Netflix quality vs VHS vs DVD vs Blu-ray

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Netflix quality vs VHS vs DVD vs Blu-ray

Postby GregBe » Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:42 pm

I am sure it has been asked before, but can't seem to find it. How would you compare Netflix streaming (and I undestand different movies will vary greatly in quality). Would you say better than VHS, but not as good as DVD....pretty comparible to DVD......or better than DVD, but not as good as blu-ray?

I have two XD/S units on their way, so I will know soon enough, but just curious your experiences.
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Re: Netflix quality vs VHS vs DVD vs Blu-ray

Postby jeffrok » Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:49 pm

GregBe wrote:I am sure it has been asked before, but can't seem to find it. How would you compare Netflix streaming (and I undestand different movies will vary greatly in quality). Would you say better than VHS, but not as good as DVD....pretty comparible to DVD......or better than DVD, but not as good as blu-ray?

I have two XD/S units on their way, so I will know soon enough, but just curious your experiences.


Netflix SD > VHS but not = DVD
Netflix HD > DVD but not = Blu Ray
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Re: Netflix quality vs VHS vs DVD vs Blu-ray

Postby Gilgamesh » Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:58 pm

If I allow "Automatic" speed connection I get a solid 4 dot + HD when available. This translates to quality between DVD and BllueRay much of the time.

The actual quality you will see is more related to the encode quality more than the connection speed unless you are getting less than 3 dots.

As far as the quality of encodes that can vary dramatically and seems to have no real pattern except for STARZ encodes being much more likely to be poor.

I would say that I get a solid DVD quality about 80% of the time. Excluding the STARZ titles I watch it jumps to 90-95% DVD or better.

If you use wireless the odds of poor quality jumps 10-20% (aprox from observation) due to the inherently erratic performance of wireless. There are those using wireless that have the same or better quality as I do but wireless often degrades the overall performance and therefore the likelihood of poorer quality also increases.
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Re: Netflix quality vs VHS vs DVD vs Blu-ray

Postby mkiker2089 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:00 pm

It's really too complicated to narrow it down like that. Even DVD itself is too complicated. Some DVDs look great while others look like dog poop. The term HD itself is even irrelevant since HD literally means in this case 720p. If it's 720p of static then it wouldn't be what we would consider good quality, but it would be HD. Most recent SD encodes look like broadcast or perhaps even DVD standard. Some don't however and then you just have to complain to Netflix and tell them to try again. Starz encodes are a clear example. Some of the older movies looked awful yet Toy Story 3 is SD and actually looks quite good. Another example would be Disney stuff. For some reason Disney seems to be a very mixed bag as well. Some Disney HD looks like SD of other stuff.

I guess the short answer is that quality with Netflix varies too greatly to sum it up in a simple term. The best case scenario however will be pleasing.
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Re: Netflix quality vs VHS vs DVD vs Blu-ray

Postby -LD » Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:06 pm

jeffrok wrote:Netflix SD > VHS but not = DVD
Netflix HD > DVD but not = Blu Ray

This is a good summary, though I would say Netflix SD is generally as good as DVD, with HD being better than DVD but not as good as BR.
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Re: Netflix quality vs VHS vs DVD vs Blu-ray

Postby kc8pql » Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:10 pm

-LD wrote:
jeffrok wrote:Netflix SD > VHS but not = DVD
Netflix HD > DVD but not = Blu Ray

This is a good summary, though I would say Netflix SD is generally as good as DVD, with HD being better than DVD but not as good as BR.

+1
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Re: Netflix quality vs VHS vs DVD vs Blu-ray

Postby GregBe » Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:30 pm

My current internet connection is Qwest's DSL at 7mbps. Is that enough to get the most out of Netflix HD, or do I need to upgrade my internet?
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Re: Netflix quality vs VHS vs DVD vs Blu-ray

Postby Gilgamesh » Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:35 pm

GregBe wrote:My current internet connection is Qwest's DSL at 7mbps. Is that enough to get the most out of Netflix HD, or do I need to upgrade my internet?


You are plenty fast unless you have a lot of other things that use up bandwidth.

Of course in internet streaming faster is always better. Of course the size of your internet pipe is important too. Yes: Size matters.
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Re: Netflix quality vs VHS vs DVD vs Blu-ray

Postby jeffrok » Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:55 pm

-LD wrote:
jeffrok wrote:Netflix SD > VHS but not = DVD
Netflix HD > DVD but not = Blu Ray

This is a good summary, though I would say Netflix SD is generally as good as DVD, with HD being better than DVD but not as good as BR.


True.. I should've noted that I watch my DVD's on an upscaling player.
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Re: Netflix quality vs VHS vs DVD vs Blu-ray

Postby Robert99 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:36 pm

GregBe wrote:My current internet connection is Qwest's DSL at 7mbps. Is that enough to get the most out of Netflix HD, or do I need to upgrade my internet?

In theory, 7mbps should be more than enough for NetFlix, as I think the highest quality NetFlix streams are under 5mbps.

However, that's only part of the story. Keep in mind that most home ISPs quote the speed as "Up to xxx" (with the "up to" being the part many consumers overlook). In essence, you may not get the full speed quoted, because the ISP (technically) never promised that speed (only that the speed might get "up to" that fast).

Also, the internet has more and less busy times of the day (as well as more and less busy days of the week). And the same is also true of the NetFlix servers (i.e. there are times/days when NetFlix is very busy streaming, and less busy times). If you try to stream during those "busy times", you may very well notice a lowering of NetFlix quality even if your link to your ISP doesn't slow down (because the quality of your viewing experience will be controlled by the slowest portion of the link between you and NetFlix, and that slowest portion of the link is not always your personal ISP speeD). For example, even though I have 10mbps DSL (more than enough to get full HD from NetFlix), I sometimes still notice NetFlix slow down to 3 or even 2 dots (SD) during a "busy time" for the internet and/or NetFlix.
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Re: Netflix quality vs VHS vs DVD vs Blu-ray

Postby GregBe » Thu Jun 09, 2011 3:50 pm

So I answered my own question last night. My wife and I watched Moulan Rouge HD streamed through Netflix, and I was really impressed with the picture. Let me start by saying, I have a 110" projection screen and only sit about 10' away, so I was expecting to be a little disapointed, but wasn't. The picture quality was definitely better than DVD, but not quite up to Blu-ray (not far off though). I am realistic in that I am sure that not all movies will look this good, but off to a good start.
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Re: Netflix quality vs VHS vs DVD vs Blu-ray

Postby mithrandir » Sat Jun 11, 2011 6:13 am

My understanding is that Netflix doesn't necessarily encode the material they offer for streaming. The content owners sometimes/often provide the encodes and this explains the variability in quality.
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Re: Netflix quality vs VHS vs DVD vs Blu-ray

Postby jcmolet » Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:43 am

kc8pql wrote:
-LD wrote:
jeffrok wrote:Netflix SD > VHS but not = DVD
Netflix HD > DVD but not = Blu Ray

This is a good summary, though I would say Netflix SD is generally as good as DVD, with HD being better than DVD but not as good as BR.

+1


IMO, based on my own experience, Jeffrok's original assessment is a little more accurate. Maybe some of the better SD encoded movies approach DVD quality. However, overall I would say the average Netflix SD movie - particularly since you have to consider Starz movies are part of the equation - is not quite up to the level of a DVD.

I would also add screen size is probably a factor. On a smaller screen, some of the lost detail is not readily apparent and some SD movies can look fairly good. However, as the screen size increases, the flaws in many of the encodes become more apparent.
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