Why Video streaming sucks

OK, I realize that this is strictly a first world problem, and I have no life.  Now that we’ve got that out of the way…

Being frugal, I never have been interested in paying through the nose for Cable TV.  But since most of what’s on TV does not interest me, I thought Netflix would be the answer to my entertainment woes.  Since I’m already paying for high speed internet just so I can load those complicated web pages with tons of ads, I thought paying around $8-$9 for access to 100K+ movies and TV shows would be well worth it.  So, I subscribed to the ever popular Netflix.

The first time was the best.  Everything ran nice and smooth on the Apple TV I had purchased.  Then, the next time I wanted to view something, there came the error messages.  “Netflix is unavailable”, blah blah blah.  A phone call to their customer service reveals that the problem is with your internet connection.  So, they have you go through this song and dance of powering down your device, rebooting your modem and router, and trying again.  This usually works, but if it doesn’t, you are referred to your internet provider.  And, this is the case, no matter what the error message is that you are getting, no matter what your device is.  I’ve gone through the same thing with my Apple TV, Roku stick, Android tablet, and Smart TV.  Checking the Netflix website for their error codes reveals that everything is a problem with your internet connection.  Really?

Naturally, your problem is not with your internet connection, according to your provider.  They put you through several troubleshooting steps, and you find nothing is wrong after the speed tests, ping tests, etc.  So, here you are, all you want to do is watch a movie on your TV, and there is no solution to these troubles.  And, your dear spouse or partner is threatening to yank everything out and trash it.  Great.

There is/was some talk of some internet providers “throttling” video streaming traffic, but of course, they will never admit it.  In fact, the traffic might just be throttling itself.  During the past week, we’ve been successfully watching Netflix past 10pm, after prime time.  Perhaps there are a lot of folks watching videos over the internet at the same time, and your chances of successfully getting on to Netflix or some other service are better during “”off” hours.

However, the mystery remains when your internet connection seems OK, and you can stream other services (like YouTube videos) just fine, why you can’t get on Netflix.  Maybe the demand is just growing faster than Netflix can add servers, and ISPs can add bandwidth?  Who knows?

Well, at least I’m retired, can stay up late and watch what I want, and have no schedule to get up the next morning.

I suspect this problem will get worse as the holidays approach.  Ah well… I’d like to be able to just be thankful that I have a warm place to sleep and plenty to eat, but it is frustrating when all you want is to relax and be entertained at the end of the day.

I’ve ranted enough.  Be well and happy, everyone, and enjoy the holidays.hollyberryp



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