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iPlayer problems in the evenings

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corringham
Rising Star
Posts: 102
Thanks: 25
Registered: 25-09-2015

iPlayer problems in the evenings

Until a few months ago I couldn't watch iPlayer as my ADSL bandwith wasn't up to it. In November my exchange was upgraded to ADSL2+ and I got a welcome speed boost. Since then I've been able to use iPlayer and Amazon Video with only a few buffering delays an hour. 

However, in the past two or three weeks, iPlayer has become unusable at all in the evenings - problems generally start in the evenings with increasingly frequent buffering, and then iPlayer reports network problems and stops. I have iPlayer set to the lowest supported quality to reduce the bandwidth required.

The past few times this has happened I have also tested iPlayer using a computer as I was suspicious of the smart-TV. iPlayer is unreachable (DNS resolves, but traceroute gets stuck in the BT network). 

This appears to be specific to Plusnet, as I have been able to watch iPlayer without problems using a Three 4G  connection while iPlayer is unreachable via Plusnet (although I can't use that a lot because it eats data).

Has anyone else had problems?

 

5 REPLIES
BillyCool
Rising Star
Posts: 56
Thanks: 11
Fixes: 1
Registered: 15-02-2018

Re: iPlayer problems in the evenings

@corringham

 

Welcome to the forum.

 

Watching iPlayer or Amazon Prime shouldn't really cause you problems, unelss your BB speed is very poor.

 

A few questions:

  1. What is your hard-wired speed? (plug computer into router with network cable and do a speed check?)
  2. What is your wifi speed? (want to see how different that is to your hard-wired speed)
  3. Is your smart TV hard-wired or wifi?
  4. What router do you have and how old is it?

There will be other factors, but this will help understand if it is an internal issue (router/wifi) or external (BB supply etc).

 

 

Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 7,318
Thanks: 2,081
Fixes: 367
Registered: 21-04-2017

Re: iPlayer problems in the evenings

Hi there. Sorry to hear you're starting to experience speed issues.

 

Welcome to the forum.

Pretty sure he's been around a while. Smiley

Though I agree with @BillyCool's points.

 

Our tests aren't finding the cause of the problem.

I've noticed that the SNR target seems usually high at 9db where I'd expect it to sit at 6db.

If you haven't done so already can you plug your router into the test socket?

 

Can you also run a BT speedtest at http://www.speedtest.btwholesale.com using a wired connection, completing the further diagnostics at the end? Finally, posting up a traceroute to pingbox1.thinkbroadband.com might help.

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Anoush Mortazavi
 Plusnet Help Team
corringham
Rising Star
Posts: 102
Thanks: 25
Registered: 25-09-2015

Re: iPlayer problems in the evenings

I'm pretty sure it isn't an issue with the ADSL per se.  The BT dslchecker give a range of 5.5 to 12.5 for my line - I'm actually connected at 15332Kbps down and 1088Kbps up, and speed tests are in line with that. I'm using a Vigor 2860n+ connected to an ADSL Nation faceplate on the master socket.  I'm on fast path, with trellis and bitswap enabled, with SNR of 8 down, 6 up. The connection is very stable, with few errors down but quite a few errors up - but I don't believe enough to explain the issue. The router is on a line-interactive UPS, so there is no mains interference.

I can stream from YouTube without issue. I can stream from Amazon with a few seconds buffering a few times an hour in the evenings. I can stream from iPlayer without problems until the evening - just when I actually want to watch something. Sometimes it is OK, but quite often recently it isn't.

Although initially I suspected the TV (an LG 4K HDR connected by wi-fi), at the times we have the issue I can see the same issue on a laptop connected by ethernet. As an aside, my wi-fi is pretty good as I use a number of Ubiquity UAP-AC-LR access points, which have a throughput  >1Gbps, and can comfortably support >200 concurrent users. With no close neighbours, there is no WiFi interference at all. Generally there is no difference at all between a speed test using ethernet and using wifi.

It isn't a DNS issue, as iplayer.co.uk (and everything else) resolves OK.

Now, during the daytime when I'm working (I work from home) I load-balance the ADSL line with a Three 4G modem (the Vigor supports this very nicely). I don't use that in the evenings as streaming eats the bandwidth a bit too quickly. However, if I use that instead of ADSL, then iPlayer works fine. My ADSL bandwidth should be plenty, as I have iPlayer set to its lowest quality.

Even when I have the problem with iPlayer, other sites, speed tests, etc. are just fine. So, to me the issue appears to be one of congestion somewhere between my exchange and the BBC's iPlayer server.

The requested traceroute is below (but at a time when the issue isn't present - next time I have the problem I'll try again to see if it is any different):

traceroute to pingbox1.thinkbroadband.com (80.249.99.164), 64 hops max
1 192.168.1.1 (192.168.1.1) 1.844ms 1.894ms 1.618ms
2 84.93.253.64 (410.xe-2-2-0.central10.pcn-bng01.plus.net) 14.105ms 13.881ms 13.866ms
3 84.93.253.67 (411.be5.pcn-ir01.plus.net) 14.749ms 14.949ms 14.733ms
4 195.99.125.140 (195.99.125.140) 14.306ms 15.885ms 14.914ms
5 62.172.103.13 (peer6-hu0-6-0-2.telehouse.ukcore.bt.net) 16.802ms 16.057ms 17.087ms
6 * * *
7 80.249.97.17 (te2-1-9.star10g.bdr-rt3.thdo.ncuk.net) 17.819ms 15.828ms 15.749ms
8 80.249.97.85 (po4-31.core-rs2.thdo.ncuk.net) 18.574ms 17.061ms 15.184ms
9 80.249.99.164 (pingbox1.thinkbroadband.com) 14.788ms 16.100ms 15.209ms

The BT Speedtest results:

Download Speed (Mbps) 10.75

Upload Speed (Mbps) 0.32

Ping Latency (ms) 37.00

The further diagnostics were unable to be run.

corringham
Rising Star
Posts: 102
Thanks: 25
Registered: 25-09-2015

Re: iPlayer problems in the evenings

Just a correction to my previous post - iplayer.co.uk is nothing to do with BBC's iPlayer, I meant to type bbc.co.uk but had iplayer on my mind so typed it unintentionally.

Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 7,318
Thanks: 2,081
Fixes: 367
Registered: 21-04-2017

Re: iPlayer problems in the evenings

Cheers for the info.

It sounds like the problem might be related to the amount of bandwidth iPlayer needs.

If there was congestion on the BT network other sites would likely be affected also.

 

I'd run a traceroute to iplayer.co.uk next time the issues occurs.

Let us know how you get on.

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Anoush Mortazavi
 Plusnet Help Team