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Amazon VOD HD Streaming Consistency


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Showing 1-25 of 26 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 13, 2010 11:17:42 AM PST
Woodbridge says:
Just some feedback on my experience as a new subscriber to Amazon's VOD, specifically with "HD" content. purchased a Panasonic Viera cast enabled blu-ray player (BD60-updated 2.2 firmware) a few months ago and recently signed up for Amazon VOD. I am using powerline adaptors (D-Link DHP-303) for connecting the BD60 to the internet. The tested (laptop) speed at the powerline adaptor that is connected to the BD60 is consistent at about 52 Mbps. Pretty much should be able to stream any HD movie without buffering interruptions.

Just as FYI, I also conducted a download test at the line using a Comcast speed test and the download speed was 11357 kbps vs. 3073 kbps for upload. I provide all that info just to show that, I have a pretty decent consistent signal on the line.

I played around with sampling HD movie and TV stream previews. In many cases the previews started in HD, then within 30 or so seconds buffering message appeared and when the picture return it was in SD. So, I proceeded to watch my first HD movie a couple of days ago and the same thing happened. I ended up watching a supposed HD stream played in SD. No one else was using any other computer on the network. I checked a few online forums and found my experience was not unique. So, of course I was disappointed, as I am not inclined to pay for an HD stream if I am not getting HD quality video. Since part of my attraction to the service is to watch HD VOD, I surmised I may not use it much going forward unless HD is consistent.

On another note, it is clear that audio on the VOD is delivered in stereo from Amazon. As most receivers do today, mine automatically applies Dolby Pro Logic (xx) to the stream. I know that is a limitation of Netflix streaming , as well. Wish it was clearer to customers that VOD does not support Dolby Digital audio streams.

I would love to use this service more and hope I can when consistent HD streaming is available.

Posted on Jan 22, 2010 8:34:43 PM PST
D Bruton says:
I recently bought a Viera cast device (Panasonic blu-ray player) and tried out the streaming HD content since I got a $30 credit from Amazon. The streaming HD with Viera cast is pretty awful. It looks like a you tube video-- well not quite that bad but not HD quality. I also have an HD Tivo and can download movies in HD to that from Amazon unbox and they look AMAZING. This is the difference between night and day -- or more precisely between HD and HD-streamed-junk. My DSL is only 1.5MB download so I presume the streaming quality does improve with higher download speeds. But for now I would rather wait the 2 or 3 hours that it takes to download an HD movie to my HD Tivo and enjoy real HD with the ability to pause, fast forward, rewind, frame step, etc. By the way, the Viera cast controls are simply awful for pausing and resuming playback---- they don't exist. Those pretty buttons like "play","stop", "pause", <<,>> buttons on the blu-ray remote control don't work!!! you have to use the "return" key to stop the stream and then later resume the stream (after it rebuffers for 30 seconds or so) and there is no picture during pause and no way to back up or slow motion step etc. HD streaming has a long way to go (at least on Viera cast) to catch up to Tivo downloads. I don't have any experience with streaming HD on any of the other devices like Roku so I can't compare them.

Posted on Jan 23, 2010 7:57:40 AM PST
Woodbridge says:
Since I last posted, I took advantage of a Comcast offer to increase my speed Tier from the 11 Mbps download tier to 22 Mbps. That did make a difference. The HD content now initially streams for about a minute in SD then switches to HD. No doubt I should have been ok at the 11 Mbps speed...go figure. According to this site: http://www.pingtest.net/, you can measure if you have a quality line for streaming by conducting their ping test (measures packet loss and jitter in milliseconds- the lower the ms the better). You can also use this sister site http://www.speedtest.net/, to measure your up and down Mbps speed at the connection point you are using for player.

Posted on May 11, 2010 9:09:10 AM PDT
B. Eberling says:
I just hooked my BD-60 up to my network this weekend and rented 'The Blind Side' in HD. My connection is only 3Mbps DSL and the picture quality was just as good as Blu-Ray.

Posted on May 18, 2010 11:14:00 PM PDT
Get your eyes checked, friend! 720p is considered HD quality but true HD is 1080P, next in line is 1080i (interlaced or upscaling), then comes 720p. Granted, 720p is a great picture, but streaming at 720p should be non-stop, non-buffered w/ no glitches or stutter and Amazon VOD HD has issues. We should get a refund from Amazon when paying extra for HD content streaming until they improve on the streaming delivery.
I have "Blindside" in Blu-Ray and a 42" Toshiba HD and the Blu-Ray image and audio is full HD. 1080P and Dolby HD audio kicks butt over the 720p streaming. Ditto for streaming not supporting Dolby HD audio. I am just gonna stay w/ Netflix streaming even at the lower quality video and stop paying Amazon VOD for HD until it fixes the issues. At least Netflix streaming is free w/ membership. I already get the new releases on Blu-Ray discs since I opted for the BD option w/ my Netflix membership.

Posted on May 20, 2010 6:40:30 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 20, 2010 6:43:20 PM PDT
A. White says:
I would also like to add that I bought a Panasonice Viera cast blu-ray player(DMP-BD65P-K). The above posters experiences mirror my own where HD playback often goes down to SD quality . Sometimes it will play a whole hour episode in HD with no problem. Usually though it drops in and out, from HD to SD. I'm not a stickler on what is High Definition and all I know is the picture definitely looks better than when the HD quality drops to Standard Definition. Hopefully the application on the Panasonic makes it out of BETA and addresses the consistency of playback. It is possible this is as much Panasonic's fault as it is Amazon since I can go to my computer and get a more consistent viewing experience.

Just as an fyi, I'm using AT&T DSL 6Mbps download speed which is twice what Amazon recommends for HD playback.

Posted on May 24, 2010 7:05:30 PM PDT
You should have said it was ComCast! Your connection tests are probably not long enough (like a minute of HD streaming) to get your cable modem into "Real Traffic" mode.

I get *great* ComCast speeds for short bursts -- downloads in the 20 - 50 meg range run very well, but streaming and larger downloads slow down over the long term, as if ComCast is throttling it somehow.

Posted on May 30, 2010 8:06:05 PM PDT
SIO says:
Every weekend there is a problem with streaming Amazon VOD and I am not even talking about HD. I have 22 Mbit download speed so it cant be that. I am extremely disappointed with Amazon streaming. It is absolute crap. For instance, I rented "blind side" and the first ten minutes every 30 seconds of video, I get "Your video is loading" Very disappointing.

Posted on Jun 2, 2010 12:58:42 PM PDT
I have fios WiFi and a roku that streams from netflix and amazon.

There is NEVER a problem w/ the netflix streaming. Never. At least once a week there is a problem with the amazon VOD streaming...either it interrupts itself or it won't load at all. When I call VOD support they are no help. They repeatedly have me check the same things I have already checked (that internet is working, etc). All the while, anything on the netflix queue is streaming just fine.... but they still make me check settings, etc.

They end up with no answer except that it must be on my end (again, netflix is streaming just fine). And a few hours later the VOD unglitches and works. It's MADDENING - especially since VOD charges per show and netflix is (basically) free. I have no idea why they can't get their act together on this but the result is that I rarely buy from VOD and try to watch everything I can via netflix.

Posted on Sep 15, 2010 12:54:10 PM PDT
Streaming Dexter HD on a Panasonic BD60 was fine here. My main gripe with VOD is the time it takes to load larger VOD libraries on the Panasonic player. Takes 5+ minutes on a 20mbs connection. It's also dissapointing that Panasonic does not support this service as it's "beta" only. When I ordered the player I did so b/c it "supported" Amazon VOD. It made no mention of it being a "beta" service.

On top of that Amazon has some API limits so my entire library was not even visible on the Roku. I've since sold it b/c it was essentially unusable for me.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 17, 2010 4:21:14 PM PDT
Claudine L says:
youre absolutely right!Ive noticed the exact same thing and I have a 20Mbit download speed (just tested at Speedtest website).I watch alot of tv shows and movie rentals here on amazon VOD and regularly run into the same kind of problems.Forget about HD, some nights I cant even watch a regular TV show (direct streaming mode, dont bother downloading it to my Unbox) without terrible lagging and the "loading "message interrupting my show every five minutes. Havent managed to figure out the cause/pattern yet ...can't imagine why some nights everything works just fine, even in HD, and then suddenly there will be a very bad spell : 4-5 days during which I just cant watch anything!!! This has been happening for the past 6-7 months now.Writing to customer service is of no use, they just pretend to misunderstand my emails or give me a Non-answer, often blaming my pc ( brand new powerful quad core) or my ISP.

Posted on Sep 17, 2010 5:42:01 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 17, 2010 5:42:35 PM PDT
Patchman says:
Sorry to see you guys/girls are having issues. I have not had any issues so far. I have used VOD for awhile now but In the last 6 months HD or SD (Darknight,Rubicon HD , Nikita sd, Psych HD) shows work perfectly through my two roku's. It takes about 15 seconds to start any HD show and have yet to rebuffer. I will update if anything changes. Take Care
I have uverse 6mb.

Posted on Sep 25, 2012 10:18:05 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 25, 2012 10:37:04 AM PDT
J. Mcgregor says:
I also have a Panasonic Blu Ray Viera Cast (Don't have model number...). Amazon streaming has been iffy, but recently just quit working ... Hopeless. Amazon said Panasonic's recent firmware upgrade (which I dutifully applied when it came out) is the culprit. Netflix streams fine, as always. I have not had any luck finding more info on this. Lots of folks here have the same brand player, so this seems like a confirmation that Panasonic screwed up.

Posted on Sep 26, 2012 3:28:36 PM PDT
J. Santana says:
I have a Panasonic Blu-Ray Player (DMP-BDT210) and I haven't been able to stream anything on Amazon in a week. It worked fine before. I called customer service and they blamed my ISP. I know that's not the issue because I can stream Pandora and YouTube without any issues, plus Amazon streams fine on my computer. Does anyone have any ideas on how to fix this?

Posted on Dec 27, 2012 1:10:49 AM PST
kitty says:
Amazon VOD is a joke. I havent been able to watch a single movie without it being inturrupted due to connection problems. I purchased a Sony BDPX39 through Amazon and I cant get an Amazon VOD signal above one bar or faster the 1.0 mbps. I have ISP / router that can handle 22 mbps and they arent the problem. Im tired of trying to make things work and returning the Sony BDPX39 and will not even attemp to rent VOD from Amazon again.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2012 8:20:33 AM PST
Woodbridge says:
I created the original post for this specific topic. Seems so long ago. In my own experience troubleshooting these issues I found that using multi-function devices like DVD and TV's that also do streaming is that --at least for the ones that I used-- the vendor commitment to the streaming piece was very weak. After a while they just tell you to buy to their newest DVD player to get a better streaming experience. After going through 2-3 DVD players I finally purchased a dedicated streamer (original Roku) and the difference has been significant. This is not to say that Amazon has not and will not have issues every now and then, but after experiencing how well the dedicated streamer does, it appears that buying a device from a vendor whose rise and fall is tied to just doing streaming is a option worth looking at.

Posted on Jan 5, 2013 12:49:34 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 5, 2013 12:53:31 PM PST
Tom says:
1-5-13- Problems with download speed have always been ISP related until last night at approximately 11 p.m. Amazon slowed to 0.5 Mbps. I switched to Netflix, which offered the same title and the speed was normal at 15 Mbps. When I checked Amazon about an hour later, I got the error message "Network Down." Since it was late at night and the outage duration probably wasn't that long, it did not create the controversy that the Netflix outage caused. Has anyone else experienced the same thing?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 28, 2013 12:10:33 PM PST
Don says:
I have been having the same problem for the past month. However it occurs between 8:30 pm - 11 pm est. The speed drops between 0.8 - under 3 Mbps. This obviously prevents me from watching any HD media I had purchased in HD. I have a Roku, a Sony BP 720, & a Panasoni vista TV. My Tv is supplied by Uverse Internet while my Roku & Sony BP is Comcast internet. I have the problem on all equipment with Amazon. I also have netflix & VUDU with no problem. I am able to stream comcast around 20 Mbps & with Uverse around 11 Mbps.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 29, 2013 11:49:13 AM PST
Tom says:
1-29-13 I am now having a similar problem with Netflix. Netflix will drop below 1 Mbps, I switch to Amazon on the same device (Sony BP) and streamiing is normal. This gets the ISP off the hook. It is my understanding that Netflix streaming is done on Amazon Servers. The only thing to conclude is that the Amazon Servers which serve Netflix or Amazon VOD slow down when demand is high or under other conditions.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2013 3:02:14 PM PST
Don says:
I have amazon investigating my problem. Did you notify them?
Do you think they bother to read these posts?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2013 5:23:31 PM PST
J. Mcgregor says:
I'm having a problem with Downton Abby. I wonder if it's just getting hit harder than Amazon can handle. After several failed attempts, I tried a different show and got in...

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2013 9:12:44 PM PST
Severen says:
I am having the same problem with downton abbey season 2.

worked shortly 2 hours ago. now it will not load. after a episode is selected to load an unending circle animation appears.

have tried restarting router, ps3, switching from wired to wireless
connection. All of which hasnt helped

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 23, 2013 8:21:53 AM PDT
Don says:
I am still having problems with amazon but found a great solution. I started purchasing movies & shows from VUDU at 1080p & I do NOT have the problem. Also in many instances the tv show passes are actually cheaper than Amazon. See ya no more Amazon!!!!!!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 24, 2013 7:15:24 AM PDT
J. Mcgregor says:
Amazon Prime is just plain skittish. When I turn it on, I cross my fingers and hope. We failed twice to purchase Harry Potter movies. They would NOT stream. I was told my blue ray player was incompatible with Amazon. It was not incompatible with Netflix. Unfortunately, Amazon Prime scored Downton Abbey and unfortunately, I've let myself get hooked on that show. I would rather watch it on Netflix, which has proven more reliable. Also, Downton Abbey is now pay per view. Season 2 was "Prime," and Netflix was free streaming (for subscribers) so I am VERY interested in alternatives....

Very.

Interested.

Vudo you say?

Posted on Feb 21, 2014 6:12:50 PM PST
amazon user says:
I am having the problem as well- have been streaming fringe from amazon via xbox, first two seasons fine- now slow, and lots of interrupts.
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Initial post:  Jan 13, 2010
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