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jigeye

Streaming Netflix Movies

Question

jigeye

My kids have been watching movies off Neflix via a wireless laptop but the quality is not very good. Is my wireless G router the problem? Would it be better if I upgraded to Wireless N? The laptop is new and has wireless N.

Thanks,

Jigeye

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upnorth

I am guessing it is your ISP and its bandwidth capabilities.

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Sandmannd

I would say ISP as well. Check your resolution settings on your laptop just in case though.

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upnorth

OK here is a little more info from my perspective. Your wireless G is probably connecting you at 54 Mega Bits Per Second and your ISP connection is probably 1 to 1.5 Mega Bit Per Second or a little more or a little less. Some advertise a lot higher and can deliver under most circumstances, but that will depend on how many people they have on line at that time. Evening is probably the worst time to try things like streaming video as everyone else is doing the same.

In other words your wireless can deliver way more bandwidth to your PC/Laptop than your ISP can.

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Whoaru99

Can you be more descriptive of what you mean by "the quality is not very good"?

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jigeye

What I meant by the quality is that the picture is not very clear. Words on the screen are blurry and such. I did some testing last night to see if I could improve the picture by shutting off all other PC's in the house. In Netflix you can run a test that tells you how good the signal is. Before I shut off all other things accessing my router I had a "Basic" signal and after shutting everything else off I would get a "Good" signal (and I had the laptop close to the router). The picture wasn't much better though. I agree with Upnorth stating that the incoming bandwidth to my Modem is probably the culprit and not my router. I have the Embarq bundle with DSL, Dish Network and local phone service. I plan on calling them and see if it's possible to get a faster DSL speed.

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jigeye

So I just contacted Embarq and found out I have the cheapest high speed internet service which is 1.5M. I need to upgrade to the 5.0M service to be able stream movies which will cost 15 bucks more per month. I'll have to run through some numbers to find out if this makes sense or not. Seems like there isn't a lot of decent movies to "watch instantly" on Netflix anyway.

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Whoaru99

I've never tried to stream a movie but, IMO, I'm not certain a bigger pipe will fix blurry.

If the stream was timing out or stuttering, yeah, a bigger pipe probably would fix that.

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jigeye

I talked to Embarq and they recommended at a minimum since I am using multiple computers and a printer on a network the 3.0M service which was only an extra 5 bucks a month. I will try it out and see if that makes a difference. Should know Friday evening.

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upnorth

What kind of software is doing the streaming? You may need to upgrade a viewer too.

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jigeye

Netflix has thier own proprietary viewer that will download the first time you watch a movie from thier website.

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CJH

Could you download it ahead of time?

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jigeye

I don't think you can download it ahead of time but I'll check and if I'm wrong will let you know.

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Sandmannd

A faster speed is not going to hurt you at anything. I don't know if it will fix the viewer, but you are going to enjoy it just surfing.

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MNHuntress

Jigeye I don't know where you are at but sometime last week there was an article in the Mpls. Star Tribune on Netflix and streaming movies from devices, and the quality (or lack there of), and choices of movies. This could help your decision on upgrading Embarq, etc. Try and do a search on Star Tribune + Netflix and see if you can find it.

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jigeye

OK so after the upgrade to faster DSL speed the Netflix movies are coming in great so the DSL speed was the problem.

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upnorth

Good to hear you have the problem solved.

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Whoaru99

Interesting.

Netflix must be able to gauge the speed of the connection then stream at higher or lower resolution accordingly?

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jigeye

Yes, everytime you go to the section for "watch instantly" it will check your Internet speed and adjust the video quality I suppose so the movie doesn't stop.

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