Netflix issues

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by TiVoStephen, Dec 15, 2008.

  1. moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    To be fair not everyone is having severe problems being reported here. I've watched 1st 8 episodes of Heroes season 3 (1st 7 HD, 8th 10/11 bars) as well as 1st 3 episodes of Star Trek on my S3s and have not had any issues - no reboots, no audio/video sync issues for any of those. There have been a couple of movies I tried with severe audio/video sync issues, but that's likely a Netflix encoding issue.
    Having said that, the fact that reportedly if you lose network connectivity during Netflix streaming the only way to recover is a reboot (pulling the plug) is a very severe bug for sure, so no excuses there.

    It certainly feels like this was rushed out to meet marketing deadline before it was ready for widespread use.
     
  2. Armchair Bronco

    Armchair Bronco Loyal TiVo User

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    I have a feeling (and I'm not being facetious here) that NetFlix simply took a bunch of their already-encoded titles and ran them through a batch processor with essentially no testing and called the "upgrade" complete.

    I'll bet some poor Program Manager and Developer assumed they could just add 12,000 titles to a queue, press a button, and after a few days of encoding, they'd be good to go. So they estimated 3 days for the new encoding work, and zero days for testing, since, after all, "we're only changing from one encoding scheme to another...so what could go wrong?"

    Famous last words...and usually fatal ones in the software industry in terms of maintaining customer loyalty.
     
  3. Armchair Bronco

    Armchair Bronco Loyal TiVo User

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    And in terms of preserving a correct aspect ratio -- or even better, selecting the optimum aspect ratio -- NetFlix really needs to go back to the drawing board on this offering.

    Through its partnership with TiVo they *should* be able to determine the optimum aspect ratio for a stream based on end-user settings already present on the TiVo itself. Either that, or as part of the sign-up process, you specify how you want streamed titles to be resized.

    It really seems like NetFlix has a "one-size-fits-all" approach to their scaling for TiVo. This is also known as encoding to the least-common denominator simply because they're too lazy to have multiple encodings for each title they offer up.
     
  4. jeepguy_1980

    jeepguy_1980 Unregistered User

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    I must be the only one that never had a problem with netflix (outside of the first day). However, I canceled my Netflix account at the end of my 14 days, b/c the selection was terrible.
     
  5. Armchair Bronco

    Armchair Bronco Loyal TiVo User

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    I agree that the selection of titles available for streaming was paltry indeed. I explained away this issue by assuming that over time, more and more titles would be added.

    However, I've noticed that quite a few titles in my "Instant" list have tag lines that say something like: "This title will only be available through January 5th."

    What does this mean? Who knows? Perhaps it means that the copyright owners will be prohibiting NetFlix from streaming the title after January 5th (or whenever), resulting in even fewer "Instant" titles.
     
  6. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    Those titles are generally Starz Play selections, which I believe are derived from the Starz cable subscription VOD stuff. Just as on cable, some of the titles expire as new ones are added.
     
  7. Armchair Bronco

    Armchair Bronco Loyal TiVo User

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    Hummm...that's interesting, because IIRC, I've noticed that the Starz titles generally scaled correctly on my HDTV. Maybe the encoding specifications for Starz-owned titles are higher than the specs for other titles offered by NetFlix...

    ...or not. Just an anecdotal thought.
     
  8. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

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    what is ironic about a wrong choice?
    They offered a 14 day trial on the Netflix streaming. if you had something else why cancel it before doing your owntesting to see if it is what you want to switch to. Running things in parallel until you know the new way is all set and good to go is always a best practice in things like this that have enough variables to account for differing end user experiences.

    The biggest variable will be the source of the material Nteflix gets and Netflix is under a lot of pressure to get more selection so will work with minimal source material until it can figure out how to get more deals like STARZ and ABC
     
  9. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    Bull. Where the heck have you been for the last twenty years? Wake up and come down from the clouds, eh?

    We're a hearing impaired home, so we won't be using the service until it complies with the accommodation provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act. However, that doesn't make me go over-the-top exaggerating the transgression, and angrily damning the provider for failing to do so. We're disappointed, each of us about something we care about (or need). That's it. The translation of such disappointment practically into moral turpitude is itself moral turpitude, AFAIC. TiVo released a service that was completely useless to the hearing impaired, a legally-protected class in our society. That does not mean that they are not a "stand up" company.
     
  10. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    In that regard, they're not any different from almost all of the online video download and streaming sites. Of them all, the only one where I've seen any available close captioning is Hulu, and CC isn't available on all titles there.

    Amazon Unbox, MovieLink (recently assimilated by Blockbuster), CinemaNow, Xbox Live Video Store, Playstation Video Store, etc--I haven't seen any close captioning available on any of these services.
     
  11. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Well-Known Mumbler

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    There are no free trials for current or former Netflix customers.
     
  12. justlen

    justlen New Member

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    Well, it looks like Netflix totally borked my Series 3.

    Started a movie last night and got the lockup described in this thread. I have tried kickstarts 52 and 57 but I am stuck on "almost there."

    I guess I'm off to buy a new hard drive.

    Thanks, Tivo and Netflix!
     
  13. sriggins

    sriggins New Member

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    What is these accuracy of this Netflix/Complete failure of a Series 3 reports?

    I know that if you make sure you have a valid network connection, it works for some, but others have claimed they've done that and still no boot.

    This is very troublesome and likely I'll stop using Netflix on TiVo until I get an official TiVo reply.
     
  14. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    Absolutely. And with regard to the service they're offering for the hearing community, they're offering as much or more than their closest competitors in the independent STB market. (Yes, I know they have no close competitors -- that's rather the point, eh?)
     
  15. S3-2501

    S3-2501 New Member

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    Just to be clear, my lockup was not related to network issues. In the end, it would get to the opening movie with the TiVo guy and freeze in the middle of his third bow. If I skipped the opening movies using the TiVo button, it would lock up on the menus or after a few seconds of live TV (if I could get that far.)
     
  16. sriggins

    sriggins New Member

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    What did TiVo say when you called them for support?
     
  17. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    I really don't think of TiVo as having released this service. The service has existed for a couple of years and TiVo just released a player for it. I don't doubt that their player is capable of handling CC if the stream has it. There's no CC available in either Silverlight or the Xbox and I doubt that there's any for Roku or any of the Blu-ray players. I'd lay the blame on Netflix.
     
  18. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    Then you'd be mistaken. TiVo product management confirmed that the service software, itself, doesn't support decoding of Closed Captioning as well as the content lacking encoded Closed Captions.

    You're prerogative. However, if you're not hearing impaired, I'm not sure your vote counts as much as a deaf person, with regard to Closed Captioning for the Hearing Impaired. :D
     
  19. Armchair Bronco

    Armchair Bronco Loyal TiVo User

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    I stand by my original indignation and "moral turpitude". Frankly, I'm amazed that so many people are perfectly willing to let a woefully untested, freebie service fry their S3 TiVos with narry a peep.

    It's as if you go to your doctor for your annual physical, and he says: "Hey, I just got some new vitamins that I think you'll like! Here's a free one week supply -- try it out!" You go home and on the strength of his recommendation, you take a few pills with your dinner. Six hours later, you're in the ER getting your spleen taken out.

    What's that famous line ascribed to the Hippocratic oath that isn't actually part of the Hippocratic oath?

    "First, do no harm."

    Well, TiVo+NetFlix have IMO done A LOT of harm with this freebie offering, both in a figurative and in a literal sense. It doesn't work as advertised, it isn't transparent, it isn't better than loading up a DVD into a DVD player, and worst of all if you have a Series 3 TiVo it *could* render your hardware inoperable, requiring you to purchase a new or refurbished unit! In terms of "Doing No Harm" what could be worse than killing the patient?

    Look, one way to publicly shame a company nowadays is to make posts on public forums and then to keep those threads alive thereby forcing said company to wear the Scarlet Letter "A". I intend to keep up the pressure...AND THE INDIGNATION.
     
  20. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    Did TiVo product management say this online somewhere? In any case, I guess that makes sense. If Netflix doesn't have a spec for how they'll provide close captions in streams, it would be difficult to create code to decode them. (And Netflix doesn't--see the section entitled "Subtitles, Closed Captions, and Alternate Soundtracks" in the Netflix blog encoding post).

    I'm not hearing impaired, so my "vote" doesn't count as much as someone who is, but I do always use closed captions if they're available and unobtrusive (though never on live programming, because they're terribly delayed and often incorrect). My home is not a movie theater and I can't always have the volume up so loud that I catch every little thing (also, there are sometimes captions for incidental distant dialog that's so faint as to be completely inaudible with the volume turned up :)). It is possible for me to watch and enjoy things when no captions are available, so the service is not rendered useless by the lack of them (it's never had them on any platform and I've watched a couple hundred of hours of Watch Instantly since May 2007).
     

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