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On Demand - Download Slow...Tech Question

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by thekochs, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. thekochs

    thekochs DirecTV 10yr+ Customer

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    Oct 7, 2006
    OK...fairly techy and first time I have ever used VOD/PPV from DirecTV.
    First, I have Comcast 12Mbps data package (runs @ 20Mbps) thru a DLink GigE DIR655 router. My DirectTV HR23s are wired to this (have WholeHome/DECA) as well as a small HTPC hooked to my 63" TV via HDMI.

    I've been trying a bunch of angles on how I want to get VOD for the family....I currently have $5/month Blockbuster 2-per month movie thru mail rental but wanted to supplement with a streaming/VOD service. Thus, with the small HTPC hooked to my 63" TV that I loaded NetFlix on for free trial only to find out that while the $7/month for streaming is great price they don't have squat for movies. I then went to BlockBuster On Demand and loaded their "player" on this HTPC and found out they limit their download rate. So, even a SD 2hour+ movie when they scaled to 1Mbps down to 500Kbps was going to take hours to download....note, even though I have this wired I don't like streaming since there is always a glitch here and there.
    So, anyway I decided to dump this BlockBuster On Demand effort and try for first time DirectTV VOD. I selected "Mr Poppers Penguns" (FastLoad, not 1080P) and started the download and literally after 1.5hrs it was only 20% download. Now, I know these #s aren't exact but assuming 2hr movie with H.264 is how large ?.....maybe 3GB+ ? This morning it was downloaded but assuming it took 6hours to download that is ~500MBytes an hour...which means only 8MBytes minute, or ~130Kbps ?.....really ? :confused:
    Like I sai,d I have Comcast data service and it is a screamer for sure and this just doesn't seem right.

    Also, what is FastLoad vs 1080P in resolution ?

    To be honest, the DirecTV prices are fairly high per movie....only way I'd pay is for connvenience versus the Blockbuster $5/month mail account I have. With the above download I don't see any "convenience" in this and won't use going forward.

    Thx.
     
  2. F1 Fan

    F1 Fan Icon

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    Aug 28, 2007
    There are so many things to consider when you stream or download items over the internet. Could be a bottleneck anywhere. Even Directv servers could be the bottleneck (maybe maintenance going on). So it would take more than one movie (try downloading some free On Demand to test it).

    Also just because you have high download speeds - providers often throttle certain types of downloads, especially from competing services and providers.

    When you do these downloads, do you also run a speed test from a pc on your network to check speeds. Cable by its design, it more likely to slow down as more people in your neighborhood get on it.

    Have you also tried Amazon (lots of free in Amazon Prime for $80 per year with 30 day free trial) and VUDU - lots of HD movies there.
     
  3. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    You've posted a number of things that are true.
    I once had a cable modem and the provider seriously choked DirecTV VOD.
    Changing over to DSL "resolved" my problem.
    "Some data points": The DirecTV servers seem to cap at around 7 Mb/s, from what I've read [I only have 6 Mb/s service], and the bite rat of HD VOD is the same as from the SAT feed, so these are going to be higher than other providers, as one hour of HD is about 3.6 Gigabytes.
     
  4. thekochs

    thekochs DirecTV 10yr+ Customer

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    I had AT&T DSL and is was SOOOOOO bad that AT&T told our entire neighborhood to move to Comcast. This was the old BellSouth stuff and it crashed daily and at best was 1Mbps download rates. Anyway, all my neighbors and me switch to Comcast for data & voice. I now pay half of what I did with AT&T for DSL and home/LD phone and get 20Mbps down and 3Mbps up. Per the above from F1 Fan I did go to other PC while this download was going on and could get almost my 20Mbps.

    I'm like you....I figured this would take ~hour or less and after 5-10 minutes myself and my family could start watching the movie......but 7hrs....wow. Also, not sure what it means but the progress bar was RED during the download.

    Any ideas ?
    I assume this is downloaded from Internet not thru the Sat ?
    What is FastLoad rez version vs 1080P (I assume 1920x1080x??Bit Rate) ?...the FastLoad is what I selected when asked prior to download.
    I've done alot in my router (DLink DIR655) but never tried to look at some QoS for this type of download.....as FYI...I have my three HR23s set as static IP.

    Thx.

    UPDATE:
    Don't think it is me......but these guys at least talk about 3Mb.....mine seems in the Kbps levels.....VOS, any way to know what the download rate is ?
    http://forums.directv.com/pe/action/forums/displaypost?postID=10462940
    http://www.dbstalk.com/showthread.php?t=135915
    http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r26511280-DIRECTV-VOD-Slow-downloads
     
  5. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I wasn't trying to promote DSL, but instead point out how a provider can be a problem.
    I haven't tried/checked "FastLoad". HD takes about 1.5 times longer for me than the program length. Red indicates there isn't enough downloaded for you not to run out of it, if you start watching. This changes to yellow and finally green.
    Seven hours just "ain't right", no matter how you cut it.
    Doing a speed test during a download "should show" a drop in your speed as the VOD is taking up some of your bandwidth. [it has here].
    I'm not the best to discuss cable modem service for a couple of reasons, 1) I used to work at a place that made the hardware, 2) this knowledge wasn't appreciated by my cable provider because I could see the crap that they were trying to pull off on their system that was incredibly overloaded. I worked with them for a couple of years trying to get my service "close to" working, but the only things they did was to tweak their system to have speedtest report full service, and yet an SD VOD last took over 20 hours on a 3 Mb/s connection.
     
  6. hilmar2k

    hilmar2k Hall Of Fame

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    For comparison sake, I also have Comcast, and I can download HD programming at faster than real time (generally). I usually only have to wait 30-90 seconds before playing.

    There have been times, however, that it takes way longer to download. I think the bottleneck, for me, is on the DIRECTV side.
     
  7. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I'd be interested in how fast "faster than real time" really is. Since my connection can't, I have to rely on others for how fast the DirecTV servers can download.
     
  8. thekochs

    thekochs DirecTV 10yr+ Customer

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    So how do I snoop what the download speed is when doing the VOD from DirecTV ? On NetFlix or Blockbuster they showed the rate in their app. I can look into my router to see if there is something that shows the network usage against the static IP or MAC address of the HR23.....or is there something on other PC on my network I could run to see usage going on ?

    As you said......"hours" is just not right..........
     
  9. hilmar2k

    hilmar2k Hall Of Fame

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    On average, I would say between 10-25% faster. I'll download something tonight when I get home and time it.
     
  10. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    There are several/many ones out there.
    I have used speedtest & speakeasy from my PC. Run the test before and during the download "should show" the delta of what VOD is using of your bandwidth.
     
  11. F1 Fan

    F1 Fan Icon

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    Aug 28, 2007
    To stream a "live" HD movie you need at least 3Mbps download and even then it is hit n miss.

    Just because you have a 20Mbps speedtest means your internet connection is good but does not mean that they are not strangling the download. Also because 1 comcast doesnt, doesnt meant they all dont.

    I am not saying it is them, but it is a distinct possibility. On Demand comes over the internet not the satellite (as I saw you asked that too).

    When you take specific content types over the internet they come over specific protocols. e.g. HTTP, FTP, SIP, etc.

    And cable works by sharing the "line" with all your neighbors. DSL gives you a line each.

    The cable has a finite bandwidth. So as more of you start using it then you all use up the bandwidth and so get a smaller share each. The bandwidth is the same both ways. So as you have a smaller upload than download you know they are already strangling you.

    They can give you these high download speeds because they oversell the bandwidth (just as airlines oversell their seats on a flight). They know you wont be using it continuously (most people use it for email and web pages).

    So they had problems when new services such as HD streaming came out. Lets say 10 of you and your neighbors all start to download On Demand 1080p at the same time. Suddenly the whole speed drops (not just your On Demand) and you complain. So they strangle content that could cause these problems.

    This is the crux of the Net Neutrality bill.

    As for your situation. If it was Directv servers, then over time you would have fast downloads and slower downloads. So you should see some differences over time. If it is anything else (router firewalls doing packet inspections?" then you will a constant slowness.
     
  12. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    I'm in agreement with most of this, but I'll say:

    Live HD takes at least a consistent 6MB/sec stream, meaning that you really need about 10MB/sec to make sure you're not interrupted.

    DSL "kind of" gives you a line each but really cable, fiber and DSL are equally affected by decisions from the provider to oversell the switch capacity.

    All internet has a finite bandwidth, generally dictated by the switch into which all the trafffic goes.
     
  13. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    The world shares bandwidth, and there is no way around it.

    Now this all comes down to [really] how well your provider manages their system.

    My cable was over sold by a factor of TEN, as there were over 500 customers on the same node!
    It took them several years to finally split the node.
    While DSL doesn't share the copper line to the home, it does share the fiber from the B box back to the office. If too many customers are connected at the B box, then the same thing as with a node being overloaded on cable.

    I'm sure at some point the provider's ATM connection(s) can also be a choke point if they don't have enough.
     
  14. thekochs

    thekochs DirecTV 10yr+ Customer

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    Oct 7, 2006
    Thx.....think what I'll do is go into VOD and try some FREE programs and see how the download looks. Also,when I selected the movie it asked if I wanted 1080P version or "FastLoad" version. I assume the latter is something less than 1920x1080 encoded H.264 version.....what rez is it ? I ask because i'm only running 720P to my TVs since all are connected to Component Video switch....and the TVs are all 1368x768....thus, the 720P is kinda my trade-off/common ground.

    I was hoping there was some util or DOS command like NetStat that I could run on a PC and see realtime network stats of basically IP/MAC address usage. When you run internet speed tests there is too much variability to do a real compate and derive a #.

    Bottom line, should not be taking 7+hours......sub hour is what I'm getting out of this thread. Plus, since my progress bar was RED until 20% I assume that means the download speed was so slow that the software did not think I could run/watch and it keep up.....just a guess.

    Any other thoughts welcome....thx !
     
  15. thekochs

    thekochs DirecTV 10yr+ Customer

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  16. TBoneit

    TBoneit Hall Of Fame

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    Around where I am 20Mbs is slow. Boost Plus is around 50Mbs and at home I run the 101Mbs speed cable internet.

    Everybody in the house can be busy sucking away at the internet doing VOD etc. and it's still all good.

    Around here Comcast does not have a good reputation due to previous throttling issues. And the fact that their Unlimited Internet has limits. Fios has a good reputation too.
    YMMV
     
  17. thekochs

    thekochs DirecTV 10yr+ Customer

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    Oct 7, 2006
    Well, I went from AT&T (BellSouth) 1.3Mbps DSL that was very flaky to Comcast 12Mbps service that shows 20Mbps speedtest/wired rate. My Broadband+Telco bill went from $100/month down to $45/month.....so I've been thrilled. I have 11yr and 9yr old kids and they have PCs, two Nintendo DS, now two iTouch, msyelf/wife have iPhones & PCs, one iPad, (3) HR23s....total about 22 devices in the home.....could not believe it when I counted them up...wow ! Would love higher data rates but outside VOD I think the bang-for-buck of what I have is good.....Comcast offers high levels and I did buy a DOCSIS3 modem (TM722A) for those 155Mbps :D futures.

    Anyway, I did some reading and the only way to really see network traffic is from the router and those are usually expensive routers our "tomato" firmware which my DLink DIR655 does not support. So, I did a sanity check I went to this website and did some downloads.
    http://www.thinkbroadband.com/download.html
    Looks like I run "over time" about 8Mbps+....at least from this site.
    My next check will be to try some FREE DirecTV VOD downloads and time them...however, been doing some reading and funny how the articles talk about Comcast throttling competitors sites and not to be paranoid but I saw the Blockbuster rate start @ ~3Mbps then drop to 500Kbps. From my calcs on the thread start the DirectTV movie was down in those rates based on time. Anyway, I'll do some more testing. I for sure don't see this...............
    What is PowerBoost?
    PowerBoost is a patent-pending Comcast network technology that enables you to experience faster connection speeds while you are downloading and uploading large files to the Internet. PowerBoost leverages an additional capacity that is already built into Comcast's advanced network.

    How long does the PowerBoost burst last?
    PowerBoost provides bursts for the first 20 MB downloading and the first 10 MB uploading of a file respectively on Comcast's 6Mbps, 8Mbps, 12Mbps, 16Mbps or *22Mbps High-Speed Internet services.


    As FYI...I did see a note from the Moderator on this DBSTalk thread that DirecTV caps its download to 3Mb...not sure how accurate that is ?
    http://www.dbstalk.com/showthread.php?t=135915
     
  18. Xsabresx

    Xsabresx Icon

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    I gave up on VOD because they download so slow. Just happened to speedtest my line last night and it came in at 28Mb/s. I would be surprised if my ISP is throttling VOD. They arent throttling anything else (from Netflix to online gaming to torrents). VOD is pretty much useless to me.
     
  19. bluemoon737

    bluemoon737 Godfather

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    Portsmouth, NH
    Yes, it is DirecTV...their HD D/L times are ridiculous. I have FiOS internet service 30M down 15M up (and routinely checks with the various speed test sites) and can never watch anywhere near "real time" for any HD VOD programming.:nono2:
     
  20. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I didn't have anything more than 3 Mb/s back in '08, which is the date of that thread, "but" my AT&T 6 Mb/s service, that tested 5 Mb/s, would download @ 5 Mb/s, so something has changed, or that wasn't correct at the time.
     

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