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post #7081 of 9208 Old 03-02-2015, 08:23 AM
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Ever since House of .... came out I noticed more congestion starting out in SD use to always start out in HD. However it does ramp up to HD right away on the FTV. Not as bad as it was last year when those originals came out with new seasons and it was affecting everything that I was trying to watch in HD.

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post #7082 of 9208 Old 03-06-2015, 12:17 PM
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Amazon Instant Video audio change

I noticed a several days ago that Amazon Instant Video has changed their long time audio format from Dolby Digital 5.1 to Dolby Digital Plus.

The major audio issue I noticed with DD+ is Amazon's input audio gain is very low compared to other providers DD+ input gain. Netflix, Vudu,etc.

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post #7083 of 9208 Old 03-06-2015, 03:08 PM
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Interesting. How did you notice that it was playing in DD+.
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post #7084 of 9208 Old 03-06-2015, 04:21 PM
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It's DD+ on my TiVo Roamio, Roku 3, Fire TV Stick (when plugged into the AVR) and Vizio smart TV app. It's basic DD on the Xbox 360 and 6 channel LPCM on Xbox One. I have a couple of other Amazon playing devices (Panasonic DMP-BDT220 and Playstation 3) but I recently moved and they're not hooked up yet or I'd test them.

I know things are DD+ because I ask my AVR.

RRS1947 note that there is a Amazon Prime Instant Video thread.

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post #7085 of 9208 Old 03-06-2015, 04:36 PM
 
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Exactly, not all streamers (sources) are acting the same. My friends get better Netflix performance from their smartphones than all their smart HDTVs and BR players and AV receivers. ...And computers and laptops.

* Just plug the HDMI output (Mini HDMI adapter) cable from your smartphone to your hi-end surround sound processor's HDMI input.

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post #7086 of 9208 Old 03-06-2015, 11:03 PM
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Jumped the gun on Buffy and Angel. They are not going away next month. Neither is X-Files which I will start watching to see if I like it or not.

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post #7087 of 9208 Old 03-07-2015, 08:20 AM
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Interesting. How did you notice that it was playing in DD+.
Each type of decoder that is presently in use displays on my Yamaha home theater receiver. My streaming device is the Roku 2XS.

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post #7088 of 9208 Old 03-07-2015, 11:34 AM
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Exactly, not all streamers (sources) are acting the same. My friends get better Netflix performance from their smartphones than all their smart HDTVs and BR players and AV receivers. ...And computers and laptops.

* Just plug the HDMI output (Mini HDMI adapter) cable from your smartphone to your hi-end surround sound processor's HDMI input.
But do they actually output the video at a higher resolution? Tablets maybe but they might not be giving you HD on a 5" smartphone even if it has 1080p.
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post #7089 of 9208 Old 03-07-2015, 12:00 PM
 
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But do they actually output the video at a higher resolution? Tablets maybe but they might not be giving you HD on a 5" smartphone even if it has 1080p.
Ah, I'm no expert there, and I didn't ask. ...I will next time though, thx.

* Question: Is Netflix performance varies from one source to another in their own application? Like for example: this guy has Netflix app in his Sony BR player and it performs quite well. He also has Netflix app in his Samsung BR player but it does not perform as well as in his Sony BR player.

Is there something to do with the manufacturer's own Netflix app implementation? ...Manufacturers of BR players, smart HDTVs, AV receivers, etc.

...Not talking picture and sound quality necessarily here, but consistency, reliability, solidity of transmission audio/video signals, etc.
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post #7090 of 9208 Old 03-07-2015, 01:34 PM
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In general today's embedded Netflix apps are either the old common Netflix UI or the new common Netflix UI. I have the former on my WD TV Live, Panasonic DMP-BDT220 and Sony BDP-S390 (I haven't looked at the BDPs in a while; they may have changed, but I doubt it). I have the new common Netflix UI on TiVo Roamio, TiVo Premiere, Roku 3, Fire TV Stick, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PS3. They're both implemented in web authoring languages like HTML5, CSS and Javascript; the older one runs on Webkit and the newer one runs on a pared-down, purpose-optimized layout/rendering engine of Netflix's own design. This implementation strategy yields a consistent look and feel for the their product, regardless of the hardware it's running on; if you know how to use the new or old common Netflix interface on one platform you know how to use it on any other, though the direction and selection keys may be in different places on their remotes.

I imagine that Netflix has a specification for a hardware layer for these, with platform-specific functions to do things like actually drawing stuff on the screen and to call Netflix's code back when remote buttons are pressed. It would also include code for dealing with network communication and for doing the work of streaming the video, though I'd imagine that Netflix would provide a reference implementation for that. This layer could run better on one hardware platform than on another for any number of reasons, including processor speed and available memory.

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post #7091 of 9208 Old 03-07-2015, 10:20 PM
 
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Wow, you know a lot about Netflix. Thanks Mike for your time.
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post #7092 of 9208 Old 03-08-2015, 08:17 AM
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Wow, you know a lot about Netflix. Thanks Mike for your time.
Mike is the computer guru here. We wouldn't expect anything less.


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post #7093 of 9208 Old 03-08-2015, 02:02 PM
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In general today's embedded Netflix apps are either the old common Netflix UI or the new common Netflix UI. I have the former on my WD TV Live, Panasonic DMP-BDT220 and Sony BDP-S390 (I haven't looked at the BDPs in a while; they may have changed, but I doubt it). I have the new common Netflix UI on TiVo Roamio, TiVo Premiere, Roku 3, Fire TV Stick, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PS3. They're both implemented in web authoring languages like HTML5, CSS and Javascript; the older one runs on Webkit and the newer one runs on a pared-down, purpose-optimized layout/rendering engine of Netflix's own design. This implementation strategy yields a consistent look and feel for the their product, regardless of the hardware it's running on; if you know how to use the new or old common Netflix interface on one platform you know how to use it on any other, though the direction and selection keys may be in different places on their remotes.

I imagine that Netflix has a specification for a hardware layer for these, with platform-specific functions to do things like actually drawing stuff on the screen and to call Netflix's code back when remote buttons are pressed. It would also include code for dealing with network communication and for doing the work of streaming the video, though I'd imagine that Netflix would provide a reference implementation for that. This layer could run better on one hardware platform than on another for any number of reasons, including processor speed and available memory.
Someplace on their tech blog they explain the various encodings used an usually those blogs are dated so it is hard to say what they are using now. I think a lot of companies would like to use VP9 instead of h.264 because there's no royalty to be paid. On Chromecast I noted that when I started a movie on my Android phone which was listed as HD and switched over to the Chromecast it was stuck at the lower resolution level. This also happened once with VUDU. These days I just use my Sony S1200 where I can even check the resolution via the display button.
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post #7094 of 9208 Old 03-08-2015, 03:17 PM
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Someplace on their tech blog they explain the various encodings used an usually those blogs are dated so it is hard to say what they are using now.

On page 38 of "A Brief History of Netflix Streaming" (slides from a presentation given in May of 2013) they list all of the encoding profiles that they've used; the ones crossed out are no longer in use and one of them has a big "D" on it, indicating that it's deprecated. On page 5 of the slides from the more recent "Encoding at Netflix" presentation from May 2014 they list the profiles that are currently in use (I assume that "Unuxed" in the iOS2 profile is a misspelling of "Unmuxed" which has carried over from the previous presentation ). Both sets of slides are very informative to the technically minded. Netflix started out using VC-1 video muxed with WMA stereo audio and now uses AVC video with separated HE-AAC stereo or DD+ audio (OggVorbis audio for Nintendo and basic DD for iOS devices). Their latest "CE4" profile uses HEVC for 4K (2160p) video, though I think that the lower resolution encodes continue to be in AVC for 4K devices.

No matter what, I think that Netflix would have to use AVC and HEVC because all devices they support now will decode them and only some will decode VP9. Of course, YouTube is pressing the issue of VP9 by requiring its use for 4K. Even if all future devices were to decode VP9, there are devices which decode AVC and/or HEVC now which are unlikely to ever add VP9 decoding (like my Vizio 4K TV), so future support of those devices will require AVC and/or HEVC.

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post #7095 of 9208 Old 03-08-2015, 03:25 PM
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Mike is the computer guru here. We wouldn't expect anything less.

I'm certainly not the only computer guru around here . I'm just a former software engineer in disability retirement with some experience in embedded media applications, an interest in streaming and a lot of time on my hands .
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Mike is the computer guru here. We wouldn't expect anything less.

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Thanks Ian; I'm real glad I stumbled onto him.
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post #7097 of 9208 Old 03-09-2015, 11:30 AM
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On page 38 of "A Brief History of Netflix Streaming" (slides from a presentation given in May of 2013) they list all of the encoding profiles that they've used; the ones crossed out are no longer in use and one of them has a big "D" on it, indicating that it's deprecated. On page 5 of the slides from the more recent "Encoding at Netflix" presentation from May 2014 they list the profiles that are currently in use (I assume that "Unuxed" in the iOS2 profile is a misspelling of "Unmuxed" which has carried over from the previous presentation ). Both sets of slides are very informative to the technically minded. Netflix started out using VC-1 video muxed with WMA stereo audio and now uses AVC video with separated HE-AAC stereo or DD+ audio (OggVorbis audio for Nintendo and basic DD for iOS devices). Their latest "CE4" profile uses HEVC for 4K (2160p) video, though I think that the lower resolution encodes continue to be in AVC for 4K devices.

No matter what, I think that Netflix would have to use AVC and HEVC because all devices they support now will decode them and only some will decode VP9. Of course, YouTube is pressing the issue of VP9 by requiring its use for 4K. Even if all future devices were to decode VP9, there are devices which decode AVC and/or HEVC now which are unlikely to ever add VP9 decoding (like my Vizio 4K TV), so future support of those devices will require AVC and/or HEVC.
The problem with HEVC is that it seems to take about 10 times as long to encode. I posted an interesting article here from a developer who worked on an encoder/decoder for HEVC. But it's in it's early stages and the optimization geeks haven't gotten all through it yet.

There are downloadable encoders for HEVC for folks who want to test it out themselves.
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post #7098 of 9208 Old 03-09-2015, 11:43 AM
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What I don't get is why when the quality goes down to there awful low def (240, 288, 384) the audio still is loud and sounds great? I am saying this because I am having streaming issues again but not as bad as last year. During Psych the quality went down to that awful 240p on the Fire TV (why in Gods name does Netflix still keep that useless encode) well I rewind the stream 20 seconds and it stayed in HD.

Last night was definitely more congested which I why I reconnected my Roku 3 to test it out. The quality started out bad playing that El Fuente clip and the FF REW method did not let is start out in 1080p. Well on the PS4 it would not go past 720p if I did the FF REW trick. If I let it start out in awful quality the highest it went up to was 4300kbps 1080p taking nearly 2 minutes. On the Fire TV it started horrible but went to HD the quickest in around 15 seconds but kept fluctuation between 4300kbps and 5800kbps however on the Roku 3 after about 30 seconds it went to 3000kbps 720p and about 10 seconds later it went up to 5800kbps 1080p and stayed there.

Now the weird part at exactly around 11:20 PM everything even the PS4 went up to 5800kbps 1080p and the FF REW method on all devices made the stream start out in 5800 kbps. I hope TWC is not throttling the connection until after 11 PM. I thought there were not allowed to get away with that.

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post #7099 of 9208 Old 03-09-2015, 11:58 AM
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The problem with HEVC is that it seems to take about 10 times as long to encode. I posted an interesting article here from a developer who worked on an encoder/decoder for HEVC. But it's in it's early stages and the optimization geeks haven't gotten all through it yet.

Netflix talks about that on slide 31 of the newer presentation. The encoders were (are) slow and they weren't seeing any increased efficiency in terms of the-same-or-higher-PQ at lower bit rates. They expect to see it mature to the same encoding speed as AVC with 20%-30% efficiency gain in about a year (they said approx. 2 years when they gave that presentation last May). Should be interesting to see if they make a similar presentation this Spring and what they have to say in it.

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post #7100 of 9208 Old 03-09-2015, 12:16 PM
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Does it matter as Netflix most likely encodes there new content way before it is available to the public.

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post #7101 of 9208 Old 03-09-2015, 04:10 PM
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What I don't get is why when the quality goes down to there awful low def (240, 288, 384) the audio still is loud and sounds great? I am saying this because I am having streaming issues again but not as bad as last year. During Psych the quality went down to that awful 240p on the Fire TV (why in Gods name does Netflix still keep that useless encode) well I rewind the stream 20 seconds and it stayed in HD.

Last night was definitely more congested which I why I reconnected my Roku 3 to test it out. The quality started out bad playing that El Fuente clip and the FF REW method did not let is start out in 1080p. Well on the PS4 it would not go past 720p if I did the FF REW trick. If I let it start out in awful quality the highest it went up to was 4300kbps 1080p taking nearly 2 minutes. On the Fire TV it started horrible but went to HD the quickest in around 15 seconds but kept fluctuation between 4300kbps and 5800kbps however on the Roku 3 after about 30 seconds it went to 3000kbps 720p and about 10 seconds later it went up to 5800kbps 1080p and stayed there.

Now the weird part at exactly around 11:20 PM everything even the PS4 went up to 5800kbps 1080p and the FF REW method on all devices made the stream start out in 5800 kbps. I hope TWC is not throttling the connection until after 11 PM. I thought there were not allowed to get away with that.
Like we have discussed before, occasionally my stream will drop down to 480 or even 240 after pausing it for a few minutes, but once I restart it, it goes right back up to 1080 and stays there. For me it's the pausing that causes the issue and only on certain titles.

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Watched Robocop (newest version) last night around 7pm est. Started in HD and stayed in HD. The movie on the other hand was pretty bad. Original Robocop ftw.
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post #7103 of 9208 Old 03-10-2015, 09:23 AM
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Like we have discussed before, occasionally my stream will drop down to 480 or even 240 after pausing it for a few minutes, but once I restart it, it goes right back up to 1080 and stays there. For me it's the pausing that causes the issue and only on certain titles.

Ian
I understand but 240p is so bad. I rather have the stream rebuffer to HD then it drop down to that horrible resolution so bad that I can't even make out faces. Heck I do rebuffer it roll it back about 10 to 20 seconds so there it is a useless bitrate and yes even on my old iPod touch or my Nexus 5 it looks rather bad too. Maybe on the Apple Watch with it's tiny screen it would look okay.

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What I don't get is why when the quality goes down to there awful low def (240, 288, 384) the audio still is loud and sounds great?
That's because the audio is a separate file stream as only one is needed.

I did get a rebuffering around 10:10 PM PDT last night. Hadn't seen one of those in a long time. Resolution dropped down again around 10:20 for awhile. We have no idea (unless Netflix reports problems) where the problem lies as it could have been local too like the neighbors firing up Netflix after watching some sports thingy.
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post #7105 of 9208 Old 03-10-2015, 08:03 PM
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That's because the audio is a separate file stream as only one is needed.
That is what I though as I never heard of adaptive audio streaming just adaptive video but I was not sure.

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post #7106 of 9208 Old 03-11-2015, 12:52 PM
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That is what I though as I never heard of adaptive audio streaming just adaptive video but I was not sure.

The audio bit rate is also trivial; 192 Kbps for 5.1 sound, 96 Kbps for stereo (embedded; 64 Kbps for stereo sound in the PC players). The crappiest video bitrate is 235 Kbps, the best being 5800 Kbps (8000- to 15600 Kbps for 4K).

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The audio bit rate is also trivial; 192 Kbps for 5.1 sound, 96 Kbps for stereo (embedded; 64 Kbps for stereo sound in the PC players).
The crappiest video bitrate is 235 Kbps, the best being 5800 Kbps (8000- to 15600 Kbps for 4K).
DD+ 5.1 is only 192 kbps? ...And stereo is an abominable below MP3 resolution?

And for video, 235 kbps is what, like 188i lines?

How much speed is required to get 15600 kbps?

Last, how many 3D titles do you guys have over there, with Nelflix?
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post #7108 of 9208 Old 03-11-2015, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post
The audio bit rate is also trivial; 192 Kbps for 5.1 sound, 96 Kbps for stereo (embedded; 64 Kbps for stereo sound in the PC players). The crappiest video bitrate is 235 Kbps, the best being 5800 Kbps (8000- to 15600 Kbps for 4K).
I sort of wish that they would at least give us the 640Kbps DD when doing the 5800Kbps video stream. Not that it is that much qualitatively different, but just because. Although, as long as we're wishing, they might as well give us DTS-MA and 15Mbps 1080p.

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post #7109 of 9208 Old 03-11-2015, 01:20 PM
 
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...I'll keep buying Blu-rays; my eyes and ears are too precious to me. Life's just too short to be mistreated.
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post #7110 of 9208 Old 03-11-2015, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post
The crappiest video bitrate is 235 Kbps, the best being 5800 Kbps (8000- to 15600 Kbps for 4K).
Yet Netflix still keeps that horrible 235kbps 240p? It still looks like crap even on a mobile phone. I still can't make out faces or anything. It is not worth it even if you are on a bandwidth cap. I rather stick with streaming music on mobile and even that is at a higher bitrate.

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Last edited by reddice; 03-11-2015 at 02:45 PM.
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