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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just watched my first internet-streamed movie (12 monkeys, I think it was stanger89 who put that seed in my head over on sagetv's forums).


Quality was decent if a bit soft. Clearly worse than DVD, although it claimed I had a "1 out of 3" connection which to them means ~500Kbps and they were downgrading video quality to suit. I did a dslreports check a few days ago, and I was hitting 2MBps download on my DSL, but perhaps tonight was bad.


Anyhow, not tons of movies that i'd want to watch, certainly not 18 hours/month which is what I get with my $18/month subscription, plus since it's via IE I cannot use my remote with it. However, it was interesting to have true "on-demand". I even lost my DSL cxn 32 mins in, and I was able to easily reconnect and get back to that spot (roughly).


Perhaps Tremors3 or "Bad Girls from Mars" should be next...
 

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This is not something I would ever sign up for if I had to pay extra for it, at least not with it's current limitations. But since it's "free" (I already have a Netflix account) I'm very excited to play with it, if only to be able to say I can.


I'm curious about the quality, especially since I've got a 7Mbps DSL connection and I've been able to stream the 720p trailers from thelookandsoundofperfect.com


I will say this however, this is the exact model I've been predicting would launch VOD into the stratosphere, ie the "service" model. Pay so much a month, watch whatever, whenever. I think the biggest things holding back VOD (other than technology) have been that people don't like "renting" or "buying" electronic copies, ie PPV.


But I can quite easilly see people (myself) paying for the convenience of watching anything, any time. Especially if the content industry is set on (and successful in) preventing us from actually owning anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 /forum/post/0


This is not something I would ever sign up for if I had to pay extra for it, at least not with it's current limitations. But since it's "free" (I already have a Netflix account) I'm very excited to play with it, if only to be able to say I can.


I'm curious about the quality, especially since I've got a 7Mbps DSL connection and I've been able to stream the 720p trailers from thelookandsoundofperfect.com


I will say this however, this is the exact model I've been predicting would launch VOD into the stratosphere, ie the "service" model. Pay so much a month, watch whatever, whenever. I think the biggest things holding back VOD (other than technology) have been that people don't like "renting" or "buying" electronic copies, ie PPV.


But I can quite easilly see people (myself) paying for the convenience of watching anything, any time. Especially if the content industry is set on (and successful in) preventing us from actually owning anything.

Completely agree. This would especially be true if they allow us to skin it with our choosing, ie I'd want to use a CQC DVD-type screen, you/others would want to use SageTV in order to scan the available titles & descriptor info, then select a movie for playback.


The token big bummer for me was that I had to use my mouse and IE to select a movie, and also for pause/play. I couldn't use the same remote I use for everything else. I understand why this is currently true, as they need to use their media player to protect the DRM, but that needs to be resolved before widespread adoption. I doubt Joe User will be as HTPC-friendly as us.
 

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I just don't see the appeal of video that is lower-quality than DVD. Heck, standard DVD is already the lowest common denominator for me. Between broadcast HD and now HD-DVD, DVD's are pretty underwhelming now and SD broadcast is just painful to watch.


I guess I'm wondering who the target market for this is, because most of the people who have a computer hooked up to their TV probably have pretty high-end displays and aren't going to be happy with the quality. And outside of that I can't imagine that the novelty of being able to watch a movie at your desktop would last long (that has absolutely no appeal at all to me, I spend too much time at my desktop computer as it is).


Personally I will never have interest in any of these 'on-demand' technologies until the quality is at least as good as the traditional alternatives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I didn't say I'd be interested in sub-DVD level quality - rather, the reason I suspect I had that experience was b/c netflix claimed I had a "1 out of 3" strength connection and dialed down the quality.


But, I do think a succesful commercial company dipping their toes into VoD and getting some experience with it is a good thing - no way will you be able to go direct to high-PQ streams without first cutting your teeth on something smaller.
 

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How did you accomplish this? When I search on the netflix site it leads me to a page that says by "June 2007........ Watch Now Tab."


Were you in some testing format? Is it possible that the quality will improve later? Could one download instead of streaming?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
in the login page, the top help question says something like "explain more about live streaming". Clicking that takes you to a signup page.


Not everyone is selected for this. Not sure why I was selected, probably b/c I only rent 3-8 movies/month total and have been a customer for 5ish years.


I'm pretty sure it was 5.1 format, not positive b/c it was late at night, I was distracted, wasn't paying attention really to the movie or the sound. But I defnitely recall being impressed with the sound, at least for my first streaming experience. When I get a chance, i'll play another movie and see what my receiver claims is coming across.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by IVB /forum/post/0


in the login page, the top help question says something like "explain more about live streaming". Clicking that takes you to a signup page.


Not everyone is selected for this. Not sure why I was selected, probably b/c I only rent 3-8 movies/month total and have been a customer for 5ish years.


I'm pretty sure it was 5.1 format, not positive b/c it was late at night, I was distracted, wasn't paying attention really to the movie or the sound. But I defnitely recall being impressed with the sound, at least for my first streaming experience. When I get a chance, i'll play another movie and see what my receiver claims is coming across.

Yeah I don't have this option.


I suppose they don't want you to download because then you would just allow everyone to download the movies from you.


Too bad about the quality, maybe it will improve. Eventually I could see myself getting a dedicated htpc in my av rack and I thought this would be a good opportunity being a netflix member. For now I'll keep getting blu-rays.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by vikes88 /forum/post/0


Yeah I don't have this option.

They're doing a phased rollout between now an June while they build up their infrastructure, with (IIRC) 250,000 new members "enabled" each week.


I don't know if they actually choose people to offer it to, or if they just open up a number of slots on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Quote:
Too bad about the quality, maybe it will improve.

One thing you have to realize is the service dynamically (at least on a per-movie basis) adjusts the quality/bitrate of the movie based on your connection's performance.


I think we need to wait until more reports are in, and see if people generally get 1 or 3 for performance and how the quality is with 3. 2Mbps VC-1/WM9 can easilly be DVD quality, but can still be asking a lot of some connections.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JKohn /forum/post/0


I just don't see the appeal of video that is lower-quality than DVD. Heck, standard DVD is already the lowest common denominator for me. Between broadcast HD and now HD-DVD, DVD's are pretty underwhelming now and SD broadcast is just painful to watch.

As IVB indicated, the important/exciting news is not so much the quality, but the fact that a "major" player is rolling out a large scale VOD service. That (hopefully) they are proving VOD can work. And IMO, the biggest/best news is the model they've chosen for it, the hours/month service model instead of the $$/movie model most other "VOD" services offer.


Also the fact that it really is "on demand", ie movie starts within seconds of choosing it, vs PPV where you pick a slot, or other movie download services.


Between this and Xbox Live Video Marketplace, things are getting very interesting in the non-physical delivery system area. I just wish Live Marketplace offered the hours/month service model vs the PPV model they chose.

Quote:
I guess I'm wondering who the target market for this is, because most of the people who have a computer hooked up to their TV probably have pretty high-end displays and aren't going to be happy with the quality. And outside of that I can't imagine that the novelty of being able to watch a movie at your desktop would last long (that has absolutely no appeal at all to me, I spend too much time at my desktop computer as it is).

It's probably us. I agree that this option won't be replacing any of my current options. Big movies I'll still have Netflix mail me the HD DVD, or I'll buy the DVD. But I can see myself using this to try out a lot of stuff I normally wouldn't bother putting in my queue or buying.


And if it turns out that it's common to get a "3" connection, and that 3 is truely DVD quality, I could see it being very interesting, but only if they get the service integrated into some more "HT friendly" package.

Quote:
Personally I will never have interest in any of these 'on-demand' technologies until the quality is at least as good as the traditional alternatives.

Well they've got to start somewhere. And I agree that this won't replace any the current alternatives I use, but I can see it supplimenting them.


IVB,


I asked this on the SageTV forum, but have you compared the quality of these movies to the quality of the trailers Netflix offers? If they're close that might allow some of us not lucky enough to have "Watch Now" to see what the quality is like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

Quote:
IVB,


I asked this on the SageTV forum, but have you compared the quality of these movies to the quality of the trailers Netflix offers? If they're close that might allow some of us not lucky enough to have "Watch Now" to see what the quality is like.

not close on mine. I get *very* choppy playback of those trailers. I've been having huge DSL issues ever since I "upgraded" to 8MBps DSL (from 2) - i've never actually gotten a faster connection than my old modem. I wonder if the trailers are higher bandwidth than what i'm seeing on my dialed-down "1 out of 3" connection strength...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sotti /forum/post/0


I'm drooling to try this.


I've got the FIOS 15mbps connection, heck, they could stream me the DVD.

me too except i'm Fios/20
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 /forum/post/0


But I can quite easilly see people (myself) paying for the convenience of watching anything, any time. Especially if the content industry is set on (and successful in) preventing us from actually owning anything.

They may be doing us a favor. I remember a guy who worked at a record store and had the biggest LP record collection I'd ever seen. I wouldn't have wanted to move it. Way too much clutter.
 

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I think Netflix VOD is a great thing for HTPC users and am very excited about it. I don't have the button either but am going to e-mail Netflix and see if they will add our account and will report to see if they actually do. I doubt they will but it's worth a try.

We get very good speeds on my home connection, 4MBps down so it will be interesting to see how the quality is. I wonder if there will be a way to change the quality settings.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by IVB /forum/post/0


not close on mine. I get *very* choppy playback of those trailers. I've been having huge DSL issues ever since I "upgraded" to 8MBps DSL (from 2) - i've never actually gotten a faster connection than my old modem. I wonder if the trailers are higher bandwidth than what i'm seeing on my dialed-down "1 out of 3" connection strength...

Just so there's no confusion, I'm talking about the Previews on the netflix site:
http://www.netflix.com/Previews?lnkctr=mhSR


And how they compare to the movies you can "Watch Now".
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 /forum/post/0


Just so there's no confusion, I'm talking about the Previews on the netflix site:
http://www.netflix.com/Previews?lnkctr=mhSR


And how they compare to the movies you can "Watch Now".

I have a preview button on most of the movies, but I also just tried that link. I get the same experience either way:

- With the trailers/preview, the PQ is higher quality but it's very choppy for me.

- With the "watch now", it's smooth but lower PQ.


This makes sense as the preview/trailers do not dial down quality based on your signal strength, the "watch now" does. Hence, if you can currently watch those previews with no choppiness issues, you'll def get better PQ on the "watch now" than I do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 /forum/post/0


Cool just wanted to make sure you weren't comparing netflix to the HD DVD trailers.

There's HD-DVD trailers on netflix???? Damn, where? Not that I can watch that now due to my DSL problems.


Hopefully as soon as I get my new DSL modem, I can get my 8Mbps DSL, which means i'll be able to do these tests again for real.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by IVB /forum/post/0


There's HD-DVD trailers on netflix???? Damn, where? Not that I can watch that now due to my DSL problems.

No, but when you said the trailers studdered, I at first thought you were talking about the ones I mentioned above.

Quote:
Hopefully as soon as I get my new DSL modem, I can get my 8Mbps DSL, which means i'll be able to do these tests again for real.

One thing you might try, is a new phone cord to your modem, or maybe try plugging it into a different outlet. When I first got my DSL modem (1.5Mbps at the time) it was fine, later when I moved it to a more permanent location, with a different cord, I could only get something like a 768kbps connection (reported by the modem not a speedtest). Replaced the cable and I was back to 1.5Mbps as expected.


Of course it appears now that the arms race (internet speed) has begun. For a long time around here, 3Mbps was the best you could get (for "normal" prices). Then the "local" cable company (Mcleod) upped it to 5Mbps. Then when I moved to this house and investigated DSL I found they offered up to 7Mbps, a few months later the big cable company (Mediacrap) was offering 10Mbps, and now they're advertising 15Mbps.


Anyway, back onto topic, no Netflix doesn't have HD DVD previews (or if so, somebody tell me!!
)
 
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