why am i getting different quality from different sources ?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by UKBeast, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502

    I have got a 3mbit cable connection at home (360kb/s max download) and using smart dns solutions to watch netflix and hulu plus from Turkey. What annoys me is the streaming quality is all coming different from source to source. I am briefly writing below the list,

    1. youtube, mainly ok with 720p, it occasionally stops to buffer but not at annoying frequencies.
    2. podcasts, this is the best quality i get from apple tv, all streaming videos shining no problem in hd at all.
    3. vimeo, better than youtube, never needs to wait for buffering at 720p
    4. netflix, this is the worst i get. it is only SD not even closer to 720p.
    5. hulu plus, this is better than netflix i can get a quality near 720p.

    so if we put them in order in terms of quality.

    1. apple podcasts
    2. vimeo
    3. youtube
    4. hulu plus
    5. netflix

    On the other hand, if i rent or buy a movie from itunes store then apple tv downloads the whole movie and then i am able to watch it at 1080p after 20-30 minutes of loading period.

    why is it all different and why we cannot decide the quality we want ? for some movies i should be able to prefer a better quality
  2. macrumors 603


    Well, 3Mbps isn't really enough for steady, quality streaming of 720p video unless it's very highly compressed.

    I don't know precisely how the services compare, but if they're more adaptive they'll drop the bit rate and picture quality - obviously what's happening with Netflix; whereas if they're not adaptive they'll buffer more, and stutter/stall more when the bandwidth isn't enough.

    For instance, Netflix 720p streams are at 2600Kbps or 3800Kbps, so even if you have zero contention and nothing else is using your broadband, it's still hit or miss if you'll have enough bandwidth to play.

    If given the option, I'd always opt for a steady SD stream vs a flaky HD stream unless I had a 5-6Mbps connection at least.

    p.s. Even on a much faster connection, I had problems with Netflix. Streams would start off HD, then start dropping down to the lowest quality stream available after 20 seconds or so. That problem was rectified through no action on my part, maybe an infrastructure upgrade on Netflix's part.
  3. macrumors 6502

    If i am having a 1080p high quality tv then i would love to benefit fully. What i intend was to wait about 20 minutes, which i will spare the time for making coffee or pop corn, for download the movie to the cache it on the machine. Then when I am back to living room i should be watching it at good quality.
  4. macrumors 68030


    Prolly different servers from each company you watching movies from!
  5. JAT
    macrumors 603

    Also, those services do not offer (or claim to) every video in the same quality. Netflix and Hulu will tell you if something is HD, but many shows are not. The answer to your thread title is quite simply that every source is different.

    Netflix will keep the video going, dropping resolution when there is an issue. Hulu will stall/buffer instead. Although this may differ a bit depending on what app/device you are using to watch.
  6. macrumors 603


    I admire your patience! ;)

    I actually tried the same approach back when I was having problems with Netflix; and it seemed to work. I'd start playing a stream, then immediately pause it (boil the kettle... learn a new language.. write a epic trilogy..) come back and it would stream perfectly. It might vary from app to app though, not all may continue buffering to completion if the playback is paused.

    With 1080p, the datarate (for Netflix at least) is over 5Mbps, so if you want to view a 2 hour movie without any stutters on a 3Mbps connection, you'd need to leave it buffer for 3 to 4 hours, not 20 minutes unfortunately.
  7. macrumors 6502

    with 3mbps connection i downloaded many pirated movies over 10gb per movie, 1080p dts .. i keep a seperate cheap netbook running torrent leave it to download day and night. i thought instead of torrentting i could wait for netflix. like when i come home i leave atv running to download movie and do my chores.
  8. macrumors 603


    Even if you're willing to wait a couple of hours for a 1080p movie to buffer sufficiently on a 3Mbps connection, the AppleTV (2nd and 3rd generations) only have 8GB of storage, so you would never be able to buffer an entire 10GB movie on the AppleTV itself.

    Your best bet - other than upgrading your broadband - is to download the movie on another device and then stream it locally to your AppleTV. If your netbook runs Windows, you might be able to install iTunes and stream any videos to the AppleTV via Home Sharing; but I don't know how well that would work on a slow-ish netbook. A PC or Mac for Home Sharing would be better.
  9. macrumors 6502

    this is what i have been doing until i discovered netflix, with netflix it is dead easy to watch and find movies relevant to your expectations.

    3mbit unlimited internet service is 49 liras which is 27 us dollars and that is expensive. For 5mbit I have to pay 69 liras which makes 38 us dollars. I am sick of this country.

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