Do you suffer from Netflix issues on your Sony Xperia device?

by XB on 28th July 2014

in Applications, Problems


netflix-logoFor a while now, we have received a slow but steady stream of emails from readers complaining about problems with the Netflix app on their Sony Xperia smartphone or tablet. It is not just us though, if you do a search on Sony’s official Talk Forums and XDA you will find a number of threads talking about the same issue.

The most common complaints relate to an audio delay, which can be very off-putting when watching video. Other complaints relate to bouts of freezing and stuttering, but by far the most common issue is the audio lag problem described above.

We have held off on posting this for a long time now (over a year), assuming it will get resolved at some point down the line either by a Sony update or one from Netflix. Indeed, it’s difficult to point the finger at any one-party on this. Sony’s customer support representatives on the forums say it’s an issue with Netflix, especially if all other apps work correctly. However, readers who have contacted Netflix says it is a Sony issue.

If you check through the Netflix reviews on the Google Play Store, there appear to many happy Xperia users, but there are a minority that complain of this exact issue (see below). Netflix is one of the most popular video streaming apps out there and we can imagine some Xperia customers will be annoyed if they find out that the app isn’t working as intended.

We hope Sony and Netflix come together to solve this issue once and for all – it doesn’t do either company any good. If you have had similar problems, we’d love to hear your experiences below.

Netflix reviews from Xperia Z1 owners

Xperia Z1 Netflix

Netflix reviews from Xperia Z2 Tablet owners

Xperia Z2 Tablet Netflix

Netflix reviews from Xperia Z2 owners

Xperia Z2 Netflix_highlight

  • Raj Singh

    No. Z Ultra…

  • Mark j

    I use it on my phone and have no problems. I have a z2. I also connect to my television and have no problems also.

  • jmaxim917

    Netflix has washed their hands clean of any streaming, buffering or audio lag issues. When you call them they tell you they know it’s 100% not their problem. I think it’s an unfortunate position for them to take and eventually this attitude will start biting them where it hurts.

  • kj marway

    No issues on my Z Ultra running 4.4.4 – Netflix (and every other app runs perfectly).

  • Zaim

    Agreed, I contacted Netflix and they initially said its my internet causing the issue. Not sure how 152mbit connection is the cause. After I told them its certainly not my internet connection they proceeded to blame Sony.

  • I used to have an audio sync issue with Netflix, but this was on my Nexus 7 (2012) particularly with a Bluetooth speaker connected. That was specific to Netflix too, but it’s been good for a while now.

    I can’t say I’ve noticed any issues with my Xperia phones over the last year or two, however.

  • Sony Support Center

    Sony recommends upgrading your phone to the Xperia Z3 to resolve the issue. Thank you.

  • Guest

    Lol

  • Will

    Yes, I have this problem on my Xperia Z2 Phone (Android Version: 4.4.2; Build Number: 17.1.1.A.0.402). It drives me mad. It is most noticeable when you pause the video and the audio plays for another half a second to catch up.

    I don’t know if it is true but there are reports in forums that this is not just a Netflix issue and some games suffer from audio lag. Has anyone else noticed this? If so, it would land blame squarely in Sony’s corner. My thinking is Sony’s Audio/Video customisations have introduced a bug on some specific AV codec. Strange that it wasn’t picked up by the extensive testing I assume Sony does ;-)

  • Vuyo Ncube

    Objectively speaking, a huuuuuuuge issue.

    It doesn’t even exist in my country.

  • Arthur Simon

    I don’t use Netflix xD

  • pixlas

    Try the new software? . 314 might help? It is out in some countries as far as I know

  • Unfortunately Netflix is not available around here… So…

  • Wolf0491

    Always works fine on my Z

  • GJ

    I too have this problem on my Tablet Z.
    But when I turn off clear phase and Xloud then the sound is in sync.

  • Carljn

    Smooth as silk on my Z1.

  • Micheal Archer

    I’ve noticed this issue in the past on my Z1, but it’s not consistent. I always assumed it was due to the network I was connected to rather than an issue with the app or my device.

  • kosumo

    For netflix it’s not very difficult to do the link… Only Sony devices are touched so why it would be a netflix issues?

    With all the sh*t that sony does on the z2 tablet I’m actually not surprise to see new issues appearing periodically.

  • jmaxim917

    My comment was not specific to Sony products, was pointing out how Netflix responds to any issue regardless of who the manufacturer or product is.

  • Adam

    Yes, yes, yes. Netflix on my Xperia Z2 Tablet (32 gig, Wi-Fi-only model) gives me borderline unacceptable video quality and with audio that is completely out of sync.
    And it isn’t only Netflix. The same thing occurs with HBO Go and Showtime Anytime. Probably other video services too, but I have given up on video on my Xperia Z2 Tablet other than the occasional YouTube video, which are usually fine, but sometimes have their audio and video not quite synchronized and sometimes play at the wrong speed.
    This is not a Netflix problem. This is not a problem with my Internet Service Provider. These services work just fine on other devices that I own, including my Android-powered Sony Walkman F (886 model). This is a Sony Mobile problem, and unless Sony Mobile acknowledges the problem soon and does something about it, my Xperia Z2 Tablet will be the first and last device that I ever own from Sony Mobile. (Sony Electronics, not Sony Mobile, produces the Walkman line of portable media players.)

  • Mars

    This is were I would have commented on this topic……… IF netflix would have been available in Europe !!!

  • omgsorry

    FUCK NETFLIX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THERE’S SHOWBOX AND POPCORN TIME APPS :*

  • Henke

    I have this issue on a few games aswell, mostly noticable on Worms 2. Whats wierd tho is that if you clear cache data and start the game the audio sync is perfect. However, if you close the game and restart it (without clearing cache data) I have audio sync problems again. Maybe you can try clearing your Netflix cache and try if that works?

  • omfg

    LMAO

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  • Paul M

    I get a lag on my Z ultra, on android 4.2 and 4.3.

    it’s not bandwidth or wifi congestion, I have 35Mb/s broadband, and am using 5GHz wifi with noone else in the area using it.

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  • Robin Marshall

    I am growing tired of this problem. I spent upwards of 400 dollars on my Xperia Z tablet. My Samsung Tab3’s Netflix works perfectly fine; and it sure as hell cost less than 400+.

    Neither Sony nor Netflix is taking this issue seriously. Frustrating.

    What should we all do to ensure they look at this problem finally? Some sort of viral Twitter campaign? ideas, anyone?

  • Raj Singh

    Weird. I have zero lag on it. I always notice how smooth it is every time I use it. Awesome phone.

  • Robin Marshall

    Good thought; but didn’t work for me. (sad face!)

  • Paul M

    I haven’t tried it since upgrading to 4.4.4, I’ll give it a go.

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  • Jeff Martinez

    Problems? Nope, everything A’okay here (Z1 Compact).

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  • Billy Blue

    happens to me on xperia z tablet, its such a pain

  • Toshik

    Disabling mpdecision with trickstermod fixes the audio glitches.

  • Caitlin Bestler

    No problems with Netflix on my Xperia Tablet Z2, other than the occassional network freezes that are cured by toggling the z2 through airplane mode. But that’s not Netflix specific.

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  • Adam

    Just installed said update on my Xperia Z2 Tablet today. Didn’t make a difference. Netflix (and presumably all other applications with this audio/video synchronization issue) continue to be pointless on my tablet.

  • Tim

    I have a Tablet Z2, and this has been happening to me ever since I got it; with the most recent Netflix and Android updates, the lag has been slightly reduced (it was around 1 second or so, and now is about half that), but it is still there and makes videos near-unwatchable.

    Why can’t Sony fix this already? I think it’s a conflict-of-interest problem, since Sony has their own streaming services they want to promote.

  • Tim

    If only I’d rooted it before I installed everything, I would try this too. :-(

  • josh

    I had netlix installed on my xperia Tablet z, after I updated the tablet to the latest version the Netflix app was gone and im not abble to install it through play store neither the apk

  • Venus

    I have this audio lag 800ms! on my Tablet Z too using 4.2, 4.3, 4.4. First time i reported this to Netflix was 10/2013 and have done this 4 times. Reported to Sony too…

  • Theo

    I also have video audio sync issues when using Netflix on my Sony Z2 Tablet. It’s so bad that I gave up watching Netflix on the Z2 tablet — the videos are simply unwatchable.

    Given that one of the primary use cases for tablets is media consumption, and given that Netflix is one of the top streaming services, it really boggles my mind that Sony could create a tablet where Netflix video playback does not work. It’s either a sign of deep incompetence or a ploy to get you to use their competing bundled services.

    I have tried many suggested fixes, like clearing the app settings, uninstalling, disabling audio effects, disabling noise canceling earphones and nothing worked. I even installed CyanogenMod and that also had the same audio/video problems. At this point I suspect that these issues are caused by some “value-add” software from Sony which is deeply embedded in the kernel or in the drivers.

    Right now Sony refuses to acknowledge the issue, let alone fix it. What’s even worse is that from what I can tell this has been happening on multiple Xperia products for several product generations.

  • Theo

    Tried it on my rooted Z2 tablet, does not help.

  • nicwhit01

    I’m having trouble with streaming netflix on my z2, completely out of sync, but my daughters is fine on her ipad so how can it be a netflix problem?

  • Mohamed Ebraheem

    My Xperia Z1 sometimes work good and sometimes give me black screen I can’t see anything but I can receive calls and answer it and capture photos and listen to music

  • Anomalia

    Since 2013 I have been talking to Sony and Netflix about this audio lag. Sony said that it has nothing to do with it and Netflix said its son’s fault. I have activated Netflix account several times only to see that it won’t work with tablet z. I tried all firmwares, even CM.

    Again I contacted Netflix support. Now they said that Sony devices are not supported and not likely to work in the future!!

  • Tim

    Funny, but guess what? I just received my new Xperia Z3 Compact today, and updated it to the latest updates; installed Netflix, and guess what? Same lag. Maybe eeeever so slightly less, but the lag is there.

    Will Sony EVER admit it?

  • stefan

    Same issue on z3 and not just netflix

  • Bobby82

    Netflix was shocking in regards to the audio lag but just updated and the issue seems to have been resolved. Happy days

  • Mitsuki

    I had the same syncing problem but not with Netflix, I had it with games like cytus or mass effect infiltrator and I don’t think is a problem with those games…….

  • Chris Papademetrious

    Here are my own experiences with Android and Bluetooth audio (no Sony devices involved, however).

    Some video material itself has an inherent lip-sync issue that will show up no matter what you play it back with, so you have to rule that out. However, there is also a known lip-sync delay bug with the Android Netflix client and Bluetooth audio devices. I have tried the following Android devices:

    Samsung Galaxy S4 (Android 4.4.2)
    Nexus 7 2013 (rev2) (Android 5.0.2)
    Hisense Sero 7 Pro (Android 4.2.1)

    with the following Bluetooth audio devices:

    Monoprice 11947 On-The-Ear Headphones
    Monoprice 10585 Premium On-The-Ear Headphones
    Creative D80 Portable Speaker

    There is a significant lip-sync delay (anywhere from 1/4s to 1/2s) with the Android Netflix client with all combinations of these that I have tried. With these same Android devices and Bluetooth audio devices, the following apps play back perfectly with no lip-sync issues:

    Amazon Video
    Hulu
    TiVo Roamio Streaming
    YouTube
    Native Android video player
    Other Android apps (games, etc.)

    The only combination with a lip-sync delay is the Android Netflix client with a Bluetooth audio device. Wired headphones are fine. I also tried the iPhone Netflix app with the Bluetooth audio devices and that plays back fine, so this is a problem only with their Android client.

    Bluetooth itself has a 3ms latency; the delay is not a Bluetooth problem. In games with sound effects, they happen immediately through Bluetooth audio.

    I called into the Netflix customer service department so many times. Every time, the same script – clear the app cache, restart the Android device, charge the battery in the Bluetooth device, power-cycle the router and cablemodem, unpair and repair the devices, etc. Some customer service reps told me it was normal Bluetooth behavior (it is not – the latency is 3ms), most told me it was the Bluetooth interfering with the Wifi connection (wat?). I repeatedly explained my testing results (long) and how it entirely points to a software issue. After many calls, I begged the rep to contact the next-level support to report this as a bug, and finally got confirmation that their Android client “has some issues” with Bluetooth audio, but no mention of a fix.

    So there you have it. Call into Netflix customer support, repeatedly! Maybe we can get them to fix the problem.

  • DeepFriedBunny

    Anyone having this issue on the Xperia Z3

    even copying files from my PC to the phone has audio lag/delay as if its not in sync.

    same while streaming using AirStream..this is a phone playback problem.

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  • Druida

    It´s a xperia problem, I tried a similar app on my xperia m4 aqua and same problem. Video and audio lags and jittering.

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