New Netflix Encoding Promises More Detail at Lower Bitrates 
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Written by Dick Ward   
Tuesday, 11 December 2012

High definition streaming can be confusing to some, mainly because the traditional 1080p and 720p labels don't mean as much as the bitrate at which they're encoded.  Typically, higher bitrate means higher quality.  Netflix says that they've changed things up with their own streaming service though, and are offering a new streaming quality that they say offers higher quality at a lower bitrate.

Netflix says that you'll find more detail in things like faces, trees, skies and in shadows.  They also say that thanks to the lower bitrate, more users will be able to enjoy an HD picture.  Some users, however, say that the new encoding gives a softer picture.  We certainly notice a difference, but it's hard to say just what without being able to compare the two side-by-side.  If you've experienced the new stream and noticed a softer picture, let us know in the comments.

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