HD streaming on Roku fails

Recently my Roku, attached to a new Airport Extreme 802.11n Dual Band II router, started having problems streaming HD content from both Netflix and Amazon video. It also had intermittent quality problems with SD content as well. In the past, it performed flawlessly.

Network tests (ranging from the obligatory Speed Test to ping and traceroute) seemed to work. Hard wiring the Roku to my router didn’t make a difference, so I was pretty sure it wasn’t my router.

But then, amidst my disgust, I remembered something I changed not so long ago… I changed my DNS on the router from InsightBB to Google’s new public DNS. I did a traceroute to Netflix’ content distribution host (traceroute cdn.netflix.com) and lo and behold, I saw that my requests were being routed from Cincinnati to Atlanta to Washington. Oy! (see output below)

So, I decided to change my DNS to OpenDNS instead (it’s great…try it out! Great set of features). Voila! Now my requests to Netflix’s content delivery network are routed directly to Chicago!

Clear DNS cache on Mac OS X

Changing domains around on your web server can leave you with a local DNS cache that doesn’t match your domain’s new settings. Flush your DNS cache on Mac OS X 10.5 by issuing the following command:

Edit 5/19/2014: OS X Mavericks has a slightly different method for clearing the DNS cache.