Originally Posted by Dstone001
I find when I stream Netflix (which is the content app I use most), whether through a Roku or Apple Tv, the first 10 seconds or so are terrible quality and then it gets better.
That's due to something called Adaptive Bit-rate Streaming (ABS). Netflix keeps several versions of every title, encoded at different bit rates (standard def at 235-, 375-, 560-, 750-, 1050- and 1750 Kbps, high def--if any--at 2350-, 3000- and 3850 Kbps). As the bit rate rises so does picture quality; the ABS algorithm tries to determine and use the highest bit rate video encode which can be streamed in the available bandwidth on your connection(s) to their server(s). If available bandwidth decreases, it smoothly switches to a lower bit rate encode without pausing; if it increases it switches to a higher bit rate encode.
ABS algorithms used by the various Netflix players are not created equal; some devices ramp up to the highest bit rate encodes very quickly, some are slow.