I have been testing and investigating an issue with some Netflix content badly juddering. It is particularly noticeable on the opening credits of Star Trek Voyager, but appears to be present on all content which is being streamed at 24Hz (24 frames per second), which is most content on Netflix. It is only noticeable with long panning shots or movement horizontally or vertically across the screen. It also affects UK programming streamed at 25Hz (though not as badly). I haven't noticed the problem on 30Hz content. For all content the problem seems to get worse if I select a 720p 50Hz instead of 720p 60Hz.
What initially surprised me was that the problem doesn't happen on the first generation fire stick, but does happen on the 2nd generation fire stick and 2nd generation fire tv.
When I connected a refurbished 2nd generation fire TV though, the problem was gone. That is, until the fire TV updated to the latest software, then the problem was back again. So, the latest software update has caused this problem, but only on build 587444320.
There is some slight stuttering on all versions, which is probably normal for 24p content, but this is juddering where the content play smoothly for nearly a second, before the picture visibly jumps across the screen (as if frames have been dropped).
So here is what I have tested, all with the latest software version, and the results:
Fire Stick 1st Generation Fire OS 220.127.116.11 (587444820) - WORKS FINE, NO JUDDERING
Fire Stick 1st Generation with voice remote Fire OS 18.104.22.168 (587444820) - WORKS FINE, NO JUDDERING
Fire Stick 2nd Generation with Alexa voice remote Fire OS 22.214.171.124 (587444320) - UPDATE HAS CAUSED JUDDERING
Fire TV generation 2 (I have two of these) Fire OS 126.96.36.199 (587444320) - UPDATE HAS CAUSED JUDDERING
I have also found, though, that this problem will only affect some TVs. My plasma TV (which only accepts 50Hz and 60Hz signals) has the problem. My LCD TV (which accepts 24Hz as well) does not judder, perhaps it is masking the problem with additional processing, or perhaps it is because I'm using 1080p on this TV.
BBC iplayer also judders badly when playing Strictly Come Dancing, but I have not found any version that doesn't have that problem, except for my refurbished Fire TV, before it updated to build 587444320. I don't know what build it had before, but this raises the possibility that a software problem is causing this too.
So, if you notice juddering, this could be a reason why.
I'm not sure what to do, wait for a fix (that might never happen), or jump ship to a Roku stick (which plays very smoothly). I do prefer the Fire TV interface and the fact you can play content directly from search results which doesn't seem to work on Roku except with Netflix.
I've noticed the same thing on some Netflix shows (and I have a 1st gen Fire Stick).
What I discovered is it only happens for the first 1-2 minutes, at the most. What it seems to be, for me, is just the initial buffering. As soon as it starts, I just pause it fot 10-20 seconds and, once playback restarts, it's fine. Almost like all you need to do is let the buffer get far enough ahead of what your watching to not cause interference.
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I'm being extremely clever up here and there's no one standing around looking impressed. What's the point in having you all? - Dr Who
I've noticed that on the 1st gen fire stick too, especially after restarting the stick. The issue I'm talking about is much more significant and noticeable - and no amount of waiting, pausing, playing for several minutes gets rid of it, it is constantly there.
On older software versions the problem is not there, it starts after updating to the latest software with builds ending in 320.
You wouldn't see it on your Fire Stick, since that uses a build ending 820.