Roku 2 vs. Roku 3

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Roku 2 vs. Roku 3

Postby LanceStormMark » Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:15 am

Hi,

New to the forum and I was hoping to get some input from some of you.

I've owned a Roku 1st gen and currently own a Roku 2 (standard NOT XD). I recently purchased a HDTV and am looking at the ROKU 3, the only things is I got the ROKU 2 just four months ago.

Is the picture quality really that different?

Also does Nextflix still suffer from that quality lag?

Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you!
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Re: Roku 2 vs. Roku 3

Postby mikeyts » Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:23 am

LanceStormMark wrote:Is the picture quality really that different?

I don't think that the picture quality is different at all; I don't think that Roku is claiming that.

Also does Nextflix still suffer from that quality lag?

If you're referring to adaptive bit rate streaming then yes, it's still there and it's not going anywhere (though hopefully the algorithms for ramp up will improve). I believe that all Netflix players in devices released in the last couple of years use that tech and that all Netflix players will use it going forward.
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Re: Roku 2 vs. Roku 3

Postby LanceStormMark » Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:34 am

Thanks for your quick reply!

Good to know about Netflix.

I'm still confused about the picture quality issue. I have a standard Roku 2 (non HD, non XD) that plays up to 720p.

According to the info on the the Roku 2 HD and the Roku 3 they play 1080p HD video, but not sure if this applies to picture quality of how Netflix, Hulu-Plus,etc would stream on my HDTV.
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Re: Roku 2 vs. Roku 3

Postby Basil » Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:38 am

LanceStormMark wrote:Is the picture quality really that different?

The "Roku 2" you have, if not an XS or XD, must be either an HD or LT, both which support 720p, which is high definition. For you, it boils down to how much you can tell the difference between 720p and 1080p, and then, only for channels that are 1080p (you mentioned a couple in another comment).

A image from a Roku 3 set to 720p looks (to me) just like an image from a Roku LT or HD. Quite honestly, I can't tell any difference between 720p and 1080p, but my eyes are in their 50s, and I'm overdue for new glasses.

If all you want is to upgrade your 720p Roku to 1080p, you can do it cheaper than $99. The Roku 2 XD is $79, and Roku sells refurbished units (same warranty) for $59.

If you want all the other stuff that comes with a Roku 3 (microSD, USB, wifi remote), that should be your deciding factor, not, I suggest, the image alone.
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Re: Roku 2 vs. Roku 3

Postby njweb » Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:56 am

mikeyts wrote:
LanceStormMark wrote:Is the picture quality really that different?

I don't think that the picture quality is different at all; I don't think that Roku is claiming that.

Also does Nextflix still suffer from that quality lag?

If you're referring to adaptive bit rate streaming then yes, it's still there and it's not going anywhere (though hopefully the algorithms for ramp up will improve). I believe that all Netflix players in devices released in the last couple of years use that tech and that all Netflix players will use it going forward.


Re. PQ, one poster sdid say he observed a noticeable improvement in the Roku 3, but that is a subjective assessment and his perception could be totally wrong of course.
If someone has two idential TV sets (with idential settings etc.) and can put them side by side and play the same video clip through both a Roku 2 and Roku 3 (both using the same connection - e.g. HDMI), using the same streaming service, we could be more certain.

Re. adapative streaming - My initial impression was that the Roku 3 seemed to be quicker to ramp up in bitrate, but now I am not so sure based on more experiece (albeit perhaps one of my other Roku 3 units in a different room).
I'll try to run some tests on my Roku 3 tonight.
My Roku 2, with my fast connection (which can actually hurt because a faster connection will buffer more low quality material in those first few seconds), took about 22 seconds or so (if I recall correctly - was a bit less than half a minute) to reach the best picture quality *


* or close to it, since beyond a certain bit rate (3000 Kbps e.g.?), the difference (depending on the specific source material being viewed) did not seem so noticeable to my naked eye, if at all (this is why Super HD may not be all I thought it would be).
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Re: Roku 2 vs. Roku 3

Postby LanceStormMark » Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:11 pm

I just had a live chat with a helpful Roku employee. Seems I'm a little slow today. Apparently we have a ROKU 2XD. My girl got it for us and I never noticed the XD on top! :roll:

According to Roku the image quality is the same between the 2XD and the 3 as long as using the HDMI.

Thank you for all you help.
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Re: Roku 2 vs. Roku 3

Postby jeffrok » Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:33 pm

Yes, image quality should be about the same, but processing speeds are much faster for menu navigation and whatnot.. Streams also start up faster than on the Roku 2 in many cases. And if you use Hulu+? The faster proc. makes a huge difference.
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Re: Roku 2 vs. Roku 3

Postby Frankp999 » Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:58 pm

My Roku3 has much better (stronger) wifi reception than my Roku2. I tested both side by side before moving the R2 to the bedroom. R2 was 25-30 Mbps. R3 is getting 45-49MBps.
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Re: Roku 2 vs. Roku 3

Postby mikeyts » Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:22 pm

LanceStormMark wrote:I'm still confused about the picture quality issue. I have a standard Roku 2 (non HD, non XD) that plays up to 720p.

According to the info on the the Roku 2 HD and the Roku 3 they play 1080p HD video, but not sure if this applies to picture quality of how Netflix, Hulu-Plus,etc would stream on my HDTV.

To view 1080p you do have to have the Display Type setting set to "1080p HDTV". 1080p channels include Netflix and VUDU and I don't know what else (well, the "1080p Showcase" of some YouTube clips qualifies). If your ISP is set up for access to Netflix's Open Connect CDN you can play "Super HD"--check that at this page, under the picture of a television). Also try playing "Example Short 23.976", a test clip with bit-rate/resolution information burned into each of its component video encodes.

You should notice the difference between 720p and 1080p in both Netflix and VUDU, depending upon your eyes, the size of your television and how far you sit from it. For a comparison, try these screenshots from the titles of a film called The Resident, one at 1080p and the other at 720p. The shot is full of tiny little details which are visibly sharper in the 1080p version.

I like to use the Chrome browser to compare these because in Chrome fullscreen is fullscreen, with no horizontal or vertical scroll bars. If you're reading this post in Chrome, just drag one of the screenshot links in the paragraph above to the new tab control on the far right of the open tabs in this window. Drag the tab created by that off into its own window then drag the other link into that window's new tab control. With that window selected, hit F11 to go fullscreen, then CTRL-TAB to instantly switch back and forth between the images. (This will work with most browsers).
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Re: Roku 2 vs. Roku 3

Postby mikeyts » Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:32 pm

Netflix starts fasters from the home page and streams start faster, by about 2 or 3 seconds for each. They were already pretty fast on the Roku 2, at about 6 seconds each.
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Re: Roku 2 vs. Roku 3

Postby steamer » Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:01 pm

mikeyts wrote:
LanceStormMark wrote:I'm still confused about the picture quality issue. I have a standard Roku 2 (non HD, non XD) that plays up to 720p.

According to the info on the the Roku 2 HD and the Roku 3 they play 1080p HD video, but not sure if this applies to picture quality of how Netflix, Hulu-Plus,etc would stream on my HDTV.

To view 1080p you do have to have the Display Type setting set to "1080p HDTV". 1080p channels include Netflix and VUDU and I don't know what else (well, the "1080p Showcase" of some YouTube clips qualifies). If your ISP is set up for access to Netflix's Open Connect CDN you can play "Super HD"--check that at this page, under the picture of a television). Also try playing "Example Short 23.976", a test clip with bit-rate/resolution information burned into each of its component video encodes.

You should notice the difference between 720p and 1080p in both Netflix and VUDU, depending upon your eyes, the size of your television and how far you sit from it. For a comparison, try these screenshots from the titles of a film called The Resident, one at 1080p and the other at 720p. The shot is full of tiny little details which are visibly sharper in the 1080p version.

I like to use the Chrome browser to compare these because in Chrome fullscreen is fullscreen, with no horizontal or vertical scroll bars. If you're reading this post in Chrome, just drag one of the screenshot links in the paragraph above to the new tab control on the far right of the open tabs in this window. Drag the tab created by that off into its own window then drag the other link into that window's new tab control. With that window selected, hit F11 to go fullscreen, then CTRL-TAB to instantly switch back and forth between the images. (This will work with most browsers).


wow ... that's pretty slick.
had no idea i could do that.
and yes, i can see the difference.
thanks!

EDIT:
hmmmm ... checked out your link to Super HD and i see the message that my provider is NOT configured for Super HD ...
yet i could see a noticeable difference when i did the comparison. not sure what that means.
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Re: Roku 2 vs. Roku 3

Postby mkiker2089 » Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:19 pm

I haven't had any luck with Example Short in weeks. When it does play it doesn't ramp up in quality. I think it's become too popular. I'm kind of surprised the haven't pulled it even.
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Re: Roku 2 vs. Roku 3

Postby Mark12547 » Fri Mar 22, 2013 7:46 pm

mkiker2089 wrote:I haven't had any luck with Example Short in weeks. When it does play it doesn't ramp up in quality. I think it's become too popular. I'm kind of surprised the haven't pulled it even.


I bet Netflix doesn't have to pay rental on it! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Roku 2 vs. Roku 3

Postby mikeyts » Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:47 pm

steamer wrote:wow ... that's pretty slick.
had no idea i could do that.
and yes, i can see the difference.
thanks!

EDIT:
hmmmm ... checked out your link to Super HD and i see the message that my provider is NOT configured for Super HD ...
yet i could see a noticeable difference when i did the comparison. not sure what that means.

You will still get 1080p from most HD titles, at 3850 Kbps; "Super HD" adds two more 1080p video encodes, at 4300- and 5800 Kbps. I'm not entirely convinced that the difference in PQ between them and "regular" 1080p HD is that big, but there are people with very large screens who say that the difference is clear. Hopefully I'll have some screen captures like the ones that I posted above in Super HD to compare to regular 1080p sometime soon. The guy who took those has promised to create some new ones (msgohan of AVS Forum, who originally posted them in his "Netflix PS3 streaming comparison PIX" thread. Sadly ImageShack converted all of the myriad 1920x1080 HDMI screen captures posted in the thread into 800x400 reductions; luckily he still has the original files).
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Re: Roku 2 vs. Roku 3

Postby mikeyts » Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:03 pm

mkiker2089 wrote:I haven't had any luck with Example Short in weeks. When it does play it doesn't ramp up in quality. I think it's become too popular. I'm kind of surprised the haven't pulled it even.

It always works for me when I play it. There was a period during which it wouldn't play at all unless your player had been assigned Open Connect servers and the 235-, 375- and 750 Kbps encodes had been removed from it; they fixed that and the low bit rate encodes returned and then seemed to break it again. My ISP, Cox Communications, is set up for access to Open Connect so I always get OC servers (he said, smugly :mrgreen:).
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