anyone else having sudden problems with at&t dsl and netflix - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 58 Old 02-02-2011, 07:02 AM - Thread Starter
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I have been using netflix instawatch for a lot of months with no problems.

the last week when I start a show I get 4 dots and fast startup. After 4 or 5 seconds I am back to filling the bar again. NOW its super slow and switches to 2 dots then finally starts playing.

Are they starting to block or cap netflix?

If not anyone got any ideas whats going on?
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post #2 of 58 Old 02-02-2011, 07:19 AM
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I have had this problem in the past, all I did to fix it was reset my modem and router and it was back to normal.
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post #3 of 58 Old 02-02-2011, 07:41 AM
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Historically I've had good results with Netflix over DSL, even though I don't have enough bandwidth to stream in HD. Recently I have had exactly the same problem and more. Several times when I start to play a program, I get a red bar across the screen telling me that my bandwidth is so low that frequent stopping will occur and then asks me if I want to continue. Sometimes it improves in the middle of streaming (it stops and then reloads the buffer with more 'quality' bars), sometimes it gets worse.

I've even run bandwidth tests to speedtest.net while it's occurring and the bandwidth to my house is normal (about 2.6 mb/s on my 3 mb/s DSL Pro link). Last night (2/1) the stopping and starting was so bad that programs were virtually unwatchable. I couldn't play more than a minute or even less without stopping, even though I would pause to load up the buffer on my blu-ray player before trying to continue.

Will try to investigate further to determine if its AT&T or if Netflix has gotten oversubscribed.
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post #4 of 58 Old 02-02-2011, 08:32 AM
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I think there are two issues...

- ISP overloaded circuits - When you see the issue run Speedtest.net and if you constantly see your top speed they are innocence.
- Netflix - If everything else is normal it certainly points to their servers.

Of course once in a while stuff happens. Last night I tried to preview a VUDU film and it gave up and said try later... running speedtest.net it reported 5.2Mbps (as always) several times in a row.

Although I will say lately when I have been streaming Netflix during primetime I have noticed much more buffering. Which leads me to believe Netflix having an issue as my bandwidth tested out fine at the same time.
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post #5 of 58 Old 02-02-2011, 10:56 AM
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I've notice the same thing with my 7 Mbps Qwest dsl. Start at 4 buttons on Roku and drop to 2 after a few minutes. I've never seen 1 button yet, curiously. I did turn on debugging on the Roku and it has been reporting between 1 and 3 Mbps connections even though my Qwest speed test will report 4-5 Mbps connection at the same time.

Since my home to ISP connection seems okay and because other people with different ISP's are having the same problem, my totally uneducated guess is that it's between Netflix and the ISP (i.e."The Internet") or with Netflix itself.
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post #6 of 58 Old 02-02-2011, 12:59 PM
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Unfortunately the QOS of DSL and Cable internal is not guaranteed. The problem can be anywhere between the Netflix servers and your home. Guaranteed QOS data lines are expensive like $500/month for a T1 1.5 Mbs line. This is the limitation of both streaming and live video conferencing over consumer grade internet connections. If the service allows downloading to a hard disk packet loss or discarded packets are just repeated but trying to watch in real time with consumer grade connections is bound to be problematic at times.
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post #7 of 58 Old 02-02-2011, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ99 View Post

Historically I've had good results with Netflix over DSL, even though I don't have enough bandwidth to stream in HD. Recently I have had exactly the same problem and more. Several times when I start to play a program, I get a red bar across the screen telling me that my bandwidth is so low that frequent stopping will occur and then asks me if I want to continue. Sometimes it improves in the middle of streaming (it stops and then reloads the buffer with more 'quality' bars), sometimes it gets worse.

I've even run bandwidth tests to speedtest.net while it's occurring and the bandwidth to my house is normal (about 2.6 mb/s on my 3 mb/s DSL Pro link). Last night (2/1) the stopping and starting was so bad that programs were virtually unwatchable. I couldn't play more than a minute or even less without stopping, even though I would pause to load up the buffer on my blu-ray player before trying to continue.

Will try to investigate further to determine if its AT&T or if Netflix has gotten oversubscribed.

Monday was attrocious on ATT DSL, for me. Just as you describe.

Usually Prime Time is worse dropping to 2 Dots but usually not requiring re-buffers, later on in the night speeds and bandwidth expand and I get super zippy buffers of 4 dots.

PS- I have 2.75ish Mbps rates consistently from SpeedTest.net. 1.5ish rates from Youtube test. And 1 Mbps rates on Vudu test.

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I've never seen 1 button yet, curiously.

Me neither, I think that is psychological games being played. There is no 1 Dot stream, just 3 levels. Best, Good, Poor. Especially with the rebuffering every minute or so the other night.



I will say this, I was having the same problems with other Roku box streams, like NBC Meet the Press on Roku Newscaster. Im pretty sure that it is my DSL being oversold and heavily used at Prime Time that is the problem.

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post #8 of 58 Old 02-02-2011, 01:23 PM
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No problem watching an HD movie even at a little after 9 PM using ATT DSL which I found a bit surprising. I've been having some problems with some web site loads earlier in the evening but speed tests revealed normal. I've had their techs tell me that some techs are sloppy about connections as was the case a few years back when I lost my voice line. Someone had knocked off in the junction box up the street.
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post #9 of 58 Old 02-02-2011, 01:31 PM
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PPS - I dont stream HD. I have my Roku Box set to 480p Anamorphic.

I tried to stream 720p HD from Netflix with my Roku Box, but I didnt like the buffer times, but more than that, they looked worse than 480p Anamorphic streams, due to limited bandwidth. I also tried 480p 4:3, then zoomed but the 480p Anamorphic wided seemed to be better quality, and the best compromise.

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post #10 of 58 Old 02-02-2011, 02:32 PM
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Add me to the list of those experiencing slow downs this week. Monday, I too had to reset the modem by going to the Modem Interface link (in the ATT bookmark created in Firefox when the dsl software is loaded on the pc) and re-entering the account name and password. Unplugging the modem for a few mins didn't work.

I was wondering if this had to do with the end of the bundle that I'm in. The bundle I've been in for the last few years is being cut, and the price for dsl service will go by $5 in April. But reading that others are going thru the same issues this week, perhaps there's work going on thru the entire network?

Dazed and confused over high tech.

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post #11 of 58 Old 02-02-2011, 07:08 PM
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I, too, have had the worst week with Netflix on AT&T Pro via Panasonic Blu-ray player. I've only had Netflix for a month, and usually I will have Netflix pause once in the first few seconds to rebuffer and then play all the way through without a hitch. But this week every show or movie has paused/rebuffered at least 6 times throughout. It's getting really annoying. Weird thing is this is not happening on my PC. I've tried changing DNS servers, but it seems to be worse.
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post #12 of 58 Old 02-03-2011, 09:47 AM
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I just got a new Sony TV and Sony blu-ray and both have problems streaming Netflix and HD content. Also on our Xbox 360's same problem. The problem is sporadic but very annoying. I also have Uverse 24 mbps down and 3mbps up. Everytime I run a speed test its fine. So something is up with At&T.
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post #13 of 58 Old 02-03-2011, 01:09 PM
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Last night was another bad night for Netflix. On a whim, I decided to try my PC to see if it was any better than my blu-ray player. I started to have the same rebuffering and speed changing problem, then opened the Silverlight diagnostics. I paused the program until the PC video buffer was full (4 minutes) and then was able to play through without interruption. I also opened task mgr to monitor the network link. the data blow seemed much more sporadic than usual, data coming with more frequent bursts and pauses than I have seen in the past. When Netflix is working well, the data flow is much smoother, at a much more constant rate.

I realize that many of us have had periodic pausing problems with Netflix, but it seems to me that its become much worse recently. Would like to hear from more non-AT&T users if this is a becoming a more general Netflix problem, rather than possibly with the bandwidth between Netflix content providers and AT&T.
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post #14 of 58 Old 02-03-2011, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ99 View Post

I realize that many of us have had periodic pausing problems with Netflix, but it seems to me that its become much worse recently. Would like to hear from more non-AT&T users if this is a becoming a more general Netflix problem, rather than possibly with the bandwidth between Netflix content providers and AT&T.

AT&T maintains thousands of different circuits which never run into each other and as such I don't think you can have a blanket issue. Also I think it's easy to jump on an issue and blame it accordingly. Not saying there isn't an issue just that's it's easy to paint with a broad stroke.
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post #15 of 58 Old 02-03-2011, 02:43 PM
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Perhaps AT&T was concentrating on its iPhone cellular bottleneck and now is running into another bottleneck.

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post #16 of 58 Old 02-03-2011, 08:59 PM
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My speed dropped down into the mid 1.5 mbps range around 6:30 Central time. I've never gotten such a low report while no other d/l activity was going on. It then went up towards 2.34 mbps during the 7-8pm hr. It's now back to 'normal', hovering between 3.6 to 4.42.
I'm on the up to 6 mbps tier (ATT).

Dazed and confused over high tech.

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post #17 of 58 Old 02-04-2011, 08:04 AM
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Add one more having problems this week with AT&T dsl and netflix streaming. Rebuffering at least 5 times per show, sometimes taking more than 5 minutes each time to restart. During these times a speedtest shows no drop in bandwidth.

It certainly feels like throttling. But I don't get why AT&T would do it. Maybe netflix is having a hard time keeping up with all the new streaming (barely a month after christmas, and lots of people got new gaming console and maybe have just figured out they can stream netflix?).
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post #18 of 58 Old 02-04-2011, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captnjameskirk View Post

Add one more having problems this week with AT&T dsl and netflix streaming. Rebuffering at least 5 times per show, sometimes taking more than 5 minutes each time to restart. During these times a speedtest shows no drop in bandwidth.

It certainly feels like throttling. But I don't get why AT&T would do it. Maybe netflix is having a hard time keeping up with all the new streaming (barely a month after christmas, and lots of people got new gaming console and maybe have just figured out they can stream netflix?).

I'm still having problems. Maybe it will work itself out.
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post #19 of 58 Old 02-04-2011, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

AT&T maintains thousands of different circuits which never run into each other and as such I don't think you can have a blanket issue. Also I think it's easy to jump on an issue and blame it accordingly. Not saying there isn't an issue just that's it's easy to paint with a broad stroke.

You are generally correct from the DSLAM to the premise, but before you make a blanket statement like that, you might want to read up a little about Internet peering. In the old days, all internet traffic went through just 4 NPAs spread around the country (the midwest hub was in an underground parking lot in Chicago).

Today it's very common for ISPs (and content providers) to consolidate traffic on high speed links between each other. It's called peering. I wasn't speaking about the customer side, but rather on the content-provider side. It's entirely possible that AT&T's bandwidth to Netflix content providers (they don't do it all by themselves) has been oversubscribed.

Comcast just went through a big fight with Level 3 about additional Netflix traffic now that they signed up to be a Netflix content provider. Comcast wants Level 3 to pay for the additional bandwidth (traffic) they believe it will require.
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post #20 of 58 Old 02-04-2011, 11:58 AM
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OTOH, Netflix put "Slaughterhouse Five" in my recommended titles last night and I decided to watch it at around 8:40 PM. It streamed perfectly in HD all the way through. Nice encoding too.
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post #21 of 58 Old 02-04-2011, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ99 View Post

You are generally correct from the DSLAM to the premise, but before you make a blanket statement like that, you might want to read up a little about Internet peering.

I've been living it (not reading about it) since 1/1996. The date I placed our first server online. Regarding AT&T I have spent time with their upper-tier resolution center resolving similar issues. As such I can guarantee completely different experiences based on what circuit you happen to be placed on.
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post #22 of 58 Old 02-04-2011, 01:10 PM
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I've been having an issue with streaming ESPN3.com the past couple of weeks where the video keeps pausing every 30 seconds or so. It's basically unwatchable. This happens on 2 different computers at different times during the day.
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post #23 of 58 Old 02-04-2011, 01:16 PM
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Starting on February 1, the sony blu ray player no longer could stream netflix content. Called on Feb 2 and Netflix support said they had a problem with ATT DSL users, but now being fixed. Feb 3 still having problem. Sony unit can stream from Hulu HD no problem. PC on same network can stream netflix, sometimes sluggish but watchable. Lots of finger pointing among ATT, Netflix, and Sony but no solution!
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post #24 of 58 Old 02-04-2011, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwingfan View Post
Starting on February 1, the sony blu ray player no longer could stream netflix content.
One piece of the puzzle is that Netflix uses different servers for different streamers. So logically you can have a Netflix (caused) issue for only one device. A while back one of the British shows wouldn't stream on my TiVo but worked great on the Mac. It was an issue with the TiVo servers and they resolved it within a day or two after I reported it. I have been streaming (HD) every day this month via AT&T without any issues. Last week I noticed a few buffer reloads over one or two evenings (during primetime).

What constitutes can't stream? Can't load the app? View your queue... etc.
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post #25 of 58 Old 02-04-2011, 02:01 PM
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Thanx, that's helpful. As for your question, I can load the app, view the queue, select a show. Then it gets to checking network speed and everything slows to a crawl. Usually times out and reports "Network Error" or the "Network is Down." Sometimes actually makes it to the start of the movie, then pauses and rebuffers within a minute.
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post #26 of 58 Old 02-04-2011, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzo90017 View Post
I've been having an issue with streaming ESPN3.com the past couple of weeks where the video keeps pausing every 30 seconds or so. It's basically unwatchable. This happens on 2 different computers at different times during the day.
I tried viewing ESPN3 via a Boxee Box and it was much the same way. Once in a while it would work like a champ and at other times it would freeze. However it works rather nicely via my Mac (never freezes) although it often takes a long time before the video quality picks up. I'm not sure ESPN3 is ready for primetime. At least on the Boxee Box.
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post #27 of 58 Old 02-04-2011, 02:17 PM
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Haven't watched any Netflix today, but will try tonight. Will report what happens.
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post #28 of 58 Old 02-04-2011, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwingfan View Post
As for your question, I can load the app, view the queue, select a show. Then it gets to checking network speed and everything slows to a crawl. Usually times out and reports "Network Error" or the "Network is Down." Sometimes actually makes it to the start of the movie, then pauses and rebuffers within a minute.
That sounds like a bandwidth issue and as always there are three possible conditions (or a combo) causing the issue.
  • Speedtest.net - run a test at the same time (to a server a city or two away) to see if you are good to go to the Internet - if so the ISP is probably in the clear
  • Speedtest.net - run a test across the country to several locations - if everything looks normal blame Netflix!
  • At that point it's either reaching their server or the server itself. Both of which Netflix is (ultimately) responsible for.

Regarding ESPN3 I just caught the first half of the Michigan vs Ohio State game... streamed great.
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post #29 of 58 Old 02-04-2011, 06:15 PM
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Watched an episode of Psych earlier, and it only rebuffered once, as opposed to the numerous times throughout the week. Picture quality was really good. This is on Panasonic Blu-ray player via At&t Pro. Quite a difference from all week, actually. Hopefully, this really is getting addressed.
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post #30 of 58 Old 02-04-2011, 07:13 PM
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Just tried another episode, buffered all to hell.

In the meantime, I think I figured out why AT&T might want Netflix streaming service to be bad: AT&T U-verse TV
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