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House of Cards S01E01 "Chapter One" (Netflix)

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by Zevida, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. robojerk

    robojerk Active Member

    Jun 13, 2006
    Laguna Hills CA
    You make some great points, and I agree with you, but Netflix is a streaming service first and foremost now. This is their business model.

    I can say I have been lucky enough to rarley (once maybe) see an audio sync issue with Netflix.

    Most of what we see on TV is compressed anyways.
    Cable/dish companies compress the feed because there isn't enough bandwidth.
    OTA is probably the only way to get TV uncompressed.
  2. john4200

    john4200 Active Member

    Oct 31, 2009
    Ah, everything we watch, even blu-rays, is compressed video. The key is not to compress it too much. With blu-rays, there is enough capacity that the compression need not be so excessive as to create noticeable artifacts.

    But with streaming, the compression is almost always excessive, since the bandwidth of many home internet connections is not very high. This results in a lot of information being lost, and the picture quality is not as good as it should be. It is most noticeable in dark scenes, and also in detailed scenes with large, fast moving objects.

    Another thing I forgot to mention that I dislike about streaming is that fast-forward, pause, and rewind responsiveness is so sluggish. Sometimes it can be quite a long time between hitting pause or rewind and the video responding.

    What I would like to see is a compromise between streaming and local storage for video. This would work much like a TiVo -- instead of streaming the video in realtime, the video would be downloaded to the local storage on the DVR (temporarily or permanently, depending on whether you purchase or rent the content). The advantage of this is -- since the data does not have to be watched in realtime -- that the compression can be lower (and the bitrate higher). Also, if you wait until the download is complete before watching your show, then you do not have to worry about a network outage interrupting your viewing. The disadvantage is that you no longer have the instant gratification of streaming, but for me, that is a small price to pay to eliminate most of the disadvantages of streaming. Besides, streaming and downloading could coexist -- if you have the bandwidth to download in realtime, you could play the video as it downloads, much like a TiVo can show a recording with a few minutes delay. Obviously this DVR-like device would need some sort of DRM so that the owners of the content can feel confident that their information would not be copied without payment.
  3. DLiquid

    DLiquid Progressive User

    Sep 17, 2001
    Yeah, DirecTV on demand works that way. I've recently watched the first three seasons of Dexter on there. They give you the option of "faster download" or "best quality."

    I'm fine with the Netflix streaming quality. My connection is fast and reliable. What bugs me is the interface (no 30-second skip, skip back, or smooth FF/RW) and the relatively poor selection of movies compared to their DVD selection.
  4. ElJay

    ElJay Active Member

    Apr 6, 2005
    This once was a problem but I have not seen it in ages. I have never seen the Dolby Digital audio out of sync. Most of the problematic streams were around lame re-encoded Starz Play content which was withdrawn from Netflix a year ago after their agreement expired.

    If you haven't seen the streams lately and you have a decent internet connection (at least 6mbps), I would highly recommend a Roku 2. The modern Netflix streams look great. No, it's not Bluray, but it is definitely now comparable (and IMO, generally superior) to the typical over-compressed cable "HD" content.
  5. Bob Coxner

    Bob Coxner Active Member

    Dec 1, 2004
    I'm an HD purist but even I have no problem with the quality of Netflix streaming.
  6. whitson77

    whitson77 Active Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Really digging this show after two episodes
  7. heySkippy

    heySkippy oldweakandpathetic

    Jul 2, 2001
    Sarasota, FL
    Made it through 9 eps between Monday afternoon and yesterday evening. Definitely looking forward to the rest!
  8. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    Apr 17, 2000
    Just finished the season. Good show. Looking forward to season 2. :up:
  9. Azlen

    Azlen Active Member

    Nov 24, 2002
    Peoria, AZ
    I have a pretty fast connection (150Mbps) and even then the picture still suffers at times, especially with dark scenes. That type of thing can bug me on occasion but this show has been so good that it hasn't bothered me all that much. I would still recommend it to anyone who enjoys political dramas. Kevin Spacey has been exceptional. I'm curious if he is going to be eligible for Emmy consideration.
  10. john4200

    john4200 Active Member

    Oct 31, 2009
    Netflix only creates a very small number of streams. None of them are anywhere near 150Mbps, since netflix caters to the lowest common denominator with much slower connections. So even though you have a fast connection, you are still being sent excessively compressed video.

    I suspect the reason a lot of people say that netflix streaming quality is okay is because they are watching it on a small computer monitor (or tablet computer or smartphone) which has very poor dynamic range.

    If you watch the streaming video on a high quality display (not intended for computers, but for home theater) it is easy to spot the artifacts, especially in the dark scenes.
  11. robojerk

    robojerk Active Member

    Jun 13, 2006
    Laguna Hills CA
    I watch on either of my 42" TV's using a PS3 or my Vizio GoogleTV. The GoogleTV box (wireless) is okay, gets the job done. Looks like it gets "up to" TV quality. It won't pre cache a following episode, or anything else.

    In my opinion the PS3 is the best Netflix player out there (never seen it on an AppleTV) and it (to me anyway) looks better like greater quality than my Xbox 360. It will pre-cache the next episode so if I finish episode 3 and immediately start 4 it already has downloaded a chunk of it.

    So what I'm saying is not all Netflix players/devices are created equal. If you think you're Netflix shows looks like poo, go to a friends house that has a different device and compare.
  12. heySkippy

    heySkippy oldweakandpathetic

    Jul 2, 2001
    Sarasota, FL
    I can definitely see the artificating in dark areas on my Retina MacBook Pro. Still, it looks quite good most of the time and is more than "good enough" for me.

    USAFSSO Member

    Aug 23, 2005
    Las Cruces, NM
    Wow, only took 2 posts to derail this into compression and Netflix business model.

    I liked the first ep. Close to the original version, taking into account the different governments. Spacey is great in all he does.
  14. Robin

    Robin Nasty Woman

    Dec 6, 2001
    I agree. For those of us who can't just devote a day and watch it as a marathon you're always left behind.

    I was excited to see the calls for a thread per episode and bummed that it looks like it's been left behind. At least with a weekly show you can read a full-season thread by keeping tabs on the post dates but with this show I can't even open the TCF thread until I'm done. :thumbsdown:

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