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Yes, I'm having problems. When it started to load a movie last night, it said it would take 45 minutes! Needless to say, I aborted and tried again. It loaded in the usual time (1 to 2 minutes, including finding the place where I stopped watching). So yes, I think there's a problem, but I also think it's intermittenet.


I'm having problems too, anytime now I try and watch an episode of The Office it will play fine for about a minute and then that red meter will pop up and says it will take about 10 minutes to buffer. I wish they would allow us to pick the video quality instead of forcing us whatever they can handle.


I haven't noticed any problems lately. I watched several movies and TV shows last week, and they all worked fine. Several weeks ago, I had some trouble trying to watch a TV show during the early afternoon, but it worked fine later that day.


Exact same problems. I noticed it started around the time they did their DRM update, maybe 2 or so months ago. Before then, it was lightening fast. Since then, a movie or show initially buffers for 2 or 3 minutes, then plays about 30 seconds, then buffers for anywhere from 5-30 minutes. It basically makes the Watch Now service unusable. When it tests my connection, it always comes back with "Basic". It was "High" before.

I have a 7M internet connection, and have no problems with bandwidth in any other application. No firewalls - nothing blocking the connection. I’ve tried it on both my XP and Vista machines at home – same results.

Extremely frustrating, since now they have movies that are starting to add movies that are worth watching!


I was having this problem about a month ago and I thought it was my connection although Netflix was the only site that was slow. I actually reported it to Mike here at hacking netflix and no one else had reported it, so I thought it was just me, but the service is basically unsuable at the moment. I'm all about not having media in the future, but the internet has to be fast enough.


I have an 8M internet connection. As others have experienced, the video now starts out fine, but always has to stop and buffer. The stopping and buffering began for me on the same day Netflix announced unlimited watching.

As I see it, the Netflix Watch Instantly app first tests my internet connection and then caches just enough of the video file to stay ahead of my real-time viewing.

Unfortunately, Comcast's "PowerBoost" gives a short spurt of speed at the beginning of each download which fools the Netflix Watch Instantly app into mis-interpreting my true connection speed. Consequently, not enough video is being cached before viewing starts, forcing a "catch-up" later on.

Old Timer Too

Despite the tech world and Bill Gates' view of a Microsoft/ubiquitous internet future, there is only so much material that can be served and transmitted over all those itty-bitty lines. The internet is not cable television. There is a long, long way to go yet.


Same problems. I used to have no problems watching movies. Once everything went Unlimited it's gone to crap. I can't even watch Dexter using a wired connection without it stopping ten minutes. It's unusable now. What happened? It worked so well. I'm glad Hacking Netflix has done a story on this. I hope Netflix fixes it. And to Netflix, don't get down on yourself, we'll be somewhat patient. :-)


When Netflex went to unlimited, they changed their viewing preference. Before they went to unlimited everything worked fine. Now nothing works and here is why, and I am not buying a new computor to fix it.

They are using Windows Media player 11. If you don't have it, go to Microsoft and download. If you have Windows Media Center Pre 2005 you can not download , windows Media Player 11, it is not supported.

For those of you who do not have WMC, its great--you can watch all of your instant movies right on your big screen tv, as long as you have a PC input. Well at least it was great untill they changed. Called many times, waited 26 minutes minimal--no help.

Any help here.


No - I stopped using Watch Now about 6 months ago. It was starting to act funny back then as more people used it. And I got tired of the incessant downloading of this or that to make the player work - I figure the more Microsoft crap I put on the computer, to use Watch Now, the more chance other applications won't work.

Example - on my laptop, I downloaded something from MS that NF said I needed for Watch Now. I now get to choose between Watch Now and PowerDVD by having to change a DirectX setting to avoid a green screen. And I can't find any video driver updates (apparently the problem) to solve the problem.

Watch Now is a nice idea, however, it's certainly not ready for prime time. And that's not even dealing with the bandwidth issues.

Kat Waterflame

I find it annoying that I can't "Watch Instantly" via Mozilla. I have to open an Explorer browser to be able to watch, and Explorer and I do not get along... *frown* I hope they find a way to fix this soon...


I have been having this issue as well, but only while at home...

I have a night-shift job with enough down time to allow time to 'instant watch' on my work computer. The internet connection at work is slower, so Netflix always shows my Video Quality as 'Basic' for instant watching. Everything plays without any issues at all using this computer, internet provider, and basic level of video quality.

Unfortunately, things are NOT working while attempting to 'instant watch' at home. I get the same issues as mentioned by others - the movie will usually start after about 30 seconds, but after about 2 minutes, I will get the message that 'your internet connection has slowed' and will have to wait anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes for the service to begin again. If the movie I'm watching is longer than an hour, this pause for a lengthy download period will happen 2 or 3 times.

My provider at home is Comcast and my Video Quality on the Netflix instant watching page always shows as 'High', so I wonder if the different video quality level may be a cause for the problem...

I contacted Netflix Instant Watch support and was sent an email with some tests to run on my internet connection to check for speed issues. I am waiting for their response.


@Kat Waterflame

You can install a Firefox extension called IE Tab that allows you to embed IE in a Firefox tab to watch instantly. This might solve your problems.

Kat Waterflame


Thanks! I'll have to try that! *smile*

Kat Waterflame


Thank you so much for suggesting that add-on! It works like a charm! You rock!!


Thank god! I thought maybe it was just me having the slow down. I used to have 0 problems and was always hitting the high quality but for the last month I've had slow downs, basic quality, and long load times.


Tonight it took me 2 hours to watch a 45 minute episode of Heroes. "Watch Now" = FAIL! And the first 20 episodes or so played so beautifully. If only they didn't switch to Unlimited!

"Not ready for prime time" is an understatement. "Watch Now" is an absolute disaster!

A wise costumer once advised: "Do not offer what you cannot deliver."

Edward R Murrow

Have we had the streaming versus download debate yet?

Let me get the ball rolling by saying that streaming sux! You're victimized by the lack of speed of the content streamer and general slowness of the internet.

I love download to the device of my choice for watching anytime/anywhere without being tethered to the internet.


I'm actually having the problem that I'm suddenly only getting audio when I watch instantly. Up until last week or so, I got the normal video and audio, which I could full screen, etc. Now, once it loads and buffers, I just get audio. Can anyone help? Please contact at jeffyjo@sbcglobal.net

Mike T.

Yes, I get lengthy rebuffering in Netflix's Watch Instantly very regularly, on a fast Comcast high-speed connection when nothing else is using the internet connection.

robert dobbs

Does anyone here _not_ have Comcast, and also have similar issues? The only ISP reported here has been Comcast...


Com-cast-i-na-tion, com-cast-i-na-a-tion, it's makin' me wait.

I know, bad pun. I couldn't resist.

Roy Wagner

I have COX Cable and have also noticed the slowdown since the switch to unlimited.

Edward R Murrow

I'm not getting it - when I did Comcast On Demand download to catch up on this season's Lost episodes, there was stopping/rebuffering content.

Is this an internet-only streaming issue and if so, what does that say for internet-only streaming in the future?

Edward R Murrow

Oops, the above should say "there was *NO* stopping/rebuffering content."

Old Timer Too

Internet streaming of live events has always had its problems. As more and more people load down the system to use the feature, this problem will persist. It will be a problem even with systems that download and then play or download/play as received (a variation of streaming).

Like I said earlier, there is only so much traffic that the internet can handle. We're seeing the result and until the infrastructure is again upgraded (as it was several years ago), we will continue to see performance problems with attempts to use web-based applications.

Sorry, but that's the way life is and anyone who thinks VOD is the future hasn't faced the reality of the present state of the infrastructure.

Maybe five years from now it will be better, but certainly not today or tomorrow.


Netflix completely overreacted to what they thought was going to be a devastating announcement from Apple. The announcement turned out to be underwhelming at best; Apple made a crappy deal with the studios in order to get in the rental business. So Netflix handed away the entire Instant Watch catalog for nothing purely based on panic, and now it's not working well at all. It was annoying not to have rewind before; but now, if you slide the bar back a bit to rewind, it RE BUFFERS for anOTHER 14 minutes again! To watch something I just watched seconds ago! I watched a docu last night, and the tools who made it included a segment where they didn't mic themselves, only the respondent - so I heard yes or no answers to questions I couldn't hear. I, without thinking, flipped the bar back a bit to rewind, and had to wait 27 minutes to hear the stupid questions again. Ordinarily I wouldn't have bothered, but I was engrossed in the moment since it had to do with Guantanamo.

NETFLIX: Just take it back. I forgive you for panicking. I'll go back to 17 hours a month as long as it works again.

Downloading a 52 minute episode takes 30 minutes, then half way through the episode, it stops and takes another 45 minutes. This is lousy. I'd rather have the limited hours back!

Downloading a 52 minute episode takes 30 minutes, then half way through the episode, it stops and takes another 45 minutes. This is lousy. I'd rather have the limited hours back!

Local Hero

I too have this problem but only when I run my computer thru a wireless router. If I bypass the wireless router and hard wire directly to my cable modem it all works fine. I don't have a wireless card in my pc, I connect it to the wireless router with a cable.

I'm not a tech guy so I have no idea why this would be but it's consistent.


So I was a block buster customer for years, but then they decided to raise the pries, so i decided to take my business to Netflix. The 1st few months with Netflix where grate (like any relationship) but then... the "your internet connection has slow" messages started coming. Buffering times started to increase 2m, at first then 5m, 1h, 23h. I hate to do so but Blockbuster...I'm coming back. They maybe a bit more expensive, but beeping able to watch a movie the same day you want to, it's price less. (There are things that money can't buy, for anything else there are pawn shops)


Yeah, Netflix watch instant SUCKS. At first it was great. I could pick a movie, it would start in 3 seconds and play all the way through. Now it can take 2 hours or longer to buffer a movie before allowing me to view, then stop to buffer for 30 minutes a few times through the movie. I have Comcast internet service. When I get the "Your Internet Connection Has Slowed" message I open another browser window to check my speed. I usually get 25 MBS down and 1.5 MBS up. That's not exactly slow by any means! Netflix must not be able to handle the demand on their end. It's definitely not a slow internet connection on my end!


We too have noticed the problems, and it definitely has something to do with Netflix's recent move to unlimited viewing for the higher level accounts. We never once had a problem viewing videos until February this year. Netflix should have thought through their bandwidth issues before launching an "unlimited" service. And we don't even have the unlimited service since we are on the lowest plan. Watching something that pauses for 30 seconds to 5 minutes every minute or so is not enjoyable at all. And finally, it's also quite annoying that they try to blame the issue on their own customers by claiming MY internet connection has slowed or been lost. No Netflix, it is YOUR connection that has slowed; own up to it!


I don't think this is a Netflix problem per se.

If I traceroute to speedtest.ehub.netflix.com from my AT&T DSL connection, it stalls at a llnw.net host, which is Limelight Networks (Netflix is currently using Limelight Networks for content distribution). However, if I do the same traceroute from my work connection (not AT&T), it breezes right through to speedtest.ehub.netflix.com. I suspect a peering problem between AT&T and Limelight Networks.

Would anyone else care to try this test?


I have charter and have the same problem. ugh.

Jason The Saj

I have the Netflix Watch-It Now slow downs on Comcast cable.

iTunes also seems slower on downloads these days.


just happened to me about an hour into movie the illusionist, had to wait 10 minutes for "buffer" to finish & movie to resume. no computers on network were powered on so issue not due to rogue spyware software or p2p etc. just happened again, says 12 minute wait. unacceptable! speed test ok - optimal expected speeds 12 megabit down 1.5 up grande communicaztions austin tx. using vista ultimate os with ie7. exact error is "your internet connection has slowed. we are adjusting playback to avoid further interruption." hoping for resolve or suggestion(s). -mod

Brian Smiley

I'm getting the same problem. I'm streaming netflix through my Xbox 360, with Embarq as my service provider. I thought it was my speed, but there are people on here with speeds much higher than my 3M, so now I'm not so sure. Xbox Live works fine, but netflix is becoming unusable for anything more than a 1/2 hour show, and even that is dicey.

nate b

Im having the same problem with HD content...Ann Arbor Mi, Comcast...


The old netflix viewer never had this problem. It now takes 2 hours to watch a 30 min show.

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