If you are an existing or a potentially new member of Netflix, then you will want to know all that you can about the Netflix streaming quality. You have probably already heard all about the many benefits of getting a Netflix subscription for as little as $9 a month, and you have also probably got one of the many Netflix streaming devices set up in your home. But ultimately, the only thing that matters is the quality of video that you see when you stream it in your house.
This is an issue that has had mixed reactions from users. There are those who are very happy about the streaming quality that Netflix offers, but at the same time, there are also some people who claim that the experience is a very frustrating one. On a closer look, you will find that the streaming quality that you get depends on a lot of external factors in your home, so there is no guarantee that you will get excellent video quality each and every time.
Netflix Streaming Quality Levels
The device that you are using to watch your Netflix videos is what will play the biggest role in determining the quality of the output. Naturally, a device that supports HD content will offer you a better viewing experience. This is where Roku’s HD player comes into the picture, as it definitely offers the best video output out of all the devices that are capable of doing so. The strategy of using multiple devices is a smart one by Netflix, but the difference in output quality is one of the major drawbacks. The Netflix TiVo also offers great quality HD content, and so do the Blu-Ray players offered by Samsung and LG.
Netflix streaming audio quality is also something that should not be overlooked. Netflix has recently announced that it will be offering 5.1 digital surround sound soon, but till then you will have to make do with the regular stereo sound that they have been offering. The improvement will be greatly appreciated by many movie watchers.
Today you can watch Netflix videos in 720p HD format, which is good enough for beginners and people who are not too concerned with the quality of the videos, but the more technologically advanced members are wondering when Netflix will start offering the much better 1080p resolution format instead. The Netflix streaming video quality is also said to be better on the Xbox 360 when it is compared with the PlayStation 3. Moreover, the PS3 also requires you to request a special disc from Netflix for setting up the interface. This disc does not count in your monthly quota, and you get to keep it forever.
Netflix Streaming Quality Problems
The major problem that affects the streaming quality is your broadband Internet connection speed, and the congestion in the network when you are using the service. Not everyone faces this problem, so it is totally dependent on the connection setup in your home. The variety of the content that you are playing and the variety of the devices that you are connecting to your Netflix account also play a part in determining the streaming quality and speed that you have to live with. In case you are regularly facing slow streaming speeds, here are some ways on how to improve Netflix streaming quality that may prove useful to you.
* Contact your ISP and find out if you can switch to a faster high speed Internet plan. Minimum recommended speeds are 700 Kbps, or 2.4 Mbps for DVD-quality.
* Position your computer or device as close to a wireless router as possible. Also ensure that there are no heavy obstacles in between.
* Close any other heavy activity that you may be carrying out on the Internet like downloads, heavy online games, Skype or other services.
These simple techniques should be able to improve your Netflix streaming quality to a certain extent. Results are not guaranteed, but they will definitely make a difference. Before you start blaming Netflix and their video player (Microsoft SilverLight) for Netflix streaming quality, you must first ensure that your connection speed is as fast as possible, and network congestion is as low as possible.