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TV Answer Man

I Keep Getting a Rebuffering Message On Netflix! Help!
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (February 17, 2013) -- Editor's Note: TV's Answer Man, aka Swanni, takes your questions regarding how to best use the latest products and services in TV technology. If you have a question about TV technology, ask TV's Answer Man by sending an e-mail to swann@tvpredictions.com

Q. I like to watch videos from Netflix on the Internet, but lately I've been getting a 'rebuffering' message that interrupts my show. Is there anything I can do to prevent this? -- Helen, Newport News, Virginia.

There have been more frequent reports lately of Netflix users getting 'rebuffering' messages on-screen, interrupting their programs and making it difficult to re-connect to continue watching. (See our article: Is Netflix Streaming On a House of Cards?)

Netflix is not acknowledging that there is a new or recurring issue; some believe the company's popular new drama, House of Cards, could be causing more traffic to Netflix's servers, thereby creating more interruptions. But that's a hard thing to prove.

Let's just say this: Depending upon the speed of your Internet provider, or a host of other possible factors, your picture may occasionally be interrupted regardless of which video streaming service you are watching. Unlike traditional pay TV channels, streaming video over the Internet is still relatively in its infancy and can be unreliable at times.

So what can you do to prevent frequent 'rebufferings?' Netflix's web site support page offers these three steps:

1. If you are on a work, school, public WiFi, cellular or satellite network, check with your network administrator or Internet Service Provider to make sure streaming services such as Netflix are supported, or try another network. If streaming is supported, your router manual, network administrator or service provider is the best resource for troubleshooting possible issues.

2. Powercycle your network: Turn off your Netflix-ready device (Smart TV, Blu-ray player etc.) and unplug your router and modem for 20-30 seconds. Plug in your modem and let it fully power up, then turn your Netflix-ready device back on.

3. Improve your wireless signal strength: Walls and other electronic devices in your home, or other wireless networks in your immediate area, could be interfering with your router's wireless signal.

Try moving your router to a new location to improve the signal strength. If that doesn't help, change the wireless channel your router uses. And if that doesn't work, plug your device directly into the router with an Ethernet cord, which offers the best connection.

If all of those steps do not improve your connection to Netflix, the company suggests you contact its
Help Center.

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