TiVo Comments On Netflix Stability And Other Issues

TiVo’s Stephen Mack sent me the following statement about the issues some of you have reported experiencing with Netflix streaming.

Folks, thanks for your patience and we apologize for the launch issues that some of you have experienced.

Volume has been much higher than anticipated. We’ve been working around the clock to resolve these issues. As part of the solution, we are quickly moving to add more capacity to the system.

Our entire team will be monitoring closely tonight, and over the last few days we have put in place measures that should improve performance and stability. However, we know that tonight some of you will continue to see failures (although the problems should be less frequent).

If you do see problems, we ask that you try again later. We do expect that starting tomorrow, we will be able to fix performance and you will no longer see these issues with any regularity.

In a separate issue, some of you have reported issues with particular videos, such as lip sync issues with a show such as 30 Rock season 1 episode 1. We believe these issues are related to the video assets and we are working closely with Netflix to correct any bad videos as quickly as possible. Netflix does have a list of videos with known issues that have been reported, and they are working as fast as they can to correct all of them. In the meantime, they request you contact them to report any problems you see with a particular video. (If a video always skips or breaks up at a certain point, no matter what time of day, that’s most likely a bad video issue that only Netflix can address.)

We know you’re excited to use the Netflix application — we are excited as well and we apologize for these problems. I’ll keep you updated here on the forums with our progress in correcting the issues. Thanks again for your patience.

Best regards,

I’m sure TiVo and Netflix will get these issues ironed out soon. It isn’t unusual to have some teething issues with the launch of a new feature. But this is such a high profile feature that I’m sure fixing the issues will have a very high priority.

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  • JohnG

    I have a TivoHD and a S3. The TivoHD is working beautifully, the S3 doesn’t load the movie. The screen goes dark until I exit the screen. The fast forward works fine. I’ve rebooted and even reloaded the Service Update. I’m looking forward to the fix as the S3 is in the living room

    John G.

  • Patrick

    Thanks for passing on the update. I’ll give it another go over the weekend (a number of movies in my queue are expiring on Jan 1, so I’ve got a bit of watching to do!)

  • Tim

    I would think that it’s more to do with Tivo’s decoder than netflix. But, I suppose it could be both in some circumstances. I’ve been watching the 10 episodes of Carrier on my xbox 360 without problems. When I tried resuming the one I was watching on the Tivo, the audio was delayed by 5 seconds or so. Of course, back on the xbox it works fine.

  • Patrick

    I gave it another go yesterday and it was definitely better – I didn’t get booted to the menu or live tv, but it did stop to rebuffer a few times (watching a 4:3 B&W movie). I then watched another movie on Xbox with no rebuffering (color 16:9 letterbox). When it has rebuffered on the Xbox in the past it seemed to be smart and automatically downgrade the quality to prevent future rebuffering rather than attempt playback at the same rate – though some could argue the Tivo handling of trying to always play at the best rate is preferred. I also prefer how XBox handles aspect ratio when viewing on 16:9 and it has a better/snappier interface (which isn’t really a surprise given what’s under the hood).

    So, for now, I think I’ll be sticking with Xbox for Netflix streaming. Maybe it’s time for an upgrade to the Tivo CPU to give it a bit more horsepower? Does the Tivo HD have more processing power than the Series 3?

  • Tim

    Probably unrelated but to the Netflix stability but….This happened last night. My son was watching a movie on Netflix. The movie stopped and went right to live TV. I went to Tivo Central and the selected VOD. The TiVo locked up on “Please Wait” for around 15 to 20 min. I did a power cycle. When it booted back up it wouldn’t go past the “Almost there” screen for about an hour. I called Tivo and the had me do the same thing, a power cycle with out the wireless adapter connected. Exact same result, the “Almost there” screen. The guy said to let it sit overnight and try it again, he said it’s rare that, it works but I gave it a try. Again, “Almost there” screen for about an hour. Good thing it’s still under warranty. I’m starting an RMA.

  • http://www.gizmolovers.com/ MegaZone

    Patrick – it is almost certainly not a processing power issue. The S3 and HD both have dedicated hardware decoders, they aren’t like PCs using software on a generic CPU. The Netflix streams don’t even come close to maxing out the capabilities of the decoders in the TiVos. ATSC and digital cable HD are more taxing than Netflix.

    Tim – Yeah, sounds like either corruption or a hard drive problem. Sorry to hear it.