Channel Issues & Questions

Help & troubleshooting for channels on your Roku device, including adding/removing channels, logging in to, authenticating, or activating a channel, channel-specific playback issues, assistance contacting channel publishers to report issues, and adjusting channel-specific settings.
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Level 7

Why is Amazon Prime video so much clearer than BBCAmerica

A friend of mine just got a StreamingStick+. Her TV's best resolution is 1080i. She has HughesNet internet with variable-bad download speeds from 1-4.5 Mbps. Watching a program on BBCAmerica is very hard on the eyes, she can't watch it because it's so blurry, the edges of objects are ripply. But the same program on Amazon Prime is typically pretty clear and sharp. This is switching between BBCAmerica and Amazon Prime in one sitting, so the internet speed isn't very different (checking it with with the Roku paused showing 3-4 Mbps).

Since it's the same TV/WiFi/Roku and internet download speed for both channels, I'm wondering what might account for such a significant difference in picture quality? Could the channel apps themselves cause it, or perhaps the BBC versus Amazon servers? Content I watch from BBCAmerica on my Roku TV with 75 Mbps download speed looks just as good as it does on Amazon. Do the Amazon servers have some sort of feedback loop to adjust what they send based on throughput to improve picture quality at low bandwidth, while BBCAmerica does not, or something like that?
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2 Replies
Level 10

Re: Why is Amazon Prime video so much clearer than BBCAmerica

Amazon Prime Video is in the bidness of delivering 'decent' quality movies and TV over the internet.
BBC America is in the bidness of TV re-broadcasts, poorly compiled, edited and encoded, housed on backwater servers and run by the underpaid.
Prime enjoys a fairly direct path to you ($$) - BBC-A may route you through Myanmar (NO$$).
It's not any better on Fire-TV either. For the record.

Not sure who you'd complain to about it, or if it would do any good, but it does give me the opportunity to point out what is particularly annoying about 'Rebranding' ("America") efforts in general. Generally, they're not very good. 

You could try a different DNS server, just to see what happens.
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Level 7

Re: Why is Amazon Prime video so much clearer than BBCAmerica

Thanks for the info, Dub. I assumed Amazon had better infrastructure on their end. But since BBCAmerica looks pretty good at my house with a 75Mbit connection (Verizon FIOS), but only looks bad with a slow 3-4Mbit connection (HughesNet), while Amazon looks good on both, I thought there must be some specific technology that Amazon uses to compensate for slow connections.

PS I didn't have my UCP set to follow replies to my posts (just corrrected that), so I just noticed your reply now. 
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