PS3 Drops The Netflix Disc, Gains 1080P & 5.1 Audio

Starting tomorrow, PS3 owners slightly inconvenienced by running Netflix instant streaming off disc will be treated to a native app on Sony’s more-than-gaming platform. And it’s not just any ole’ Netflix app, as this will be the first to feature (up to) 1080p video content and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Score! Even if you don’t own PS3 hardware, all signs point to these AV improvements landing on additional platforms.

From the official Playstation Blog:

In addition to eliminating the disc, there is a new user interface that brings a much richer and faster browsing experience, content search directly on the device, and dramatic improvements in how fast playback starts.

From the Netflix Dolby press release:

Beginning October 18, the PlayStation®3 (PS3™) computer entertainment system from Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc. will be the first consumer electronics device to support 5.1-channel surround sound on movies streamed from Netflix. Netflix said more devices would be added over time to support streaming digital surround sound.

(Thanks, Eric!)

5 thoughts on “PS3 Drops The Netflix Disc, Gains 1080P & 5.1 Audio”

  1. Of course, there’s more to video quality than mere pixel count. But I’ll choose to assume Netflix’s 1080p is relatively better than their 720p transmissions. Which I’ve found very watchable.

  2. The Netflix app has already appeared in my PS3’s dash so it’s ready to go. It will be interesting to see just what content they have to offer on “day 1” that takes advantage of either of these new features.

    I’ve been waiting for surround sound before I jumped, now I think I will.

  3. Anybody try it yet? So far the video quality isn’t any different than the Disc system, and I guess I had hoped it would be. Still, I can dump the disc and that is good.

    Something slightly different to share: While I rather prefer the UI of finding Netflix shows on both the disc and the disc-less PS3 variants compared to what my Tivo HD has (which has pokey performance and no ability to shop for new shows, or add them), I tend to use my Tivo HD solely for streaming Netflix because I think the Netflix video stream looks nicer on the Tivo HD than on the PS3.

    I am not sure why—my Tivo is limited to 1080i (so I just use component since I have only 2 HDMI ports and it component supports 1080i without the handshaking mess) and the PS3 is all digital with a 1080p HDMI connection to my set. But the picture quality is so much better to my eyes whening streaming Netflix on the Tivo HD. Anyone else experience this?

  4. They should really elaborate on this 1080p claim. As far as I know there are no 1080p streams available. In order to stream acceptable 1080p content, that would match or exceed their current 720p content, the bitrate difference would significant and would also require more bandwidth.

    They need to clarify if this 1080p announcement is simply the PS3 upscaling the current 720 content or not. If it is not then they should at least provide a list of currently available 1080p content.

    Its just odd that you can search all the forums and nobody has been able to find a 1080p stream.

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