Netflix quality down recently (September 2013) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 33 Old 09-22-2013, 10:41 AM - Thread Starter
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I used to be able to watch stuff of Netflix anytime, including Saturday and Sunday nights. But since a few weeks ago, this is impossible. Depending on what hardware I use, I can't watch, or I have to watch at a really bad quality. On two Blu-ray players, a Sony and a Panasonic, the playback stops. In my Roku box, it switches qualities constantly, which I find really annoying, so I stop watching because it gets on my nerves (yes, I'm really anal when it comes to audio and video quality, but this is the forum for such people, right?).

Of course this might also have to be in part to my Time Warner Cable connection, which is supposed to be 20 Mbps but I tested it and it decreases on Saturday night, but only down to like 15 Mbps. The problem is that 15 Mpbs is to the closest servers, when you start testing servers farther away it goes down quite a lot, but I have no way of knowing if that is because of those servers or TWC having a poor link to those servers.

Either way, I used to be able to watch Netflix streaming just fine on weekend nights, and now I can't. Is anybody else experiencing the same problem?

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post #2 of 33 Old 09-22-2013, 02:18 PM
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This is and has been bantered about on the thread about Netflix streaming quality. We don't why but there have been some tech articles about the backbones and maddening reasons (mainly money) why NF can't deliver like they need too. We have a number of theories too on some of these but that's all they are since the only people who really know are the NF techs themselves and they're not talking except for a rare blog article.

What we do know for sure is that some of the broadband companies don't like their users choosing NF over their inferior streaming products. I call this restraint of trade and needs to be looked at by the government. But then I think all the big telecoms need to be broken up because their services are not benefiting the public and only their stockholders. Enough already!

On the NF support board they actually recommend selecting a less popular title if you are having problems. Last week I was able to watch one film all the way through by 1) starting at 8:45 PM and 2) a title that had only been added that day and thus not discovered yet by a lot of users. Similarly I watched another title the following night using the same ploy though a more popular product. I got only one rebuffering at about 20 minutes in and that was it. Both titles played in HD all the way through. It appears that NF can only stream a title to so many customers if there is high demand for it.
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post #3 of 33 Old 09-22-2013, 02:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, I'll have to find that thread on NF streaming quality. It's totally unacceptable for them to tell their customers to try another title if the one you want to watch is not working well. I pay Netflix with the promise that I can play any title at any time, not when not a lot of people are watching it. Granted, I was trying to watch Breaking Bad last night, which probably a lot of people are trying to right now, but I was trying to watch episode 4 of season 2, hardly what everybody else was watching. And I gave up because it was either watching it on the Roku box with the quality changing all the time, or constant stops to buffer in a Panasonic BD player, or unwatchable on a Sony BD player because that one detects poor network conditions and started playing at like You Tube 2008 quality, so I couldn't stand it anymore.

And then they want to bury physical media in favor of streaming? Pleeez.... I'll take Blu-rays any day to this low quality frustrating streaming crap.

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post #4 of 33 Old 09-22-2013, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebaz View Post

Thanks, I'll have to find that thread on NF streaming quality. It's totally unacceptable for them to tell their customers to try another title if the one you want to watch is not working well. I pay Netflix with the promise that I can play any title at any time, not when not a lot of people are watching it. Granted, I was trying to watch Breaking Bad last night, which probably a lot of people are trying to right now, but I was trying to watch episode 4 of season 2, hardly what everybody else was watching. And I gave up because it was either watching it on the Roku box with the quality changing all the time, or constant stops to buffer in a Panasonic BD player, or unwatchable on a Sony BD player because that one detects poor network conditions and started playing at like You Tube 2008 quality, so I couldn't stand it anymore.

And then they want to bury physical media in favor of streaming? Pleeez.... I'll take Blu-rays any day to this low quality frustrating streaming crap.



http://www.avsforum.com/t/1089285/netflix-streaming-quality/2900_100#post_23761289



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post #5 of 33 Old 09-23-2013, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebaz View Post

I used to be able to watch stuff of Netflix anytime, including Saturday and Sunday nights. But since a few weeks ago, this is impossible. Depending on what hardware I use, I can't watch, or I have to watch at a really bad quality. On two Blu-ray players, a Sony and a Panasonic, the playback stops. In my Roku box, it switches qualities constantly, which I find really annoying, so I stop watching because it gets on my nerves (yes, I'm really anal when it comes to audio and video quality, but this is the forum for such people, right?).

Of course this might also have to be in part to my Time Warner Cable connection, which is supposed to be 20 Mbps but I tested it and it decreases on Saturday night, but only down to like 15 Mbps. The problem is that 15 Mpbs is to the closest servers, when you start testing servers farther away it goes down quite a lot, but I have no way of knowing if that is because of those servers or TWC having a poor link to those servers.

Either way, I used to be able to watch Netflix streaming just fine on weekend nights, and now I can't. Is anybody else experiencing the same problem?

If you could watch Netflix without problem before but now you can't I would be sure to rule out hardware problems like a failing router. Try one of your streamers straight to the modem via ethernet cable. Do you still have quality changes or disruptions? Sometimes problems aren't readily apparent with routers, they do fine with speed tests but become flaky with extended downloads like streaming movies. Doesn't hurt to try.

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post #6 of 33 Old 09-23-2013, 09:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.G View Post

If you could watch Netflix without problem before but now you can't I would be sure to rule out hardware problems like a failing router. Try one of your streamers straight to the modem via ethernet cable. Do you still have quality changes or disruptions? Sometimes problems aren't readily apparent with routers, they do fine with speed tests but become flaky with extended downloads like streaming movies. Doesn't hurt to try.

Thanks, but the router is fine. If it had a glitch I would have problems with everything else, and Netflix is the only thing giving me any problems. In fact, Amazon Prime and Hulu work fine, and Netflix does too if it's not during heavy traffic hours, mostly Saturday nights. It's either a Netflix problem or a Time Warner Cable problem, or both.

I want to add that when this happens I pay special attention to not have anything else in the network downloading or uploading, but this happens even turning off every computer in the network, as well as cell phones connected to the wi-fi.

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post #7 of 33 Old 09-23-2013, 10:10 AM
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I have irregular issue with both Netflix and Amazon in the evenings, on Concast cable service. What's interesting is that when it's happening I can go to Vudu and get HDX quality no problem. At the same time I can change devices and get good quality from Netflix. (Oppo vs Ruku) I believe that the cableco is responsible for throttling the connection, but I have no evidence to support that hunch. Netflix steers your connection based on the device you are using, so there's that too. Its not impossible that there is throttling happening in multiple places.
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post #8 of 33 Old 09-23-2013, 02:41 PM
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What type of cable modem do you have? The lower speed could be due to the limited bandwidth if you are still using a DOCSIS 2 modem. If DOCSIS 3 is available in your area, a D3 modem can help by spreading the load across multiple channels. Each individual channel supports about 38Mbit. It only takes a few people on your node to be streaming to totally clog it up. Even if your rated speed is below 38Mbit, the channel bonding can make it more reliable.

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post #9 of 33 Old 09-23-2013, 03:16 PM
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Forget about streaming Netflix on the Roku during peak hours on TWC. I went through that hassle and complained a lot but I ended up just selling the Roku. I find that my PS3 is the only device that can stream Netflix reliable during peak hours but even then I sometimes have to stop and reload the stream if it won't go up to 1080 HD on startup.

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post #10 of 33 Old 09-25-2013, 05:33 AM
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I watch Netflix programming every night with a Roku and have never had any problem. Charter cable.
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post #11 of 33 Old 09-25-2013, 10:21 AM
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I watch Netflix programming every night with a Roku and have never had any problem. Charter cable.

Same here. Roku 3. TWC.

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post #12 of 33 Old 09-25-2013, 12:27 PM
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I had no problems on the Roku 3 when I first got it too in April. It was great until May then I started having problems where I could not get HD during peak hours. It went away again only to creep up again by mid July and August. By then I had enough and sold it on eBay and coped most of my money back which will go towards the new Apple TV if it comes out in October.

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post #13 of 33 Old 09-25-2013, 01:19 PM
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Folks this has little to do with the devices but the shenanigans of the ISPs and where you live. Some of you may have an ISP that is a problem for others. But maybe where you live the ISP is setup differently and/or your neighbors don't do streaming much either. Remember that especially if you have Comcast or even one of the other telecoms, they took over smaller regional cable and broadband systems some of the which were hung together with bailing wire. I recently read some posts on a local newsgroup where people described the bad shape some of these companies tech headquarters were in when Comcast took them over locally.

And don't forget it also has to do with what title you've picked. Even Netflix admits it is a popular title you might not be able to get it so easily as with an unpopular title. IOW, to say you've had no problems means little.
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post #14 of 33 Old 09-25-2013, 03:26 PM
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I don't believe that entire popular vs non popular title. I had trouble on the Roku 3 with TV shows from the 1970's & 1980's (which were converted to HD) and I know they are not as popular as lets say Mad Men.

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post #15 of 33 Old 09-25-2013, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Conrad View Post

But maybe where you live the ISP is setup differently and/or your neighbors don't do streaming much either. Remember that especially if you have Comcast or even one of the other telecoms, they took over smaller regional cable and broadband systems some of the which were hung together with bailing wire. I recently read some posts on a local newsgroup where people described the bad shape some of these companies tech headquarters were in when Comcast took them over locally.

That is a good point.

I do have Comcast and do not see problems.

However the Comcast connections in our area are new - we did not have cable access until Comcast built out into our area recently (many thanks to a local supervisor who drove Comcast to do expand coverage into rural areas that weren't previously covered). Comcast is continuing to expand coverage adding more locations locally. Thanks goodness because Verizon is walking away from DSL which is the only other local option.

Although our speed tiers are low comapred to other Comcast regions (Blast is 16 /2 compared to 50 / 10) we have been using Docsis 3 for a long time (evidence multiple bonded up and down channels) and now have IPv6 enabled - again perhaps indicating we have newer equipment locally.
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post #16 of 33 Old 09-26-2013, 08:25 AM
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By then I had enough and sold it on eBay and coped most of my money back which will go towards the new Apple TV if it comes out in October.

In addition to the Roku 3 I own the Apple TV3 and it's a nice streamer - but it doesn't do Amazon Prime. However I've read if you own an iPad or iPhone you can Airplay Amazon Prime to the Apple TV, not sure what the quality would be like since I haven't bothered trying this method.

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post #17 of 33 Old 09-26-2013, 10:16 AM
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In addition to the Roku 3 I own the Apple TV3 and it's a nice streamer - but it doesn't do Amazon Prime. However I've read if you own an iPad or iPhone you can Airplay Amazon Prime to the Apple TV, not sure what the quality would be like since I haven't bothered trying this method.

(the recent addition) of airplay of Amazon Instant from iPad / iPhone is limited to 2.0 stereo and doesn't look as good (at least to my eyes) as a native Amazon Instant app on STB or TV .

A shame as it would give a solution for Amazon Instant on my main TV.

The ROKU 2 is out in this location because of black level / color space in compatibilites with my receiver - so I use the Amazon App on the TV with ARC for sound (unfortunately also 2.0 stereo but better picture quality than Airplay).

Hoping for an Amazon Instant app for the ATV......
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post #18 of 33 Old 11-27-2013, 01:02 PM
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Put me on the list! I have Comcast blast speed with a 3.0 modem/wireless router. It does not matter if I use ethernet or wireless! I am barely able to get HD quality and most of the time I am right around 384 to 480 SD according to my Sony BDP. This is crap and pisses me off off to no end mad.gif
I have tried everything; Called Comcast, Netflix and reset the gateway on my modem/router, and nothing worked.
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post #19 of 33 Old 11-28-2013, 04:07 PM
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For those having issues, do any of you have your DNS set manually? If so you may want to revert that change and let your ISP handle the DNS locally instead of Google DNS or OpenDNS. By setting your DNS to auto, that will make sure your internet traffic from that device is accurately mapped to Netflix's closest CDN.

Personally I've rarely had any troubles with Netflix. Although I do wish Comcast would get on board with Netflix's whole "Super HD" program.
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post #20 of 33 Old 11-28-2013, 07:32 PM
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From this thread,
It look like the Cable Internet is the major problem, which means that you cannot blame Netflix.
I just updated my Media Center PC to windows 8.1, I can watch any Netflix streams at anytime without any problems,
this includes Super HD at any time.

I have 8/10 Mbit DSL through CenturyLink. The problem with cable internet service is that its shared with everyone else on the cable. With DSL, its a independent line back to the TelCo. So while my fastest rate is slower then the cable rate, the DSL has a guarantee rate, thus Super HD from Netflix is possible at anytime.

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post #21 of 33 Old 11-28-2013, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haargerman View Post

For those having issues, do any of you have your DNS set manually? If so you may want to revert that change and let your ISP handle the DNS locally instead of Google DNS or OpenDNS. By setting your DNS to auto, that will make sure your internet traffic from that device is accurately mapped to Netflix's closest CDN.

Personally I've rarely had any troubles with Netflix. Although I do wish Comcast would get on board with Netflix's whole "Super HD" program.

SuperHD is now available to everyone. If you're not getting it, you don't have a compatible device, or maybe the bandwidth. It looks great. Max bit rate is 6.0 mbps.
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post #22 of 33 Old 11-30-2013, 10:47 AM - Thread Starter
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People should start sending angry letters to Reed Hastings. That's what I'm going to do. Whether it's his servers that are total crap or that TWC and other ISPs are capping Netflix's bandwidth, he's responsible for providing a decent quality to the subscribers that have connections fast enough for it. Yesterday I upgraded my service (TWC in Raleigh) from 20 Mbps to 50 Mbps, and according to speedtest.net I have 56 Mbps downstream and 5 upstream. Of course I didn't rely only on speedtest.net, I downloaded large files from different servers and I can see the increase in speed. Not only I upgraded the service, but I went to a TWC store and waited in line for 20 minutes to get an updated modem with DOCSIS 3.0 from a brand named Ubee, which I had never heard before, but it works perfectly fine as far as I can tell.

As one might expect, the speed is insane for an internet connection, websites load in a flash and all streaming services work better than ever, except of course for Netflix during peak hours. After 7 PM you can tell how it gets slower and slower. Between 9 PM and 1 AM, every time I pressed play it showed me that stupid 240p stream and then ramp up to 480p, but it would stay at 480p for quite a while, and eventually get to 720p, but it didn't get to 1080p for like twenty minutes. As it gets later, it ramps up quicker, but still, how ridiculous is it that Netflix can't play a 5.8 Mbps stream right off the bat on a 56 Mbps connection? And this is on a Sony BDP-S5100, one of the latest Blu-ray players which is much better at handling Netflix's poor service than the Roku 2 I have, and it's connected by cable, not wireless.

So when you have a 56 Mbps connection but Netflix can't give you a 5.8 Mbps stream right away or after a very short wait, it's clear, there is a huge bottleneck somewhere. Whether it's in Netflix's servers, or TWC caps it I don't know, but it's Reed Hasting's job to make sure that doesn't happen.
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post #23 of 33 Old 11-30-2013, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebaz View Post

People should start sending angry letters to Reed Hastings. That's what I'm going to do. Whether it's his servers that are total crap or that TWC and other ISPs are capping Netflix's bandwidth, he's responsible for providing a decent quality to the subscribers that have connections fast enough for it. Yesterday I upgraded my service (TWC in Raleigh) from 20 Mbps to 50 Mbps, and according to speedtest.net I have 56 Mbps downstream and 5 upstream. Of course I didn't rely only on speedtest.net, I downloaded large files from different servers and I can see the increase in speed. Not only I upgraded the service, but I went to a TWC store and waited in line for 20 minutes to get an updated modem with DOCSIS 3.0 from a brand named Ubee, which I had never heard before, but it works perfectly fine as far as I can tell.

As one might expect, the speed is insane for an internet connection, websites load in a flash and all streaming services work better than ever, except of course for Netflix during peak hours. After 7 PM you can tell how it gets slower and slower. Between 9 PM and 1 AM, every time I pressed play it showed me that stupid 240p stream and then ramp up to 480p, but it would stay at 480p for quite a while, and eventually get to 720p, but it didn't get to 1080p for like twenty minutes. As it gets later, it ramps up quicker, but still, how ridiculous is it that Netflix can't play a 5.8 Mbps stream right off the bat on a 56 Mbps connection? And this is on a Sony BDP-S5100, one of the latest Blu-ray players which is much better at handling Netflix's poor service than the Roku 2 I have, and it's connected by cable, not wireless.

So when you have a 56 Mbps connection but Netflix can't give you a 5.8 Mbps stream right away or after a very short wait, it's clear, there is a huge bottleneck somewhere. Whether it's in Netflix's servers, or TWC caps it I don't know, but it's Reed Hasting's job to make sure that doesn't happen.


Netflix has two choices here. They can continue to promote low cost streaming through their own CDN, Open Connect, or they can significantly raise their subscription fees and use a more expensive alternative, which includes third party providers, to help accommodate the increasingly high traffic. There is no free lunch.


http://gigaom.com/2013/11/11/netflixs-new-pitch-for-open-connect-it-sucks-less-during-prime-time/


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post #24 of 33 Old 11-30-2013, 11:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mailiang View Post

Netflix has two choices here. They can continue to promote low cost streaming through their own CDN, Open Connect, or they can significantly raise their subscription fees and use a more expensive alternative, which includes third party providers, to help accommodate the increasingly high traffic. There is no free lunch.


http://gigaom.com/2013/11/11/netflixs-new-pitch-for-open-connect-it-sucks-less-during-prime-time/


Ian

Interesting article. I'm all for a small price increase if that means getting the same service during peak hours that I get during the day or in the middle of the night.

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post #25 of 33 Old 11-30-2013, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebaz View Post

People should start sending angry letters to Reed Hastings. That's what I'm going to do. Whether it's his servers that are total crap or that TWC and other ISPs are capping Netflix's bandwidth, he's responsible for providing a decent quality to the subscribers that have connections fast enough for it. Yesterday I upgraded my service (TWC in Raleigh) from 20 Mbps to 50 Mbps, and according to speedtest.net I have 56 Mbps downstream and 5 upstream. Of course I didn't rely only on speedtest.net, I downloaded large files from different servers and I can see the increase in speed. Not only I upgraded the service, but I went to a TWC store and waited in line for 20 minutes to get an updated modem with DOCSIS 3.0 from a brand named Ubee, which I had never heard before, but it works perfectly fine as far as I can tell.

As one might expect, the speed is insane for an internet connection, websites load in a flash and all streaming services work better than ever, except of course for Netflix during peak hours. After 7 PM you can tell how it gets slower and slower. Between 9 PM and 1 AM, every time I pressed play it showed me that stupid 240p stream and then ramp up to 480p, but it would stay at 480p for quite a while, and eventually get to 720p, but it didn't get to 1080p for like twenty minutes. As it gets later, it ramps up quicker, but still, how ridiculous is it that Netflix can't play a 5.8 Mbps stream right off the bat on a 56 Mbps connection? And this is on a Sony BDP-S5100, one of the latest Blu-ray players which is much better at handling Netflix's poor service than the Roku 2 I have, and it's connected by cable, not wireless.

So when you have a 56 Mbps connection but Netflix can't give you a 5.8 Mbps stream right away or after a very short wait, it's clear, there is a huge bottleneck somewhere. Whether it's in Netflix's servers, or TWC caps it I don't know, but it's Reed Hasting's job to make sure that doesn't happen.

This is exactly my issue right now! My IP is Comcast of course.

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post #26 of 33 Old 11-30-2013, 03:20 PM
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Interesting article. I'm all for a small price increase if that means getting the same service during peak hours that I get during the day or in the middle of the night.

The real problem here is that the ISP's feel that they can not reap any real financial rewards from providing Open Connect. Netflix competes with other video services that generates profits for them. Personally, from a marketing stand point, I believe they are being short sited, since giving customers more choices, generates more loyalty and more business in the long term. You can't direct your sales efforts at attracting new customers, without producing quality services to keep the ones you have.


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post #27 of 33 Old 12-01-2013, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by mailiang View Post

The real problem here is that the ISP's feel that they can not reap any real financial rewards from providing Open Connect. Netflix competes with other video services that generates profits for them. Personally, from a marketing stand point, I believe they are being short sited, since giving customers more choices, generates more loyalty and more business in the long term. You can't direct your sales efforts at attracting new customers, without producing quality services to keep the ones you have.


Ian
If we had more options for broadband then the clear winner would be the one that can provide Netflix and other streaming services without problems. I currently have two land based broadband options in this town: Comcast and AT&T. There are some third party ones that ride on that back of AT&T copper like Sonic and Earthlink but for those to be any good you need to be within 1 mile of the CO. I'm not but am on U-Verse and the copper comes from a fiber node down the street not the CO. BUT those two are about to get competition with Astound so we will have 3 land based options.

The incentive should be who gets to keep the broadband customer and believe me AT&T has been sending me all kinds of offers trying to tie me up to a contract (I'm m2m now) before Astound comes down the street with $30 a month 15 mbps. Looking into Astround however shows about the same business sense as the other two. THe WRONG PEOPLE run these companies. The must be great grandsons of snake oil salesmen.
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post #28 of 33 Old 12-03-2013, 01:50 PM
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Netflix has two choices here. They can continue to promote low cost streaming through their own CDN, Open Connect, or they can significantly raise their subscription fees and use a more expensive alternative, which includes third party providers, to help accommodate the increasingly high traffic. There is no free lunch.


http://gigaom.com/2013/11/11/netflixs-new-pitch-for-open-connect-it-sucks-less-during-prime-time/


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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebaz View Post

Interesting article. I'm all for a small price increase if that means getting the same service during peak hours that I get during the day or in the middle of the night.


Ding ding ding.

Netflix slowly transitioned away from third party providers in favor of their own CDN, Open Connect. They then publicly shame ISP's for not jumping aboard and placing their own technology within their network. It's not necessarily the best business practice IMO, but we've seen this time and time again from Netflix; they are more concerned about their bottom line than they are the quality of their streams. The average household will hardly notice a difference nor really care if the quality diminishes as long as the stream stays live.
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post #29 of 33 Old 12-11-2013, 05:54 PM
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I have the same problem with Netflix not streaming in full HD (720p). My devices are:

-WD TV Live HUB 1TB
-Charter Sysco Docsis 3.0 modem
-Apple Airport Extreme Router 5th Gen
-30mbps cable internet connection

I've always had good quality until now. Netflix HD contents are poorer than Youtube quality. The average bit rates are 288-404SD instead of the 720p (never seen 1080p). I know this has nothing to do with any of my hardwares or ISP because I also have VUDU on the WD device. When I did a connection check through VUDU, it recommended HDX (1080p) and I have no problems streaming 1080p material - crystal clear! Other apps like AOL HD streams fine at full High def except for Netflix, so that is the culprit.
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post #30 of 33 Old 12-12-2013, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by 80sGuy View Post

I have the same problem with Netflix not streaming in full HD (720p). My devices are:

-WD TV Live HUB 1TB
-Charter Sysco Docsis 3.0 modem
-Apple Airport Extreme Router 5th Gen
-30mbps cable internet connection

I've always had good quality until now. Netflix HD contents are poorer than Youtube quality. The average bit rates are 288-404SD instead of the 720p (never seen 1080p). I know this has nothing to do with any of my hardwares or ISP because I also have VUDU on the WD device. When I did a connection check through VUDU, it recommended HDX (1080p) and I have no problems streaming 1080p material - crystal clear! Other apps like AOL HD streams fine at full High def except for Netflix, so that is the culprit.

You are comparing apples to oranges. Movie streaming services use a lot of bandwidth. As far as Vudu is concerned, it doesn't receive anywhere near the amount of traffic that Netflix experiences. It also comes at a higher price. Open Connect was developed to provide the best streaming quality to millions of Netflix subscribers, at the most affordable cost. https://signup.netflix.com/openconnect



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