Originally Posted by Suntan
My question is, does Netflx stream higher bitrate feeds to this new roku if you set it up to output 1080p vs the older 720p roku I'm using now? Does the new Roku get the same high bitrate feeds as the PS3 does (assuming the show being watched offers the high bitrate in the first place)?
All of the newer Roku models (Roku 2s, HD 2500, LT and Roku 3) can stream Netflix's 1080p streams, DD+ 5.1 sound and closed-captions/subtitles, none of which were available to the older models. Their Netflix players use a technology called "Adaptive Bit Rate Streaming" (aka ABS), which will smoothly switch up and down through several video encodes at different bit-rates/picture-quality as its ability to keep its buffer full changes (probably due to fluctuations in available bandwidth on its connections to Netflix's servers). Most HD titles have three 1080p encodes, at 3850-, 4300- and 5800 Kbps. The 4300- and 5800- Kbps encodes are what Netflix calls "Super HD" and they're only available if your network provider has signed up to access Netflix's private content distribution network (CDN) which they call Open Connect. Very few ISPs have signed up thus far, the largest being Cox Communications and Cablevision.
Typically you need about 120% of the bit rate of a video encode to stay ahead of it, which would be about 4600 Kbps for the lowest bit rate 1080p encode, 5200- and 7000 Kbps for the Super HD ones. Go to https://owner.roku.com/Add
and enter "speedtest" to get a channel which will give you a rough idea of the network bandwidth you can get to your box.