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Amazon Prime Instant Video - Page 21

post #601 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

If you're talking about one of the Panasonic DMP-BDTx10s, I'd agree that its Amazon Instant Video UI is superior to Roku's; you get to see a lot more titles at once while browsing and if you're looking at the description of a television series it gives a list of a season's worth of episode titles to choose from on the page, as opposed to the Roku Amazon player's lame line of icons in which you can only see one episode title at a time. It should be noted, however, that the BDTx10s' Amazon player cannot play 5.1 sound from those titles which have it and the Roku's player can.

I haven't noticed my Roku's Amazon player constantly rebuffering so not everyone has that problem with them.

I had an old gen 1 roku in the room where the BDT210 went, so that may explain the improvement. I like the fact that you can enable captions on the Panasonic (sometimes those British accents are hard to follow!) Netflix stream - I have two rokus, one original and one later but not yet v 2 ... so rather than buy a third, I opted for the blu-ray player, which can also serve as a CD player and offers some extra streaming options (such as Vudu) beyond what I already had. And since i have a viera tv, it's playing well with others. Not doing 5.1 sound set up in that room, so that's less of an issue for me than it might be for others. I really like the wave your hand over the top and the drawer opens -- I know it's a silly gizmo, but I find it handy when you want to change discs in a dark room and you can't find the damn drawer open button (or the remote!). And most of all, the Amazon movies are playing very nicely , whereas my Rokus (both, one wired) constantly balked.
post #602 of 1235
I have a Roku XDS - the last "top of the line" model to have an optical TOSlink jack for sending SPDIF audio to my second-hand pre-HDMI Yamaha AV receiver.

I get very solid reception of Amazon Prime video, including on shows with 5.1 audio - of course it's connected by ethernet cable to a router that's getting 25Mbps from Comcast. It never rebuffers.
post #603 of 1235
I noticed tonight that Amazon had served up a little Xmas present by creating a UI for the Roku XD and I assume this is true for other Roku models. The one panel at a time is gone and replaced with a two rows with 4-6 panels (I forget) presentation. Things are sorted out by movie, TV and etc. By scrolling down you see genres, editor picks and other things. A big improvement, not perfect, but better. There is still no queue feature unfortunately.
post #604 of 1235
The new UI was announced on the 21st. It's very much like the Roku Netflix player except that there's no Search "genre" (instead you get to search by pressing the asterisk key on your remote). They still use the stupid line-of-little-numbered-icons presentation of TV series episodes . Of the two embedded Amazon players that I have, I like the Panasonic Viera Connect on best. You get to see 10 full title cover thumbs at once and if you enter a TV series you see a list of episode titles, generally a whole season's worth.
post #605 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.G View Post

I noticed tonight that Amazon had served up a little Xmas present by creating a UI for the Roku XD and I assume this is true for other Roku models. The one panel at a time is gone and replaced with a two rows with 4-6 panels (I forget) presentation. Things are sorted out by movie, TV and etc. By scrolling down you see genres, editor picks and other things. A big improvement, not perfect, but better. There is still no queue feature unfortunately.

I agree--much better than the old interface but still room for improvement--yes--bring on the queue!!
post #606 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by spiritfox View Post

I agree--much better than the old interface but still room for improvement--yes--bring on the queue!!

Absolutely!
post #607 of 1235
Q Q Q Q Queue!

Yes! Yes! Yes! Please.

Man, it's hard to keep track of those things. Not sure what it is with amazon - it's hard to find their movies easily -- hell, I cant even find their kindle book selections easily. I guess they think people are more likely to shop if they wander around aimlessly.

As for connection issues, I originally thought it was due to wireless interference on the oldest roku, but now I'm beginning to think the problem here was due to Comcast, which seems to send out a slight 'interruption in signal speed, it would burst fast (over 20 mbps) then drop, and I believe that unevenness was throwing off the roku boxes. Even the ethernet connected one (linked to an airport extreme router connected to a motorola cable modem) Amazon feed gets interrupted, whereas it works ok with Netflix. On the other hand, the Panasonic blu-ray 210's Amazon feed seems seamless, even when 'wirelessly' connected to the same network signal. On the roku, I'd get a 4 **** connection speed rating, but the movie kept burping. Not sure why ... it must reset itself somehow when it experiences the stream glitch.
post #608 of 1235
What type of modem and Comcast service do you have? Comcast does have PowerBoost, which can double your speed for a bit. It's not active for Economy (1.5/0.348), but should be active for most others. Also, if you have an older DOCSIS 2 modem, it only has a single downstream channel. If that gets overloaded, you can slow down.
post #609 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by andyross63 View Post

What type of modem and Comcast service do you have? Comcast does have PowerBoost, which can double your speed for a bit. It's not active for Economy (1.5/0.348), but should be active for most others. Also, if you have an older DOCSIS 2 modem, it only has a single downstream channel. If that gets overloaded, you can slow down.

In the interest of accuracy, Comcast uses data compression on DL and UL which more or less doubles your rated speed for the first 30MB (DL) or 15MB (UL) of any transfer. After that initial boost you will see your actual speed.
Comcast also has not yet implemented DOCSIS-3 in all areas.
post #610 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post

In the interest of accuracy, Comcast uses data compression on DL and UL which more or less doubles your rated speed for the first 30MB (DL) or 15MB (UL) of any transfer. After that initial boost you will see your actual speed.
Comcast also has not yet implemented DOCSIS-3 in all areas.

Cute! So the 25mbps (incoming) all the speedtest sites report on my connection is really only 12.5?

Maybe those sites should look for data compression and compensate, either by hugely increasing the size of the test file or simply cutting the reported speed in half!

Better question: Why turn compression off at 30MB, or at all? Only reason I can see is to sell truly faster service to those that can afford it. Or maybe to privilege their own services with "always on" compression?

Of course, since video streams are highly compressed to start with, how much additional compression can be added by the carrier?
post #611 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philnick View Post

Cute! So the 25mbps (incoming) all the speedtest sites report on my connection is really only 12.5?

Maybe those sites should look for data compression and compensate, either by hugely increasing the size of the test file or simply cutting the reported speed in half!

Better question: Why turn compression off at 30MB, or at all? Only reason I can see is to sell truly faster service to those that can afford it. Or maybe to privilege their own services with "always on" compression?

Of course, since video streams are highly compressed to start with, how much additional compression can be added by the carrier?

I'd leave out any questions of WHY Comcast does something. If you stick to JAVA based speed tests you'll see a more accurate representation of your true speed. Flash based tests may or may not exceed 30MB so you may or may not see the speed drop. I see DL speeds of up to 30Mb on Comcast's own tests, but my real speed is closer to 11Mb. (4 channel DOCSIS-3)

The tests at DSLReports usually indicate when compression is detected.
We're talking about data compression here, not video compression. For the most part, AV streams do not compress much at all, unlike data streams. Think of it like a ZIP file compression.
post #612 of 1235
I've found ShaperProbe to be the most accurate representation of your actual sustainable download/upload speeds. It shows the shaped rate(the PowerBoost speeds) and the actual provisioned rate(the sustainable speeds you're actually paying for; 8/2, 16/2, 22/5, etc).
post #613 of 1235
Also good to note that in the past Comcast was known for messing with sustained transfers, mostly uploads. That practice was supposed to have been stopped but anything is possible.

I've seen a lot of buffering and slow load issues in the evenings in recent weeks from Amazon Prime titles. No problems in the daytime.
post #614 of 1235
interesting info -- modem here is still v2 . supposedly download speed is capped at 20 but I occasionally see slightly higher readings (and often significantly lower!) . Upload is somewhere between 3 and 4 if there's no congestion. I think you're right about the Flash speedtests- they show you a peak and grab that number, but it's not a test of the sustained transfer rate. Thanks for the suggestion (ShaperProbe) ... will check it out.

I probably need to update the modem , but frankly there are times it's fine and other times not so fine. I was just surprised that the 'wired' roku XDS also exhibited similar behavior - I had (at first) thought the problem was wireless interference during busy times (apt complex sometimes shows 50 or so ssids , so clearly that's an issue. because the original roku doesn't do n, whereas the newer roku does so that one is connecting to an 802.11.g ... and one is wired. Amazon (not netflix) on the roku(s) still stutters. On the BDT210 using wireless, it's playing fine. I'm just happy I'm getting it now - for a while, Amazon was not consistent enough (here) to even bother trying to watch a movie.I dont especially care which device it's coming through - I just thought it was odd that it was so inconsistent for me.

PS I have a backup DSL line here that I occasionally use for video streaming - it only does about 3 Mbps and yet it seems ok with netflix - the rate seems more consistent and less prone to fluctuations. Slow and steady wins the race?
post #615 of 1235
DOCSIS 3 shouldn't help for the lower speed tiers (under 42.8 Mbps down/30.7 Mbps up). The significant new feature of DOCSIS 3 is the ability to aggregate channels, so you can get 42.8 x n Mbps (where n is the number of channels) down and 30.7 x n up. My cable service (Cox San Diego) offers a 50 Mbps tier for $100/month which requires a DOCSIS 3 modem.
post #616 of 1235
Agreed, a DOCSIS-3 modem won't get you much without the "super blast" service tiers. I'm on the lower performance tier, I saw modest improvement for DL speeds but that had more to do with Comcast upping the caps on all tiers. You can't get the 20Mb+ tiers without a DOCSIS-3 modem. But I do see less variation in speeds with it.
post #617 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post

You can't get the 20Mb+ tiers without a DOCSIS-3 modem. But I do see less variation in speeds with it.

You can get up to 48 Mbps down on a DOCSIS 2 modem; I have 25 Mbps service (with "Turbo Boosts" to 30 Mbps ) on a DOCSIS 2 and it hits and maintains those speeds in long downloads, almost all of the time. When it doesn't it could be for many different reasons.
post #618 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post

In the interest of accuracy, Comcast uses data compression on DL and UL which more or less doubles your rated speed for the first 30MB (DL) or 15MB (UL) of any transfer. After that initial boost you will see your actual speed.
Comcast also has not yet implemented DOCSIS-3 in all areas.

Comcast does NOT compress the data!! If that was true, video and audio would NOT compress since they are already highly compressed (just like trying to compress a ZIP file typically does little to nothing.)

Powerboost adjusts the data rate sent to/from your modem based on available bandwidth and how much data you have recently used.

Although D3 isn't quite in all areas, they have been the most aggressive about upgrading. Even if you are not in a D3 area, it's a good idea to get a D3 modem if possible. If you also have Comcast phone service, you either have to continue renting their eMTA (you can still use a splitter and use your modem for data), or you an buy one authorized model of eMTA from selected Best Buy stores at full retail price.
post #619 of 1235
Holding off modem shopping, as I have been thinking of switching to RCN (they throw in a tivo and have 3 yr price guarantee) My bldg is wired for both. Getting a new D3 modem is probably on the 'to do' list, if I stay with Comcast. The old Motorola has seen better days! I upgraded my router last year and having 'n' vs b and g wifi (and the ability to get into less crowded 5g air space) has helped a lot. For compatibility with some older equipment, I also keep an older airport express available running the DSL connection as wifi 802.11.b/g (figured speed wasn't as essential). At one point I was thinking the Apple router might have been the 'amazon' bottleneck, but clearly that's not the case. It's not happening on the BDT210 - so it's most likely something to do with the (old) roku not liking something it's being fed.
post #620 of 1235
Which Motorola do you have? If your area is already D3, then getting a D3 modem will help by spreading the load across multiple channels, typically 4 in most areas. In fact, some areas now have 8 available channels. The latest Zoom modem supports that and is the only one available at retail with 8/4 support. It also seems to cost the same or less than the common 6120/6121.
post #621 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by andyross63 View Post

Which Motorola do you have? If your area is already D3, then getting a D3 modem will help by spreading the load across multiple channels, typically 4 in most areas.

They use multiple channels even for relatively low speed service like 25 Mbps?
post #622 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

They use multiple channels even for relatively low speed service like 25 Mbps?

They can spread the load across multiple channels, effectively giving your node 24 MHz of space instead of 6, so you're less likely to get slowed down by heavy traffic.
post #623 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

They use multiple channels even for relatively low speed service like 25 Mbps?

If you have a D3 modem, it will bond all available channels no matter what speed you have. Even Economy (1.5/0.384) would bond. I'm guessing it could be possible for them to disable bonding in the configuration file sent to the modem, but I don't think there would be any real reason for them to do it.

Currently, there is generally no upstream bonding. Over the summer, it was enabled for awhile, but then disappeared.
post #624 of 1235
I have an old motorola surfboard 5101 ... still works, but if I stay with Comcast I think you may have convinced me to try something newer if the multiple channel thing helps avoid the traffic jams.

Just an update - the new, improved Amazon interface seems to be working better with my Roku . Tried streaming a movie this afternoon and it didn't even burp once it loaded. Hmmm. Maybe it was a software issue (or everyone 's on vacation and the neighbors aren't clogging up the airwaves?)
post #625 of 1235
Been watching 24 from the start, on Season 5 in HD and noticed episode 9 was missing.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...&redirect=true

Sent a quick email to Amazon, they replied 1 hour 45 minutes later...on a Sunday night no less.

Not a canned response either.

Quote:


Hello,

Thanks for writing to us at amazon.com and bringing this issue to our attention regarding the missing episodes in the 24 Season 5 and others.

We'll have to look into the problem with missing episodes a little more deeply. I've contacted our technical specialists who should be able to provide further guidance.

I would personally follow up with you on this issue and make sure that this issue is resolved as soon as I get an update from the Amazon Instant Video technical team. I understand that asking you to wait further would add to your inconvenience, please do understand that our Amazon Instant Video team is already looking into this issue and resolving such issues is on our priority.

I'll get back to you with an update on this problem as soon as I hear back from our technical team.

I'm sorry I couldn't resolve the issue right away. I appreciate your patience and understanding while we investigate and resolve this problem.

Did I solve your problem?

If yes, please click here:
http://www.amazon.com/rsvp-y?c=rrxvthxb3252762322

If no, please click here:
http://www.amazon.com/rsvp-n?c=rrxvthxb3252762322

Please note: this e-mail was sent from an address that cannot accept incoming e-mail.

To contact us about an unrelated issue, please visit the Help section of our web site.

Best regards,

Sunita
Amazon.com
Your feedback is helping us build Earth's Most Customer-Centric Company.
http://www.amazon.com/your-account

Impressive
post #626 of 1235
I've had outstanding CS from Amazon as well on some clothing items(wrong size packaged in differently marked package), very personalized and incredibly good followup, probably the best CS experience I've ever had.
post #627 of 1235
They fixed it already
post #628 of 1235
Thread Starter 
By Tim Carmody January 28, 2012

... One way or another, Amazon seems committed to pursuing both a Netflix-style streaming subscription library and iTunes-style digital downloads. And really, out of the major players in digital video, it's the only one who's substantively pursuing both approaches. How do they compliment each other? What does offering both give Amazon and its customers that it doesn't give iTunes or Netflix?

more: http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2012/...reaming-video/
post #629 of 1235
Long time Amazon customer here. Before I got a Kindle Fire, I didn't know or care about Amazon's streaming services. I have more than enough storage capacity to do the buy or rent deal. If Amazon had all the "Top Gear" (UK) episodes that Netflix has, I wouldn't have been motivated to try their service.

Now that smart TVs and dumb set-top boxes have become popular, there's a pretty obvious race to get your service supported by as many of these products as possible. I suspect that without that business opportunity that they couldn't just ignore and hope it was a passing fad, that Amazon would have stuck with its fully downloadable content.
post #630 of 1235
Amazon and VUDU might have both stuck with download and play-while-downloading models, but technology happens. Streaming is cheaper to add to a device, inasmuch as it doesn't require local storage. Amazon still supports download to PCs (and currently only) download to TiVo, which serves customers without the network bandwidth to support streaming; VUDU is expanding that ability to devices other than their defunct proprietary STB which can support it, like the PS3, PC and a couple of LG BD players with internal HDDs (I'd expect them to also support Xbox, but I haven't looked). Microsoft's Zune Video also supports download to Xbox 360 and PCs.

Apple should try to get clients for streaming iTunes video on other platforms. They don't have an overwhelmingly large market share of STBs like they do portable music playing devices.

Netflix should consider adding online rental video, though they've rejected the idea in the past.
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