The Dark Side of Netflix

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Throttling Suspicions for Netflix Streaming Content

The latest controversy surrounding Netflix is about the throttling of streaming content over the Internet. Some Netflix subscribers have strong suspicions that Netflix is limiting their ability to view streaming content by forcing unusually long data buffer times that can force a viewer to wait for many minutes or hours before viewing a movie or show. Netflix and their defenders say some Internet service providers must be limiting their users’ data downloads through these buffer delays.

Regardless of who is causing these buffer delays, they are a problem, because they can greatly limit a Netflix subscriber’s ability to view streaming content. The real problem here is we do not know the true cause or culprit. We cannot trust the ISPs, because they are sometimes unscrupulous companies who hide behind technology and defend themselves with nonsensical industry lingo. We absolutely cannot trust Netflix, because, a few years ago, they were caught throttling subscribers through the mail and would not admit it until lawyers got involved.

Both the ISPs and Netflix have the ability to throttle customers and both could benefit by throttling. Since neither side can be trusted, throttled Netflix subscribers are in the dark. As of now, it appears that some Netflix subscribers who access streaming content might be getting throttled over the Internet. The question is: If this throttling is intentional, who is doing the throttling?

Click below to read Riyad Kalla’s article on The "Break It Down" Blog about streaming content throttling at Netflix.
"Netflix Throttling Instant Video Streaming Performance for Viewers"


Anonymous said...

This happens to me all the time. It says 'your internet connection has slowed we are adjusting playback to match your internet speed'. Obviously this is bullshit. I've figured out that if I keep my focus on the netflix window it is fine, but if I go and click on other tabs or do something even slightly more taxing on the browser, it will kick me out. I believe that they do this to keep people from streaming stuff and not actually watching it.

Anonymous said...

I just installed silver light and its not the isp I have no restrictions and until just now never had problem streaming Even after installing. Flash based site hulu and many others worked just fine before including netflix. It's one of two things Silverlight, or Netflix I would guess probaly a little of both. Silverlight had other companies, that dont have guys working on streaming that sit on the board of microsoft, have dropped silverlight (NFL or something?) for perfomormance issues. Netflix on the other hand has no idea whats its doing as you call they send you to a silverlight board thats for DEVELOPERS. And the admin has no idea why all these netflix users are coming there for answers. Devlopers unknowingly act like jerks thinking these guys are idiots, clogging up their board with complaints they have no idea about. I'm just canceling my account I'm sick of all the charges so I quit getting movies in mail. This streaming was holding me on hopeing for more movies eventually. Instead we get a insider hack job to get some execs butt out of the fire for losing the sports stream because his sofware is a POS an wasnt tested or supported probably! Thats the bottom line period. Now netflix is just going to pass the buck until they get sued or everyone cancels. End rant. I quickly removed silverlight as you could tell. I really dont want to go back to blockbuster I just cut their card a few months ago.

Anonymous said...

I have had 2 out of 4 bars streaming netflix, sometimes starts out as 3/4; and that is w/ 1.5mbps ISP (as measured by So today my ISP speed is 5mbps, yup 5. And guess what? I still am ONLY GETTING 2 out of 4 bars streaming with Netflix through my Roku. That is NO DIFFERENT than when I was only getting 1.5Mmbps. So obviously the bottlneck is Netflix, Not my ISP, not by ISP bandwidth. This stinks. If I could get 3 out of 4 bars that is close to DVD quality, but 2 out of 4 is pixelated sub-DVD. Netflix is holding back on the streaming, throttling, bottlenecking, whatever you want to call it. Really stinks. I should email netflix-- oh wait, you can't, the want you to call them on the phone, so there is no paper trail. :(((

Anonymous said...

I get the "playback adjustment" screen all the time nowadays. Before, when I lived on a college campus and had T3 it never came up but now that I'm back to DSL it's AWFUL. It took me 4 hours to watch a 2 hour movie once. I wish I could just let the whole movie load and watch it at once like other sites, but I guess this is more legit, however troublesome.

Anonymous said...

I also was told by netflix employees "that my signal was jumping from 2 diffrent places" (mind you my internet is running direcly to my laptop not wirerless and I have the fastest speeds avilabile) and also i was informed that I had to call Microsoft to fix the problem as far as have to take 3 to 4 hours to watch one movie. They all passed the blame back and forth. Also no i have no problems on ANY other sites.