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Author Topic: Streaming to HD Television  (Read 1212 times)

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Offline Slappy

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Streaming to HD Television
« on: March 28, 2011, 05:55:34 PM »
I've rented a few Amazon On-Demands before, they go right to the TiVo and are stored on the hard drive until watched, but I recently got a $5.99 credit for Vudu, through the PS3 so I thought it was worth a shot. The set-up was relatively painless, created a Vudu account & linked it to the PS3 account then browsed the movies. I used their site to see what's available, but it's also pretty accessible though the PS3.

The Vudu bandwidth testing tool determines what resolution you can stream, even on wireless through the PS3 I was supposed to be able to get what they call HDX, essentially 1080p. There's HD (720p) and of course SD (480p) also. I noticed after starting that even though I was pulling HDX fine, it was able to be toggled lower at my discretion.

We rented "The Social Network" as a trial, looked pretty sharp although the first 5-10 minutes it was noticeably "jittery" during simple panning & even movement of actors. Not really pixelated, but kind of a stutter. i was ready to walk away & go rent it from a RedBox, but we stuck it out. Interestingly, I paused it after about 20 minutes, came back & it had smoothed out. I guess a small amount of buffer helped the streaming slightly. It happened a few other times as well so I paused for 10-15 seconds & when I restarted it was good. Not ideal, but not horribly bad. I'd be curious if action flicks have the same problem, and part of that is likely determined by the load on their servers too.

All in all, not too shabby. At $5.99 for a near Blu-ray quality movie, it's steep. I can rent the same movie at Redbox, Blu-ray for $1.50/night. Selection is pretty limited at RedBox, Vudu seems to have a decent line-up of New movies so far, and I think they do TV as well. You can also Purchase through Vudu but I don't know why you would, or how the media is even stored on your hardware.

It's a good option for people like us, who wouldn't ever use a Netflix all-you-watch plan, and if we're snowed in or too lazy to go looking for an actual rental I'd probably do it again.
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