Audio and video synchronization problems on Netflix can be a source of annoyance, detracting from the immersive experience of watching your favorite shows and movies. When the characters’ lips don’t match the sound, or if there’s a noticeable lag or lead in the dialogue, it pulls you out of the story and can be quite jarring. Although this issue is relatively common, the good news is that there are several solutions that users can try to rectify this problem.
While these fixes are not guaranteed to work in all cases, they have been widely discussed and have helped many users across various discussion platforms, including Reddit. Each solution tackles the problem from a different angle, whether it’s a setting within the app or an adjustment to your hardware setup, such as a TV or computer.
1. Fixing Netflix audio out-of-sync by changing the audio track to original language
One of the reasons you might experience audio and video out of sync is due to watching content with dubbed audio. Dubbed versions can occasionally be slightly out of sync as the new audio may not perfectly match the timing of the original actors’ lip movements. Here’s how to check and adjust the language settings on Netflix:
- Start playing the show or movie where you are experiencing the sync issue.
- Pause the playback and look for an option on the screen that says “Audio & Subtitles.” This can usually be accessed by clicking on the “Dialogue” icon or pressing a designated button on your remote.
- Click on “Audio & Subtitles” to bring up the list of available languages.
- Select the original language of the show, which is usually marked as [Original] beside the language name.
- If the content was indeed dubbed, switching to the original audio track should improve the lip-sync issue.
Make sure to check for multiple audio options, as some content may have more than one dubbed version. Additionally, for certain shows, if the original language isn’t English and you require English audio, selecting the “English [Original]” track rather than the “English 5.1” can sometimes resolve the sync problem. However, be aware that switching from a surround sound option like 5.1 to a stereo track may result in a loss of audio depth or quality.
If this doesn’t fix the audio sync problem or if the content is already in the correct language, there are further solutions to try, which we will explore in the next section.
2. Manually sync audio and video on your TV or streaming device
If changing the language settings doesn’t do the trick, the next step is to look at your device’s audio synchronization settings. Many modern TVs and streaming devices allow you to adjust the timing of your audio to better match the video.
Here’s a general step-by-step guide that can be applied to most devices:
- Access your device’s settings by navigating to the “Settings”, “Audio Settings”, “Sound Options” or a similarly named menu.
- Look for an option that mentions “Audio Sync,” “Sound Sync,” “Lip Sync,” “Audio Delay,” or something similar. This feature may also be found under “Advanced Settings” in some devices.
- Once you find this feature, you will usually see a slider or a way to adjust the timing. You may have to experiment with the delay settings to find the perfect match. Some devices measure this in milliseconds, and you can adjust this number up or down until the audio and video align.
- Save the changes and exit the menu to test the sync adjustment.
If you’re using external speakers or a soundbar, and especially if the setup involves Bluetooth, these could introduce their own delays. Ensure that your sound system also has any available audio delay or sync settings adjusted appropriately.
For users of specific devices like a Shield or Fire TV Stick, remember that each app may have individual settings. If Netflix is the only app with issues, you may have to set a unique sync value for Netflix and then revert back for other apps.
Try watching a video on Netflix after making these adjustments to see if the issue is resolved. If you still find the audio and video to be out of sync, there are additional troubleshooting steps to consider, which we will cover next.
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3. Restart and update your streaming device
Occasionally, audio and video sync issues can be resolved by simply restarting your streaming device. This can clear temporary glitches that may be affecting playback.
Power cycle your device
- Turn off your streaming device completely. If you’re using a smart TV, make sure to turn it off as well.
- Unplug the device from the power source.
- Wait for about 1 minute. This step ensures that all the power is drained and the device’s temporary memory is cleared.
- Plug the device back in and turn it on.
Check for updates
After a restart, it’s also a good idea to check if your device has any pending updates that could resolve known issues.
- Navigate to the “Settings” or “System” menu on your device.
- Look for an option that says “System Update,” “Software Update,” or something similar.
- If an update is available, follow the prompts to download and install the latest firmware version.
It’s important to keep your devices updated since updates often contain bug fixes and improvements that can resolve existing issues.
Update Netflix app
Make sure the Netflix app itself is up-to-date:
- Go to the app store on your device.
- Search for Netflix and see if there is an “Update” button available.
- If there is, select it to install the latest version of the Netflix app.
After performing these steps, try streaming again to see if the audio and video are now in sync. If the problem persists, we’ll move on to additional solutions that may help.
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4. Alter audio format settings
If the problem continues, the audio format or stream could be the culprit, particularly if the issue is with certain titles or when using surround sound settings like Dolby Digital 5.1. Switching to a different audio stream can sometimes fix sync issues.
Steps to change audio stream on Netflix:
- Begin playing the title on Netflix that you are having issues with.
- Pause the video and navigate to the “Audio and subtitles” menu.
- Look for the audio section and select a different audio track, preferably “English” or “Stereo” instead of “English 5.1” if you’re experiencing sync issues on an English audio track.
Here’s why this might help:
- The standard stereo track may be more in sync with the video than the 5.1 surround sound track.
- Changing to a different language track can sometimes inadvertently re-sync the audio for the original language.
Considerations for audio equipment:
If you’re using a soundbar or external audio receiver, the processing of surround sound can sometimes introduce a delay. Switching to a stereo output, while not ideal for audio quality, can be a useful diagnostic step to check if the problem is with the surround processing.
Audio settings on your device:
Additionally, look into your device’s sound settings:
- Navigate to “Settings” and select “Sound” or “Audio.”
- If your device is set to output audio as Dolby Digital 5.1 or similar, try changing it to a “PCM” or “Stereo” output format.
- Save the settings and test the audio sync on Netflix again.
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5. Check your network speed and streaming device
Audio and video sync issues, though very rare, can sometimes be related to network performance problems. Slow or unstable internet connections can disrupt the stream, leading to desynchronization. Additionally, the capabilities of your streaming device can also impact playback quality.
To address network and device-related issues:
- Test your internet speed using an online speed test tool to ensure your connection is fast and stable enough for streaming high-quality video.
- Netflix recommends a minimum speed of 5 Mbps for HD quality and 25 Mbps for Ultra HD quality.
- Restart your router and modem to refresh your internet connection. This can resolve temporary connectivity issues that may be causing the sync problem.
- Close other applications or devices using the network to free up bandwidth for Netflix.
- If you are using WiFi, try to move closer to your router or use a wired Ethernet connection to improve signal strength and stability.
- Check for updates for your streaming device’s firmware or operating system and install them if available.
- If your device is older, it may struggle with high-definition streams. Consider lowering the streaming quality in Netflix’s settings or upgrading to a newer streaming device. To lower the streaming quality on Netflix:
- Go to your Account page on a web browser.
- Select “Playback settings” under your profile.
- Choose a lower data usage option that will reduce the video quality accordingly.
- Save your changes.
- Finally, if you’re streaming through a Smart TV app, check if other apps are experiencing similar issues. If so, there may be a broader issue with your Smart TV that needs to be addressed.
It’s essential to remember that some issues, particularly with specific titles or devices, may be out of your control and require intervention from Netflix’s support team. Also, keep in mind that each TV, streaming device, or computer setup may require a different approach—what works for one might not work for another. Therefore, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the specific settings and capabilities of your own setup.
If you’ve gone through updating your app, checking your network, and adjusting your audio settings without success, it’s possible that the issue might be unique to your device. This could mean going into the audio settings of your Smart TV, tinkering with the developer options on your streaming device, or updating your computer’s sound drivers.
Each solution presented in this article serves as a starting point. If adjustments to one device resolve the issue, make a note of it for future reference. Conversely, if a solution doesn’t apply to your setup, it might be worth exploring forums like Reddit and consulting support resources specific to your device’s brand or model.