Netflix Buffering Problem? Try This.

Netflix New Releases
Netflix New Releases (Photo credit: stevegarfield)

How We Fixed Our Netflix Buffering Problem

We don’t have TV or satellite programming. Yet. I don’t miss it (I am happy with free DVDs from the Maynardville library) but with Jim’s retirement coming up on its 1-month anniversary, he is finding that he misses watching sports and he can’t seem to find whole games on free internet TV (any insight here would be appreciated).

But we do have decent high speed internet (8 MB) and I recently signed up for the free 1-month trial of Netflix streaming video.

It was a total failure.  It buffered instantly and the streaming videos were impossible to watch.  Netflix tech support was no help at all.  They just said that throttling was occurring, but they could not tell me who or what device was doing it (in fact, they did not even ask me ANY questions about my configuration, which would have been an important clue to helping me solve my problem.)

I am not one to give up on technology problems.  I had already gone through similar issues with Amazon Prime a few months back, with ultimate success, so I knew that I could troubleshoot my way to success, so here is what I did to get Netflix to work.  Give it a try if you are experiencing similar buffering problems. You don’t have to be a computer programmer to figure this out, but you do need to do a lot of testing, changing one thing at a time (this is important), and observing what happens.

Here is a condensed version of what I did to gather information to help me solve my Netflix buffering problem — the one thing I changed in each step is in bold:

  1. (From TV with an HDMI cable connection to Blue Ray player with a direct connection to the internet)  — Netflix buffered at prime time in the evenings (sometime after 6pm)
  2. (From TV with an HDMI cable connection to Blue Ray player with a direct connection to the internet)  — Netflix did NOT buffer in the morning or during the day (interesting).
  3. (From iPhone) — Netflix ran great any time of day
  4. (From laptop with wireless connection) — Netflix ran great any time of day
  5. (From TV with and HDMI cable connection to laptop with a wireless connection to the internet) — Netflix ran great any time of day.  BINGO!

I wish I could say it was solved in a half hour, but this actually took a week or more of trial and error.  So don’t give up!

SUMMARY:  Obviously, the Blue Ray player was the bottle neck for Netflix.  But, Amazon Prime worked fine in the evenings using the Blue Ray player, as did other services like HULU.  But it is still a mystery to me why it would work during the day for Netflix, so someone (i.e. internet company?  Netflix?) or something (Blue Ray device) was throttling the bandwidth.

If anyone has any insights or success stories, please share.  Life is an Adventure (even when we don’t want it to be) ;’)