Your Digital Media Has Never Looked So Good

 
robby69l
Topic Author
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat May 31, 2008 6:43 am

"dots"-quality of stream, rather than speed of int

Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:35 pm

As I read thru the forum it seems that the number of dots 1-4 on the Roku is the signal quality of the home internet connection?

One of the engineers posted:
1 dot is .5Mbps
2 dots is 1Mbps
3 dots 1.6Mbps
4 dots 2.2Mbps


Maybe I am missing something, but it seems to me that it is rather he quality of the signal to the stream of the particular movie when you make the request from the netflix server, rather than the quality or speed of your home internet connection.

Peter Framptom concert video played back at 4 dots, started over from the beginning and it streamed at 3 dots.

Pan's Labrynth played back at 2 dots

Another movie streamed at 4 dots from the start

I have a very fast cable connection:
Download Speed: 27217 kbps (3402.1 KB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 1600 kbps (200 KB/sec transfer rate)
 
TaylorH
Posts: 248
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 6:02 pm
Location: Saratoga, CA

Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:30 pm

Do you have Comcast, and are using wireless?
Former Roku employee
 
robby69l
Topic Author
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat May 31, 2008 6:43 am

Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:45 pm

Yes to wireless, and yes to comcast
I have read some about comcast throttling p2p?, and possibly capping monthly downloads to 250gb.

If comcast implements the download caps, how much bandwidth would a 2-hour netflix movie stream use up of the 250gb approximately? I don't use any other p2p or bittorent services.

I remember a few years ago when I had a dsl 4gb measured service that I went over occasionaly just surfing the internet.
 
TaylorH
Posts: 248
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 6:02 pm
Location: Saratoga, CA

Wed Jun 04, 2008 11:44 pm

No, I don't think Comcast is throttling. We believe it may be on Netflix's end and as far as I know, it only affects Comcast users, particularly over wifi.
I think they know how to fix it.

I will try to give you more details when I know more. Hopefully soon.
--------------------------------------------------
As for how much data do you use?
Assuming you always get the 4 dot stream (2.2Mbps), it's on average 1GB per hour. So assuming Comcast does a soft cap at 250GB, that's essentially 250 hours of watching or about 167 90 minute movies.

4 dots = 2.2Mbps = 0.99GB per hour = 252 hours per month (36 hours per week) (5.4 hours per day)
3 dots = 2.2Mbps = 0.72GB per hour = 347 hours
2 dots = 1.0Mbps = 0.45GB per hour = 555 hours
1 dot = 0.5Mbps = 0.23GB per hour = 1111 hours

For 2.2Mbps stream (4 dots)
2.2*1000000/8*60*60/1000000000= 0.99

(2.2Mbps) * 1000000 = 2200000 bits per second
(2200000bps) * 8(bits) = 275000 (0.275 Bytes per second)
(275000 Bps) * 60(seconds) = 16500000 BpM (16.5 Mega Bytes Per Minute)
16500000 * 60(minutes) = 990000000 Bytes (0.99 Giga Bytes Per Hour)

I'm sure you didn't need a math lesson and just wanted the short answer, but I thought I'd post this anyway for other people curious as to how I got to this conclusion.

For what it's worth, I know for a fact that 2.2Mbps streams ends up to be on average a 1.5GB file in size

Also consider that these bit rates are target variable bit rate averages. The actual average bit rate can vary a bit. Over all it should be about like this.
Former Roku employee
 
DaBrain888
Posts: 155
Joined: Tue May 20, 2008 11:32 am

Thu Jun 05, 2008 5:22 am

QUOTE: Maybe I am missing something, but it seems to me that it is rather he quality of the signal to the stream of the particular movie when you make the request from the netflix server, rather than the quality or speed of your home internet connection.

I agree same here. Last night my mom watched Tucker the man and his invention and video quality was 4 dots. However, when trying other movies/tv show I've noticed 2 dots and 3 dots. My speed had not changed one iota and I tested this out in a short time frame, all with in 15 minutes. Then I went back to Tucker and it was still 4 dots.

This has got to be the way the movie is compressed, coded or what ever from the netflix side of the house.

I was very happy to see 4 dots and surprised.

Id like to see netflix use the same method used in streaming tucker with all their other videos as it produces the best stream quality.

The Roku box functions just fine and does what its supposed to do given what netflix sends it.

Hopefully over time netflix gets this sorted out if possible. Perhaps it's the format the movies are given them and nothing can be done?

Either way their is definitely a difference of dot reception quality dependent on the movie/TV show we watch with the exact same internet connection speed.
Brian
FAIRVIEW, PA USA
7.1 Mbs DSL on Sony Wega LCD HDTV 46 inch using HDMI, Optical Audio and wireless "XDS Roku" feed
 
robby69l
Topic Author
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat May 31, 2008 6:43 am

Thu Jun 05, 2008 6:46 am

Appreciate all the info on the bandwith usage while streaming. Atleast that is one less worry with comcast capping their bandwith I couldn't watch 250 hours of movies a month even if I wasn't working. :lol:

DaBrain888, I pretty much experienced what you posted.. which is why I started the thread.

I am very happy with the quality of the picture on 2 dots or 4 dots, on my EDTV plasma. I haven't tried it on my 57" RPTV or my 100" projector.. but I am sure that is where I will be yearning for more.

Great product.. now to start my "Weeds" marathon. :D
 
Leo Valiant
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 1:07 pm

Thu Jun 05, 2008 7:46 am

RokuTaylor wrote:
No, I don't think Comcast is throttling.

They just started throttling trails today.

"Comcast will run the first trial of this network management technique in the Chambersburg, PA and Warrenton, VA areas. The company currently expects to start the trial on June 5th and run it for 30 days."

http://www6.comcast.net/terms/network/

A 250GB cap from Comcast wouldn't be that bad, but being that Time Warner confirmed plans to test 40 GB caps, I'd find it hard to believe that Comcast would be more than 6 times as generous.
 
wonderbird
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:36 am
Contact:

Quality of stream...

Thu Jun 05, 2008 7:48 am

I have not seen anything other than 4 dots quality so far on two different connections I've tried. (One is FIOS 15Mbs down, the other a cable modem at 3Mbs down) Admittedly I have only tried about half a dozen different movies so far.

I was kind of surprised that filling the 64MB buffer seemed to take just as long on the 15Mbs down connection as the 3Mbs one... (maybe Netflix is managing / throttling their bandwidth per connection???)
 
TaylorH
Posts: 248
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 6:02 pm
Location: Saratoga, CA

Thu Jun 05, 2008 11:30 am

Leo Valiant wrote:
RokuTaylor wrote:
No, I don't think Comcast is throttling.

They just started throttling trails today.

"Comcast will run the first trial of this network management technique in the Chambersburg, PA and Warrenton, VA areas. The company currently expects to start the trial on June 5th and run it for 30 days."

http://www6.comcast.net/terms/network/

A 250GB cap from Comcast wouldn't be that bad, but being that Time Warner confirmed plans to test 40 GB caps, I'd find it hard to believe that Comcast would be more than 6 times as generous.
Awesome! :roll:
Well, depending on how it works, that may not have a big affect on the way our player works.
Figure the box is downloading at an average of 2.2Mbps for the current highest bandwidth. If you have a 16Mbps service from Comcast, you're only using about 1/8 your bandwidth, and Comcast shouldn't consider you the problem causing congestion.

Also once the buffer is full, it generally will download in chunks at maximum bandwidth each time it tops off the buffer.
So it would look like 16mbps for 1, second, then 0mbps for 7 seconds, then 16mbps, then 0. Etc. Maybe not 1 second but it would look like a 1 on 7 off duty cycle in this case. For 4.4Mbps, it would be a 1 on 1 off duty cycle.

I suspect this type of usage wouldn't be considered the 'bad guy' on the network. At least I hope that's how it pans out.
Former Roku employee
 
robby69l
Topic Author
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat May 31, 2008 6:43 am

Thu Jun 05, 2008 2:05 pm

Comcast says today that their speeds will top 100Mbs by 2010
http://apnews.excite.com/article/200806 ... 4SEO1.html

I am sure FIOS has them worried, but one second they want to throttle bandwith, and the next they want to quadruple it.

Future of Netflix streaming in HD looks bright!

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