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My experience has been very similar the past few weeks. I start a movie and it will play a few seconds and start buffering or it will tell me it can't connect to the server. If I close the browser and start over it will connect but at low quality.

The problem seemed to start with the upgrade to SilverLight a couple of weeks ago & I thought the player was the problem. I get a constant 5.6 Mbps up, which I've been checking a number of times a day trying to figure out what the problem is.

Prior to this I was pretty impressed with the quality of the streaming but lately a number of things have been completely un-watchable.


"Your connection is not fast enough to start playback immediately..."

Where I had zero problems with the old Netflix system, I have had intermittent problems since Netflix went to Silverlight. There are often times I am told my connection is "not fast enough."

Netflix's phone support has clearly either been given no assistance on how to resolve this OR they have been told to stonewall.

I received the incredibly unhelpful suggestion to "upgrade my internet speed" from two different reps. When I said my internet speed was sufficient before and I have no problems with services like Hulu, they robotically repeated the same answer: "I suggest you upgrade your internet connection."

I should have asked them "to what speed" since I think it's pretty clear they don't actually know or they are not being entirely truthful as to what the problem is.

I don't think Silverlight is working quite as well as Netflix had hoped...


I don't stream. I use the vmcNetflix plugin for VMC and download the shows I watch ahead of time.


I noticed last night as I was watching a few episodes of TV on the Xbox 360, with each episode, the quality dropped. I shut down the Xbox and restarted it and suddenly I was getting the highest quality again. This seemed unusual, and I do hope it's not something common.


I was having some issues like this, but I don't think it is Netflix. In my case I think it is my ISP.


I've been having the same problem watching on my Xbox 360. I got my Xbox at Christmas and in the first month and a half I had it, I had no issues whatsoever in watching instant watch movies and TV shows. In the past 3 or so weeks, however, I've been getting either a 1 bar detection, or a high detection and then an immediate re-buffer because "my connection has slowed."

This happens regardless of the time of day, or day of the week. I believe strongly, based on others' reports online that this is Comcast and their "traffic shaping" finally rearing its ugly head.

It's gotten to the point now that I can't even use my instant watch because the quality is so bad and it takes so long to buffer.


any chance it could be that NF is experiencing growing pains and their servers are overtaxed trying to keep up?


i think xbox handles the buffering horribly...Auto drops to a piss poor quality if you cant handle the speed...

But in general, i see the usual 5-10pm traffic on the internet... But early in the AMs i get a perfect stream... So it could be the traffic is hogged up...

Jason The Saj


Probably provider related. Comcast users almost always get a re-buffer about 2 minutes into a video because of the boost policy. Comcast gives higher bandwidth the first few seconds of a download and throttles down.

Best thing you can do is start a video playing. Pause it, get a coffee, beer, or make yourself an ice cream sundae. Come back, and press play.

Quality is usually good on my Xbox 360.


There are also NUMEROUS reports/blogs out there of Service providers throttling accounts. Seems like that would would more likely be a reason. Can't see why Netflix would throttle Instant Watch. Doesn't make sense.


I've had the opposite problem. Performance on the Xbox stinks but performance on my laptop is great...


I was having a problem and turned out it as my connection. Got my connection patched up and things are great.


No problems here, only is time when I'm watching downstairs on the 360 and my brother or some other family member is either downloading music or streaming some video content online themselves. That is the only time it slows down, I don't have a fast dsl connection so when it's just the 360 on, it's high quality with every show/movie I watch.


I get the same thing with watching thru my 360: thirty seconds of great quality, a re-buffer, and then still watch-able quality. Interestingly though, I do have Comcast and I'm sure they're throttling, though I didn't know the info Jason The Saj supplied. Why allow the bandwidth and then scale back?


Why allow the bandwidth and then scale back?

Because it helps a lot of typical web pages load extra quickly. Most web pages just need a quick burst to paint up all the information on a page. But when streaming a movie, it confuses the download speed and quality into thinking you have a faster connection than you really do.

Mike C.

Shitty speeds and streaming with Xbox 360?

After 5 hours of research I have figured out a way around the issues.

Go to https://www.opendns.com/start/

Follow the instructions. I went from 1 bar - barely playing to a full 4 bars - crystal clear. I leapt out of my chair, screamed "Ho;y S**T, I F**king Did IT!"

This works like butter on warm toast.

Rock on streaming netflixers.



I happened to just experience this yesterday... twice in the same movie, making the last part of the movie quite poor. I never experienced this pre-silverlight, but maybe that's a coincidence. I can't imagine it's throttling, though. Although I watched 6 movies yesterday, it only happened on the second... and yesterday was the first day I'd watched anything in almost two months.

But what really bugged me was not being given a choice of what to do! Instead of scaling down the quality, I would have preferred being given the option to let it "sit" for a few minutes, fill up the buffer with more good quality content, and then continue playing the movie. I'd rather have taken a break and come back and watcehd the movie in high quality, instead of being forced to watch it at such bad quality.

Dusty T

Same issues here. I was using my xbox assumed it was just the xbox being dumb....but then my PC started doing it as well. Hopefully, it will be fixed soon.


Mike C. is right... opendns.org
We knew the answer and couldn't say...
old Nf employee


This introduction of Silverlight player is like a "memo" to us who's using an older system (1+/- Gig Processor, 512+/- ram which was good enough to play the old netflix media player) to spend $500 and up to buy a new system so we can suffice the minimal requirement to play "the new silverlight player". With whats going on in our economy right now, spending more is not a real option for us poor people.


I am having the same issue with Xbox 360. I have a decent connection with comcast, so says the speed test over at speedtest.net. But when I try to play a movie on my 360 it says that my connection is too slow and asks if I want to continue watching the movie. This just started tonight with me.

I wish that microsoft or netflix would offer a bandwith monitoring tool within the xbox system. This way people could know how much bandwidth is being used. Better yet Comcast should get off their lazy asses and finally offer their monitoring tool for their customers.


I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



Steve E

It has been some time since I viewed on-demand. I have a older laptop that I use becuase I do not want to haul the tower next to the TV. I see that it needed a upgrade and found out that it was installing SilverLight. Didn't want to be I did. The video was unbearable and shut the laptop down and said "Forget it". Quality was ok before SilverLight, now not worth the time of day. NetFlix, go back to what was working and stop going to bed with Microsoft.


Here is what I noticed and wonder if it is just me or if perhaps all of us are experiencing the same. With the old player the content was buffered as fast as your connection allowed this meant that the content was buffered faster than the highest quality playback. In my case I have a 5mbit connection that typically is at a sustained rate of 2.5 to 3mbits. So with the old player even at the titles with 2.2mbit playback I still was buffering faster than playback so there were absolutely never any interruptions in playback.

Using the tools available with the silverlight player it is obvious this is not happening, the buffer is being capped at the highest playback rate (1.5mbit) so if something causes a slowdown like data corruption so that a piece has to be resent or a hickup between you and the netflix server to cause a very short (say 15 to 30 second) slow down you will see many interruptions because the player is not retaining a large enough buffer. The buffer used to be at least 10 minutes ahead of the playback. Now it doesn't even go beyond 1 or 2 minute even if you pause the title to let it buffer.

This right here is likely the major cause of all of the red screens with progress bars that come up during playback. I have contacted netflix support on this issue several times and each time I get silence on the other end when I bring up this buffer and playback issue I describe here or passing the buck and blaming the ISP saying it's faulty despite other high quality and BW required streaming being of no issue. It seems to me like they are trying to cover up some sort of major design problem in the new player that perhaps was not supposed to be done this way and need to buy time for programmers to come in and overhaul the player and do it right.

Tammy Kane

I have a LG BD 370 Blueray player. Spent 400 bucks on this so I can stream netflix. Laptop did it fine but I hated sitting it on a stool and connecting to the tv each time. I have a wired connection to the player and they checked my tranfer speed ( the first answer you get is that it is too slow) it was more than fast enough. So I went and bought a linksys wireless N router to upgrade and boost it even more. Funny I can get on to youtube, download updates off the wored internet server but IF I ever get into netflix, I get maybe as far as the movies in my instant watch or even get a movie 99 percent loaded and then it will stop in the same place and say that I have no connection to the server. It seems that it must be working to get that far and then it kicks us off. Maybe netflix needs to update THEIR router system. Seems like we nees to start a class action suit against them for advertising this service and having us all spend hundreds of dollars and not be able to access it. Trouble is I just got the update for cinema now and PAID for my account there. I activated my account successfully through the machine (So I know I had some connection) and now I can't get to any of the movies from the machine. I couldn't get on with either router and have called Netflix and LG customer service that both send you back and forth to the other ( pass the buck) It shows on my device that I have a working connection with static IP to the internet. so what is the DEAL??


Switching to OpenDNS does make a HUGE difference in the performance we are seeing on our 360/Netflix stream. Prior to this we were using our ISP's DNS servers. I hard coded the OpenDNS numbers into my 360 using the MANUAL option in the 360 Network settings for DNS. Our router also has the same numbers now.

Those who are longing for bandwidth monitoring capability, I highly recommend the Linksys-Cisco WRT54GL router and Tomato Firmware.



With this Linux based router and the installed third part firmware, you have FULL bandwidth monitoring features with graphs, logs, statistics etc. Plus a ton of other features you never find in off the shelf consumer routers, including the stock 54G.


I think this is all up to the cable and phone companies so you can upgrade to use their Video on Demand Services. It's all crap

Caleb H.

wow, didn't even have to make xbox a static ip, just adding OpenDNS on the router caused me to go from 1+2 bars to 4 solid all the time. Thanks guys! :)


Guys, i am relatively new to all these streaming stuff.."What OpenDNS exactly does? I wnet to that website but all i could see was like yearly plans..Is OpenDNS a ISP?


I have an Xbox 360 (speciafically for netflix instant) - I've had no problems for the past few months with instant streams with netflix. Absolutely perfect in fact, I was amazed that I could get a better picture with it than cable or dish (actually cancelled my dish).

But this week my "connection" has had issues like those stated above. High quality to begin, after a minute it will lower the quality and is slowly taking longer to buffer. BUT I do NOT have comcast. My wired connection isn't throttled, it has been tested as very high and constant. This has to be a netflix problem, not our providers.

Another thing, sometimes it will say the quality is a full four bars but actually transmit a semi-pixelated image while other times it will say a mere one bar but be a perfect HD image now ??? Ahh... it was good while it lasted. I have no use for their dvds and blurays - so i may be canelling them as well.

Tom Cluster

Got a new Sony Blu-Ray player with U-Verse Max connection (12 meg). Stops at beginning of movie a couple of times, then proceeds without a problem, but about halfway through the movie everything becomes jerky as if Netflix is dropping a lot of the digital frames. Haven't contacted anyone. Netflix Instant Viewing is new to me, up to now I've only used DVDs through the mail.


Two years after that post and I'm running into this problem. I don't think Netflix can handle the increased demand for streaming services.


Not only does Netflix throttle streaming, to wit I just became a target in the past week. There is a magic number that Netflix uses and the punishes your account. Last Friday, I came into a situation, it was explained to me by a customer service supervisor, if you complain about delays in shipping and receiving more that 26 times, YOUR ACCOUNT WILL BE PLACED ON HOLD FOR A PERIOD OF 1-2 WEEKS! This means no streaming what-so-ever(not throttling) and no dvds. To put a cherry upon this sundae, YOU WILL NOT BE COMPENSATED FOR THE HOLD ON YOUR ACCOUNT! You will be paying for a service which is not provided. Are we living in a Democracy? We need to unite and appose this tyranny!

Fuck Mike

Fuck you Mike you spammer

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