A friend of mine just got a StreamingStick+. Her TV's best resolution is 1080i. She has HughesNet internet with variable-bad download speeds from 1-4.5 Mbps. Watching a program on BBCAmerica is very hard on the eyes, she can't watch it because it's so blurry, the edges of objects are ripply. But the same program on Amazon Prime is typically pretty clear and sharp. This is switching between BBCAmerica and Amazon Prime in one sitting, so the internet speed isn't very different (checking it with speedtest.net with the Roku paused showing 3-4 Mbps).
Since it's the same TV/WiFi/Roku and internet download speed for both channels, I'm wondering what might account for such a significant difference in picture quality? Could the channel apps themselves cause it, or perhaps the BBC versus Amazon servers? Content I watch from BBCAmerica on my Roku TV with 75 Mbps download speed looks just as good as it does on Amazon. Do the Amazon servers have some sort of feedback loop to adjust what they send based on throughput to improve picture quality at low bandwidth, while BBCAmerica does not, or something like that?