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Feedback to Netflix on the new app

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by sbiller, May 11, 2012.

  1. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    I don't understand this complaint but maybe it's because I sit pretty close to my 46" panel (no more than 7-8 feet, sometimes closer). How far away were you sitting from what size television?
     
  2. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Yes I've not had an issue with text size. Even from my GFs 32" LCD it's easily readable at over 12 feet away. Although I think the text might be a little larger from the Roku2 Netflix app.

    Sent from my HTC ReZound using Forum Runner
     
  3. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    No doubt about that--maybe 3 or 4 times the size. The question is whether the font is too small to read, not whether the fonts used in other versions of the player UI are bigger.

    I was just playing around with the old TiVo player as running on my S3. Navigating and finding stuff was terrible. I arrange my queue with movies at the front and television series on the other end. If I start out with the cursor on the first entry in the queue (always a movie), I can go left into the TV shows because the lists are circular. The only list on the TiVo, your IQ, is not presented as circular, so you cannot go up from the top into the bottom. Though I could flip through 8 at a time, I had to scan and read the titles--the cover thumbs are much easier to recognize at a glance, particularly for TV series. There's no "recently watched" list (or any list other than the IQ, of course), which really speeds up locating something that you had to stop watching and want to get back to. (Strangely, the PS3's app doesn't have a recently watched list either, the only one, I think, of all the Netflix players in devices I own).

    I stopped using the old TiVo Netflix app a long time ago because I had Netflix player UIs on other devices that were more powerful and that I liked a lot better. I forgot how primitive and tedious it was.
     
  4. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    Hah! The CLEAR button exiting the app just bit me :). I have my Harmony programmed to output PAUSE+CLEAR for the PAUSE button, to get rid of pause ads (and the scrub bar but you can't have everything). I suppose that you can use PLAY to pause and resume, so it's not crucial, but it could be annoying if I forget. They probably should have just used one of the color buttons and left CLEAR alone.
     
  5. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    One of the colored buttons does take you out of the Netflix app, I think it's the red "C" button.

    I guess there are too many ways to exit out of the Netflix app.
     
  6. tomsavell

    tomsavell New Member

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    I agree with everyone that says the remote button mappings should be consistent with TiVo functions, not with other devices that Netflix happens to run on. This remains one of the biggest problems I have with the Netflix app. Netflix is misguided to believe that it is in the best interest of their users to make the app work differently than everything else on the device.

    My BIGGEST problem with the new Netflix app is the response time of the Fast-Forward, Rewind, Play, and Pause buttons:
    1) The response time for fast forward/rewind can be as BAD as 10 Seconds!!!! That is, press Rewind, and 10 seconds later it stops playback and starts rewinding. It's usually as "good" as 0.75 seconds (that's not good). The old app was almost as good as regular TiVo (essentially instantaneous). Anything beyond about 0.1 seconds feels like the thing isn't responding. As it sits, it often seems like it missed the button press, so I press it again, only to have it rewind at 2x (or 3x) speed when it finally takes effect.
    2) The response time of the FF/REW/PLAY/PAUSE buttons is inconsistent. For a good user experience, it should _always_ take the same amount of time to respond. Besides the practically unusable delay of up to 10 seconds, even if it were variable from 0.1 sec to 1.0 sec, the variability makes it a problem. It would be better to be always 0.4 sec than to vary from 0.1 sec to 1.0 sec. Human cognition can generally compensate (up to a point) for a fixed delay. It's frustrating to deal with a variable delay.
    3) I don't know why, but the "film-strip" view for FF/REW is not as nice as the old Netflix app that simply displayed one picture at a time. Perhaps it is the size of the picture? An obviously better one would be to actually FF/REW the show like a regular TiVo recording, but I understand the server-side issues with doing it like that.
     
  7. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    Every streaming service is doing that and they're going to keep doing--get used to it. The allure for the device manufacturers is that they don't have to spend money developing customs versions of those apps (for which no one pays them additional money). The allure for Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, etc, is that they have control of their presentation and won't have situations like TiVo which kept a primitive app with none of their advanced features for years, falsely representing them to TiVo users (some of whom cried out constantly for a new improved version in other threads of this forum).

    My new Premiere came with 6 months free Hulu Plus. (I'd had Hulu Plus before but decided that it wasn't work my $8/month--the non-skip-able ads perturb me for one thing. I will however use it for free :cool:). As I registered all of my devices to my account (TiVo, Netflix, PS3, Roku 2, Panasonic BD player and Xbox) it struck me that its interface is absolutely identical on all of those devices save the Xbox, where it's been "Metro-ized" and adapted to vocal and gestural control through Kinect. VUDU is also identical on every device sav the Xbox. Amazon is the only major streaming service which still has different players on every device that I have which features it.
     
  8. kubitron

    kubitron New Member

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    As many others have pointed out, forcing the Tivo to do scaling to 1080i when one has a high-end video scaler is very unfortunate. Makes potential use of this Netflix app a "downgrade" for all the other apps on the Tivo. Certainly folks at Tivo must realize this?

    Just wanted to add another voice: If I select both 720p and 1080i, seem to have continuous switching between the two resolutions on some occasions (perhaps with network congestion?). Not all the time, mind you, but enough to make the app unusable. My desired mode for Tivo settings is to make it "pass-through" to my scaler (i.e. select all formats -- including 480i and 480p). To use Netflix, I have to select only 1080i. Very unfortunate.

    Concrete suggestion: If we are forced to use the Tivo to scale for Netflix, then we should have a separate set of video resolutions just for Netflix (so that I can have a global "pass-through" configuration for everything else).
     
  9. kubitron

    kubitron New Member

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    This real issue here is that "adaptive bitrate" and "change resolution over HDMI" are two completely different things. HDMI (and associated HDCP) was never intended to support constantly changing resolutions. It appears that the new Netflix app is essentially unusable unless you fix the output resolution of the Tivo. However, the Tivo is not the last item in my system before the TV. There is a high-end video scalar -- meaning that I do not want to set the Tivo to a fixed resolution.

    What I don't understand is this -- if changing resolutions over HDMI is so obvious to so many people (i.e. causing dropouts), why do it at all? The only solution I've heard people state here is to prevent changes over HDMI by fixing the output resolution of the Tivo. Instead, the Netflix app should have an option to chose one resolution and stick with it -- thereby allowing the Tivo to operate in pass-through mode like it was clearly designed to do for all the "more stable" sources.
     
  10. Jeff_DML

    Jeff_DML Member

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    I think TiVo is kind of stuck in offering passthrough if they want to provide 1080p streams since their HW cannot support scaling at 1080p. PS3 and probably most other modern clients can scale to 1080p60 so they just fix the output resolution to it.

    I am like you , I have all formats selected and get the jumping between formats so it makes my netflix app unusable. I do not want to give up my normal native outputs for TV watching so no fixed for me so I am back to just using my PS3 netflix client.
     
  11. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    I sympathize, but what percentage of TiVo users do you believe have fancy outboard scalers? What percentage of all Netflix users would you guess that they represent.
    That is a pretty good idea and something that TiVo could do without Netflix's involvement. They could have a "Netflix Resolutions" setting (or "ABR Streaming Resolutions", in case others start using that tech).
     
  12. kubitron

    kubitron New Member

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    Well, the Netflix app could scale to the highest selected output format that the Tivo can scale to. If the user happens to have 1080p selected as well (which means that 1080i is selected, from what I can tell), then the Netflix app could scale to 1080i or use 1080p if the network supports it. From what I can tell, this provides all of the configuration that the user might want *and* fixes the blatant switching. Either:

    1. They do not have 1080p selected: The Netflix app always scales to the highest selected resolution on the Tivo video configuration page. No switching, stable behavior.
    2. They do have 1080p (and 1080i) selected: In this case, the Netflix app starts by scaling to 1080i and optionally switches over to 1080p when available.

    The above behavior gets everything that anyone would want for the Netflix app, while at the same time allowing someone like me to select all the available formats for pass-through... (And, doesn't switch all over the place).

    Thoughts?
     
  13. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    Fixing the resolution output by Netflix would cause Netflix to have to stop and rebuffer if conditions on your connection to Netflix or on the servers to which you are connected became such that the player couldn't keep up with the currently selected video encoding. Adaptive Bit Rate technology was created to stop that from happening: if available bandwidth on the connection and/or responsiveness of the servers flags, instead of stopping to rebuffer (totally sucking viewers out of immersion in what they're watching) it just starts buffering a lower bit rate, lower PQ encoding before it runs out of the other and starts playing that; if and when things improve it transparently goes back to better encodings. It does pretty much require that scaling be done inside the player device.

    Again, what percentage of Netflix users, period, use expensive external scalers? (IMHO its probably no substantial portion of 1%). How much effort should be put forward by either Netflix or TiVo to accommodate them?
     
  14. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    I like it. That way if an external scaler user has all of the resolutions selected it will automatically scale Netflix output to 1080i; if he doesn't mind the drop outs caused by the switch to 1080p, he can select that too, in which case 1080i will not be used if you get to the 1080p encoding.
     
  15. kubitron

    kubitron New Member

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    You missed my point. The only solution at the moment, is to force all applications on Tivo to output a fixed resolution. Again, "adaptive bit rate technology" and "fixed output format" are clearly not incompatible given that the only way to make the Netflix app work well is to fix (or mostly fix if you want 1080p) the output format. "adaptive bit rate technology" is about what is coming over the network. "fixed output format" is about what is output to HDMI. Different things.

    My suggestion here was to have separate settings to choose the fixed output format that the Netflix app produces -- so that in general the Tivo box doesn't have to always force that output.

    Incidentally, the current behavior of the Netflix app is clearly a bug, since no one would want the HDMI output format flopping around. It doesn't play nice with either TVs or Scalers. Thus only by restricting the output formats from the Netflix app do you get stable behavior.

    As for the number of people that want format pass-through, you have to ask why Tivo has the option to select lots of output formats. It is because some people (with or without scalars) prefer the incoming format to be passed on to the next stage. Such an option has been around since the Series 3 at least.

    Note that my subsequent post (#352) has a reasonable compromise, I believe. It is predicated on the fact that the Netflix app (when running, which means in conjunction with the Tivo scaler) simply cannot be allowed to have too much flexibility in choosing its output format.
     
  16. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    I don't understand what you're trying to say. What's coming over the network is video encoded at a particular bit rate (and resolution), as controlled by Adaptive Bit-rate Streaming (commonly ABS). True, ABS doesn't give a damn about how you output that video, just about choosing the highest quality encoding that current conditions on your local servers and your connection to them will support.
    And I agreed that that was a good idea.
    If you haven't chosen a fixed format, then it's just doing what you asked. For all it knows you have some super technology that can handle those resolution transitions. By definition, a "bug" is behavior which is not part of the spec. The possibility that you can adjust the device so as to produce poor performance is not a bug. In a typical AV setup there are dozens of adjustments which you can make to various pieces of connected equipment which will create poor performance. My guess is that 99% or more of all users of TiVo are using a single fixed resolution, since that's what Guided Setup will choose, unless you override it. How much should they worry about the (most probably IMO) extremely minor subset of users who choose to override it?
    I'm sure that lots of rarely used options are in there. As I said, unless you choose to override it, TiVo will choose a single output resolution.
    And I liked that solution as well.
     
  17. morac

    morac Cat God

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    The TiVo software defaults to selecting all supported resolutions (except 1080p) during the initial set up, so it's basically "broken" by default. Joe User probably never bothers to mess with the video output settings. He'll just notice Netflix has "problems" on the TiVo.
     
  18. Jeff_DML

    Jeff_DML Member

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    If you have hdmi connected it defaults to the preferred format stated by the devices EDID
     
  19. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    I just set up my Premiere a couple of days ago and it doesn't do that. My television will accept all of the output formats it supports, except 1080p24--none of them are marked "not supported" and I tried "Test Formats" and they all worked (1080p24 must be being converted to p60 by my AVR). In Guided Setup it used "Auto Detect" and said, "Your DVR has been automatically set up to output 1080i, which is the preferred video format for your TV". I believe that it then said something like, "Do you want to accept this (recommended) or change"? I have to think that Joe Average will take the recommended action and accept it.

    If you go to Settings->Video->Change Settings->Auto Detect do you get something differrent?
     
  20. lujan

    lujan Member

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    All I know is I haven't had all the black screens as before (when all resolutions are selected). Now I only have 1080i and 1080p24 checked and it seemed to clear most of the previous problems I had watching Netflix streaming movies.
     

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