Skip navigation

Netflix pausing/buffering issues

304170 Views 717 Replies Latest reply: Jan 8, 2014 10:44 AM by tommy2103.87 RSS
  • Tango Mike Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 23, 2011 4:53 PM (in response to jmac1957)
    jmac1957:

    The ATV2 has been out long enough for the problems with Netflix streaming, which began immediately as far as I can tell, to be well documented. I knew nothing of them when I walked in to buy one. It's easy to give the store employee a "pass" when considering that his job is to sell me the product, not to tell me what's wrong with it. But my point is that unless Apple has been living on Mars, they know all about the problem. This forum thread and others like it document pages of frustration with getting the ATV2/Netflix interface to work as advertised. I may have missed it, but nowhere has any exalted Apple genius or dunce (or anywhere in between) bothered to respond. The issues remain unresolved, and it strikes me as the height of absurdity for Apple support to ignore what customers are saying here.

    It may well be that my call a few days ago and performing the restore to install the updates will permanently solve any pause/buffering issues with my setup, and I hope it does. But it took over thirty minutes on the phone one-on-one with customer support. I wonder how many ATV2 owners out there with problems know about the restore option? One distinct advantage of the forum is the ability to communicate with many ATV2 owners at one time, and it seems ludicrous that Apple apparently makes no effort to do so. That's especially true if the updates I installed were specifically designed to address the pause/buffering problem. Any ATV2 owner can do that without calling for support, and a simple message from Apple posted where people looking for solutions can find it makes much so much more sense.
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • tgibbs Level 1 Level 1 (70 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 23, 2011 8:14 PM (in response to Tango Mike)
    You're in the wrong place if you are looking to communicate with Apple; this is exclusively a user forum. If you are looking to communicate a problem to Apple, you should use their feedback page:
    http://www.apple.com/feedback/
    If you want help with an Apple product, you should call their phone support or visit the genius bar.

    As far as I know, none of the updates to date have been listed as solving pausing/buffering problems, although with any electronic product, the first step in addressing a problem is always to make sure that your firmware is updated to the latest version.

    Although a forum like this tends to attract people who are having problems, the rapid sales of the AppleTV and its rapid growth as a Netflix client seems to indicate that such problems are uncommon (I've used mine a lot, and so far, I've not had it pause to re-buffer even once, which is more than I can say for my other Netflix clients). Some of the solutions to this kind of problem that have been reported by others are: 1) switching from wifi to wired connection, 2) replacing modem or router, 3) Changing firewall/security settings on modem or router, 4) upgrading to a faster class of internet service, 5) changing DNS address to the ISP's default address (as recommended by Apple: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS3623), to Google DNS, or to Open DNS
    Cube, Mac Pro, MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, Mac OS X (10.5.7)
  • bamabetz Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 24, 2011 6:47 PM (in response to RebeccaA)
    Still have the same problems, buffering and audio cutting out and have to rewind to let it sync back up again. This just *****.
    MacBook Pro 15.4 - 1 TB and 8 GB 2.66GHz i7; iMac 27" - 1TB and 8GB 3.06, Core 2 Duo; iPhone 4 32GB *Smashed to **** MacBook* :( 16GB iPad
  • QX123 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 27, 2011 12:10 PM (in response to RebeccaA)
    I also just this past week purchased the Apple TV mainly for watching Netflix; I am extremely disappointed, and will be returning it this coming week. I want to watch HD movies seamlessly, not in 2 minute chunks separated by long delays.

    I've tried some of the suggestions here like static I/P with manual DNS, and hardwired ethernet. It makes no difference. The bandwidth rate on my 10mbps cable internet remains at under 3mbps while attempting to watch an HD movie; I can monitor this on my Gateway. When the ATV is stuttering, I stop the movie and resume viewing it on my PC - not a single hiccup. The bandwidth rate remains steadily at <3mbps as it did while I was watching on the ATV. Several speed tests to a variety of remotely located servers have shown my internet connection at always above 9mbps. So which piece of equipment should I blame?

    I have neither the time nor inclination to troubleshoot this problem further. It just doesn't work, period. I'm not going to hold out hope for a software update; I'll just have my money back, thanks!
    Mac Mini, iPad
  • markbober Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 27, 2011 1:41 PM (in response to QX123)
    Sounds like you need to blame your internet service provider for not giving you the bandwidth you are paying for. The Silverlight app (which is how you watch it on your laptop) scales down the quality when your connection isn't good. The Apple TV will not do this, hence your issue. Did you use OpenDNS for the DNS server? That worked for me, but I have a faster connection than you do...
  • QX123 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 27, 2011 2:58 PM (in response to markbober)
    Thank you for your suggestion Mark.

    Yes, I tried OpenDNS (208.67.222.222) as well as Google ( 8.8.8.8 ), and Verizon ( 4.2.2.1 ). I also have tried almost every speed test that I could find in dslreports.com, hitting servers across the USA and Canada. The results are consistently in the 9+mbps range. While watching the HD movies from Netflix - whether on ATV or Silverlight, my bandwidth monitor shows a steady rate of about 3 to 4mbps, so it would appear that the 'choking of the pipe' is somewhere upstream from me... my ISP or perhaps the Netflix servers. If other Netflix clients have found a way to overcome that limitation, why is Apple not addressing it for this device? Why would I keep it and hope they will someday? In the meantime it's a cute paperweight; it can't even play 90% of the other downloaded media I have. My Seagate FreeAgent Theater+ handles all of it, but unfortunately not Netflix.

    I just spoke to someone at Netflix who admitted that they were getting a lot of bad feedback from ATV users. The CSR suggested that if I was trading-in the ATV anyway, that I should try a Samsung BluRay player that they themselves have had great success with viewing HD. The Apple TV is now back in its box and tomorrow I'll return it to the store and pick up the Samsung that they also carry.

    I'll pay for a higher tier cable speed if I have to, but it shouldn't be rocket science to measure the effective DL speed of a 10mbps connection and calculate a buffering strategy to play a movie w/o constant pauses every 2 minutes, sheesh!
    Mac Mini, iPad
  • sohogirl Level 1 Level 1 (115 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 28, 2011 8:11 AM (in response to QX123)
    My ATV2 worked FLAWLESSLY before the first UPDATE! This is my fist Apple device that I'm VERY unhappy with! I*'m going to get ANOTHER device and CHUCK ATV2 up as a loss.*

    Apple is more than CAPABLE of making the device WORKS properly, for some reason they don't seem to care. *I'm ****** OFF*

    My first impression is that Apple really just wants people to stream THEIR content, *bait and switch in my opinion*. Then, I read that people are having issue streaming THEIR content too, *so I'm resigned to the fact that ATV2 just *****!* It was put on the market before it was ready. Either way, my opinion of Apple is LOWER
    PC, Windows Vista, iPad 64 3G, iPhone 3GS, Ipod Touch gen 1
  • vazandrew Level 6 Level 6 (12,915 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 28, 2011 9:20 AM (in response to sohogirl)
    Mine works perfectly well. It usually comes down to network issues or something in your setup.
    iMac 2.8GHz 2GB RAM ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.8), Apple TV 2G
  • Tango Mike Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 3, 2011 10:59 AM (in response to RebeccaA)
    Mine has not been working well and never has. I've contacted Apple, Netflix, and TWC only to be told it has to be the other guy's fault.

    Here's the setup: TWC > Modem > Buffalo Air Station TurboG High Power Router (an older one that has worked flawlessly in the past) > Plaster Networks Powerline Ethernet system (that uses house wiring to effectively bypass any problems with wireless streaming) > AppleTV2 (with HDMI to the TV and Digital Optical to the receiver).

    Last night at 9:30 I began watching an HD TV episode from Netflix. It worked fine for 5-10 minutes or so, and then began the pause/buffer activity that made it unwatchable. When I ran a speed test with 6 Mbs or better selected, the test was good.

    My contact with Apple support this morning suggested that I take another troubleshooting step and bypass my router with a cable directly from the modem to the Powerline adaptor, which effectively wired it directly to Apple TV. I tried that and couldn't access anything. The message said, "Network unavailable. Please try again later." I don't know much about this, but I think that's a bogus test because the router is the core of my home network and is what ties all the components together. Remove it and there's a network to join.

    It appears the only way to determine if my older router might be the culprit is to purchase a new one and try it. I've been online wading through all the information about the best routers and finally decided that an Apple Extreme to AppleTV setup is the only way to eliminate questions about possible compatibility issues between the two. That's a $179 test purchase, which I can return without a re-stocking fee, but the lingering question is still a very simple one.

    If Apple TV doesn't have a problem as some suggest, why is it that I and others on this forum can replace the AppleTV with another streaming device. leave everything else the same, and stream without any pause/buffering? The most logical answer is that the AppleTV device has a problem.

    But it's still a moving target. After the bogus test, I reconnected the router into the system and at about 11 am this morning watched the same HD content I tried to watch last night with no problems. That brings me back to the issue of time of day and how that might affect the signal from the provider.

    For this Apple customer, it's come full circle once again with no resolution. I'm beginning to think that reliable streaming with Apple TV and I will never shake hands.
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • Weber72 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 3, 2011 11:28 AM (in response to RebeccaA)
    After reading the suggestions on this forum, I tried multiple things that apparently have helped me out with my Netflix buffering issues.

    First, I went into my router settings and assigned a static IP to my Apple TV, although I am skeptical on this one.

    Second, I did some research on the internet to find out the DNS server addresses for my area for Bellsouth Fastaccess DSL. I went into the router settings and hard coded those into the router.

    After doing these steps, I have not had any issues with buffering, outside of one buffer stoppage around the beginning of each item watched on Netflix. After the initial buffer stoppage at the beginning of the program, the rest of the movie/TV episode played without issue. One of my tests was also in the evening on a weekend.

    Hopefully I can play around some more with this on a Friday and Saturday night with a popular movie to see if there is any buffering issues.
    HP, Windows 7
  • JavaJ Level 1 Level 1 (55 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 3, 2011 2:24 PM (in response to Weber72)
    One thing to question is your ISP- I know Shaw Cable somehow sees the stream coming from Netflix to the ATV2 as a torrent file- and throttles the bandwidth (or gives it bottom priority on their network).
    I also found turning HD streaming off for NetFlix worked a lot (yes, I know- you give up HD- but if the torrent thing is true- then at least it works).
    iMac 21.5" 3.06, MBP 15" 2.53, iPad, iPhone 3GS x2, ATV Gen 2 x2, and more-yikes, Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • tgibbs Level 1 Level 1 (70 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 3, 2011 2:57 PM (in response to Tango Mike)
    There have been some reports of routers with bugs in their security configuration that misidentified AppleTV traffic as a network incursion and tried to block it, so bypassing the router or trying another one makes sense. These days, you can pick up some pretty decent routers for $30 or so. There is also open source firmware available for some routers that can be substituted for the manufacturer's firmware.
    Cube, Mac Pro, MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, Mac OS X (10.5.7)
  • jasonacox Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 3, 2011 9:01 PM (in response to RebeccaA)
    The pause and buffering issue is a design issue with the Apple TV 2. The Internet is not a reliable streaming medium. It was not designed for guaranteed bitrate delivery Good designs take this into account and buffer considerable amounts of the video to anticipate retransmissions, congestion or brief outages. The Apple TV does not do this very well. It is either a design flaw in the software or a limitation of the hardware (not enough memory to queue the content). I am biased towards a software issue as other streaming functions on the ATV do well.

    I have conducted numerous Netflix A/B test with the ATV2 and PS3. The PS3 consistently delivers a better experience by buffering large amounts of the stream. I can start a show on the ATV and immediately experience frequent pausing, switch to the PS3 and watch flawless delivery.

    I am disappointed in Apple's Netflix implementation but I believe it can be improved. The ATV2 is an amazing product. I love AirPlay and iTunes streaming and look forward to the Apple fix for Netflix streaming.

    BTW, this message editor is not very iPad friendly.
    Macbook Pro, iPad, iPhone 3GS, iOS 4
  • markbober Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 7, 2011 8:36 AM (in response to jasonacox)
    Well, the issue just happened again for me this weekend. I have been using OpenDNS but haven't been using it that much recently, so it's not surprising the issue didn't show back up until just now. I also tried Google DNS but that didn't work either.

    So, my recommendation is to call Apple and describe the problem and ask for a solution.
  • vazandrew Level 6 Level 6 (12,915 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 7, 2011 9:32 AM (in response to markbober)
    Have you tried the ISP DNS? I've used that from day one and have no issues.
    iMac 2.8GHz 2GB RAM ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.8), Apple TV 2G
1 ... 12 13 14 15 16 ... 48 Previous Next

Actions

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (13)

Legend

  • This solved my question - 10 points
  • This helped me - 5 points
This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple disclaims any and all liability for the acts, omissions and conduct of any third parties in connection with or related to your use of the site. All postings and use of the content on this site are subject to the Apple Support Communities Terms of Use.