Q. I have Netflix and sometimes the show will start off very blurry. But then it will get clear after a minute or so. But it sometimes goes back to the blurry picture. Any guesses on why this happens and what I can do to fix it? Does this happen to other people? — Shanteuse, Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Shanteuse, you’re not seeing things, so to speak. With Netflix, and all streaming services, the picture quality can vary depending upon the strength of your Internet connection, or the service’s server and delivery system.
For example, you could click on the new miniseries, Hollywood (pictured above), on Netflix and the high-def or 4K picture will look a little muddy at first, as if the show is in standard-definition. Then, after a few moments, the image will suddenly clear up as if someone waved a magic wand. But perhaps a few minutes after that, it will become blurry again for a few seconds.
This is not uncommon, and usually signifies that your Internet signal is weak and/or is operating at a reduced speed. Netflix recommends that your Internet speed be 25 Mbps for a 4K program, and 5 Mbps for a high-def show. If it dips below that, it will cause the picture to vary in quality. Good one minute, bad the next. (Most streaming services have similar recommendations for optimum Internet speeds.)
If you think this is a regular problem, you can test your Internet signal at various web sites, including SpeedTest.net. If the test indicates your Internet speed is lower than what Netflix recommends, you might want to upgrade service.
Of course, it’s also possible that your streaming service is to blame. It may be experiencing some technical snafu that is causing your picture to buffer, or lose crispness. This happens from time to time, but usually doesn’t last long. If it does — and you eliminated your home Internet service as the cause — contact your streaming service to see if it’s having issues.
Shanteuse, hope that helps, Happy viewing, and stay safe!
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It could also be your router adjusting to the stream using QoS. Sometimes the stream begins at a lower resolution and ramps up to provide full bandwidth.
i am running spectrum high speed internet at around 400 mbps, and my screem, especially sports does this all the time
me too. Especially for the first 5 to 10 seconds of any stream from any stream provider. Maybe it it intetional? It’s a good place to put a watermark via stegenography.
It is a shame to waste all of that beautiful scenery on some person’s idea of a dramatic looking picture that is blurry and blue.. no comparison to game of thrones are breaking bad and also the sound quality sucks on Ozarks.. I have seen movies from the 40s and 50s with better picture and sound quality.. so sad but true and that is why I will change the channel and also my service provider.. just sayin..
I have a smart TV and it started being just pure blur when I tried to stream. Start a program, go into the settings, image quality, and select “movie”. Fixed my problem immediately
This article is not accurate and is buying into the propaganda that Netflix is spreading of passing blame to the internet providers and not taking responsibility for their faulty streaming. I have the fastest internet available and all my other streaming services (Hulu, Disney+, HBOMax…etc.) are perfectly fine and operating in hi-def 4k mode. Only Netflix is blurry and faulty. So this is not an internet problem.