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Old 05-11-2012, 02:46 PM   #1
JfNebraska
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Thumbs down New Netflix app not streaming consistently

I posted part of this issue in another thread, but I now have an official complaint to lodge against the new Netflix app.

Rather than letting you pick a resolution and get a sufficient buffer before it starts playing, the app appears to jump between resolutions depending on how much buffer it has. As a consequence, when you first start playing a movie, it's in SD (or worse), then it appears to jump to 1080i, then to 1080p/24 depending on the speed of your internet connection and the size of the accumulated buffer.

But here's the problem. I have my TiVo connected to the web via a powerline ethernet adapter that tests at a speed of 20/Mbps. Despite this, watching a movie on Netflix yesterday was unworkable, as the app kept changing resolutions (once every ten minutes or so), resulting in a loss of audio and video during each change and a blackout period of 10 seconds or more. The movie also seemed to skip ahead more than the 10 seconds during each blackout (i.e., it seemed to resume about a minute later).

The video quality was VERY impressive when I was getting 1080P/24. On my 100" rear projection setup, it looked like a Bluray, which is the highest praise I can give. But, despite having what seems to be a pretty good ethernet connection, I couldn't maintain the 1080P/24 stream.

I'm going to experiment with increasing my cable modem service to 50 Mbps, just to see if that solves the problem. But it really is a shame that such a good app seems to have such a significant design flaw. It really should pick a resolution and stick to it (even if it has to pause for buffering), as I think all other implementations of Netflix I own (AppleTV and PS3) do.
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Old 05-11-2012, 04:20 PM   #2
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Try changing your DNS servers IP addresses in your router to the Google ones.(8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4) That should help.

I had several Netflix streams going concurrently last night on my TiVos. All were streaming in 1080P24 with no issues. Once they got to 1080P24 they stayed there without falling back to a lower resolution.
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:20 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by JfNebraska View Post
But here's the problem. I have my TiVo connected to the web via a powerline ethernet adapter that tests at a speed of 20/Mbps. Despite this, watching a movie on Netflix yesterday was unworkable, as the app kept changing resolutions (once every ten minutes or so), resulting in a loss of audio and video during each change and a blackout period of 10 seconds or more. The movie also seemed to skip ahead more than the 10 seconds during each blackout (i.e., it seemed to resume about a minute later).
The only way to fix this is to disable 1080p in your settings. There will be no resolution switching if you disable 1080p so you will not lose video or audio when the bitrate changes (of course you will only get 720p or 1080i though). Unfortunately, this is the problem with the Premiere only supporting 1080p pass-thru.
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:20 PM   #4
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Thanks Aaron. I am pretty home theater savvy, but not so ethernet setup savvy, so I have a couple of questions.

I am using a Mac Time Capsule as my router. Would I change those settings from within the Airport Utility on my Mac? Do I have to change anything on each computer hooked to the router or on the modem to have that work properly?
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:08 PM   #5
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Thanks Aaron. I am pretty home theater savvy, but not so ethernet setup savvy, so I have a couple of questions.

I am using a Mac Time Capsule as my router. Would I change those settings from within the Airport Utility on my Mac? Do I have to change anything on each computer hooked to the router or on the modem to have that work properly?
I'm not Aaron and I'm not a Mac guy, but in general, here's the deal.

If your router is also your DHCP server and your computers and other IP devices are connecting with DHCP (a typical situation), then you need only change the DNS address for the router and it will supply it to the DHCP clients the next time they request services. So, change the DNS in the router and then force the IP devices to reconnect by rebooting or something similar to the Windows commands "ipconfig /release" followed by "ipconfig /renew" if for a computer.

That's the general idea, anyway.
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:41 PM   #6
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Rather than letting you pick a resolution and get a sufficient buffer before it starts playing, the app appears to jump between resolutions depending on how much buffer it has. As a consequence, when you first start playing a movie, it's in SD (or worse), then it appears to jump to 1080i, then to 1080p/24 depending on the speed of your internet connection and the size of the accumulated buffer.

...

The video quality was VERY impressive when I was getting 1080P/24. On my 100" rear projection setup, it looked like a Bluray, which is the highest praise I can give.
100 inches?! WOW! Amazing.

I think you might try going into the settings (Video) and selecting only the 1080i resolution and see how it behaves then as someone else suggested above. This should prevent the annoying blackouts.
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:59 AM   #7
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I have been playing around with the new Netflix app a bit and have one question and one issue I have been having.

First the question: Is there anyway to have the Netflix folder put back into the "My shows" folder? The option seemed to disappear with the update.

The one problem I have had with both my regular Premier and Elite is a couple of times when I press the clear button to exit Netflix the screen goes black and nothing happens. If I press the Tivo button I can get the menus back. Sometimes when I hit clear it will go to the menus by itself. Anyone else have this issue. BTW I am using the SD menus.

OT: Is it just me or is the "live TV" option not available in the HD menus? Since I have one HD TV and one SD TV I have been using the SD menus to be consistent for the family. But when I was playing around with the HD menus I seem to remember there was not a live TV option.
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Old 05-12-2012, 03:58 PM   #8
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FWIW, my problem seems to have been a passing one. I watched the rest of Bottle Shock and all of Limitless last night, and both arrived at 1080p/24 fairly quickly (30 seconds or so), and stayed there without loosing that resolution for the rest of the movies. There must have been something going on with my internet connection when I was watching the first half of Bottle Shock.

@aaronwt - apparently I can't change my DNS server because my Comcast modem is also a router, and it seems to choose the DNS for me. Probably some IP address I can use to access that modem, but it seems, for the moment, that I don't need to monkey around anymore.
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:13 AM   #9
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I've been having similar problems with Netflix - resolution switches/blackouts of a few seconds, freezing. The Tivo Support told me to do a cold boot (unpluga power and all cables, wait 60 s. plug in HDMI and power, reconnect other cables after reaching Tivo Central). I thought this worked, had no problems streaming an episode of Lilyhammmer. Then, I started getting the same blackouts and freezes and realized that the red record light had just come on. So is it possible that the new Netflix app is using so many resources of the machine that when it starts to record a show there are problems? I have a Premiere Elite which is supposed to have an even more powerful processor than regular premieres.

I'm fairly certain it is not a bandwidth problem for me since I also have a Logitech Revue/Google TV and the Netflix streaming on that has no problems.

Any ideas?
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:28 AM   #10
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I've been having similar problems with Netflix - resolution switches/blackouts of a few seconds, freezing. The Tivo Support told me to do a cold boot (unpluga power and all cables, wait 60 s. plug in HDMI and power, reconnect other cables after reaching Tivo Central). I thought this worked, had no problems streaming an episode of Lilyhammmer. Then, I started getting the same blackouts and freezes and realized that the red record light had just come on. So is it possible that the new Netflix app is using so many resources of the machine that when it starts to record a show there are problems? I have a Premiere Elite which is supposed to have an even more powerful processor than regular premieres.

I'm fairly certain it is not a bandwidth problem for me since I also have a Logitech Revue/Google TV and the Netflix streaming on that has no problems.

Any ideas?
Just to Clarify one point, the Elite has the same hardware specs as the rest of the premieres, only the amount of tuners and HD space is different
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:58 AM   #11
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Just to Clarify one point, the Elite has the same hardware specs as the rest of the premieres, only the amount of tuners and HD space is different
The model of the tuners is different as well. And it has more RAM afaik.
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Old 06-05-2012, 12:04 PM   #12
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The model of the tuners is different as well. And it has more RAM afaik.
I think we de-bunked the RAM while back. The both had the same amount 512

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Old 06-05-2012, 12:07 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by JfNebraska View Post
I posted part of this issue in another thread, but I now have an official complaint to lodge against the new Netflix app.

Rather than letting you pick a resolution and get a sufficient buffer before it starts playing, the app appears to jump between resolutions depending on how much buffer it has. As a consequence, when you first start playing a movie, it's in SD (or worse), then it appears to jump to 1080i, then to 1080p/24 depending on the speed of your internet connection and the size of the accumulated buffer.

But here's the problem. I have my TiVo connected to the web via a powerline ethernet adapter that tests at a speed of 20/Mbps. Despite this, watching a movie on Netflix yesterday was unworkable, as the app kept changing resolutions (once every ten minutes or so), resulting in a loss of audio and video during each change and a blackout period of 10 seconds or more. The movie also seemed to skip ahead more than the 10 seconds during each blackout (i.e., it seemed to resume about a minute later).

The video quality was VERY impressive when I was getting 1080P/24. On my 100" rear projection setup, it looked like a Bluray, which is the highest praise I can give. But, despite having what seems to be a pretty good ethernet connection, I couldn't maintain the 1080P/24 stream.

I'm going to experiment with increasing my cable modem service to 50 Mbps, just to see if that solves the problem. But it really is a shame that such a good app seems to have such a significant design flaw. It really should pick a resolution and stick to it (even if it has to pause for buffering), as I think all other implementations of Netflix I own (AppleTV and PS3) do.
I agree with the picking and sticking with a res. but i think the issue there is the fact that the premiere only does 1080p pass. My PS3 for example will start out a movie in 1080p 60FPS (which is how the App Loads also) but once buffered, switch to 24fps. I dont see the switch because of the way the PS3 handles it

Can you try the premiere somewhere where the powerline is involved?

I had two Tivo's going last night, one doing 1080p and one 720P, plus my MLB.TV showing a game and had no issues. I only have a 15Mbps connection
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Old 06-05-2012, 03:32 PM   #14
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I have 1080p disabled and clearly see it switching from 720p to 1080i at the start. I'd imagine setting it to one resolution like 1080i will solve the issue, but I like to display native 720p and 1080i on my setup.

When I see lots of resoluition changes, I notice high latency on my internet connection. When the connection is solid the resolution changes from 720p at start up to 1080i one or two times at the most. It also will change from a paused screen staring at 720p and working its way up.

It would be advisable for the app to start with a bit more buffer at the highest resolution avialable available and fall back resolutions as needed.

additionally, the resolution changes are too sensitive, before any resolution is steped up a longer high quality period of connection should exist to ensure higher resolution will be stable and not flap back and forth.
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Old 06-05-2012, 03:43 PM   #15
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additionally, the resolution changes are too sensitive, before any resolution is steped up a longer high quality period of connection should exist to ensure higher resolution will be stable and not flap back and forth.
If you use Netflix on any other device you wouldn't agree. Every other device sticks to one output format (1080p, 720p) and adjusts the quality without changing resolutions. When it happens a lot you hardly notice the difference and it also keeps you from ever seeing a rebuffering screen. The problem with the TiVo client is that it is also changing resolutions which doesn't make much sense.
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:00 PM   #16
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If you use Netflix on any other device you wouldn't agree. Every other device sticks to one output format (1080p, 720p) and adjusts the quality without changing resolutions. When it happens a lot you hardly notice the difference and it also keeps you from ever seeing a rebuffering screen. The problem with the TiVo client is that it is also changing resolutions which doesn't make much sense.
yeah I agree with that. The app should just start the the highest resolution and lock onto it and adjust quality from that one resolution. you are right, the resolution bouncing around is what causes the blackouts/hdmi resyncs, etc.
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:03 PM   #17
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If you use Netflix on any other device you wouldn't agree. Every other device sticks to one output format (1080p, 720p) and adjusts the quality without changing resolutions. When it happens a lot you hardly notice the difference and it also keeps you from ever seeing a rebuffering screen. The problem with the TiVo client is that it is also changing resolutions which doesn't make much sense.
It can't scale to 1080P. If you set it for one resolution output that it can scale to, like 1080i or 720P then it should be similar to the other devices that also set one output resolution. But you can't set the TiVo to 1080P for that since the TiVo can only pass through 1080P24.
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:52 PM   #18
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It can't scale to 1080P. If you set it for one resolution output that it can scale to, like 1080i or 720P then it should be similar to the other devices that also set one output resolution. But you can't set the TiVo to 1080P for that since the TiVo can only pass through 1080P24.
Yes, I know. That is why the TiVo version of Netflix is too problematic for me. I will just stick with Roku so I can get the 1080p streams from Netflix. When you restrict it to 1080i or 720p on TiVo, I don't think Netflix sends the higher 1080p bitrate streams at all.
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Old 06-28-2012, 12:37 PM   #19
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Another question on this.

Are some Netflix HD titles available in 1080P/24 and some not? I was watching Thor a couple nights ago and I couldn't get it to kick into 1080p/24 on either my TiVo or my PS3. If a title is not available in 1080p/24 is there a way to tell that on the web or on one of the playback devices?

Thoughts?
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Old 06-28-2012, 12:41 PM   #20
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Another question on this.

Are some Netflix HD titles available in 1080P/24 and some not? I was watching Thor a couple nights ago and I couldn't get it to kick into 1080p/24 on either my TiVo or my PS3. If a title is not available in 1080p/24 is there a way to tell that on the web or on one of the playback devices?

Thoughts?
Some are not. Although I've only run into a couple of titles that only played at 1080i(are these 30 fps/video titles?). And of course there are still many titles that only have 720P for the max resolution.

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Old 06-28-2012, 12:45 PM   #21
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Some are not. Although I've only run into a couple of titles that only played at 1080i(are these 30 fps/video titles?). And of course there are still many titles that only have 720P for the max resolution.

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Thanks for the quick reply. Is there a way to tell which titles are which?
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Old 06-28-2012, 12:51 PM   #22
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Some are not. Although I've only run into a couple of titles that only played at 1080i(are these 30 fps/video titles?). And of course there are still many titles that only have 720P for the max resolution.
I think if you have 1080p disabled, but 1080i enabled, it will play the 1080p streams at 1080i. I think the number of 1080p videos is still pretty small on Netflix.
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Old 06-28-2012, 07:48 PM   #23
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I think if you have 1080p disabled, but 1080i enabled, it will play the 1080p streams at 1080i. I think the number of 1080p videos is still pretty small on Netflix.
Yes that is correct as mikeyts confirmed. When I had the titles I playing back at 1080i I had 1080p24 checked as a resolution. And had no issue streaming at 1080p24 from some other titles. One of the titles that were playing back at 1080i was called Alien vs. Ninja(or something like that)

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Old 06-28-2012, 08:39 PM   #24
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I think if you have 1080p disabled, but 1080i enabled, it will play the 1080p streams at 1080i. I think the number of 1080p videos is still pretty small on Netflix.
AFAICT, pretty nearly every HD Netflix title has a 1080p24 encode and that's been true since they introduced 1080p24 in October of 2010. They created a whole new set of AVC encodings designed for Adaptive Bit-rate Streaming which could only be played by the PS3 for several months and only on the PS3 and Roku 2 XS & XD for a long time after that.

I have come upon a few that were 720p-only, including the film Scary Movie and a few seasons of some anime series, other seasons of which have 1080p encodes (not that it makes a whole lot of difference with flat shaded animation). The excellent Swedish "alternative" vampire flick, Let the Right One In had a 1080p encoding, but the burned-in English subs were screwed up in only the 1080p encoding so they eventually "fixed" the title by removing that encode . For a long time it served as a test of whether someone was getting 1080p from Netflix, though it made the film unwatchable for non-Swedish speakers with sufficient bandwidth to get 1080p.

My 5 y/o Mits LCD panel can't accept p24 (if I leave it checked it gets turned into p60, presumably by my AVR). With only 1080i enabled TiVo converts it into that, which is pretty damn good.
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Old 06-28-2012, 09:36 PM   #25
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AFAICT, pretty nearly every HD Netflix title has a 1080p24 stream and that's been since they introduced 1080p24 in October of 2010. They created a whole new set of AVC encodings designed for Adaptive Bit-rate Streaming which could only be played by the PS3 for several months and only on the PS3 and Roku 2 XS & XD for a long time after that.

...........
Alot of the HD content I've watched on Netflix was only 720P this year. But I've also watched over a couple hundred titles/episodes of Anime this year from Netflix(with over 150 just in march). And alot of the HD anime(that I've looked at) seems to have 720P as the highest streaming resolution.
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Old 06-28-2012, 09:56 PM   #26
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Alot of the HD content I've watched on Netflix was only 720P this year. But I've also watched over a couple hundred titles/episodes of Anime this year from Netflix(with over 150 just in march). And alot of the HD anime(that I've looked at) seems to have 720P as the highest streaming resolution.
Hmmm. Maybe they're intentionally not bothering to create 1080p encodings of anime. Maybe a lot of the sources for that with which they're provided is 720p digital. Who knows.

I just tried enabling 1080i+1080p24 on my Premiere. It does take a two or three seconds to switch. It'd be nice if TiVo had a 1080p60 output that it could scale all of the other formats into. All of my other Netflix playing devices, even the ones which can't play the 1080p encodes like the Xbox, output 1080p60 which is the native framerate of my old Mits panel.
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Old 06-29-2012, 03:28 PM   #27
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A unique thing about the TiVo Netflix player that I forgot to mention is that even if its maximum output resolution is set to 720p, it will access and play the 1080p24 encode anyway if there's enough available bandwidth on your connection to local Netflix servers and those servers are responsive enough, scaling it down to 720p60, a bit of a waste of bandwidth in the end (though it's possible that the downscaled 1080p is higher PQ than the better of the 720p encodes).

All the other Netflix players I have (Roku 2, PS3, Xbox, Panasonic and Sony BD players) will top out with the 720p24 encodes if you set their maximum resolution to 1280x720 (there are 2 for each title, at 2350- and 3600 Kbps).
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Old 07-02-2012, 04:00 PM   #28
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As far as I can tell, Thor (just added to instant queue) is not available at 1080p/24. Couldn't get it to output that way on either my TiVo or my PS3.
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Old 07-02-2012, 05:45 PM   #29
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As far as I can tell, Thor (just added to instant queue) is not available at 1080p/24. Couldn't get it to output that way on either my TiVo or my PS3.
Yes, that would seem to be true; Thor appears to be 720p only with no 5.1 sound. It is a relatively recent release title. Since dropping Starz Play, Netflix has been getting such titles from the content IP holders and I'm guess that this one had some limitations on how they could present it. Hopefully it's not a sign of things to come.

EDIT: I just examined a few other relatively-recent-big-theatrical-release films on Netflix: Iron Man 2, Kick-Ass and Rango are all 720p-only and without digital 5.1 sound. Pro Logic II matrix encoding on the stereo tracks generally survive Netflix encoding so you'll get some surround sound (the little bit of Rango I listened to sounded quite good).

Thor and Iron Man 2 are both Marvel Comics Studio releases, so maybe those limitations are part of Netflix's deal with them. I suppose that these limitations are better than what we got from Starz Play. Some other relatively-recent-big-theatrical-release films like Limitless have been in 1080p w/DD+ sound so we can hope that not many content providers will imposed such limitations.
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