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Is Netflix putting caps on computer-based Watch Instantly users?

Tim Stevens

Depending on your choice of computing platform, possession of dedicated streaming hardware, and love of otherwise forgettable '80s films, Netflix's Watch Instantly service is either a godsend or a gimmick. Regardless, nobody likes arbitrary bandwidth caps, and that's what Riyad Kalla at The "Break it Down" Blog claims to have spotted, finding that Watch streams on his Xbox take multiple minutes to buffer, but that those on his PC (using the same connection) can take hours -- if they work at all. Doing a little snooping he found he was being capped to about 50 KB/sec per download thread on his PC, but if he spawned ten such threads he was able to get over 700 KB/sec. Something, it seems, is issuing a per-thread cap, but is it really Netflix? Or, rather, is it his Qwest DSL line doing a ham-fisted job of managing bandwidth? We've seen similar issues intermittently, but nothing consistent, so we're not quite ready to call this an internet-wide conspiracy just yet, but would love to hear about your streaming experiences lately.

Update: Based on the volume of "It's working just fine for me" comments both here and elsewhere it seems safe to say that if there is a conspiracy at work here, it's not Netflix's.

[Via Slashdot]

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