January 30, 2009

Netflix Roku Player Video Quality (4 Stars)

Roku Netflix Player
The Roku Netflix player provides different levels of streaming video quality, depending on the speed of your internet connection. There are 4 levels quality, where 1 is about on par with the worst Youtube videos, and 4 is almost as good as DVD quality (maybe).

When a program is selected and starts streaming, the Roku box decides what is the best quality level you can get with the current internet connection. 1 star for the slowest connections, all the way up to 4 stars for the best speed connections, which is typically cable internet. (They're not actually stars, but I like to think of them as such)

I have a DSL connection (Qwest) with a 1.5 megabit download speed. When I first plugged in the Roku player about a year ago, my 1.5 megabit DSL connection, I would typically get the "2 star" level of quality. Occasionally, it would give me the horrid "1 star" level of quality. But I would never see anything above level 2.

Well in the past few weeks, I've been seeing "3 stars" of quality, over the same speed internet connection. Once I even got 4! I didn't change anything, and yet suddenly I'm getting better quality streaming video? And It looks great. It's on par with VHS quality, if not a touch above.

I can't be sure, but I *think* the audio quality has gotten worse. Could Netflix be sacrificing audio quality for better video?

Posted by stoltenow at January 30, 2009 1:35 AM


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