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21-24 Mbps not enough bandwidth to stream On Demand!?!


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#51 OFFLINE   raott

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 07:32 AM

I guess a good question might be can you watch Zero Dark Thirty now?

I just checked my "watch now" of it and had no problems. It streams down at 7+ Mb/s

 

I finally retested this.  No issues.  Download zipped along at a 3-4 / 1 minute ratio.  Don't know what was going on that particular night.  I just know it wasn't my end because I did stream two movies at the same time off Vudu right after I quit the Directv download.  


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#52 OFFLINE   itzme

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 07:59 AM

I finally retested this.  No issues.  Download zipped along at a 3-4 / 1 minute ratio.  Don't know what was going on that particular night.  I just know it wasn't my end because I did stream two movies at the same time off Vudu right after I quit the Directv download.  

 

My theory is 'that particular night' was a time when the DTVs servers were throttled down to a slower speed, for whatever reason.  I have the same occasional issues with Netflix.  That all supports my theory that DirecTV (and Netflix) control higher or lower download speeds to us as a function of their own algorithm, which I'd think is a function of overall usage of the servers in question, by other users as well.  So speed is a shot in the dark for the user.



#53 OFFLINE   dennisj00

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 08:13 AM

Something changed in the last week or so. . . I've been catching up on 'Shameless' (Showtime) and had no problem with watch now. In the last couple of weeks it's been at least a 2 hour download. I just started a download, I'll post later what it really took. 15/5 here.

Edit: 41% at 30minutes, so it's a little less than 1:1. A little better than last week. Router reports 4.5-5 Mbps

Edit2: 82% at 60 minutes. Pretty linear.

Edit3: 100% at 75 minutes.

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#54 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 09:04 AM

I don't want to sound like the "great defender" of DirecTV On Demand, as I don't own stock in the company.

 

I read these posts/threads and have had the same problem.

Once I changed my ISP, 5-6 years ago, I haven't had one problem with On Demand.

With 6 Mb/s service HD wasn't always 1:1 and mostly 1:1.5 [for every min of program it took a min & a half].

With 12 Mb/s service HD is mostly "watch now", though I've had a few buffer messages that I clear and continue without problems.

I did find one HD program recently that I couldn't watch now, so I downloaded it and it took twice as long.

Like most, I thought it was a DirecTV problem. I checked out the bit-rate of the program and found it to be 14-16 Mb/s, so there wasn't any problem on the DirecTV side as it was coming through at 7 Mb/s.

Not having a connection faster than 11ish Mb/s, I can't tell if DirecTV ever goes any higher.

 

It just seems 99% of the time it isn't DirecTV that's the problem.

Sure anyone can have a server problem, so that's the 1% and maybe if the program is "hot" everyone is trying to watch it at the same time. 


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#55 OFFLINE   grecorj

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 09:45 AM

I finally retested this.  No issues.  Download zipped along at a 3-4 / 1 minute ratio.  Don't know what was going on that particular night.  I just know it wasn't my end because I did stream two movies at the same time off Vudu right after I quit the Directv download.  

 

I had an issue with same movie on same night.  I think it must have been issue on their end.

 

I am surprised this title wasn't "pre-downloaded" to my Genie -- I thought most new releases were?


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#56 OFFLINE   grecorj

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 09:51 AM

I don't want to sound like the "great defender" of DirecTV On Demand, as I don't own stock in the company.

 

I read these posts/threads and have had the same problem.

Once I changed my ISP, 5-6 years ago, I haven't had one problem with On Demand.

With 6 Mb/s service HD wasn't always 1:1 and mostly 1:1.5 [for every min of program it took a min & a half].

With 12 Mb/s service HD is mostly "watch now", though I've had a few buffer messages that I clear and continue without problems.

I did find one HD program recently that I couldn't watch now, so I downloaded it and it took twice as long.

Like most, I thought it was a DirecTV problem. I checked out the bit-rate of the program and found it to be 14-16 Mb/s, so there wasn't any problem on the DirecTV side as it was coming through at 7 Mb/s.

Not having a connection faster than 11ish Mb/s, I can't tell if DirecTV ever goes any higher.

 

It just seems 99% of the time it isn't DirecTV that's the problem.

Sure anyone can have a server problem, so that's the 1% and maybe if the program is "hot" everyone is trying to watch it at the same time. 

 

Since moving from 5mbps DSL to Cable 15mbps I have had almost zero issues as well (with all streaming services -- Netflix, Amazon, VUDU -- not just DTV). 

 

I thought most new releases were "pre-downloaded" to your DVR? 

 

I had tried to watch Zero Dark Thirty on same night and it took > 6 hours (at least) to DL the movie.  My internet speeds were w/in expected range that night.  My only conclusion is that there was issue on DTV end.  Even with higher encoding rate, shouldn't take 6+ hours for 2 hour movie.


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#57 OFFLINE   sigma1914

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 09:52 AM



completly not an internet issue on the download side, game of thrones takes about 5 hours to download form hbo on demand. ive had 100mb and not have 25 mb down here. Its all on the other end for server upload speed.

 

 



Once again I wonder where you get this.

I read this and went to my Genie, pulled up Game Of Thrones and clicked on "watch now". It started right up and after 5 mins had 5 mins showing in my playlist.

Just tried the most recent episode of GoT... selected Watch Now, it began loading, started playing and at 5 minutes in was at 5 minutes on the progress bar.

 

My very disproportionate speed tests...

5942.png

2662356643.png


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#58 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 10:01 AM

I had tried to watch Zero Dark Thirty on same night and it took > 6 hours (at least) to DL the movie.  My internet speeds were w/in expected range that night.  My only conclusion is that there was issue on DTV end.  Even with higher encoding rate, shouldn't take 6+ hours for 2 hour movie.

I agree and am not trying to suggest everything is perfect. Any server can get swamped. 


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#59 OFFLINE   dennisj00

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 10:25 AM

Re: My post above "Shameless" downloaded this morning at 10:10

41% at 30minutes, so it's a little less than 1:1. A little better than last week. Router reports 4.5-5 Mbps

82% at 60 minutes. Pretty linear.

100% at 75 minutes.

Everyone needs to remember that the speedtests typically default to a nearby server (particularly speedtest.net). While you can change that location, I doubt the destination server is serving up video streams to hundreds of users.

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#60 OFFLINE   raott

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 10:40 AM

I had an issue with same movie on same night.  I think it must have been issue on their end.

 

I am surprised this title wasn't "pre-downloaded" to my Genie -- I thought most new releases were?

 

I was surprised that this one wasn't preloaded as well.  I think it had been out a couple of weeks, maybe that is why.

 

Anyway, I'm just going to attribute the issue to a one-off technical issue.

 

But I will add, if it was a server load issue, it is something that Directv needs to correct in the future.  Why would I bother with Directv's PPV if I cannot count on it always working, especially when the alternatives ie Vudu, Amazon, Apple are usually $1 cheaper and, in my experience, never have issues?


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#61 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 10:46 AM

Re: My post above "Shameless" downloaded this morning at 10:10

41% at 30minutes, so it's a little less than 1:1. A little better than last week. Router reports 4.5-5 Mbps

82% at 60 minutes. Pretty linear.

100% at 75 minutes.

Everyone needs to remember that the speedtests typically default to a nearby server (particularly speedtest.net). While you can change that location, I doubt the destination server is serving up video streams to hundreds of users.

You bring up a good point.

 

I read your post and checked Shameless and had 1:1.

 

Here are a few Speedtest results:

 

2662471181.png

2662474921.png

2662479383.png

 

Not every server/location will give the same results.


A.K.A VOS

#62 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 10:49 AM

But I will add, if it was a server load issue, it is something that Directv needs to correct in the future.  Why would I bother with Directv's PPV if I cannot count on it always working, especially when the alternatives ie Vudu, Amazon, Apple are usually $1 cheaper and, in my experience, never have issues?

What are the bit-rates of those alternatives?

"Most" streaming services scale the bit-rates [down] for streaming, which DirecTV doesn't.


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#63 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 12:45 PM

Does anyone know what Directv's streaming architecture is like? Is everything streamed from their LA office or do they have a distributed system using Akamai or similar? If no one knows for sure, we could find out via people who live in various places around the country streaming something from them and checking the NAT table on their router to see where the endpoint of the connection is.

 

If everything goes through LA, then people on the east coast are always going to have more problems than people who live closer to LA - unless they have a mirror datacenter out east, in which case the people who live in the central US are most likely to have problems. The further you are from the server you're streaming from, the more chance there is of a problem along the path. Latency doesn't matter for streaming, but larger latency does magnify the effect of any dropped packets.

 

If everyone is having problems all at the same time no matter where they are located, for instance if a bunch of people all report problems streaming from Directv at 11 PM EDT this Friday, then we can conclude it is a problem on Directv's end, which they can fix by adding more servers and/or more bandwidth to the outside.

 

When you read about Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft continually building big datacenters in various places around the country and around the world, a lot of it is for this reason - get their content closer to the customer. Directv can't afford to do something like that, so they'd likely use a content delivery network like Akamai or Level3.


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#64 OFFLINE   dennisj00

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 12:47 PM

Either the planets are aligned better or something got fixed. Just started another download and with the progress bar at :03 the load is already at the first tick ~15.


Edit: Finished 1 hour download at 0:20.

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#65 OFFLINE   cypherx

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 12:55 PM

Does anyone know what Directv's streaming architecture is like? Is everything streamed from their LA office or do they have a distributed system using Akamai or similar? If no one knows for sure, we could find out via people who live in various places around the country streaming something from them and checking the NAT table on their router to see where the endpoint of the connection is.

 

 

I'm not 100% sure about VoD, but on the iPad app using fiddler2 as a proxy to try to see how streaming works (like why does it only work wihtin the home)... the IP's it connects to belong to Limelight Networks.  It's been awhile since I analyzed it so maybe if I get time I'll try again.  Will have to see if I can put a proxy server in the HR24's advanced network setup.

 

It would make more sense for DirecTV to lease a CDN and use the distributed archetecture and expertise of a media streaming content delivery provider.  Hosting everything in one or two data centers isn't just bad for speed, but redundancy as well.

 

It's about 1:1 download here too.  That would likely be the MINIMUM requirement for VOD, but if you want any forward trick play, 2:1 would be a better start.


Edited by cypherx, 22 April 2013 - 12:57 PM.

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#66 OFFLINE   SomeRandomIdiot

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 12:56 PM

Every time I try to watch an On Demand HD movie I get a message saying my download speed isn't fast enough to stream and do I want to just download the movie for later viewing. How much bandwidth do you need to stream? I can download a movie by bit torrent in less time than it takes to download an On Demand movie. How many people even have 21 Mbps? If that ain't enough, then very few people can watch streaming On Demand.

 

Your thoughts, please.

 

After your post, I plugged a HR34 into a 10Mbps cable modem backup isp connection (that does NOT exceed 10Mbps) and watched a Showtime HD OnDemand program (channel 1545) with no issues whatsoever. As thus, to answer your original question, 21-24 Mbps is plenty of bandwidth for OnDemand viewing.

 

Obviously, if you or a family member is running a bunch of torrents (or perhaps your neighborhood is bandwidth starved), those could be killing your speed. But regardless, that is not a problem on D*'s end.



#67 OFFLINE   SomeRandomIdiot

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 01:03 PM

 

Like most, I thought it was a DirecTV problem. I checked out the bit-rate of the program and found it to be 14-16 Mb/s

 

 

 

How does one check this without direct access to the recorded program on the hard drive moved over to a computer?



#68 OFFLINE   cypherx

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 01:05 PM

How does one check this without direct access to the recorded program on the hard drive moved over to a computer?

 

Setup a proxy or actually a lot of routers (or even ones loaded with dd-wrt or tomato) can graph in realtime bandwidth usage.


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#69 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 01:17 PM

How does one check this without direct access to the recorded program on the hard drive moved over to a computer?

 

 

Setup a proxy or actually a lot of routers (or even ones loaded with dd-wrt or tomato) can graph in realtime bandwidth usage.

 

This was how I did it. Monitoring port activity while either downloading and/or streaming a recording with DirecTV2PC can give a good idea of the bit-rates. 


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#70 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 01:23 PM

Does anyone know what Directv's streaming architecture is like? Is everything streamed from their LA office or do they have a distributed system using Akamai or similar? If no one knows for sure, we could find out via people who live in various places around the country streaming something from them and checking the NAT table on their router to see where the endpoint of the connection is.

 

As of last summer at least, everything was stored by DirecTV themselves.



#71 OFFLINE   SomeRandomIdiot

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 02:54 PM

This was how I did it. Monitoring port activity while either downloading and/or streaming a recording with DirecTV2PC can give a good idea of the bit-rates. 

 

I know for a fact the bitrate for the majority of VOD providers is lower than what one sees on their linear distribution channels. So, for example, if Starz had a max of 14.0 Mbps on their linear distribution, the VOD has a bitrate lower than 14.0Mbps.  As thus, the 14Mbps-16Mbps bitrate in the original post is somewhat of a head scratcher, which is why I asked how you were measuring it. Clearly there is some overhead being created if you are seeing 14Mbps-16Mbps on a router - as opposed to the pure stream.



#72 OFFLINE   machavez00

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 03:40 PM

This is what I get from both BBR and Speed test.  I got the "play now" error message one time.

 

2663077356.png

 

 

32850.png


Edited by machavez00, 22 April 2013 - 03:40 PM.


#73 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 03:49 PM

I know for a fact the bitrate for the majority of VOD providers is lower than what one sees on their linear distribution channels. So, for example, if Starz had a max of 14.0 Mbps on their linear distribution, the VOD has a bitrate lower than 14.0Mbps.  As thus, the 14Mbps-16Mbps bitrate in the original post is somewhat of a head scratcher, which is why I asked how you were measuring it. Clearly there is some overhead being created if you are seeing 14Mbps-16Mbps on a router - as opposed to the pure stream.

This was a concert off of the audience channel.

As I said, it downloaded at about 7 Mb/s, which took twice as long as the recording time. Streaming it to my PC showed both ports [from the DVR and to the PC] were very close and in the 14+ Mb/s range, with samples being about a min between updates, which tends to give a better result for MPEG-4 and the bit-rates vary so much.

I've checked some Starz programs as I'd stacked several to record and their times were faster than 1:1 for HD. These showed bit-rates in the 5 Mb/s range.  


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#74 OFFLINE   raott

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 04:06 PM

What are the bit-rates of those alternatives?

"Most" streaming services scale the bit-rates [down] for streaming, which DirecTV doesn't.

 

Don't know the bit rates and don't really care.  The picture looks good and streams instantly, that is my primary concern.


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#75 OFFLINE   cypherx

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 06:38 PM

I watched curb your enthusiasm via HBOGo on Xbox 360. I didn't realize HBOGo now carries 5.1 surround sound now. When it first came out it didn't. Anyway, I think the Xbox started the playback faster then the HR24. Though the picture was pretty good, it was a little softer on Xbox compared to the HR24. Trick play is much easier to accomplish on the Xbox. So is finding content and the smooth, rich fluid graphics on the Xbox.

I can tell the Xbox is adaptive streaming. A few instances the picture softened up as if there was bandwidth degradation. However it never skipped or stopped playing at all. It's all a trade off.
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