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*Official* Roku 2 Media Streamer Thread - Page 17

post #481 of 1131
All my Roku's have no problem streaming HD from the beginning. One of the is actually wirless (I'm using a Linksus E4200 dual band router). The other three are hardwired with Cat6 cable. Our internet is through Comcast/Infinity and we get between 40-50MPS download but it's my understanding that you only need 2.5MBS/unit for non-glitchy HD streaming. That's why I think you may have a defective unit. Did you make sure it has the latest FW updated and then re-boot the system?
post #482 of 1131
Quote:
Originally Posted by cavchameleon View Post

All my Roku's have no problem streaming HD from the beginning. One of the is actually wirless (I'm using a Linksus E4200 dual band router). The other three are hardwired with Cat6 cable. Our internet is through Comcast/Infinity and we get between 40-50MPS download but it's my understanding that you only need 2.5MBS/unit for non-glitchy HD streaming. That's why I think you may have a defective unit. Did you make sure it has the latest FW updated and then re-boot the system?

It did an update as soon as I connected it, and I think after that it rebooted, so I'm pretty sure it has the latest FW. Also later I connected it to another TV set using wireless and it's the same thing, and this is with a top of the line Cisco router.
post #483 of 1131
It's a well know fact, at least it was to me, that the Roku 2 units use an adaptive algorithm and start out at low res. I knew that before I even bought the unit. I don't see it as a deal breaker, but I guess we all use the equipment a bit differently.


One thing to note is the Roku will do the Netflix 1080 stream, none of the Pannys will do it at this point as far as i am aware. The Rokus and PS3s plus a handful of other unit have access to those streams.
post #484 of 1131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt L View Post

It's a well know fact, at least it was to me, that the Roku 2 units use an adaptive algorithm and start out at low res. I knew that before I even bought the unit. I don't see it as a deal breaker, but I guess we all use the equipment a bit differently.

One thing to note is the Roku will do the Netflix 1080 stream, none of the Pannys will do it at this point as far as i am aware. The Rokus and PS3s plus a handful of other unit have access to those streams.

The LG MediaLink TV's and the Smart TV Upgrader will also stream at 1080p. My Roku2 XD also does. Neat streamer. Not for people wanting to play local files, even with Plex. The Roku2 units have pretty low powered hardware even if they can handle 1080p.

Philip
post #485 of 1131
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmcd View Post

The LG MediaLink TV's and the Smart TV Upgrader will also stream at 1080p. My Roku2 XD also does. Neat streamer. Not for people wanting to play local files, even with Plex. The Roku2 units have pretty low powered hardware even if they can handle 1080p.

Philip

I've had great results playing local content via Plex, latest Roku firmware update excluded.
What issues are you having with Plex channel?
post #486 of 1131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt L View Post

It's a well know fact, at least it was to me, that the Roku 2 units use an adaptive algorithm and start out at low res. I knew that before I even bought the unit. I don't see it as a deal breaker, but I guess we all use the equipment a bit differently.


One thing to note is the Roku will do the Netflix 1080 stream, none of the Pannys will do it at this point as far as i am aware. The Rokus and PS3s plus a handful of other unit have access to those streams.

Thanks,

I did not know that about the Roku2, just did not notice (we hardly fast forward/reverse - mostly stop and re-play if we need to do something).
post #487 of 1131
What I'd like to see is 5.1 without 1080P. 1080P uses too much bandwidth for me while 5.1 shouldn't be so bandwidth intensive.
post #488 of 1131
1. The Roku1's didn't do the adaptive streaming, so you might try ebay - but it seems like your mind is made up. The Roku2 does the adaptive streaming so that way you don't lose your buffer - it goes from lowest available res to highest in 20 seconds or so, and picks where it will play the best. This is because so many people were having "blips" of internet where the speed would drop that netflix would buffer and was annoying to those users.

2. I stream local content ALL the time, using roksbox channel and the private mythrokuplayer channel that plays content from my mythtv dvr. Never an issue. I have not used plex.

3. You can get 5.1 without 1080, you can have just 720. But you must have DD+, not just dolby digital...
post #489 of 1131
Quote:
Originally Posted by krisbee View Post


3. You can get 5.1 without 1080, you can have just 720. But you must have DD+, not just dolby digital...

That is good news. My processor does DD+.
post #490 of 1131
I think these devices should give the user the choice of what method to use. There may be some people that prefer to start playback right away but with really ugly picture quality for several seconds, and people that may prefer to wait a few seconds to buffer and start playback properly, at full quality.

However, I did some comparisons last night between my Panasonic BD65 and this Roku, and it seems to me that the Roku needs some work in the network circuitry. I used the same exact LAN cable for this, and played the same title, which I was an episode of Caprica. With the Panasonic, when I select play, it shows the test bar on the bottom right corner, which quickly goes up to HD and then it buffers pretty fast and starts playing HD. The Roku, just a minute later after I connected the same LAN cable to it, shows only one progress bar that buffers slower than the Panasonic, but unlike the Panasonic, it starts playing at this horrible picture quality and goes up to HD after several seconds. So it's not even that the Panasonic is taking more time to buffer, in fact it's taking less time, and it starts playback in HD, and this is also after a search, in which the Roku is terrible because like I said in my first post, it goes into a lower quality stream before it starts getting better. And I'm taking about a Panasonic from 2009, I suppose the new ones have to be better, although I don't know for sure.

Regardless, I'm not going to pay $100 for something that only streams and does a rather poor job at it compared to what I already have. In any case, I'll spend those $100 in a new Panasonic Blu-ray player to get DD and subtitles.
post #491 of 1131
Also, I don't even know why it needs to send a lower stream when these 720p streams are like 3.6 mbps and my connection is almost 30 mbps. It should start streaming at full quality right away.
post #492 of 1131
it doesn't work that way.
post #493 of 1131
Currently, all players supporting 1080p perform the same buffering and there is no reason to believe they won't in the future.
post #494 of 1131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt L View Post

One thing to note is the Roku will do the Netflix 1080 stream, none of the Pannys will do it at this point as far as i am aware. The Rokus and PS3s plus a handful of other unit have access to those streams.

I'm not sure if I would want 1080p unless it's sent with at least twice the bitrate. 720p on Netflix, at the current bitrate of 3.6 mbps, looks barely decent, as long as the content doesn't have too much grain, or too much motion. If the frame size is that much larger, it would need a lot more bitrate to accommodate that increase in size, or show too much pixelation.

However, are you sure that there are 1080p streams? Does it say that anywhere in the title description?
post #495 of 1131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebaz View Post

However, are you sure that there are 1080p streams?

This has been covered so many times... try here for starters.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...5#post21338245
post #496 of 1131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

This has been covered so many times... try here for starters.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...5#post21338245

If those screenshots are a good indicator, I'm not really missing on anything. I can barely tell a difference. In the second group, I can see a tiny difference in the girl's eyebrow, but the 1080p is so heavily compressed that there's almost no difference, unlike a 720p and 1080p compared without such extreme compression.

Still, my girlfriend wants to keep the device in the TV set upstairs because it's too much of a hassle to send a LAN cable up there, and the ROKU works great wirelessly. So I'm going to bring it downstairs for a little while and try those titles that are supposed to be 1080p to see if I can see a difference, but probably I won't, judging by those screenshots.
post #497 of 1131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebaz View Post

I'm not sure if I would want 1080p unless it's sent with at least twice the bitrate. 720p on Netflix, at the current bitrate of 3.6 mbps, looks barely decent, as long as the content doesn't have too much grain, or too much motion. If the frame size is that much larger, it would need a lot more bitrate to accommodate that increase in size, or show too much pixelation.

You're not receiving a bit-for-bit raster of the picture, for which 1080p would require a little over twice the bandwidth as 720p at the same framerate. What you're getting is a highly compressed description of the picture and there's no 1-to-1 correspondence in terms of bandwidth required. As is, 1080p streams are available at a 33% increase in bandwidth (4.8 Mbps versus 3.6 Mbps for the higher of two 720p encodings--see the information at the bottom of this Netflix blog entry).
Quote:


However, are you sure that there are 1080p streams? Does it say that anywhere in the title description?

I'm very sure. I believe that they pretty much always create a 1080p encoding for titles available in HD; I tested about 30 titles at random once and they all had them (streaming on the PS3, you can display an indicator of the quality of the stream that you're getting--I used that). People have since pointed out a few 720p-only HD titles to me (a few seasons of some anime series where other seasons did have 1080p encodes and the film Scary Movie among them) but I don't think that I've run into any in my own watching.

To see the difference in quality between Netflix 720p and 1080p, check out the following:

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/657...ank202high.png
http://img820.imageshack.us/img820/2...nk202xhigh.png

http://img809.imageshack.us/img809/7...ank206high.png
http://img194.imageshack.us/img194/3...nk206xhigh.png

http://img13.imageshack.us/img13/430...dent04high.png
http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/428...ent04xhigh.png

http://img542.imageshack.us/img542/2...s31080high.png
http://img683.imageshack.us/img683/5...31080xhigh.png Each pair is the same frame of a film (the first two pairs from Ong Bak 2: The Beginning, the third from the titles of something called The Resident, chosen for having lots of fine detail) and the final pair from Let the Right One In; the first of each pair is 720p and the second 1080p (To compare, I suggest opening them in different tabs in Chrome, hitting F11 to blow up to fullscreen and flipping back and forth between them with CTRL-TAB--I like to use Chrome for this because it does fullscreen better than any other browser I know, with no frame of any kind). On close examination you can see that 1080p is sharper, but maybe not so much that it'd make a difference to Joe Average, though A/V-ophile snobs who participate in these forums can appreciate it . The difference is particularly clear between the two frame from the title sequence of The Resident, which are full of minute detail. (The images are from msgohan's "Netflix PS3 streaming comparison PIX" thread).

Note that Let the Right One In can currently be used as a test of whether you're getting 1080p encodings since the lower line of upper subtitles gets clipped at 1080p--you can see that in the pair above. One day they may fix that, since it renders the film unwatchable for non-Swedish-speakers.


EDIT: Ninja'd by Charles R . Still, try the comparison of the frames of The Resident I posted links to in the spoiler.
post #498 of 1131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebaz View Post

If those screenshots are a good indicator, I'm not really missing on anything. I can barely tell a difference. In the second group, I can see a tiny difference in the girl's eyebrow, but the 1080p is so heavily compressed that there's almost no difference, unlike a 720p and 1080p compared without such extreme compression.

I like to use frames of faces because they contain a lot of detail. Unfortunately those are smooth, nearly blemish-and-wrinkle-free faces of children .

Here's some Netflix-1080p-versus-BD frame pairs (all facial close-ups):


Netflix is clearly not as sharp as BD, but it compares pretty well, considering that the Netflix 1080p video encodings are 4.8 Mbps average (Outbreak is 15 Mbps AVC and Lost: The Complete First Season is 22 Mbps, according to Blu-rayStats.com).
post #499 of 1131
Quote:
Originally Posted by dvdchance View Post


I've had great results playing local content via Plex, latest Roku firmware update excluded.
What issues are you having with Plex channel?

Well it works well but is very CPU taxing on the server side. It basically never direct streams unless you are very careful with the way you prepare your videos. In particular, you have to make sure that the level profile is 4.0 or under. This is far more restrictive than the Plex client on either the ATV2 or an LG Smart TV or even the rather low powered LG ST600. I have these Plex clients and my Mac Mini Plex server never had a high CPU usage. With the Roku2 XD it was over 85%. Even files meant for my older ATV1 (so we are taking about a 4 or 5 year old media player) seemed to tax the Roku2. I still quite like the Roku as a net streamer but less so as a Plex client. The 1080p support is there but at the expense of other quality factors. I prefer Netflix on any of the other 3 I mentioned.

The Roku2 is a neat inexpensive streamer ( well the pricing is such that it is not that inexpensive if you want an Ethernet port and wireless is only 2.4GHz). The channels work well and are fun, but they cut corners to get to the price point.

One last thing. People keep pointing out how the Roku is smaller than the ATV2 conveniently omitting the use of the external power supply as opposed to the internal one of the ATV2.

philip

Edit: It turns out there is a setting to allow the Roku Plex client to play level 4.1 files. It is unsupported but works well. This makes the Roku2 far more interesting as a Plex client.
post #500 of 1131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt L View Post

I bit the bullet last night an enabled video processing on my Onkyo AVR and turned down the brightness on the Roku input - Wow what a difference. The latest software release really screwed up my viewing, I 'm using a Sammy and I guess it does not like the change in black level range as reported by others here. all my inputs are set to 0 for brightness, the roku requires a -21 setting to look good.

Netflix looked stunning in HD once it was not all washed out. Problem is enabling processing slightly reduces the quality of other inputs. Have to explore and see if there is a way via the remote to enable and disable the processing. But at least I'm able to see what the little Roku box is capable of.

I had the issue with blacks looking grey on my Onkyo/Samsung set up also. Apparently the Roku outputs a RGB Limited (16-235) signal. This causes the problem. The solution is to go into your Samsung's set up menu and find the HDMI Black Level setting. Change this from Normal to Low. Bang, perfect picture. The Normal setting is for devices that output a RPG Full (0-255) signal. Go to the Roku forums and search for "black level not fixed" for the details. I was told that having this setting wrong also affects color accuracy, not just the black level so changing the HMDI setting is the preferred solution rather than just turning down the brightness setting.
post #501 of 1131
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeracerx View Post

I had the issue with blacks looking grey on my Onkyo/Samsung set up also. Apparently the Roku outputs a RGB Limited (16-235) signal. This causes the problem. The solution is to go into your Samsung's set up menu and find the HDMI Black Level setting. Change this from Normal to Low. Bang, perfect picture. The Normal setting is for devices that output a RPG Full (0-255) signal. Go to the Roku forums and search for "black level not fixed" for the details. I was told that having this setting wrong also affects color accuracy, not just the black level so changing the HMDI setting is the preferred solution rather than just turning down the brightness setting.

They fixed the issue with a firmware a few months ago.
post #502 of 1131
No, they unfixed it for me and others.

My Sammy is pro calibrated by one of the best and I"m not going to change those settings becasue a $80 box does not like them. I use the Onkyo as a HDMI switcher and only feed one cable to the TV so changing the settings on a secondary input won't work for me either, plus I'd loose the HDMI audio option.

I guess I'll live with the situation as is for now, the Roku is not getting a lot of use at the moment, too much DVRd stuff to catch up on. It will get more of a work out later in the year.
post #503 of 1131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt L View Post

My Sammy is pro calibrated by one of the best and I"m not going to change those settings becasue a $80 box does not like them.

It's not Roku rather it's the industry standard.
post #504 of 1131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt L View Post

No, they unfixed it for me and others.

My Sammy is pro calibrated by one of the best and I"m not going to change those settings becasue a $80 box does not like them. I use the Onkyo as a HDMI switcher and only feed one cable to the TV so changing the settings on a secondary input won't work for me either, plus I'd loose the HDMI audio option.

I guess I'll live with the situation as is for now, the Roku is not getting a lot of use at the moment, too much DVRd stuff to catch up on. It will get more of a work out later in the year.

Mine has been calibrated as well. But I run everything through an DVDO DUO before going to my Sammy.
post #505 of 1131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

It's not Roku rather it's the industry standard.

Can't agree. Funny, I have a stack of other video equipment, 5 to be exact, all connected to the Sammy via the Onkyo and NONE of them have washed out blacks. Everyone of them displays properly other than the Roku, by deduction- the Roku is at fault.
post #506 of 1131
When the Roku 2 first came out, a large number of people were complaining that it was using the PC black level scale (0-255) instead of the video one (16-235), severely screwing up contrast on televisions expecting the video black level scale. Roku engineers agreed and fixed it in a firmware update, after which many users complained that the new values looked screwed up on their televisions.
post #507 of 1131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt L View Post


Can't agree. Funny, I have a stack of other video equipment, 5 to be exact, all connected to the Sammy via the Onkyo and NONE of them have washed out blacks. Everyone of them displays properly other than the Roku, by deduction- the Roku is at fault.

Your TV is not in compliance with the HDMI specifications, as has already been discussed. While your other source devices may be able to produce a "correct" image by also operating out of spec to compensate for your defectively designed TV, that doesn't indicate that the Roku is at fault by not also operating out of spec.

Bottom line: if your TV worked right, the Roku would produce a better image.
post #508 of 1131
It would be better if the ROKU 2 output YCrCb like most other consumer video devices or gave an option to set RGB to be full or limited.

It seems like there are some (people have reported issues with Samsung and Visio) TVs which don't handle RGB limited correctly (yes they are out of spec - but it appears there quite a few of them).

I had the original issue and was happy when ROKU fixed it as it works well for me now - but it did unfix for many others.
post #509 of 1131
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoboRay View Post

Your TV is not in compliance with the HDMI specifications, as has already been discussed. While your other source devices may be able to produce a "correct" image by also operating out of spec to compensate for your defectively designed TV, that doesn't indicate that the Roku is at fault by not also operating out of spec.

Bottom line: if your TV worked right, the Roku would produce a better image.

Several points --- One, Samsung is the largess producer of TVs out there, so anyone with a Samsung panel and a Roku2 is supposed to suffer with a poor image, bad move by Roku.

Second, I dug into my TV a bit tonight and found something interesting, perhaps it will help others in my situation. As I mentioned my set is pro calibrated by Chad B., and the settings in Calibration mode are locked out as per my request to Chad. Anyway there are 2 or 3 settings available, one being HDMI black level. It's set to "Normal" for all my viewing, but ran the Roku2 through my Onkyo as I usually do and found I was able to change the setting to "Low"- it normally only has "Normal" available. When I set it to "Low'- voila! the image was great.

I thought I might have to program my Harmony remote to change the setting when I activated the Roku input, but when I flipped back to my Directv receiver, the setting was back to "Normal" and again locked out. I flipped back to the Roku and the setting was back to "Low". Apparently there is a flag on the signal from the Roku box that is triggering my Samsung to the correct setting. What ever, now the image is displaying properly and I did not have to juggle any settings in my remoter to accomplish that.
post #510 of 1131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt L View Post

Several points --- One, Samsung is the largess producer of TVs out there, so anyone with a Samsung panel and a Roku2 is supposed to suffer with a poor image, bad move by Roku.

Not every Samsung panel, it seems. I have a Samsung LN46D630 (which is an LCD set). I waited to buy the Roku 2 until the firmware update came out that corrected the color range problem. I am very happy with the Roku 2 picture on HD material from Netflix. The picture is not overly dark, blacks aren't crushed, there is no posterization, and the image is reasonably detailed given the fact that Netflix is applying some compression. BTW, the Samsung is NOT set to display in PC mode, which was the recommended workaround before the update came out.
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