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Netflix Streaming

jafreer
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 844
Thanks: 54
Registered: ‎13-10-2012

Netflix Streaming

Have been using Netflix for several months and have been able to stream in HD during that time.
On Saturday (27th Oct), it stopped streaming in HD, and has only streamed in SD since. It doesn't appear to be anything to do with the Netflix settings (it has stayed on the 'best quality' setting the entire time).
I don't think it is my broadband connection either as it seems to be running fine (speed tests, ping test all check out ok - no apparent change, and running fast enough to support HD streaming).
By way of comparison, I checked BBC Iplayer, and it still streams in HD no problem. I checked Iplayer on 2 different devices, no problem (and one of the devices is the same one I use for Netflix).
So I am stuck as to what the issue is. It seems like Netflix specifically is being throttled. I couldn't find any people reporting the same thing (doing a web search), and Netflix don't appear to be reporting any issues.
I know it is possible that the issue is at the Netflix side of things, so I need to do more checking, but I was just wondering if anyone has seen or heard of a similar issue.
Thanks in advance for any comments.
11 REPLIES
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 13,761
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Registered: ‎27-04-2007

Re: Netflix Streaming

What actually happens when you try to stream in HD? is an error given or does it perhaps try to stream but buffers heavily?
Also I'm guessing that you've tried a HD stream from netflix on more than one of your devices?
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 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
jamesanstee
Grafter
Posts: 486
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Registered: ‎20-04-2012

Re: Netflix Streaming

I use netflix and stream it in HD where available without any problems .
jafreer
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 844
Thanks: 54
Registered: ‎13-10-2012

Re: Netflix Streaming

Thanks for replying Adam,
There are no buffering issues at all. It starts up and plays within a second or two and I can watch an entire movie without any buffering. The only difference is that it not in HD anymore. It is like it just plays in SD. It is perfectly watchable, but I just can't figure why it is not in HD. I have been watching in HD for several months without any problems. It is quite obvious when it is working in HD as you can really see a difference, it is very very crisp and clear.
The other device I have is not an HD device (i.e. no HDMI output) so I can't tell anything different by using that (Netflix works fine on that, but since it doesn't have HD, I can't see any difference with it).
The device I am viewing on is a PS3. If I run a network test it reports up and down bandwidth. Down bandwidth is fine (7 Mbps). Up is fine also (I'm on a market 1 ADSL connection). Running IPlayer in HD on the same PS3 works fine in HD, and no buffering.
This is all on a wired connection (via a homeplug actually).
The switch to SD on netflix did coincide with me hitting about 30 gb usage. I only throw that in for information as I am assuming it has nothing to do with the issue.
I am also assuming that there is nothing specific to Netflix streaming that would make PN servers throttle (especially since IPlayer still works in HD).
So it is still a mystery.
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
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Registered: ‎15-06-2007

Re: Netflix Streaming

Have you checked the Netflix settings as per here http://www.digitalhome.ca/2011/03/netflix-lowers-default-picture-quality-to-ease-bandwidth-usage/
Note that Best is not HD
jafreer
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 844
Thanks: 54
Registered: ‎13-10-2012

Re: Netflix Streaming

I have always had the setting at 'Best Quality' (that is the highest setting Netflix offers). I have also double checked it has not changed.
Netflix UK has 3 settings as follows...
Good quality (up to 0.3 GB per hour)
Better quality (up to 0.7 GB per hour)
Best quality (up to 1 GB per hour, or up to 2.3 GB per hour for HD)
So I am on the correct setting for the highest definition and I have never changed it. Prior to Saturday, I was definitely getting HD (you could see it in the superb detail).
Thanks for the suggestion though.
gary42
Grafter
Posts: 94
Registered: ‎09-07-2012

Re: Netflix Streaming

Can you try it on a PC to rule out the PS3 as the problem?
Re your non HD device doesn't Netflix show the connection rate e.g. sd medium, sd high, HD low etc which should let you see the quality it is running at?
Also worth restarting the homeplugs. I had a throughput problem with some Devolos once which was cured by a 'switch it off, switch it on again'.
jafreer
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 844
Thanks: 54
Registered: ‎13-10-2012

Re: Netflix Streaming

OK, mystery solved! (when I say solved, it was my partly my stupidity the whole time).
I had been watching a series on Netflix (Dexter). It was advertised as being in HD, and sure enough, I could watch it in HD (on a PS3). On the PS3, it is shown as HD for all 36 episodes (3 seasons worth). When you go into individual episodes, it makes no mention of HD. So the logical person in me assumed all 36 episodes were in HD. In actual fact, season 2 is not in HD (yet season 1 and season 3 are).
Since I have just been watching them one after the other, I didn't really notice the lack of HD coincided with the start of season 2. Netflix on the PS3 doesn't let you know which individual titles in a series are in HD, it only stated HD for "Dexter (36 episodes)".
It was only when Gary mentioned checking on a PC that I found out. I had never watched Netflix on my PC, but I tried it and it tells you if it is streaming in HD as it is playing. And sure enough, season 1 and season 3 show HD during the stream, and season 2 does not (and the PS3 matches that of course).
So rather a long winded explanation - but it had me convinced something odd was going on with my connection.
So problem solved. I am chuffed to bits that I can stream in HD over an ADSL Max (8Mb) connection (Market 1 exchange). My old provider slowed down to less than 1Mb at peak times. PN runs full rate all the time - brilliant!
Thanks for everyone's responses and assistance on this topic.
gary42
Grafter
Posts: 94
Registered: ‎09-07-2012

Re: Netflix Streaming

Damn. I was going to suggest that but I thought it too obvious  Tongue  Smiley
Moderator
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Re: Netflix Streaming

also highlights the stupidity of regional licensing in this day age, you'd have thought all series would be available in HD....

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sjrinfroyle
Grafter
Posts: 895
Registered: ‎08-05-2011

Re: Netflix Streaming

You can force Netflix to play in HD, here's how: when the video has started playing, click on the video to make sure it is selected, then hold Ctrl+Alt+Shift+S. Finally, select '2350' or higher, which will set the video to play in HD, as soon as enough has been buffered (the video will stay play, albeit in standard definition until it has buffered in HD). You will need to do this on each new episode, movie, session, etc.
I am glad your issue has been sorted and I hope the above advice is useful.
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
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Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Netflix Streaming

I didn't know that Alec, good tip. Thanks.
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 Plusnet Staff