Netflix recently signed deals with Comcast and Verizon to improve streaming quality for its customers. There’s still work to be done, though, and streaming quality can often be shaky. Netflix wants you to know what’s wrong if you have a less-than-good stream, which is why it updates its monthly speed index to show off the best and worst ISPs for streaming. But did you know you can also test your Netflix performance in real time? There’s an 11-minute video on Netflix, called Example Short, that’s made up of a series of unconnected clips. To test your connection, start this video and keep your eye on the numbers in the top left-hand corner of the screen. These numbers represent the bit rate and resolution of the video in real time. The numbers will start out low, but should gradually get better as the stream buffers. The higher and steadier these numbers are, the better your Netflix performance is. Unfortunately, if the numbers aren’t up to your standards, there’s little you can do – other than change internet providers.

Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is Managing Partner at Palmer Advanced Media, a technology-focused strategic advisory practice that helps Fortune 500 companies and growth-stage companies with digital strategy, data science, marketing, branding, and business development. He is Fox 5 New York's on-air tech and digital media expert and a regular commentator on CNBC and CNN. @shellypalmer or visit

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"Shelly Palmer Radio Report – June 23, 2014" by @ShellyPalmer