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Netflix streaming quality - Page 73

post #2161 of 5437
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post
Sounds like a decent setup. Which Bravia TV? One of the new ones with Google TV?

I haven't heard anything either good or bad about Netflix players embedded in Sony products.
It is last year's top of the line model. $2400 list, got it for $600.

No Google TV. What is it?
post #2162 of 5437
I for one see a big difference between netflix streamers. I can find no good reason to watch Netflix on my Sony BD370 player, it looks like crap ( well, other than being able to handle over 100 episodes of a show...). However my trusty old Samsung BDP 2550 looks fantastic.
post #2163 of 5437
Quote:
Originally Posted by phie View Post

No Google TV. What is it?

Google it .
post #2164 of 5437
The Show All button just expands what you see for that category. I don't believe there is any real way to search for something specific.
post #2165 of 5437
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt L View Post

I for one see a big difference between netflix streamers. I can find no good reason to watch Netflix on my Sony BD370 player, it looks like crap ( well, other than being able to handle over 100 episodes of a show...). However my trusty old Samsung BDP 2550 looks fantastic.

Have you gone into your Netflix account settings (using your computer) and set 'Manage Video Quality' to the highest, assuming your connection can handle it. There is/was a bug where the default setting in Netflix is none, and the Sony's seem to treat it as meaning 'lowest'.
post #2166 of 5437
I have a Sony 370 at work and my friend has one and NF looks great on both
post #2167 of 5437
Quote:
Originally Posted by andyross63 View Post

Have you gone into your Netflix account settings (using your computer) and set 'Manage Video Quality' to the highest, assuming your connection can handle it. There is/was a bug where the default setting in Netflix is none, and the Sony's seem to treat it as meaning 'lowest'.

I strongly doubt that setting is interpreted by the player or that the players are even aware that it exists--that would require firmware updates to every player. My guess would be that it's a limit in the highest bit rate encoding that Netflix's servers will offer to players running on your account, which is something that would have been straightforward to arrange on the server side.
post #2168 of 5437
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

I strongly doubt that setting is interpreted by the player or that the players are even aware that it exists--that would require firmware updates to every player. My guess would be that it's a limit in the highest bit rate encoding that Netflix's servers will offer to players running on your account, which is something that would have been straightforward to arrange on the server side.

Well in my case that setting was the problem. I had the same problem when Netflix added that option on the website. Both Xbox 360 in my house looked fine but my Sony tv and blu ray looked like crap. Someone else suggested to change the setting on the Netflix website, and once I did it, then the Sony products were perfect again.
post #2169 of 5437
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluer101 View Post

Well in my case that setting was the problem. I had the same problem when Netflix added that option on the website. Both Xbox 360 in my house looked fine but my Sony tv and blu ray looked like crap. Someone else suggested to change the setting on the Netflix website, and once I did it, then the Sony products were perfect again.

I still don't buy the explanation, but it doesn't matter and it won't hurt anyone to try.

I haven't set that because I'm afraid they'll come up with a set of even higher bit rate encodings and that it will limit me to the old maximum . I have a Roku 2, Panasonic BD player, PS3, Xbox 360 and TiVo S3 and none of them are affected by that not being set.
post #2170 of 5437
In the past two days Netflix streaming has been horrible. Every 10 minutes, at least once it stops to buffer. Usually, 1-2 times a TV episode, this happens 5 times in 5 minutes (usually in the last half of the show).


Anyone know what's up? Can it be related to the hurricane on the east coast?

It is getting very annoying. I still have 10mb/s down according to speedtest.net
post #2171 of 5437
Quote:
Originally Posted by phie View Post

In the past two days Netflix streaming has been horrible. Every 10 minutes, at least once it stops to buffer. Usually, 1-2 times a TV episode, this happens 5 times in 5 minutes (usually in the last half of the show).


Anyone know what's up? Can it be related to the hurricane on the east coast?

It is getting very annoying. I still have 10mb/s down according to speedtest.net

Andyross' post upthread may explain your problems..
Quote:


andyross63 said
Have you gone into your Netflix account settings (using your computer) and set 'Manage Video Quality' to the highest, assuming your connection can handle it. There is/was a bug where the default setting in Netflix is none, and the Sony's seem to treat it as meaning 'lowest'.

Have you done this? If not see if assigning a quality level will change anything...
post #2172 of 5437
Quote:
Originally Posted by andyross63 View Post

Have you gone into your Netflix account settings (using your computer) and set 'Manage Video Quality' to the highest, assuming your connection can handle it. There is/was a bug where the default setting in Netflix is none, and the Sony's seem to treat it as meaning 'lowest'.

No, I'm well aware of that setting and it's not the issue. I've had the Sony for quite some time before Netflix added that setting. I bought the Sony to update my system as it supposedly had more to offer streaming-wise, but it had great difficulty doing a lot of what it was supposed to do.

I have 12m down, and get 11.7 pretty much all the time so quantity is not an issue streaming either. It may be due to the Reon chip doing it's job upconverting Netflix to 1080p in the Sammy or what ever but the Sony is in no where near the class of the video on the 2550.
post #2173 of 5437
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

I still don't buy the explanation, but it doesn't matter and it won't hurt anyone to try.

I haven't set that because I'm afraid they'll come up with a set of even higher bit rate encodings and that it will limit me to the old maximum . I have a Roku 2, Panasonic BD player, PS3, Xbox 360 and TiVo S3 and none of them are affected by that not being set.

You don't have to buy it, and I see you don't have a Sony TV or stand alone Sony blu ray, not PS3. So I can see why you don't believe it. I was the same way as you, how in the world can this only affect certain products. Also there was no update to the firmware on either devices during this problem.

There are numerous people in this thread, Sony lcd tv threads, Sony blu ray threads, and friends of mine with same products that had the same problem and this worked.

In the end like you said, it does not matter unless you are plagued with this Sony problem.
post #2174 of 5437
Follow up on problems on AppleTV...

Was watching a movie ("Wild Target" - in HD) Saturday night and it got to the point about an hour into the movie where it was pausing every 2 minutes...completely unwatchable. So we stopped the movie. I called Netflix and they reported that my download speed was being reported to them at about 0.9-1.2 kbps. I'm on Comcast and my download should be in the neighborhood of 16mbps. (according to the Speedtest app on my phone when placing it right next to the ATV2.) I went through all the problems I've been having recently with the rep (which I've accounted in previous posts here...the skipping, the 4:3 squeeze issue, etc.), and he said that speed would account for all of them.

[side note: Although if my ATV2 was reporting 0.9kbps to Netflix, what did it fetch an HD feed???]

Their recommendations was to unplug the ATV2, router, and modem, then plug them back in. (That there's some complex troubleshooting!) Watched another movies I've been having problems with ("Aaah Zombies!"...completely cheesy...but awesome), and it skipped right away. Back to square one.

Started to wonder if it was an ATV issue now; that maybe in the recent software update, there was a bug in it. Began searching the forums at apple.com and somewhere I saw someone make mention of the standard network frequencies being very crowded and noisy and to try broadcasting at 5GHz. So I thought, what the hell, I'll give it a shot. Logged into my router (Apple Airport Extreme) and created a 5GHz version of my WiFi network.

Logged the ATV2 into the new network and went back to Aaah Zombies!...and watched it for 10+ minutes without a single glitch. After 10 minutes I decided it was good enough, and called it a night.

Yesterday morning, we went back to watch Wild Target, and resumed watching at the same spot as the night before. (Actually backed up a few minutes to remember what was happening.) Watched the rest of the movie in HD without issue.

So if you have the ATV2 and are having all sorts of trouble with the Netflix...try using a 5GHz network and see if that helps. If that is really the best solution (as it appears to be for me at the moment), then I'm leaning on this being an Apple problem with the latest s/w update.
post #2175 of 5437
That sounds like almost certainly a wireless networking issue. The rather mediocre help offered by netflix is unfortunately about as much help as it is possible for them to offer. Diagnosing a slow network over the phone is nearly impossible.

Streaming full length programming over wifi is not terribly reliable. What you're describing are exactly the same symptoms as have been experienced by millions of other people who attempt to stream video over wifi. The type of device in use (an AppleTV) is mostly entirely irrelevant.

To find out for sure if it is a wifi problem, it would be best to temporarily connect the appleTV via a wired connection. Granted this can be difficult given the layout of some homes and where the router is located.

While using a wired ethernet connection is the ultimate solution, changing wifi channels might help as well. This is same type of trial and error solution as switching to 5Ghz.

If neighbors have recently turned on a wifi router, or installed new appliances, it is possible that there is now interference when there wasn't in the past. If not wanting to get into more complicated testing and diagnosing, it might be worth trying a different channel. If neighbors are using the same channel, this could fix the problem. Note though, that wifi channels overlap eachother. For example, channel 1 overlaps with 2,3,4, and 5. Channel 6 overlaps with 2,3,4,5,7,8,9,1. etc. It is best to choose a channel number as far away from everything else as possible. (Graph of overlapping channels: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_pzC_7PLtN-...Channels+1.gif)
post #2176 of 5437
Thanks for the graph on channel numbers; that's helpful to know. (I'm not a WiFi wizard, so some of the terminology is new to me.) But I'm still partially convinced it's an Apple problem, not just an issue with my network. Like I had said in previous posts, it has been working fine (I dare say flawlessly) for months and months over Wifi until about 2-3 weeks ago. Plus, there are a lot of people on the forums at apple.com reporting the same problems with their ATV2's...as well as on the ATV forums here at AVS. And somehow the problem is manifesting itself the worst in the Netflix app. Haven't had any major problems with other streaming on it.
post #2177 of 5437
It's not a wireless issue - it's a POS AppleTV/Netflix issue. I have had the box hooked up to gigabit ethernet and it still does it. It's a problem I believe with it not keeping a large enough buffer and/or resistance to downgrade quality.
post #2178 of 5437
I would have to agree it is a networking problem or maybe something else between your router and Netflix--you can never be sure really with the Internet. I rarely have problems with my ATV and use it more than Roku for Netflix. I watched the movie The New Daughter yesterday which was an HD 5.1 Netflix stream and it was fine. I use my iPhone to check speed in my theater room and it is usually between 5 and 9 mbps--very close to my wired speed. I do have a Time Capsule (basically and Airport Extreme) and it is commonly excepted that Apple products do talk to each other better than non-Apple products. Just wanted to throw it out that some ATVs do work just fine with Netflix.
post #2179 of 5437
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

Streaming full length programming over wifi is not terribly reliable. What you're describing are exactly the same symptoms as have been experienced by millions of other people who attempt to stream video over wifi.

I recently tried streaming Netflix via my TiVo and saw the same issue. Everything is hardwired and Hulu Plus works great on the TiVo and Netflix worked swimmingly on the Roku 2. I contacted Netflix and they stated my bandwidth was rock solid. I contacted TiVo and they stated they recently changed their app to match changes Netflix had just implemented.

For testing I lowered the quality setting (on Netflix's site) and it streamed without issue. However before I stopped using the TiVo for streaming it worked very nicely at the highest quality setting so something has changed. And it's not my local network or my Internet access per se (tested many times when I saw the issue). Streaming again with the Roku 2 I get a sold HD image with very little degrading of the image (on a rare occasion) and it uses the 1080p encodes which require additional bandwidth.

My memory might be bad but previously I thought TiVo would drop the HD (visible via the number of bars displayed) and continue to stream at a lower bandwidth. Now it sticks at HD and simply freezes and or buffers and as someone else mentioned it appears to do it more often at the end of a title.
post #2180 of 5437
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Mack View Post

I have a Sony 370 at work and my friend has one and NF looks great on both

Yeah, me too. I have two Sony 370s at home, and Netflix streaming HD looks great on both of them using wifi. Occasionally I do have buffering issues, but that's the stream and/or network, not the player.
post #2181 of 5437
Quote:
Originally Posted by spiritfox View Post

I would have to agree it is a networking problem or maybe something else between your router and Netflix--you can never be sure really with the Internet. I rarely have problems with my ATV and use it more than Roku for Netflix. I watched the movie The New Daughter yesterday which was an HD 5.1 Netflix stream and it was fine. I use my iPhone to check speed in my theater room and it is usually between 5 and 9 mbps--very close to my wired speed. I do have a Time Capsule (basically and Airport Extreme) and it is commonly excepted that Apple products do talk to each other better than non-Apple products. Just wanted to throw it out that some ATVs do work just fine with Netflix.

Good point. Perhaps I was too dismissive of other sources of streaming problems. However from the symptoms described, it really does seem like a network issue. With wifi being in the loop, that's the best place to start investigating.

Anecdotealy, my ATV2 doesn't have the problem described here. But it isn't on wifi. For whatever that's worth.

As for apple products working better with apple products, I would like to respectfully disagree. Apple, like a large percentage of the consumer electronics and computer industry, uses chips manufactured by broadcom. The ATV2 uses the Broadcom BCM4329XKUBG 802.11n Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/FM chip. We have hundreds of models of devices at my company made by dozens of manufacturers and wifi interoperability problems are exceedingly rare. This is especially true of appliance-like devices which come in a single configuration from the manufacturer.
post #2182 of 5437
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

I recently tried streaming Netflix via my TiVo and saw the same issue. Everything is hardwired and Hulu Plus works great on the TiVo and Netflix worked swimmingly on the Roku 2. I contacted Netflix and they stated my bandwidth was rock solid. I contacted TiVo and they stated they recently changed their app to match changes Netflix had just implemented.

For testing I lowered the quality setting (on Netflix's site) and it streamed without issue. However before I stopped using the TiVo for streaming it worked very nicely at the highest quality setting so something has changed. And it's not my local network or my Internet access per se (tested many times when I saw the issue). Streaming again with the Roku 2 I get a sold HD image with very little degrading of the image (on a rare occasion) and it uses the 1080p encodes which require additional bandwidth.

My memory might be bad but previously I thought TiVo would drop the HD (visible via the number of bars displayed) and continue to stream at a lower bandwidth. Now it sticks at HD and simply freezes and or buffers and as someone else mentioned it appears to do it more often at the end of a title.

If the bandwidth issue is on the netflix end, it isn't surprising that you're experiencing something different with the Roku2. It and the PS3 use a different set of streams than all other netflix players. It is possible that the servers delivering these streams are less congested.
post #2183 of 5437
I just received my Roku 2 XS Saturday, and it works perfectly (Netflix) with a beautiful picture, no stuttering, subtitles, and good sound. My only problem is that I can't get 5.1 sound. In the setup I specified 5.1, but when I download a movie the Audio/Subtitle screen says English (Stereo) as the only choice, and my receiver produces Dolby PL2x Cinema, not DD+. I have checked that the movie titles to be viewed are noted as 5.1 by Netflix and that my receiver is DD+ capable.

My setup:
Linksys WRT 300n router
Netgear powerline ethernet with XAV1004 ethernet switch to Roku 2 XS
HDMI Roku to Denon AVR-2809 receiver
HDMI from receiver to Samsung 950 TV
7.1 speaker setup
Comcast cable, download speed 28 mb/s at computer; don't know speed at Roku
post #2184 of 5437
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfart View Post

I have checked that the movie titles to be viewed are noted as 5.1 by Netflix and that my receiver is DD+ capable.

Where did you check? I've been maintaining the "Official List of Netflix Watch Instantly Titles w/5.1 Sound" thread on this forum and if Netflix is revealing that information somewhere, I'd like to know, so I can be freed from that chore.

Please list the titles which you think have 5.1 sound on Netflix which don't offer that on the Roku 2; I'll check on my Roku 2 and other 5.1-capable Netflix players.
post #2185 of 5437
I checked on your list, the last title being "Outside the Law". Many thanks for your list.
post #2186 of 5437
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfart View Post

I checked on your list, the last title being "Outside the Law". Many thanks for your list.

You're welcome. So checking the list is what you meant by "I have checked that the movie titles to be viewed are noted as 5.1 by Netflix"? Oh well.

Outside the Law shows up as having 5.1 sound on my Panasonic DMP-BDT110 BD player and shows as DD+ on my AVR when it plays. It does not on my Roku 2. The Roku 2's Netflix player has a problem: when films have HD encodings and/or 5.1 sound, those features don't always get displayed in the title's description. Not horrible vis-a-vis HD, since it will still play the film in HD, but since its default for sound is stereo, if you don't get the audio/subtitle selection menu with a 5.1 audio option on it, you cannot get the 5.1 sound. (On my BDT110 and PS3, 5.1 sound is the default). Roku knows about this problem and will presumably fix it in a firmware update soon (I posted in their forums about it some weeks back and one of the developers responded; they'd already known about it then).

The problem is particularly prevalent in the Instant Queue and Recently Watched groups; sometimes if you run a search for a title, the missing attributes will show up in the description as it appears in the search list (not in the case of Outside the Law). Some titles which show up as having 5.1 sound in from my Instant Queue are: Try some of these and see whether you can see 5.1 sound and whether you get it (after selecting it from the audio/subtitles menu.
post #2187 of 5437
Quote:
Originally Posted by Westly-C View Post

Andyross' post upthread may explain your problems..

Have you done this? If not see if assigning a quality level will change anything...

I set it following this advice and tere was no change last night. Today, I watched one show and I had no issues... I assume the problem was related to the hurricane...
post #2188 of 5437
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

I strongly doubt that setting is interpreted by the player or that the players are even aware that it exists--that would require firmware updates to every player. My guess would be that it's a limit in the highest bit rate encoding that Netflix's servers will offer to players running on your account, which is something that would have been straightforward to arrange on the server side.

It's not necessarily a firmware thing. It's probably something to do with the HTML code that handles the UI and other things it downloads when it connects. The code used for Sony TV's and BD players apparantly didn't (or doesn't) properly handle an invalid 'max bitrate' setting.

I should mention that my Sony TV is now properly remembering the last season viewed and opening to it instead of always going to the last season.
post #2189 of 5437
Quote:
Originally Posted by andyross63 View Post

It's not necessarily a firmware thing. It's probably something to do with the HTML code that handles the UI and other things it downloads when it connects. The code used for Sony TV's and BD players apparantly didn't (or doesn't) properly handle an invalid 'max bitrate' setting.

I should mention that my Sony TV is now properly remembering the last season viewed and opening to it instead of always going to the last season.

I still don't buy it. It's way too easy to handle maximum bit rate without involving the players at all.

In an adaptive bit rate stream scheme, I'd kind of expect the players to just tell the server, "I think that conditions are such (i.e., my buffer is filling very quickly, etc) that I can handle a switch to a higher bit rate encoding", and the server to simply say, "I don't have one to give you". Probably an oversimplification, but something along those lines. The server has complete control over the highest bit rate encoding that it offers the player and can easily limit that without the player having any knowledge that it's doing it. I can't see where the player has any need to know.

Dave Mack and Will2007 say that they use a Sony 370 and that they're working fine. Question for them--if you look at the "Manage Video Quality" page, is any option checked? (No doubt you have to be logged into your Netflix account to look. EDIT: I see that David Mack checked in an effort to debug a problem with poor quality playback on his PS3--it didn't work). Netflix added this control to US accounts three months back and whether it's set (to the max) or not hasn't had any effect on the majority of players. If you think that it has an effect, did your player start screwing up in mid-June when they added the option?

EDIT: Reading back I see that there's a lot of anectdotal evidence in support of the theory dating back to mid-June. I still don't see where it makes any sense whatsoever, and the fact that it only effects Sony products (other than the PS3) makes it even more suspect. Whatever.
post #2190 of 5437
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt L View Post

I for one see a big difference between netflix streamers. I can find no good reason to watch Netflix on my Sony BD370 player, it looks like crap ( well, other than being able to handle over 100 episodes of a show...). However my trusty old Samsung BDP 2550 looks fantastic.

I have the BDP-s370, and have not had the problems that you have. Must be a user issue.
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