Netflix Streaming-Artifacts & Jitter on Some Titles

Discussion in 'Streaming and Digital Media' started by Eastmancolor, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. Eastmancolor

    Eastmancolor Stunt Coordinator

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    Does anyone here know why Netflix is having issues with the picture quality of some of their films. Recent HD releases, including CAPTAIN KRONOS VAMPIRE HUNTER, DAYS OF HEAVEN, THE NEXT THREE DAYS and THE LINCOLN LAWYER all have motion artifacts whenever there's movement or if there's a camera pan. When there's no motion, they look great, but once there's movement across the frame, the image has jitter.
    No issues with some other titles, such as the HD ANDY GRIFFITH or MISSION IMPOSSIBLE episodes. Most other movies, like BEVERLY HILLS COP 3 are fine too, it's just certain titles. This is also true of some non HD older classic titles.
    CAPTAIN KRONOS is fine on Amazon's streaming site and it's the same recent transfer that Paramount just released to Netflix. I know, as the company I manage did work on the original negative of the film just prior to the digital scan. The files that Netflix received are fine. Is this a bandwidth problem with Netflix or are they doing something else that's causing this issue?
    I use a Roku 2 streaming box and I project onto a 10' screen with a Panasonic AE4000U projector and I have a hard-wired internet connection that averages 20mbps. Again, most everything else looks great, it's just some of the Netflix titles that are a problem.
     
  2. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    I don't have a specific answer fo you but I continue to believe that folks expecting the quality of streaming media to hold up on nythingover. 50" screen are a bit premature to the party.
     
  3. Eastmancolor

    Eastmancolor Stunt Coordinator

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    Sam, I'm not complaining about streaming quality in general. Even on a 10' screen, the vast majority of what Netflix streams looks great. My question was, why do some HD titles like CAPTAIN KRONOS VAMPIRE HUNTER, THE LINCOLN LAWYER and DAYS OF HEAVEN have jitter and other motion artifacts? They're fine on Amazon, but not on Netflix. They're the same transfers.
     
  4. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Cinematographer
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    Jim, I have seen this happen from time to time on Netflix. Sometimes it is due to bandwidth issues, sometimes not. My experience has been that if I encounter an issue with a title on Netflix, and I report it online (by going to your instant queue on their website), most of the time it gets resolved within a week.
     
  5. John Stockton

    John Stockton Second Unit

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    The problem could also be because of High traffic. I have noticed problems such as yours during high traffic(prime time) and not, during AM hours
     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I experienced exactly the opposite over the weekend when comparing Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Extended P1 on both of them. I compared a few scenes, maybe about 20 minutes, back to back same setup. Netflix was clear and Amazon had artifacts and obviously lower resolution. I routinely get very good quality on both my Roku and PS3.
     
  7. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    There are soooo many factors that can contribute to this.
    -Wifi reception in your home. Have you run a speed test?
    -you may have been assigned a lower quality level by one source than another. See if you can rerun the "Making sure we get you the highest quality for your bandwidth" test
    -If you are on shared bandwidth (like on cable modem vice fiber). Your neighbors could be bittorenting the entire library of congress.
    -Traffic at the source
    -bad transfers
    Here's how I break it down:
    -If something -needs- to be seen with the highest visual quality for me to appreciate it I buy or rent the bluray
    -If the bluray is not available I see if there is an HD stream
    -If it's a documentary, TV show, or other "lesser' content then either a DVD or a stream is fine for me from the start.
    Bottom line is that if something matters to you try to get the best physical media first.
     
  8. Eastmancolor

    Eastmancolor Stunt Coordinator

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    Sam, it's not a wifi or technical issue on my side. My system is hard wired and my average speed tests are rating at 20mbps. It doesn't matter what time of day either as the titles in question have looked bad for sometime.
    Some of the more recent HD titles on Netflix have jitter and motion artifacts. I've routinely checked on the films THE NEXT THREE DAYS and THE LINCOLN LAWYER for months now and they still have these issues. CAPTAIN KRONOS VAMPIRE HUNTER and DAYS OF HEAVEN were recently added and they have the same problem. Yet on the Amazon streaming site, CAPTAIN KRONOS is fine. Same transfer, but obviously something is wrong with the Netflix version. I just was wondering what was causing this and if there was any way of getting Netflix to fix it.
    FYI Sam, I love physical media, as I have over 5000 DVDs and Blu-rays, as well as many 16mm film prints. I have the CAPTAIN KRONOS DVD that was released years ago, but the new HD scan looks significantly better than the SD DVD. I just wish Netflix would present it properly.
     
  9. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    My experience has been that they are very responsive to these inquiries, I have replied to multiple "How was the streaming quality of X" and have seen them reply back to me when new versions are uploaded. Definitely encourage you to let them know when things go wrong. Should be able to do so even when they don't poll you.
     
  10. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Cinematographer
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    Jim, it is fairly easy to let Netflix know if there is a problem with a streaming title:

    1. Go to your Instant Queue and click on "Report Problem"

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    2. Check the applicable boxes and press "Continue"

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    3. Netflix may or may not respond, but as both Sam & I mentioned in previous posts, Netflix does investigate reported issues, and they are usually fixed within a week. After you log the problem, check the title again in about a week, and if the problem persists, report it again.

     

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