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Netflix won't display in HD during peak hours

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Magnertom
Copper Contributor
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Posts: 13
Registered: ‎08-22-2013

Netflix won't display in HD during peak hours

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So, ever since I moved from one part of Pittsburgh to another, my Netflix streams have suffered from extremely diminished speeds during peak hours. For example, when I come home from work and try to watch an episode of Orange Is The New Black on my xbox (or laptop, it doesn't really matter), it'll peak at around 3 bars, slink back to 2, and stay there pretty much all night. What's especially vexing is that this didn't start until I moved into my new apartment, especially since I had FIOS in the old place as well. Furthermore, if I try to watch something on another streaming video platform, like Amazon Instant or HBO GO, it'll go into HD picture within seconds.

 

I've called Verizon about this six times now, and Netflix three times. Both blame the other, and I'm both baffled and irritated. I've power cycled the router more times than I can count. The Netflix engineers told me that my network's consistency was to blame, and when I asked the Verizon tech about it, he said he had no way of measuring it, so I was basically out of options.

 

Is there some way to fix this? For the love of god, please tell me there is. 

15 REPLIES 15
anonFios
Bronze Contributor II
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Posts: 132
Registered: ‎01-08-2013

Re: Netflix won't display in HD during peak hours

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It's a well known issue with Fios and it is the fault of Verizon (if you do a search you will see many other threads about this issue). Basically Fios doesn't have the backbone to handle everyone streaming Netflix (other services, such as Steam are also affected).

 

Verizon is lettering the connections that provide Netflix content (primarily from Cogent) overload so that everyone gets a degraded streaming quality. The sad part is that there is an existing free fix to this problem, but Verizon doesn't want it.

 

The best fix for this issue is to cancel Fios and switch to a competitor. A secondary fix is to pay for a VPN and stream your Netflix through that.

 

Otherwise we're all being screwed by Verizon.

Magnertom
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Posts: 13
Registered: ‎08-22-2013

Re: Netflix won't display in HD during peak hours

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Lately it's been happening to Amazon Instant Video as well during peak hours. Do you guys thing it may have something to do with living in a large apartment building where lots of people have fios and probably watch a lot of streaming movies? 

Magnertom
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Posts: 13
Registered: ‎08-22-2013

Re: Netflix won't display in HD during peak hours

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Also, I checked the CDN (Content Delivery Network, I think) that provides my Netflix content, and it's Level 3. Does this still mean I'm being screwed up because of the whole Cogent/Verizon fight?

Smith6612
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Re: Netflix won't display in HD during peak hours

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@Magnertom wrote:

Also, I checked the CDN (Content Delivery Network, I think) that provides my Netflix content, and it's Level 3. Does this still mean I'm being screwed up because of the whole Cogent/Verizon fight?


If your CDN is Level3, then the Cogent/Verizon feud is not involved. Verizon peers directly with Level3.

Magnertom
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Posts: 13
Registered: ‎08-22-2013

Re: Netflix won't display in HD during peak hours

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Weird. So do I call Verizon and tell them to yell at Level3, or at this point do I just demand that they send a tech over here after 6 to figure out what's going on?

mariosa
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Registered: ‎09-01-2013

Re: Netflix won't display in HD during peak hours

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I wonder if its just a coincidence that Verizon is now pushing its Redbox streaming service.

Magnertom
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Posts: 13
Registered: ‎08-22-2013

Re: Netflix won't display in HD during peak hours

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Well I've got a tech coming out tomorow to check for network congestion. I live in a big apartment building now, and when I had Fios in a house, I never had this kind of problem, so I'm starting to think this is the issue.

 

I checked my speeds last night when watching Netflix was like watching a grainy cell phone video on my HDTV on here: http://www.measurementlab.net/run-ndt It was fluctuating wildly back and forth between 15 to .2 to 6 to .3 every few minutes, and the test said network congestion may be an issue, which would make an awful lot of sense.

jonw747
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Registered: ‎09-27-2011

Re: Netflix won't display in HD during peak hours

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Verizon could certainly make the problem go away, but that doesn't mean that they're at fault. When there's a huge mismatch in data usage between two internet peers, the one using more data is supposed to pay the other. Verizon is not getting paid. NetFlix has a solution that involves Verizon allowing them to install a server in Verizon's data center, but NetFlix has no desire to pay for that either. But if you want to blame Verizon for wanting to charge NetFlix money to host their server just like they'd charge anybody else ... go ahead.
Magnertom
Copper Contributor
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Posts: 13
Registered: ‎08-22-2013

Re: Netflix won't display in HD during peak hours

Message 10 of 16
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Well, the guy came and replaced both my router and terminal. He said the fiber signal coming in at the time was fine, and it seemed to work around 4 this afternoon. Just now I tried to cue up The Avengers and it's having difficulty buffering between levels 2 and 3, and not hitting HD at all. The tech suggested that I kick it up to tier 2 if I still had trouble, so here goes nothing.

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