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Problem with Netflix picture quality


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I have two viewing options.

1. An Apple TV4k 2nd generation streaming to an Integra DRX-8.4 AVR and Sony VW 590ES projector.

2. A Sony 75" X95J using the Netflix app.

 

I have Starlink with download speeds upwards of 250 Mbps. I used to have ABB FTTN with 40Mbps download and had the same problem. It was the main reason to get Starlink.

 

My problem is most 4k movies on the projector system appear severely compressed and pixelated. Sometimes the quality improves after a few minutes but it rarely gets to the quality of Prime, Kayo or Apple TV which are wonderful (although not as good as my Oppo 103). Strangely, older 1080p movies an Netflix are usually fine but not always. The sound quality seems unaffected, at least to my old ears. The AVR display shows Atmos when appropriate.

 

I've spent too much time on the phone and chat to Netflix support with no resolution. They blame the internet speed and claim I am the only one with the problem.

 

I have tried ALL the video settings on the ATV4k. I have reset and restarted the ATV multiple times. I have deleted and reloaded the Netflix app several times.

 

I tried an ATV4k first generation and that produced identical problems with Netflix

 

The Sony TV seems to suffer the same problem to a very limited degree but after a few seconds of playing the picture sorts itself out and goes to 4k. I understand this can be normal.

 

I've read on various websites (Reddit, Apple discussions) of other people having the same problem but there is never a definitive solution.

 

Can anyone offer some advice please?

 

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Netflix definitely throttled bandwidth during covid lockdowns and while they've supposedly stopped this nowadays, image quality doesn't seem as good as previously.

 

First I'd check whether Starlink is throttling download speeds. Run one of the internet speed checks on a PC while you have Netflix on and see if the image improves afterwards. Whenever my Telstra NBN connection seems slow, doing this usually results in a speed up - presume broadband suppliers monitor users going to these sites.

 

Would also suggest connecting the ATV directly to the Sony to make sure it's not some quirk with the Integra. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, a.dent said:

They blame the internet speed and claim I am the only one with the problem.

I recently noticed this when visiting my brother, and I think he is also on Starlink. I never use Netflix myself, so don't have anything to compare with. I actually asked him if the picture quality was always that bad on Netflix. His reply was "What do you mean, it looks OK to me"

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Thanks @Quark and @bob_m_54

I've never noticed Starlink throttling down speed at any time previously and I probably run a Speedtest once a week. I did what you suggested and ran speed tests on my MacBook and then the ATV.

 

SppedtestATV4kapp.thumb.jpg.7a76d4abe81880beeda0c44d788cbac1.jpg

 

Top is Speedtest on ATV4K app.

 

 

 

Screenshot2024-03-16at10_08_24.png.a7b6ab9dd5a468891a4802d80cb41190.png

 

This is the Speedtest from my MacBook via WiFi immediately before. So the ATV4k is getting slightly better speed which is understandable as it is connected via ethernet.

 

Screenshot2024-03-16at10_28_19.thumb.png.f695e1a1da52a1d23b52c8584d39aa57.png

 

This is an iPhone photo just now from Damsel, Millie Bobby Brown's worst movie ever. The picture is terribly compressed.

 

Amazingly, I just watched snippets of 4 other 4K movies on Netflix and they were all perfect!!! I can't work it out. Could it be that no one else is watching those movies at this time (10.15 am) so the Netflix servers are not under any strain? Anyway I'll have to check again tonight when everyone else is watching at the same time.

 

I will say I only watch in the evenings so the test this morning is an eye opener.

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3 minutes ago, Quark said:

I'm jealous of your download speeds!

 

Agree, that sample image you posted is appalling.

 

Not sure where to go from here.

 

Do you give any credence to my theory the problem is related to the Netflix servers being under strain?

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Just now, a.dent said:

 

Do you give any credence to my theory the problem is related to the Netflix servers being under strain?

 

Yes, that's quite likely - presume they're penny pinching on their cloud capacity.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

So if anyone is interested, I found a solution to the problem after spending some time talking to Starlink support.

 

It seems Starlink hardware is sensitive to third party mesh systems being connected to it. Why it only affected Netflix but not Prime or TV+ we will probably never know.

 

I removed the Orbi router from the ethernet path that led to the ATV4K and the problem was solved.

 

Apparently I could have put the Starlink router into bypass mode and kept the wiring as it was but I wanted to be able to use the Starlink WiFi as well as the Orbi depending on where I am in the house.

 

Anyway. A headache that had a solution. Netflix support was useless but Starlink support was pretty good.

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But is Starlink "sensitive" in terms of their hardware or software, did they tell you? If it's the latter, a potential firmware or patch could permanently resolve the issue in a next version.

Edited by thebox_4k
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2 hours ago, thebox_4k said:

But is Starlink "sensitive" in terms of their hardware or software, did they tell you? If it's the latter, a potential firmware or patch could permanently resolve the issue in a next version.

 

I'm not sure and Starlink didn't/wouldn't confirm why the problem occurs and why only Netflix.

 

I did a bit more investigation. I tried the Starlink router on bypass and used the Orbi router instead. That was a mistake as the problem returned even though Ookla Speediest showed 260Mbps download.

 

So back to using the Starlink router then a switch to send ethernet to the Orbi (for Mesh WiFi) and the rest of the ethernet outlets separately. It works but it's a bit clumsy and unsophisticated.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I run an ATV to a 4k LCD fed with Telstra NBN.

Speeds are never an issue and I never get buffering on my Qobuz music and the video streaming services we have.

I do however, get the blocky, unwatchable video shown earlier in this thread.

This happens when allowing the streaming service to run from one program when it's finished, right into another (from one episode to another, for example).

I find stopping the stream and exiting the service before going back into it and resuming the material fixes things every time.

It's annoying but it works.

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