At the beginning of this new year, the video streaming company Netflix announced its official launch in India — a country comprising world’s second largest Internet users. India currently experiences a rapid growth in its Internet subscribers due to several reasons including falling prices of smartphones and young generation. On the contrary, Netflix experiences a slowed growth in the subscriber-base in its hometown United States.
Netflix will be providing one month of free service, provided the user subscribes with an authorized Credit Card or PayPal account. The card must support International transactions.
The subscription plans start from merely Indian Rs 500 a month. The High Definition (HD) and Ultra HD plans cost Rs 650 and Rs 800 respectively on monthly basis.
An Indian user will require at least 3 mbps and 5 mbps broadband speed for watching movies and high definition content respectively. Perhaps, users with too old, outdated routers will have to upgrade in order to make their device compatible for an overwhelmed service. A standard quality TV show may eat up around 1 GB of data. Internet plans in India are not truly unlimited in nature, i.e. they are metered with specific data limit for high speed, and then the Internet speed drops to such an extent that it takes half an hour to open a single website! Thanks to fraud Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and corrupt TRAI regulatory body, for exploiting customers with high costs for metered connection.
Anyways, the real challenge is how Netflix would keep Indian users out of movie theaters? Here, we have come up with different strategies to improve your Internet speed and enjoy uninterrupted Netflix streaming service in India.
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Alternative manual troubleshooting steps are given below:
Use a DSL/ Cable Internet Connection
Are you using a slow speed cellular or satellite Internet connection? Buy a new DSL/ Cable Internet connection that comes with at least 3.2 mbps or 5 mbps speed.
Restart the Home Network
First turn off your laptop/ computer and network modem or wireless router. Unplug that modem or wireless router, and wait for a minute. Plug it in again, and keep an eye on till the indicator lights (usually, green) back to normal state. Now turn on the laptop/ computer and start Netflix.
Establish a Direct Connection
Use an Ethernet cable to establish a direct connection between your wireless router in order to eliminate data loss and other connectivity issues.
Improve Wi-Fi Signal Strength
Change the location of your wireless router to improve signal strength. Ensure no wireless devices are in use, such as, cordless phones, microwave ovens, that tend to interfere with wireless Wi-Fi connectivity.
Customize Streaming Quality
Though Netflix does a pretty job by adopting best quality for your Wi-Fi connection, manual tweaking and customization can boost the overall performance. Go to the Netflix Settings screen > Playback Settings. Set the most appropriate data usage depending on your Internet speed — low, medium or high. (Recommended: Low)
Ensure Video Decode is Enabled
Do you use Google Chrome? Ensure that Video Decode feature is turned on to smoothly play the Netflix content.
Type “chrome://gpu” in the Address Bar of your browser, and then look for an entry named “Video Decode”. Ensure it is not disabled. If turned on, you should see “Video Decode: Hardware accelerated” as in the following figure.
If its disabled, type “chrome://flags” in the Address Bar, press ENTER. Set Override software rendering list = Enable; close and re-open Google Chrome for the changes to take effects.
Tweak Buffering Rate & Other Settings
The settings to customize your Buffering Rate are hidden by default. Open up the Stream Manager using Left Click + Shift + Alt key combinations and then set the best Buffering Rate for your connection. To tweak stats for nerds sort of settings, use Ctrl+ Alt + Shift + D keyboard shortcut.
Turn Off Internet-consuming Services & Processes
Your computer may run dozens of hidden services and processes at the boot interval. Some of them use Internet and affect your bandwidth usage. To improve your Netflix experience, stop unwanted services and processes. Fire up the Run dialog, type “services.msc” and one by one stop Non-Microsoft services except your Antivirus. If you aren’t a tech savvy user and don’t know which services to stop, download a small utility called Intel SOFTWARE Partner Reginout that does this job pretty automatically for you.