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Netflix, streaming, rebuffering?

When watching a Netflix movie with my Samsung UN55C8000 I can count on it stopping and rebuffering at just about 7:15 PM most every time. When checking my PC for the download speed (Comcast) right after the stop it shows 21.17 Mbps or thereabouts on two different sites. I'm aware that these tests are not really accurate but they are an indicator that my computer speed is reasonably fast. The LAN cable is a category 5E, 10' long.

I can watch Netflix early in the day without any problems but I have other things to do than watch movies during the daytime. Whatever the movie had presented in mood or interest is lost when it tries, and not always successfully, to reload. I suspect that the problem lies in the internet overload around the evening time when people are home from work and want to watch a movie.

I have talked to both Netflix and Comcast but of course they pointed fingers at each other.

Is the sending speed from Netflix a factor in this situation? Would increasing, and paying, for a speed increase from Comcast help? It appears that this may be a common problem for some Netflix watchers, is there any solution to this issue that others have tried? Is the TV electronics part of the problem?


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Did you do any speed test at that time?

In reply to: Netflix, streaming, rebuffering?

If the speed test come out slow then the problem is Comcast because the test site is other than Netflix, right? But if it test is more than 1.0 mbps, then Netflix got too many people watching. Personally I been with Netflix for over 2 months now, over this period I had 1 movie buffering for about 15 second (I did not do any speed test at the time). I am with Time Warner.

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In reply to: Netflix, streaming, rebuffering?

Could be throttling Netflix on you at peek times.

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Nothing unusual or sinister going on here

In reply to: Comcast

To the OP> This is quite common if you actually do a little light reading across some of the internet discussion forums regarding broadband streaming services in general, and netflix. You are certainly not the only one having issues with a streaming service. It's the nature of the beast, unfortunately. Internet traffic is such at times where it can sometimes occur exactly as you are seeing now, regardless of whether or not you are on a higher speed tier from Comcast.

What I *do* recommend, at least one small thing on your end, is to verify you are already using a DOCSIS 3 modem. The speeds you are seeing seem to indicate as such, but it doesn't hurt to verify you actually have the right hardware. Going from a DOCSIS2 to 3 modem can make a difference.

By chance is there also a separate wireless router (w/ ethernet ports) inbetween the cable modem and the HDTV(?) Sometimes that can cause small issues, but YMMV.

FWIW, let me share an experience w/ Comcast service at my home. My triple play works great- they upgraded some lines problems by the pole, etc. OTOH, my next door neighbors gave up trying to get their HSI speed/service issues fixed. This is right next door on the adjacent quarter acre property, mind you. I see where their line goes up the pole near where mine is doing the same. They ended up switching to UVERSE after multiple line techs from Comcast couldn't fix their somewhat intermittent problem. Now, their UVERSE is (mis)behaving similarly after about a month of decent uptime. It just wasn't in the cards for them, apparently Sad. There is certainly some degree of variability involved regardless of the poison you choose....

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Watching Netflix

In reply to: Nothing unusual or sinister going on here

Thanks for your responses. My router is a D-Link DIR-655 and is hard wired to TV. I have done some research on this problem and it appears that some lose their contact while watching Netflix but many don't, so is it a cable issue or just an overload for a particular area? Comcast sent an email suggesting checking, and for me to reply, certain computer components which I had already done but anyway Comcast is working on it and will be following up with more info. I appreciate their help but in reality I suspect that, as you mentioned, it is most likely a common system overload at a particular time of day. But still, my question is, what is different in that some have no problem but others do?

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What did Comcast suggest?

In reply to: Watching Netflix

I am curious. (Or perhaps this is "typical" Comcast tech support.) Switching anything inside your PC wouldn't help since it's a direct stream from the modem/router to the HDTV, using the app to access the content. What did they mention specifically?

You might also take a look at what's on the Netflix blog regarding this issue. Note, this was posted in *2009*:

If you have some time, more food for thought-

I'm really not convinced that the blogger has proved Netflix (or anyone, for that matter) is throttling his content. But people like to believe in conspiracies Wink.

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3rd Party Server Throttling?

In reply to: What did Comcast suggest?

As mentioned by 'givemeaname' above about "throttling" this is one of the possibilies that appeared in one of the Comcast emails to me about my losing the signal from Netflix. The customer service guy at Netflix told me that with my PC speeds I should have no trouble watching movies but now I wonder.


3rd Party Server Throttling:
Some sites will limit how fast a user can download data, regardless of
the user's connection speed. This is done for numerous reasons, some of
which include controlling the amount of bandwidth consumed on their site
or to protect it from DoS attacks.

If experiencing low connection speeds with specific sites, users should
review Usage or Privacy Policies of those sites to determine if the
server is limiting the connection speed. Comcast cannot lift
restrictions imposed by 3rd party servers.

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Selective reading won't get you anywhere

In reply to: 3rd Party Server Throttling?

You only read that part and didn't take into consideration some of the other (technical) possiblities presented in the thread I gave above. The situation isn't as black and white or conspiratorial as some folks on the interwebs would like it to be for the sake of explaining the problem.

Keep in mind it's not a direct route from Netflix to Comcast to your home. There are other parties involved in routing the content that ultimately makes it to your HDTV. This is another relevant factor regarding how heavy network traffic can affect the quality of streaming video. Try another site like youtube as well. They have problems as well sometimes.

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Netflix messing with streaming?

In reply to: Selective reading won't get you anywhere

Comcast has asked about the components of my PC such as Ram, hard disk space, router, etc, the usual questions to determine if the machine may be at fault for signal loss. Among the Comcast answers/questions presented was the "throttling" issue which I had never heard of before this. I should have read your posted links first dealing with this but didn't until later. The blogger post and the responses were interesting but not conclusive in that so many opinions were expressed about Netflix possibly throttling. So do they or don't they? It wasn't clear. Below is my first response to Comcast's questions. Now I am going to ask Netflix about throttling but I'll bet a case of beer that they will dance around rather than directly answering yes or no.


Thanks for your quick and detailed reply.

My computer has 4G Ram. The hard drive has plenty of open space. I use
CCleaner and Revo Uninstaller frequently to keep down trash files and

My router is a D-Link DIR-655 and is hard wired to the Samsung TV with a
Cat 5E Ethernet cable, 10' long.

As previously mentioned I have checked my computer speeds, before and
after the slow up with Netflix, on different sites and usually it is
around 21.15 Mbps.

When watching Netflix the computer is "on" with just the desktop
showing, no other sites are running.

I have not noticed any slow ups with other sites except with Netflix and
this happens at about the same time 7-7:15 PM and again, when the movie
is downloaded at around 4 or 5 PM that red buffer bar loads fast! But later the movie stops and re-buffering starts, and that doesn't always work. The movie is most likely gone.

I had a long talk with a guy at Netflix about this and he indicated that
with my present computer speeds there should be no problems with
watching a movie.

So, Johanna, could this be a Comcast problem? With your present cable
system in my area is it possible that if many of my neighbors, near and
far, click on Netflix at around 7 PM that your system becomes overloaded? But why with just Netflix?

Which of course brings up the question, have any of my neighbors
complained to Comcast about their problems with watching Netflix?

Thanks again for your response.

Best Regards,
Thomas Mix

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21mbps, then...

In reply to: Netflix messing with streaming?

Comcast has done their job. There's nothing more they can/should do. The problem is now in Netflix's court.

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Just to verify your connection

In reply to: Netflix messing with streaming?

You stated the connection is directly from router to HDTV, where you receive Netflix content via the app on the TV- correct? Only if you were using the silverlight app via a PC web browser, sending that along to the HDTV would your chipset & RAM make a difference. Just want to make certain we did not miss anything here.

FWIW, you are referring to streaming during a generally very busy time on the internet. If you've ever tried a bandwidth intensive app with live video such as Skype, you'll understand what I mean. It's a lot more enjoyable experience generally outside of the internet rush hour(s). Those can vary a little unfortunately, both in actual timing of the event and real world speeds/performance.

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Well, there are other things that can be tried...

In reply to: Netflix messing with streaming?

Give all that others have said, here are 3 things that might also help:

1) From you can download a trial version of TuneUp Utilities 2011. I believe they give you full access to this great software free for 14 days or so. If it doesn't work for you, just uninstall it. I've used it since 2006, to cleanup my registry, delete temp files, correct computer problems, defrag my hard drives, and much, much more.

So, why would you want to try this?? One of the great features of this software is that it can optimize your Internet connection to the type of service you are connected to. Here are the choices offered during setup: DSL, TV cable or power line; fiber optics; cellular; satellite; dialup connection from landline; other connection types. I have mine set to "From 25 Mbit/s DSL, TV Cable or power line" Internet. The DSL, TV Cable or power line setting alone offers these choices: "From 1, 2, 3, 6, 16, 25, 50, and 100 Mbit/s." As stated, my access from Comcast is at 25 Mbit/s or higher.

Once the proper choice is made, TuneUp Utilities will optimize your Internet connection for the general speed you receive from your ISP. This can improve download speeds, at least at with your computer.

2) Reset your modem by disconnecting it and waiting 30 seconds or longer. Then reconnect and wait for Internet connection to show again. Sometimes one may have to disconnect both the modem and the router to get a new dynamic IP address, one that doesn't have the load on it of the one prior. (This is a technique I often use to get my bandwidth up again to were it should be. Too, Bandwidth can fluctuate depending on customer demand and other Internet issues.) When both modem and router are disconnected, reconnect the cable modem first and wait for Internet to show, then reconnect the router, again waiting for it to show an active connection. Then try streaming.

3) Try a dedicated streaming media device, such as a Roku (models HD, XD, or XDS). This media player can stream in HD for content provided in that format, but also just does a better job than both the Xbox 360 or Wii at streaming SD content. This should work better than a direct connection to an HDTV too, though I haven't tried it. My choice was the Roku XD streaming player after I used my Wii for awhile. The Roku does a much better job of streaming media than my Wii every did, besides I can get several other streaming services not available on my Wii (Amazon Video and Hulu Plus and others).

Slow downs still happen where a movie must reload, but this doesn't happen often and when it does I can tell Netflix to "retry" and it reloads within a minute or so. My Amazon and Hulu Plus services just freeze on screen but will startup again in a moment or so. If they don't, I just restart my Roku player by unplugging and replugging (there is no on/off switch), and once it reboots I can get back to my movie again within minutes without problem.

My setup: Host computer - Win Vista Ultimate x64, 6GB RAM connected to Comcast cable via cable modem at 25+Mbps connected to a Netgear N600 Wirless Dual Band Gigabit Router with 1000m ethernet, connected to Roku XD Streaming Media player, connected via HDMI cable to Samsung 40" 1080p HDTV. Internet is optimized with TuneUp Utilities 2011 and my network is controlled with Cisco Network Magic Pro.

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You missed the boat

In reply to: Well, there are other things that can be tried...

He's not streaming from the PC to the HDTV via HDMI like you are- he's using a built-in app on the HDTV. This bypasses the PC. Tune up utilities won't do diddly squat for his case. Also, adding another box in the middle might not be the solution per se. Why add another monkey in the middle when your HDTV already has it built in(?) TUI isn't changing the instructions of the cable modem to download over more channels or at faster speeds from the head end. You would have to illegally uncap/flash the modem to achieve that, if it will even work any more w/ D3.

Keep in mind he's not having issues w/ speed (did you note his DOCSIS3 speeds, btw?), but rather bandwidth during peak times. He has plenty of overhead, even not having a gigabit ethernet router like you do. Plus, who's going to want to have to restart the cable modem just to watch Netflix?

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No I didn't...

In reply to: You missed the boat

I'm streaming from my router to my Roku XD, and then from my Roku XD to my A/V receiver via HDMI, and then from my A/V receiver to my HDTV via another HDMI cable. I can have my computer turned completely off and still watch content from any of the streaming services I use, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu Plus (since I'm using a router). My computer has nothing to do with the connection to my Roku Streaming player.

When I read retiredusmc's message, his comment made it sound like he used an ethernet cable from his computer (most ethernet cards have two ports) to his Internet enabled HDTV, directly. Not from the router and no streaming player used - just what ever hardware is built into his HDTV to receive streaming media. Other comments in his other posts also support my thinking here. He mentioned having his computer on but only with the desktop showing, no apps running. If he was using a router he could just turn his computer off completely, as it would have no effect whatsoever on his streaming video.

So, if he is using an ethernet port from his computer, TuneUp Utilities could make a difference, as it can change settings in the computer that you and I would only be able to do if we were IT guys. If he is using the router instead, then TuneUp would not help, of course. (Still, it is one of the best PC tools to use on one's computer.)

Yes, I did notice his Internet speed, and that doesn't guarantee bandwidth, as you stated. Bandwidth can fluctuate considerably with a cable service when others start to access the Internet, which retiredusmc seems to understand. His problem occurring around 7pm consistently would be a peek consumer use time.

I understand he has a built-in app in his HDTV for Netflix. If he continues to have a problem with it, then a separate media streaming device from a router by ethernet cable to the device (or wirelessly - the Roku players do wireless, too), and then from that to the HDTV via HDMI cable might work better. In that case, the Roku player might be something to consider, since the cost for one is less than $100, and it is a dedicated media streaming device that offers not only Netflix, but Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus, and many other streaming services. And since it is dedicated to streaming video, it might be built better to withstand bandwidth issues. I know I only have to wait seconds to reconnect when there is a slowdown with Netflix.

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You over estimate what TUI can do

In reply to: No I didn't...

Apparently you feel that TUI includes a magic elixir to adjust for lack of bandwidth far upstream(?) His PC settings likely aren't the issue since he does not state this service underperforms during other times. Also, IME changing the MTU settings (something you may be alluding to) is not usually necessary in Vista or 7. As an IT person I normally don't encourage anyone to go make registry changes without having a few more laps around the track.

In Post#9 of this thread he states the HDTV is connected directly, so I will repeat, TUI or lack thereof won't be affecting his situtation.

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HDTV connected directly

In reply to: You over estimate what TUI can do

Whether or not you consider yourself an IT person, your understanding of what TuneUp Utilities can do seems limited at best.

If retiredusmc has a direct connection to his HDTV through his computer, then TuneUp Utilities can help, since it would optimize the computer's access to the Internet, and thus, the connection his HDTV has to the Internet. Too, it is not normal for Netflix to take several minutes to receive a media stream, even during peak times. Whenever I "retry" or reconnect with Netflix, the media resumes within seconds.

BTW, optimizing one's Internet connection with this software is done when one picks the type of connection and speed they typically have - there are NO registry changes made by the user whatsoever. If the setting doesn't work well for the user, said user can choose a different setting. Very simple.

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Oh, he does have a router...

In reply to: You over estimate what TUI can do

I did find a post where retiredusmc mentions his router.

TuneUp Utilities would not help then. But the app his HDTV uses could be the problem. Perhaps there is an upgrade for that, but as a moderator mentioned, Netflix would probably have to have a fix for it and it may be a very low priority for them. The best solution might be to purchase a dedicated streaming device, such as a Roku player, to get good streaming.

BTW, retiredusmc: You do NOT need to have your computer on if you are using a router connected to your cable modem and have your HDTV connected via ethernet cable to your router. With this setup, you have a predicable bandwidth problem that your built-in HDTV application can't seem to handle well; hence, the suggestion to use a dedicated streaming device instead. I have Comcast as my ISP and whenever I have to reconnect to media in Netflix it takes only a matter of seconds to do so. I use a Roku XD player to stream media through my A/V receiver to my Samsung HDTV.

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Response to your posts #16 & #17

In reply to: No I didn't...

Houston we have a problem. Please re-read what you wrote below.
"BTW, retiredusmc: You do NOT need to have your computer on if you are using a router connected to your cable modem and have your HDTV connected via ethernet cable to your router. With this setup, you have a predicable bandwidth problem that your built-in HDTV application can't seem to handle well; hence, the suggestion to use a dedicated streaming device instead. I have Comcast as my ISP and whenever I have to reconnect to media in Netflix it takes only a matter of seconds to do so. I use a Roku XD player to stream media through my A/V receiver to my Samsung HDTV."
I still don't think you have a very good understanding about how the Netflix content reaches retiredusmc's location. You make the assumption that the Roku box would necessarily improve the internet congestion he is experiencing upstream, well past his ISP. And Regardless of whether or not his ISP is the same as yours, the route the content takes also may not be the same at his particular location. Comcast traffic may also be heavier in his neck of the woods at the times when he is having streaming issues.

If you go down in the thread a little more I think it has been established that the HDTV app is at least partially to blame as well.
A test of Netflix on his PC may be in order before plunking down $100 for another device as monkey in the middle.

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Better streaming...

In reply to: Response to your posts #16 & #17

Not sure you have any understanding of what I understand. I have two computers and my Roku XD connected to my router - all via ethernet cables. I do not need either of my computers running in order to still use my Roku player to watch Netflix. Often the only thing I have on that is connected to my router is just my Roku player, and it still streams media to my HDTV flawlessly. Since retiredusmc has an Internet ready HDTV with a Netflix app built-in to do streaming, he, too, should be able to have everything on his network off and still watch Netflix via his Internet ready HDTV. Nothing difficult to understand here. He was the one who remarked that he had to have his computer on.

Yes, I do make the assumption the Roku box would make a difference! If he has a slowdown around 7pm every evening and his slowdown takes a long, long time to stream content, which I believe he wrote could take an hour or more for one video, then there is a very high probability that the built-in app in the HDTV does not handle a slowdown in bandwidth well at all. Now, whether he wants to try a dedicated streaming video device, such as the Roku player, is up to him. I made the suggestion that it would be better than what he is using, and I still believe that. Too, if you look at the very last message about this topic, R. Proffitt, a moderator here, suggests the same. My Roku player has never had the problem he has had when there is a bandwidth problem due to increased cable trunk line use. I've only had to wait seconds to restart a video, never 15 minutes, never 30 minutes, never 60 minutes. Get what I'm saying Sally?

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In reply to: Netflix messing with streaming?

Is not a technical problem, it is a way the broadband provider keeps everyone having good speeds & not bogging down someone else down the pipe line. Comcast knows when your on Netfix vs a speed test website by the IP address & they have software that can throttle one wedsite over another....

Look up "Net Neutrality"

It is Comcast that is bogging you down but the question is... Why at that time of day every time(?) you use Netflix?
They will NOT tell you, 1 because the person you call does not know nor care, 2nd if you did get ahold of a real IT worker that works at your local "CO/RT" they are not going to tell you because they could get fired... see Net Neutrality lawsuits. Comcast and other broadband providers do not want you to know that they throttle some site over others & why... because they do not want a Net Neutrality Law passed because of $$$ & also the US web (speeds) is getting maxed out as more & more people use stuff like Netflix HD movies + the CO/RTs' and the delivery lines are not up to snuff to do the high speeds people want.

Since your using a TV app your computer config. does not matter at all!!!! So if you call them again make sure they under stand that, they are two independent things, if your using your PC that is another thing.

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Lets be real here.

In reply to: 3rd Party Server Throttling?

Netflix could be at fault here but they really have nothing to gain if they don't fix the problem (if it is their fault). They would lose unhappy customers. If it's Comcast then you could change company...if you could, hehe. The solution is between Netflix and Comcast. That's why I say a speed test might give you some idea, but not all, who to blame.

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The easy choice...

In reply to: Lets be real here. to blame Netflix. Netflix is very unlikely the source of continued problems, but in rare cases could be for short times.

There are so many other places along the path from Netflix to a customer's personal computer that can affect the stream. It's simple to blame either point A (Netflix) or point B (ISP). Along the path there are several nodes (other severs) the stream must path through, and then there is the customer's own computer, which may not be optimized for the best connection. Any of these can effect the stream.

This is why one person can have a terrible problem and want to blame Netflix and the rest of us have no problems to speak of at all.

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I love people throw in acronym

In reply to: Nothing unusual or sinister going on here


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Pay no attention to the trolls...

In reply to: I love people throw in acronym

...who ***ch and moan but contribute nothing to a thread Wink>.

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Might be firmware

In reply to: Netflix, streaming, rebuffering?

You indicate that the Netflix app is built into the TV. Built-in TV features are sometimes flaky and often are inferior to a PC running the same app.

If you can, try hooking up a PC to your TV and watching Netflix using your TV as a monitor. If you have the same issues, it is probably your connection. If you don't, it is probably your TV.

If it is your TV, consider upgrading the firmware. Firmware upgrades can sometimes help but they can also hurt. Before you install new firmware, search the Internet and find out if you can revert to the old firmware if it doesn't work out. TV companies are terrible at writing firmware code so firmware upgrades can cause more problems rather than less.

Also, if the quality of the signal is varying as your neighbors get on, your TV may be working extra hard to adapt to the signal which may be pulling processing power away from networking. With not enough capacity to handle networking at various times, the TV might be telling Netflix to adjust the speed of the signal which may cause it to rebuffer or the TV might be rebuffering itself.

If the built-in Netflix app isn't working well, the best solution might be to use a different Netflix device. A bummer but might work better.

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Truth be told

In reply to: Might be firmware

In most D3 areas the build-out is more than adequate to support everyone using the same trunk. Closer to reality is further upstream where everyone ultimately shares the same internet to get to where they need to go. Throw in the fact that it's during peak internet hours and you can see where streaming service might not be ideal.

I like the idea of testing a PC stream via HDMI to the HDTV vs. the built in app. Might get a sense at least if the problem improves at all. Hopefully he has HDMI output at least(!)

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Over in the Samsung forum, this issue is

In reply to: Netflix, streaming, rebuffering?

What I'm calling a lost cause. Samsung does not write the App and Netflix is apparently not very interested in fixing it.

Again, this one is not a happy discussion.

I strongly suggest you try some other player whether it be the ROKU XD or another PC or some other player.

Save yourself while you can.

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I think we have exhausted this subject

In reply to: Over in the Samsung forum, this issue is

Last night while watching a Netflix movie it stopped at 7:15 on the dot and started to re-buffer. After about 7-8 minutes I gave up and exited Netflix. Interestingly it downloaded fast at 6 PM, that red bar really moved! Comcast is keeping in touch but after asking specifically "do you throttle" they have not admitted anything. Yet. The timing each night at 7:10 or 7:15 the movie stops to re-buffer indicates to me that this is a controlled event rather than all my neighbors near and far are clicking on Netflix at the exact same instant each night.

Bob is correct in that this is a lost cause. I do appreciate the suggestions and opinions.


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We still do not know for certain

In reply to: I think we have exhausted this subject

What might be a 'controlled event' to someone might simply a coincidental issue with heavy traffic upstream to another. Comcast doesn't control it all unfortunately. Try other streaming services like Youtube & Skype and make an observation about what times of the day they generally work best. Hint: it's not 7pm most of the time. And those mostly aren't HD.

FWIW, my brother in law's UVERSE connection smokes the doors off of anything ATT offers in my neck of the woods. OTOH I notice his HD streams/feeds (including netflix) also don't work as well during the rush hour. Go figure. Even if 30% of Comcast traffic was Netflix, is happening elsewhere too leading one to believe perhaps it's a more involved issue.

You really should test the Netflix out differently as has been suggested in the thread before coming to any hard conclusions. Branch out a little bit before throwing in the towel. I am definitely of the opinion that a great deal of the apps marketed and offered by the HDTV manufacturers are still in their infant stages. Heck, my dad always said the marines didn't give up until the beach head was secure(!)

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Same problem with a Samsung Blu-Ray Player

In reply to: We still do not know for certain

Hey y'all, we have been watching Netflix for on a Roku XD with almost zero problems with rebuffering. Then I bought a new TV and internet ready Samsung Blu-Ray player for our bedroom. We have been having lots of trouble with rebuffering upstairs in the bedroom but still none downstairs with the Roku (where our wireless router is also located).

I thought that maybe my internet signal was weak and causing the problem upstairs. So tonight I bought an amplified wireless extender. Now the signal upstairs is very strong. But we still have the same problems.

Therefore, based on reading this thread and my experience I have to conclude that the Netflix app for the Samsung Blu-Ray player is decidedly inferior to what is available via the Roku XD. So instead of buying the amplified wireless extender I should have just bought a second Roku. Cry But it does give me another toy to play with and also to get my internet signal all over our condo complex, so maybe I don't lose anything (as long as my wife doesn't get too wise to me Cool ).

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Stop using wireless for streaming

In reply to: Same problem with a Samsung Blu-Ray Player

This is what I suggest first and foremost. Use a wired connection instead, which is always preferable to wireless for this purpose.

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