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Guest Message by DevFuse

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New customer, VOD glacial download speed


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25 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   kerbo

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 11:13 AM

We just had a new installation a few days ago with an HR34 and H25s. We tried the VOD and found the downloads speeds unacceptable.

The first 1hr episode we downloaded but was slow but it completed. The second episode stalled at 72% after 12hrs. We had other episodes stacked up so we deleted the stalled episode and one of the other episodes started downloading. Now its at 84% after 14hrs.

I checked our internet speed from a PC and getting 12-20mps. I then called Direct and they walked me through doing an internet test on the HR34. The test passed. They kept saying it was an internet issue but I said our internet speed is great, in fact, even at the slowest speeds, a 1hr HD program should download in 12hrs. I asked if there were any issues on their end. They said no.

At this point, the best they can do is send out a technician.

Some questions:

1. Is this a known problem with the HR34?
2. Is there something that needs configuring with my Linksys router that could be causing the problem?
3. Can the HR34 be configured differently?
4. Can the DECA box between my router and the HR34 be bad?

Another possible explanation is COMCAST, my internet provider, is purposely slowing down the connection to Direct.

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#2 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 11:21 AM

The places to look are:
Changes in your router [maybe firmware update] and your ISP.
While you'll never get more than about 8 Mb/s download speed, you should be getting this much quicker than you are.

If you think the DECA to router link is the problem [not unheard of], try a hardwire to your HR34 ethernet port. Only the HR34 can also be used to bridge to your home network and keep the DECA to receivers active. Do remove the BB DECA cable to your router though.
A.K.A VOS

#3 OFFLINE   hilmar2k

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 11:28 AM

Another possible explanation is COMCAST, my internet provider, is purposely slowing down the connection to Direct.


I have Comcast, and can generally download HD content at 1:1 or faster speeds.

What channels are you donwloading content from?

#4 OFFLINE   kerbo

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 12:15 PM

Showtime, specifically the Homeland epsiodes

#5 OFFLINE   hilmar2k

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 12:17 PM

Showtime, specifically the Homeland epsiodes


Try something from another channel. My Showtime downloads are the slowest. Try something from Starz, if you have it.

#6 OFFLINE   kerbo

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 12:47 PM

Yes, I was going to start experimenting with things but was waiting and hoping my episode would complete its download. Its at 92% now. Its doing better than the last download which seem to stall at 72%.

#7 OFFLINE   BosFan

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 12:48 PM

I recently downloaded a Jonny Lang Concert in HD from Audience VOD and it took about 7 hours. I was surprised because I had not had an issue before but I wasn't looking to watch it right then anyway and thought it just may be a glitch of some sort. I'll have to try some others just to test.

Living room: Panasonic VIERA TC-P55ST30, HR23-700, Sony BDP-N460, Yamaha HTR-6140, Harmony 700
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#8 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 12:55 PM

I have a [crappy :lol:] 6 Mb/s U-verse connection and downloads have never taken longer the 1.5 times the length of the HD show.
A.K.A VOS

#9 OFFLINE   Richierich

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 02:18 PM

I recently downloaded a Jonny Lang Concert in HD from Audience VOD and it took about 7 hours. I was surprised because I had not had an issue before but I wasn't looking to watch it right then anyway and thought it just may be a glitch of some sort. I'll have to try some others just to test.


Another Reason why I don't use DOD.

Nothing like having a physical DVD in my hand to ensure I get DD 5.1 and 1080P with my BluRay.
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#10 OFFLINE   camattin

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 07:35 AM

Another Reason why I don't use DOD.

Nothing like having a physical DVD in my hand to ensure I get DD 5.1 and 1080P with my BluRay.


I'm sure the Department of Defense is glad you don't use them. :lol:

#11 OFFLINE   kerbo

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 08:19 AM

The installer came back out in response to my support request and didn't do much other than call Direct technical support and pass the phone to me. They asked the usual questions about internet speed, other network devices etc., and in the end were stumped. The only thing we didn't try was swapping out the HR34. We didn't do that because they don't have any extra boxes laying around. Of course, the Direct techs think the HR34 is working fine.

During one long phone hold, I had this crazy idea to power everything down and bring it back up starting with the cable modem, router, H34 and reconnecting the HR34 to the internet. That fixed the problem...sort of.

Download speeds are still slow but seem to be within the range people have mentioned in this post. A 60 min HD program will download in 1-2 hrs. With my bandwidth, it should be faster, but least its working well enough to actually use the service.

The installer left with no official resolution to the problem. I'm going to give this a few more days before deciding if its ok.

#12 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 08:38 AM

Download speeds are still slow but seem to be within the range people have mentioned in this post. A 60 min HD program will download in 1-2 hrs. With my bandwidth, it should be faster, but least its working well enough to actually use the service.

The installer left with no official resolution to the problem. I'm going to give this a few more days before deciding if its ok.

I kind of feel sorry for the tech who didn't get paid for this.
His [DirecTV's] responsibility ended at your router.
"More than likely" rebooting the modem and router is what made the difference and "the tech support" should have been coming from your ISP.
A.K.A VOS

#13 OFFLINE   jdspencer

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 11:48 AM

I only have a 3Mbps DSL internet connection and downloaded all 12 episodes of Homeland's first season over the course of two days (6 episodes queued up at a time). I have never actually used VOD to be able to watch immediately. Just to get it on the hard drive so I can do a marathon later.
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#14 OFFLINE   ts7

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 09:34 AM

The installer came back out in response to my support request and didn't do much other than call Direct technical support and pass the phone to me. They asked the usual questions about internet speed, other network devices etc., and in the end were stumped. The only thing we didn't try was swapping out the HR34. We didn't do that because they don't have any extra boxes laying around. Of course, the Direct techs think the HR34 is working fine.

During one long phone hold, I had this crazy idea to power everything down and bring it back up starting with the cable modem, router, H34 and reconnecting the HR34 to the internet. That fixed the problem...sort of.

Download speeds are still slow but seem to be within the range people have mentioned in this post. A 60 min HD program will download in 1-2 hrs. With my bandwidth, it should be faster, but least its working well enough to actually use the service.

The installer left with no official resolution to the problem. I'm going to give this a few more days before deciding if its ok.


The problem could still be with Comcast. I have heard the rumors that Comcast is still throttling certain types of content but have not seen it first hand. Comcast also does different things in different markets so who knows. One thing that is pretty consistent though is that you bandwidth and performance is directly affected by other customers on the same segment.

I am positive Comcast use some form QoS on their system that prioritizes traffic. Typically voice (ie phone) would get highest, followed by audio/video, then data. It would stand to reason that Comcast gives their voice and digital tv much higher priority than the standard data stream that would carry VOD from DirecTV or other providers. Comcast is also becoming notorious for oversubscribing their service so too many people sharing the same bandwidth makes lower priority traffic significantly slower. This would explain wildly different download times.

There could also be an issue with the cable feed itself. I was experiencing intermittent problems and Comcast ended up replacing the buried RG6 with RG11 - it made a huge difference.

One general rule of thumb with cable modems - whenever there are service or performance issues reboot the cable modem first. It is amazing how often that resolves the issue!

#15 OFFLINE   raott

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 03:45 PM

Just as a comparison, my ISP speed is suppose to be 20 down. I generally get 17-18 or so.

I am currently downloading Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the (1080p version not the fast download version) 21 minutes in and the download is 20% complete on a 1:45 movie. That is about 1:1 for a 1080p movie, not too bad.
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#16 OFFLINE   kerbo

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 08:53 AM

I don't feel sorry for Direct. No one ever suggested rebooting anything - it was my idea after the techs asked all their questions and did their connectivity checks. I'm only sorry I didn't try the reboot sooner.

What complicated all this is my PCs connected to the router have excellent bandwidth. You would think connecting the HR34 to the same router would be like adding another PC so the expectation is the HR34 should work. That's what the techs were thinking.

#17 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 09:48 AM

I don't feel sorry for Direct. No one ever suggested rebooting anything - it was my idea after the techs asked all their questions and did their connectivity checks. I'm only sorry I didn't try the reboot sooner.

What complicated all this is my PCs connected to the router have excellent bandwidth. You would think connecting the HR34 to the same router would be like adding another PC so the expectation is the HR34 should work. That's what the techs were thinking.

While I too don't feel sorry for DirecTV, I do for the guy that had to come back out for free, to try to fix something that wasn't his responsibility.
A.K.A VOS

#18 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 11:18 AM

Does anyone know if all VODs operate off a level playing field? I can't imagine they operate off the same server, perhaps not even the same server farm, so might there be differences in where/how the content is stored AND delivered? Even to the extent that XYZ files tend to be slowish, and ABC ones pretty quick? And PDQ files may tend to stall?
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#19 OFFLINE   hilmar2k

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 11:24 AM

Does anyone know if all VODs operate off a level playing field? I can't imagine they operate off the same server, perhaps not even the same server farm, so might there be differences in where/how the content is stored AND delivered? Even to the extent that XYZ files tend to be slowish, and ABC ones pretty quick? And PDQ files may tend to stall?


Not so new:

Try something from another channel. My Showtime downloads are the slowest. Try something from Starz, if you have it.



#20 OFFLINE   nashpatrick

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 11:37 AM

I had the same issue. Downloads used to be "green" (20%) within a few minutes. I tried watching a PPV movie and 4 hours later, I was still at less than 20%. I called Directv and they said it was my internet. I explained speed test shows 25mb connection and I verified my deca device was functioning properly. (No stutter for Whole Home DVR either.) Gave up, let it download overnight. Watched the movie and the last 5 min of the movie didn't download. I got an error on screen. I was furious, called Directv and they said would research and call me back. I never got the call. As someone who used to order multiple PPV movies each month, I was upset about the aspect ratio change a few months ago. I started verifying proper aspect ratio before clicking buy. This download issue was the last straw. They've lost my PPV business forever. I'll drive to a Redbox just to know I can see the end of a movie I've paid for.

For the record, everyone I know that uses OnDemand on Directv has started having download speed issues since last month.




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