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I run WinXP on a 5-yr-old laptop and have a cable internet connection. I usually run Netflix streaming on full screen mode and have pretty good results. The sound transmits flawlessly, and the video quality is pretty darn good (like a really new VHS). My only complaints are that the video gets choppy on occasion and that I can't run stream anything of my Linux box, which is newer and beefier than the old laptop.

Bruce Miller

I am in a remote area and must use a satellite ISP service. The Netflix service does not provide for slower connection speeds that are often experianced with satellite servcie.
Also buffering with ROKU box is inadequate and memorey too small to allow use of this service.


I just bought an HDTV and using TIVO I think the streaming is good from the 6 movies I have watched and is beyond my expectations.


I use Roku with our DSL (AT&T), and consistently receive 2/4 quality. No significant complaints; a little pixellad now and then. Overall I think it's fantastic!


Most of the movies have been good-to-excellent (my son now loves "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure," which was DVD-quality), but "Alien" was ATROCIOUS. It was like a low-quality VHS tape. Lots of pixelization, especially during the action scenes.


I have yet to see a Starz Instant Play movie that was watchable. This is on a brand new laptop with a 1440x900 screen and a screaming fast cable modem.

Any movie that I would want to see for the visual quality gets in the DVD queue, not the Instant Play.

My older laptop used to work with Netflix but the most recent Windows Media upgrade that was required no longer allows for a smooth Netflix playback.


If any of you use vista media center, try vmcNetflix. It will download the movie beforehand at the best quality available. I will usually do so a day ahead of time just to avoid the chance of my router going out or anything.

To the guy with the satellite ISP. Watch your bandwidth.


i use the Xbox 360 with HDMI and a shapr aquos 52 inch. its always great. the picture quality a little less so when its a standard def picture and not in 16:9, but generally its as good as anything i play on my hdmi upconverting DVD player ( i dont have blu ray )


I have DSL that according to AT&T gives me 6.0 Mbps down. I consistently have 4 dot quality. I think the video quality depends on whether the video is supposedly HD or not. I watched Ira & Abby, an HD flick, which wasn't great. The video flickered when panning. If they didn't say it was HD, I would have thought the PQ was better.


I run a 17" MacBook Pro at 1680x1050. I also have an AT&T DSL connection that clocks in at a consistent 600 kilobytes per second. The quality I have been seeing is excellent. Occasionally there will be some sort of traffic hiccup and NX will bump me down to 3 bars. When that happens I hit refresh and it re-detects the 4 bars. I can live with that for unlimited viewing and more and more good titles.


Roku Player
Time Warner -7kbps.
HDMI cables

Watched maybe 20 movies and only had it buffer twice. I am very happy with it.


I do not understand why they need such a poll. If I watch the movie, the resolution was good enough. If I don't watch the movie, it's because the resolution was not good enough.

They should instead poll people who don't watch movies instantly, as to why. They should want to know why I start movies and then abandon them.


Connection - ADSL 6MB/768Kbps, wireless over a Netgear 54g

TV setups - 19" with Roku Netflix Player and a 32" LCD with a Mac Mini I put Good because it is just a little under DVD quality but that said it works flawlessly on the Mac and the Roku is a very slick little appliance--fast to buffer and no hiccups.


I use Netflix on Xbox and I always get 4 bars. The picture looks really good.
Metrocast Cable
6 Mbps down / 384 kbps up
42 in LCD with HDMI cables

Previously I had AT&T DSL (3.0 Mbps down/ 384 kbps up) and I got decent quality in the beginning, but over time my speed decreased and the quality suffered.

Derek C

I use my 360 to stream Netflix.
I have Comcast.
23601 kb/s Download, 3262 kb/s Upload.

I'm happy with the video quality on Netflix's streaming service, but I do not like the fact that the majority of the films I've seen are in fullscreen and not in widescreen. I refuse to watch a movie in fullscreen if I can avoid it.


I use Netflix streaming on my XBox and the video quality is better than the DVD playback on the XBox when at the highest connection. I'd say that's pretty good.


Mediacom 8Mbps cable.
Roku -wired connection to the network
46" LCD with HDMI cable

I get consistent 4 dots and HD ones look like unconverted dvds.


This question is mostly malformed. Unless you have 7-8 year old hardware, the real issues have to do with time of day and hence how good the connection from your machine to their data centers. You direct connection, your ISP, intermediate ISP and their network connections are the real bottleneck. Explains why everything usually is great in middle of work day, but has more troubles at 8PM EST Saturday Night.

Hunter McDaniel

I have the Roku with 1.5 Mbps DSL and usually get 3 bars. Quality is generally equivalent to a good VHS tape or a fair-quality DVD transfer.

Blinded by science

very scientific - all the netflix employees are banging on the excellent and good buttons like monkeys while the blockbuster employees are hitting the so-so and poor buttons like chimps.

there's absolutely no measurable metric that one can take-away from this.


The source the biggest factor. Is it a recent film, or an episode of a old TV show.

I streamed an old Monty Python episode the other day and the quality was, well, it was early 1970s TV quality, and it can't really get better than that. So do I call it very good because the system delivered it as well as possible, or just acceptable because it's old material?

Rating the streaming rather than the source material is probably the best bet.


I voted "good" on your poll, although my real results have been somewhere between good and excellent on a consistent basis. I have a Roku connected via HDMI to a 42" Panasonic plasma HDTV and the picture quality of the streaming stuff is pretty amazing, with very few exceptions. I rarely get less than 4 "dots" out of the Roku.

Honestly, if everything I wanted to see was available on Netflix streaming, I wouldn't bother with having a DVD queue. I like the ability to go through my instant queue and watch whatever the heck I want -- an episode of The Incredible Hulk, say, followed by a movie.

And this is coming from a guy who was dead-set against the whole streaming-video thing before I signed up for Netflix and bought the Roku...


I use an Xbox 360 over 15mpbs Comcast cable, and it looks pretty good depending on the source material (obviously content available in HD is better).

However at the girlfriend's place over slow DSL, the experience is horrible on the Xbox. It's better using the Silverlight streaming on a laptop, so perhaps there's an issue with Xbox support of streaming instead.


@ Becky,

For this particular poll they are not interested in knowing why people don't use WI. For this poll, they are interested in what people think about the quality of what they do watch.


I seem to be the only one watching NetFlix on a HD HT. I have a 6 Mbps DSL connection, a 110" retroflective screen and a brand new 720 HD projector (Mitsubishi HC1600). BTW I didn't go for a 1080 HD projector partly because NetFix/Roku is broadcast in 720p.

I have Starz on Comcast HD. I can see many of the same Starz movies that are available in 720p on NetFlix Watch Instantly, on Comcast in 1080i. There isn't much differenece if any.

The non-HD NetFlix are significantly lower in quality.

The new TV shows like Heroes or Jericho in NetFix HD look spectacular. There are occasional transmisssion problems - like unsynced audio - but Comcast cable HD broadcasts probably have even more glitches.

I have lost interest in DVDs. I think the rank ordering of image quality goes:
1. Blu-ray disk
2. 1080i and 720p streaming
3. DVD
4. non-HD TV broadcasts and non-HD NetFlix streaming

A couple years ago when NetFlix was founded the DVD was the source for highest quality video for your home. That is no longer true. Today most new TV shows are broadcast with a higher quality signal than is obtainable from any DVD.


I have tried using their streaming both at home and at work on my lunch hour. My monitor at work is not good enough.

My monitor at home is fabulous, but Netflix has issues with streaming. I have no problems watching on hulu, Fancast, NBC or CBS streams, but Netflix freezes something fierce. Plus I have yet to see anything closed captioned on the Netflix streaming. Hulu actually allows a search on CC. So I will stick with my DVDs from Netflix until their system works better.

I'm on Vista using a cable modem.


I've tried the WI feature from all the computers in my house, ranging from a clunky old desktop to my higher-end gaming machine, and I haven't noticed any issues with streaming. Pretty good picture quality, loading/buffering times prior to the start of whatever I'm watching are usually in the 5-10 second range. It seems to me that internet connection has more to do with WI quality than hardware.


Loving it.

We have a 12 Mb DSL connection, and we get the 4 bar connection on our Roku everytime, and the quality looks to be quite close to DVD


The Quality is always great for me, when my ISP cooperates. When I'm really getting my 5 megs I pay for, I get 4 bars (or HD) and great quality (I don't have an HD tv). When charter decides to screw me the video quality drops like a rock. I'd much rather have the abilty to download it at a higher quality and buffer longer than take the lower (1 bar) quality.

I use an Xbox 360 for streaming BTW.


I had no problem streaming movies and in recent months noticed an improvement in streaming quality to my 42" HDTV.
Until yesterday. I "upgraded" to the new Silverlight player and noticed an immediate and unacceptable degradation in quality. The compression artifact, pixelation and general poor quality was unwatchable. I thought, perhaps, I was having connection problems but ruled out any problems on my 6 Mbps connection.
I'll be going back to the old player, if possible, and will wait until the quality impoves with Silverlight.


I have a Roku player and a 10 Mb/sec Charter cable connection. The only application which consistently gives me problems is Netflix HD streaming. Normal quality is fine but we can rarely watch even a 60 minute high-def Star Trek without problems.


it pisses me off that i can't choose subtitles. I tried to watch "City of Men" but it was only available w/ the dubbed audio, which was TERRIBLE. so, for me, the movie might as well not be availale on demand.


Watching on an HD LCD (capable of 720p) using a Tivo HD via DSL. The quality is mostly fine and for a free extra capabiltiy on top of the rentals it is great.

Once in a while the audio will be out of sync or the quality bar will be in the mid-range. When this happens I just stop watching and watch recorded or live programming.

I'm excited to see where they take this. My wish list would include more HD content, some form of surround sound encoding, and improved buffering when you move the film forward or reverse.

Jim D in NOLA

I use both my HP 16" screen at 1680x1050 with cable internet connection and also a Roku box. Both are phenomenal, especially the shows and movies in HD. Many times, it's very close to DVD quality. I am very impressed and am thrilled to be with Netflix with the choices they offer.


Streaming through Roku, HDMI to HDTV. video quality is good, (not great, there are some horizontal glitches with the newer compression alg). I have the same complaints as many others. My biggest involves sound/captions.

Would really like captions, would really like better sound normalization (it is pretty bad when effects/music are so much louder than dialog).

lesser complaints:
navigation is okay, but an easy "progress bar" for amount watched in more screens would be nice. Am not sure why a "pause" in the middle of a show will resume immediately, but an "up->resume" must reload.


Jack Ingram

You know I think a lot of people commenting on quality are still using the old player on Windows. I was one of those idiots who upgraded his player tonight accidentally only to find that I am unable to go back and that the new silverlight player is absolutely terrible looking on an HTPC connected to a 50" Plasma. Whereas before it looked like a good quality Divx or Xvid encode, now it looks like a low bitrate youtube clip.

Ironically, I just filled out Netflix' quality survey the other day telling them quality was great... yeah, great because I was still using the old player. As it is, without the ability to go back and all customers on the new player, they have lost a customer, plain and simple!


Just switched to the new player and the image quality is CRAP!!! I enjoyed watching streaming movies for months but will not be watching any ever again unless Netflix improves image quality at least to where it was A FEW HOURS AGO WHEN I WAS USING THE OLD PLAYER!!!!

H Medina

Since updating to SilverLight, the quality and buffering stink. You say there are only a few complaints but I see a multitude of them. Fix it

rate my girlfriend

i think the quality is so good. i had no problem with it.


Voted good. Two issues with NetFlix streaming: the sound volume is dialed 3 or 4 times too low; I always have to turn my speakers up on my xbox when I use it (and then get blasted when I try to watch a dvd or play a game), and it's only watchable on my computer if there's no other sound. can't have my space heater on, for example. it's actually very frustrating. other issue: video quality on my xbox seems to be lower then on my computer, even though the xbox is only outputting at 480i, whereas my computer fullscreen is 1280x800. I don't really care on that second one, but it struck me as odd.

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