Topic about Netflix, Roku, Apple TV and Digital TV

Discussion in 'hardware' started by Rasheed187, Nov 18, 2015.

  1. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2004
    Posts:
    9,869
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    OK I see, so providers can actually monitor traffic that's coming from Netflix.

    BTW, I just discovered that my cable provider offers a Netflix competing subscription (that you get for free with certain packages), and it's not that bad, but they offer most of the movies and series in SD quality, so it won't look good on flat-screens. So I'm thinking about using my old CRT TV for this, this isn't what I call progress, I'm really still in shock. This is also an interesting read:

    http://www.cnet.com/news/push-for-ultra-hd-4k-forces-picture-quality-tradeoffs/

    Yes it's really weird, it shouldn't be like this.
     
  2. Sordid

    Sordid Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2011
    Posts:
    229
    I have tried all those boxes in addition to many others, and they are all rather niche products that fall short in a lot of places.

    But often you can throw Kodi/XBMC on them or buy your own devoted box which can be as simple (read: slow and cheap) as a Raspberry Pi.

    It can grab/mashup way more content than any other system and is very subtitle friendly if that's a req.

    re:netflix

    You can actually insert custom subtitles into Netflix via advanced menus/DFXP

     
  3. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2004
    Posts:
    9,869
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Are you saying that Netflix is already offering Dutch subtitles? About the boxes, I don't really need them, my current DVR is good enough, and it offers on demand movies and series for a fixed price like Netflix. In the future I might be able to receive Netflix via the DVR, since it also has an integrated cable modem, so no need to use a wire or WIFI, to connect my TV with the web.

    I do hope that my provider will offer "free to air" HD channels, they currently offer mostly SD channels, unacceptable because even on Full HD and Ultra HD TV's it doesn't look good. And you shouldn't have to turn on your DVR/set-top box just to get HD, it's freaking ridiculous. Does it work the same in the USA?
     
  4. Sordid

    Sordid Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2011
    Posts:
    229
    In the US, all the major network stations have HD FTA clearstreams.

    http://www.ustvnow.com/

    The Netflix tool is a partial workaround. While Netflix allows for user provided subs, you must find the subtitles yourself and why I suggest Kodi. It makes using/finding subs a lot easier.
     
  5. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2004
    Posts:
    9,869
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Yes, but do cable and fiber providers offer free to air HD channels? Because I believe the link that you mentioned, refers to satellite. IMO if you plugin a TV, you should at least be able to receive the standard channels (about 30 in Holland) in HD, without needing a smartcard or set-top box, just like with analog TV. But it's probably about money, since you need to pay for that stuff. About Netflix, that looks like too much work for me.
     
  6. Bob D

    Bob D Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Posts:
    1,166
    Location:
    Mass., USA
    Not that I'm aware, they've no reason to give away their stuff for free. I cut the cable years ago, opting for Roku & antenna for free OTA (over the air) HD reception of local network channels.
    I find it amusing that antennas, which became passe with the introduction of cable, are now becoming quite popular. Antenna Direct's sales have doubled since one year ago.
    What was old is now new...
     
  7. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2004
    Posts:
    9,869
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    To clarify, I'm talking about the basic package, in Holland my cable provider does offer SD channels in unencrypted form, so you don't need a set-top box or CI Plus/CableCARD. But they refuse to do so when it comes to HD, I'm surprised that no one is complaining about this. They are also considering to kill analog TV, but the government has interfered, because it would force people with old CRT TV's to use a set-top box.

    About TV over antenna, it's funny, I used to think that it was actually new, but in fact that's how it all started in the USA. In Holland they also offer this, but not free over the air. And I still prefer cable, it simply always works, both digital and analog. Fiber tries to compete with it, but it has several drawbacks.
     
  8. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    Posts:
    6,105
  9. stapp

    stapp Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Posts:
    9,303
    Location:
    England
    In the UK analogue was completely switched over to digital at the end of October 2012.

    There are about a dozen free HD channels at the moment via Freeview which is built in to most TVs now.

    http://www.freeview.co.uk/whats-on/channels
     
  10. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2004
    Posts:
    9,869
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Wow, this is a bit shocking, I can't see this happening in Holland in the coming 5 years. The funny thing is, cable providers say they need bandwidth for more digital channels, but now 80% of the digital content is crap anyway. And I never understood what Freeview was about, so basically it's a wireless signal, and it seems to be free? But they also don't offer all basic channels in HD, so that's still not good enough.
     
  11. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2004
    Posts:
    9,869
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2015
  12. stapp

    stapp Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Posts:
    9,303
    Location:
    England
    I actually have a Humax DVR which I really like.

    Because it comes with Freeview built in, and the TV has Freeview built in, this means I can record 2 programs at the same time as watching a different one.
     
  13. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2004
    Posts:
    9,869
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Yes, I've been reading good things about Humax. And that's exactly why I would like to have free to air HD channels (30 + basic channels), so I can use my own DVR. And yes, dual tuners are pretty cool, but I will soon order the standard DVR from my cable provider, it comes with 4 tuners (like Tivo) which is cool, but I wonder how fast the interface is, that has been a major problem in the last few years.
     
  14. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2004
    Posts:
    9,869
    Location:
    The Netherlands
  15. Alec

    Alec Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    Posts:
    364
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Yeah, that is one of the great ironies of high-def TV... the better the TV the worse SD looks!

    My main TV source in the US is DirecTV (a satellite TV provider), and I use their Genie whole-home DVR that can record up to 5 programs at once and has a 1 TB drive (iirc). It's sort of a pricey service, but its a class act, IMHO. Way better than our cable TV or local phone provider's version of digital TV. I can tell a noticeable difference in picture quality between a satellite provider's 720p or 1080i high-def video and a cable company or normal telco's "high-def" video. I've been told its due to the compression algorithms & ratio used by each. With the cable / telco version of high-def, I see lots of motion & color artifacts (ringing, aliasing, posterization, etc). Those artifacts drive me crazy and make me almost want to just go back to SD TV. The whole-home thing is nice also, as the other TVs just use these mini-boxes that network back to the main DVR via DECA (or even wireless in the newer models, I believe). I don't have a clue if DirecTV has any international presence or offerings, although I'm sure there is someone providing satellite video.

    As for the Internet-based digital streaming providers... my experience has generally been positive and they appear to use legitimate high-def (and not overly compressed) content where available. I have an older generation (2nd, I think) Apple TV and I use it... but... I would agree that I doubt that there is a point to a separate streaming set top box if already you have a SmartTV with Netflix, Hulu, etc as built-in apps, or if you have a Playstation or Xbox that you can use. I can get Netflix through my Apple TV, but I almost never do... opting instead for the native Apple content. My primary reasoning is that I'm pretty much caught in Apple's "ecosystem"... and if I rent or buy a digital movie or a season of digital TV, then it's easiest for me take it with me on an airplane via my iPad by already being native within Apple's system. That take-it-and-go system works best via Apple's infrastructure in my experience.... although I know others have no issue with Netflix apps on their devices and swear by it as well.

    Right now I am on the DirecTV package subscription model and so I don't use streaming services all that much honestly. Although I know that in the next 2-3 years, at least in the US, this will likely get flipped on its head... and everyone but dinosaurs will likely use the a la carte Internet streaming services over packaged subscriptions. I guess I'm still in the dinosaur camp at this point. ;)
     
  16. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Posts:
    2,354
    Location:
    .
    Most current flatscreen TVs don't make SD look worse, its that old tube TVs are much worse picture quality and mask poor image quality and artefacts of the source; current flatscreen TV's show a truer representation of the SD source.
     
  17. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2004
    Posts:
    9,869
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Thanks for the info, it was interesting to read. Funny that you mention the Genie DVR, I will soon order a similar system, but I think it's ridiculous that additional DVR's (mini-boxes) don't have their own HDD, this is just a cheap trick to cut costs. But it can be even worse, some ISP's offer "recording in the cloud", this means that if there is no connection, you can forget about watching recorded content. I really don't know what's wrong with these idiots, what happened to offering your customers the best service as possible.
     
  18. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2004
    Posts:
    9,869
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Yes, HD would look better if it wasn't for the compression. The funny thing is that ISP's are acting like HD is some kind of premium service, while it should be standard, all broadcasters should switch to it, especially because most people own flat-screens nowadays.

    I still need to test this but it would be cooler if services like Netflix were offered via the cable or fiber network (not only the Internet), quality would then always be guaranteed. I've read that streaming apps (also from Netflix) will soon be offered via DVR's, but you still need to connect it to the web.

    You have to be kidding me. Both analog and digital SD/HD look pretty good on CRT TV's, while on flat-screens only HD looks good. So in a way CRT is superior to LED, but I don't know about Plasma and OLED.
     
  19. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Posts:
    2,354
    Location:
    .
    There is nothing about general LCD/LED panel technology (early LCDs had a number of problems with poor blacks, low light contrast, response rates that have all been solved) that inhibits poor image quality. The only thing that could be is due to poor processing in specific implementations (encoding, transmission or decoding).

    There was an old article on BBC website in about 2009 where they tested source against old broadcast against new broadcast tech and the photo of the 3 identical 42in flatscreen LCD TVs showed the artefacts displayed from the broadcast images were due to encoding and not the TV as the source was displayed utterly perfect (SD)

    It is quite possible to have poor software on an LCD/LED TV that reduces image quality in the upscaling process (or any other image enhancement options turned on - they add extra processing and more potential of error), it could be jaggies induced by poor upscaling combined with image sharpening for example - these are implementation issues, not general limitations of LCD/LED TVs.

    All CRT TV's suffer problems of some kind geometry (suffers convergence, focus and uniformity issues), they suffer from higher minimum dot pitch than LCD at most common sizes (ability to display all pixels at correct sharpness), blur between pixel centres (which is the main reason the mask pixel size artefacts that show on LCD of SD content), not as good brightness/white compared to LCD/LED TVs.

    I think you would be pleasantly surprised if you saw a good example of SD content on a LCD/LED TV.
    I hung onto my CRT for a long time due to poor quality of early affordable LCD TVs.

    I've yet to see anything better than a Panasonic 60in Plasma TV BTW (maybe come close, but not better) for any kind of content.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2015
  20. Alec

    Alec Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    Posts:
    364
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Yeah, I don't quite get this statement since it is a bit self-contradictory. On the one hand you are agreeing that older TV's masked poor image quality due to their inherent limitations, but yet you are saying that modern flatscreens don't make SD look worse.

    I guess I get what you are trying to say... that its not the *TV's fault* for the poor SD quality... and I think everyone is agreeing with that. We all recognize that it is the artifacts in the older SD content that glaringly become obvious when you scale it from a 27" tube TV to a 42" (or bigger) HD flatscreen with a sharp, pixel perfect rendition. It's just shocking when you spend a bunch of money, bring home a great TV, and then are greeted with ugly SD content. It all just means that you have to fork over more money to make sure that you have quality HD content streams to actually watch... which I understood as the original point of the thread.
     
  21. Alec

    Alec Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    Posts:
    364
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Yeah, true... the mini's don't have their own HDD. But, on the flip-side, it's kind of a benefit... as you can watch the main DVR's content from any of the mini's. You just record it once on the main and don't have to worry about making sure to record the program on the DVR/HDD that's in the correct room. The mini unit performance has been pretty seamless. No major buffering lags or anything. So, I haven't really missed the HDD on the minis. The 1TB might sound limiting, but it's actually quite a lot of video content; and this one can record the 5 streams simultaneously. So, unlike my old DVR I don't really have to worry that my Game of Thrones recording will get kicked in favor of my kid's recording of a cartoon or something.

    And, yeah, DirecTV is also trying to push the video streaming via the cloud / Internet as well. Which at first seems a bit odd as I almost never fetch it from that way, instead preferring to just "DVR it" from the scheduled satellite broadcast. I suppose from their perspective they have all this content and they are seeing it as a way to offer it in any form the customer might want. In the US, AT&T bought DirecTV even though AT&T had their own video offering called uVerse. I think they knew that DirecTV had a much better video delivery system and they will leave the satellite TV alone for customers like me, but will broaden it out and offer it as Internet streams over their cellphone / tablet wireless plans as well.
     
  22. CrusherW9

    CrusherW9 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2012
    Posts:
    517
    Location:
    United States
    @Alec, what NGRhodes is trying to say is that the reason why SD looks better on CRT's is because they have inherent flaws that mask the flaws of lower resolution. Consider that there are certain anti-aliasing techniques that rely on blurring edges in order to make games look better. However, if you increase the resolution of the game, the need for the blurring (anti-aliasing in general) is reduced. In this case, the blurring at lower resolutions is similar to CRT tv's in that it masked the real problem being the resolution is too low. Basically, you didn't notice the flaws before because your equipment was inadequate at presenting them to you. It's the same for high end audio gear. Sure those $10 ear buds will let you listen to lossless CD rips, but you won't experience it the same as with a pair of $500 headphones.

    Not sure how good of a comparison that was but I tried.
     
  23. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2004
    Posts:
    9,869
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    That's true, but I think all DVR's should have their own HDD, now all work is done by the main DVR, and what about privacy?

    Yes, I prefer not having to connect my TV to the web at all.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2015
  24. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2004
    Posts:
    9,869
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Thanks for the feedback, so you're basically saying that it's not the fault of LED TV, but it's more about the signal itself. This may be true, but at the end of the day it's still disappointing. Even HD doesn't look any better compared to analog on CRT TV's. This is why I also chose not to switch to digital TV for a longtime. I hope OLED and perhaps ultra HD will improve things. I saw Sony's 4k TV months ago and it looked amazing.

    Yes exactly.
     
  25. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    Posts:
    6,105
    @Rasheed187 It looks interesting and I will try it in time. Also, the source of their Netflix data uNoGS is worth at look at it, as you can search for Netflix titles ifrom68 different countries. However, you need to click on the Edit Countries link in the top left of the page, to select what contries you want to search, as by default only one country is searched.
     
Loading...