Friday, March 20, 2009

Netflix Trying for Consistent Excellence on Streaming

This is Neil Hunt, Chief Product Officer at Netflix.

There’s been some blog swirl about Netflix streaming delivery, and I’d like to explain what we are doing to improve our streaming delivery. Our aspiration is to deliver to everyone the best bitrate that their broadband connection can support.

Congestion Could Affect Some Users, But Not Others, at Some Times, but Not Always

Content from Netflix originates on CDN servers that are distributed around the US (just as our DVD shipping centers are) so that the data doesn’t have to traverse the Internet backbones to get to our customers, but instead can usually reach its destination via regional and metro networks that have much higher aggregate bandwidth. This means that if there is any congestion and slowdown, it will be different in different regions (by Internet topology, which isn’t completely tied to geography). Hence some customers may be affected, while others are not. Also, routing to different ISPs in the same region may be quite different, thus performance may also be quite different, even for neighbors, if they are connected to different ISPs. Moreover, congesting points can rise and fall with ISP configuration changes and other conditions.

Different Content, Different Devices, Different Characteristics


Finally, different titles, and different encodes for different playback device types, may come from different CDNs or different servers at a particular CDN, so may have different paths and different bottlenecks. Accordingly, customers may see better performance on Xbox than their PC, or vice-versa. Equivalently, some titles may stream unaffected, while others suffer congestion. There is no purposeful discrimination between different clients – we want them all to perform very well.

Getting to More Consistent Delivery by Routing Around the Problems

Our engineering team is working to multi-source most content, so that there are many possible alternatives in case of regional congestion (as long as the congestion isn't in the customer's home or last-mile infrastructure, in which case there is little we can do). Our newest Silverlight player (for Mac and PC) incorporates an initial version of multi-sourcing, and as we improve it, we’ll roll it out to everyone including our device partners such as Roku and Xbox. We hope by the end of year to have this problem largely solved.

In Home Congestion

While not a server issue, let me touch on in-home congestion. It’s relatively obvious that if you have another PC in your home downloading large files, your home network or you last-mile network may be impacted. What’s less obvious is that even heavy upstream traffic can be a problem by impeding the flow of acknowledgement packets back to the servers, which respond by sending smaller and smaller packets in case the data gets damaged in transit. Since most home broadband has much lower upstream bandwidth than downstream, it’s quite easy to saturate the upstream direction with a PC-backup application, or a Skype-video call, for example.

402 comments:

  1. This doesn't touch on the widespread audio encoding problems experienced by Roku users - missing audio, out-of-sync audio, garbled audio. It's just as disruptive as not being able to get a content stream due to network congestion.

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  2. And if there's any confusion as to what I mean by "widespread", 30-some pages of Roku user complains over at the Roku forums (forums.roku.com) will clear that up.

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  3. I could usually got 1 bar (sometimes 2) on my XBOX 360 using AT&T DSL Elite service here in Connecticut. PC streaming was not better. The Elite DSL is the top of the line option and is advertised with the following speeds...

    Downstream Speed: Up to 6.0 Mbps
    Upstream Speed: Up to 768 Kbps

    I would run into intermittent slowness when doing general surfing and that is when I started looking into a different ISP.

    Switching to Comcast improved dramatically - now I always get 4 bars and can even stream the HD content. And no more web surfing problems.

    Here I was thinking it was a NetFlix issue when it was a lousy ISP.

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  4. Sorry, but you totally avoid talking about the issue that has been plaguing Mac Safari users for months: MICROSOFT SILVERLIGHT PLUG-IN PROBLEMS. This caused ALL Netflix movies to SKIP & FREEZE every 8-10 seconds while watching a movie in Safari for Mac. It worked fine in Firefox on Mac, but not Safari on Mac.

    This problem wasn't fixed until just last week when Microsoft issued an update to its Silverlight plug-in.

    If your streaming is going to be depending on technology from a company known for its mediocrity (Microsoft), then YOU, NETFLIX, have to be responsible for making sure that Microsoft's plug-in works properly. YOU, NETFLIX, have to communicate with Microsoft and have answers for your customers.

    And NOT have your customer service representatives tell US to "call Microsoft" when the plug-in isn't working properly. This is atrocious customer service on the part of Netflix.

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  5. I am glad to hear Netflix is aware and working on this. I seem to have better success with HD streams now on Roku than I did when they initially became available. Thanks.

    Cheers!
    -Matt

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  6. I'm glad that you are aware that there is a problem and are trying to address it. I have found that, even with a 10 Mb/s business service, streaming HD is unwatchable. It stops and drops back to SD and rebuffers and restarts. SD works great, though. If/when you can fix the streaming problems, I will be a very, very happy man.

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  7. The buffering is painfully slow with the silverlight player, and the final video quality is not very good. Seeing how silverlight is being used to stream March Madness games (no latency, very high quality), I think that the Netflix streaming solution needs work...

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  8. you charged my visa on 03/11/09 you turned off account on 03/15/09 turn back on un till 04/11/09 or i will never use again thank you matthew miller 7 magdalene st

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  9. I frequently have in-home congestion problems, plus a few issues with dropped packets when I watch from my laptop. If you feel like helping those of us in this situation, some control over buffering would help. I've got a machine with plenty of RAM and am perfectly happy to let it sit buffering for a half hour (over dinner, say) before sitting down to watch, if it means a smooth playback at high quality.

    I can usually do that with the current client, but have (what seems to me) more problems than normal with the Silverlight client hanging and refusing to play, or the audio getting out of sync with the video.

    On another note: I have not seen a NetFlix popunder ad in some time. Can I congratulate you on finally ceasing to use those obnoxious things?

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  10. I'm VERY unhappy with this new Silverlight player. No matter what time of day (or night) anything we try to watch on our PC's is CONSTANTLY interrupted with the adjusting playback screen. The video itself is choppy as well. Our download speed runs about 15mb consistantly.

    When I called Netflix customer support, they said it must be a load-bearing issue with our ISP. If that were the case, why does anything from Hulu.com play perfectly?

    I also asked if there was any way to go back to the previous player. There isn't.

    I've been with Netflix since February 2003... yes, SIX YEARS...and I've never been unhappy with the service until this week when we started using this horrible player.

    HEY NETFLIX... ditch Silverlight and get something that works well enough to make movie watching enjoyable again!

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  11. I've never had an issue with the silverlight player in Safari on my Mac. It's been fine since it was introduced.

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  12. shit dude i dont like this silverlight stuff. i never had to let anything buffer before. now i cant even rewind a show bc it will start buffering AGAIN. wtf? why did you do this... and on top of that, i havent gotten any dvds in the mail and according to my queue, they should have arrived 3 days ago. please fix this new streaming bullshit you all have now. it sux. i cant watch shit!

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  13. Twelve comments in, and already 1/3 are off-topic.

    Since it's apparently "random complaint day", I've got a bugger of a rash popping up on my arm. Awesome.

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  14. Can't Neflix have a simple area to make requests for moves to be added to instant.

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  15. I don't know what silverlight is but sounds like I don't want it.

    Sorry for the following off topic comments, but Netflix doesn't offer us anywhere else to submit feedback, so you're asking for it really. You should have a big link on the main blog page that says "submit feedback" then you can just ignore it if you want. Even if you ignore the feedback people submit we will THINK we have been heard and it's the thought that counts.

    So anyways, Netflix ROCKS. I've been a member for over a year and I love it. Keep up the awesome work and I'll be a lifetime member.

    Two suggestions/comments.

    #1. A button to add all the movies on an actors list to your Que would be really nice.

    #2. Michael Angarano's profile page doesn't list Lords of Dogtown and he plays a key character in the film. Just thought the people in charge of keeping the databases accurate might want to know.

    Thanks again Netflix people for your excellent service!!!

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  16. I'm not sure if this is the proper forum, but I don't know anywhere else to leave feedback.

    There was an article on Engadget,

    http://www.joystiq.com/2009/03/20/survey-proposes-netflix-service-for-wii/

    about bringing Netflix streaming to the Wii. I wish I would have got that notice because you would have a definite yes from me. I'd love to get it on my PS3 (officially), but I'm assuming because of their own video offerings this will never happen.

    Netflix Streaming has my vote for the WII.

    Thanks
    Anon

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  17. The Netflix streaming service picture quality is *so bad* that I canceled my subscription.

    Best of luck to Netflix in fixing their problems.

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  18. You know, I'm not so concerned about streaming. Here are my concerns.

    I just signed up for Netflix, and within 10 minutes cancelled my account. Want to know why?

    Three reasons:

    1. I wanted to watch video through my TiVo, but nothing about this service mentioned that I had to have an HD TiVo to use it, until after I had already signed up.

    2. Still, I thought, I can always just watch regular DVDs. So I started browsing. When I hit the eighth straight title that was only available in Blu Ray format, I said WTF?

    3. So I thought I would contact Netflix to find out why they don't offer the movies I want either as instant download to a regular TiVo box, or in DVD format, but I couldn't find any way to actually contact you, either by phone or email.

    Hence - you just lost this customer forever. A few years ago, I had a Netflix account, but I cancelled it after three straight DVDs that wouldn't play due to their poor condition. After this experience, I don't know what would bring me back.

    PS. If you like this, you can read it again at http://jeffcrook.blogspot.com.

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  19. Somewhat along the lines of John Murphy above, can anyone explain why we can't just CHOOSE what quality video we want via a setting somewhere in our Netflix account, force the player into that bitrate, and then, by god, if we have to wait for it to download, we have to wait. So be it. I don't actually require that the playback be "instant," despite the "watch instantly" marketing.

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  20. Silverlight sucks...

    Please abandon Microsoft for something the produces quality video.

    I'm running on WinXP Dell Latitude D630 and these are the problems I have:
    1) Compression artifacts are terrible - Quantization noise is much higher than previous player.
    2) Image tearing is very poor. Random line tearing occurs all over the image.
    3) Volume can no longer be controlled using arrow keys.

    Please go back to old player. Please!

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  21. "When I hit the eighth straight title that was only available in Blu Ray format, I said WTF?"

    This is officially the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Nothing on Netflix.com is only available in Blu-ray format. You obviously can't read. Everything on the site that you can add to your Q successfully will be on DVD (Or Instant... again, you have to be able to read), unless you mark your account to allow Blu-ray rentals.

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  22. I want to know if there any plans for streaming to be available on PS3 anytime soon or that thing is off the table.

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  23. To reply to Brock, you can select the quality of video stream, at least using the Silverlight player on a PC. Select CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+S. There is also a great "debugging" screen through CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+S that shows the buffer downloaded along with other stats.

    I am still looking for a way to select the stream in the TiVo player like the above for a PC. If anyone knows how to do this for Tivo then please post.

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  24. Would really like to see searching by Disc Features. Specifically, the available audio tracks and subtitles. Would be awesome to be able to find a list of movies with a specific audio language track.

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  25. I just began reading this blog today, but been having that buffering problem since I was bullied into hte Silverlight. I have download speed time of 3507 Kbps, sometimes even 5146 but NetFlix Tech tells me (I) have to make ATT switch to Open DNS. I have to "make" them. Well, they say, since I can log on, then no. So now, investigating Open DNS on my own, but amazed that I'm paying both vendors, but it's me who supposed to make one change to please the other. Something wrong with that. Meanwhile, despite having high DSL and a rocket system, we can't get through a movie.

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  26. Drew - Thanks so much for the info on controlling speed. I'm using a PC, and in the previous player (Windows Media Player I think?), you could hit Shift-B and could choose the download speed. I'm going to try your suggestion tonight.



    I think it's pretty obvious that Netflix is having serious trouble with Silverlight. I think I'm echoing a broader trend that Netflix is having issues and is attempting to blame the ISP's for those issues. I'm also not convinced that Netflix isn't throttling down the connections. I have a consistently high speed, but am experiencing the same issues with buffering and interrupted playback that many others are writing about.



    Netflix needs to begin to offer multiple options for the PC, as Silverlight isn't cutting it.



    I'm on the edge of cancelling my account because of this.

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  27. NEIL - for GOD SAKES talk to Move Networks (www.movenetworks.com); they seem to have worked out these issues and are MUCH farther along than newer technologies that claim to "adapt" or whatever.

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  28. I haven't had problems watching movies online. My biggest problem is that you make me use Internet Explorer to do so. I'm no longer required to use it for work, so I'd chuck it as a browser if you didn't require it to be used. It's quite annoying.

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  29. I signed up for netflix for the sole purpose of using streaming play with my mac and my roku. While there are some issues with safari (I use firefox for netflix) and I would like a larger video library, this is still by far one of the best streaming solutions I have seen. Thanks, Netflix.

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  30. @Scott Rose,
    Blaming Netflix for a Microsoft application not working on your Mac's Safari browser is offensive. You, sir, are an idiot.

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  31. I'm close to cancelling my membership. The buffering, playback issue and out of memory browser is constantly on the way to have good viewing experience. All those issues arises when the new player was cutover. I've been a satisfied customer for 4 years and was on the dissatisfied side because of this issues. I do not mind change and agressive fixes when issue are found. But this is a lingering issue for couple months now. I'm a PC user and a very well equipped PC in terms of memory, cpu, disk space, and prof grade DSL service.

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  32. Well I don't know where else to do this since I can't just send over a suggestion. But Netflix really needs to have just a section for New Release by DATE. I goto new releases and get "popular," "in action" and so on. And most of the time that list is like a month old.

    I just want a list of this month's releases. So when they come out I can add them.

    Is that possible?

    Thanks,
    Rich

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  33. Well, there seems to be a lot of hate going on around here. I switched to using the Silverlight player as soon as it was available in beta. I've not had any issues and watch movies everyday. I think its a great feature, and I'm glad to be with Netflix instead of blockbuster.

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  34. I've never had a problem with Netflix streaming via Comcast in the Balto/Wash. area since it was first introduced. Even bought an XBOX 360 after a friend showed me the payback on his TV (my PC was also hooked up to my TV at that time, but it didn't look quite as good as the XBOX). I've even tried playing a movie on the PC and a different movie on the XBOX and they both worked! I think some of these people need to get a life. If it doesn't work for you, move on, cancel your membership, whatever -- it really may not be all Netflix's fault. All of you Mac bigots should be signing up for Apple TV anyway...

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  35. Neil,

    I am attempting to have as much patience as possible but this talk of Congestion issues is wearing my patience. I don't believe it's a speed issue at all. I just took the speedtest.net to show you my Internet speed. Here is my results for New York and San Diego

    I am very confused as to why you just don't understand the real issues. Many online movies that utilize flash viewers, such as Hulu.com, has zero issues at all with my XP system or my wife's Mac. Even the Media player that you used in the past was perfectly acceptable and easy to use on my XP.

    Unfortunately ever since you demanded we use this silverlight is when the degradation and unacceptable video started. It is that technology alone that is the issue and problem. I am sure you are all scrambling to fix it but please be honest and forthright with all of us. I even tried to use the Silverlight 3 beta to no avail. Congestion was never the issue in the past, it is a silverlight issue. Forgo the Public Relations rhetoric and shoot it straight to us. We are all fed up with other companies double talk (AIG,Enron) so please don't join that bunch. We are all behind you in this issue, just treat us like adults and fairly. We can handle bad news without jumping ship. I am loyal if you are. Please don't blame this issue on anything other then the real issue, Silverlight.

    Please contact me anytime to discuss this issue,

    Dan

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  36. BTW Nick,

    movenetworks.com is a fine example of getting it right and MS Silverlight is not.

    Please understand and change

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  37. I've been a Netflix subscriber since December 2006, and I've been a very satisfied customer - so satisfied, in fact, that I purchased several NFLX shares - until now. I recently 'upgraded' to the new Silverlight player. Now, my viewing experience is horrendous! It's choppy throughout! The most promising aspect of Netflix's business model, in my opinion, was streaming. If that doesn't work correctly for the majority of customers, that's a serious problem! Judging from the complaints all over the internet, I'm not in the minority here! Nothing else has changed in my environment - hardware, ISP, etc. I'm generally not running any other applications when I'm running the player. I'm hoping Netflix will do the smart thing here and do whatever they need to do to resolve these issues. I'll give it a couple more weeks, but if I'm still unsatisfied, I'll be taking my money elsewhere.

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  38. I was forced to switch to the new Silverlight player last week, and the quality is much worse than the previous player. Although I do like being able to spawn a video through FireFox instead of having to open IE, the video is very choppy and skips frequently. Also, in the previous player, I could just tap the mouse button to pause/start. Now I have to move the mouse to make the controls appear, and actually click the pause / play button. It would have been nice to have an optional upgrade while the kinks are being worked out. I would downgrade right now if the option were available.

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  39. It is amazing to see how bad the streaming is on some retail ISPs... I had fun cutting customers over from "7 mbit" Qwest DSL to our in building 100 mbit/sec services here in Seattle, everyone seemed so surprised when they could suddenly stream the HD content with virtually no start-up delay...

    The major ISPs really need to up their game.

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  40. I'm not sure how so many users are experiencing so many problems. I have not had a single issue with either my my PC, xbox 360, or even my Roku box streaming my content. I have a cable connection with comcast and a wireless g network. I have full bars.

    thanks for the great service!

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  41. I have had very few issues with the streaming service. I have used it on the old player and the new Silverlight player seems to work just fine. I use it on both Macs and PCs and have had no significant issue. It occurs to me that perhaps you are being blamed along with Microsoft for things that are not your doing. Hey it happens. People don't like MS and you decided to go with one of their technologies. Hey if it makes you feel any better my 2 kids love it and though they are 6 and 4 they are able to navigate to the cartoons they want and play the videos as well. So I appreciate all your hard work. I also appreciate that you haven't pulled yourself off of Boxxee which is the best platform on the Mac for watching content. Keep up the great work. Looking forward to the future.

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  42. I have been a Netflix user for several years. I watch instantly on my XBox, TiVo, PS3 (via PlayOn), and PC. All work flawlessly (including HD on TiVo and XBox). The only trouble I have ever had was when I was trying to stream over wireless networking. My ISP is Comcast in the Pacific Northwest.

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  43. Just give me Hd on the PC for goodness sake. I downloaded your Silverlight player I have 15mbps download speed. I have a HTPC with HDMI. So what gives? Tell me what I need to do for you to give me HD through the browser?

    I don't want a seperate box, I have a PC the best box you can buy. If you can't give me HD at least give me new releases, I will pay more just give me what I want.

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  44. Thank you for letting us know what you are doing about the problem. May I suggest that part of the problem is also the technology that you are using i.e. 'Silverlight'.

    Why not try and use something else that does not automatically rule out large sections of users. Using Silverlight automatically rules me out on a PPC based Mac and all LINUX distributions are out until Moolight can complete a port.

    Also, why cannot you stream to a PS3?

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  45. HD on PC!!!
    HD on PC!!!
    HD on PC!!!
    HD on PC!!!
    HD on PC!!!
    HD on PC!!!
    HD on PC!!!
    HD on PC!!!
    HD on PC!!!

    Get the message?

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  46. My experience has been awful. 1 dot or 2 dot on Roku, rebuffering, etc. Inconsistent performance on Tivo as well. I changed ISP from Comcast to ATT DSL. I changed routers when I changed ISP. I've tried numerous dns settings in my router. Roku even exchanged my player. The problem is Netflix cdn servers. What else could it possibly be? I have received absolutely no value for my membership fees. I hope someone initiates a class action suit. Great idea, just lack of integrity on the part of Netflix in my opinion.

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  47. I have very very bad playback from netflix on my 360. I have a 42 inch LCD which is connected by an HDMI cable. Audio is out to a professional audio mixing board. Some of the problems I have had are:

    1. Inconsistent encoding of movies in frame size and quality

    2. Inconsistent encoding of audio.

    3. If a media piece states it is in HD, then it should look like HD. I will gladly take photos of my screen and post them, on request to prove that nothing Netflix streams is HD other than by a number on a page somewhere.

    4. Netflix playing media back in such a bad resolution it is not watchable.

    I have called Netflix three times about this. They were courteous and really worked to solve the problem. This being said, The netflix player on my various computers usually works just fine in most locations. You can not expect netflix to be able to stream into some coffee shop or through a crappy internet connection. I dont use my xbox in a coffee shop and I pay for a very high speed connection into my home. To this end, I contacted Cox Communications. They first blamed Netflix right away (Netflix and Cox Communications blame each other by the way). Cox Communications came out and placed new lines from the street to my house. This immediatly fixed certain playback issues.

    The bottom line here is this: I am not getting rid of netflix because I lack an alternative. I wont pay for cable because cable pretty much sucks for choice. However, call your cable company to check your lines and make sure your not getting errant signal loss from bad shielding, you would be highly surprised at how that can kill your connection.

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  48. usix cox cable ..about 6mb download...never had issue on pc or xbox ...love the updated player !!! i stopped using dvds 6 months ago..interesting to see some people have problems.

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  49. @ scott rose
    Such bias ….I watched Olympics on Silverlight player on my PC running FF. Microsoft enabled me to see Olympics as I could never imagined..same with Netflix now… Love Netflix and love Silverlight player!

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  50. I have been following the issues wit the Netflix streaming issues very closely. My family has abandoned cable and between OTA HD, DVD, and Netflix we don't miss cable. I use my XBOX 360 with a Gold Account and the Official Neflix 360 client.

    Here is what I can say about my experience. I am a Time Warner Cable Customer and Since canceling Cable I have had the base (2Mbit Down/768kbitUP), Middle (6Mbit Down/768kbitUP) and Turbo (16Mbit Down / 768kbitUP). Based on those services I have had poor 1 to 2 bar and constant re-buffering on the base service, good 2 to 4 only re-buffering when it selects 4 and now I am Getting great always Full Bars and when avail HD with the Turbo Service.

    In all of these service levels I have noticed that any time I step down a level due to "network speed changes" my picture is much more pixilated and block at the same quality level than when I natively select that quality level at the beginning of a show.

    I can't speak for ROKU or direct computer viewing because we don't do it. However as a network engineer I can say with my Internet service and my home configuration (All Cisco no consumer class gear) I am very pleased with the Netflix streaming service. I am also pretty impressed with how quickly they are expanding their library of Watch It Now content.

    Thanks,
    Josh

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  51. We have a TiVo HD and Comcast 10Mb/s service, and streaming has always been great quality, even for HD shows.

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  52. To those fretting about video quality. A few things.

    As long as it isn't worst than regular ol' cable, stop bitching.

    What you have now is better than nothing. If you had nothing you'd be bitching about getting anything.

    It ain't perfect now and it will never be perfect for you. It will get better though. If you can't wait then use another service. Something tells me you'll be back.

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  53. I've had problems with missing or out-of-sync audio using the Samsung BD-P2550, any one else running into this sort of problem with a player other than the Roku?

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  54. Dear Neil,

    I have never known Netflix to hem and haw its way through anything up until now. Netflix is and has always been very honest with its customers.

    It clearly seems like part of the problem is Silverlight. I never had a problem with the old software. Suddenly when I switched, Netflix customer service told me it was my internet speed.

    How can that be? It can't.

    I think what has happened is that Netflix has become so committed to this change that to take on any responsibility is a losing proposition for you, since it seems that you are going to be sticking with this for the foreseeable future.

    You really need to face that Silverlight has been an expensive boondoggle for Netflix and a mistake. Take the writedown, send the press release and start on instant viewing 3.0.

    I see an unsustainable future of high complaints with the current implementation.

    Casey

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  55. I get super streaming with Netflix and ROKO, have two units, and can play both at the same time. Never have any problems with quality!, I have 8 mega bit ISP with a wireless router, 4PC's, 2ROKO's, Wii, and MagicJack all on line. I just wish Netflix had all their content available for streaming!!!

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  56. Drew: That works on the Mac as well, but the menu that comes up is a little confusing - I'm assuming that more streams is better quality?

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  57. Netflix needs to either buy Hulu.com or partner with them. Netflix has the DVD and movie availability and Hulu has a better player and better quality.

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  58. While the old player gave us a few issues, at least we only got interrupted potentially once during a 40 minute t.v. show. Last night we were interrupted FIVE times during a 40 minute episode. Silverlight also must have a bad frame rate because the picture and quality are terrible. The other video player was better. I am very satisfied with the rest of the services. I know that our internet (being in an apartment building) probably has issues during peak usage, but honestly, why does Hulu.com have a fabulous picture FOR FREE? Please work on getting this issue resolved!!!!

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  59. I was going to call Netflix about our service until seeing this. Been with Netflix forever and love everything Netflix until about a month ago. I'd even been using the Silverlight player for a while (basically since it was announced because I wanted to play in Firefox.)

    Within the past month, I've been getting "Buffering/adjusting" messages often and the quality seems to be the lowest setting always now. I've had a 45 min show stop 5 times to buffer, but then later in the night get through another episode without a single stop.

    I've then stopped playback in the middle of a problem session and gone to Hulu to find perfect, HD content with 0 problems. Obviously the problem then is congestion on the Netflix server I'm forced to connect to.

    If there's any chance my suggestion could go anywhere, could I suggest that you give us a hotkey to hit to try to find a better Netflix server manually like we can for the quality setting? When this starts happening, it makes playback almost unbearable.

    I'd take my business elsewhere, but I've not found anything that compares to Netflix content. Hopefully Netflix quickly figures out how to fix their problems and I'll be happy again. Watch Instantly service is definitely the most important part of my Netflix account.

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  60. We use instantly watch all the time and absolutely love it. We are thrilled that it works so well, even during (presumably) high volume times. One feature we would love to see added is a "report problem" link. Some of the videos don't have the audio track, and I hate having to call customer service to report it.

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  61. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  62. Dear Netflix,

    You know that I love you; however, when I read this post all I can think is that the joke is on us.

    Throughout the years, my favorite Netflix feature was the instant watch. Sure the selection wasn’t huge, but it got me through my mailing days. I’ve used it enough on both my computers (PC/Mac), in various locations and differing connections to know that I have lived the reasonable excuses given in this post.

    Unfortunately, the truth is that Netflix streaming has gotten worse. I can tell you the exact date for I was watching a tv series and one episode was fine and then suddenly, bam. It has never been the same. Perhaps I wouldn’t mind since I’d always seen the streaming as an additional bonus rather than part of my plan; however, exactly half of the movies I was mailed last month were broken, scratched or the wrong dvds. This makes streaming vital.

    With that off my back, I’d like to say that Silverlight is a fine Microsoft product if you don’t mind it crashing or freezing. It is also a great product if you can resist the instant watch queue wooing you.

    Move Networks, on the other hand, is a great product if you have high traffic rates and lower internet connectivity. It is also great for pausing and rewinding, fitting various screen sizes and not having to wait for the player to “re-adjust” to internet speeds.

    Move Networks is the choice of companies such as ABC, Fox, The CW, live.bt.no and vglive.no (Norway), Oprah.com, ESPN 360, Televisa and more. Unlike other sites using flash/Silverlight, it does not stop streaming every few minutes. But then again, I’m only on fastest broadband in my state so I shouldn’t be so picky.

    So my long-lost Netflix friend, as you strive to promote your (cough, cough) streaming services, you are stabbing yourself in the back. Either launch a product that works (all here for Move Networks or anything else besides Microsoft’s Silverlight say “ay”) or stop promoting the service. In terms of business, coming from a customer who works in PR, you have turned an added benefit into a faulty product that makes me consider quitting Netflix every time I use it. Haven’t pushed that final button yet, but I’ve made it to the unsubscribe page more than once.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Anon,

    Brilliantly said and “ay!”

    Or "I second that motion," if we are following Roberts' Rules of Order.

    Whatever it takes.

    Netflix, We don't want this crappy "new coke" you are offering. Give us the "Classic" back.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Hi Neil,

    Just to be clear, I have no problem with Microsoft products. I use them every day in my work and most of my down time also. I also enjoyed Netflix and the Instant View feature.

    I canceled my Netflix subscription two weeks ago because after I downloaded SilverLight my viewing experience downgraded significantly. Movies that I had watched the day previous with excellent quality now became unwatchable. Maybe for some people there is a congestion problem, but that is not the problem I am having and the majority of complaints seem to echo the problems I had. (Pixelation, screen tearing, CPU usage maxed out)

    I'll be keeping an eye on what happens because I would like to rejoin Netflix, but until one of the following happens I'll just have to make do with cable TV and Redbox.
    (1) I have the option to use the old player (which worked great), OR
    (2) You get Silverlight fixed (I also didn't like Netflix tech support suggesting I contact Microsoft with my problems, if you're not going to stand behind a product you make your customers use then don't use it) OR
    (3) You select some new player that works.

    When any of these 3 happen I will re-signup in a heartbeat.

    Please don't make we wait to long.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Brian A,

    Brilliant.

    We are not all alone here, something is very wrong and I guess I will be forced to follow Brian and cancel until things are fixed. I cannot keep paying for something that I do not like, or condone, and cannot watch. Silverlight caused this extremely loyal customer to sever our relationship. Yuck!

    This is the only voice that we all have. We "all" have to hit Netflix where it hurts, to invoke change and to get them to listen to us. I am forced to sell my shares also. This is a sad that it had to come to this. Retrain your customer service and fix Silverlight. Good bye

    ReplyDelete
  66. I just went to cacel and saw a better option.

    I just signed up for movies only and no instant online viewing.


    1 at-a-time (2 a month) for $4.99

    I will stick with this option until things are fixed online. The great thing is that it gives me two hours to watch Starz to check in once in a while to see if it is fixed yet or not. I think this is a good solution for all that are fed up with Silverlight without hurting Netflix too much. I will remain with this until things are fixed for instant.

    ReplyDelete
  67. For anybody that hates having your screen saver turn on or monitor turn off while watching with the silverlight player, i've made an application that disables the screen saver while it's open. essentially i've just wrapped an internet explorer window with my app. there's nothing much to it, it's just good for browsing netflix, that's where it starts, there's no address bar, back or forward buttons or anything, just log into your netflix account and watch some movies without worrying about the screen saver. if you're daring to try it out, just download it from: http://netflix.timbot.net/publish.htm

    if you have any trouble just email me, tim_catalano @ Hotmail . Com

    ps, if you work for netflix and don't like this, or need to talk with me about it feel free to contact me at the above address B)

    hopefully this is just for a temporary fix, i'm hoping that silverlight 3 will allow for disableing the screen saver and monitor powering down while in full screen.

    ReplyDelete
  68. I was able to stream fine with the Flash player on my Dell. I am unable to watch any titles now due to the Silverlight player. I voiced my concerns to support and got generic answers such as checking drivers and bandwidth.

    The fact is, the Silverlight player demands more CPU than the flash player did. I tried explaining this to their support but they don't seem to understand much in the world of computers.

    I think Netflix should either go back to Flash, or at least give users a choice. Making the move to Silverlight has taken the streaming feature away from me.

    Can those of us that are not able to stream any longer, get discounts on our memberships since we are not receiving all the benefits of membership?

    ReplyDelete
  69. Why not allow us to download titles similar to iTunes so there is a good buffer on the client? Netflix streaming is too slow to be practical for me. :(

    ReplyDelete
  70. comment on others seeking secondary audio channels and subtitling:
    good luck on getting that, i've tried writing for years seeking same from netflix, and congress- no answer from either.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Blackouts, Playback "timed out", Buffering problems, slurred audio, start-stop-pause-stop-blackout: not at all happy with Silverstream. Then the customer svc, "are you happy with your Netflix customer service experience?" Well no. I'm told to make the world change elsewhere and no, ATT won't change. I've changed Explorer, Firefox, my system - any idea that I'll get to see a movie, but what will NetFlix do? just suggest I call again? Sigh. And, we just keep forking over fees to be ignored? I'm amazed at those writing in who say "tough" and "if you don't like it leave". I find this calling to Netflix tech support and just having them shrug, "call ATT, there's nothing we can do" an outrage.

    ReplyDelete
  72. I would just like to show my support for the new silverlight player. I've used the older flash based player before the silverlight one, and I've noticed a vastly improved picture quality on your latest movies when used with silverlight. I've also noticed that the amount of bandwidth required is much lower, the startup times appear to be much faster, and I love the thumbnails while fastforwarding/rewinding.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Is there a difference on the silverlight player based on content? So are items that are "newer" playing differently for people? Robert, what is your setup like? I would really like to do anything I can to make silverlight work for me..but I don't know how. I looked on some other blogs and tried using openDNS to fix the problem to no avail. I have an old laptop that we hook up to our t.v. to stream movies. Granted, I purchased it in 2004, but it was the laptop I had to buy for engineering school, so it's not that bad. Time of day has made no difference on this new player, I'm currently unemployed and I have tried at different times during the day and night. On the older player, I could tell if it was a "peak usage" time.

    Any suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
  74. I'm using the LG BD300 blu-ray player. I have no problems getting an HD stream when the content is labeled as being available in HD but I do find on occasion that the audio does not line up for some streams. When that happens, it's only for that one selection and can not be resolved but if I choose another selection, the audio will be fine. Hopefully they fix it.

    ReplyDelete
  75. I'm using the Silver Light player too and its horrible. It worked fine for several months(getting the highest quality).

    I never had issues until upgrading to Silver Light. They (NetFlix tech support) tried to tell me my connection was too slow or my TV was too big. The lady sounded like she didn't know anything and was paid to act like a puppet and read down a list. Tech support isn't what it use to be (where people were actually informed). They are just monkeys with buttons to press.

    I have a 14 Mbs connection which is well past the required 2.4 Mbps speed for DVD quality.

    I feel ripped off by NetFlix. I understand they are buddy buddy with Microsoft, but they should put the business/customers first not their friends.

    ReplyDelete
  76. Stephen Roberts,

    Amen brother! My sentiments exactly.

    You are doing the right thing to complain here.

    Another thing I just noticed is after we watch instant online, we get to "report problem" on the far right of the movie listed at the top.

    Just to the right of the Star Rating.

    I sugest everyone take full advantage of rating the movies and after a while of being slammed with complaints hopefully they will do something about it besides blaming just us.

    I also signed up for only 1 at-a-time (2 a month) for $4.99 with no instant online charge. That is all we can do until they come to their senses. I also sold my shares at a profit of $130 for my troubles.

    Stephen I feel your pain.

    ReplyDelete
  77. This is absolutely unacceptable! I go from dvd quality instant movies to choppy, pixelated unwatchable movies tonight after I installed Silver Light! Why??? The support acted like it was a new problem, but I see many of you have experienced the same thing. I will cancel this if it is not fixed soon. I want my old player back - I never had a problem.

    ReplyDelete
  78. MICROSOFT SILVERLIGHT PLUG-IN PROBLEM- my windows xp wont connect. looks like another terrible microsoft to me. Old netflix player worked fine. Comes silverlight and it cannot connect to the server giving me the red screen of death. 1/2 hour with netflix helpdesk and no solution.

    ReplyDelete
  79. Video quality was great pre-silverlight "upgrade". I am not sure if the problem is with netflix compatibility or the silverlight player itself, but it is border line awful. "High" quality video looks worse than a VHS tape, screen tearing happens consistently, and the video buffer speed is terrible. Selection of steamed movies is great, just please fix the player. Remember, we are paying you for quality service.

    ReplyDelete
  80. Please get rid of silverlight. the old player worked great. silverlight does not work, at all. always skipping frames. i have not been able to stream a movie since the forced upgrade.

    Please fix this, please.

    ReplyDelete
  81. I should've never changed to silverlight. Silverlight is horrible. Netflix tricked its customers into converting with "new and improved" slogan. There is nothing that I can tell that silverlight improved from the old way of streaming. Silverlight plays for 10 minutes and buffers 15 min. before resuming. Awful! Old way, no matter how slow your internet was, would let you buffer as long as you want before watching, so you can at your leisure watch without any interruption.

    I've been a netflix cust. for over 5 years and now I am actively seeking alternate ways to watch movies. IF YOU HAVEN'T CONVERTED TO SILVERLIGHT, DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT. IF YOU HAVE, LET'S ALL CANCEL NETFLIX TOGETHER.

    ReplyDelete
  82. I just signed up for a netflix account looking forward to instant movies on my brand new laptop. All I get is a black screen. When I called netflix they told me that it was internet explorer and they had me download firefox. This did not fix the problem. Then, they had me uninstall and reinstall silverlight. This did not help either. I went to a few websites that they gave me, and the player was apparently working, but just still not working with netflix. Then, they gave me a phone number to call microsoft. Microsoft wanted to charge me to fix this problem. Does anyone know how to fix this problem, because this makes me super sad.

    ReplyDelete
  83. I've noticed that a lot of titles that were available for instant play are now marked as only "Available until April 1st". A lot of movies and documentaries in my queue have already gone into my "Saved" queue (whatever that is), meaning that I will only be able to order them through the mail. Why are these titles being removed from instant play, rather than more titles being made available for instant play??

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  84. i do not understand why the picture skips frames while the audio is working just fine. this happens with nearly all the movies/tv shows we try to watch. i don't understand why the picture would be freezing up whrn the download bar has a decent about of buffer on it. please please please fix the watch now feature.

    ReplyDelete
  85. My main problem with streaming is that it is very unforgiving of minor problems. I normally use the 360 - and although I often start out at 4 bars, I usually get dumped down to three within a few minutes. I would almost rather have it just pause and rebuffer - or take longer to start - than almost always dump me down after a minute. If I stop playing, and then re-start, I normally start at 4 again, and the dance starts over.

    So this is all to say that really, I would just like a larger buffer/more forgiveness of minor network problems/an option to choose between being bumped down and waiting for a rebuffer.

    ReplyDelete
  86. I was about to go make sure all the new TVs and Blu-Ray players were the ones with built-in NetFlix capabilities... but now I'm thinking of canning this whole service.. 50% of the value I was getting was movies-on-demand, and these are completely unwatchable as of a month or so ago when something "happened". A BLOG entry is not a substitute for customer communications and customer service!!!!

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  87. Sorry.....nice article,but silverlight is a major step backwords. By chance, I ran an planned test. I was watching a movie on my pc and had to stop. The next day, I started it again. However, before it started, treeived the new "improved" player. Since then I have had major buffering problems, and stream interuptions. When I called netflix, I got a support guy who was very nice, couldn't find the problem on my computer, and acknowledged that there were "some problems". I reiterate what Scott Rose said. If you are going to use products from Microsoft with their reputation for putting out bug filled programs, you ought to de bug them first, or netflix will start taking on microsoft's reputation.

    ReplyDelete
  88. I added more RAM to my PC to equal the 512 MB requirement and I am able to watch Silverlight now. I am still very disappointed that I was not told that I could not opt out. As a disabled person, I rely on instant play a lot, and I was somewhat crushed not to be able to use it anymore. I just hope that this advice is able to help someone.

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  89. I have to agree with Scott Rose.

    Clearly there is a problem with the SILVERLIGHT player and it's ridiculous that NETFLIX has posted this blog and not even mentioned the terrible movie quality. The bandwidth isn't the problem it's the quality which has drastically dropped from the old player which was fine the way it was.

    I agree that as the company providing a service, NETFLIX should take responsibility and not just cop out by saying, "we don't know, call microsoft." You shouldn't offer a product that your website is pushing as the "newest and best" technology if you have no idea how to help when something goes wrong.

    I'm not paying Microsoft a monthly fee to watch movies, I'm paying you, so there's no reason I should have to call anyone but you when I have a problem with your website.

    When is NETFLIX going to tackle the issue of video quality and the screen saver turning on? I think we all want answers from you NETFLIX, not Microsoft.

    ReplyDelete
  90. If netflix is trying for consistent streaming then they have accomplish there goal. Now that netflix uses silverlight player to view Watch instantly selections, all videos play consistantly slow fuzzy and chopped up. If netflix is striving for Excellence then there has been a big step backwards.

    ReplyDelete
  91. I have to agree with some of the complaints about Silverlight. The previous player worked great. Silverlight is choppy and 30 minutes into a playback, it virtually stops refreshing the video frames, although the audio continues. We had no problems with the old player which we used for over a year. Give us the old player back. Also, why doesn't the new player turn off the screensaver. It's very frustrating to have playback go black because I forgot to turn off the screensaver myself. I never had to do this with the old player. Give me the old player back!

    ReplyDelete
  92. I just got off the phone with Tech support & I'm more frustrated than before I called - in summery, I begged them to READ the issues that so many loyal Netflix long time customers have been having since being FORCED to "Opt In" to Silverlight. I got the same story - must be my baud rate - congestion on my end, etc. I NEVER had a problem with the old viewer - why fix something that isn't broken?? Blockbuster is going full ahead with online streaming & I'll bet they'll listen to the customers. If we have to wait for Microsoft to issue "patches & fixes" we'll be waiting forever - Netflix needs to take a proactive approach & either get it fixed or let us OPT OUT!

    ReplyDelete
  93. Ok Mr. Hunt.....you've received significant feedback telling you that your system has problems with Silverlight. Now are you going to have the courage to respond? Or are you going to write another useless article?

    ReplyDelete
  94. Ok Mr. Hunt.....you've received significant feedback telling you that your system has problems with Silverlight. Now are you going to have the courage to respond? Or are you going to write another useless article?

    ReplyDelete
  95. Testing quality on laptop for a colleague considering netflix for streaming.

    1. National Treasure - Horrible quality. VHS copy would be better.

    2. Polar Express - tolerable, but I have the DVD and it's better.

    3. Heroes - Decent quality.

    This isn't about network bandwidth. This is encoding quality.

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  96. Netflix streaming was fine until they started using Silverlight. Frankly it sucks the big one and has rendered the entire viewing experience for me as total and utter garbage. All the videos I view are boxy and pixelated. No other online streaming is this bad. Come on Netflix get it together before you lose all your customers.

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  97. Don't listen to the squeaky wheels, I love the new Silverlight player - works PERFECTLY on my Mac in Firefox (I don't use Safari, as it does not meet my needs) and seems much faster and "lighter" than Flash. Every person I know in and out of the tech industry raves about the new streaming and how well it works for them. All to often all you get are complaints and I wanted to throw a complement in!!!

    Keep up the great work - been a Netflix subscriber for several years.

    ReplyDelete
  98. Dear Mr. Hunt,

    While many in this thread perhaps have older broken computers with viruses or connect over dialup and trick your servers into sending them movies I can assure you that my equipment (multiple computers) and ISP's (multiple ISP's) are all state of the art and as virus free as is possible these days. This is what I have learned.
    1) There is talk of "network congestion". Bull! I can unplug the Ethernet cable from my computer for several minutes at a time without interrupting the movie - which will still play with the jerky motion that clearly is caused by dropped video frames. Note while the video is choppy the sound has no discernible interruption.
    2) Your servers are quite capable of sending me video at up to 10mbits, and will reliably do so when the movie starts or when recovering from having the network cable removed. This is the max speed I have seen even on my corporate connection that tests at over 40mbits. The maximum speed at movie startup appears slower over my wireless networks (both home and work), more like 5-6 mbits.
    3) Once the player has buffered several minutes of movie the network traffic is considerably reduced. Over my corporate connection with a wired connection I have seen it settle down to about 2mbits average. At home over my 2/10mbit FIOS connection I have seen about 1.6mbits. At home over the 2/10mbit FIOS & wireless I seldom see more than 1mbit average. My corporate wireless gives even poorer results.
    4) I have seen choppy video in all these situations, though it appears to be much more severe on the computers connected to wireless.
    Conclusion) In my case it appears that the choppy video is being caused by dropped video frames. These frames are lost 2-3 minutes before they are actually displayed on my screen and no attempt is made by the software to recover them despite the large overhead in bandwidth that is available to do so. A google search shows that dropped frames is a recurrent issue with streaming video, especially when using wireless home networking. I understand that in the case of broadcasting a sports game to a million viewers that resending all those lost frames might be a daunting task - but I suspect that there are not a million subscribers watching my particular netflix movie. I am just a single viewer, and the task of replacing a few frames seems small compared to that of sending me the movie in the first place! I am curious if the Silverlight software was designed to deliver DVD quality movies to a single user - or just little CNN shorts or low resolution TV distributed to the masses.

    ReplyDelete
  99. I just read time warner is going to be charging for downloads. If you buy a device to watch movies on your TV or you watch on your computer How much will this cost? Do you have any plans on making a deal with TWC to forego the download charges when using NetFlix?

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  100. I have no problems with the streaming network performance. It's the Silverlight plugin (under both Vista and Mac OS on dual core relatively high-performance machines) that's the problem since its fullscreen tearing renders the video basically unwatchable.

    The old plugin never had any issues and it was a joy to use. If this doesn't improve I'm simply going to cancel my Netflix subscription.

    ReplyDelete
  101. I should note that over the past eight or ten months that we tried Instant Watching now and then, it has never run smoothly. But last night with NEVER ON SUNDAY, everything was fine! We tried no other films last night, and we've made no changes in our computer or browser. Perhaps Netflix has solved a problem or two? Or was it sheer luck? In any event, many thanks.

    --Martin Fass

    ReplyDelete
  102. Streaming video is unwatchable since this new, crappy Silverlight player was forced on me. The video hicups about every 4 seconds. And don't give me this crap about ISP traffic, etc... I NEVER had problems before you switch to Silverlight.

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  103. The new silverlight player is HORRIBLE. I was watching back to back episodes of a TV series when I was forced to switch between episodes. The image quality with the 'old' payer was fine, the image quality with the silverlight player is unwatchable. Horrible macro-blocking and vertical tearing.

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  104. does anyone else hate the new 'silver screen' instant player that replaced the old netflix player a few weeks ago?

    why do i hate it? mainly because every 7 minutes the screen saver pops up and interrupts the movie and pops it out of full screen.

    i know, i know, i could try to remember to turn it off every time i watch and turn it back on when i'm done. but i really didn't need anotehr thing to think about when i log in to relax, and the old player worked fine for me.

    plus we got a truly full screen. and you could click anywhere to start and stop.

    ReplyDelete
  105. I noticed that it seems that content has to be encoded to work with SilverLight for it to not do the stuttering bit. If you play the newly added movies they play well, if you play the older ones they drop frames (you can see them drop with the SHIFT+CTRL+ALT+D command). No it has nothing to do with congestion or silverlight it looks like. They just need to go back and re-encode the older stuff (and even some recent masters of horror ones, all old ones real bad) to keep it from dropping frames. GPU offload coming with silverlight 3 will help many with CPU overload causing dropped vid frames. If you have problems with audio and video dropouts it's probably the encode mismatch I mentioned earlier. I really hope they fix this soon as I just got duped into getting silverlight the other night at the urging of their CS. Now I have to use it on every PC I watch on, even ones silverlight wasn't installed on (tied to my account, real cute netflix). I have tried on a P4 2.4 which overloaded the CPU causing drops, a 3.0 tri core AMD and a dual core C2D and had the EXACT same problem on every one. 2 different networks too.

    So in short Netflix, get on the re-encodes of those older vids so you can have fewer infuriated customers.

    ReplyDelete
  106. Ah, That SHIFT+CTRL+ALT+D command is a nice trick. That most definitely tells me that my video playing at 1500 Kbits from level3 CDN has exactly 240 seconds of buffered video - yet freezes every once in awhile. Right after it freezes I see the dropped frame "rate" go from 0 to often 3 or 4 frames per second - which I assume means that 3 or 4 frames were lost.

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  107. What really SUCKS about Netflix streaming is that so many movies are made available by Starz Play - an outfit who cannot seem to transfer movies in their PROPER ASPECT RATIO !!!
    WTF ??!
    We live in a post-DVD world. Even Beaver Cleaver's dad now knows that most movies are not supposed to be shown 4x3.
    DUMP STARZ PLAY !!!
    THEY SUCK !!!

    ReplyDelete
  108. True about the lame 4x3 movies. Checked out Krull and it was actually in widescreen 4x3 format for the titles (as small as you can make a movie) and then switched to standard 4x3 for the film. Needless to say it was immediately turned off. Why even bother if you aren't going to do it right?

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  109. Haven't had time in a while until now to view the "instant" films. The new Silverlight browser is awful. Picture quality is poor; on screen sound icon doesn't work; there's no way to pause or backtrack; the red bands at top and bottom of full screen are distracting. It's a new low in on-line viewing, for sure!

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  110. Silverlight is utterly unwatchable. I have shut down virtually every other program I can on my not that old PC running Windows XP, and still my Instant Watching constantly stutters or video hangs for minutes at a time while audio continues. Then, trying to go back and rewatch what you "missed" leads to all-new agonizing buffer time. This experience adds another accumulated 20-30 mins to a half-hour TV show, let alone the agonies of attempting to watch a feature film. I had virtually no problems with the Media Player Instant Watch, and barring me from rolling back to that seems like a callous and cynical ploy which alienates longtime subscribers such as myself. If I'm unable to use Instant Watch appropriately, which I use frequently and at least twice weekly, then I frankly find myself close to unsubscribing. I shouldn't have to have a brand-new, state of the art computer to make Netflix run.

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  111. For all of you who have been having terrible results with Netflix instant movies in the past several weeks: I have had much of the same problems you have described...stuttering and rebuffering video. I contacted Netflix when this suddenly started happening, and it was clear it was related to the Netflix switchover to silverlight 2 (from Microsoft....AHA!!). The first call told me it was my internet provider and sent me to the utterly useless blog posting by Neil Hunt (who should resign in shame). The 2nd call gave me the suggestion to switch to foxfire browser. Over the next few weeks, I continued to experience stuttering and freezes. I called netflix again and got the same "it's not our fault" response, until I insisted on speaking to a techie. VOILA...I finally found someone willing to talk about the problem. It seems that the old player (windows media player) worked by building a large buffer, thus requiring less cpu usage. If the internet speed fluctuated, as is often the case in heavy usage of cable internet, the large buffer would do what it was supposed to do...BUFFER!!!. The end result was satisfactory....little or no stuttering. Now enter the geniuses at microsoft. The new silverlight 2 player has minimal buffering, relying on huge cpu capacity to handle problems. In addition, as suggested on this blog, the player required a new encoding....this evidently explains why older movies work worse on the new player than recent ones. So Mr. Hunt can feel all warm and gushy that he has given the explanation of internet speed problems. What the idiot doesn't say is that the old player could handle such problems. This is absolutely classical microsoft behavior: Overdesign software which requires the latest and fastest hardware (duhhhh...)and wait until the users find the problems, then come in with fixes. netflix is all over microsoft for a fix for silverlight 2...called....silverlight 3....out some time this year. It is a sorry commentary that Netflix seems to be taking on microsoft's notorious behavior. The good news is that the techie easily recognized and acknowledged the problem, and described its causes. And best of all, he was able to simply set me up so that I would be able to use the OLD PLAYER. Problem solved. So if you are one of the many with similar problems, call Netflix, and demand to speak to a technician, and get switched back to the old player.....good luck

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  112. Others have said it -- I'll add my 2cents worth: More and more of the titles on Roku have really terrible audio sync problems. I've tried to watch Eddie Murphy's Raw on both Roku and my PC -- to no avail. The tracks skip and jump -- it looks like an antique movie. What's being done about this?

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  113. For the love of god, let us stream from Firefox. Firefox 2+ is supposedly a supported browser according to the help page, but trying to play a movie under FF3 results in the "Your current Internet browser is not compatible with watching instantly on your PC." error. Total bullshit.

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  114. I use Firefox 3.08 and it streams just fine - if you think a handful of dropped frames once in awhile is ok. It buffers 240 seconds of a/v in advance.

    ReplyDelete
  115. Speaking of streaming, it won't work for me, even though I far exceed the minimum requirements, I tryed everything the netflix website said to do and it still does not work. Is there any other way to contact netflix other than by calling them?

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  116. your newest silverlight player is a real drag. constantly rebuffering, i can't watch any movie straight through anymore. used to work just fine. now instant watching means 5-10 minute breaks every 15-20 minutes. useless.

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  117. I agree completely that Silverlight doesn't work. I use the free Hulu movie service and it works flawlessly. I have fast broadband (3Mbps) and a very fast iMac, 2.93GHz Dual Core Intel with 4GB of memory, so if any machine should run Silverlight well on the Mac side, this would be it.

    I'm trying to move away from DirecTV to Netflix and on demand movies through Hulu and Apple TV. So far Netflix does not have its act together for the fastest growing computer platform in the US: Mac OS X.

    JoeL
    Atlanta

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  118. I am very satisfied with the instant watch feature of Netflix. However, I would like to echo previous posters sentiments about the screen tearing.

    The screen tearing is very noticeable and distracting

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  119. Pauses every 2-3 minutes for 3-12 minutes at a time. unlike most, I have multiple ISPs so Netflix, quit blaming this shit on the internet when you honestly are about to loose plenty of your customers; seriously, invest in a better system. I am dropping you all tomorrow for good if this is still happening in the morning. I have better things to be doing with my time than waisting it refreshing my browser, resetting my router when I everything else on the internet is working FINE!

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  120. Silverlight SUCKS! Wait an hour for video? Huh? Maybe its because I have Vista and I can't run bloated applications on Vista!

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  121. The only reason I put up with to many to list issues with this behemonth of online renting is because I do not live anywhere close to a city. Broken cd's, most of streamming movies are pure garbache, my foreign art-house movies, with a couple of hundreds viewers are on "short wait" for months, and a laundry list of them in "very long wait" which I assume it will be for an eternity minus one day. the silverlight player it a usseless piece of software, most streaming movies, the few ones I would watch have terribly picture quality, total out of sync image, sound and subtiltes (I watch mostly foreign films art house). It is a pity that the competitors that have the movies I watch now, do not have regional mailing centers and takes even longer than the average 5 days that it takes to get a netflix disc. The bigger this company gets the worse the service gets and of course there is just no way to express concerns. I am glad a red all these post they reflect my horror experience dealing with netflix.

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  122. I'd really love to be able to get full-bar quality on streaming video, even if I have to wait a little bit of extra time for the movie to download for a bit before I start watching. You guys should add a button to allow users to choose this. Default it to what it does now, but at least give us that option. :)

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  123. Please add Nintendo Wii as a streaming device!

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  124. I want to praise Netflix for fixing my problems with streaming bandwidth. I was able to view HD quality in the morning with COX here in Baton Rouge, then at night, 1 bar. After many emails and phone calls, I now have HD quality bandwidth all the time. THANKS!!

    ReplyDelete
  125. Netflix has changed the "instant" movie viewing -- the movies used to be nice and sharp -- now they're blurry, reminiscent of 8mm home movies. You're a quantum leap farther away from Excellence on Streaming than before. Maybe you should find out how Hulu does it.

    Al Hawthorne

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  126. I changed to silverlight last night and it is awful as everyone here says. ongoing buffering problems, interruptions. with the old movie viewer this would happen once per movie. With silverlight it happens three or four times and takes much much longer to load. Not happy.

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
  128. I can't even get it to play. It's awful. A huge bother.

    ReplyDelete
  129. Ok Neil....it's been over a month since you posted this. You have been swamped with terrible feedback about silverlight 2. So where are you? Are you hiding behind your latte?
    Time to stop embarrasing yourself and Netflix and step up to the problem.

    ReplyDelete
  130. I'm crushed! I was thoroughy enjoying watching movies on my PC through Netflix. They were clear, smooth running, and consistent. No matter how long the movie or how old, it ran straight through without any problems. Then Netflix switched to Silverlight. Now the movies, freeze, stop, skip, fade, and everything but run smoothly. This is so annoying and disappointing that I may have to go back to just ordering movies or using other online options. Netflix, please nix Silverlight. It's just awful!

    ReplyDelete
  131. I had a cat 5 cable run to my normal Netflix computer about two weeks ago. To test the new setup we watched "Don't Mess With The Zohan" and the sound and video quality was excellent, every bit as good as cable TV. Fast forward to this weekend, we tried to watch another movie after installing Silverlight. Nothing else has been changed. I've got a 13.75 MB average download speed and a 4.0 MB average upload speed, 512 megs of RAM. I blame Silverlight. If anybody sees or hears of a fix, please post it. We're back to other sources for movies.

    ReplyDelete
  132. I see this site won't post my problems with the Silverlight player. I can't get help from Netflix OR MS.
    The quality of the picture is fuzzy and it stops and goes and the words don't match the picture,
    and now I get error code 2105 and have tried everything to solve this problem.
    I can't uninstall it or reinstall it or WATCH A MOVIE!!
    Why do they FORCE something on us that they don't know the first thing about? And why don't they have any customer service??? Any techs to help us???
    I am joining the ranks of alot of others that are disappointed that Netflix has turned it's back on it's loyal customers, for the almighty $$$$$$$$$$$$$$, and CANCELLING NETFLIX!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  133. Please add an option to select higher quality even if it takes longer. I'd be willing to wait 15+ minutes to start a show if it meant I'd actually be able to tell characters apart. I've maxed out my DSL speed in my area and the Netflix is almost unviewable.

    thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  134. Why does it take 3 hours to watch a 2 hour movie using Microsoft Silverlight. We have not had any problems with the old player. Please switch to something else.

    ReplyDelete
  135. Horrid service and money flushed get a clue netflix, i have at least ten geek buddys who have the same exact problem with silverlight as everyone else. this is unacceptable.
    You say its only a small fraction, its no wonder the economy is gone down the pooper, with companies like this stealing your money and then blaming congestion problems or microsoft. Im a cisco engineer and i cant find any other way to make it work so im not paying for it. hope you make some money off that. The old player was amazing much more control and a way better picture. I have 30 year old vhs tapes that look better. peace im off to hulu.com, o yeah its free.....lol

    ReplyDelete
  136. If you are using OpenDNS to overcome your ISPs poor DNS servers you may be routed to a content server closer to the DNS servers than to you. Go to Consumerist.com and search for OpenDNS to see the reports from users. It was happening to me, it could be happening to you. Fortunately my ISP (Cox) runs pretty good DNS. I was just using OpenDNS for filtering.

    Good luck with your streaming!

    ReplyDelete
  137. The new viewer sucks. The rewind in the older system worked better without the visible rebuffering. The older system did no go into screensaver mode (Vista) during a movie - this one does. Sound continues but the screen goes black. In the older one, you could watch a movie in its entirety without having to move the mouse to bring the screen back. Junk the new - bring back te old.

    ReplyDelete
  138. I canceled my membership because you no longer support instant viewing on either of my computers. My PC worked just fine, but apparently is not capable of Microsoft's Silverlight. My Mac was never supported because I have a G5, the generation just before Intel. I am not going to purchase a new computer just to run Netflix. So, you lost my business and I will definitely NOT be recommending you to anyone!!!

    ReplyDelete
  139. Please allow for a larger buffer on the movies! I have never had problems on u-tube or other movies... but have constant probs with yours. The other problem is that it is difficult to go back to a movie and start it mid way. I have tried 3x to see all of happy feet and now just givr up. Please find a remedy for thos of us on broadband!

    ty, robin

    ReplyDelete
  140. what about subtitles? Anime purists prefer to watch anime in Japanese with English subtitles. I would be more likely to permanently subscribe to your service if this option were available.

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  141. I primarily use the instant streaming feature of my account and I am wondering why the movie industry is scared of streaming more recent movies? The streaming selection is ok, but the movie types are on par with what you would see by turning on cable tv at midnight. Starzplay is slightly better but not very interesting. I would even be more willing to pay more for an instant streaming service that offered newer movies. I would think money would be saved in postage and DVD manufacturing costs if streaming media was pushed. I really don't think piracy is a valid excuse when DVD security attempts are dismally countered within days of their release. Netflix, what would it take to get new releases added to the streaming video?

    ReplyDelete
  142. Overall, my household has been very pleased with our streaming experience -- granted it has been via a broadband cable connection through Comcast and the relatively new Blu-Ray HD LG DVD player.

    Video & audio quality has been fantastic thus far!

    However... two quick gripes about the service:

    1) Subtitles seem to be an issue on occasion -- usually in situations where subtitles are needed but essentially unavailable. This obviously makes it impossible to watch some of the foreign titles... unless you want to watch it purely in a foreign language ;)

    2) Extra DVD features not available -- i.e. lost scenes and other extras that can sometimes add a lot of value to the DVD. Not everyone may care about this... but it would be great to make the extra stuff available too.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  143. Ok, problem solved, by YEARS END?
    Thanks for the ADVICE hello HULU goodbye Netflix. See ya next year once you get your act straight. Note: the old WM player was JUST FINE!! Give your customers what they want OR they WILL FIND a different place to do business.
    see ya next year!

    ReplyDelete
  144. NEIL!
    Offer an alternative to silverlight!
    Are you stupid? Dude did you try it? It SUX! You have left me with either to use silverlight or CANCEL my Membership! Email me when you fix it! I will gladly return!

    ReplyDelete
  145. Hi Neil,

    Just to be clear, I have no problem with Microsoft products. I use them every day in my work and most of my down time also. I also enjoyed Netflix and the Instant View feature.

    I canceled my Netflix subscription two weeks ago because after I downloaded SilverLight my viewing experience downgraded significantly. Movies that I had watched the day previous with excellent quality now became unwatchable. Maybe for some people there is a congestion problem, but that is not the problem I am having and the majority of complaints seem to echo the problems I had. (Pixelation, screen tearing, CPU usage maxed out)

    I'll be keeping an eye on what happens because I would like to rejoin Netflix, but until one of the following happens I'll just have to make do with cable TV and Redbox.
    (1) I have the option to use the old player (which worked great), OR
    (2) You get Silverlight fixed (I also didn't like Netflix tech support suggesting I contact Microsoft with my problems, if you're not going to stand behind a product you make your customers use then don't use it) OR
    (3) You select some new player that works.

    When any of these 3 happen I will re-signup in a heartbeat.

    Please don't make we wait to long.

    Rgds,
    Jack

    ReplyDelete
  146. I can watch flawless video from the networks, ABC, NBC, FOX. Its a pleasure watching Lost,Heroes or Fringe. But going to cancel Netflix. Poor Quality and slight stuttering. Netfix. If you want to stream video and grow your membership instead of shrinking it, then look at the networks and see whats working for them and fix it.

    ReplyDelete
  147. What the hell?!! Silverlight sucks! I used to love watching movies on Netflix until this Silverlight nonsense. I have tried streaming Netflix movies on various friends computers and televisions with different internet providers and Netflix streaming is now pixilated, choppy and sucks. period. Netflix, did you strike some sell-out deal with Microsoft. You guys used to be so cool and on it. This silverlight business is beneath you and very disappointing.

    ReplyDelete
  148. Silverlight is terrible! I have a great ISP, superfast computer, and have loved Netflix viewing until now! I'm mourning Netflix and the old video player! I never had a problem before and now I am constantly having problems... movies interrupted and will not resume play... some won't play at all. It says it's a network issue but my network is fine. :( The Silverlight Player has ruined my Netflix experience.

    ReplyDelete
  149. The Silverlight player is extremely disappointing. This player makes it nearly impossible to move even slightly forward or backward in the program. It completely flushes the buffer and takes a long time to reload. I would have provided this feedback directly, except there is no way to contact Netflix except by telephone. The whole experience is a major downgrade from the earlier generation technology.

    ReplyDelete
  150. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  151. I opted to install the Silverlight player 2 months ago and immediately noticed the degraded video quality. (I running a consistent 20 Mpbs).

    As every Netflix customer on this post already said, it's been a huge disappointment.

    I figured Netflix would've fixed this situation by now, but the streaming is still as crappy as ever.

    Why is the Netflix brass ignoring this???

    May 28, 2009 2:15 PM

    ReplyDelete
  152. Please allow us to opt-out of Silverlight and switch back to WMP. I've been a loyal Netflix user for three years and although "instant viewing" is a perk, it's the reason I stick around. I don't understand how Silverlight is an "upgrade", it has significantly decreased the usability of this feature for me.

    ReplyDelete
  153. I have been a Netflix member since 2003, and I am seriously considering cancelling my service because of how poorly this Silverlight transition has been handling.

    The quality is horrible even when streaming at 1500kbps because the video stutters and skips. This happens on all of my PCs, and they are FAST and have plenty of bandwidth.

    Home users need a 2500kbps stream which doesn't stutter to make your service worthwhile. I didn't cancel my cable service to watch YouTube quality streaming. Get your act together.

    ReplyDelete
  154. I would like to echo the MANY complaints about the screen tearing. It is inexcusable to force paying customers to suffer through what is an obvious DOWNGRADE just so you can maintain strategic partnerships. Look into Six Sigma and Lean Thinking -- maybe you will learn something about running a customer-driven company.
    As far as technically why this is happening, as a developer I can tell you that it's either that Silverlight doesn't use DirectDraw or Netflix's implementation of Silverlight doesn't take advantage of DirectDraw. It is obviously a very poor BitBlt. Really quite pathetic, in all honesty.

    ReplyDelete
  155. Could there actually be something about Microsoft failed streaming for only AMD customers? If so we can probably get together and sue the pants off Microsoft and Netflix for discriminating or some other term. I am not a Lawyer but I am very upset to the treatment that we have been receiving. Essentially zero resolution for us. Please say if you are an AMD customer if the fail light doesn't work for you. If you are an Intel customer and it doesn't work we need to know that also.

    Can this really be an AMD thing? Do tell!!

    I have an SK8V (motherboard) FX-51 (AMD processor) and it is a utter failure. Anyone else? It's time to team up and fight these jokers since they will not help us at all.

    Thanks,
    Dan

    ReplyDelete
  156. Neil,

    Your post is insulting. I was duped into 'upgrading' my account to Silverlight when I plugged in a new computer and thought it would be a good idea to try Netflix streaming. My old PC streamed movies GREAT, using the old player. The new computer looked like complete trash, the video was jerky and low resolution, and skipped and chopped every so often. This was observed on the SAME movie using the SAME internet connection, the only difference was that the computer was FASTER and the software was "upgraded" to Silverlight.

    My first reaction was to switch back to my old PC to watch movies, which had been working fine earlier that day. Lo and behold, when I tried to start a movie on it, your site had the audacity to tell me "you need silverlight!".

    I need silverlight like I need another hole in my head.

    Let us opt-out from this player, give us back the old player, and please don't continue to insult us by telling us you are "hard at work on the issue" because if you really cared about us, you would have NEVER TAKEN THE OLD PLAYER AWAY IN THE FIRST PLACE!

    Signed,

    Pissed-off, soon-to-be-former Netflix customer

    ReplyDelete
  157. I have had Netflix for about four months. I plug my HDMI cable from my tv to my computer. The video is fine, but the audio is awful!!!!! It will pop, crakle, and cut out about every 30 seconds making movie watching nearly unwatchable. Please fix this or I will be cancelling my subscription. Ten dollars a month may not sound like much, but when you multiply it ten-thousand pissed off customers the loss in revenue cannot be ignored.


    Fed-up,

    Fresno, CA

    ReplyDelete
  158. Netflix is dabbling in the future... having some success and some failure. Video via the web is in it's infancy...but not for too long. Check out this post http://coolintl.com/?p=402 for more... GO ZETTABYTE!

    ReplyDelete
  159. I would achieve 2 to 3 bars consistently, when I first started streaming, last fall when Netflix arrived on Xbox Live. Which was fine.

    For the past month I only receive 1 bar. Always. And it's completely unwatchable. I want to cancel the service all together.

    ReplyDelete
  160. Linux support, please! I cannot even experience the streaming so I'm not getting the full benefit of my subscription. So far, after a month, I am thinking of dropping my subscription due to the lack of Linux support.

    ReplyDelete
  161. This is bull. I had no problems streaming until I ran a master restore and was forced to take silverlight 2.Now it's choppy garbage. This is greed to grab the mac's but to bad for there old windows customers.They should merge with comcast. They have the same greedy attitude. Grab all you can. Forget quality!

    ReplyDelete
  162. I have a dual core Athlox X2 BE2400using a cheapo sound card and a 9400GT video card and 2 gig of system ram. The video goes out to my HDTV via HDMI and the audio goes to my receiver via SPDIF.

    I'm using the Netflix plugin (Silverlight) in Vista Media Center and the video streams great. There is very light tearing from time to time, but otherwise quality is fine with ZERO stutters. At the very start of the movie, the quality is a little low and then it quickly improves.

    So I don't think that it's an "AMD" thing.

    ReplyDelete
  163. What happened to instant movies on Netflix. The movie screen resolution is like a cheap YouTube video. And this new Silverlight plug in sucks. The audio doesn't skip but the video routinely skips. I have tried this on IE and Firefox. I use to brag about how good the instant movie feature was on Netflix. Now I about to giveup on this downgraded system Netflix has created. Who wants to watch a blurry, skipping video. Cheap!!!

    ReplyDelete
  164. Terrible sound and video with this new silverlight player...

    Are there any other similar alternatives to the netflix service?

    Thanks,
    Denis

    xp64, quad-core cpu, 4G ram, GTX 275 video, comcast blast internet connection

    ReplyDelete
  165. Given that many customers are using ISPs that cap bandwidth, and then charge for any usage over the max, we need some additional information and viewing options for Instant movies.

    I have a 100GB per month cap so each movie I watch will have a cost against that 100GB total. I need to know the size of the movie download for the various streams and I need the ability to manually select the stream that is within my bandwidth budget (with my 100GB cap I may not be able to 'afford' the HD streams but I can probably afford SD streams for much of what I watch).

    Please consider adding the stream size information to the movie details page and then letting us select which stream we can 'afford' to watch.

    ReplyDelete
  166. The new Silverlight plugin is god-awful. I used to be able to watch tons of movies using the Instant viewer. Now I can barely watch five minutes of one movie before the video stops but the audio keeps going. Thanks, Netflix. I guess I'll go back to pirating.

    ReplyDelete
  167. Ever since I switched to the Silverlight version, the Instant Watch has been choppy to the point of being unwatchable. I have a fast connection and the status bar shows buffered video far beyond where I'm playing, so it's an issue of Silverlight literally pushing my system beyond it's limits. I can play any other video format I've found in fullscreen with no issues. If this issue isn't fixed in a week or two, I'm switching to Blockbuster.

    ReplyDelete
  168. The Silverlight payer is really terrible compared to the previous one. My daughter selected Silverlight on her new PC, and Netflix forced all our PCs to use it. It's unwatchable, and there's no way to change it back. Honestly, I'm canceling my subscription today. I use (used) Instant Play more than ordered DVDs, but this is not watchable. It's jerky and annoying, even with my fast connection, and the image quality is very, very poor in comparison. I've been a big Netflix fan for a long time, almost since the start, and I'm very reluctant to see it go, but this player just kills it.
    Netflix, a company that makes this kind of policy decision for whatever dumb reason will go under in the long run. Nice knowing you...

    ReplyDelete
  169. I think they switched to Silverlight due to back-door dealings with Microsoft, since it locks out Mac and Linux users - especially Linux users since Microsoft is terrified of open source.

    ReplyDelete
  170. I just had to switch to this "new and improved" player last night. It is crappy horrible. I had no problems with the old player, nor have I had problems with other streams like hulu. This new silverlight player is super choppy, with apparantly no way to fix it.

    BAD NETFLIX!!!! I love you, but you really need to address this issue. It is not my ISP.

    ReplyDelete
  171. I watched The Tudors without Silverlight and then Persuasion with Silverlight the same night, 3 July 2009. Silverlight is jerky and smeary. The audio seems okay. What a fool I was to obey the download demand. I've read on the web that I can't back out of this "upgrade". If I don't want to watch instantly, I may give up Netfilx.

    ReplyDelete
  172. My Streaming video problems fixed!!!

    I constantly had to refresh my browser in order to continue watching streaming video with ATT DSL, because it said my connection slowed. I found in my Belkin router log that my DSL modem was renewing its Dynamic IP address lease every 600 seconds (10 minutes).

    So I changed the default setting of the Siemans speedstream modem from 10 minutes to 6 hours. Now no problems.

    If you had to initially set-up your DSL service, then you might remember how to get into the modem configuration (usually http://192.168.0.1) go to advance connection settings.

    ReplyDelete
  173. It would be excellent if streaming were opened up to the Linux community. I went to the Netflix site today to checkout streaming on Fedora 11 and was informed that my operating system was not supported. Please consider that many people, including myself, that are building home theater PCs would like to install a Netflix streaming plugin to their Linux based HTPC.

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  174. I never had any issue with streaming videos ("Watch Instantly") over Netflix until last night. My bandwidth is just fine. They forced me to "upgrade" to the MICROSOFT SILVERLIGHT PLUG-IN. Now, I get an error code and can't even play any movies. Netflix Customer Service was awful and referred me to Microsoft. From reading the other reviews, the solution was worse than the problem. No movies, no solution, no customer service - that pretty much destroys its usefulness.

    ReplyDelete
  175. I watch streaming videos on my computer all the time and very rarely to never have a problem. I signed up for Netflix today because I was really excited about the option of streaming video instead of having to always wait for movies in the mail. I was EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED in the quality of the video! As soon as I started to play my first movie it was choppy and and would go through times where the video was about 1-2 mins behind the audio. It was basically unwatchable. I'm going back to Blockbuster where you can get movies by the mail and through the store. It my not be as convenient as watching them online, but at least I know they'll work. Silverlight absolutely SUCKS!

    ReplyDelete
  176. Silverlight is a terrible application and should not be used to play these movies.The player constantly skips on the audio, you can't back up without rebuffering (really annoying problem). For what it's worth, netflix streaming is a bad product, basically useless. I enjoy the blu ray movies, and the service on that end is great, but this silverlight player is a hindrance to the streaming crowd.

    ReplyDelete
  177. I also had streaming and memory buffer problems with silverlight via netflix and read many blogs by people who had similar problems. I found a solution for my netflix problems by switching my browser from windows Microsoft Internet Explorer to Mozilla firefox. All the streaming and buffer problems cleared up. And internet problems only happened when there was a problem with my buggy DSL connection that effected all email, etc applications. So wasn't a Netflix/silverlight problem. Hope this helps other people with their netflix problems.

    ReplyDelete
  178. Firefox did not work either.

    Still thinking its a AMD problem. If you have an older AMD processor chime in. We may have a class action lawsuit on our hands for discrimination against AMD users.

    To Netflix and Microsoft,

    How long do you think we are going to put up with this? Go back to the original or incorporate technology like Hulu uses. We are getting quite upset at this point.

    At least I made a couple of hundred off of you when I sold my NFLX stock.

    ReplyDelete
  179. Hi Dan,
    I have an Amd 64. Possibly update firefox?

    ReplyDelete
  180. OK Anon.

    I updated firefox. I had 3.0xx now I have 3.5 with no difference.

    So you have a older amd or a newer one? From what I can tell the newer ones work fine but the older ones will not.

    ReplyDelete
  181. heliocen@hotmail.comJuly 9, 2009 at 8:19 PM

    Hi Dan,it's about 3 years old - single, not dual core Amd 64 processer with media center 2005. I upgraded to 2 gig of memory and 512MB video card, mostly to try and solve this netflix problem, in retrospect probably not related. I was surprised myself when switching browsers worked. I was before like you sound, totally frustrated. Good Luck.
    Karl

    ReplyDelete
  182. I just read that Silverlight 3 has been officially released. Does Netflix plan on updating to Silverlight 3?

    ReplyDelete
  183. Thanks Karl,

    We have close to the same specs though my processor may be older (FX51) but I also have 2gig memory and 512 video. The thing is things were perfect and I was such an advocate, and dedicated customer, prior to the Microfail silvercrap switch.

    Netflix still sends me mailers that say "give a gift of netflix to your friends" which makes me, cynically, crack up. They are failing in such a large way it isn't even funny anymore. They are doomed to fail by bedding with MS's failed app. If it were my company I would give people having trouble an option of switching back to the old, better, way things were. This is so not Netflix and so not good business. Frustration is too soft a word for how I feel. I am moving towards utter contempt.

    Netflix=fail.

    Change soon!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
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  190. We would like a way to leave notes about the movies in our queue - who recommended it in particular. We never can remember if it was a friend, a review, netflix, or we just found it. It would be very useful if we could do that. Don't other people feel that?
    thanks, LD

    ReplyDelete
  191. There was no voice audio track for the TV series "This American Life: Season 2" through instant streaming. You can hear music, but not people speaking. Please fix this.

    ReplyDelete
  192. WHY did you switch players????

    I'm among the people who was cajoled into switching players and told the old player wasn't supported anymore. The switch has been a DISASTER for movie playing. I don't even bother filling out the "How was the playback" questionnaire anymore.

    I want the old player back! AND/OR I want to be able to let it download while I'm doing something else and then be able to watch it uninterrupted and in high quality.

    Now the amount that buffers is only about 5 minutes worth. And the Netflix 'tech' asked all the wrong questions and didn't listen to what I was saying. NOTHING on my end has changed! Stop blaming our ISPs. All my other apps work and MoveNetworks still works just fine. It ISN'T ME!

    Gads... I've given you months to correct this and I'm very close to canceling.

    ReplyDelete
  193. I must admit after downloading the Starlight 3 I watched a movie and the quality was very improved. Not to the point as it was before starlight but an improvement none the less. I will remain a fan and sign up for more DVD's now. Hopefully Microsoft will pay you for the lost business. That was unacceptable. It still is not 100% but at the very least, the movies are watchable.

    ReplyDelete
  194. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  195. I don't know what everyone is complaining about. Silverlight works fine on my Macbook, my 3 PC's around the house and my XBox360 in the living room. The picture quality is great(not quite DVD quality, but very nice). My ISP is Suddenlink and runs at D: 8mb and U: 512kb. That's enough to have 3 movies streaming at once, and I have even had 2 movies streaming thru WIFI to my Macbook and my PC laptop while watching another thru the XBox360 on the TV. I just don't see the problems everyone seems to be having. Perhaps, Netflix is right, you should contact your ISP for support. It seems that if I get this kind of service from Netflix, you should be able to as well, unless your ISP is having problems delivering the bandwidth needed to get the highest level of quality out of their stream.

    ReplyDelete
  196. Netflix streaming for Wii would be awesome. I use my Wii with Orb currently to stream some video sources and music and it works great.

    Netflix on Wii would be excellent. I think many of the 25+ million Wii owners would agree(vs xbox 20m).

    ReplyDelete
  197. I have had a few problems but not many audio chirps and video cutting out but it has gotten better.

    ReplyDelete
  198. When trying to stream an episode of Lost, was asked to click here to install SilverLight. Did so. Now crappy performance. In opening the SilverLight console, found that NetFlix configures the buffer for 1MB only and will not allow a change. And, SilverLight does not seem to download additional content while what has been downloaded is being played. So, for those of us who use NetFlix while on the road and are forced to use slower connections in hotels, were just out of luck. If this is going to go on this way, I guess it's going to be goodbye NetFlix. Hope Microsoft is reimbursing you for the lost business. (BTW, the old player worked great even on no so great connections.)

    ReplyDelete
  199. Have tried the switch to Firefox Browser. Using less cpu as read on xp task manager--and that is way good as it had been pegged at 100%.

    Still stops and buffers every few minutes whereas it ran just fine on previous player. M$ silverlight stinks, or you got the setting screwed up. How about buffering the whole movie and letting me control when to play it from the buffer???

    ReplyDelete

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