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Print 39 comment(s) - last by Tacoloft.. on Dec 9 at 5:02 PM

Netflix and Roku have not yet found the source of the streaming issues

Xbox 360 owners who were Xbox Live Gold members and had a Netflix membership were giddy when Microsoft and Netflix announced that streaming movies from Netflix would be available via the Xbox 360 with the new Xbox Experience update.

In the beginning, Xbox owners were able to stream films from Netflix just as promised, but according to CNET News, the last few weeks Xbox owners have been complaining that the streams have dropped in quality significantly.

Exactly what is causing the glitch with the streams is unknown. The Xbox isn't the only streaming Netflix device that is seeing problems with slow and unwatchable streams; the Roku Netflix box is having the same issues.

Netfilx reports that it has not yet figured out where the issue is stemming from. CNET News reports that the issue has stumped engineers from Netflix and Roku for weeks. What is known is that the problem with streams began at the same time Netflix made changes to its content distribution network.

Roku is asking users having the issue to post information about their ISP, connection speed and the part of the country they live in. Roku has gone so far as to look for a user in the San Francisco Bay Area having the issue that is willing to let engineers poke around their system.

Netflix spokesman Steve Swasey said, "We can't stress highly enough that we want everyone's experience to be the best it can be. We've seen the (complaints on the message boards). It's a small number of people involved but we don't want to diminish the fact that's it important."

Swasey continued, "We're doing all of the analysis we can. We're looking at region, at carriers...we're working diligently to identify the problem. Until we have, we certainly don't want to speculate at all. Look, there's no manual to take off the shelf here. Netflix has created something new here."



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It's not just the Xbox and Roku devices....
By mikecel79 on 12/5/2008 11:08:00 AM , Rating: 5
This past week I have been having issues using my Media Center plugins and Netflix's own browser based program. The quality on all of them has dropped significantly. At first I thought my ISP was having a bandwidth issue but download and speed tests come back well within normal. Hopefully they get it worked out quickly because the streaming service is great!




RE: It's not just the Xbox and Roku devices....
By anotherdude on 12/5/2008 11:17:09 AM , Rating: 3
I JUST enabled Netflix streaming yesterday - tried both on PC and on my 360 - quality was WELL below DVD - looked like a primitive Divx rip circa 1999. Disappointing, I will not be turning my trial Netflix account into a pay account unless this gets better..


RE: It's not just the Xbox and Roku devices....
By anotherdude on 12/5/2008 11:18:26 AM , Rating: 2
BTW The above is on a FiOS connection of 15 mbit.


RE: It's not just the Xbox and Roku devices....
By FITCamaro on 12/5/2008 1:26:52 PM , Rating: 1
I hate you.


By amanojaku on 12/5/2008 2:26:14 PM , Rating: 5
I love him, and I want him to marry me and share his FiOS. At least until Verizon offers it it in my neighborhood. Then I'll divorce him and take half his bandwidth.


RE: It's not just the Xbox and Roku devices....
By PitViper007 on 12/5/2008 4:17:31 PM , Rating: 2
Don't hate, FIT... That's what wire cutters are for.


RE: It's not just the Xbox and Roku devices....
By Alexvrb on 12/5/2008 6:08:58 PM , Rating: 2
Wait does fiber count as wires?

Also, the FIOS routers default to "steal my internet, please" mode. Unfortunetely if its the first gen Actiontec (and maybe second gen, I haven't tested the dual-core Actiontec yet) the effective wireless range is crap and you won't be able to steal it unless you live within 20 feet. Yeah, you can pick up the signal from much further, but don't expect a reliable connection. A lot of people use a second router or other solutions to extend the range.

I also have a 20/5 FIOS connection. Even their 20/20 plan is pretty cheap but I don't need that kind of upstream bandwidth. If you've got the cash, their their 50/20 plan is not bad at all (still out of my budget).


By BladeVenom on 12/6/2008 5:18:45 PM , Rating: 2
Would you prefer to call them tubes? ;)


RE: It's not just the Xbox and Roku devices....
By Penti on 12/6/2008 12:39:24 PM , Rating: 2
Why? Sound slow for FiOS / FTTX, It's normally 100/10 here, but there is some Gigabit available.

15 Mbit is DSL speeds. Cable is around there to, slightly higher. They're rolling out 50/10 Mbit cable now.

There's no real streaming services available here though, iTunes Video Store aren't available, nothing like netflix exists because nobody has the rights to stream the major companies films here.


RE: It's not just the Xbox and Roku devices....
By gumbi18 on 12/7/2008 6:15:34 PM , Rating: 2
I take it you're in a scandinavian country? Here is Oz we can only dream of those speeds the max avaiable to consumers is ADSL2+ at 24/1. There have been plans to roll out Fibre to node but at only 15mbit's which is just absurd. Most people who have broadband will have between 256k to 8mbit.


By Neutrion on 12/8/2008 5:09:21 AM , Rating: 2
I am from Oregon but studying abroad in Denmark as we speak so maybe I have some insight to this one. While I can buy 20 Mbit access for dirt cheap compared to the waste of existence that Comcast is, internationally my speeds are quite limited. Something in the 2Mbit range, which is worse than Comcast. A ton of things are hosted from the US still, which I'm fine with, but there is no way I can reach 20 Mb/s unless it is within town here.


By Penti on 12/8/2008 7:35:48 AM , Rating: 2
Sweden.

Though ADSL2+ at 24/1 is the norm here, or well ADSL2+ with Annex M at 23/2.5 or 20/3 Mbit. Of course nobody has perfect lines so speeds might be within the 10-18Mbit range for most people. Most fiber here are FTTB in multi-family homes or apartment buildings. There are some FTTH though. There are some IP-TV and movierenting services via those here but there is nothing like netflix, the major film/biography-company tries though, but it's a pos WMP/IE Windows only solution and they don't got the rights any films hardly. So most use there lines for warez even though IP-TV is available through DSL (uses up to 5 Mbit/s). We can stream shows from the public service broadcaster though, so video streaming is widely used. I.e. people are used to having 10Mbit+ and could hardly suffice with lower. It's pretty crazy that there is gigabit around in a few cities that normal people can afford though, it works great too apparently. 15/15 aren't too bad (better then I got of course), but people here would simply demand more so there's like 30/30 available in citynets (ran by the municipalities) even in pretty small cities the faster services tend to don't use the citynet.


By StevoLincolnite on 12/8/2008 8:33:42 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Here is Oz we can only dream of those speeds the max avaiable to consumers is ADSL2+ at 24/1.


That's not entirely accurate, Internode with Annex M allows for 24/2.5mb speeds.

However ADSL 2+ is highly Distance dependent, the average person using ADSL 2+ gets about 10 to 16mb speeds. (According to the average person connection to an iiNet DSLAM anyway).

If Telstra manages to build the National Broadband Network, they have stated they will have plans that start at: 1mb speeds, with 200mb of downloads for $30-$40 a month.

If Terria/Optus manages to build the National Broadband Network you can expect Telstra to launch VDSL connections which can go "Up to" 50mb speeds in order to compete with the Terria Consortium and friends.


RE: It's not just the Xbox and Roku devices....
By Tacoloft on 12/6/2008 2:39:47 AM , Rating: 1
I think I have found the secret recipe to this- at least the following worked for me: I too was giddy and signed up to watch on my 360. The quality sucked at first and I cancelled within my 14 day trial. I have Comcast cable connection linked to a D-Link DIR-655 Gigabit router and was perplexed why it was sucky. Not to be outdone I knew that my hardwiring was not CAT6. I purchased new CAT6 cabling for all of my connections from the modem to all of my devices and tried Netflix streaming again. And nor it is working flawlessly- like a charm. All I did was upgrade my wiring.
SO I am thinking the secret sauce to enjoy the service on the 360 is the following: Hardwired, CAT6 network cabling, and a Gigabit router. HD streaming comes up in a flash, and the other titles are just like DVD. This worked for me. Hope it helps others.


RE: It's not just the Xbox and Roku devices....
By Moishe on 12/9/2008 3:45:41 PM , Rating: 2
No offense... but this is absurd.
Normal home networking is 100mbit on Cat5, which is easily more than your average home user's internet connection (5-10mbit).

You can download a variety of programs to tell you what kind of bandwidth you're using and find out for yourself what levels you are hitting. I suggest you do that (try NetStat Live - AnalogX) and do comparisons between your old wire and new wire. Transfer some files around, run Netflix, do some online gaming, etc.

Also, tell us what your internet connection speed is.


By Tacoloft on 12/9/2008 5:02:44 PM , Rating: 2
I understand the math- I am just relating what I did to make it work for me. It could very well have been the "fix" or something else that needed tweaking but honestly I have had flawless connection now that I changed all to CAT6. My connection speed is 5mbps.


By Tacoloft on 12/6/2008 2:41:05 AM , Rating: 1
I think I have found the secret recipe to this- at least the following worked for me: I too was giddy and signed up to watch on my 360. The quality sucked at first and I cancelled within my 14 day trial. I have Comcast cable connection linked to a D-Link DIR-655 Gigabit router and was perplexed why it was sucky. Not to be outdone I knew that my hardwiring was not CAT6. I purchased new CAT6 cabling for all of my connections from the modem to all of my devices and tried Netflix streaming again. And now it is working flawlessly- like a charm. All I did was upgrade my wiring.
SO I am thinking the secret sauce to enjoy the service on the 360 is the following: Hardwired, CAT6 network cabling, and a Gigabit router. HD streaming comes up in a flash, and the other titles are just like DVD. This worked for me. Hope it helps others.


RE: It's not just the Xbox and Roku devices....
By mikecel79 on 12/5/2008 11:27:10 AM , Rating: 3
I have been using their streaming service since it came out and up until recently the quality was always very good. Hopefully it gets worked out soon.


RE: It's not just the Xbox and Roku devices....
By TO on 12/5/2008 3:41:45 PM , Rating: 2
hmmm optimum online provides me with 30mb down and 15 up for 49.99 a month...


By H8ff0000 on 12/5/2008 6:58:45 PM , Rating: 2
I think you mean 30 down / 5 up (if you have Boost that is). I switched to FiOS 20 / 20 for the extra up.


By Moishe on 12/9/2008 3:31:49 PM , Rating: 2
Trust me when i say that this is NOT normal.


By therealnickdanger on 12/5/2008 11:30:08 AM , Rating: 2
Hmm, I've noticed some serious macroblocking on older SD content and it comes on very suddenly, but then disappears just as fast, but I've had no trouble streaming HD content... it's been very good! Not sure what's going on?


RE: It's not just the Xbox and Roku devices....
By bdewong on 12/5/2008 2:56:22 PM , Rating: 2
I just signed up for the Netflix service and found it alright. While someone was using the connection, the stream automatically downgraded itself twice, but while no one was using it, it seemed to work pretty decently. Maybe not at DVD quality but nice enought.

There was the downside of it taking about 3-5 minutes to load initially.


RE: It's not just the Xbox and Roku devices....
By bdewong on 12/5/2008 5:37:13 PM , Rating: 2
By therealnickdanger on 12/5/2008 7:38:50 PM , Rating: 2
+1


By MatthiasF on 12/6/2008 4:58:44 AM , Rating: 2
Should be mentioned that Netflix's CDN is Limelight.


The real issue
By barrychuck on 12/5/2008 3:47:06 PM , Rating: 2
Did anyone ever think that the ISP's could be restricting bandwidth much like the restrictions for bit torrents? I wouldn't be surprised if the ISP's involved don't want to admit they are blocking or restricting the torrents.




RE: The real issue
By barrychuck on 12/5/2008 3:56:13 PM , Rating: 2
And it's just a coincidence that bit torrent traffic and streamming media would look similiar to a router. Lots and lots of UDP traffic. Then suddenly the connection is throttled and the viewer app then changes to a low bandwith rate.


RE: The real issue
By jimbojimbo on 12/5/2008 5:25:37 PM , Rating: 3
Their next ads will be "Netflix streaming letting you down? Then why not take up on our Pay-per-view!"

It's all about the money and blocking competition.


RE: The real issue
By FITCamaro on 12/7/2008 6:51:14 PM , Rating: 2
I was thinking this too actually.


My experience
By FITCamaro on 12/5/2008 1:26:20 PM , Rating: 2
I've streamed a few things lately through my 360 and here's what I say. Typically quality starts out fantastic (for streamed video). After a few minutes it stops and says my connection speed has dropped and they're adjusting playback to compensate. It starts again about 10 seconds later at reduced quality but its still not bad. Then a few minutes later, it does the same thing again and quality drops even more to where its pretty poor.

The first week it was out and I streamed Wild Hogs, that played all the way through at near DVD quality without issue. I'm on a Time Warner connection at 7Mbps down.




RE: My experience
By TheDoc9 on 12/5/2008 3:16:15 PM , Rating: 2
I'm on time warner also and have had similar issues with browser playback on the pc. I think it's hit and miss with netflix streaming. This is speculation but they've rolled out the service to so many devices it's probably severely taxing their system. It wouldn't exactly be something they could tell everyone, they might be covering themselves by saying they don't know what's going on and pledging to find an answer.

Btw netflix, where's PS3 playback promised early this year?


RE: My experience
By Tacoloft on 12/6/2008 2:47:47 AM , Rating: 2
I had the same issues until I upgraded my wiring for my gigabit router. Not saying it will work for you but it sure did for me. May want to give it a shot. Read my other post in this talkback.


RE: My experience
By FITCamaro on 12/7/2008 6:57:17 PM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately where I live now I have to use wireless.


Small number of people my ass
By Netscorer on 12/5/2008 1:56:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's a small number of people involved but we don't want to diminish the fact that's it important.


I and my friends with Xbox 360 had exactly the same experience. It started out well but recently all we get is a 1-bar connection at best and the video is unwatchable. Many times I get kicked out from video with a message that connection was not able to be established or some BS. We are all sitting on cable Internet connection and the provider (Comcast for me) is not a fault as everything else I stream with them (YouTube, etc) is very fast and responsive.
Basically, Netflix f...ed up BIG TIME as this horrible experience is gonna leave a big black mark on their reputation.




RE: Small number of people my ass
By tential on 12/8/2008 12:38:57 AM , Rating: 2
The streaming content was released to tons of xbox users and as with a launch of anything on such a massive scale that hasn't been done before there will be glitches and hickups. In my own opinion, as long as they are working hard to fix the problem, the are just bringing you another device to stream stuff to they didn't HAVE to do and now they are working to fix it. To me that doesn't blemish their reputation at all. It only will if it takes them over a month or two to fix or if they never do.


RE: Small number of people my ass
By Neutrion on 12/8/2008 5:13:23 AM , Rating: 2
I like that they care. Sure it's a small number of users or whatever, but how many companies treat "small numbers" in such a way? Too few anymore....


Son of a...
By IcePickFreak on 12/5/08, Rating: -1
RE: Son of a...
By walk2k on 12/8/2008 1:54:05 PM , Rating: 2
You're joking but honestly if you have a PS3 or other BD player and a Netflix sub I don't see why you'd waste your time with streaming. Order the Blu-ray, yeah you have to wait 1-2 days but once the disc arrives it's full quality and works with no issues all the way thru (well, barring scratches) and you can watch it as many times as you like for as long as you want, none of these silly 24-hr restrictions.

Streaming might be the "future" but we're not living in the future, yet.


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