Netflix Bringing Surround Sound To PS3 Users Starting Oct. 18

We’ve previously reported that PlayStation 3 users will soon no longer need a disc to stream Netflix movies through the device. Now comes news that there will be an added perk when the revamped Netflix streaming app debuts on Oct. 18 — Dolby surround sound.

The audio will be delivered via Dolby Digital Plus, providing users with an experience much closer to DVD-quality viewing than they had previously experienced. Additionally, some movies will be available in 1080p.

Says a Netflix exec:

Netflix is committed to delivering an unparalleled experience to its members who watch TV shows and movies streamed instantly over the Internet… Netflix required an audio solution that could efficiently deliver an outstanding surround sound experience for a wide range of consumer devices. Dolby Digital Plus proved to be the best solution to meet our needs and the needs of our device partners.

No date on when such features might become available for Xbox 360 users.

NetFlix Streamers Get a Surround Sound Update Starting With the PS3 [Kotaku]


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  1. UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

    I can’t help but wonder what kind of bandwidth would be recommended for this level of streaming. I have 15 Mbps at home, and even then my 720p streams will occasionally crap themselves.

    • Doncosmic says:

      But are you really getting 15Mbps? The problems might just be your network temporarily slowing down. I imagine for a 1080i movie they would just use a larger buffer, with more of a delay at the beginning.

    • MaximusMMIV says:

      Netflix recommends a 5 mbps connection for HD streaming. At my previous apartment I had 7 mbps service and HD streamed just fine in 720p. I’d say the most likely explanation for your issues is that your ISP isn’t giving you what you’re paying for. Have you speedtested it? Alternatively, it could be that Netflix has bandwidth outages on their end of things.

      Mathetmatically from a pixel standpoint, 720p (1280p x 720p x 60 fps) works out to 55,296,000 pixels per second that have to be streamed. 1080i (1920p x 1080p x 30 fps) is 62,208,000, which is only 12.5% more. I’d guess that you’ll need 6 mbps service.

      • dorianh49 says:

        Pretty cool. My PS3 can take advantage of all 10 of my TV’s ADPs, whereas my Wii can only support 4.

    • macnbc says:

      I have 10 mbps where I live, and a fairly weak signal coming into my apt from older wiring, but I get HD streaming with very few issues.

    • NeverLetMeDown says:

      Netflix’s 720p streams run at 3.8Mbps, so, if you’re getting streams crapping out, you aren’t getting 15Mbps consistently, or you’ve got a lot of other stuff going on.

  2. diasdiem says:

    May be time for me to move my Roku to the TV in my office.

  3. diasdiem says:

    Next thing to tackle: subtitles and alternate language tracks.

  4. Zerkaboid says:

    If the reason they had to use the disc was because of a Microsoft exclusivity window then when is the Wii streaming app coming? They’ve had plenty of time to get it ready.

    • brianary says:

      Netflix for Wii is already available. I’ve got it. The Wii can only do standard def, though.

      • Doncosmic says:

        They meant when can it work without the disk.

      • Zerkaboid says:

        But you still need a disc, right? I have one but I have never actually used it, the Wii was relegated to the spare bedroom when I grew tired of Super Mario Galaxy and The Legend of Zelda.

    • Chaosium says:

      “If the reason they had to use the disc was because of a Microsoft exclusivity window then when is the Wii streaming app coming? They’ve had plenty of time to get it ready.”

      It’s ready, it’ll be released as soon as the exclusivity expires.

  5. brianary says:

    Netflix PS3 is completely unusable.

    I can watch maybe 20 minutes before my PS3 locks up to the point where I have to go hold down the power button until it forces a reboot. Subsequent attempts last maybe three minutes. Every single time.

    My PC streams the same content over my same Wireless-G network without any problem.

    • Zerkaboid says:

      This is the first I’ve heard of this, do you have issues with DVDs or blu-rays? I’ve been using Netflix on PS3 and aside from the occasional connection slowdown I have had no issues.

      • shoan says:

        Check your disk on the PS3 the disks tend to go bad. I had to order a new one recently for some reason the diode they are using must be pretty strong because it left a track kinda for lack of better words burned into the disk. I was getting errors for a while and did some research and found an issue with the disks and sure enough there was a track burned into my disk. Other than that my PS3 has been wonderful with netflix. We use it on a regular basis. Can’t wait till I don’t need that disk anymore.

      • brianary says:

        Well, Flash in the PS3 browser crashes pretty frequently, but that just Flash. ;)

        Blu-Rays play just fine. My games mostly play fine (Dragon Age is almost unplayably slow during large battles, but none of my other games have any problem).

        If you search around a bit, you’ll find I’m not the only one with this problem.

        I’m more than happy to try another disk. Maybe that’ll help. I hope.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      That’s bizarre. I’ve never had a problem like that. I agree with others; check the disc.

    • mistersmith says:

      I stream media literally daily from both my PC to my PS3 and via the Netflix disc (background noise while editing stuff on the computer) and have literally had zero problems that were the fault of the PS3 or the Netflix service. When I do have a crash/hand/data problem, it’s because PS3 Media Server can’t transcode a file fast enough (or at all). Never had an issue with the hardware.

    • kc2idf says:

      Is there any chance that it is overheating? I don’t own one, so I don’t know specifically, but lock-ups are often associated with overheats in other platforms . . .

      • brianary says:

        That seems unlikely. It’s got plenty of ventilation.

        I do have it oriented flat, I’m not sure I have quite enough room to set it up vertically on the shelf (it’d be pretty close if I could), but it’s got quite a bit of space around it.

        • Tongsy says:

          My PS3 had great ventilation, but would lock up constantly when playing GTA Episodes of Liberty City (and only that game). A month later it died.

    • brianary says:

      Well, the new diskless app seems like it works great! No more problems and a much better UI!

  6. Costner says:

    I’ll admit I haven’t updated my PS3 in a while, but I’m still using the disc to stream Netflix. Works like a champ, but I’m the first to admit it is slightly inconvenient for a lazy person to have to get up and put the disc in if I had another disc already in the PS3.

    So is the “disc-less” feature active for those who have updated their PS3s or is it still pending?

    As far as the streaming goes, I’ve had very few issues. A few times (maybe three) I’ve had a movie stop for 10 seconds or so before resuming play, but I chalk that up to my network more than anything. I’m still using an old Linksys “B/G” router and my PS3 is a fair distance away from the router so it might lose connectivity from time to time. If I would replace the router with a newer “N” router I might not have any issues.

    • brianary says:

      I don’t think the PS3 supports N. I know my PS3 slim doesn’t. (I was hoping to try the same thing, but my PC streams fine, so I don’t think that’s it.)

    • ShadowFalls says:

      The PS3 only supports up to G for wireless which is up to 54Mbit/s. If you factor in interference, you will be getting even less.

      The article mentions the app is due out October 18th.

      The only improvement you will see with a new router might be how good the signal strength is. Buy if it works fine, don’t stress too much. The best connection you will get is wired, which is up to 100mbit/s. The only thing you can do to improve the wireless is to get a N router, and use a Wireless N bridge to the wired ethernet port on the back. Even though N is faster than 100mbit/s, you won’t be able to exceed that due to the hardware limitations. It is sad, even with their new model, Sony didn’t bother to support N like Microsoft did.

      I doubt you would really need that speed though, as most people don’t have internet connections that fast. Would only be useful if you were using something like Tversity.

      The best option is always wired as the wireless as I mentioned, is prone to any number of different interferences. That is likely what causes those stutters. That or a crappy internet provider anyways.

  7. lolfish says:

    A day late and a dollar short! PS3 streaming SUX0RZ, disc or no (I’d venture.) I’ve gone and bought an Apple TV mainly for Netflix streaming, which is “freaking fantastic,” as I’ve been telling folks. A day later I found out about Roku, but live and learn I guess.