Netflix Sputters and Pauses

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Andy0568, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. Andy0568 macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148a Safari/6533.18.5)

    On my new Apple TV I get 10 second pauses when watching Netflix ALL the time--I haven't found a constant factor that causes it, however. Sometimes I will get 4 such pauses during a viewing, while sometimes I don't get any. The ATV is sitting beside an Xbox that never gets any Netflix buffer issues. Have others encountered this problem?
  2. mbesman macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2010
    Mine Too

    Took away the ATV2 and just use my PS3 now. MUCH better. ATV2 a waste of 100.00 bucks.
  3. tido2012 macrumors regular

    Jul 20, 2010
    I'm having problems viewing Netflix on apple tv. I have been getting A LOT OF LAG. I have AT&T 2Wire internet, the fastest option that I can have 6mb/s without getting their cable package. I don't want to pay an extra 50 for cable TV a month if the only shows I watch are on cnbc and I can stream them for free on my computer. I was wondering if anyone on here has had a fix to this? This is ridiculous and I would cancel my internet with AT&T and switch to Verizon in a second if I could get their internet without their TV service but apparently I live in an AT&T DSL area, which I honestly don't really understand why but whatever. I HATE AT&T HOME INTERNET SPEEDS!!! This is ridiculous, everyone is complaining about AT&T on the iphone but I have no issues, I live in fort worth and am always around the DFW area if this helps anyone with regards to how to fix my netflix streaming issues. Also, if it is possible to download the movie ahead of time so I don't have to deal with this awful lag, that would help too. Does anyone know of anything I can do? I am more than willing and able to jailbreak my ATV2 and will be doing so this weekend in order to put XBMC and a couple of other programs on there too. Any advice on how to speed this crappy netflix streaming on my ATV2 would be much appreciated. Yes I do know that I can use my playstation but the control is much better on ATV2 so that way my lazy @$$ doesn't have to get up and go get the control from my dock and can just use the remote app on my phone which I usually have in my pocket. Thanks guys!!
  4. Restinbeast macrumors member

    May 27, 2010
    It sounds like to me that these problems are related to your internet speeds.

    Yes perhaps xbox or ps3 is somehow able to run netflix with less download speed pushing it, but I can only go with my own experience.

    I have 3 separate apple tv 2s in my house currently. One of them is 300ft away in a guesthouse and I am experiencing flawless netflix playback over a sample size of 50 or so movies. I have maybe seen one hiccup over the course of all those movies.

    The only explanation I can think of is that I have a very robust network that I have worked on extensively - up to 80 mbps download wireless, 100 wired. The best option of course is to have a wired connection but it is not necessary if you have fast wireless. I would say that the average download test in my bedroom results in 40-50mbps. If you are only getting 6mbps piped in to your house then your wireless is probably even slower. This is a pretty slow connection imo. Please go to and tell us what your wireless results are when you place your laptop in a similar location to your atv2.

    I don't understand why you say you have to have cable tv in order to get a cable internet connection? I have directv b/c I want sunday ticket and i just get cable internet ala carte from Cox. The connection is BLAZINGLY fast. I really think this just comes back to your internet speed, regardless of if gaming consoles seem to fair better. I am NOT an apple apologist, their antenna might just be slightly weaker than the consoles but it should still not be a problem with a robust network.
  5. mouthster macrumors regular

    Apr 22, 2005
    Every time this comes up someone comes in and says the person has an internet problem or network problem.. no, Netflix on the ATV2 is currently flawed. Bottom... line.... Look through all the threads and posts here and you will find every person that has a PS3 (myself included) can stream Netflix perfectly while the ATV2 sputters or drops audio, etc. My personal feeling is that it's possible Netflix has different servers for ATV2 users and weren't anticipating the better-then-expect sales of these units. But really, who knows.

    P.S. if you have a PS3 you should be using it for Netflix anyway, as it has exclusive higher quality HD (1080p) and surround on some movies.
  6. s15119 macrumors 65816


    Nov 20, 2010
    Some people have seen better results with netflx by changing the DNS settings in ATV2. I have had the best success w/ using the Comcast DNS - it had defaulted to my router - I had played with using Googles but I think I get less issues using Comcast. You might want to test changing the DNS settings, it helped for me.
  7. tido2012 macrumors regular

    Jul 20, 2010
    I didn't do the because my MBP, desktop pc, ipad, iphone4, and pc laptops work just fine. The problem is the ATV2 with Netflix. I agree with mouthster on this one, we're better off using PS3 for Netflix, however there are times when its more convinient to use ATV since the remote app on the iphone allows me to navigate through it a lot easier, whereas I dont own a ps3 control and there is not an app that I know of which can control the ps3 (if anyone wants to make one this would be a good idea since it would also be easier to send messages to your friends on there whenever you want to talk crap about black ops or something equally useful :) )

    Question for s15119:

    I'm not the best with computers although I can figure out a few things here and there if i search enough, my question is when I do the DNS server switching do i have to do that for every device that is connected to the DSL ? Also, I recently ordered the Linksys WRT54GS and will be using QoS on there to be able to limit bandwidth so that way I wont have to worry about whether someone else is pulling too much of it, do you know of a good website with instructions on how I could switch DNS servers with that sort of setup? I admit I have not looked this up yet but will be doing some serious google searching once it comes in. Either way I appreciate the help. If anyone finds out about any new updates (even if I have to jailbreak the ATV2 to be able to do them) that may help with the Netflix speed on the ATV2 please let me know. I have not jailbroken the ATV2 but will be doing so once an untethered jailbreak comes out (just personal preference and the fact that I dont really need it yet). Thanks again, I appreciate the info.
  8. SuX0rz macrumors member

    Mar 10, 2010
    I have the same problem with Netflix stuttering. And I have fiber internet running around 40mb/s. It's Apple TV problem for sure.
  9. RedVespaBlur macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2008
    I have had it happen on occasion.

    The best explanation I have seen is that the AppleTV Netflix does not drop the quality in response to network congestion like other clients ie PS3 does. This results in consistent high quality picture except for when it falls over nad sound drops etc.

    I see the Dolby symbol pooping up in AppleTV Netflix this weekend and getting 5.1 surround on number of shows/movies.

    That is good news!
  10. Sean006 macrumors 6502

    Dec 23, 2008
    same here i gave up on netlfix on the Atv...PS3 no problems at all...
  11. cdavis11 macrumors 6502

    Aug 31, 2009
    Yeah, same here. I try it again on occasion, but it's hit or miss at best.

    I use a Roku as my primary streamer - both Netflix and Hulu Plus are working very well lately.
  12. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    I have also experienced the same problems. I assumed it was just because Wifi traffic in my neighborhood is congested. Netflix plays back fine on my PS3, but the PS3 has a wired connection. (Even so, occasionally the movie will pause, then resume).

    I have also come to the conclusion that Netflix on the Apple TV is not very useful, but again I thought that was just because of wireless streaming. (Come to think of it, though, my iPad can handle wireless streaming just fine...)
  13. cdavis11 macrumors 6502

    Aug 31, 2009
    I tried my aTV wired for a while, still stuttered from Netflix.

    The Roku next to it is also wireless, plays just fine.

    It's a shame, really. I love the aTV Netflix interface - much easier to discover shows based on what you watch now. I still wouldn't give the aTV up because of the link to my iTunes library.
  14. -FlyAuburn- macrumors regular

    Jun 2, 2010
    I'm sick of people saying "Just use your PS3" like everybody owns one. I happen to own a PS3, and yes it is my primary NetFlix box, but in my living room.

    Before I go any further let me describe my network setup. My wireless router sits right next to my TV in the living room. It's a Westell 327W that AT&T issued 3 years ago for their DSL service and I pay for the maximum 6 mbps DSL. My neighboorhood is new construction and we don't have cable yet so I'm limited to DSL. The PS3 and Xbox360 are connected with CAT5 directly to the router. My first ATV2 is sitting right next to it but connected wirelessly.

    I purchased an ATV2 (actually two of them, one for the living room and one for the bedroom) specifically to bring NetFlix to another room in the house cheaply without having to move any of my game consoles from the room with the biggest tv and best audio setup. I bought the second one for the living room for the the airplay features and streaming from iTunes, not neccesarily for NetFlix.

    I have a treadmill in my bedroom and a mounted 20 inch LCD at eye level right in front to create a good workout space. I absolutely hate working out but I figured being able to watch NetFlix or stream content from my iMac would make it bearable.

    The problem is that I'm having the same hitching, pausing, stuttering, and sometimes just downright not playing when trying to watch NetFlix. Everything else seems to work OK, although sometimes I also have issues with HomeSharing speeds, but only on the one in the bedroom.

    This has been very frustrating and I would say it's just network speed issues but I also have the same issues with the one in the living room but NONE with the PS3, 360, or Wii (in my daughter's bedrrom and wirelessly connected) which all run NetFlix flawlessly. I wish Apple and/or NetFlix would just admit that there is a problem and issue a fix or a statement/reccomendation on what to do about it.

    I love Apple, but I'm getting pretty sick of the excuses and lack of awareness of some big issues, i.e. "Just don't hold it that way". etc.

    I think what it really comes down to is that either through some kind of hardware limitation or limitation of the H.264 video encoding or the way NetFlix implements it's use for ATV2 users (or ALL of the above); there is a major flaw/problem that has yet to be recognized and addressed. A problem that can only be overcome with ridiculously fast network speeds that 95% of America (or the world) have yet to have access to. Either because it isn't available or it's too expensive.

    I still think part of my issue is that the ATV2 that I'm having issues with is in the back of the house and the signal has to pass through 4 walls to reach it. It shows that I'm getting "four bars" of signal but I don't think that means anything when it comes to throughput and consistency in signal strength. The reason I think this is the issue is because I've also had the same issue with my iPhone and YouTube buffering when I try to use it in that room. I've purchased a wireless signal booster on (made by Hawking) that is supposed to not only increase the range of a wireless network but also increase the wireless throughput to your devices. I should get it any day now and I'll let you guys know if it makes a difference.
  15. mouthster macrumors regular

    Apr 22, 2005
    This doesn't feel right to me because it still implies network issues, and I've never seen my PS3 stream from Netflix on anything less then X-High. No sign of congestion.
  16. mouthster macrumors regular

    Apr 22, 2005
    Yeah well, I'm sick of my ATV2 chokin' on netflix like mama cass and a ham sandwich..
  17. EvilC5 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 22, 2010
    Hanover MD
    my netflix was working flawlessly until just recently, and now it has times where it will stop every few minutes....kinda a pain when its on m sons tv and I have to hear "daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy...."until it starts
  18. -FlyAuburn- macrumors regular

    Jun 2, 2010
    Very helpful. Did you even read the rest of my post?
  19. From A Buick 8 macrumors 68040

    From A Buick 8

    Sep 16, 2010
    Ky Close to CinCinnati
    I am starting to have this issue more and more. We have two ATV's both using a wired connection. It has not been a big pain, everyone knows to just pause, rewind for about 5 seconds and then go again and it will be ok for awhile.

    I will try to change the DNS setting but not 100% sure how to do that. I will have to hook my laptop up to the wired connections used by the ATV and see what speed it is getting.
  20. Kauai macrumors 6502a

    Oct 13, 2010
    I'm getting 18mbps when I place my laptop next to my ATV and yet I just started to get some lag and stuttering. This is despite the fact that videos in HD played flawlessly yesterday. Something is definitely odd.
  21. mouthster macrumors regular

    Apr 22, 2005
    Yeah, I did. What do you want me to say? The ATV2 has a problem with Netflix. It's not your network. It's either a bug in Apple's player or a problem with Netflix content servers.. Your situation isn't any different then everyone else that has complained about Netflix on their ATV2's , so I don't know what kind of response you were expecting.
  22. dbwie macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2007
    Albuquerque, NM, USA
    Streaming from Apple's movie store (their version of HD) has never dropped or paused for me, and yet Netflix movies in SD pause and stutter. It seems like Apple and Netflix should get their heads together with regards to Netflix streaming to the :apple:TV2.
  23. EvilC5 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 22, 2010
    Hanover MD
    its not the internet speed, im getting 25-35mbps wirelessly on my 5ghz N network and 50mbps with bursts to 70 on my fios wired....

    it has to be something server side, or ios related on the ATV2.
  24. bangak macrumors member

    May 14, 2010
    Just wanted to add my voice to the chorus of those disappointed with Netflix streaming via Apple TV 2. I think I fall into a very small demographic of people who can afford an HD TV and an Apple TV but who is limited to sub 1MBS internet speeds due to my rural location in Alaska.

    For those who have no idea what it's like to use 768k DSL for streaming Netflix, I can tell you that it works flawlessly over my iPad, iPhone, iMac and MBP. It worked so well in fact, I went out last week and bought our first TV and a lovely Apple TV 2.

    The problem, as far as I understand it after hours of trying every workaround suggested on this forum and the Apple Discussions forum, is that Apple TV 2 simply does not allow Netflix content to be downgraded like every other Apple device I own. It's high quality or nothing. Which is sad for someone like me who would be more than happy to watch SOMETHING (even if it is pixelated) rather than absolutely nothing during our long winters.

    So be forewarned, for those who assume that if Netflix works on every other device you own it will be work on your Apple TV, think again.
  25. bobr1952 macrumors 68020


    Jan 21, 2008
    Melbourne, FL
    I wonder what the deal is here--for some--like me--Netflix works best on ATV--for others--not so good. :confused:

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