Steve loves watching Netflix but he's not getting a consistent connection. Leo says that consistency is the key for Netflix streaming. Steve's provider may be artificially slowing down the service in order to make him want to buy their competing services. That's what Comcast did. He could try using a wired connection instead of than Wi-Fi. Steve can also try using AppleTV. The streaming is far better because Apple routes the streaming through their own data center.
David has a Blu-ray player in his home theater that can run Netflix. When he switches back to TV, he's getting audio issues, though. Leo says that he has a similar problem and it's the TV set that tells the receiver what audio to play. It's a fault in the hand shaking and Leo says it's very common. Leo also advises making sure his HDMI cable is secure. Often it can get loose, causing connection errors. Make sure everything is plugged in solid. There's also issues in shifting from 720p-1080i-1080p. Scott thinks it may be a fault in the cable box.
Ed wants to know about the Netflix and Comcast deal and how it will affect users of the services. Leo says that Netflix has agreed to pay Comcast for access to it's customers without buffering. Suddenly, over the last few months, the service was unwatchable on Comcast because of constant buffering. Leo wonders if Comcast intentionally slowed down Netflix traffic to blackmail them for extra money. Comcast is now double dipping, getting payment from users, and from providers for the same traffic. This is pretty anti competitive.
Dave cut the cable with Time Warner. He's now using Netflix, but he's suffering from severe a slowdown from 20MB to 0.5 MB down. Leo says that's because everyone in Dave's neighborhood is watching Netflix all at the same time. Leo also thinks that Comcast is slowing down Netflix traffic on purpose. So Time Warner cable may be doing the same thing. Leo also says that it may be Wi-Fi congestion. Try connecting a hardwire and see if the streaming improves. If it doesn't, then it's clear that Dave's internet service is being throttled.
Netflix premiered season 2 of "House of Cards" this week, and Leo says that streaming is the third golden age of television. Netflix streams the entire season all at once, with no commercial interruption. And they don't have to worry about audience, advertisers, or anything else; just the quality of the episode. Leo says it's better than going to the movies because you can see the development of characters and stories over a longer period than just 2 hours.
Mike wants to know if there is any one service that can offer all his entertainment needs: music, movies, tv shows, eBooks, audio books, etc. Leo says that Apple and Amazon would probably be the closest, but the entertainment world is pretty fragmented between Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Audible, and others. Leo says that people are basically used to the idea of paying several smaller fees a month instead of one large cable bill. The irony is, people aren't really saving anything, which was the main force driving cord cutting.
Netflix, which just recently launched in Holland, has been there long enough now to say that people who watch Netflix in the Netherlands get the best bandwidth. Mexico ranks last, just below Ireland and the US.
Netflix says Netherlands has the fastest broadband (CNET)…
Joanna is having trouble with streaming video frequently stopping and downgrading in quality on her Roku. It's only about 6 feet away from her router, and she even hard wired it and still had trouble. Leo says that indicates an issue with her ISP. It doesn't help that 40% of all internet traffic after 6pm tends to be streaming video traffic. That can cause a lot of buffering since there's only so much bandwidth.
Scott Wilkinson chimes in on the Disney decision to pull its titles from iTunes and Amazon. Scott says that the user agreement for iTunes says that it is the responsibility of the user to keep and backup the titles they purchase, and not rely on streaming or leaving it up in the cloud. Leo says that just underscores the myth that people "own" a movie they buy. We really don't own them, we own a license to view them. If the content provider wants to pull the title, it can.
With their upcoming streaming deal with Netflix, Disney has taken steps to pull select titles of Disney and Pixar films off of iTunes and Amazon. Leo says that the worst part of this development is that those who purchased the films from iTunes and Amazon are unable to download them or stream them, even though they paid for them. Hopefully, Disney will come to its senses and give them some sort of accommodation.
Leo discusses this further with Scott Wilkinson a little later on in the show.