[mythtv-users] OT: I'm abandoning Netflix (WD Live Hub too.)

Neil Cooper neilcoo at yahoo.co.uk
Fri Aug 26 23:37:11 UTC 2011

				Well I have heard that the WD Live does have issues with netflix, but most people seem to be happy with the Roku and its' HD. 

				Kris B.
				krisbee at krisbee.com

Broadly speaking there are two different things that affect image quality. Resolution and encoding.

Although HD is technically not a specific standard, when you say HD, most people think of DVD (720) or Blu-ray(1080). the problem is your internet connection simply does not have enough bandwidth to stream full HD quality images in realtime.

Given limited bandwidth, they have to reduce the amount of video information so they can get it down your internet connection. Just about the only 2 tricks they can do is to either reduce the resolution (i.e. no. of pixels per frame) or the quality of the picture (amount of image information in the frame). Often they do both.

In all cases, this results in a LOT of visual information being ripped out of the image and thrown away. At the other end, your computer/player/iphone/whatever uses a clever algorithm to try and patch it up with best-guesses that don't look so bad.

The more of the original picture data they leave, the more clues your codec has to go on, so the better the picture looks, however it also means the input stream is bigger so needs more bandwidth.

No matter how smart your player's codec's algorithm is, it absolutely can't ever exactly get back the stuff they threw away in order to send it over the internet in the first place.

Consequently Netflix/Roku et. al. that claim their product is HD just because it can output a crappy image with a 720 or 1080 size is at best highly misleading advertising, more realistically its downright blatant lying.
They are clearly trying to get less technically inclined people to believe that watching streaming Netflix or using roku will give you the same quality as the original DVD or even Blu-Ray, when in fact its not and technically can't be even in the same ballpark given current normal internet bandwidth limits.

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