This is sort of an odd problem, and I don't actually even know if it's a problem at all. I've been having some problems with wirelessly streaming my netflix to my xbox, which is a whole seperate issue. Well during this i decieded to just watch netflix on my PC. So, doing that, i've noticed that my resolution sucks. My internet connection is fast...fast enough to support netflix's highest resolution. speedtest.net gives me 6845 kb/s. so I called netflix and asked them what might be going on....they told me the problem was my ping. When I run speedtest.net on a local server (tampa bay) i get a ping time of 135 ms. Like I said netflix told me that was the problem so I called Road runner to see if they could help. they had me bypass my router and connect directly to my modem and they ran a bunch of tests and everything came back fine. further they said that 135 ms ping was pretty normal and nothing to really worry about, meanwhile netflix tells me it should be more like 25 and thats my problem. the only thing i've noticed that i can add to this is that when i tracert anything at all the first hop when i'm not on my router and the second out when i'm on my router (the hop out of my router) always times out no matter what i tracert. I don't know if this has anything to do with it...road runner says it doesnt. So...my question is why does netflix run at such crappy resolution for me...is my my ping or something else...and if it's my ping what do i do about it? Thank you all for reading I know it was a bit long.
The first hop typically times out because thats the connection between you and your ISP. Most ISP's discard ping from WAN so you'll get a time out there.
The only thing that really determines your abililty to view high the highest resolutions is your downstream (~7000mpbs in this case). Ping time is nothing more then latency which is countered by buffering.
As for fixing the issue, look into methods to increase your buffering time and make sure nothing else is downloading in the background (torrents etc).
Netflix's goal is to get you to watch your film/show without any interruptions. So the Netflix service tests your ping and bases your quality on that so that you will have no buffer time during playback. Which as a movie fan, I understand. It would really suck to be watching a film and suddenly have it say "buffering" right at the climax of the film. That being said, I should have the right to choose whether or not I want quality or interruptions. In most cases, I will take quality thank you. I consistently get one bar for everything I try to watch. I am downstreaming over 10 megs a second with a ping of 50, and Netflix is telling me my ping is too high. I have an idea. How about you just improve your system, Netflix. Eh?