I've been a very satisfied Netflix customer since 5/03. I watched the entire Jericho
series (for the first time) on my PC over the holidays. Quality was good to very good and I experienced only a few "throttling" pauses throughout. This positive experience made me think it was time to go to the next level.
Just hooked up to Watch Instantly
technology via a new LG BD 300 - my first Blu-Ray player, purchased specifically for this purpose. Although the player immediately downloaded and installed a firmware update the very first time it was connected to our home network (so I know it was getting out onto the Internet), when I selected the Netflix icon, it wouldn't connect to get an access code. Initially it kept failing when trying to check for updates with a "Cannot connect to LG" message. LG phone support was diligent, but ultimately couldn't solve my problem. This was the case using both Static and Dynamic IP configuration.
The BD300 is connected to our network via a Linksys WGA54G wireless gaming adapter, which I suspected. So I pulled everything apart, hooked the adapter up to a laptop and verified via speedtest.net that it's getting a consistent 6-7Mbps download rate and that all protocols were being supported. I then re-connected the player to the network (this was a good hour or so later) and the access code connection worked immediately. I still don't know what caused the failure initially, but it was disconcerting and a waste of a good 45 minutes on the phone with LG Cust. Support. I mention all this because diagnostic capability via the player (e.g., to test connection to Netflix, etc.) is virtually nonexistent. Don't know if other players are better in this regard.
Once I had access to the Watch Instantly queue, I watched the first 20 minutes of Next
, which played at two bars down from the max resolution. I noticed some screen stutter during panning camera shots, but overall the quality was very good.
Next I tried an old favorite, Navy Seals
, which is not letterbox, but the quality gauge was still two bars down from max level. The bigger problem I found was that at about 18 minutes the audio went completely out-of-sync with the video. Audio was leading, video was lagging by a good 2-3 seconds.
I tried re-starting the video and then fast-forwarding to a later point in the vid, but the audio sync problem persisted.
Wonder if there's anything I can do on my end to prevent this, as it will pretty much destroy the experience if it happens on a significant number of selections.
Overall though, kudos to Netflix and their technology partners. As long as advertising is NEVER ADDED to this great technology, I will be spending more of my money on this mode of entertainment and less on cable/network television or pay-per-view.