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Netflix pausing/buffering issues

304202 Views 717 Replies Latest reply: Jan 8, 2014 10:44 AM by tommy2103.87 RSS
  • bikestuff Calculating status...
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    Feb 11, 2011 9:54 PM (in response to RebeccaA)
    Same issues here. It's great for practicing patience and equanimity, but I bought it to watch movies.

    Latest generation Airport Extreme 25 feet from the ATV, latest gen Motorola Docsis cable modem, 20MB download speed verified. I'm on my second ATV in 30 days, bought it strictly for Netflix. Netflix streams flawlessly on all our computers, I just got sick of hooking my laptop up to the TV . . . .

    A big thank you to those who tried the ethernet cable and saved me the time.

    I'm taking it back for a refund tomorrow. I'm an Apple lifer and would vastly prefer to stream Netflix with an Apple product. If Apple made a toaster, I'd be using it.

    Unfortunately, the Apple TV doesn't seem to be ready for prime time quite yet.
    MBP i5, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • mxyzplk Calculating status...
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    Feb 12, 2011 8:04 PM (in response to Waymen)
    The "run diagnostics at low bandwith" sounded like science fiction but I figured I'd try it anyway. It's science fiction. No effect.
    Dell, Windows XP
  • KRG44 Calculating status...
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    Feb 13, 2011 10:33 AM (in response to Waymen)
    I got an ATV2 for XMAS and have been trying ever since to get Netflix streaming to work consistently. I have it running through wifi, but have also tried connected directly to my router with no change in performance. I have a 4 Mbps DSL connection and my PS3 streams perfectly. From the beginning I have been able to stream non-HD content or sometimes even movies that should be in HD, but if I try to stream HD tv shows I get an endless pinwheel on the screen (which I have tried to leave for up to 15 minutes with no luck).

    I previously tried the various fixes that have been suggested here, including resetting, restoring, unplugging, and changing the DNS settings. None of these had any effect (good or bad) on the performance. Last night I ran the diagnostic and set the expected speed to <1 Mbps. I was able to watch to HD shows with ~2 min load times at the beginning and no pausing. I'm not sure why, but this seems to have fixed the problem. Hopefully this will help others here.
  • catman2 Calculating status...
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    Feb 13, 2011 10:45 AM (in response to KRG44)
    thanks for that report...I am in the same boat, done all the suggested fixes. All other devices work perfect. I too set my connection as less that 1mbps...it was pausing during primetime , but was ok later. going to try again today to see if it works conclusively.

    i think it's a software issue that can be ironed out as my ipad is fine on netflix, so i dont think it's a CPU speed issue, but it sure is a pain waiting for an update..
    apple tv/MBP/mac Pro, iOS 4
  • markbober Calculating status...
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    Feb 14, 2011 11:47 AM (in response to iPhone Apple TV User)
    You should use your ISPs DNS server settings, not Google's. The streaming service Netflix uses will route the stream based on your geographical location, which can be determined by your ISPs DNS but not Google's.
  • markbober Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Feb 14, 2011 11:50 AM (in response to markbober)
    Btw, I also tried going fully wired on FiOS with about 18 Mbps / 15ms and I still have the issue. I'm using a super low latency switch (about 6ms I think) and it's still an issue.

    I haven't tried the DNS setting yet but it sounds promising. I'm going to give it a shot when I get home. And I have made a couple calls to Netflix and their Customer Support team is not very technical.
  • catman2 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Feb 14, 2011 2:15 PM (in response to markbober)
    the issue here is really that the Netflix performance is buggy, and that the apple tv is incapable of streaming netflix to a basic standard that other products are able to.

    On my ps3, mac pro,macbookpro ,i pad etc Netflix works perfectly, wired , unwired, no dns, no unplugging ,wired or unwired, no resets, etc etc. All these fixes are just us trying to fix a poorly implemented service .

    Please keep filing reports in the feedback section regarding these issues. I think a bugfix is whats needed, although I am grateful to all who come up with workarounds ! It surprises me that Apple brought this to market without proper testing.
    apple tv/MBP/mac Pro, iOS 4
  • vazandrew Level 6 Level 6 (12,930 points)
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    Feb 14, 2011 4:49 PM (in response to catman2)
    It works perfectly fine for me, I think it's more of a netflix problem personally.
    iMac 2.8GHz 2GB RAM ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.8), Apple TV 2G
  • capaho Level 4 Level 4 (3,650 points)
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    Feb 14, 2011 5:34 PM (in response to vazandrew)
    It works perfectly fine for me, I think it's more of a netflix problem personally.


    Netflix is nearly perfect on my Mac mini. I suspect that most of the Netflix problems reported here are more likely the result of individual ISP or network issues rather than actual problems with Netflix or the ATV.
    iMacs Galore, MBP, Mac mini Server, Mac mini HDMI, Antique ATV, iPadPodtouches, Mac OS X (10.6.4), The more I think, the more I think I shouldn't think more.
  • vazandrew Level 6 Level 6 (12,930 points)
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    Feb 14, 2011 5:36 PM (in response to capaho)
    That sounds logical
    iMac 2.8GHz 2GB RAM ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.8), Apple TV 2G
  • tbsteph Level 2 Level 2 (320 points)
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    Feb 14, 2011 7:24 PM (in response to vazandrew)
    Does it sound logical that other devices connected to the same network, in the same manner and location can access Netflix without issue whereas the ATV2 buffers? I think it's apparent that not everyone has issues with their ATV2 but, there does seem to be many that do (As this thread demonstrates.).
    White Macbook 2.16 - Mini - iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.5), New/Old Mac Convert
  • vazandrew Level 6 Level 6 (12,930 points)
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    Feb 14, 2011 7:32 PM (in response to tbsteph)
    That doesn't mean it's this device that's the problem though.
    iMac 2.8GHz 2GB RAM ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.8), Apple TV 2G
  • capaho Level 4 Level 4 (3,650 points)
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    Feb 14, 2011 7:45 PM (in response to tbsteph)
    I think it's apparent that not everyone has issues with their ATV2 but, there does seem to be many that do (As this thread demonstrates.).


    Might they be wifi issues? Netflix doesn't buffer in the usual way, it adjusts the bit rate dynamically in order to avoid buffering. If Netflix is actually buffering it's likely because the network speed is too slow to sustain the stream, either because of a speed problem on the ISP or the local network (or possibly a defective NIC in the ATV).
    iMacs Galore, MBP, Mac mini Server, Mac mini HDMI, Antique ATV, iPadPodtouches, Mac OS X (10.6.4), The more I think, the more I think I shouldn't think more.
  • tgibbs Level 1 Level 1 (70 points)
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    Feb 14, 2011 8:04 PM (in response to tbsteph)
    tbsteph wrote:
    Does it sound logical that other devices connected to the same network, in the same manner and location can access Netflix without issue whereas the ATV2 buffers? I think it's apparent that not everyone has issues with their ATV2 but, there does seem to be many that do (As this thread demonstrates.).


    Yes. Netflix's network is very complex. To stream video, a device must contact servers, mostly operated by Amazon under contract with Netflix, that likely run device specific code, and then stream content from a Content Deliver Network, also under contract with Netflix. There are literally thousands of servers involved. So it is very likely that different devices, on the same network in the same house, are talking to different servers. Apple TV is one of Netflix's fastest growing clients, so it may be that it has outstripped Netflix's current capacity for that particular device in some areas.

    It is worth noting that one of the few things (other than fixing wireless reception problems) that people have sometimes reported as improving Netflix streaming is changing the Dynamic Name Server setting. But some people report best results using Google's DNS, while others report best results using their ISP's default DNS. It seems unlikely that a bug in the Apple TV itself would be sensitive to who is operating the DNS. On the other hand, changing the DNS setting is likely to alter which servers on Netflix's network you end up connecting to.
    Cube, Mac Pro, MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, Mac OS X (10.5.7)
  • capaho Level 4 Level 4 (3,650 points)
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    Feb 14, 2011 8:26 PM (in response to tgibbs)
    Apple TV is one of Netflix's fastest growing clients, so it may be that it has outstripped Netflix's current capacity for that particular device in some areas.


    There is no device specific capacity. Netflix checks the device type when the connection is first established in order to determine the resolution based on device capability and restrictions, but once the stream is established there is nothing special about it that would be affected based on the device. The problem is more likely to be the result of the capacity of the user's ISP during peak periods.
    iMacs Galore, MBP, Mac mini Server, Mac mini HDMI, Antique ATV, iPadPodtouches, Mac OS X (10.6.4), The more I think, the more I think I shouldn't think more.
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