AfterDawn: Tech news

Netflix visibly blames ISPs for streaming issues

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 04 Jun 2014 8:54 User comments (9)

Netflix visibly blames ISPs for streaming issues If you run into trouble with Netflix streaming in the United States, Netflix will now let you know exactly who is to blame: your provider!
An image tweeted by Yuri Victor of Vox Media shows how Netflix identified Verizon's network as the problem when it had to adjust video settings for smoother playback. A similar message is reportedly shown when AT&T subscribers run into streaming problems with Netflix.

"The Verizon network is crowded right now," the message informs the likely-irritated viewer.

Netflix wants to be clear with its assertion that Internet Service Providers are the ones responsible for providing adequate bandwidth so that paying subscribers can use services like theirs.

It is currently fighting against proposals that would allow ISPs to offer faster lanes to services like Netflix for a fee, and has already had to agree to pay ISPs to ensure that subscribers have the best experience possible.

Netflix had visibly suffered on Comcast's network recently, and recovered almost immediately after agreeing to pay the service provider. This was highlighted brilliantly by comedian John Oliver in an epic viral rant aimed at the FCC and cable companies in the United States over the weekend.


Sources and Recommended Reading:
Netflix is making sure customers know whom to blame for slow, grainy video: qz.com
Pic Source: twitter.com/yurivictor

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9 user comments

16.6.2014 8:23

These communication companies are getting way to greedy and are providing a poor service for the money we pay, as is also true with their TV services too.

26.6.2014 13:19

We have Cox Cable and have never had any problems. We use Netflix several times a week, several hours at a time. However, we do use more than the basic internet but not the fastest advertised.

36.6.2014 21:07

It might be the "super HD" crap that Netflix is pushing down the pipe too, at least after the video has started to stream. I have only a 10Mbps connection (around 12Mbps peak occasionally) through CenturyLink and if I try to have more than one device stream Netflix it chokes out the connection so the others can't have the same picture quality or a connection altogether. The regular HD 1080 stream only used 3Mbps and the Super HD version uses over double that (around 7Mbps), which clogs up the connection for me. They don't have an option in the settings to restrict it to regular HD either so I'm stuck with it the way it is. I'm paying for 4 screens at time and can't use it effectively without it buffering or downgrading the picture quality to 380 SD or something just as bad. Chatted with Netflix and they can't (or won't) do anything about it apparently. I guess they want to use this to push the ISP's to improve the connections. DSL can only get around 10 or 12Mbps on one wire pair. They won't sell me a bonded 25Mbps line without subscribing to their PrismTV service (Uverse clone). I guess I will have to switch to Brighthouse since they can give me a 30Mbps line for around the same money per month. Downside is I have to switch over to a gmail account for my personal email since I will lose the one I'm using now through the ISP. Netflix needs to give its users the ability to restrict the stream quality down to regular HD.

46.6.2014 22:13

It's not due to UHD, they were doing this before Netflix even posted 4K movies and they only have House of Cards and 4 or 5 half hour Earth movies.

I have a 4K UHD TV and I have Netflix so I've watched the little content they have in 4K and did it with crappy Century Link 12 Mbps service. I actually had more problems with Comcast and Netflix in Fort Myers when I was done there in April and before Netflix ever posted 4K movies.

56.6.2014 22:50

Thanks Mr. Movies but there is a difference in UHD and the SuperHD that Netflix is streaming. They stream both but the UHD is only sent when Netflix can tel that you are using 4K equipment. The SuperHD is like a "fake" UHD that can be seen on regular 1080 equipment but it uses more bandwidth. I confirmed this in the traffic monitor section of my RT-N66U router during a stream. This didn't happen until Netflix announced that they were starting to stream SuperHD. I didn't really pay all that close of attention to it so I didn't make the connection until I hit the select button on the PS3 controller during a stream. That toggles on and off the stats of the current video including what resolution is playing.

The main problem with the SuperHD is that I have no control to turn it off or on. Yes it works great when using it on one device and I can kinda see a few differences in picture quality but when you have more than one device trying to stream on the same line it bottlenecks real quick. In my house we have a PS4, Roku, a few iPod touches and one iPhone, desktops and laptops, a Wii, PS3 and a Panasonic BD player. All of which can play Netflix. The last three in the list are on one TV in the living room. So if I decide to watch something in the living room and my son wants to watch something on his PS4 then we have a problem with buffering or it scaling down the video. Then you get into the problem of if my wife happens to be working from home and trying to VPN into work at the same time and/ or if my daughter is trying to use the Roku. If it was on regular HD then each device would only use around 3Mpbs, which is good enough not to hog up the bandwidth on the line. SuperHD is too much for the line we have here when there is more than one device using the internet. My son claims that he had lag issues too when other people are using Netflix and he is playing BF4. He says it's fine when he is the only one using. I just want to be able to cap the stream quality on a global scale for my account. You can kinda do that but it's either Auto, SD, or HD (which includes regular/Super and if you equipment is capable, 4K)

67.6.2014 6:20

There is NO SuperHD that Netflix is streaming if you are talking 8K service. They just started adding UHD so there is no need to even concern yourself with the streaming requirements of 8K service. And again even 4K really didn't enter in to this when it started, it was 1080i/p service that caused this alarm.

77.6.2014 21:40

This is the confusing part. You say SuperHD is a higher level of resolution than UHD but per some articles that I have read about the Netflix rollout, the SuperHD is better than regular HD but worse than UHD/ 4K. The only way I know that the PS3 is getting a SuperHD stream is due to the status info that can be toggled on and off in the upper left corner with the select button on the controller, the router traffic info and the fact that I'm having buffering problems when more than one device is streaming Netflix.
Here is one article about the rollout:
http://www.cnet.com/news/netflix-opens-...-video-for-all/

Like I said before my router's traffic monitor page tells all. When I have just one device using internet and it's streaming Netflix in SuperHD, the volume is around 7Mbps. It never did that before the new SuperHD action took place. When this happens it chokes out everything else as far as streaming goes. At those amounts I can't stream 4 screens at a time unless the other 2 are on Apple devices.


87.6.2014 22:44

I didn't say SuperHD was higher than 4K, in fact it is a bogus term.

SuperHD is a Netflix thing for a reduced 4K program streamed. they compress the stream to about 7Mbps so it's about 2/3's of the UHD quality from a streaming stance. I wasn't sure if you were talking about 4K/8K service being streamed from Netflix or what.

If you have 12Mbps service definitely you will choke your bandwidth coming from your ISP so I wouldn't be surprised that you can't run two streams at 7Mbps each.

I don't see how this pertains to the ISP providers apposing Netflix when this all started before Netflix started to provide 4K.

4K is way better then 1080p, I can easily see the difference and there are other benefits that make it substantially better. Even untrained eyes in my family can easily tell the difference.

As to control, you have the choice to watch something in 4K, 2K, or SD if you want so I don't get that unless you are trying to watch something that only comes in 4K and then obviously if you don't have a system that can handle that then O'well. But again this isn't really the point of this article.

98.6.2014 11:33

Ok I see. I didn't mean to derail or hijack the thread I was just kinda venting about the fact that I can't turn off the SuperHD stream to my house. In the Netflix CP I can only turn off all HD streams or turn them all on. 4K will only come across if I have available equipment. Thanks for the info Mr Movies.

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