lower bit rate/quality version of the stream and never go back. The new tech avoids that pause, which is extremely annoying. The Roku 2 Netflix player will usually start streaming a lower quality encoding and gradually ramp up to better--it does this slower than some other players and it might take it several seconds sometimes to get to the higher quality encodings--I've seen it dwell in crappy encodings for 10 seconds or more. This isn't particularly annoying if you're starting from the beginning since by the end of the credits it will generally have reached the highest quality you're going to get, but it can suck if you're resuming something you'd walked away from. (To get into diag mode, BTW, hit HOME 5 times, REW 3 times and FF twice smoothly and without pausing for more than a half second or so between; you can try to force a streaming bit rate in the menu which appears, but that doesn't seem to do anything to the Netflix player either and the highest rate on the menu is lower than Netflix's highest).

Try the Lost pilot--its PQ and AQ are pretty high. Make sure that you go into the title's "Audio and subtitles" menu and select DD+ 5.1 sound (I assume that you're routed via HDMI through an AVR or some separates which can process DD+). Make sure that you wait for a bit to let it reach the higher quality encodings.

Mike, thanks again. I'm starting to suspect that the problem is my ISP. I've been on line with Roku and they asked me to run the speed tests. I ran them from both sites earlier today and came up with 9.7 and 10.0; with a Netflix movie running I've come up with 7.57Mb/s. If the Roku 2 is using adaptive tech, then I'm guessing it is "dumbing down" the image to match the available download speed. My ISP is my cable company. I've got a call in to AT&T to determine what their available download (and upload) speed is for my area. Perhaps poor download speed is why my ISF consultant refers to the Roku/Netflix picture quality as slightly below SD DVD.
post #816 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by mproper View Post

Ah...i thought there were still a fair bit of 720p only encodings floating around. Regardless, he's getting 720p on his PC (as expected since it's not a 1080p capable device, correct?).



So did it still look horrible through the Roku 2?

On my 94" FP, it definitely did NOT look as good as on my 24" computer monitor. That's to be expected. However my HD signals from DirecTV and my cable company look very good on the 94" screen. Blu-Ray discs look incredible.
post #817 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by mproper View Post

Ah...i thought there were still a fair bit of 720p only encodings floating around.

I believe that when they added 1080p encodings they created them for nearly every HD title. I tested about 30 at random one afternoon (using the PS3's diag overlay) and they all had them.
Quote:
Regardless, he's getting 720p on his PC (as expected since it's not a 1080p capable device, correct?).

That's right--no 1080p for the Netflix PC player.
post #818 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

I believe that when they added 1080p encodings they created them for nearly every HD title. I tested about 30 at random one afternoon (using the PS3's diag overlay) and they all had them.
That's right--no 1080p for the Netflix PC player.

Mike (and MProper), what bandwidth are you getting from your ISP's? As an alternative to my Cable internet, I checked our AT&T and discovered the fastest download speed they are offering in my part of California is 6Mb/s! My Cable internet download speed has tested as high at 10Mb/s and as low as 7.57Mb/s. If I'm understanding your posts correctly, my download speed is OK for 720p, bot not 1080p, correct? Yet there are millions of AT&T customers in northern California and at least some of them stream Netflix.

I spent time with Roku tech support today. They sent me to Netflix tech support (haven't gotten through, yet). Perhaps this is simply passing the buck, but I'm very confused.

Again, any insight would be greatly appreciated.
post #819 of 1242
I have 25 Mbps service (with "PowerBoost" to 30 Mbps when there's lots of unused bandwidth) on Cox San Diego South. It's $62/month and capped at 250GB; I rarely use over 175GB.
post #820 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

I have 25 Mbps service (with "PowerBoost" to 30 Mbps when there's lots of unused bandwidth) on Cox San Diego South. It's $62/month and capped at 250GB; I rarely use over 175GB.

WOW! We used to have Cox, but they sold their area division to SuddenLink. It sounds like bandwidth is the bottleneck. It's probably fine for people watching on display devices under 50", but with the 6-10 Mb/s bandwidth it sounds like the Roku and Netflix streaming won't work for me at 94" (and about to upgrade to 106").

It sure would be nice if either Netflix or Roku would post some guidelines that show what kind of download bandwidth you need to take advantage of "HD".

Again, thanks for taking to time to share your knowledge.
post #821 of 1242
I get around 25Mbps with FiOS with no caps. I bundle with TV so not sure how much it is by itself.

if you're getting a solid 10, you should be good to go. Netflix only requires 6-8 for the best quality.

I don't have a Roku, so dumb question but are there any settings to tell it your display is 1080p that might need to be set?
post #822 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by mproper View Post

I don't have a Roku, so dumb question but are there any settings to tell it your display is 1080p that might need to be set?

Yes, there is--I meant to mention that he should check that. I doubt that it's set to 1080p by default, so that may well be the problem.
post #823 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

Yes, there is--I meant to mention that he should check that. I doubt that it's set to 1080p by default, so that may well be the problem.

That was one of the first things that Roku tech support had me check out. It is set to 1080p.

I'll be trying some Router settings this week in the hope that I can move beyond that 3600 mark I've been showing on the computer monitor.

Thanks again for your thoughts and suggestions.
post #824 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by mproper View Post

First thing I would do is use the PS3 browser or another service like VUDU or the playstation network to see if you have internet connectivity at all when wired or if it's just Netflix. Although you do mention other things do work, it doesn't seem to make sense, at least to me.

Then work from there.

I also wonder if Netflix isn't recognizing the PS3 as an activated device on your account if it's wired? It might help (maybe?) to go into your Netflix account and remove the device, then try to re-add it. Not sure that will help or not.

Thanks, mproper, for your response. The PS Network and browser are working fine: I have even downloaded media from PSN. Also, I was able to access Netflix's main page with the PS3 browser. I gave it a try last weekend and disconnected every device from my Netflix account and tried again... It worked just for once! Today I tried again but it failed: I only got the red screen plus the white "loading" blocks.

Any ideas on how to make Netflix work on my wired PS3? Thanks!
post #825 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by mzamudio View Post

Thanks, mproper, for your response. The PS Network and browser are working fine: I have even downloaded media from PSN. Also, I was able to access Netflix's main page with the PS3 browser. I gave it a try last weekend and disconnected every device from my Netflix account and tried again... It worked just for once! Today I tried again but it failed: I only got the red screen plus the white "loading" blocks.

Any ideas on how to make Netflix work on my wired PS3? Thanks!

My first impulse was to ask if you'd accepted the recent PS3 system update that came out a couple of weeks ago, but as you could reach the PSN without a problem, I'll assume you have updated the console. Since nothing else you've tred has worked, the final suggestion would be for you to delete the Netflix app. There is also a Netflix folder under Game Utility Data folder that you also should delete. Turn off the console, then back on. Re-install the Netflix app from under the Video Services icon. Activate and attempt to Sign back in.
If that doesn't do it, then you'll need to call NF and report your difficulties and see what they can suggest.
post #826 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by Westly-C View Post

My first impulse was to ask if you'd accepted the recent PS3 system update that came out a couple of weeks ago, but as you could reach the PSN without a problem, I'll assume you have updated the console. Since nothing else you've tred has worked, the final suggestion would be for you to delete the Netflix app. There is also a Netflix folder under Game Utility Data folder that you also should delete. Turn off the console, then back on. Re-install the Netflix app from under the Video Services icon. Activate and attempt to Sign back in.
If that doesn't do it, then you'll need to call NF and report your difficulties and see what they can suggest.

Thanks, Westly-C.
Yes, I accepted the last update as soon as it was available. Yesterday I followed your suggestions: I deleted the Netflix app and also deleted the file under Game Utility Data (I had erased the app several times before, during my previous troubleshooting but never noticed there was a file too!), then turned the PS3 off, then deactivated all my devices in the Netflix's "My Account" page (as suggested by mproper), turned the PS3 on, downloaded the Netflix app, downloaded the latest Netflix version, entered my account info, and after 5 minutes of the red loading screen I had Netflix working back again in my wired PS3... But again, just for once!!! Just to make sure it had been solved definitely, I logged off from Netflix, browsed a while through the XMB, then watched some downloaded videos from the PSN, then tried to go back to Netflix and all I got was the red loading screen... Permanently.
I think somehow the app got sticked with the wireless interface of my PS3, as it was the way I had it connected when I first installed and used Netflix in the console.
I am now considering the option of making a backcup of the hard drive, formatting the disc, and configure and install everything again, to see if it fixes the problem.
Has anyone used Netflix on your PS3 connected with the wireles network interface and then changed to the ethernet interface? Viceversa? Did Netflix worked after the change?
Any other suggestion would be welcome.
Thanks again!
post #827 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by mzamudio View Post

Has anyone used Netflix on your PS3 connected with the wireles network interface and then changed to the ethernet interface? Viceversa? Did Netflix worked after the change?

Yes, I've switched wired/wireless a couple of times and Netflix worked every time and still does. I'm stumped as to what else to try. Sorry.
post #828 of 1242
Cool, the newly released (generation 3) apple TV supports netflix 1080p!

From apple.com:
"Netflix streaming. Browse and play movie and TV favorites.

From classics to recent Hollywood blockbusters, Netflix on Apple TV lets you watch even more movies and TV shows in 1080p HD and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound when available.5 Apple TV organizes the huge catalog of streaming titles from Netflix so you can find what you want fast. Since Apple TV lets you access your Netflix account and even subscribe to Netflix directly from your HDTV, you can enjoy more of your favorite entertainment any time you want."
post #829 of 1242
Thread Starter 
Nice! I have been waiting for the new ATV. Can't wait to get it! And it appears they have already worked with Netflix to make sure they will be getting 1080p streams.

From CNET:

1080p movies and TV shows from iTunes Store
Redesigned 1080p user interface
Ability to re-download purchased movies through iCloud
"Genius" recommendations for movies
Photo Stream resolution bumped up to 1080p
Single-core A5 chip
1080p output

The new Apple TV will be released on March 16 with the same $99 price as the existing model. Existing, 2nd-gen Apple TV units will be receiving the new user interface via a software update available today. We expect the new model will include all the same features as the existing Apple TV, which you can read about in our full review of the 2nd-gen Apple TV.

In a related news, Netflix is announcing that the new Apple TV hardware will be fully capable of 1080p Netflix streaming video, and that both 2nd-gen and the new Apple TV will now allow you to purchase Netflix subscriptions through your iTunes account.

Read more: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57...#ixzz1oTOsaxX6
post #830 of 1242
It turned out exactly like I thought it would. I love Apple products (got an iMac and a laptop) but passed on AT2 because of no 1080p. I just knew that I would be throwing away $99 because Apple was going to do just what they announced today. Glad to have four Roku units, two that already did 1080p and so much more.
post #831 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by rpauls View Post

both 2nd-gen and the new Apple TV will now allow you to purchase Netflix subscriptions through your iTunes account.

Wonder what kinda cut Apple takes from that.
post #832 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by msgohan View Post

Wonder what kinda cut Apple takes from that.

30%? Isn't that what they take from their iOS apps?
post #833 of 1242
Yes, the new Apple TV does support 1080P. However, in the audio department it's still at Dolby Digital. No Dolby Digital Plus support. Bummer. And, yes DD+ does sound better on Netflix versus regular DD.
post #834 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by RangerOne View Post

Yes, the new Apple TV does support 1080P. However, in the audio department it's still at Dolby Digital. No Dolby Digital Plus support. Bummer. And, yes DD+ does sound better on Netflix versus regular DD.

I am waiting for the new ATV3 to come out.

Can someone explain the difference between DD and DD+ ?

i have a Integra processor that converts dd 5.1 to 7.1 etc.

BTW, I cannot believe that Apple is releasing the ATV3 on the same day as the iPad3.
there is no way I go near the Apple store next weekend.
I know I can order on line but I would like some on hand instructions.
Although the guys at the Genius bar get rattled when i ask to speak to Mr Einstein.
Bad joke i know, but it keeps them on the toes and down to earth.

Greg
post #835 of 1242
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RangerOne View Post

Yes, the new Apple TV does support 1080P. However, in the audio department it's still at Dolby Digital. No Dolby Digital Plus support. Bummer. And, yes DD+ does sound better on Netflix versus regular DD.

Well Dolby Digital will be a major upgrade over the 2 channel stereo I get from my new Roku 2. (My AVR doesn't accept DD+).

Assuming the Apple TV is as good as expected I guess I can get rid of my PS3 now, which I bought primarily for Netflix. I would need to buy a BR player though. What's a PS3 slim worth these days? How much is a good cheap BR player? What to do...
post #836 of 1242
Netflix on the PS3 delivers awesome quality I have a 6mbps line from att dsl and can get the X-HIGH HD format. Still would like to know what this means in terms of bitrate?
post #837 of 1242
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by B7k View Post

Netflix on the PS3 delivers awesome quality I have a 6mbps line from att dsl and can get the X-HIGH HD format. Still would like to know what this means in terms of bitrate?

I know! The PS3 was king for quite a while. Until recently it was the only device to get 1080 streams. I actually bought it just for that reason. I've never even played a game on it ;-)

I would imagine that when receiving X-High/HD your bitrate must be pretty much maxed out on you 6mbps line. If you search through this thread there are some excellent summaries of actual measured bitrates.
post #838 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by B7k View Post

Netflix on the PS3 delivers awesome quality I have a 6mbps line from att dsl and can get the X-HIGH HD format. Still would like to know what this means in terms of bitrate?

At the end of this blog post, Netflix states that their highest quality video is 4800 Kbps and that 5.1 sound is encoded at 384 Kbps (192 Kbps for best quality stereo). So 1080p (X-HIGH/HD) with 5.1 sound is a total 5.184 Mbps, 4.992 with stereo sound. Netflix has tweeted that you need at least 8 Mbps service for this, but they're exaggerating; others have also stated that they get it with 6 Mbps service, though that's certainly at the low edge of what's required and you need to always get a rock solid connection to Netflix's servers.

It's sad that the PS3 cannot bitstream the DD+ 5.1 sound. They're currently converting it to 640 Kbps basic DD 5.1 which is noticeably inferior.
post #839 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by yankee14 View Post

Can someone explain the difference between DD and DD+ ?

It's a more efficient encoding than basic DD, so more bang for the bit. A forum member who worked on the product at Dolby Labs has stated here that the difference in efficiency is 2:1--you can get the same quality at a given bit rate from a DD+ encloding as a basic DD encoding at twice that bit rate.

I haven't heard DD from an ATV, but I can tell you that the conversion of 384 Kbps DD+ to 640 Kbps basic DD out of the PS3 pales in comparison to that same DD+ as bitstreamed to my AVR by other devices.
post #840 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

So 1080p (X-HIGH/HD) with 5.1 sound is a total 5.184 Mbps, 4.992 with stereo sound. Netflix has tweeted that you need at least 8 Mbps service for this, but they're exaggerating; others have also stated that they get it with 6 Mbps service, though that's certainly at the low edge of what's required and you need to always get a rock solid connection to Netflix's servers.

I was never ever to sustain X-High with 6Mbps DSL service. There is enough overhead inherent within the line that at best you will end up with 5.4Mbps (if you are extremely lucky - typically 5.2 is great) which isn't fast enough to keep up. Best case you'll bounce into X-High 10 per cent of the time (or so).
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