News Column

Netflix streaming issues may not be due to slow Internet

July 14, 2014

By Omar L. Gallaga, Austin American-Statesman



July 14--

A reader, George, writes in: "Have you any thoughts about the best minimum speed to get good Netflix? Netflix says at least 6 Mbps. My Time Warner Internet download tests at about 16 Mbps, but streaming a high-definition movie, it will still shut down after a while and reload at a lower quality setting."

Streaming HD video can take a lot of bandwidth, and the bottleneck may not be with the Internet connection itself. If you're using Netflix on an underpowered/slow device (cable boxes or HDTVs with built-in Netflix apps), it could cause problems. The biggest culprit I've found for choppy, unreliable video is trying to stream Netflix over a Wi-Fi connection versus a wired connection to, say, an Apple TV or Roku device that supports an Ethernet cable connection. I use a set of Powerline Ethernet adapters to get a wired connection from my router (way upstairs) to my TVs (living room and bedroom). They sell for about $50 or less and aren't prone to interference from, say, microwave ovens.

If problems persist, let your Internet service provider know you're having Netflix issues.

In this space every week, we'll define a tech term, offer a timely tip or answer questions about technology from readers. Email ogallaga@statesman.com.

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(c)2014 Austin American-Statesman, Texas

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Source: Austin American-Statesman (TX)


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