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Discussion Starter #1
I have been researching this and it appears the hardware is changing so rapidly that older answers to this question are no longer accurate.


Given that the new Roku contains 1080p and 5.1 audio, is it now as good/better than the PS3?


I want to buy the very best possible Netflix streaming device. Here is what I am considering at present.


(1) Roku XDS

(2) Apple TV

(3) LG brp-550

(4) Oppo brp-93

(5) PS3


Is there anything else? Which is the very best?
 

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The Roku was updated to support 1080p/5.1. It currently doesn't get those streams from Netflix though so it's still stuck with 720p/stereo from Netflix.


As it stands today, the PS3 is still the best streamer (since it's the only one that does 1080p/5.1).


That doesn't mean they won't announce 1080p/5.1 for other devices an hour from now (or it could be days, weeks, months, etc). CES starts tomorrow, so hopefully we'll hear some stuff regarding the other devices over the next few days....maybe.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpauls /forum/post/19767314


(1) Roku XDS

(2) Apple TV

(3) LG brp-550

(4) Oppo brp-93

(5) PS3

Best based on what? I found the LG players had way too much edge enhancement and their image looked far too coarse. When comparing the PS3 (including the latest release) to several other streamers it lacked detail... such the building's column in the open scene of 24 (in HD). I even preferred the Apple TV to it.


The TiVo Premiere does a very good job with Netflix and you can display native resolution if you wish to use a scaler (or it will do the scaling). The line of Western Digital streamers do a nice job such as the WD TV Live Plus/HUB. Also both of the Insignia (Best Buy) Blu-ray players are better than most.


Since the TiVo does such a nice job I haven't tried the Roku. However when the Apple TV came out I saw a few reviews (along with images) that compared them and the Apple TV had more detail.
 

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Discussion Starter #4

Quote:
Originally Posted by mproper /forum/post/19767340


The Roku was updated to support 1080p/5.1. It currently doesn't get those streams from Netflix though so it's still stuck with 720p/stereo from Netflix.


As it stands today, the PS3 is still the best streamer (since it's the only one that does 1080p/5.1).


That doesn't mean they won't announce 1080p/5.1 for other devices an hour from now (or it could be days, weeks, months, etc). CES starts tomorrow, so hopefully we'll hear some stuff regarding the other devices over the next few days....maybe.

Can you think of any reason why the PS3 gets higher quality streams from Netflix than the Roku does even though both devices have the ability to receive 1080p/5.1? Is it a Netflix limitation or a Roku limitation?


Is it a licensing issue? Does PS3 get preferential treatment from Netflix? Access to streams that no one else is allowed to have, or just that no one else is capable of processing?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My understanding is that the AppleTV is forever stuck at 720p. That's not to say it won't look better than other devices that output 1080p of course, since it really all depends on the information bits per pixel. I high quality 720p signal can easily look better than a low quality 1080p. It all depends on the compression ratio and processing quality. There must be a reason Apple chose 720p.


On a 1080p display, everything we watch is 1080p once the scaler gets done with it. Even 480i sources ;-) It is a misnomer to call something HD simply because it has 1080 lines in it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles R /forum/post/19768525


Best based on what? I found the LG players had way too much edge enhancement and their image looked far too coarse. When comparing the PS3 (including the latest release) to several other streamers it lacked detail... such the building's column in the open scene of 24 (in HD). I even preferred the Apple TV to it.


The TiVo Premiere does a very good job with Netflix and you can display native resolution if you wish to use a scaler (or it will do the scaling). The line of Western Digital streamers do a nice job such as the WD TV Live Plus/HUB. Also both of the Insignia (Best Buy) Blu-ray players are better than most.


Since the TiVo does such a nice job I haven't tried the Roku. However when the Apple TV came out I saw a few reviews (along with images) that compared them and the Apple TV had more detail.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpauls /forum/post/19768549


Can you think of any reason why the PS3 gets higher quality streams from Netflix than the Roku does even though both devices have the ability to receive 1080p/5.1? Is it a Netflix limitation or a Roku limitation?


Is it a licensing issue? Does PS3 get preferential treatment from Netflix? Access to streams that no one else is allowed to have, or just that no one else is capable of processing?

I don't think it's a processing thing but the PS3 just got it ~2 months ago. My guess is it's either a timed-exclusive deal (like Sony paid them to get it first) or Netflix is using it as a test to iron out any bugs and see what the stress is on the infrastructure (and upgrade accordingly before releasing it to other devices).


In all likelihood, it's probably a combination of the above.


I have no doubts the other capable devices will get access to those streams. It's just a matter of when IMO.


If I were in your shoes, I would wait a few days to see what comes out of CES, then decide. If nothing is announced, you would have to decide if $299 for a PS3 (new) is worth it to you, or if you'd rather spend significantly less on a Roku or other device and hope the 1080p/5.1 comes sooner rather than later. Of course, the Roku also will do some things the PS3 can't (like Amazon), but the PS3 will obviously do a lot the Roku can't (like Blu-Ray, Vudu and videogames).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by mproper
I don't think it's a processing thing but the PS3 just got it ~2 months ago. My guess is it's either a timed-exclusive deal (like Sony paid them to get it first) or Netflix is using it as a test to iron out any bugs and see what the stress is on the infrastructure (and upgrade accordingly before releasing it to other devices).


In all likelihood, it's probably a combination of the above.


I have no doubts the other devices (other than the Wii of course) will get access to those streams. It's just a matter of when IMO.


If I were in your shoes, I would wait a few days to see what comes out of CES, then decide. You would have to decide if $299 for a PS3 (new) is worth it to you, or if you'd rather spend significantly less on a Roku or other device and hope the 1080p/5.1 comes sooner rather than later. Of course, the Roku also will do some things the PS3 can't (like Amazon), but the PS3 will obviously do a lot the Roku can't (like Blu-Ray, Vudu and videogames).
The price is not a concern, only quality. (Plus with the PS3 I get a blue ray player, which is worth about 100 bucks to me.) My main concern with the PS3 is the user interface. I have heard it might not be so user friendly to navigate/browse netflix compared to the Roku. Also, I believe it requires a blue tooth remote so my current Harmony 510 would not work with it. I realize I can buy a PS3 BT remote for about 24 bucks. PS3 might actually have some resale value in a year too.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpauls
The price is not a concern, only quality. (Plus with the PS3 I get a blue ray player, which is worth about 100 bucks to me.) My main concern with the PS3 is the user interface. I have heard it might not be so user friendly to navigate/browse netflix compared to the Roku. Also, I believe it requires a blue tooth remote so my current Harmony 510 would not work with it. I realize I can buy a PS3 BT remote for about 24 bucks. PS3 might actually have some resale value in a year too.
There are (I think) 4 user interfaces for the PS3, and it's a crapshoot of which one you'll get, at least right now. I am stuck with what I consider a crappy one, but it is functional (just not as nice as the other ones I've seen)


For $40 you can buy the Logitech PS3 Adapter, which will allow your Harmony to work with the PS3 (and would be cleaner than a second remote, assuming you prefer the convenience of one remote over saving $20 by buying a BT remote or using the PS3 controller).


You can also buy something like the Nyko Bluwave adapter (which is what I currently have) that will allow your Harmony to work with most PS3 functions....except turning the PS3 on and exiting out of the app since you can't map the "PS" button to it like you can the Logitech Adapter. Personally I am upgrading to the Logitech solution since I am annoyed enough that I can't exit the app, and now that I use the PS3 for Netflix, turning it on is becoming a pain/annoyance (previously I was always up putting a disc in anyways, so turning it on wasn't as annoying as it is now when I'm all tucked in under my blanket on the couch with the dog sleeping on my legs and just want to watch something without getting up).


If you're looking at a PS3, it's worth noting it combines the streamer and disc player, so it's one less component in your setup versus a Roku as well.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpauls
The price is not a concern, only quality. (Plus with the PS3 I get a blue ray player, which is worth about 100 bucks to me.) My main concern with the PS3 is the user interface. I have heard it might not be so user friendly to navigate/browse netflix compared to the Roku. Also, I believe it requires a blue tooth remote so my current Harmony 510 would not work with it. I realize I can buy a PS3 BT remote for about 24 bucks. PS3 might actually have some resale value in a year too.
The PS3 interface is actually pretty good, and way better than it used to be, if you get the right version. The problem is there seem to be several versions floating around for whatever reason, and some are apparently buggy. Over Christmas I looked at Netflix on 2 PS3 consoles - both were different, and different from the one I have. The version I have has no bugs that I've encountered and is perfectly usable.


It's not as good as VUDU though, which has the best streaming interface I've used. It's obviously only going to get better though. The new UI uses HTML5 and Netflix can tweak it on their end without having to push new software.


There are solutions for using a Harmony or whatever, but it sounds like there are some mapping issues. Personally I just use the $20 Sony remote, and don't mind the 2nd remote (I still use a 9 year old MX500 for everything else, heh). The batteries seem to last forever in the Sony remote too.
 

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I got my Logitech Harmony PS3 Adapter on the week that it shipped. I've been using Harmony remotes since long before Logitech assimilated them and would have a hard time switching to anything else (I'm not as thrilled with my recently acquired Harmony One as I'd hoped to be, but that's another story
). The PS3 adapter has worked flawlessly since I bought it.


One factor in the PS3 having 5.1/1080p is that it uses a different set of encodings. Most devices use a set of VC-1 encodings with WMA sound, whereas the PS3 uses a set of streams encoded as AVC with stereo DD sound (they say the 5.1 streams have DD+). Either they'll move all of the devices to playing those encodings or they'll create new 1080p encodings for that set. There was supposedly some problem with putting 5.1 sound on the VC-1 encodings, since they use WMDRM wrapper on them and the only surround sound encoding supported by it was WMA Pro; that may have changed since then.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by cubiczee
The PS3 interface is actually pretty good, and way better than it used to be, if you get the right version. The problem is there seem to be several versions floating around for whatever reason, and some are apparently buggy. Over Christmas I looked at Netflix on 2 PS3 consoles - both were different, and different from the one I have. The version I have has no bugs that I've encountered and is perfectly usable.


It's not as good as VUDU though, which has the best streaming interface I've used. It's obviously only going to get better though. The new UI uses HTML5 and Netflix can tweak it on their end without having to push new software.


There are solutions for using a Harmony or whatever, but it sounds like there are some mapping issues. Personally I just use the $20 Sony remote, and don't mind the 2nd remote (I still use a 9 year old MX500 for everything else, heh). The batteries seem to last forever in the Sony remote too.
Since I've never seen a PS3 before, how will I know if I get one with the good interface? What does the good interface look like? Is there a picture somewhere?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpauls
Since I've never seen a PS3 before, how will I know if I get one with the good interface? What does the good interface look like? Is there a picture somewhere?
There are some pictures in this Engadget article, displaying at least two of the interface variants. The screen at the top of the article displays a little pop-up bunch of icons at the bottom which is not part of my version and the triangle button doesn't do anything in any context for me (some screens show it linked to a "video browse" function that I don't have and some screens show that it brings up the search function). About the fourth screen down you see a title description (for Local Color displayed on the left of a cover browser--not in my version (I really wish it was, since I frequently look at those descriptions searching for new titles with 5.1 sound and I have to click the X button to see the descriptions and RIGHT to get back to the browser).


There are thought to be at least three different variations.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpauls
Since I've never seen a PS3 before, how will I know if I get one with the good interface? What does the good interface look like? Is there a picture somewhere?
You don't "get" one interface or the other long term, netflix changes them at random upon connecting to their servers via HTML5 they explained it in their blog about a month back. If you don't like the interface you could quit the netflix app and then restart it and you have a good chance of getting one of the other interfaces. they are using the data gleaned from their servers to find average seek times and monitor crashes to find which interface allows the average user to find what they want to watch the fastest and most often.


http://techblog.netflix.com/2010/12/...-for-user.html


As for the best device for netflix streaming I love the PS3, my wife prefers the Apple TV, and neither of us use the Wii for streaming as it requires finding the Wii controller where the other 2 devices are both controlled by a Harmony one which also operates the rest of the system as well.
 

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I've started the new app dozens of time without ever seeing any other version of it. I just tried killing and restarting it six times in a row without getting anything noticeably different.
 

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Mine changed several times when I had family in town around thanksgiving but I haven't noticed it recently either,(haven't had much time to watch recently) they may have decided to go with one interface now but they can certainly change it on a whim it seems. I'll try and see if any of my consoles are different tonight if I remember, my wife hated that one PS3 would be different than the others, there for a while I had a different interface on each PS3 and it drove her slightly nuts.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott /forum/post/19770418


I've started the new app dozens of time without ever seeing any other version of it. I just tried killing and restarting it six times in a row without getting anything noticeably different.

Yeah, I've never seen my change either. I even uninstalled and re-installed it several times (weeks ago) hoping maybe I'd get another one. No such luck.


Hopefully they eventually offer us a choice.
 

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Maybe it it depends on the server you get connected to.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2.ooohhh /forum/post/19770191


You don't "get" one interface or the other long term, netflix changes them at random upon connecting to their servers via HTML5 they explained it in their blog about a month back. If you don't like the interface you could quit the netflix app and then restart it and you have a good chance of getting one of the other interfaces. they are using the data gleaned from their servers to find average seek times and monitor crashes to find which interface allows the average user to find what they want to watch the fastest and most often.

This isn't stated or implied by the blog post, and completely contrary to all the user experience reported on these forums. You version can change anytime you login, yes. But you don't just get a random version among those that are being vetted anytime you login.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cubiczee /forum/post/19771991


This isn't stated or implied by the blog post, and completely contrary to all the user experience reported on these forums. You version can change anytime you login, yes. But you don't just get a random version among those that are being vetted anytime you login.

When they first offered the different interfaces that was seemingly my experience on my PS3s, I tried it last night with 2 of the 3 and as noted here by users more recently it does not seem to happen any more, which kinda stinks but at least they all match now.
 

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I bought the original Roku box and have upgraded to a new Apple TV. My biggest complaint with the Roku was the interface, which I feel is the Apple TV's biggest strength.


Though the interface is vastly improved with the new software (the previous version was limited to just your instant queue) it still seemed a bit clunky and slow and still was difficult to discover content. The new Rokus keep the same interface, but it may run faster on the upgraded hardware.


Being able to stream 1080p sounds great, but I do wonder how much additional bandwidth it requires compared to 720p. I have a decent cable internet connection in the downtown of a mid sized city, but occasionally have issues streaming netflix without interruption. Also, is any device displaying a true 1080p netflix stream, or is it just merely upscaling the 720p to 1080?


I am pleased with the video quality in both devices, but then again I do not expect to much out of any streaming service. For me, a streaming service is all about convenience and when I want quality, I watch a BD.
 
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