Despite the fact that Internet connections continue to grow in speed and quality, there are still times when, when viewing streaming content, the image quality can leave something to be desired. exist platforms like YouTube that allow you to easily choose playback resolution, something that makes life much easier for users, to see better or to save bandwidth.
However, with most of the big companies, which at the moment in Spain are Netflix and Movistar +, followed by HBO and Amazon Prime Video, there is no such possibility, but at least the first and last offer, in a simple way, to check what Image quality is being displayed at all times.
From VHS to STREAMING everywhere
Netflix, a quality check that requires trick in the different media
When we play a movie, series or documentary on Netflix, the normal thing is that the video starts showing a very low resolution, but in a short time it will adapt to the maximum that our connection allows. In the event that we suspect that it is below what our equipment and browser (important, for example Chrome only plays at 720p except in Chrome OS) allow, with the content being played, we must enter by pressing all the keys at the same time the following shortcut:
At that moment, some letters like the ones in the following image will appear, superimposed on the video (in the capture the video is black due to DRM), where we are playing at 1080p in Safari on Mac.
With Firefox, the bitrate is 10 times lower, and the resolution doesn’t even reach 720p. Everything is because, as we see, there is no DRM, something that we perceive in the fact that it is possible to capture the image and it does not come out in black.
Another way to know what maximum quality our player offers, also on smartphones and other media, will be by playing the series that we will find looking for “Test Patterns“. In the upper right part the resolution will appear, being curiously in this case 1080p in Firefox. In most Android terminals that are not high-end we will also see the contents of 960 x 540 pixels.
Another way to force the maximum resolution is from the “Web account” section. In it, we will select “Playback settings”, and we will choose this option, if it is the one we want:
Checking the playback quality on Amazon Prime Video is much easier
Amazon Prime Video yes openly announce in the interface of the playback controls in what resolution it is displaying the video. Although below 1080p it does not explain what exactly HD means, the normal thing is to think that it is 720p, and that what is below is 480p or 540p, except for a catastrophic connection. Let’s see graphically where Jeff Bezos’ company shows this information on its player.
As we see, in the case of Amazon, checking the quality is a very direct step. The normal thing is that the reproduction begins with the letters HD in gray, which indicates inferior quality, and as it saves something in buffer if it has a good connection, it will turn on first in HD, and then it will go to 1080p.
At the moment the 4K option is exclusive for televisions and set-top-boxes such as the Nvidia Shield or the Apple TV 4K. On them and on smartphones, 1080p will be marked the same, but When 4K content is played, the application will mark it with the acronym “UHD”.