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ADSL speed fine, but video calls don't work (and one other weird bug)

jim0203
Hooked
Posts: 6
Registered: 18-03-2016

ADSL speed fine, but video calls don't work (and one other weird bug)

I've used Plusnet for quite some time, and in general have been happy with the service. The download speed is pretty good, and the upload speed is fine, too. I use it for Netflix and Amazon Prime video and find it fine for both.
However, video calling -- whether on Google Hangouts or Skype -- just isn't good enough on my Plusnet connection. Video calls connect, but are completely unusable with video turned on. If I switch video off then audio-only calls are sometimes okay, but it's very often the case that even audio calls are unusable. I have a subscription to BT's Wifi service, which lets me log on to other people's routers if they have shared their connection. If I log on to my neighbour's wifi in this way, video calling is absolutely fine.
There's one other weird bug on my Plusnet connection: sometimes, if I try to do a Google search by typing search terms directly into the Chrome address bar, Chrome tries for a hell of a long time to connect to Google but then gives up. However, almost as soon as it's given up and displayed an error message, it then connects to Google successfully and performs the search.
As I've said, when I check my download and upload speeds they seem to be fine, and streaming video via Netflix etc works fine. I'm using the router that Plusnet provided (Thomson Technicolor) and haven't changed any of the settings on it. What should I try in order to troubleshoot this?
Any idea how I can go about troubleshooting this?
6 REPLIES
jim0203
Hooked
Posts: 6
Registered: 18-03-2016

Re: ADSL speed fine, but video calls don't work (and one other weird bug)

Community Veteran
Posts: 5,472
Thanks: 292
Fixes: 4
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: ADSL speed fine, but video calls don't work (and one other weird bug)

Quote from: jim0203
If I switch video off then audio-only calls are sometimes okay, but it's very often the case that even audio calls are unusable

Can you clarify this point -
Are you saying that if you start a video+audio call and then switch off the video, that the remaining audio is unusable,
or are you saying that if you start an audio only call, then that alone is useless.

I'm wondering if you have some weird upstream bufferbloat problem.
Can you run this speed test - DSLReports - speed test
and click on the [DSL] tab to start the test.
Once the test has run, it should give you a grading for "BufferBloat", "Quality", and "Speed".
I would be interested to see what those gradings are for your connection.
If you get a poor "BufferBloat" score, then your connection may have difficulty sustaining real time traffic, such as video calling.
jim0203
Hooked
Posts: 6
Registered: 18-03-2016

Re: ADSL speed fine, but video calls don't work (and one other weird bug)

Ha Nabiru, thanks for getting back to me.
To clarify, I'm saying that video calls are *always* unusable. Sometimes if I'm on a video call and I turn the video off, the remaining audio *is* usable. I've never tried an audio-only call.
Test results:
<a href="http://www.dslreports.com/speedtest/3404514">
<img src="http://www.dslreports.com/speedtest/3404514.png"></a>
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,472
Thanks: 292
Fixes: 4
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: ADSL speed fine, but video calls don't work (and one other weird bug)

So, it's not BufferBloat then  Smiley
With the video calling programs you use, do you have any control over the quality of the video you are sending, i.e. can you reduce the resolution, the colour depth, or choose video codecs with higher compression so as to reduce the transmitted bandwidth ?.
jim0203
Hooked
Posts: 6
Registered: 18-03-2016

Re: ADSL speed fine, but video calls don't work (and one other weird bug)

Cool, thanks for eliminating that possibility Smiley
Yes, I can control the video quality (and I will do on the call I'm on tomorrow night, as a test). But when I'm on other regular home broadband connections I don't have to, so I guess this is something I should take up directly with Plusnet?
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,472
Thanks: 292
Fixes: 4
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: ADSL speed fine, but video calls don't work (and one other weird bug)

Quote from: jim0203
I guess this is something I should take up directly with Plusnet?

You can try, but I would predict that you will be told that they can't help and that you should ask for suggestions from this forum  Roll eyes

Quote from: jim0203
I can control the video quality (and I will do on the call I'm on tomorrow night, as a test).

Let us know how you get on with different video quality settings.