Resolving HD buffering issues on Netflix
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Thread: Resolving HD buffering issues on Netflix

  1. #1
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    Resolving HD buffering issues on Netflix

    I have a high quality home theater system (Panasonic ST series plasma, Marantz receiver, Definitive loud speakers, Roku XDS media box). My Internet service provider is Comcast and using their speed test, I'm seeking over 16-22 mbps at the router and have a Netgear WRN3500 wireless router placed in the next room from where the Roku/TV system sits. On a regular basis when streaming HD films from Netflix, the film will buffer and then stream at a lower speed resulting in not as perfect a picture. While I realize Netflix does not stream at 1080p, it's frustrating.

    I've been contemplating replacing the router with a Linksys E3200 or going the powerline route with the NETGEAR XAVB1004 Home Theater system. Does anyone have experience with either of these, and what do you recommend to eliminate the buffering issue?

    Thanks.

    Jonathan

  2. #2
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    This is becoming a big issue for folks these days, and unfortunately, there is no guarantee that changing the router would help. Have a read of these:

    http://www.bufferbloat.net/projects/...ki/Bufferbloat

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bufferbloat

  3. #3
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    So buffer bloat is an issue regardless of whether using a wireless router or a powerline system like the one I mention? Of course I fully realize there may not be any improved throughput using the electrical wiring in the house since there's no guarantee of any interference this way either. Are you aware of whether there IS a significant improvement going the powerline route? Just curious and thanks again for the information.

  4. #4
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    The thing to do is to try and be as scientific as you can in order to try and find out where the bottleneck is before you go spending money. If the problem is purely with the WiFi, then changing to powerline networking might help. But there might be other things that can be done to improve the wireless throughput too.

    Do you have a laptop PC at all?

  5. #5
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    Since I use a Roku box, I worked with support and made changes in the channel (11), DNS address, MTU, RTS threshhold and fragementation as well as moved the router away from the wall. While there was some improvement, I still see some buffering especially with HD streaming. It's not severe but it still happens which I suspect has to do with the buffer bloating. If you have other suggestions for through put changes I can make please let me know. In researching the powerline system, it appears it helps with streaming due to a more direct connection without interference.

  6. #6
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    Maybe
    10 tips to help improve your wireless network
    http://www.microsoft.com/athome/setup/wirelesstips.aspx


    Some good tios to take into consideration.
    SMILE
    and post back. Let us know if it worked.
    [ Book mark this post to find it again]

  7. #7
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    Thanks.. as I said, I changed the channel to 11 and made adjustments in the router interface per the support tech at Roku. I also moved the router away from the wall about 2 feet, though I cannot position it in the center of my condo due to the proximity to the modem.

  8. #8
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    Is there any reason why you feel the bottleneck is in the WiFi and not elsewhere?

    You didn't answer whether you have a laptop PC or not. If you do, there are some good freeware tools available to help test your WiFi.

  9. #9
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    Super Sparks.. I have both a laptop and desktop PC running WinXP SP3 but only the laptop uses wireless to connect to the network. Lately it's been running better since making the router changes and moving the router away from the wall. From what the information on buffer bloat says, there's no way to completely eliminate potential buffering though, so I guess I'll live with it.

  10. #10
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    netflix buffering issues

    I too have experienced buffering problems with netflix, even though i have ultra high speed internet.
    I had a samsung wireless blu-ray player connected to net via wireless. Buffering stalls were so severe that I could never
    watch anything on netflix. Much of the time, the program would not even load, let alone stream well.

    I have troubleshooted the issue, and I have concluded that the bottleneck is mainly the result of one issue
    not typically blamed for these problems: PROCESSING POWER!

    A lot wireless blu-ray players have TERRIBLE processing power, and this can be a severe bottleneck to streaming
    data. If you want to stream HD, do yourself a favor and get a dedicated streaming device, like a Roku device.

    Second, if you have the option, use a direct Ethernet connection whenever possible. However, the wireless on the roku
    well too, although not as good as ethernet.

    Once I made these switches, my streaming became lightning fast with no buffering issues.

    Hope this helps some folks.

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