Streaming Netflix on ATV - Grainy Picture

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by razpazaz, Dec 24, 2011.

  1. razpazaz macrumors newbie

    Aug 1, 2010
    Just installed my ATV2 yesterday and streamed some Netflix to test out. Tried a couple of TV shows and a couple of movies on my 42" Panasonic Viera.

    Not sure if this was to be expected - the picture was not terrible, but was noticeably grainier than if I had been watching regular TV as I normally do via FIOS.

    Is this due to limitations in what Netflix streams, or could it be due to the ATV output being only 720P? I did confirm from the ATV settings that the output is set for 720P.

    Had considered going with Roku for the available 1080 output - but went ATV since I am an Apple guy, but wondering if I made a mistake.
  2. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    Make sure your ATV2 is set for HD videos.
    Also try using wired Ethernet, Netflix will adjust the PQ based on how fast you're device can stream.
  3. razpazaz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 1, 2010
    Thanks, Blueroom.

    I am set up for HD and on our Netflix account chose the fastest stream shown, but no or not much difference. Maybe an ethernet connection would make a difference, but would not be simple to set up since our router is not close to the rest of the system.

    Think I'll post separately asking if others have found a noticeable increase in picture quality by switching to an ethernet connection.
  4. slothrob macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2007
    Have you checked to see that those programs from Netflix are in HD? (It will be described as HD on the splash page.)

    You shouldn't be seeing a huge difference between a lot of the HD programming from FIOS and HD from the aTV2. Last I checked, much of the material available as HD from cable was still 720p (ABC, Fox). The rest is 1080i (CBS, NBC), at best, so it might not even seem as smooth as the 720p programming. Go into the video settings menu for your FIOS box and change the video output from 1080i to 720p to see how subtle the difference is on your TV.

    Some Netflix stuff, like a lot of Bluerays, aren't encoded that well or come from poor source material, so they can be a little noisy or blocky, but you should generally see an improvement from their SD to their HD content.
  5. PNutts macrumors 601


    Jul 24, 2008
    Pacific Northwest, US
    Definitely try ethernet. If that improves the picture, you've isolated the issue to your wireless. My ATV2 is connected via ethernet and the picture doesn't look different than cable. Disclaimer: I no longer have HD cable. ;) But when I watch a Netflix HD program it definitely looks 720p.

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