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Xbox netflix woes.
November 25, 2008 8:45 AM   Subscribe

I just joined netflix to watch it on my x-box 360 and the movies look terrible, what can I do?

I joined netflix to watch movies online via my xbox 360. I have DSL an ancient 2wire router and the official Xbox wireless network thingy. I tried to watch "Music Man" and it was so blurry and pixelated it was unwatchable. How can I increase the speed of the wireless connection? My connection is upwards of 4-500 kbps, but obviuously the xbox isn't pulling that speed. What am I doing wrong???

Please help.
posted by Ponderance to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Some important data we'll need: When you fire up a movie, how many bars of quality does it say you have? (ie, out of 4)

Also, do movies look good on your computer when you stream them?
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:56 AM on November 25, 2008


have you tried watching streaming content on your computer and noticed a significant difference in quality?
posted by phil at 8:56 AM on November 25, 2008


Get a new router or a faster web connection? What's your download speed?

This FAQ says you need a minimum speed of 1.5Mbs to use the service, and ideally 3Mbs to get 'DVD quality'.

If you have that speed, contact Netflix customer service. Also, note that this is a new feature and as such it's likely their servers are getting hammered by new users.
posted by Happy Dave at 8:57 AM on November 25, 2008


Try plugging in directly to the router and see if that helps. I've been pretty impressed with Netflix on the XBOX -- I plug in to a Linksys router, but use Comcast Cable with 8mb down. You might not have enough throughput, unfortunately.

The Netflix app on the XBOX automatically configures itself to produce the best video quality based on your connection speed.

Turn of any computers on the network, and make sure nobody is leaching your connection. In short, make sure that, when you're watching Netflix, nothing else is stealing the bandwidth. That's about as much as you can do save for upgrading your line.
posted by nitsuj at 8:57 AM on November 25, 2008


500 kbps is not very fast for streaming movies. IIRC, the desktop software caches, and I presume that the xbox does the same, but it might be giving you lower quality because of the low speed of that connection.
posted by iknowizbirfmark at 8:59 AM on November 25, 2008


Try plugging in directly to the router and see if that helps. I've been pretty impressed with Netflix on the XBOX

Same here. Like others said, could be the available bandwdith/speed
posted by poppo at 8:59 AM on November 25, 2008


when you say 4-500 kbps do you mean KBps or Kbps? if it is bits per second Happy Dave has it, your connection is approximately 1/3 the minimum recommended speed.
posted by phil at 9:04 AM on November 25, 2008


I get blurry video anytime I try to watch something during peak usage time (ie the evening, or exactly when I want to use the damn thing). Check to see if it looks better in the middle of the day or night.

Also, I'm holding out hope that it improves, as we are still in the first week.
posted by Bookhouse at 9:42 AM on November 25, 2008


Try watching at different times or different video. I have a very fast home wired network, and the first thing I watched on launch day was awful quality. Then I tried a different movie a few days later and it was acceptable.

You can better understand the quality problem by fiddling with the playback modes to show "native" instead of widescreen, letterbox, etc. That's the actual resolution of the video stream and if it's a tiny postage stamp it's gonna look like crap blown up to full screen.

Wireless is not going to be your friend here. If you have any way to run an ethernet cable to the xbox it will help tremendously.
posted by Nelson at 9:54 AM on November 25, 2008


Try watching at different times or different video. I have a very fast home wired network, and the first thing I watched on launch day was awful quality. Then I tried a different movie a few days later and it was acceptable.

I agree. I have watched streaming Netflix films over the past few months and have had a few come up blurry and pixellated and totally unwatchable.

In October Netflix announced that they started streaming over 1,000 films from Starz Play. Every film sourced from that collection continues to be blurry and pixellated for me -- as well as many other Netflix customers. In some of the user forums at Netflix employees ackowledge that there is a problem. For example:
"Todays news about the Silverlight based player for PC and Mac explains part of the reason why its taking a while to get all the Starz encodes the way we want them. Starz added 2500 movies to the catalog, we got 1000 of them done for the launch. For Silverlight, the entire catalog of 12000+ movies needs to be re-encoded in a different format at various bit rates. Your valuable feedback on encodes that should be better is appreciated."
Check out the community forum and blog and you'll see this is a popular topic and known concern.
posted by ericb at 10:15 AM on November 25, 2008


Some Netflix customer comments:
* Please tag the Starz movies' icons, so I can avoid clicking on them. Their picture quality is unwatchable.

* Great that you've added the new Starz Content. Too bad the video quality is generally horrible. Very bad digital conversion.

* I tried three seperate titles lst night and the quality was so poor I gave up. Only afterwards did we realize that these were all Starz movies. The qulity was so bad, I will not try another Starz movie until they resolve this issue.

* Please, please, please fix the Starz Play quality. Please. Did I say please? I really love Netflix, but the quality of these Starz movies is awful!
posted by ericb at 10:20 AM on November 25, 2008


I returned my Roku box after a few days when I discovered the requirements for "near DVD" quality movies through Netflix. I would have to pay a significant amount extra through TW Cable to get that speed boost.

Someone has suggested looking into BIOS Fiber Optic service from Verizon, they boost unreal speeds at about the same price at cable service.

Good luck

Henry
posted by silsurf at 10:27 AM on November 25, 2008


Pertinent to Netflix streaming on XBox 360 check out customer comments in this thread. There are other Netflix threads complaining about the video streaming quality specifically with Xbox.
posted by ericb at 10:31 AM on November 25, 2008


Do you have roommates? Do you have unfiltered wireless access? That's where my household started first.
posted by spec80 at 10:38 AM on November 25, 2008


I've been having problems using this wirelessly as well (which maybe the above posters didn't pick up on). The requirements for playing a game wirelessly are probably less intense than watching movies. I'm considernig Ethernet-Over-Powerline to resolve.
posted by softlord at 10:35 PM on November 28, 2008


Some Xbox Owners See Poor-Quality Netflix Streams -- "Less than a month after Netflix made its debut on the Xbox, some customers are complaining about loss of video quality just like owners of the Netflix Player by Roku."
posted by ericb at 5:43 PM on December 4, 2008


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