Continued Netflix streaming issues over Verizon FiOS - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 03-20-2014, 10:02 AM - Thread Starter
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EDIT: Hmm, weird, there is a Netflix streaming quality thread (in this very forum!). Not sure why, but it didn't show up when I searched -- Sorry.
I searched for similar topics before posting and was surprised to find nothing recent.


If you're a FiOS customer you've undoubtedly noticed a significant drop in Netflix streaming quality. I have Verizon Quantum 50Mbps service and am located 18 miles north of Boston, MA. I was consistently getting pristine "SuperHD" (1080P / 5.1 Surround) streaming quality from Netflix throughout the day, even during prime time hours.

In early February all of that changed. I started seeing SuperHD content being streamed at bitrates as low as 235Kbps and resolutions as low as 240P. During this time Speedtest.net was consistently reporting DL speeds of 52-56Mbps and Amazon Instant streaming was perfect.

If you've been on Verizon's FiOS forum it's pretty clear that this is not an isolated or regional issue. The problem stems from a pissing contest between Verizon and Cogent (the provider Netflix uses for content delivery) about "peering" and the amount of Netflix traffic being handled Verizon. There's a substantial amount of credible speculation that Verizon is intentionally letting it's peering ports become 100% saturated rather than opening additional (and available) ports to handle the increased traffic. Since the heaviest Netflix usage is during prime time, Netflix becomes all but unusable from as early as 5PM into the early morning hours.

Like many AVS members I have a pretty nice HT setup; I use an Oppo BDP-103 for Netflix streaming all displayed on a Panny 65" Plasma. A 240P video streamed at a bitrate of 235Kbps and displayed on a 65" screen is reminiscent of a bad VHS copy-of-a-copy-of-a-copy and is simply unwatchable. Netflix SuperHD content streams at a bitrate of 3Mbps. Verizon's slowest FiOS service is 15Mbps. Even those of us who weren't "Mathletes" in high school can figure out that our FiOS service should be more than capable of providing reliable HD Netflix streaming.

If you're a FiOS customer, you're already paying a premium for increased bandwidth on what Verizon markets as "America's top-rated Internet. Browse your favorite websites, download music and stream video with fewer interruptions." Verizon seems completely unmotivated to do anything about this and is happy to hold its' customers hostage while they hold out for a financial agreement with Netflix. If you're affected by this and are tired of denied the service and quality you were promised, please do something about it.

I have created a public petition addressed to Lowell C. McAdam, Verizon's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. The petition is located here:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/869/336/946/verizon-intentionally-crippling-netflix-streaming-over-it...

If you're on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites, please let your followers know about the petition and ask them to sign. Verizon seems content to ignore its' customers. Maybe they need a little more public attention to get the ball rolling.

Hopefully I'm not violating any forums rules with this post. Bear in mind that I have nothing to gain with this petition--I'm just hoping it helps me and others convince Verizon that we're unhappy about a situation they can easily remedy.

Thanks -- Steve
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post #2 of 15 Old 03-20-2014, 11:19 AM
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I'm Steve 18 miles south of Boston with the same problem. Even using Oppo 103 to a 65" Panny. Might be time to change to Comcast.
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post #3 of 15 Old 03-20-2014, 11:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ozzzie3 View Post

I'm Steve 18 miles south of Boston with the same problem. Even using Oppo 103 to a 65" Panny. Might be time to change to Comcast.

Now that's a small world moment!
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post #4 of 15 Old 03-20-2014, 02:53 PM
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I'm also within a 20 mile radius of Boston and Verizon Fios is awful when it comes to streaming during the evening. I also have problems with Hulu Plus and Amazon.

 

I first noticed it was an issue over the summer, but it has gotten worse over the fall and winter.

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post #5 of 15 Old 03-20-2014, 02:55 PM
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I had Verizon for many years. It was Bell Tel when I first signed with them and as the years went by their rates kept going up and their service got progressively worse. Fios was promised in due time, but never materialized. They eventually decided not to provide Fios in my neighborhood, so I canned DSL for Cablevison and have been pretty satisfied ever since. (DIRECTV is my TV carrier). If you are not happy with Verizon, you probably have the option to switch back to cable. If that is not plausible, and you are paying for a higher tier plan, switch to a cheaper one and tell them why. Their basic 15 meg plan should satisfied most consumers. My plan is only 15 megs, but I'm actually averaging around 19 megs, have a half dozen devices and I can stream any service, including Netflix, in HD quality, 24/7 seamlessly. Why pay a premium for a service that doesn't live up to it's expectations? Just my two cents.


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post #6 of 15 Old 03-20-2014, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
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The thing is that I've been pretty happy with FiOS up until this debacle. Switching always seems like a good idea but many of us are on bundle plans with contract terms with early termination penalties. I'll be damned if I'm going to pay to get out of a contract with Verizon. It's not out of the question and if it gets worse or isn't fixed soon, I'll file a BBB complaint and a complaint with the AG's office which I'm confident should result in Verizon releasing me from my contract. Still, it's painful; I have a Verizon email address I've had since the dsl days (read 2001 or so) and that email address is tied to a huge number of internet accounts and logins. So, yeah, changing is possible but a huge PITA. Down grading is an option but represents a savings of $20 a month--not exactly something Verizon will notice. I'm hoping the petition has a bigger public impact.

Steve
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post #7 of 15 Old 03-20-2014, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveV View Post

A 240P video streamed at a bitrate of 235Kbps and displayed on a 65" screen is reminiscent of a bad VHS copy-of-a-copy-of-a-copy and is simply unwatchable.
I agree. I rather stair at a black screen than a horrible 240p picture which is so bad that if I stair at it for more than 30 seconds I start to get nauseous no kidding. They need to ditch that awful codec and at least only encode 480p and up. I have some 320x240 videos on my computer that are old video game commercials that look better some do look horrible but some look decent. Also Netflix does a horrible job at scaling low def already. Standard Def 480p is scaled real good though for 4:3 content however 16:9 content looks terrible.

Anyway rant over I do feel sorry for you. You should see the ads for FiOS here where they have two computers one with Cablevision and the other with FiOS and they boast that the FiOS laptop is better. Well those commercials are bogus because they have another ad in the same location comparing Time Warner Cable with the other laptop FiOS. Well that can't be true as TWC and Cablevision don't serve the same area.

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post #8 of 15 Old 03-20-2014, 03:36 PM
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Not to be a contrarian but while I had a miserable Netflix streaming in January and February, the PQ issue seemed to have cleared up. I am back to way it was before the new year. I have 50/25 FiOS and am near Philadelphia, where Comcast HQ is. I would like to think that Netflix/Comcast deal somehow positively affected Philadelphia area FiOS. redface.gif May it be Boston area Verizon FiOS didn't get whatever I got in Philly yet?
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post #9 of 15 Old 03-20-2014, 03:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Not here, I'm afraid. Most of my family and friends are having similar experiences to what I'm seeing. My mother lives a couple of miles away and for some reason her experience is so bad that she's given up and doesn't use Netflix any more.
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post #10 of 15 Old 03-20-2014, 08:35 PM
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Yes, I'm also on FIOS and live in the Boston area and it's terrible. It's been terrible for months now. As for switching back to Comcast, well, there's no way in hell I'm switching back to capped bandwidth.

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post #11 of 15 Old 03-21-2014, 06:00 AM
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It looks from various posts that Boston area FiOS people are STILL having Netflix streaming issues. I hope the problems will be resolved soon for you guys as mine did.
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post #12 of 15 Old 03-21-2014, 06:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveV View Post

Not here, I'm afraid. Most of my family and friends are having similar experiences to what I'm seeing. My mother lives a couple of miles away and for some reason her experience is so bad that she's given up and doesn't use Netflix any more.

I feel for you guys. Like your mother, the Netflix PQ was so bad that I laid off Netflix for several days as well when I had the same issues. Hopefully, the Netflix issues will sort itself out soon for you Boston FiOS people.
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post #13 of 15 Old 03-21-2014, 06:15 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm guessing it's not going to get better anytime soon. If you guys want to help, please consider signing the petition addressed to Lowell C. McAdam, Verizon's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. The petition is located here:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/869/336/946/verizon-intentionally-crippling-netflix-streaming-over-its-fios-high-speed-internet-service/

Thanks -- Steve
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post #14 of 15 Old 03-22-2014, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveFi View Post

Yes, I'm also on FIOS and live in the Boston area and it's terrible. It's been terrible for months now. As for switching back to Comcast, well, there's no way in hell I'm switching back to capped bandwidth.

Comcast isn't capped in Massachusetts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveV View Post

I'm guessing it's not going to get better anytime soon. If you guys want to help, please consider signing the petition addressed to Lowell C. McAdam, Verizon's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. The petition is located here:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/869/336/946/verizon-intentionally-crippling-netflix-streaming-over-its-fios-high-speed-internet-service/

Unfortunately I don't think Verizon's CEO gives a damn about what his customers think, especially if there is the possibility of forcing Netflix into giving them a big check.
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post #15 of 15 Old 03-31-2014, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anonAVS View Post

Comcast isn't capped in Massachusetts.
Well, when I had Comcast, a few years back they announced a data cap in MA and I dumped them ASAP. I don't know if they changed that, but I'm not going back to them any time soon (especially since I have a contract with Verizon).

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