Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like


I’m so mad. Every time I try to join the modern world and upgrade to some gizmo that’s supposed to make my life better, I fall flat on my face. The latest culprit? Netflix streaming.

We’ve been flying the red envelopes back and forth for years now, but we’d been hesitant to pop for another box and more wires just so we could stream video. Also: we’re cheapskates. Then came the Google Chromecast thingy ($35!), and we thought, Now’s the time. Signed up for Netflix streaming and started watching “House of Cards” and other popular stuff on demand.

But within a couple of weeks, we started having the dreaded buffering issues. Couldn’t make it through a whole hour-long episode of H of C’s without Netflix suggesting that we “try again later.”

There is no later! It’s TV time. Now. I want my goddamn show!

Well, “House of Cards” is one thing, but when it happened in Blue Is The Warmest Color? — that’s when I said, Fin.

Come to find out, this is all part of the Net Neutrality bandwidth crisis, which is going to allow bandwidth providers to charge certain customers like Netflix more money if they want to maintain acceptable levels of service. Clearly, when a lot of people want to watch at the same time — like every evening — Netflix can’t keep up with demand. More often than not, you’re not even getting HD. And when the movie or show is interrupted every two minutes by that spinning eyeball that gets stuck on 25%, you’re probably not getting the experience the director intended. Unless he’s sadistic.

Anyway. Done with Netflix streaming.

This is how society leaves its old folks behind…

15 comments on “Flicked!

  1. Pamela Beckford
    March 30, 2014

    I have such slow internet because I live in the boonies so these things aren’t an option for me anyway 😒

    • Kevin Brennan
      March 30, 2014

      What, no satellite internet out there?! I’m counting on that for our move to the boonies one day.

      • Pamela Beckford
        March 30, 2014

        We could I suppose. But we don’t watch tv so it would not be cost effective. I have better than dial up…barely.

  2. John W. Howell
    March 30, 2014

    I gave up Chrome. Lesson cost $35.00.

    • Kevin Brennan
      March 30, 2014

      Yes. The costs of my lessons keep adding up. They say one’s education should never stop…

  3. Phillip McCollum
    March 30, 2014

    Funny you should mention this because my in-laws were experiencing a similar issue with House of Cards on Netflix streaming (low, pixelated quality). Luckily I’ve been too afraid to get hooked on a new series to even try. I figure by the time I finish this book, they will have made it to seven seasons and then I can comfortably procrastinate my next book. 😛

    • Kevin Brennan
      March 30, 2014

      That’s why I didn’t get into Breaking Bad till it was almost over. These obsessions are tough on the rest of your endeavors!

  4. 1WriteWay
    March 30, 2014

    We had an early generation Roku for years, then earlier this year we started having buffering issues on Netflix and Hulu (oh, no, not The Colbert Report? The Daily Show? Supernatural???). My husband is resistant to upgrades so we debated for months about our options–which, although technically we live in suburbia–are few. We finally broke down and bought a Roku 3, about 99 bucks, because it offered the fastest processor. Now, no more problems with Netflix (yea, we can watch Voyager again!) but Hulu STILL buffered. It could be the whole network neutrality thing or it could be that Hulu just isn’t keeping up with demand, or a combination of both. It’s definitely frustrating and the older we get, the less patience we have with new toys. Fortunately, the new Roku was plug-and-play.
    Can you get your money back on the Google Chrome thingy?

    • Kevin Brennan
      March 31, 2014

      Prolly not worth returning the Chromecast, plus it does work fairly well for YouTube videos.

      I was also a little surprised at how limited the selection of streaming movies at N’flix was. We were scraping the bottom of the barrel quite a bit.

      Maybe things were better in Grumpy Old Man’s days: the only show in town was to sit in a field and stare straight up at the sun!

      • 1WriteWay
        March 31, 2014

        Oh, you sound like a Grumpy Old Man! Seriously, I agree. That’s probably why we basically just watch a few select TV shows (Voyager, My Name is Earl, Parks and Recreation). Even the Netflix DVD service isn’t that great. I just tell myself the lack of good films to watch gives me more time to write (as I am now) and read 😉

  5. ericjbaker
    March 30, 2014

    Gimme hard copies.

  6. P. C. Zick
    April 2, 2014

    We have the same problem, but when I contacted Netflix, they said it was my router, my system, Verizon–everyone and thing but them. However, lately I’ve been learning about the problems. I told the Netflix person that our Amazon Prime videos streamed just fine and they said Netflix had a more sophisticated system! Also during prime time viewing for most folks, the videos are blurred. Call me disappointed and frustrated.

    • Kevin Brennan
      April 2, 2014

      So annoying! Seems like all the bugs haven’t been ironed out of that sophisticated system yet. 😡

      • P. C. Zick
        April 2, 2014

        I decided today to drop them. Why do I need it when I have Amazon Prime with no problems? Netflix usually has a bit better selection but I’d rather not have my show or movie paused unless I’ve done it for a bathroom break!

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This entry was posted on March 30, 2014 by in Et alia and tagged .
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