Watching Netflix on your shiny new Samsung smart TV should be an amazing experience – with stunning 4K resolution and crisp sound bringing movies and shows to life. However, many Samsung TV owners have reported issues with Netflix buffering, low video quality, and overall sluggish performance.
How to Fix Slow Netflix on Samsung TV
If you’ve noticed Netflix runs slowly or keeps buffering on your Samsung TV, don’t panic. There are several troubleshooting steps you can take to get smooth streaming again. This guide will walk you through the most common reasons for Netflix problems on Samsung smart TVs and provide fixes to try.
Check Your Internet Connection Speed
The most obvious culprit for Netflix issues is usually internet connection problems. Netflix recommends a minimum download speed of 5 Mbps for HD-quality video and 25 Mbps for 4K streaming. Anything lower can lead to frequent buffering and low video quality.
To check your internet speeds, do a quick test on Fast.com or Speedtest.net. Make sure to test from a device connected to the same network as your Samsung TV – speeds can vary between devices if you’re on WiFi.
If your download speeds are below 25 Mbps, Netflix will automatically adjust the video quality to compensate. Improving your internet speeds through your ISP or upgrading to a faster plan is the best way to maximize video quality.
Try Ethernet Instead of WiFi
Wireless internet connections can be convenient, but WiFi signals are susceptible to interference and data bottlenecks. Netflix streaming requires steady throughput, which WiFi networks can sometimes struggle with.
Switching your Samsung TV connection from WiFi to Ethernet can provide faster, more reliable speeds perfect for streaming. Samsung TVs have an Ethernet port built-in, so connect it directly to your router or modem with an Ethernet cable.
This hardwired connection avoids any wireless issues and gives your Samsung TV dedicated bandwidth for smooth Netflix performance. Ethernet cables are inexpensive and easy to install – it’s a quick fix if your WiFi is the problem.
Restart/Reinstall the Netflix App
Like any software, the Netflix app on your Samsung TV can sometimes have issues or get “stuck.” Restarting or reinstalling the app from scratch is an easy step that often resolves temporary glitches.
To restart the Netflix app on your Samsung TV, find it in the Apps menu and press the down button on your remote to bring up the Options menu. Select “Refresh” or “Reset” to restart the app.
If that doesn’t help, uninstall and reinstall the app:
1. From the Samsung Home screen, go to Apps > Netflix > Uninstall
2. Open the Samsung App Store and reinstall Netflix
3. Sign back into Netflix once installed
Reinstalling gives you a clean slate, which should clear up any software bugs causing performance issues. Make sure to sign back into Netflix using your account email and password.
Clear up Storage and Cash
Performance issues can also arise if your Samsung TV starts running out of storage space or has too much-cached data. Netflix downloads some videos for instant viewing, so clearing this data can speed things up.
To clear the cache and cookies:
1. Go to Settings > Support > Device Care > Storage
2. Select Cached Data to clear temporary Netflix files
While here, check your overall device storage usage under Device Storage. If you’re running low on space, delete unused apps or media to free up room for Netflix.
The cache-clearing steps may be under System Manager in Settings instead of Device Care for older Samsung TVs. The options should be similar, though.
Check for Firmware and App Updates
Keeping your Samsung TV firmware and apps up-to-date is important – developers constantly release fixes and improvements for bugs, security flaws, and performance.
Go to Settings > Support > Software Update to check your TV firmware version and install any available updates. Also, open the Samsung App Store from the home screen and select “Update All” to update Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and other installed apps.
Updating takes just a few minutes and keeps things running smoothly. Samsung and Netflix may have released optimizations specifically for streaming, so updating is always a good idea.
Adjust Your Video Settings
Try tweaking the picture settings if you notice pixelation, blurry video, or other visual issues with Netflix. Samsung TVs have many expert features for optimizing video – you may just need to adjust them for Netflix.
Under “Settings” or “Picture,” look for these options:
- Picture Mode – Try Standard, Movie, or Filmmaker mode. Avoid Dynamic/Vivid, which are designed for store displays.
- Motion Settings – Turn off video smoothing like Auto Motion Plus to reduce the soap opera effect.
- Color and Contrast – Bump color to max, lower contrast from default 50.
- Brightness and Backlight – Increase slightly if the image seems dark/dull.
- Sharpness – Decrease slightly to reduce edge artifacts.
- Color Space – Set to Auto or Native instead of custom color space.
Play around to find a personalized balance. Just a few tweaks can make Netflix videos look noticeably crisper. Return settings to default if you want to “start fresh.”
Get Your Samsung TV Serviced
If you’ve tried all other troubleshooting tips without success, the problem may require professional service. Hardware issues can degrade Netflix’s performance – for example, defective HDMI ports, faulty network adapters, or problems with the video/audio processors.
Contact Samsung Support online or by phone and describe your Netflix streaming issues in detail. They can run diagnostics on your smart TV and determine if components need repair or replacement under warranty.
Catching and fixing hardware issues early prevents frustrating Netflix problems. Samsung’s technicians have specialized tools and resources to accurately test components and get your TV back up to speed.
Upgrade Your Netflix Plan
While not ideal, upgrading to a premium Netflix plan is a near-guaranteed fix for buffering, low video quality, and sluggish performance.
Netflix throttles video on lower-tier plans:
- Basic – SD quality only
- Standard – Max 1080p resolution
- Premium – 4K HDR/Dolby Vision quality
Even with fast internet, the resolution limitations can make Netflix look pixelated and blurry – especially on a 4K Samsung TV. Upgrading to the Premium plan lifts these restrictions so Netflix streams at maximum quality.
If you’re happy with your current internet speeds, going premium with Netflix is the simplest path to getting the best video without buffering. Plus, you gain access to Netflix’s full content library in 4K.
Why Is Netflix Slow on My Samsung TV?
It’s frustrating when Netflix stutters and struggles on an otherwise fast Samsung TV. But in most cases, simple software tweaks, connection changes, and settings adjustments can get streaming smooth again.
Netflix requires strong, steady internet speeds for proper performance – faster than some home WiFi networks provide. Connecting your Samsung TV directly to the modem or router with an Ethernet cable can improve throughput significantly.
Keeping your Samsung TV firmware updated ensures you have the latest performance fixes and features from Samsung. Clearing app caches and restarting/reinstalling Netflix also helps resolve temporary glitches in the software.
Adjusting video and picture settings optimizes Netflix visuals for your TV. Switching to a premium Netflix plan lifts restrictions on resolution and quality levels.
If problems persist even after troubleshooting, don’t hesitate to contact Samsung for service. Hardware issues like defective HDMI or network components can mimic software problems – trained technicians can properly test and replace parts to get your expensive Samsung TV running like new again.
With a few targeted tweaks and fixes, Netflix can once again deliver an exceptional viewing experience on your Samsung TV. The vibrant colors and pin-sharp details of today’s shows and movies will stream smoothly at your smart TV’s highest visual quality.