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Comments

BP

In the past two years I've had, in order: Comcast cable (6mb, North Dallas and Chicago), Verizon FiOS (10mb, then 20mb, North Dallas), AT&T DSL in two different cities (both 3mb, Chicago and Dallas) and AT&T U-Verse (12mb, Dallas). I have also frequently - I'm talking 3 weekends a month here - watched streaming content at a friend's apartment in the North Dallas suburbs on 3mb DSL, too.

At no point have I *ever* experienced *any* problems whatsoever - even at peak watching period, during a thunderstorm, at the height of a particularly nasty solar flare - except for when we had Comcast.

I'll leave it to you to interpret that fact.

Roku owner

I am in a rural area and must rely on satellite ISP service.

HULU, FOX etc. all stream very well, but the ROKU box and often even PC based Netflix does not!

tsrblke

I get horrible HULU streaming. Like downright aweful. I have to let it buffer until the buffering is complete, then usually it'll still run out.
Hardly a problem from Netflix though, not since the early Xbox app (but they fixed those problems.)

Elite

I have Comcast and since a couple months ago the quality of Standard Deff. video's are worse than at first. On Ps3 their better looking than Xbox 360 but than vice verse for HD. Both used to be the same, and great so idk what's going on.

S Dot

I have Time Warner 8mb and only experienced a problem for the first time last night (08/27/10).

John

I'm on Comcast 12mb, and at least 90% of the time, Netflix streams in the highest quality available, including HD.

During peak hours, however, the quality will sometimes drop significantly.

Phillip

I have Comcast (can't remember the speed but it really shouldn't matter too much) and I regularly get interruptions for buffering in the middle of shows (Buffy right now) on Netflix. I'm usually thinking it's Comcast's fault though I suppose it could also be Netflix...

polka

Huh. For the past month on Saturday evenings I've been plagued with the constant rebuffering. It's definitely gotten a lot worse lately. I am also a Comcast subscriber, FWIW.

Ultimate Outsider

We have Frontier (formerly Verizon) 15Mbit FIOS and for the past 3 weeks or so I have noticed frequent re-buffering on Saturday and Sunday mornings. We use it to stream kids stuff to the TiVo then. Now, TiVos aren't exactly networking speed demons (their network adapters take a lower processing priority than recording/playback tasks), but before this month I NEVER saw Netflix movies re-buffer, on the TiVo or otherwise.

Blades

Never had problems with my fios or cablevision service.

Brian

Fail: Only an insignificant number of titles satisfy the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Effectively, the service exploits the fact that the law has not caught up to technology, thereby depriving the hearing impaired adequate access to the service.

pdq

I think in two months of watching it *a lot* (in SD), there was only one time that I had a brief problem during playback. However, the interface has become very slow of late, and sometimes results in "Checking Connection". Of course it's difficult to say if the issue's at Netflix or at Comcast.

Link

Most of the time it's medium quality, worse than DVD, but better than VHS. However, on several movies that have very dark scenes, I've experienced severe blocky gray level contours in even background areas. My connection is a quite solid 5 Mbps DSL, and I'm wired directly to my router, no wi-fi involved. I rarely get any buffering halts anymore.

Ed

I've been a Comcast customer for a long time. When I have had devices on wireless or powerline Ethernet, I've experienced a few problems. Since I ran Cat 5e cable to my TiVo and Roku boxes, I have NEVER had an issue and always get maximum quality.

Classaction

Brian:

There's no way for Netflix to satisfy the requirements of the ADA because the ADA flatly does not apply to what Netflix does. This isn't an "exploit" - rather it's by legislative design. The ADA, broad as it is, is primarily designed to regulate discrimination in employment, governmental and quasi-governmental agencies (public entities, telecommunications monopolies) and certain types of public accommodations and commercial facilities.

It is not designed to regulate all commercial or private conduct. Notably, movie theaters were specifically omitted from the list of public accommodations/commercial facilities, even though that's clearly a place where the hearing impaired are often not accommodated.

While I certainly hope that Netflix is able to accommodate all their deaf and hard of hearing customers, as a libertarian, I find the suggestion that they be forced to do so under threat of violence and sanction by the government to be odious.

cj

Comcast 12gb in south florida. No problems

Richard Marsh

Last night my movie stopped a couple of times and eventually downgraded to standard def. First time it's happened though...

Comcast 12Mbit with Xbox.

screwdestiny

On my PC, the quality isn't bad and I don't have hiccups (and this is on budget Comcast 1.5MB, so yeah...). But it's terrible in 1080p on the PS3, so I watch it via Playon there...they transcode the video better.

Jeff F

I must be in the minority (again) because I stream from Comcast to my TiVo, my PS3, my Macbook and now my iPhone and I never have any streaming or buffering problems.

It usually starts playing within 8-10 seconds, displays in HD, and delivers seamlessly.

I truly hate Comcast as a company, but their internet is always fast and reliable for me.

Thomas Carlton

I've found that it depends on how I stream the movie. I've had Comcast at their 8 Mbps service at 3 different residences, and have similar results. PS3/Xbox streaming works well (haven't tried the Wii, but I tend toward HD streams anyway), but PC streaming (on my laptop and on a Mac Mini as media server) is a bit slower. I think honestly it's the reliance on Silverlight for the codec on the PC that has the issue. Hopefully they will soon move to an HTML5 or other solution that works better.

Kenny

I've had both Verizon DSL (3 down) and Verizon Fios (15 down) and have never had any problems streaming Netflix.

BP

@ Brian

Fuck off.

Shawn

I have a steady speed from Comcast(20Mpbs) but my Roku has to buffer almost daily, I'm thinking the problem is the latest firmware from Roku.

I think a good poll would be:
What streaming device gives you the most problems?
(eg. Roku, Laptop/PC, etc)

Steven Hoober

Just been thinking of this since I switched a week ago from Time Warner to Clear. Oh, this is mostly on an Insignia DVD player with wireline ethernet.

Got plenty of looooong buffering and download times, and weeks where all video was horrible quality. So far Clear has been stellar. Not just buffering faster, but the speed detect quality thing gives MUCH better PQ than before. Mostly as good as SD-DVD.

So... your ISP and network config matters. A lot.

Tomguy

I have Cox up to 15 Mbps and have only had one title that glitched -- and that was due to the cable problems, not Netflix. I had to have to Cable company come out and check the line. They had to reset the feed strengths.

Before that, HD would sometimes have to rebuffer. Since their readjustment, the streams have been excellent.

Andrew

I've had streaming problems quite often. I live in Orange, CA and have AT&T DSL with more than enough bandwidth.

I'm using the Wii. Often I can't even view the cover pictures when browsing for a movie....however I can switch to the Wii Internet Browser and watch youtube videos.

I'm pretty sure it is a problem with Netflix or Netflix for Wii.

Friday

Happened to me tonight. Lots of stuttering and audio issues with NF streaming.

James B

I've used the Roku and my Samsung Blu-Ra player to watch Netflix online. We used to have time warner (10-12 Mb) and now have FIOS (15 Mb). Time warner was sketchy sometimes and had some frequent rebuffering. In fact, while on time warner I had to use a different DNS server to get netflix streaming at all. The Time warner DNS tried to route me across the country twice before getting me to the cdn.netflix site (where the content is). With FIOS, I've only ever had rebuffering once or twice, and it was likely due to my oddball network setup. I hate that samsung charges extra for their proprietary wifi stick, so I hooked to a WDS with some existing wireless equipment I had which lets the player connect via ethernet, but it's really wifi.

To try and stay on topic, I would say that the quality is pretty good. Here's how I would categorize it:
1) Blu-Ray
2) HD TV (FIOS)
3) DVD (upconverted)
4) HD Netflix
5) HD TV (Time Warner)
6) SD TV (FIOS)
7) SD Netflix
8) SD TV (Time warner)

Drjekyll

I have Time Warner here in NC, and most of the time the streaming quality is excellent.

Jeremy

Comcast 12Mbps on Xbox = inconsistent streaming quality. Sometimes it's flawless, sometimes I'll be lucky to get 2 bars on a low-res television show, peak or non-peak.

Ned

I live in Atlanta and have Comcast 12-15MB
connection. I've had Roku for two years and
worked flawlessly until about the spring of
2010 and then started having buffering problems
and became difficult to watch Netflix
instant streaming. Last week my beloved Roku
box bit the dust (RIP). Instead of getting
another box for $99, I decided to buy an Internet connectable Blu Ray player and got one from Best Buy for $99 ( NS-BRDVD4 ).
Hooked it up in minutes, turned it on and it
automatically performed a software/firmware
upgrade. Connected it to Netflix and tested
both SD and HD rated movies for several hours. Worked very well without any hitch.
I also ran the DNSbench program to optimize
my DNS connections. Thought I share this with you.

Annie

I have Cox in Arizona, and after having talked to Netflix (who told me my bps) & Cox there are places in AZ that have really inconsistent bandwidth. According to Netflix they need a consistent bandwidth rate or they will drop down to the next level. Basically every evening the bandwidth becomes really inconsistent and drops dramatically. The best we can normally do is SD even though our service is rated to 20Mbps. A lot of the problems may be due to balancing with ISPs nodes. I was told by our Cox tech that he would put in the request, but he couldn't guarantee anything.

dan bradley

netflix sucks bad. i have gold card xbox free movies ha ha ha .

scJohn

Small cable/ISP with 7mbps service. I have only started using IW since they started streaming HD to PCs. The few titles that I have watched (under 10) I have had no buffering problems. Encode problems are something else. Mostly jerks on pans.

My suggestion to people with problems is to first change the DNS addresses that you use and see if that helps. IF you have "turbo boost", see if you can turn it off. One of the better speed tests is the one VUDU provides. They simulate a streaming movie with their speed test.

Keith

I use Charter 8 Mbps service with no problems and I've been streaming since the very beginning. I can count on one hand the number of rebuffer instances that I have had in that length of time.

BP

@ scJohn

If it is a frequent occurrence, Jerking/tearing on rapid camera movements or pans is a problem on YOUR end, not Netflix's. Either your CPU or your video card is at fault.

As far as everyone talking about DNS... you do realize that your PC will cache any/all DNS lookups you've done for 24 hours or more. All operating systems do this unless you've turned it off. You also realize that DNS lookup only applies to (1) the first time you need to translate the hostname to IP, and (2) has absolutely NOTHING to do with streaming quality or streaming issues past maybe (though probably not) initial quality check ON THE FIRST VIDEO YOU WATCH OF THE DAY/CYCLE.

You guys really don't know anything about networking, do you?

PatB

I used to be the CTO for a company that delivered its services via the Internet. Web speed is a frustration now as it was then. The high speed lines then just weren't high speed enough and didn't reach far enough. Today expectations are greater than ever and now the roll-out of fiber has been delayed.

Everybody was happy when DVDs were introduced because they had about twice the video quality of the preceding VHS technology. But nowadays everyone senses that faster Internet connections are coming and they want that speed now. Things are better objectively but expectations have moved so fast that many are for the first time unhappy with their home video.

There is a mood of entitlement which you can get a taste of from the comments posted on this blog. Probably the worst example of this is this Brian person who wants to destroy the video service of everyone else if he isn't accommodated as he believes is his right.

NetFlix streaming is a miracle of entertainment technology that could hardly have been imagined when I was younger. Yet any fault or limitation in its delivery seems to breed bitterness and resentment.

I want NetFlix streaming to have more High Definition, I want it to have 5.1 sound, and I would like it to have subtitles and alternate languages. I'm sure NetFlix is working all all those features and other yet. I'd like 3D too.

Right now streaming presents a near DVD image for all of it's titles and a better than DVD image for the HD streams. Two years ago they didn't have HD and only had about a thousand titles most of which seemed to be old Gene Autry movies. I'm completely satisfied with NetFlix's rate of progress.

Therobspecial

I have Verizon Fios 25/25 and I've never had Netflix degrade my quality. I stream only to my PS3. However, I used to have Comcast's 20/5 plan and I would be bumped down to SD at least 4 times during a 90 minute feature.

I believe it comes down to signal consistency, not an issue with the Netflix servers. If you have a cable connection and are trying to stream during peak hours, chances are you're going to see a degradation. If you have a dedicated or fiber line, you're probably going to see more consistency.

Seth

When streaming on my PS3 it seems that some movies will improve in quality as they play. Like Dexter season one the episodes start out looking kind of hazy but improve 5 to 10 min in. Maybe I have settings wrong or something.

FearNo1

I have 8mb cable connex. No problems streaming video video from netflix using my XB360. I notice that there is some stuttering when the camera pans. I wish netflix would get more HD content since that makes a huge difference.

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