A loyal Netflix customer since July 2002, I recently took the plunge into streaming when I upgraded to the Sony BDP-S470 blu-ray player. I've been pleasantly surprised by the picture quality of HD streams, however am getting very annoyed by the frequent buffering pauses during playback (literally paused every 5-10 seconds during playback of an Arrested Development episode tonight).
I have not been able to identify a specific pattern. It happens during high and low (early morning) traffic times. It happens with or without local network traffic. It might happen with one episode of a series, but not the next. Has happened on every series we've watched (30 Rock, Arrested Development, Weeds, Nip/Tick, etc). I'm not sure it ever happened on SD content, but it definitely happens frequently on HD content. It might happen only a couple times or (more commonly) many times during a viewing.
There's no way I'm experiencing a "last mile" performance problem. I'm connected to my LAN by ethernet cable and have a rock solid (guaranteed minimum) 10/10 FTTP WAN connection. My ISP does not throttle. Also, the Sony has the latest firmware.
I'd like to know the cause, so--hopefully--I can do something about it. I'm curious how many others have had this problem under similar circumstances, what devices the problem has occurred on and if/how the problem has been resolved.
I'd bet neither Netflix nor Sony will admit fault (see below).