Originally Posted by hodgjy
I have some basic questions about this, and my searches here and the internet came up empty. Maybe I'm not using the correct keywords.
What frame rate does Netflix actually send their material in? Is it the native rate it was filmed in, or is always sent in 60 fps for 1080p material and 30 fps for 4k material to maintain device compatibility? Then, it's the device's responsibility to "extract" the native rate if it's compatible with it?
If it's sent natively, is it then the device's responsibility to convert it to 60 fps for the tv if the device/tv can't handle the native rate?
I'm really trying to wrap my head around what happens to the native 24.000 fps signal and what Netflix expects to happen with it.
Netflix stream in the original rate; not often in 59.94/60p as most content originates from 23.976 (and now 24.0p). Even though most folk will often be familar with TV content like Friends from the TV distributed / DVD versions at 59.94i they were 23.976p/24p productions.
Netflix just expect it to be played to the best of the device's ability I guess - there have been several devices produced which do this without drama; tellingly made by AV companies and not tech companies (Sony and Samsung UHD players both play 24.000p at 24.000p if you enable 24p playback in the menus).
Netflix's "Originals" specification mandates that content be supplied in the original filmed frame rate. With no requirement for broadcast distribution content producers no longer need to be constrained by the non-integer 23.976/59.94 rates. (which only happened to give a constant 3:2 pulldown for NTSC's 59.94 rate).
As others point out, this isn't unique to Netflix, and at least for Netflix there are alternative ways to play back affected titles. I'm not aware of any AppleTV supporting apps on devices that definitely do 24.000p yet.
Originally Posted by hodgjy
I have the option of watching Netflix on my Apple tv at 60 fps or at native frame rate. I can also watch it on my tv's built in app (Sony X900F with Android TV). I have no options to change the frame rate from within my tv's app, so what frame rate is the tv using to show the Netflix content?
To work that out, unless you can pull up some on-screen diagnostics on the Sony, or find out from someone who's already worked it out, you'd need a high framerate camera and the Netflix test pattern library. That should allow you to work out if it is outputting at ~59.94/60p (by spotting whether there is an obvious 3:2 cadence in the presentation from the frame timing), and whether there are any dropped frames characteristic of 23.976p / 59.94p presentation of 24p material. (there are test videos for both 23.976p and 24.0p in the library, along with 25, 29.97, 30, 50, 59.94, 60).
Netflix clearly consider all these frame rates to be valid, and at least one arm of Apple does too as the HLS streaming specification for AppleTV also supports them. 24.0, 30.0 and 60.0 do not play back correctly without dropped frames on current AppleTV hardware, but this is really only being noticed on 24.0p as that is where most of the affected real content is.