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Old 02-11-2012, 11:16 PM   #1
BluPix BluPix is offline
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Default Netflix Streaming Quality.

I'm not really sure where to post a question about Netflix, so I'll just post it here.

Currently, I subscribe to Netflix's DVD-only plan with Blu-ray (one disc at a time). I've been thinking of trying the company's streaming service again but have a couple questions about what the customer experience with streaming is like.

1. I initially tried it a couple years ago (roughly) but wasn't happy with the soft & muddled picture and sound quality, especially compared to that of Blu-ray, nor with the clunky interactivity (menus, fast-forwarding, fast-reversing, etc.) But that was a couple years ago. What's the technical quality like now? How do the HD offerings compare to Blu-ray (and even DVD)?

2. I rent many older catalog titles and, when I had Netflix streaming a couple years ago, I was also disappointed by the lack of such titles. The streaming selection was not nearly as extensive as that on DVD. Those who like to rent a lot of old classics: what's the selection like these days on Netflix streaming? The same situation also applies to foreign language films of all eras.

If the situation with Netflix streaming is good enough, maybe I'll be enticed to switch to streaming only and be rid of the DVD & BD rental service.

Finally, what other streaming video / video download services would people recommend that satisfies my requirement that the quality be at least on par with DVD and the selection include both recent and old films and both English- and foreign-language titles?

Thanks.
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Old 02-11-2012, 11:28 PM   #2
pitmosher pitmosher is offline
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I think the quality has improved alot. still not as good as a bluray disc but it has gotten better. I currently use a PS3 to stream via hdmi cable of course. i probably wouldnt recommend streaming any other way, (although i imagine using a wii or xbox would suffice.) the selection is pretty random, some old some new. probably better to watch tv shows as it looks like theyre trying to improve that selection instead of their movie selections. i recommend it trying it for sure.

as far as other streaming services, im quite sure there are many that have better selections and are cheaper but i hear the quality isnt that good.... or the streaming options arent so good (have to get a box/or other device thats not a gaming system). But if u have a laptop with hdmi output then i think you'll be ok.

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Old 02-11-2012, 11:29 PM   #3
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It's hit and miss but for the most part I'm satisfied with it for the price. It's not going to approach bluray in terms of quality - I'd say cable tv HD at its best. With that said for me, as a Star Trek guy being able to have the entire collection of films and tv shows at my finger tips is incredible.

The best streaming that I have experienced has been VUDU. I had a free credit with my bluray player and watched Fast Five - it surpised me how good it looked and sounded. But at $5-6 a film streaming (for top quality) I would perfer just to buy the disc for a few dollars more.
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Old 02-12-2012, 01:11 AM   #4
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Thanks for the input, both of you.

It seems the best way to find out is to try it for a month and see how many titles on my DVD queue are available via streaming.
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Old 02-12-2012, 01:17 AM   #5
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I just finished watching Being Human (US) to catch up with the episodes from Season 1 that I'd miss and I'd say it was pretty incredible, especially compared to broadcast (noticing a slight difference since I went straight into Season 2 on my DVR).

I haven't watched a film yet on the new television but from what I could tell, it's really better than what I expected it would be.
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Old 02-12-2012, 01:26 AM   #6
raygendreau raygendreau is offline
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VUDU is the best streaming service I have tried. I just watched The Mummy for 99 cents. I used Netflix for years and it doesn't compare favorably to VUDU for PQ or AQ. Best to have a connection speed of 10 Mbps or better. There is no monthly charge and they have a good selection of 3D releases. There are a few selections with 7.1 surround sound. You should try it at least once.
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Old 02-12-2012, 01:50 AM   #7
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Let's cover the basics first:
1) Netflix DOESN'T MAKE a thing: They gather streams from all the various cable channels and studios, and we do mean "various". If you're blaming them for anything, from selection to quality, you're already wrong.

2) Notice that little blue blob in the lower right corner of movies you've actually heard of? That says "StarzPlay", one of said cable networks' streaming arms. As you may have noticed, StarzPlay is uniformly crap for PQ, but at least they've got the mainstream titles.
(Starz also absorbed The Cowboy Channel, which explains all those Gene Autry westerns all over the catalogue.)

The selection's getting a little better, with Netflix trying to wean themselves off of StarzPlay (in preparation for Starz cutting out of their deal next spring), and bringing in more titles from the same MGM arm that supplies rare B-titles to ThisTV. If you see a rare undisked title on streaming Netflix, it's probably already on its way to Warner Archive.
Netflix isn't for new movies, but it's taken the place of old local UHF stations (ask your parents if you don't remember them ) both for classic reruns, and for the late-night old movie you'd never heard of or always wanted to see, if it happened to be playing at midnight, with a bowl of popcorn.

Quote:
Originally Posted by raygendreau View Post
VUDU is the best streaming service I have tried. I just watched The Mummy for 99 cents. I used Netflix for years and it doesn't compare favorably to VUDU for PQ or AQ. Best to have a connection speed of 10 Mbps or better. There is no monthly charge and they have a good selection of 3D releases. There are a few selections with 7.1 surround sound. You should try it at least once.
I don't expect new movies (apart from Starz) to hit streaming NF, so if there's a new 2-D movie I'm expecting, but not that curious to rent right away, I'll put it on my list to see whether it shows up on Vudu as the daily rotating random 99-Cent Movie. (I'd already been burned once, after using my $5 credit to watch Harry Potter 7.1, and seeing it show up as the 99-Cent title the next week. )
Only for the apathetic non-3D titles, though, as a surprise bonus: Three months of careful waiting paid off, and I got to download "Super 8" for this weekend in HDX quality for $0.99, whereas I wouldn't have bothered wasting an entire disk-mail rental on it, or taken the trouble of downloading it for a whopping $2.99...Yep, I've got hierarchies now.

Last edited by EricJ; 02-12-2012 at 01:58 AM.
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Old 02-12-2012, 01:09 PM   #8
s2mikey s2mikey is offline
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Nutflix is great for watching older/fairly old TV shows if you've ditched pay TV, which we have. My kids use it for all kinds of shows that would have been on Disney channel or Nickelodeon. The disc selection for TV shows is also getting really good and we watch a lot of shows this way.

No need to watch them live or when they air - doesnt bother us one bit.

The quality is usually very good for us. We have RoadRunner extreme and a full wireless setup. Its either the PS3, an LG blu-ray player, a Wii or an iPad2 that get used for the streaming. Sometimes a laptop too. All works great for us.

Forget streaming newer films though - this is where Nutflix falters. Its disc or nothing for most newer titles. Popular titles also cant usually be streamed.

As an alternative, HULU Plus has been excellent with the movie selections as of late. Ive been watching Criterion films like crazy through Hulu. They have a much better selection than Nutflix. They also have more modern shows available like the day after they air live! Great deal for $7.99 a month, IMO. Hulou quality is about the same as Netflix - very acceptable. The knock on Hulu Plus is that not all content is available for all devices! For example, there are more titles that can be watched via a PC versus what can be watched on a PS3 or an iPad. Its weird but thats how they do it. The full library can be accessed via PC. The other devices are more limited. Not a deal-breaker but something to consider.

Hope that helps.
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Last edited by s2mikey; 02-12-2012 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 02-12-2012, 03:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s2mikey View Post
As an alternative, HULU Plus has been excellent with the movie selections as of late. Ive been watching Criterion films like crazy through Hulu. They have a much better selection than Nutflix. They also have more modern shows available like the day after they air live! Great deal for $7.99 a month, IMO. Hulou quality is about the same as Netflix - very acceptable. The knock on Hulu Plus is that not all content is available for all devices! For example, there are more titles that can be watched via a PC versus what can be watched on a PS3 or an iPad. Its weird but thats how they do it. The full library can be accessed via PC. The other devices are more limited. Not a deal-breaker but something to consider.

Hope that helps.
I can concur with the Hulu Plus recommendation as an alternative, although I've just only begun to use it for movies.

The first movie I watched on there was Amelie. Solid enough quality, but I do have a question. Do they have commercials during all of their movies on Hulu, or was that only because it was a free movie and not on Hulu Plus? They had very short commercial breaks during that one when I watched it a couple of weeks ago.

It's actually very good for TV shows that are currently airing, especially with a good amount of them being available in HD. Their servers seem to be pretty good for the HD content as well. I stream wirelessly to my laptop with DSL internet, with it hooked up to my TV via HDMI, and it streams just fine and looks pretty good. I was worried that it would buffer during the shows.
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Old 02-12-2012, 04:01 PM   #10
s2mikey s2mikey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KilloWertz View Post
I can concur with the Hulu Plus recommendation as an alternative, although I've just only begun to use it for movies.

The first movie I watched on there was Amelie. Solid enough quality, but I do have a question. Do they have commercials during all of their movies on Hulu, or was that only because it was a free movie and not on Hulu Plus? They had very short commercial breaks during that one when I watched it a couple of weeks ago.

It's actually very good for TV shows that are currently airing, especially with a good amount of them being available in HD. Their servers seem to be pretty good for the HD content as well. I stream wirelessly to my laptop with DSL internet, with it hooked up to my TV via HDMI, and it streams just fine and looks pretty good. I was worried that it would buffer during the shows.
Correct on the advertisement thing - Hulu Plus movies are commercial free and in their entirety. The TV shows will all have some ads during them but we dont mind one bit. For $8 bucks a month Im OK with it.

Im wondering when they'll offer up different tiers of options where you pay more for no ads or whatever. Hulu Plus started out rough - I had connection issues that were NOT on my end. It was frustrating but I have to give them credit as they've ironed them mostly out. Very good service overall and good content.
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Old 02-12-2012, 04:35 PM   #11
KilloWertz KilloWertz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s2mikey View Post
Correct on the advertisement thing - Hulu Plus movies are commercial free and in their entirety. The TV shows will all have some ads during them but we dont mind one bit. For $8 bucks a month Im OK with it.

Im wondering when they'll offer up different tiers of options where you pay more for no ads or whatever. Hulu Plus started out rough - I had connection issues that were NOT on my end. It was frustrating but I have to give them credit as they've ironed them mostly out. Very good service overall and good content.
Ok, that's what I thought. Just wanted to make sure. It wasn't so annoying for Amelie, but I'm sure it would be for some movies where the interruptions could destroy the flow.

I don't mind about the ads on Hulu during TV shows either. It's still shorter than the commercial breaks on regular TV. The only annoying thing is during one episode of Alcatraz, I saw the ad for Man on a Ledge during every commercial break. I'm also glad they offer the whole season of a lot of the shows currently running, except for ones on the CW since they got them late and I'm not really sure what the CW is doing with those shows online. Them and cable shows obviously since a lot of those networks have their own services.

It's possible I suppose, but I don't see it happening anytime soon since they want to keep the cost down for us and paying for all of this content can't be remotely cheap for them.
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Old 02-12-2012, 04:56 PM   #12
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will we ever see a site that streams lossless hd audio with the 1080p movies, or is there one already?
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juanleche View Post
will we ever see a site that streams lossless hd audio with the 1080p movies, or is there one already?
Not anytime soon, unfortunately, as the average consumer doesn't differentiate between 720p and 1080p (requiring more bandwidth). Believe me, I wish that day was here already, because as much as I love watching Blu Ray movies, I hate having to store all the physical media in my house, where space is at a premium.
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:04 PM   #14
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Netflix HD streaming looks pretty awesome on my TV. Not blu-ray quality, but pretty close.
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