Netflix service via Windows 7 Media Center

Discussion in 'Windows Media Center' started by Pete Delgado, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. Pete Delgado

    Pete Delgado Guest

    I am considering subscribing to Netflix in order to use the service to
    stream content to my various devices through Media Center on Windows 7. I
    have in the past, used Cinema Now and wasn't really too happy with the
    quality of the video stream, so I wonder if anyone who currently uses the
    Netflix service can comment on the following:

    1. Video quality of the streams
    2. Number of simultaneous streams (I have a lot of devices and my children
    may want to watch something different than me)
    3. Content availability
    4.Other issues
    5. Use on devices such as the Linksys DMA 2200 (vmcnetflix plugin) or XBox
    360

    -Pete
     
    Pete Delgado, Dec 9, 2009
    #1
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  2. Pete Delgado

    jolt Guest

    I look at Netflix online as value added to the rental service or in other
    words I won't likely subscribe (unless it were very modestly priced) if it
    were offered as a separate service. Video quality IMO is reasonable but
    normally less then DVD. There is a vast selection of content online but if
    any would be considered worth while viewing is highly dependant on an
    individuals personal taste.

    The number of simultaneous feeds would limited first by the max numbers of
    devices that are allowed per account which I believe to be 4 and possibly by
    the home network or internet connection.


    I've viewed a few gems from Netflix online that I won't have likely rented
    or found for viewing on television at a time that suited my schedule. So
    it's kind of nice to have as filler but not a compelling source on it's own.
     
    jolt, Dec 9, 2009
    #2
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  3. Pete Delgado

    Barb Bowman Guest

    the best experience is on the Xbox 360 if you have a gold membership and use the
    XBox interface. the quality is far better. or on my Samsung Blu Ray I can get a
    limited number of HD streams from Netflix.

    I've not tried the vmcnetflix plugin with an extender since the experience on
    even a high end 1920 x 1080p desktop replacement monster using the W7 MCE
    interface is not wonderful. Netflix is great for netbooks and small size and
    resolution laptops IMO.

    I did a couple of free trials, but for my needs, it wasn't a good fit. It may be
    for yours. I'm kinda a HD snob..

    Barb Bowman
    MS-MVP
    http://www.digitalmediaphile.com
    http://digitalmediaphile.wordpress.com
     
    Barb Bowman, Dec 10, 2009
    #3
  4. Pete Delgado

    Pete Delgado Guest

    As am I! ;-) I find it difficult to watch SDTV content any more!

    Even the high resolution feeds on Cinema Now looked about as good as
    standard television on MCE 2005 and is one of the reasons that I cancelled
    the service. I guess I will try the free Netflix trial to see if it suits
    me, but I don't have high hopes for it.

    -Pete
     
    Pete Delgado, Dec 11, 2009
    #4
  5. Pete Delgado

    Barb Bowman Guest

    let us know what you think after the trial.

    Barb Bowman
    MS-MVP
    http://www.digitalmediaphile.com
    http://digitalmediaphile.wordpress.com
     
    Barb Bowman, Dec 12, 2009
    #5
  6. Pete Delgado

    Pete Delgado Guest

    Barb,
    Thus far I'm not too impressed. The Netflix widgets adjust the bitrate of
    the content to account for your bandwidth in order to ensure that streaming
    begins as quickly as possible. While this may be desirable on the desktop,
    when I want to watch a movie on a 57" widescreen TV I need as good a quality
    as possible for the best experience. Unlike cinemanow, there doesn't appear
    to be a way to set your bit-rate manually and have the widget store the
    media after download so that you can watch it in the highest quality.
    As-is, the content is barely watchable on my 24" monitor.

    To test, I watched a variety of content such as animated TV shows and recent
    major film releases.

    I'm going to apply for a developer account over the holidays to see if there
    is anything that can be done to improve the experience for people like me,
    but it appears that the majority of the content has been encoded in very
    lossy codecs and that not much can be done to improve the experience for
    streaming content to larger screens.

    Oh well... :-(

    -Pete
     
    Pete Delgado, Dec 17, 2009
    #6
  7. Pete Delgado

    Barb Bowman Guest

    if you come up with anything, I have this 52 inch Samsung.. I'd love an improved
    experience to play with :)

    Barb Bowman
    MS-MVP
    http://www.digitalmediaphile.com
    http://digitalmediaphile.wordpress.com
     
    Barb Bowman, Dec 17, 2009
    #7
  8. Pete Delgado

    Pete Delgado Guest

    How about the ability to play up to 6 poorly encoded streams all at once on
    the same monitor! ;-)

    -Pete
     
    Pete Delgado, Dec 17, 2009
    #8
  9. Pete Delgado

    Barb Bowman Guest

    Barb Bowman, Dec 17, 2009
    #9
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