Amazon Instant Video - poor picture quality and endless buffering

jdp1962

Active Member
I've just signed up for Amazon Prime in anticipation of the new Clarkson, Hammond and May show, The Grand Tour, which begins streaming on 18 November.

I have two Panasonic SMART TVs, both with the Amazon Instant Video app. I've registered them successfully, but when I try to watch anything, the picture is grainy, and the stream buffers to a halt every few seconds.

Has anyone else had a similar experience, and if so, were you able to fix it?

Thanks

Jeff
 

Clem_Dye

Distinguished Member
I have an Amazon FireTV 4K box connected via ethernet in my front room, and it's fine. My FireTV stick, which lives in my bedroom, does suffer from odd glitching problems, because I have wifi issues to sort out. In both cases though, picture and sound quality is fine.

As I recall, Panasonic apps. get routed via some server owned by Panasonic. There was an issue recently whereby the Panasonic server was down so none of the apps worked. Perhaps that's the issue. However, I'd try/check the following.

1) Is the TV's firmware up to date?
2) Are all of the inbuilt apps up to date?
3) Are there any specific picture, sound or other options for the app, such as bandwidth limitations which have been set in error?
4) If you're connecting via wifi can you try ethernet instead?
5) Are there any issues with your home broadband -- slow link, throttling, etc.?
6) Try an Amazon FireTV product connected to you TV, to see if that's better.

Clem
 

jdp1962

Active Member
Hi, Clem

Thanks for the reply. I know the TVs' respective firmware are both up to date, not sure about updating the apps separately or checking for app settings. Will consult the manuals for that.

I should have added that both are full wired via ethernet, and my home broadband has no problem with streaming Netflix or downloading Sky On Demand. Suppose I'll have to buy a firestick and see what happens.

Thanks again.
 

Andy98765

Distinguished Member
If your TV is connected via Ethernet then you should not have any problems. What speed do you get from your ISP. Open Amazon prime on your PC via the normal Amazon site and see if it streams OK that way.
 

jdp1962

Active Member
Just ran the Grand Tour trailer on the PC and it's fine. Also did a internet speed check, and it peaked at 14.7 mb/s. I don't really want to have a Firestick poking out of the back of the TV if I can avoid it, as it's wall-mounted. Youtube runs fine using the TV app; it's just this bloomin' Amazon thing that's flaky. I'm thinking I could end up watching episode one and then cancelling within the 30 days..
 

mjcairney

Distinguished Member
I had the original Fire TV box and download speed around 7Mbps and never once experienced any problems. I now have the 4K version of the Fire TV box with Sky Fibre download speed around 32Mbps, again with no problems at all so, like Clem, I would suspect that it may be something to do with your Panasonic TV's app.

Martin.
 
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madmonk3y

Active Member
/rant on
Rubbish streaming service. Horrid interface. ATM it's just a blocky load of streaming.. All the fixes on their help section are rubbish. Just wastes your time. Service will probably pick up by the time you've jumped through hoops trying out their 'fixes'.
How come Netflix works and streams fine at 1080 right now but not Amazon?
Good luck with getting it working as Amazon don't seem too good at this vid streaming service.
/rant off
Sorry just wanted to vent. Time is precious when you have kids and you want things to work for the limited hour of viewing you get
 

madmonk3y

Active Member
Has anyone else had a similar experience, and if so, were you able to fix it?

Thanks

Jeff
Sorry to hear about your problem. As i was typing my rant on their forums and here, things got better.
I'm watching on my PS4 and had to deregister, delete the app, reinstall the app and relogin again. Then changed network settings to use Google DNS servers (8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4) not the ISP DNS (virgin). Not sure this will fix your problem but worth a go. Now I only have 20mins to watch something
 
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Clem_Dye

Distinguished Member
/rant on
Rubbish streaming service. Horrid interface. ATM it's just a blocky load of streaming.. All the fixes on their help section are rubbish. Just wastes your time. Service will probably pick up by the time you've jumped through hoops trying out their 'fixes'.
How come Netflix works and streams fine at 1080 right now but not Amazon?
Good luck with getting it working as Amazon don't seem too good at this vid streaming service.
/rant off
Sorry just wanted to vent. Time is precious when you have kids and you want things to work for the limited hour of viewing you get
We'll have to disagree then, because overall I'm pretty happy with the Amazon service. The only issue that I had was recently, where the audio streams were only 2.0 and they should have been 5.1. I raised a case with Amazon who couldn't be more helpful and it was sorted in a couple of days. Picture and audio quality seem fine, and the interface is easy enough to drive. It may not be perfect to some, but it's certainly nothing to rant about. I do however think that there are some differences in performance of the Amazon app built into smart TVs/boxes compared to that run on the Amazon FireTV products. I do recall that the Amazon Video app on my Samsung BR player certainly wasn't as robust.

Clem
 

jdp1962

Active Member
Thanks for the continued input, guys. A Firestick's not going to be an option, as I've no spare HDMI ports. I have heard that deregistering the TVs, putting them through a factory reset and registering them again might improve things. That's going to be pretty time-consuming but I may give it a go.
 

grahamlthompson

Distinguished Member

jdp1962

Active Member
I know, but it's all more gubbins and clutter that I would ideally prefer not bother with. Meanwhile, I've been trying to update the app, and it seems you have to uninstall it and then download it afresh from the Panasonic app store. So I do the uninstall only to find that before I can download, I must first register an account with the Panasonic Home Cloud. I do that, go back to the store and again try to download the app. Now it tells me to log in to my Home Cloud and set up my account. I try to do that and it tells me the server isn't working and I should try again later. Graaaaah!!
 

jdp1962

Active Member
OK, so a few minutes after ranting last night, i succeeded in reinstalling the app, and it's exactly the same, slow, laggy and buffering. So I'm going to give it up as a bad job, and watch The Grand Tour on my pc. That's not ideal, but it does at least feed to a 24-inch HD monitor.
 

next010

Distinguished Member
Panasonic are probably one of the worst smart tv systems out there, by that I mean the software platform that runs on the TV.

Their own in-house system was terrible and then they had the right idea to dump it in favor of a third party solution but backed the wrong horse choosing FireFox OS (yes that was a thing) but that is now also dead and abandoned.

I know from experience some Pannys only have 3 HDMI ports which is a pain, if your kids have a game console plugged into the TV then it already has the Amazon app if it's a recent Playstation or Xbox.

Other than that get the Amazon box or Roku a device, far superior in every way.

I doubt there is anyone at Panasonic or Amazon even paying attention to the amazon app, Amazon will tell you go buy a FireTV box.

You could try something else which is connect over wireless instead of ethernet, the bugs in the Panasonic system might be related to ethernet connections when it expects the wireless (a remote but possible theory).
 

mjcairney

Distinguished Member
I agree with everything next010 said in the previous post and would would definitely recommend that you treat yourself to an Amazon Fire TV Box. I'm sure you will not regret it, I have one and have never had so much as a stutter from it.

Martin.
 
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jdp1962

Active Member
Bit of a late update, this. In the end, I took the sensible advice of phoning Panasonic Customer Support, who recommended I do a factory reset. I did, and the Amazon app is now working perfectly on both TVs.
 

mike7

Distinguished Member
Never had a problem with Amazon. Use it on my Samsung TV via the App also upstairs from a Firestick. Rock solid every time except for the annoying first few seconds while it determines what speed your broadband is before it will crank up to 4k. I'm on Virgin at around 100Mb/s so it doesn't present a problem. Looks like some people have a Panasonic based problem.
 

jdp1962

Active Member
Further update; the app started buffering and stuttering again. It got to the stage where even re-setting the TV didn't fix it. But even if it had, I couldn't be doing that every time I wanted to watch Amazon Video.

So, yes, I bought a firestick (a second one because I'd already bought one for another TV), and it's working perfectly. I had to get an HDMI switcher as well. This is the one I got, and I don't think it's the answer.

I think I'm going to try this one instead. It's mains powered, and I think the input switching system will work better.
 

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