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    You may have noticed that there is now content marked as Super HD on Netflix. Netflix is cutting deals with Internet Service Providers to place content servers on the backbones adjacent to their head-ends to provide higher quality versions of popular titles. This is the same kind of arrangement that other CDNs (Content Delivery Networks) use with the ISPs to keep them from balking over their backbone traffic. For example, Apple uses Akamai CDN servers all over the world to distribute their content. This keeps cross-backbone traffic to a minimum.

    I hadn’t watched any Super HD until now. It wasn’t actually even something that created much of an impression on me. I felt it was just another marketing ploy. I was watching the new Netflix series, House of Cards, last night and I commented on how good it looked. Being Netflix own series, I thought they may have been massaging the encoding to match their own streaming system. Then, I realized this was one of the Super HD tagged items. The quality was indeed noticeable.

    If you want to see if your ISP is a partner, you can check this page:

    If it is available to you, you will see the message, “Your Internet Provider is ready for Super HD!”

    If not, this message will appear, “Your Internet Provider is not configured for Super HD yet.”

    I was able to check it both ways on two different providers.



    As a follow-up, I wanted to say my original comment was made about my viewing on an Apple TV 3. I decided to check it on my Roku 2 XS. Now, this is a supported model per the Netflix website:

    Roku with 1080p*

    *Note: Although some Super HD eligible Samsung, TiVo, and Roku devices do not currently display the Super HD logo, we continue to provide Super HD video quality for these devices.

    The image quality was clearly not as good. The Apple TV was impressive. The Roku looked no different than streaming I’ve become accustomed. They may say that they are providing Super HD to these devices but apparently something is not being handled well by the device itself.



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