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Netflix ****ing up latency!

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
So it hasn't escaped my attention for the past couple of years now, but Netflix really screws with latency when its being streamed.

I don't need to ask if anybody else finds this as its a common complaint online and I've replicated the issue repeatedly across many different connections in many places,

Now the basic knowledge on the issue is basically that Netflix downloads a large amount of data for the stream at random intervals rather than a steady rate after building a buffer.

Question is why this issue is still on-going, surely there must be tons of complaints about it??

I guess the best solution to this is a router with QOS and limiting the crap out of how much bandwidth it can use at one time, but considering most households use ISP provided bits of plastic and don't feature these options.

Is this a new method of pushing consumers to faster services, I mean I have 50mbps of bandwidth at my finger tips, but even when testing on services with over 300Mb/s available the bumps in ping still quite noticeable.

I don't look at BQM much but when I do I can tell when Netflix is streaming and not, but all other streaming in the household don't cause any problems, this is a Neflix only problem.

Right now this isn't a problem, but I've seen this interfere with online gaming and I immagine it will interfere with other latency sensitive apps, if this ever becomes a problem for me in the future Netflix can be rest assured that I will drop them faster than do anything else.

I feel like this is a form of up-selling from a 3rd party, I'm growing tired of poor content producers and providers.

Thanks for reading :)
 

TTJJ

ULTIMATE Member
I don't think this would be an issue technically with Netflix specifically but surely the network you're on.. Perhaps using Netflix just exacerbates a quirk of the connections you're using. Does the same thing happen when you download files or other demanding activities?

I'll give it a try to see if I can find any latency pings on my connections.
 

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
I don't think this would be an issue technically with Netflix specifically but surely the network you're on..
As I said above, this issue repeats on other ISP's, with different router and setups, tested on FTTC/FTTP and Virgin Media connections ranging from 100-1100mbps.

Currently I'm doing tests on a 50mb FTTC connection, see below for my 24 hour BQM...

sig.png


So the results here show between 19:00 - 23:30 and then 00:15 - 02:30 where one instance of Netflix (1080P) is streaming and then this morning at 09:00 I started a 10GB test file download and then from 11:00 towards is YouTube streaming at 1080P (1+ hour video) and a secondary 15 minute video.
 

GaryW

Regular Member
Any application that maxes out the connection short-term to fill buffers (e.g. Netflix) or long-term (e.g. Sky Q downloads) will cause problems. And as you rightly say, no matter how fast your connection is you can still suffer (unless your connection is so fast that the remote server can't saturate it :) ). As there'll always be badly behaved applications (or enough well-behaved applications running to simulate bad behaviour!) the only sensible place to fix it is in the router, and it wouldn't cost much extra for ISPs to add SQM, but I guess they have no incentive to do so. With CAKE or FQ-CoDel/HTB you don't really need to limit the bandwidth by very much to massively improve the experience.
 

Ignitionnet

Regular Member
Can't replicate on any of my three connections at 1080p or 4k.

Resolving this would have to be done at the ISP-side router outbound towards the customer.
 

Lucian

ULTIMATE Member
Any application that maxes out the connection short-term to fill buffers (e.g. Netflix) or long-term (e.g. Sky Q downloads) will cause problems. And as you rightly say, no matter how fast your connection is you can still suffer (unless your connection is so fast that the remote server can't saturate it :) ). As there'll always be badly behaved applications (or enough well-behaved applications running to simulate bad behaviour!) the only sensible place to fix it is in the router, and it wouldn't cost much extra for ISPs to add SQM, but I guess they have no incentive to do so. With CAKE or FQ-CoDel/HTB you don't really need to limit the bandwidth by very much to massively improve the experience.
That SQM thing looks interesting. #TIL
 

Phil2021

Casual Member
Definitely a known issue with Netflix, some good info here https://preseem.com/2018/04/netflix-behavior-wireless-network/ and the only solution seems to be to use some sort of quality of service or limiters at the consumer end on the router.

It is becoming more common that routers have some sort of QoS set up now by default, mainly to allow VoIP calls to work more reliably. Your download also shows latency being affected, not quite as much or as spikey, and this may be because Netflix is opening multiple connections to get content for it's buffer, and your download may be just over one TCP connection.

I see similar things when running speedtests that use multiple connections until I've enabled my own queues on the router which solves the issue. Thinkbroadband, if you do a speed test then use the 'analysis' option will give you buffer bloat rating, ideally you want to be As or Bs scoring, but that does need a router with queuing and priority options.

This isn't a Netflix problem as such, it's just Netflix is showing up the issue more so than other things.
 
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