Netflix issues

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by TiVoStephen, Dec 15, 2008.

  1. szurlo

    szurlo Member

    181
    0
    Jul 11, 2002
    Lexington, SC

    Advertisements

    I know. I just wanted to make sure that the OP understood that in the context of his/her issue as it pertains to the Tivo, Amazon did not stream, and therefore comparing the two wasn't really apples to apples.
     
  2. szurlo

    szurlo Member

    181
    0
    Jul 11, 2002
    Lexington, SC
    Yeah, I have not had the lockups etc, but I am blessed with the HDMI audio issue that only happens during NetFlix playback from Tivo and only affects certain brands of TV (mine being one of them). It's always something ;)
     
  3. dphilippine

    dphilippine New Member

    1
    0
    Dec 13, 2006
    We have been trying to watch Dexter and so far it froze on every episode we watched, with the only option to reboot TIVO. I have an S3 and broadband connection, no wifi.
    This is frustrating, I have watched entire movies on Netflix since the service started and this problem seems to have started very recently.
     
  4. bennard

    bennard New Member

    1
    0
    Jun 25, 2009
    I just moved from Louisiana to Arkansas, and am trying to get everything settled. Of course, getting the TiVo working is a top priority. So, I've got everything set up now, but I'm having a lot of difficulty when trying to watch Netflix movies on the DVR. Sometimes a video will play for about 5 minutes, then I get dropped back to Live TV randomly. Sometimes videos will play for 5-10 minutes before I get a hard lockup and require a reboot.

    Prior to moving, I had absolutely no trouble with streaming video to the TiVo. The only difference between here and there is the internet service (ATT DSL vs. Cox cable) and that I'm having to use a wireless bridge to get network access instead of a direct connection to the router.

    Any ideas?
     
  5. morac

    morac Cat God TCF Club

    14,610
    2,367
    Mar 14, 2003
    NJ

    Advertisements

    Either of those two things can cause a problem. If your ISP is having issues (which one are you using now?) or if your wireless connection is less than ideal, it will cause drop outs (which can cause lockups).
     
  6. Jul 9, 2009 #686 of 992
    Bwangster12

    Bwangster12 New Member

    12
    0
    Jun 5, 2009
    Are we ever going to get the ability to add movies to our Instant Queues right from the Tivo unit? Like they have just done for Xbox 360? Only knock I see on it so far is the fact I have to add movies on the PC first.
     
  7. Jul 9, 2009 #687 of 992
    mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

    2,422
    5
    Jul 10, 2004
    San Diego,...
    Who knows? But as you pointed out, they are adding it to the 360 and the ability to browse films at Amazon is much stronger now than when they started.
     
  8. hyvonen

    hyvonen New Member

    8
    0
    Nov 29, 2008
    Yeah, I started getting this "error communicating with Netflix server" message lately (1-2 weeks ago). It's singlehandedly pushing me to cancel my Netflix which I'm keeping for the sole purpose of streaming to Tivo.

    Why people bother? Well, at least for me, the streaming worked beautifully, with little problems even in HD. 1-2 weeks ago, Tivo rebooted (probably an update), and after that the problems started.

    This happens to me only on HD streams... when I start playing, the streaming service first buffers the stream and tries to figure out the download speed. Before that Tivo update, it would always max out the speed bar and highlight the "HD" symbol. Now, it stars somewhere at 3/4 of the bar, waits, flashes a full bar and "HD" symbol, and immediately quits with the "error communicating with Netflix server". Trying the same exact movie/tvshow again usually gives the same result, but sometimes it doesn't flash the HD symbol, and the stream works fine (although in low definition now).

    Last night I was able to stream "Phoebe in Wonderland" in HD, though, so not all my HD streaming is gone (just 95% of it...). But trying NCIS or Weeds kept giving me this error.

    Regarding my internet, I have comcast, get >50Mbps most of the time (haven't seen it below 25Mbps), and Tivo is connected to the router using 100Mbps ethernet. I have never had Tivo reboots; I think this must be related to the internet connection... reboots only when connection lost "at a bad time" (=when streaming). Switching between Netflix Instant Queue pages is also instantaneous (I've seen other people with wireless and bad internet take forever to go through pages... must be again related to the internet speed).

    Some (conspiracy) theries:

    1) Netflix servers have been overloaded with streaming customers during the summer (nothing on TV :)), and they have only a finite number of HD streams "available" to Tivo users. If your internet speed is fast enough for HD, Tivo tries, but gets rejected by Netflix server. Result: no way to watch the show.

    2) Tivo update broke the ethernet port driver, killing the connection speed. I doubt that's the reason, though, because sometimes I can get the HD stream to work.

    3) Either Netflix updates or Tivo updates screwed up the handshaking of the streams at highest speeds, and now they only work if you're really lucky, regardless of the connection speed to the server.

    My guess is that it's #1, but what do I know... In any case, this sucks. Please fix!!
     
  9. hyvonen

    hyvonen New Member

    8
    0
    Nov 29, 2008
    Forgot to mention in my rant that, as a stop-gap measure, it would be great if Tivo would add a temporary feature that when this error would occur, Tivo would automatically try again once or twice while forcing the speed to be lower than what the speed test indicates is possible. Maybe this would get around any Netflix capacity issues, and at least enable us to watch the streams instead of banging our heads against the "error communicating" wall.

    I do expect this issue to be fully resolved in the future, but while waiting, I'd really like to watch something at _some_ resolution.
     
  10. jonbrenner

    jonbrenner New Member

    2
    0
    Jul 14, 2009
    I think you may be onto something there. My packet captures show constant TCP errors when my TivoHD is talking to the netflix media servers. Segments lost, out of order, duplicate acknowledgements, retransmissions, etc. When I connect my mac to the same ethernet cable and watch the same movie using netflix's silverlight viewer, the tcp flow is clean and there are no problems.

    Either the media servers are formatting the media differently for the players and causing upstream errors in some cases or it's a problem with the Tivo. Taking into account Tivo's not-exactly-bug-free history, I'm inclined to believe the latter.

    For the record, here's my configuration.

    ATT UVerse 25/2 (bellsouth cloud) > 2wire 3800hgv-b > airport extreme > tivohd
    All ethernet.
     
  11. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Well-Known Mumbler

    11,886
    934
    Aug 2, 2003
    Actually, the former is known to be true. Not that this necessarily explains the TCP errors.
     
  12. hyvonen

    hyvonen New Member

    8
    0
    Nov 29, 2008
    Interesting... I read it somewhere else in this thread (first page?) that different set of media files are used for Netflix; PCs, 360's etc. get the "other set". Oh and you're right, I don't seem to have any problems viewing the movies/shows on PC, just on Tivo.

    But maybe this is a problem with Tivo. I wonder if they tried to fix all the other screw-ups (freezes, reboots), and broke this? I wish quality control was better, so things would get tested before updates are released...

    Please fix fix fix!!


    EDIT: Checking the first page, "original PC client", 360 and Roku has one set of media files, while PC silverlight & Tivo has another.
     
  13. Resist

    Resist Well-Known Member

    2,032
    55
    Dec 21, 2003
    I think I am going to cancel Netflix, I can't take all the freezing it does with my Series 3 Tivo. Tonight it got me so pissed off midway in my movie and it froze, unable to do anything but shut off my TV. I have had enough of this Tivo/Netflix deal, it doesn't work!
     
  14. oViTynoT

    oViTynoT Obvious Forum Lurker

    348
    0
    May 18, 2007
    Plano, TX
    First, a few technical details.

    The media servers don't "reformat" the stream differently, per se. They do that ONCE when they transcode the media file. When TiVo requests a stream, NetFlix just streams out a different file; no transcoding on the fly.

    It's doubtful there's a finite number of "HD Streams" available per movie. There's a finite amount of BANDWIDTH available to deliver content, but that's a different issue.

    A properly designed Content Delivery Network load-shares streams to all available file server "heads," and it's likely their heads can support anywhere from 6-10Gbps per head.

    At least, that's what I see in MY business, and we're not using our file servers for content delivery.

    I have no idea how much bandwidth NetFlix has into their CDN; I'd love to know!

    So, all that being said, I DO think NetFlix was having issues last night (7/13/2009); NetFlix was worse than I've EVER seen it.

    4-5 hangs (that cleared themselves after about 2-3 minutes of waiting) and one reboot.

    I don't think it was a congestion issue, because I was receiving Highest Quality on everything I tried to watch, but still...
     
  15. morac

    morac Cat God TCF Club

    14,610
    2,367
    Mar 14, 2003
    NJ
    The TiVo is not going to cause lost or out of order segments. Both of those would be caused by server or routing problems.

    Netflix uses LimeLight and Akamai CDNs for streaming. I've been told they default to Limelight, but that the Silverlight application can detect problems streaming from the servers and switch over to Akamai on the fly. That could be why you see no problems with SilverLight, but do see problems on the TiVo.

    Personally I've been seeing problems with Limelight servers recently. They haven't been up to speed, normally ranging between 2 to 4 mbps, but sometimes going as low as 400 kbps. This affects Amazon (on TiVo and PC), free TiVoCast downloads and Netflix on the TiVo as well as video downloads on PS3. Netflix on the PC works because that seems to be using Akamai.

    Akamai on the other hand is extremely fast and maxes out my 12 mbps connection. That's probably because Akamai's servers are hosted by Comcast (which I have). Limelight's servers are hosted by Global Crossing (at least via Comcast). I'm currently having Comcast look into what I think are problems with Limelight's servers.
     
  16. jonbrenner

    jonbrenner New Member

    2
    0
    Jul 14, 2009
    I'm definitely no router jock. I recognize that the OOO segments result from upstream hiccups, but I still can't explain why there are so many more problems with seemingly identical routes.

    I'm not looking at the packet capture at the moment, but I'm almost certain that they both connected to the same LimeLight server. I'll verify when I get home from work.
     
  17. oViTynoT

    oViTynoT Obvious Forum Lurker

    348
    0
    May 18, 2007
    Plano, TX
    Out-of-order segments are almost ALWAYS network INDUCED, but 90% of the time, they are CAUSED by how the endpoints deal with the issue.

    I say ALMOST, because if EITHER endpoint miss a packet, the results are the same, thus TiVo COULD be responsible for an out of order segment.

    Out of order segments are almost always a result of a lost segment. System A acknowledges all the way up to the last segment it received, then there's a missing segment, and then a bunch more arrive. System A can't send ACK's for the latter group (well, it can, but the ACK# can't change; the ACK# must remain the segment it received before the missing one.)

    Packet Capture software will usually flag that as a DUPLICATE ACK; that's NEVER an error even though they're flagged as such. SOME TCP stacks will INTERPRET a DUPLICATE ACK as an implied flag of the loss of the subsequent segment, but most that I know of don't... When they receive that duplicate ACK they'll immediately retransmit the following segment (if such segment existed). If they don't, they have to wait until the ACK timer expires.

    When System B detects a timeout, then it can retransmit the missing segment, System A can ACK THAT segment, and THEN acknowledge all the other ones it received in a single packet.

    System B then would be seen as sending out of order segments.

    This could have happened if:

    • ...the segment was not transmitted by B because of a Transmit Buffer Overflow.
    • ...the network dropped the packet.
    • ...System A couldn't receive the segment because of a RECEIVE buffer overflow.
    • ...System A couldn't send an ACK because of a transmit buffer overflow.
    • ...System B couldn't RECEIVE the ACK because of a receive buffer overflow.
    • ...And less likely, but still possible, the segment did IN FACT arrive out of order because of a topology change within the routed network.

    THAT is not a problem in and of itself; that's the way TCP was designed to operate.

    It only becomes a "problem" if the Video Buffer was too small. Since a Re-Transmit induces a large amount of "Jitter." If the buffer is drained before the missing segment arrives, it's too late to do anything with it, and higher layer protocols have to deal with that.
     
  18. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

    2,422
    5
    Jul 10, 2004
    San Diego,...
    I'd expect the use of multi-buffering and a protocol which requests buffer-sized video chunks. All of that out-of-order packet stuff is encapsulated at the driver level--the application would be unaware of it.
     
  19. jbrady3324

    jbrady3324 New Member

    17
    0
    Jul 16, 2009
    Has the "no audio" issue been resolved? I just signed up for Netflix to use through my TIVO. First episode of The Office worked flawlessly. Next episode I tried to watch, had no sound at all. Now everything I try to watch through Netflix has no sound.

    Tivo->HDMI->Receiver->Speakers

    This really sucks.
     
  20. morac

    morac Cat God TCF Club

    14,610
    2,367
    Mar 14, 2003
    NJ
    In the case of the TiVo hardware, if this situation occurs the box has a very good chance of simply locking up when dealing with H.264 and VC-1 video.
     

Share This Page

spam firewall

Advertisements