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Michail
Premium
join:2000-08-02
Boynton Beach, FL
kudos:1

Netflix on 24Mbps - rarely get full HD stream

This has continued to annoy me but getting the HD stream from Netflix has been hit or miss. Really, mostly miss as I often get two bars short on my Bluray player.

The bluray player is hardwired and I've tested the local connection at 1Gbps. Speed tests, depending on the server, seem to be up to par (13~23).

texasguy37
Premium
join:2009-05-18
Grand Prairie, TX
There is a long thread on the utalk forum discussing this issue.

»forums.att.com/t5/High-Speed-Int···U2664161

WhyMe420
Premium
join:2009-04-06
kudos:1
reply to Michail
I guess I should consider myself lucky but on 24/3 I've not had any major issues with Netflix. Though on occasion it will drop the HD but stopping and starting back where I left off would fix it.


Michail
Premium
join:2000-08-02
Boynton Beach, FL
kudos:1
said by WhyMe420:

I guess I should consider myself lucky but on 24/3 I've not had any major issues with Netflix. Though on occasion it will drop the HD but stopping and starting back where I left off would fix it.

That's what I sometimes do, restart it 5 or 6 times before the HD lights up. Sometimes it never wants to go HD.


CptGemini
Inside your computer
Premium
join:2004-11-29
Corpus Christi, TX
kudos:6
reply to Michail
Could be netflix because I too on RR rarely get HD and I am on their 15/2 package. Tried out vudu and it worked great at 1080p. I have used netflix for a while and its slowly degraded in quality of service over the years.


Michail
Premium
join:2000-08-02
Boynton Beach, FL
kudos:1
reply to texasguy37
said by texasguy37:

There is a long thread on the utalk forum discussing this issue.

»forums.att.com/t5/High-Speed-Int···U2664161

Wow, 22 pages there. It ended with some talk of DNS but I don't really see how that could be the problem.

I'd suspect it was more of a Netflix problem than a u-verse problem but it's hard to say. It could be some sort of regional thing or routing between the two. Any idea where the netflix streaming cloud is located?

Some speed test servers have a hard time cracking 6 or 13Mbps but I can find one in just about any corner or the country to get full line potential.

I've tried Vudu a few times and mostly that works at HDX but on rare occasion will buffer.

I tried to see if there was a way to contact Netflix on the matter but couldn't easily find a way to do so -- not good for a paid service.


Lighting Guy

join:2009-07-24
Berea, OH
That's odd. I actually only have the 3/1 service, and can stream 3 bars consistently, and it will go back and forth to HD once or twice in a 40 minute TV show. I actually wish you could just tell netflix to stay at the lower quality (or take an extra 2 minutes to buffer and stay at the higher quality), but that's a netflix thing, not Uverse.

tberg

join:2001-08-23
Greenville, SC
reply to Michail
I had buffering issues with my 18meg service even with standard def streaming. I found that my Sony Blu-Ray did not stream as well as my computer or my Wii.
Finally after several attempts to play via the Sony, things "clicked" and I had no more streaming problems.
It seems the Blu-Ray client doesn't buffer as well as other devices.


Michail
Premium
join:2000-08-02
Boynton Beach, FL
kudos:1
Mine is an LG but they could be running the same Netflix client.


HiDeff

@bellsouth.net
reply to Michail
Try watching the HD content on your computer and see if it works any better. Like tberg said, some devices just don't handle it well.


maartena
Elmo
Premium
join:2002-05-10
Orange, CA
kudos:3
reply to Michail
said by Michail:

said by texasguy37:

There is a long thread on the utalk forum discussing this issue.

»forums.att.com/t5/High-Speed-Int···U2664161

Wow, 22 pages there. It ended with some talk of DNS but I don't really see how that could be the problem.

Well.... let me show you how it can matter.

Netflix automatically assigns you to a datacenter, based on your DNS server and where it is located.

Unfortunately, AT&T's DNS server is located in "Wichita, Kansas", which pretty much stands for "I don't know where you are, so I will pick the exact middle of the U.S." - Now if you are in California, you could be sent to a Netflix datacenter in say..... Columbus, Ohio (I have no idea if there actually is a datacenter there, just as an example), which means your data stream has to cross almost the entire country.

Netflix does have a datacenter somewhere in California, so you should use that one. To get around this, you can change the DNS servers of the machine that plays Netflix to a DNS server that either IS local, or does round-robin DNS selection and automatically determines which DNS server is best, and which is local.

Google's DNS at 8.8.8.8 is a good choice, but you can also opt to use OpenDNS servers, which have servers in the L.A. area for instance.
--
"I reject your reality and substitute my own!"


Michail
Premium
join:2000-08-02
Boynton Beach, FL
kudos:1
I'll give it a try. I thought it would be the client IP that determined localization.


Michail
Premium
join:2000-08-02
Boynton Beach, FL
kudos:1
reply to maartena
Interesting reading here, »code.google.com/speed/public-dns···nce.html, especially at the bottom of the page where it talks about geolocating.

I wasn't aware nameservers geolocate. They caution though on using public DNS servers for this reason.

It would seem then that if U-verse was using a centralized DNS server it could impact geographically located streaming servers.

Is there not a way for U-verse to still pick the geographically closest location to the end user using a centralized DNS? They know where we are after all.

DNSguy

join:2006-04-09
Saint Charles, MO
kudos:3
reply to maartena
said by maartena:

Unfortunately, AT&T's DNS server is located in "Wichita, Kansas", which pretty much stands for "I don't know where you are, so I will pick the exact middle of the U.S." - Now if you are in California, you could be sent to a Netflix datacenter in say..... Columbus, Ohio (I have no idea if there actually is a datacenter there, just as an example), which means your data stream has to cross almost the entire country.

Completly, totally, 100% not true.
We have hundreds of DNS resolver nodes located all over our network. Any CDN (Netflix, Sony, Amazon, etc...) sees the source IP of one of those nodes when a customer performs a DNS lookup for a CDN hostname.
It's up to the CDN to return the IP of the server closest to you, but in no way would the CDN think that all requests are coming from Wichita, Kansas.


Rambo76098

join:2003-02-21
Columbus, OH
Reviews:
·WOW Internet and..
reply to Michail
^^ I could actually see this being a problem. I've seen several people that during their first few months of UVerse service, their IP determined location is not even close to their actual location. There was a thread this week about someone in CA having speedtest.net tell them they were in Wichita KS. Mine was convinced I was in Valencia CA for a while. Until it 'fixed itself' on speedtest.net, I did have some Netflix and other streaming problems. Never made the correlation before...

When I post on a local news site under an anon name, it puts your location on it, I assume based on your IP. From any computer, it's usually really accurate, except from my U-Verse connection, it can't determine it, it just puts 'United States'.

DNSguy

join:2006-04-09
Saint Charles, MO
kudos:3
said by Rambo76098:

^^ I could actually see this being a problem. I've seen several people that during their first few months of UVerse service, their IP determined location is not even close to their actual location. There was a thread this week about someone in CA having speedtest.net tell them they were in Wichita KS. Mine was convinced I was in Valencia CA for a while. Until it 'fixed itself' on speedtest.net, I did have some Netflix and other streaming problems. Never made the correlation before...

When you post on a forum, the IP of your U-verse connection is used. Why some geolocation services have problems with U-verse IP's, I have no idea.

When your computer (or Roku, Apple TV, PS3, etc.) peforms DNS lookups to connect to a CDN, the request flows: your computer -> AT&T DNS Servers -> CDN DNS Servers.
The IP of your U-verse connection is never provided to the CDN DNS server, they only see the IP of our DNS server when making a traffic routing decision.
Those IP's have been in use for quite some time and do not have the same problem with geolocation.


mix

join:2002-03-19
Utica, MI
Also, who says the closest location is the best route anyways?


Michail
Premium
join:2000-08-02
Boynton Beach, FL
kudos:1
reply to Michail
Perhaps the geolocation is working correctly and the closest Netflix server is overloaded. Perhaps that's why changing the DNS has worked for some.

I can speed test at every corner of the country enough to satisfy Netflix's HD requirements. So in theory it shouldn't matter much.

Too bad we can't get some Netflix engineers on here as well .

DNSguy

join:2006-04-09
Saint Charles, MO
kudos:3
reply to mix
said by mix:

Also, who says the closest location is the best route anyways?

The CDN provider has 100% control over what servers are used by AT&T customers, we have no say over what IP's are returned when we make DNS queries for their hostnames.


maartena
Elmo
Premium
join:2002-05-10
Orange, CA
kudos:3
reply to DNSguy
said by DNSguy:

said by maartena:

Unfortunately, AT&T's DNS server is located in "Wichita, Kansas", which pretty much stands for "I don't know where you are, so I will pick the exact middle of the U.S." - Now if you are in California, you could be sent to a Netflix datacenter in say..... Columbus, Ohio (I have no idea if there actually is a datacenter there, just as an example), which means your data stream has to cross almost the entire country.

Completly, totally, 100% not true.

We have hundreds of DNS resolver nodes located all over our network

Allright.

Since you say "We", I take it from AT&T. Now instead of correcting me, which I do appreciate by the way, could you maybe explain to us why a 24/3 connection that otherwise tests good can't play Netflix video?

Is it 100% the blame of Netflix, or does AT&T have some tips and tricks to help?
--
"I reject your reality and substitute my own!"

Unrated

join:2007-02-15
Frisco, TX
I seem to always get it when available on my wireless roku HD, ps3, and 360.


alchav

join:2002-05-17
Saint George, UT
Reviews:
·ooma
reply to Michail
said by Michail:

This has continued to annoy me but getting the HD stream from Netflix has been hit or miss. Really, mostly miss as I often get two bars short on my Bluray player.

The bluray player is hardwired and I've tested the local connection at 1Gbps.

This is a very interesting subject, I was wondering how this type of Streaming Service would hold up under pressure. As more and more people use it, these type of problems will stain the flaws in the Network. I'm sure that Verizon FiOS holds up better than AT&T U-Verse.


tim
Premium
join:2005-06-07
Chicago, IL
kudos:2
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·Comcast

1 edit
reply to maartena
said by maartena:

Unfortunately, AT&T's DNS server is located in "Wichita, Kansas", which pretty much stands for "I don't know where you are, so I will pick the exact middle of the U.S." - Now if you are in California, you could be sent to a Netflix datacenter in say..... Columbus, Ohio (I have no idea if there actually is a datacenter there, just as an example), which means your data stream has to cross almost the entire country.

Netflix does have a datacenter somewhere in California, so you should use that one. To get around this, you can change the DNS servers of the machine that plays Netflix to a DNS server that either IS local, or does round-robin DNS selection and automatically determines which DNS server is best, and which is local.

False. The DNS IPs that AT&T assigns (in my area) are 68.94.156.1 and 151.164.8.201. So, let's do a traceroute to 68.94.156.1.

 
traceroute to 68.94.156.1 (68.94.156.1), 64 hops max, 72 byte packets
 1  10.65.44.1 (10.65.44.1)  0.747 ms  0.253 ms  0.378 ms
 2  192.168.0.1 (192.168.0.1)  1.699 ms  1.455 ms  1.368 ms
 3  adsl-99-41-243-254.dsl.emhril.sbcglobal.net (99.41.243.254)  8.621 ms  7.898 ms  8.319 ms
 4  dist1-vlan60.emhril.ameritech.net (68.22.72.130)  8.513 ms  7.950 ms  8.823 ms
 5  dnsr1.sbcglobal.net (68.94.156.1)  8.939 ms  8.506 ms  8.539 ms
 

Looks like it's going to a server in Elmhurst, IL - which is the local AT&T DSL hub.

Let's also traceroute netflix.vo.llnwd.net - which is one of Netflix's CDN hostnames.

traceroute to netflix.vo.llnwd.net (208.111.168.7), 64 hops max, 72 byte packets
 1  10.65.44.1 (10.65.44.1)  1.322 ms  0.251 ms  0.234 ms
 2  192.168.0.1 (192.168.0.1)  1.483 ms  1.557 ms  1.519 ms
 3  adsl-99-41-243-254.dsl.emhril.sbcglobal.net (99.41.243.254)  8.706 ms  7.903 ms  8.454 ms
 4  dist1-vlan60.emhril.ameritech.net (68.22.72.130)  22.350 ms  8.684 ms  8.316 ms
 5  151.164.101.214 (151.164.101.214)  8.640 ms  8.377 ms  8.149 ms
 6  151.164.99.169 (151.164.99.169)  52.948 ms  46.506 ms  47.816 ms
 7  ppp-151-164-46-42.eulstx.swbell.net (151.164.46.42)  160.888 ms  77.231 ms  43.790 ms
 8  limelight.tengigabitethernet8-4.ar2.chi2.gblx.net (206.165.73.150)  41.212 ms  44.764 ms  50.929 ms
 9  cdn-208-111-168-7.ord.llnw.net (208.111.168.7)  43.024 ms  44.110 ms^C
 

So it appears it is indeed connecting to a server in Chicago. Try to traceroute to netflix.vo.llnwd.net and see where it connects you.

FWIW, I'm on DSL. 6mbit. Netflix HD seems to stream fine, even on this connection.


Deft
Stros in '08
Premium
join:2003-09-06
Grand Forks, ND
1st one crossed Minneapolis-Chicago then ended here --> eulstx swbell

2nd one crossed Chicago and ended at Dallas.


apeface

join:2000-09-16
Mckinney, TX
kudos:3
reply to Michail
I have long thought this to be some load balancing issue within netflix area of responsibility. The fact that there are complaints from a variety of providers and from all over the country kind of points in that direction. This could also explain as to why some folks see the issue and others dont, even if they are in the same area.

I also have Uverse 12m package and I get HD consistantly with very little buffering both on my PC and my PS3. I've also done a considerable amount of testing by other means and have never been able to replicate the issue, not once.


Michail
Premium
join:2000-08-02
Boynton Beach, FL
kudos:1
reply to tim
I ran the trace and it took me to a Miami server, which is about 50 miles from me.
...
15    26 ms    31 ms    25 ms  cdn-68-142-101-254-mia1.llnw.net [68.142.101.254]
 


Michail
Premium
join:2000-08-02
Boynton Beach, FL
kudos:1

1 edit
reply to tim
Switching to google's DNS server gets me Atlanta. At least I think that's what could be the cause.

16    46 ms    40 ms    46 ms  cdn-68-142-118-254.atl1.llnw.net [68.142.118.254]
 

I'll have to see what this does to the Bluray player.


xtlosx

join:2005-11-02
Algonquin, IL
reply to Michail
I just watched a HD movie last night on netflix just fine, and I am on the 18Mbps tier. I never knew there was an issue even.


Michail
Premium
join:2000-08-02
Boynton Beach, FL
kudos:1
There isn't really a serious issue. It's just a matter of getting the full quality HD stream. Most of the time I'm two or more bars short and restarting a few times can sometimes cause it to stream HD.

I don't think it has anything to do with U-verse at this point. I also have the Vudu speed test utility on the bluray player and it shows way more bandwidth than Netflix needs.

I tried using the google DNS which should get me Atlanta over Miami (which is what I correctly get from AT&T's DNS and geolocation). I was able to get one movie to stream HD that way that I couldn't from Miami. But overall still everything else came up short on stream quality.


Tweak
Premium
join:2002-06-08
Oklahoma City, OK
reply to Michail
I am able to get full hd streams on my Cox Cable connection. I'ts probably an AT&T issue.