Streaming Device Perforance (Firestick sucks)

DoubleTap

2[H]4U
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So we've become cord cutters in the last month and my Amazon Firestick has been getting a workout.

The problem is - it does not seem up to the task. I can't tell if it's under powered or buggy or what, but specifically when streaming Youtube and Netflix (especially the Longmire series) we experience a lot of performance issues. On Netflix, the dialog will go out of sync and the video will slow down, then speed up and then the stream will freeze.

I can tell it's the Firestick because when I connect my Nvidia Shield tablet to the TV, I have zero issues. Both are running 5Ghz wifi from a router in the next room (1 wall, 10 feet).

I know the Fire TV has a stronger CPU, but with the Shield console coming out and being a fan of the platform, I'm probably just going to get one of those.

I see streaming devices compared frequently on features and services, but never on actual performance - has anyone else found that some devices just struggle with what should be baseline performance?
 

Verge

Supreme [H]ardness
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I have htpcs and zero problems in the last 15 years or do.
 

ob1

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I don't have any of those issues with prime, netflix or plex with the fire sticks we use here. We have three sticks and three chromecasts (currently moving to sticks from chromecasts), and we generally have at least two active at a time during the evening hours. We even have had four devices working at the same time without those issues you mentioned.
I am wondering if it is a wireless issue with the sticks and your wireless router? Or possibly interference on the 5GHz channels? The DLink wireless router we had with the first chromecasts would give us problems like buffering issues, but when we upgraded to an RT68, all wireless problems went away. What router or access point are you using for your wireless?
 

DoubleTap

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I don't have any of those issues with prime, netflix or plex with the fire sticks we use here. We have three sticks and three chromecasts (currently moving to sticks from chromecasts), and we generally have at least two active at a time during the evening hours. We even have had four devices working at the same time without those issues you mentioned.
I am wondering if it is a wireless issue with the sticks and your wireless router? Or possibly interference on the 5GHz channels? The DLink wireless router we had with the first chromecasts would give us problems like buffering issues, but when we upgraded to an RT68, all wireless problems went away. What router or access point are you using for your wireless?

http://support.netgear.com/product/wndr3800

It's getting to be a few years old be a few years old but I try to limit wifi to actual mobile devices and keep everything else on Ethernet.

The thing is, I can stream video from Amazon Prime with zero issues.

I would probably just buy an Ethernet capable streamer before I swap out the router but I still think it's a performance/firmware issue more than a network issue.

Thanks
 

jwhazel

Limp Gawd
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Apr 22, 2007
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387
Looking at this post I seem to recall having the exact same issue with my firetv (not stick) about a year ago. Unfortunately I don't recall what fixed it. Theres been several software updates, including a whole new Netflix app, since then and I've changed my network around a few times so I'm not sure what exactly did it. I wouldn't rule out the network based solely on the fact that prime streams with zero issues, Amazon does some trickery there with pre buffering their own streams to make things work smoothly. All I can say is I don't think it's a performance issue (as in lack of horsepower), the firetv is probably the beefiest of all the set top streamers.
 

Edgar

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Amazon fire tv is awesome. Stick is a little weak when it comes to wifi.
 

cyclone3d

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http://support.netgear.com/product/wndr3800

It's getting to be a few years old be a few years old but I try to limit wifi to actual mobile devices and keep everything else on Ethernet.

The thing is, I can stream video from Amazon Prime with zero issues.

I would probably just buy an Ethernet capable streamer before I swap out the router but I still think it's a performance/firmware issue more than a network issue.

Thanks

I had the version of that piece of trash that had the DSL modem built in. The heatsink was held on by a single through the board post. The solder connection cracked and the heatsink shifted out of place and it fried... just out of warranty.

And the heatsink was so offset on the chip in the first place that it only covered about 50% of the chip.

Just seeing a picture of that thing makes me angry at how poorly built it was.

As for a streaming device. I have a Chromecast and it works great unlike the Sony BR player that seems to work ok-ish although slower than the Chromecast.

However, the Sony BR player is trash for HULU. Sometimes it will work ok, but most of the time the HULU app freaks out and starts acting like I am playing a really scratched DVD and jumps back to the beginning of a scene over and over again until it finally says that it can't play it.
 

HisSvt76

2[H]4U
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Aug 4, 2005
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Mine has performed great when a issue arises it always fixed by a reboot , i use it constantly for sling tv since that app on xbox one still needs work.

Granted im on a 105mbps internet with a nighthawk R7000 router. Use it a lot at night in bed cheaper to use than falling asleep with my 360 on
 

diizzy

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While the FireTV sticks are impressive hardware-wise the wireless part on most (including Intels) are far from great. 2.4Ghz usually have a much better connectivity than 5GHz on these kinds of sticks so unless you have very good signal strength and/or many 2.4Ghz networks around you I'd suggest you'd try that instead. I'm pretty sure it relies on hardware acceleration which would explain the playback glitches you're seeing as hw-playback usually doesn't handle it as good as pure software playback.

Your router is still a pretty good one, make sure that you're running the latest one by Netgear or (perferably) have a look at something like OpenWRT which runs even newer drivers and software which may help your issue. As a side note, Asus did release quite many firmware to fix wifi with Apple (Marvell) WIFI devices so it might be a simple compatibility/driver issue.
//Danne
 

weuntouchable

[H]ard|Gawd
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Try connecting to the 2.4GHz Wi-Fi instead of the 5 GHz and see if that improves things. I don't have Netflix, but have three Fires (1 Fire, 2 Sticks) and use Amazon Prime, Sling TV, and Hulu Plus. 5 GHz has given me performance issues even when the router signal is strong (one is setup one room away on the same floor).

As others have pointed out, Amazon Prime is not a good barometer for performance comparisons because Amazon pre-loads shows for you based on your viewing habits.
 

major_foad

n00b
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Jun 14, 2004
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41
I picked up a shield tv this past week and it works great -- performs extremely well on 5GHz wifi too... which gets it off the congested 2.4GHz channels in an urban environment (they are all basically jammed where I live from so many devices using the same channels)

It also has an ethernet port if you've got the ability to plug it directly in.

At $200 I think it's a great value.

Chromecast takes a solid second place to me mostly on the virtues of it working so simply and being $35.

PS -- If your TV supports HDMI CEC, Chromecast and SHIELD can both be controlled directly from your TV remote.
 

PointandClick

Limp Gawd
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I have issues with Netflix skipping and stuttering during playback sometimes. I'm not sure if it is related to Kodi running in the background, since a reboot usually fixes it. One would think it wouldn't be an issue with the specs of the box. Prime content has no issue.

I had all but given up on the idea of having a single box for Kodi and Netflix until I decided to take a chance on the FTV. Other than the mentioned issue, and deinterlacing of 1080i TV, it's been great. I had some major issues with Kodi/XBMC at first, but the 14.x builds have been great and getting better. Now if I could finally find the one remote to rule them all...
 

MrCrispy

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Have you tried doing a factory reset? I had similar issues but after a reset they are gone.
 

mi7chy

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WIFI has an impact on experience. If on 5GHz try temporarily relocating it so it has line of sight within the same room as AP. Otherwise, if AP has dual radio try it on 2.4GHz 802.11n (avoid 802.11g). Worse case exchange for Fire TV with wired ethernet.
 

atom

Gawd
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The Shield is probably an excellent device; I can't imagine though however for streaming 1080p video that extra performance will do anything unless you plan on using an Ethernet connection. I have a Fire TV that is one room away from my 5ghz router, and while I planned on running an Ethernet connection I have never had a performance issue. That being said, if you wanted to switch to a FireTV with Ethernet it would definitely be sufficient, and half the price. The Shield looks amazing IMO but that's near a full fledged console price to me. The PC to Shield streaming is definitely cool though and if you had an NVIDIA card (I do not) I think that would make the price worth it. I have tried side loading a whole array of streaming apps on my FireTV and none of them will perform.
 

dan_72

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Jun 11, 2015
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I got a SmartTv, but it is horrendous. Thought about buying a FireTV. Anyone tired the games?
 

atom

Gawd
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I got a SmartTv, but it is horrendous. Thought about buying a FireTV. Anyone tired the games?

There are a few games that are quite good. I play Dead Trigger 2 all the time. Don't expect it to be Resident Evil. Sev Zero - good, but simple, they try to make it seem like a Halo type game, its not. Modern Combat 4, Bard's Tale, basically some of the common Android games are available. All an Android game needs is to add gamepad support and its ready for Fire TV and Android TV, but most of them won't bother. You can also sideload apps, use a mouse and keyboard, use XBOX controllers, bluetooth headphones etc. The best part is sideloading emulators of course.
 

svet-am

Supreme [H]ardness
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Messages
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Amazon fire tv is awesome. Stick is a little weak when it comes to wifi.

QFT! I ran into this, too. My real Amazon FireTV is a champ but the stick is a waste of time. I'm actually in the process of migrating all of my HTPC front-ends to Raspberry Pi2's running Kodi (my backend is MythTV).
 

e2g

Limp Gawd
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Nov 6, 2007
Messages
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My fire TV stick has also been having some issues lately, particularly with Netflix. I just upgraded the router, and switched between 5Ghz and 2.4Ghz and I continually get freezing video through Netflix.
 

Edgar

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I stuck with 5GHZ on my firetv stick and haven't had issues since. What kind of router do you have?
 
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