Subjective reports from Netflix users substantiates varying quality of streamed videos. Clearly, there are a few factors at play other than subjectivity. The QUALITY of streamed video from the Internet is dependent upon several variables, which I'm (uncharacteristic of myself) going to pair down for brevity and simplicity. However, it appears that using a PC versus a Blu-ray DVD player, xBox, Tivo, or Roku will substantially effect video quality.
Netflix offers varying levels of resolution (=pic quality) based upon the speed of your Internet connection. I don't know the exact specs, but after watching streamed videos from a variety of other Internet sources ASSUMED that those with Internet speeds less than 3 Mbps ("standard" DSL, Satellite, Dial-up connections) will get a resolution less than 480 delivered, or less than DVD quality. Not good. The picture will lack sharpness, most particularly on larger displays (37" and up screens). Video quality can be enhanced for slower download speeds, but lets stick to the Netflix experience.
However, I realized my assumptions were wrong after reading Engadget review and comments.
High Definition quality is available from Netflix streams when using devices other than PC. One Netflix viewer used both xBox and Pc for streaming and reported a considerable lower quality when using his PC. Another reviewer indicated that a 6 Mbps download speed to a Media Center PC produced VHS like quality.
Netflx states that these are the minimum PC specs needed:
Windows Windows XP with Service Pack 2, or Vista Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher; or Firefox 2 or higher 1.2 GHz processor 512 MB RAM
Mac An Intel-based Mac with OS 10.4.8 or later Safari 3 or higher; or Firefox 2 or higher 1 GB RAM
Not much needed. However, display video with S-Video/Composite cabling from a PC/Mac, or any video device, to your HDTV and you are going to reduce the quality of the video significantly. I won't elaborate other than to state that I have done it for curiosity sake.
However, most blog comments suffer in value because they don't address their Internet speed in relation to the quality of video. It's a highly signficant factor when streaming. The test by Engadget used a 10Mb Internet connection speed - hardly enjoyed by the average web user.
There's a post on CNET Forums from Samsung HD Tech that states this unit does not have the necessary components to run Netflix in any future updates (internal memory not large enough and internal board cannot support the application)-
I have a ROKU box for streaming NETFLIX and I have cable internet and the quality is amazing. So you may have a poor internet connection. The service first tests your internet speed and then decides which version of the movie to stream, a lower quality or a higher quality depending on your connection.
I have been very satisfied with the Netflix streaming since I too was skeptical about streaming movies at first.
Also be sure to use the HDMI output and not s-video since HDMI provides the best quality picture.
No it can't out of the box. This unit is "ready" but does not include a wifi adapter in the box. The Samsung BD-P1500, BD-P1590 and BD-P1600 are all this way.
If you want a Samsung Blu-ray player that has the wifi includes you have to buy the Samsung BD-P3600 or players above this part number. I have seen the BD-P3600 priced from $199.99 to $349.99 with free shipping.
You have to purchase a wifi adapter, which can cost around $80.00 or more. You have to use the Samsung wifi adapter with the BD-P1500 others won't work for Netflix or Pandora.
I just went on to Netflix. It says only the Samsung BD-P2500/BD-P2550 players can work with the watch instantly feature. Hopefully after the holiday season Samsung will issue a firmware update for this player to watch instantly. I doubt they will let this player use Watch Instantly for the holidays as BD-P2500/BD-P2550 are $400.00 players.
To be honest I would like to watch some of the movies instantly but it's not going to make me pay an extra $200 more for.