Swept into a low-quality stream.
January 17, 2010 5:52 AM Subscribe
What software or hardware changes will help me improve Netflix streaming?
posted by Gordion Knott to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Yesterday, I queued up two movies to watch via the Netflix "Watch Instantly" video streaming feature.
The first, "Gosford Park," defaulted to 480p, and the colors were splotchy. Verdict: Unviewable on a large-screen TV. The second, "The Girlfriend Experience," defaulted to 720p (I know this because my TV's display flickered, then immediately showed "720p" in the upper right corner). Verdict: Eminently watchable on a large-screen TV, and DVD-quality.
At present, I'm streaming movies over a year-old "fat" PS3, and using an older-generation Airport Extreme base station as my wifi router. The base station is two (wooden) floors above the TV, and usually shows a signal strength of 60% when running the PS3 diagnostic. It's the "flying saucer" shaped base station, and is four or five years old.
I'm led to believe that my equipment is okay, because "The Girlfriend Experience" defaulted to 720p for a DVD-quality image. Even so, would upgrades to either the PS3 or Airport give me better quality for movies that can't quite make the grade?
Also, it seems that there's a wide variation in image quality with Netflix streaming. Is this due to the network load on individual movies, or to the poor quality of the source data? Is there any way to "tweak" my system or signal to improve the quality of a stream?