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Increasing Problems with Netflix on Sony NSZ-GT1

Discussion in 'Sony Blu-Ray Set Top Box' started by techie1234, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. techie1234

    techie1234 New Member

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    I received one of the new Sony NSZ-GT1 Google TV Blu-Ray / DVD players for Christmas, primarily for the ability to stream Netflix directly to my main TV. All was good for first several movies, but the frequency where a movie will not load appears to be steadily increasing to the point that I haven't been able to play a single movie in the last 24 hours. All I get back from the Netflix app are one of two non-descript error messages:

    "We're having trouble playing this title right now. Please try again later or select a different title."

    Or, sometimes:

    "We're unable to connect you to Netflix. Please try again or visit www.netflix.com/tvhelp for guidance."

    All other apps seem to work fine and are responsive when accessing the Internet over a cable modem. Also, I can stream from Netflix to my PC the same movies I'm trying to watch on the NSZ-GT1 without any issue.

    Soft reboot did no good, a hard powerdown was also ineffective. The wizard at www.netflix.com/tvhelp is of little help and claims that "The Netflix system currently appears to be working as expected" (although this sure feels like it could be a "Netflix is over capacity" sort of thing). Interestingly, though, the wizard specifically asks if you are "On TV via Sony NSZ-GT1 Internet TV Box" separate and distinct from all other Netflix-embedded devices - perhaps there are many other folks having issues?!?

    Firmware is 2.1-update1 on build ogm_2.1_2010120903ON.164108, 3.69 GB of available memory.

    Any thoughts or suggestions on what is causing the issue?

    As a side note: the lack of any descriptive error messages or log is a real problem with application - I have no idea what to troubleshoot (Internet bandwidth/latency, hardware, upstream issue with Netflix). If I could get something more specific than "we're having trouble playing this title" it would be immensely helpful!

    TIA -- Jim
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2010
  2. lucas710

    lucas710 New Member

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    Hey sorry to here that, have you tired Ctrl Alt Del(Backspace). This will do a soft reset of your Sony GTV box. If that doesn't work do a Hard Factory Data Reset. Go to Settings-About-Factory Data Reset, its safe and worked for me. Hope this helps :)
     
  3. techie1234

    techie1234 New Member

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    Thanks for the post - I've tried all three resets (soft, power-down, and Factory Data Reset) and unfortunately none of them helped.

    Since originally posting I did spend time with Sony tech support (over 20 minutes the chat support only was able to suggest a soft reboot; the phone support - including the "product specialist" - only recommended me powering down, then told me my 2.3 Mbps cable modem connection was insufficient to even start an SD movie) which IMHO did not shed any real light onto the situation (other than to upgrade my Internet connection). I then called Netflix which provided very good assistance - they could see the errors coming from the NSZ-GT1 device (and, BTW, not from my PC when it streamed the same movie). They were all "unable to acquire content license" errors. That sure doesn't sound like a bandwidth issue to me (more like an application issue) but perhaps I'm wrong - is the NSZ-GT1 this sensitive to bandwidth?

    Any other thoughts?
     
  4. alphawave7

    alphawave7 Moderator Staff Member

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    I would, for interests sake, try streaming Netflix several movies back to back on your desktop/laptop..ruling out your cableco as a culprit. Report back any success. :)
     
  5. techie1234

    techie1234 New Member

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    Well, it looks like the problem has indeed been resolved. As it turns out, it was a bandwidth-related issue (although not how one would think). I called Mediacom and they indicated that my download and upload bandwidth were both much less than they should have been and after much troubleshooting thought that the cable modem was having some sort of subtle hardware issue. So, the technician came out here, plugged a PC directly into the cable modem, and immediately the download bandwidth increased by a factor of 5 and upload by a factor of 15. After some further troubleshooting of my own, it turned out that my router (a D-LINK DIR-628) had QoS prioritization turned on by default. One would think this would help prioritize traffic for a streaming application like Netflix - but it was apparently having the exact opposite effect. As soon as I disabled QoS on the router, my bandwidth jumped and movies started streaming on the NSZ-GT1 as one would expect.

    As a side note, I also hard-set the WAN Ethernet connection (i.e., to the cable modem) to 100Mbps - I haven’t been able to conclusively prove this yet as the speed tests are varying, but I think there may also have been a possibility that the D-LINK was also not correctly auto-sensing the connection up from a 10 Mbps one (or, if it was, not maintaining it at 100 Mbps)

    While I’m a little chagrined that this turned out to be a networking issue after all, I think IMHO there’s a couple of lessons to draw from all of this:

    * The Netflix app on the NSZ-GT1 appears to be much more sensitive to bandwidth issues than the PC-based one. As I mentioned earlier in the thread, I was always able to stream to my PC even when the NSZ-GT1 would not play. Not sure why this would be the case – but if the PC app can “downgrade” much more smoothly/widely than the NSZ-GT1 one can that seems to be a serious design issue.

    * If you have a home network with a QoS-featured router, consider whether your router’s implementation / configuration is helping or hurting your viewing experience.

    * Finally, I’ll say this again: the lack of any sort of descriptive error messages from the Netflix app was a major impediment to correctly isolating this problem. If the app had simply said something like “connection timeout while acquiring content license" that would have really have pointed me towards some sort of bandwidth snafu being the ultimate issue. If I were building the app, I would have an upload/download test built into it that runs whenever it starts and, if there isn’t the level of up/down bandwidth that the app is going to really need, at least advise the user that this could be a problem. Who knows how many support calls Sony and Netflix are getting from folks like me trying to diagnose something that really isn’t wrong with the hardware or Netflix?
     

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