How to Fix Bad Quality With Netflix on the iPad

By Matt Skaggs

The iPad Mini and the iPad 4 have many movie apps from which to choose.
i Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Netflix's iOS app gives you mobility and the convenience of streaming movies. You should be able to enjoy consistent video quality, but a few problems could reduce normal quality. You should be able to correct this problem fairly easily, though if your video quality is low because of your Internet service, you may have to upgrade your service plan to ensure high-quality movies.

Signal Strength

One common cause of video quality problems is a weak signal. This applies whether you're connected over Wi-Fi or using a cellular signal. You can check signal strength in the status bar, and if you have a poor Wi-Fi signal, you should move closer to the router or move away from other electronic devices and obstructions to improve the signal. You can also improve your cellular signal by moving closer to a window if you're inside or moving to a location outdoors that is relatively open.

Available Bandwidth

Even with a strong Wi-Fi signal, you may not have enough bandwidth available if other devices are using your network. This is especially true if you or someone else is accessing content on another device requiring a high data usage, such as streaming video. The best solution for this is to minimize bandwidth use by watching Netflix videos when other devices are not going to be using so much bandwidth.

Netflix Settings

If the problem you're experiencing is frequent buffering, meaning that the video pauses sometimes and makes you wait, you may be able to fix this by using Netflix's bandwidth management feature. If you use the Video Quality section of your Netflix account, you can choose from "Good," "Better" and "Best" qualities. While "Best" offers the highest quality video content, if you're having problems with buffering, you should select "Better" or "Good" to reduce the bandwidth demands and enjoy smoother playback.

ISP Plan

If your plan with your Internet service provider isn't fast enough, Netfix video quality will suffer. If you don't know what your Internet connection speed is, you can find out by contacting your ISP's customer service department. The bare minimum to view Netflix movies is .5 Mbps (megabits per second), though this will result in poor video quality and most likely frequent pauses to buffer. Netflix recommends that you have at least 1.5 Mbps, and to view videos in DVD quality, you need at least 3 Mbps. For full HD videos, you need a connection of at least 5 Mbps.