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BBC I player /Itv player buffering question

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Grafter
Posts: 1,058
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎23-04-2013

BBC I player /Itv player buffering question

Does anyone else see the occasional pause (buffering icon) whilst streaming content from either player ?
For me it will frequently happen just after starting to play  content on BBC iplayer  just after i switch from minimised to full screen as at that point the bandwidth changes from the lower 760kbps or less to the 1500kbps stream,  i have noticed that the pausing  happens on the HD  but is more random the same randomness applies with the ITV player
When i was with BE  i saw similar issues, but upon swapping to vivaciti  the buffering was gone it never buffered , which leads me into thinking  it has something to do with  the CDN bandwidth available,  or how each isp manages those resources  at times when demand is high because peak times do have an impact on how frequent i get the buffering icon and how long the pause is  mostly it's less than 1 second but it has been several seconds ,
7 REPLIES
Moderator Moderator
Posts: 23,456
Thanks: 305
Fixes: 14
Registered: ‎14-04-2007

Re: BBC I player /Itv player buffering question

Have you tried the diagnostics page http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/diagnostics
Grafter
Posts: 1,058
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎23-04-2013

Re: BBC I player /Itv player buffering question

Yes but it  has never shown anything obvious , to me it's no more than a speed test  the bandwidth of my connection isn't the problem it lies between ISP and CDN Provider  and level of resources In particular Akamai CDN tends to give more problems but the max bandwidth on BBC iplayer is 10-12mbps where the limelight CDN is 22-24mbps  so buffers less frequently 
Grafter
Posts: 480
Thanks: 5
Registered: ‎25-09-2011

Re: BBC I player /Itv player buffering question

Yes, I get this all the time. And it continuously jumps between the lower and higher bandwidth versions while watching.
I certainly have a good enough line to watch with no problems. Certainly no such problems downloading large update files, etc.
Occasionally I get the message on iPlayer 'not enough bandwidth' which is bonkers. At this point I just go back to main page and load it again.
I've often wondered if its actually Akamai unable to keep up.
And I've also wondered if there's a connection between this and the constant IP address changes I get (about once a day) which I posted about here a week or so ago. But I don't understand enough about all this to know - just guessing...
Was thinking of downloading iPlayer content instead of streaming and see how that goes.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,959
Thanks: 35
Fixes: 3
Registered: ‎10-06-2010

Re: BBC I player /Itv player buffering question

You can try using different DNS servers, then you should get different IP addresses for the akamai servers.
Some guides for changing DNS settings at at the bottom of this page: http://www.plus.net/support/software/index.shtml
There's Google DNS: 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 or OpenDNS: 208.67.222.222 and 208.67.220.220 as typical DNS servers to use other than Plusnet's own.
Grafter
Posts: 1,058
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎23-04-2013

Re: BBC I player /Itv player buffering question

Been there, done that, DNS server choice, And i try never to use ISP's own DNS as they can often be flaky,  makes no difference, if the akamai CDNS box that plusnet and it would seem Telefonica share along with maybe other big ISP's then we see these issues, I also believe that it is totally random as to which customers will have problems due to which content due the number of others streaming that content or numbers connected to that server, either way the akamai CDN products purchased by some isp's  are run at the max or very near the bandwidth limit that they are paying  for, some of the time
Yesterday I watched two different programs,using  the BBC I player as short program from the coast series, which although didn't buffer it did display breaks in the audio,cdns Akamai  The second was Stacey Dooley investigates :cocaine  capital of the world (Peru) which played flawlessly not once did it buffer and audio was fine too, as said it's random, but the CDNS was limelight not akamai
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,959
Thanks: 35
Fixes: 3
Registered: ‎10-06-2010

Re: BBC I player /Itv player buffering question

I thought which akamai box you end up using depends on which DNS servers you use e.g. if you use plusnet's dns servers:
[tt]traceroute to cp41752.edgefcs.net (23.61.251.22), 30 hops max, 52 byte packets
1  192.168.0.1 (192.168.0.1)  1.985 ms
2  lo0-central10.ptn-ag04.plus.net (195.166.128.193)  24.733 ms
3  link-b-central10.ptn-gw02.plus.net (212.159.2.142)  25.481 ms
4  xe-10-1-0.ptw-cr02.plus.net (212.159.1.46)  24.081 ms
5  ae2.ptw-cr01.plus.net (195.166.129.4)  24.244 ms
6  *
7  a23-61-251-22.deploy.static.akamaitechnologies.com (23.61.251.22)  26.690 ms[/tt]
But if you use a BT DNS server (194.72.6.57):
[tt]traceroute to cp41752.edgefcs.net (92.122.123.199), 30 hops max, 52 byte packets
1  192.168.0.1 (192.168.0.1)  3.866 ms
2  lo0-central10.ptn-ag04.plus.net (195.166.128.193)  25.907 ms
3  link-a-central10.ptn-gw01.plus.net (212.159.2.140)  25.562 ms
4  xe-10-1-0.ptw-cr01.plus.net (212.159.1.44)  50.586 ms
5  195.99.126.138 (195.99.126.13Cool  24.399 ms
6  core1-te0-8-0-2.faraday.ukcore.bt.net (109.159.254.180)  25.921 ms
7  peer2-xe3-3-1.telehouse.ukcore.bt.net (109.159.254.227)  26.158 ms
8  195.99.126.133 (195.99.126.133)  25.841 ms
9  a92-122-123-199.deploy.akamaitechnologies.com (92.122.123.199)  25.537 ms[/tt]
Or if you use Google DNS, it could be:
[tt]traceroute to 80.156.249.14 (80.156.249.14), 30 hops max, 52 byte packets
1  192.168.0.1 (192.168.0.1)  3.484 ms
2  lo0-central10.ptn-ag04.plus.net (195.166.128.193)  25.196 ms
3  link-b-central10.ptn-gw02.plus.net (212.159.2.142)  24.139 ms
4  xe-10-1-0.ptw-cr02.plus.net (212.159.1.46)  24.650 ms
5  ae2.ptw-cr01.plus.net (195.166.129.4)  24.488 ms
6  te-4-2.car5.London1.Level3.net (217.163.45.249)  24.070 ms
7  xe-11-2-0.edge3.London2.Level3.net (212.187.201.213)  24.464 ms
8  62.157.248.197 (62.157.248.197)  28.279 ms
9  ae-3-3.ebr1.London1.Level3.net (4.69.141.189)  25.512 ms
10  ae-56-111.csw1.London1.Level3.net (4.69.153.114)  25.059 ms
11  ae-12-51.car2.London1.Level3.net (4.69.139.67)  24.757 ms
12  62.157.248.197 (62.157.248.197)  29.323 ms
13  80.156.249.14 (80.156.249.14)  40.478 ms[/tt]
The O2 DNS servers refused to answer me, being on a non-O2 connection, so I can't tell what IP addresses O2 customers might get for akamai servers.
If you're not using Plusnet's DNS servers, then you probably won't be using Plusnet's akamai IP addresses. Maybe your problem is that you're not using Plusnet's DNS servers.
Grafter
Posts: 480
Thanks: 5
Registered: ‎25-09-2011

Re: BBC I player /Itv player buffering question

Tried the change DNS thing as per PlusNet instructions, but the prefs window (Mac) for ethernet differs considerably from the wifi shown and couldn't figure out what to do.
Looks like you need to know what IP to type in, and the orig IP disappears when you click +. Clicked 'cancel' in case something disastrous happened!
The 23.61.*.* IP shown in ejs' post above is very familar from firewall log. And 23.62.*.*.  These always come up when using iPlayer.