Problem streaming Netflix - will another device help? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 04-01-2011, 09:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Recently I've been having problems streaming Netflix (both HD and SD). I think it used to be better some time ago but I started streaming more recently so can't tell for sure. FWIW I am in Brooklyn, NY.

I stream via Sony 46" XBR9 TV connected via wired Ethernet. Internet service is Verizon FIOS 15/5.

It's always the same problem - streaming just stops, then sometimes starts by itself and stops again, sometimes starts and goes on for another 5-minutes. It's intermittent, doesn't make Netflix unusable but it is annoying enough that I want to do something about it.

I also tried streaming using my Sony BD player (460N) that is also connected via wire but it suffers from the same problem as TV. BD player seems to have the same software to stream Netflix as TV does.

Whenever this happens I can always continue watching on my PC and I never had an interruption on PC (HD and SD).

I called Netflix and they told me they see on their end that my internet connection to them is inconsistent and I have to talk to Verizon. If this is the case - how come I never have any interruptions on my PC?

I personally think that it is some kind of software issue between my TV and Netflix servers + the fact that buffer on TV may be too small.

Does anyone have any experience with similar problem? Do you think getting another streaming device can fix this problem? The only device I consider at this time is Roku. Or I can use my laptop connected to TV but this is a bit of a hassle.
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post #2 of 25 Old 04-01-2011, 09:49 AM
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Could still be an internet problem. The SilverLight player may buffer better and that's why you don't notice it on your PC.
Attachment 207500
This is what a stream looks like on my laptop, How's it look on yours? Do your Sonys have a way to monitor data rate?
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post #3 of 25 Old 04-01-2011, 12:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olyteddy View Post

Could still be an internet problem. The SilverLight player may buffer better and that's why you don't notice it on your PC.
Attachment 207500
This is what a stream looks like on my laptop, How's it look on yours? Do your Sonys have a way to monitor data rate?

Your may be right about buffering, however Sonys don't have any way to monitor data rate. And you are correct, SilverLight is used on PC while who knows what is used on Sony.

Does anyone know what is used on Roku (I doubt it is SilverLight) and how its buffering is?
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post #4 of 25 Old 04-01-2011, 03:33 PM
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I have a Sony TV and BD Player, and have had occasional problems. Both are hard-wired.

Are you having problems with everything, or just certain titles? I had issues with one SD title, but others, including HD, worked fine.

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post #5 of 25 Old 04-01-2011, 07:08 PM
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Some devices handle Netflix buffering better than others. When our Roku started acting up for an entirely unrelated reason, we had to stream Netflix through our LG570 BD player. We were pleasantly surprised to find the LG never stopped to buffer in the three weeks we used it, not once. As soon as we got the replacement Roku, the first time we turned it on, it stopped to buffer twice in less than five minutes.

I understand the PS3 handles Netflix without stopping to buffer as well. We now switch between the Roku and the LG depending on what we want to stream, but mostly stream Netflix with the LG now.

ps. All our devices are wired to 7Mbps DSL
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post #6 of 25 Old 04-01-2011, 07:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyross63 View Post

I have a Sony TV and BD Player, and have had occasional problems. Both are hard-wired.

Are you having problems with everything, or just certain titles? I had issues with one SD title, but others, including HD, worked fine.

I am having problems with different titles
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post #7 of 25 Old 04-02-2011, 05:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taperwood View Post

Some devices handle Netflix buffering better than others. When our Roku started acting up for an entirely unrelated reason, we had to stream Netflix through our LG570 BD player. We were pleasantly surprised to find the LG never stopped to buffer in the three weeks we used it, not once. As soon as we got the replacement Roku, the first time we turned it on, it stopped to buffer twice in less than five minutes.

I understand the PS3 handles Netflix without stopping to buffer as well. We now switch between the Roku and the LG depending on what we want to stream, but mostly stream Netflix with the LG now.

ps. All our devices are wired to 7Mbps DSL

I think it could be a combination of the SIZE of the buffer used, and what CDN is used. I wonder if certain devices are assigned certain CDN's, or different priorities. When I had issues with both my TV and BD player with a particular title, they played fine on my computer.

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post #8 of 25 Old 04-02-2011, 09:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyross63 View Post

I think it could be a combination of the SIZE of the buffer used, and what CDN is used. I wonder if certain devices are assigned certain CDN's, or different priorities. When I had issues with both my TV and BD player with a particular title, they played fine on my computer.

Also variability of bandwidth during a stream is a problem. I track my bandwidth and it's all over the map depending on time of day. Perhaps how a device manages its buffer is the key rather than the size of buffer. I wonder if my LG570 simply degrades the picture when the buffer gets to a certain point until it refills rather than empties the buffer and stops to refill like the Roku and other devices seem to do? In fairness to the Roku, I have never seen it re-buffer when streaming other channels but I have not spent a lot of time doing that.

Unlike you, my computer will re-buffer Netflix, so I have two out of three devices that will stop and re-buffer Netflix.
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post #9 of 25 Old 04-02-2011, 06:15 PM
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I just flashed my Linksys WRT-54GL router (wired to BD) w/ the latest firmware and it appears... problem solved. This evening we watched two movies and not one buffering issue. The wife is happy again...for now.

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post #10 of 25 Old 04-02-2011, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewnmn View Post

I just flashed my Linksys WRT-54GL router (wired to BD) w/ the latest firmware and it appears... problem solved. This evening we watched two movies and not one buffering issue. The wife is happy again...for now.

Sony KDL 40EX400
Sony BDP-S370/BX37
Comcast HD

I have a WRT54G2 and that thing was horrid, I kept thinking my internet connection was bad and after I switched back to an older router I'd had for years, it became evident that it was the router. Reboot would seem to fix it for a short period of time, but then it would just get sporadic, throughput would just dwindle over time. I went back to my older router and hardwired everything and I haven't had any problems with my connection since.
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post #11 of 25 Old 04-02-2011, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewnmn View Post

I just flashed my Linksys WRT-54GL router (wired to BD) w/ the latest firmware and it appears... problem solved. This evening we watched two movies and not one buffering issue. The wife is happy again...for now.

Sony KDL 40EX400
Sony BDP-S370/BX37
Comcast HD

Had a question for you. I have had the same router for nearly two years and it has worked perfectly. Do they make firmware upgrades for routers, too? Never heard that before and was wondering about it. How do you check to see what firmware is on the router and how would you upgrade? Thanks.

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post #12 of 25 Old 04-02-2011, 10:02 PM
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Quote:


How do you check to see what firmware is on the router and how would you upgrade? Thanks.

Most routers have a web based interface at 192.168.0.1 (from there YMMV)...


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post #13 of 25 Old 04-02-2011, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subavision212 View Post

Had a question for you. I have had the same router for nearly two years and it has worked perfectly. Do they make firmware upgrades for routers, too? Never heard that before and was wondering about it. How do you check to see what firmware is on the router and how would you upgrade? Thanks.

run cmd from windows and type in
ipconfig /all

then look for the line that has Default Gateway, this will more than likely be the address of your router. Most linksys(cisco) routers I've had defaulted to 192.168.1.1 and the default username/password is leave the username blank and use admin for the password. The firmware is usually located towards the top right of the screen when you get logged in.
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post #14 of 25 Old 04-03-2011, 05:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewnmn View Post

I just flashed my Linksys WRT-54GL router (wired to BD) w/ the latest firmware and it appears... problem solved. This evening we watched two movies and not one buffering issue. The wife is happy again...for now.

Are you using the Linksys firmware, or 3rd party? I currently have Linksys 4.30.12, although I know there is a slightly newer one out. (Tried to check Linksys/Cisco site, and it's dead slow if not outright dead right now.)

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post #15 of 25 Old 04-03-2011, 07:16 AM
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I'm using the Linksys firmware. Mine had 4.30.12 also and I updated to 4.30.15

http://homesupport.cisco.com/en-us/wireless/lbc/WRT54GL

Make sure you check the version on the router (label on back) and get the correct update. Also save your current config.. It only takes 5-10 minutes tops. There are very well done instructions on the same page as the firmware file. Mine is Ver. 1.1

You will do a reset on the router after you flash it, then go back in (username = Blank / password = admin) and install the saved config. It saves everything including old password...ect.

Let me know if it solves your issues? It's done the trick for me so far and I'm curious if this has been the problem all along.
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post #16 of 25 Old 04-03-2011, 07:56 AM
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At the moment, that site is not working. It starts to connect, but then just sits there waiting. I tried both FF and IE. I'll try again later.

Update: The Cisco home networking site is working now. I read the change list, and there isn't much. Mainly a few vulnerability fixes. I'll consider updating. I work from home, so tend to be cautious about updating some things unless there is a clear reason to. Nothing obvious as to what may have helped you. If you did a hard reset on your router, that alone could have fixed something.

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post #17 of 25 Old 04-03-2011, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebkell View Post

I have a WRT54G2 and that thing was horrid, I kept thinking my internet connection was bad and after I switched back to an older router I'd had for years, it became evident that it was the router. Reboot would seem to fix it for a short period of time, but then it would just get sporadic, throughput would just dwindle over time. I went back to my older router and hardwired everything and I haven't had any problems with my connection since.

Makes you wonder how many problems people report with Netflix streaming or with their particular devices are really nothing more than a borderline router. A router that works fine for emails and internet browsing but starts to fail under the demands of a larger file size served up from a CDN. Sometimes it may be the actual hardware or just a twitchy firmware.

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post #18 of 25 Old 04-03-2011, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr.G View Post
Makes you wonder how many problems people report with Netflix streaming or with their particular devices are really nothing more than a borderline router. A router that works fine for emails and internet browsing but starts to fail under the demands of a larger file size served up from a CDN. Sometimes it may be the actual hardware or just a twitchy firmware.
Yeah, it does, I don't know about other streaming devices, but my Roku has a fairly small buffer and if you're getting sputtering downloads it would show up quickly, whereas on a PC it will buffer up to 4 minutes and could compensate for erratic download speed, especially the way the old router was it would be flying one minute and barely crawling the next.
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post #19 of 25 Old 04-03-2011, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.G View Post

Makes you wonder how many problems people report with Netflix streaming or with their particular devices are really nothing more than a borderline router. A router that works fine for emails and internet browsing but starts to fail under the demands of a larger file size served up from a CDN. Sometimes it may be the actual hardware or just a twitchy firmware.

Ya I've been through quite a few that just died or quit performing with any reliability. I now have D-liink wired only router with 60gb internet. But my D-link wireless is about to see the storage closet.
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post #20 of 25 Old 04-20-2011, 02:40 PM
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does anyone notice poor performance on only certain titles?
For me some programs run perfectly while others I have not been able to watch due to constant buffereing.

here is a short list of the ones I have found unwatchable:

suspect zero
veronica mars season 2 episodes 5 and 17 (watching all 3 seasons was a real chore with probably 25% of episodes haveing some level of buffering but 5 and 17 were completely non viewable)
the black dhalia (not horrible but enough buffering to stop watching)
gosford park

side note: it started giving me problems in late februrary.
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post #21 of 25 Old 04-20-2011, 02:44 PM
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I've never noticed that, but it could be those titles are stored on servers in a different location that your connection isn't as good for.

Just a guess. No idea, really.
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post #22 of 25 Old 04-20-2011, 09:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hipnotiq View Post

does anyone notice poor performance on only certain titles?
For me some programs run perfectly while others I have not been able to watch due to constant buffereing.

here is a short list of the ones I have found unwatchable:

suspect zero
veronica mars season 2 episodes 5 and 17 (watching all 3 seasons was a real chore with probably 25% of episodes haveing some level of buffering but 5 and 17 were completely non viewable)
the black dhalia (not horrible but enough buffering to stop watching)
gosford park

side note: it started giving me problems in late februrary.

Yes, I noticed something like that. Around the same date. Be sure to report streaming problem to NF via their website.

My theory is that

1) Sometimes Netflix servers are having problems
2) New streaming titles can be in high demand and overload servers they are hosted on.
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post #23 of 25 Old 06-10-2012, 08:36 PM
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I am having the same problem with Gosford Park - is there an update, or something else I could download to take care of the problem? I am not a 'techy' by any means.

Janey
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post #24 of 25 Old 06-11-2012, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
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I am having the same problem with Gosford Park - is there an update, or something else I could download to take care of the problem? I am not a 'techy' by any means.
Janey

Is it just that one movie (Gosford Park) or all movies? Plus more information about the brand of streamer you're using and etc. would be helpful.

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post #25 of 25 Old 06-16-2012, 09:51 AM
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Certain obscure titles might have problems because they are not high up in the netflix database priority. Which means they are not buffered and ready to be served right away. That is the purpose of the instant queue. If you put a title in instant queue it flags that title to be buffered and readily available.

Additionally, if enough customers put the title in instant queue, the less or no buffer problems will be experienced. If just a few do it, the buffer problems will exist.

It is a matter of demand/supply and capacity to serve.
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