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problems video streaming

frank39
Grafter
Posts: 118
Registered: 19-03-2009

problems video streaming

Last night I streamed a movie from the Sony Entertainment Network to my Sony Media Player N100.  This was the first time since June(when it performed well) that I have done this and it was not a good experience.  The stream was,at times, frequently interrupted for 'loading' but would also run for best part of an hour normally.  The obvious cause would seem to be an intermittently slow connection, but I was able to connect to the same WLAN with a tablet and to run speed checks which gave over 12M and 48ms ping both during the slow periods and during the normal periods (nothing else was running on the LAN at the time). This suggests that the delays arise with the SEN server, not in my network, after all, it was a dull night on broadcast TV.
Has anybody here had recent experience of the SEN service:
- could anything have changed at Plusnet that would cause the problem eg. speed restrictions on streaming
- could this be attributed to the router f/w upgrade, from 8.2.x to 10.2.x, I did in September.
- is this now 'normal' behaviour
- is it worth complaining to Sony
I am using a Technicolor 582n with 10.2.1.8 firmware with a connection that runs at 440 / 15.933 (up/down) and my package is Plusnet Value.
16 REPLIES
Blim
Grafter
Posts: 462
Registered: 06-03-2012

Re: problems video streaming

check list:-
*Wireless bandwidth and your connection speed? if you are trying to watch HD you need more than 4mb, both on your internet and wireless. Ive always found channel 11 works best.
*Router ports open for that device. shouldn't be a problem as I guess its using port 80 anyway.

I don't own anything but PC's. I have seen some problems with streaming lately. Some sites like Youtube can download the whole stream in one go but things like BBCI that like to use a buffer seem to play up for me.
Ive noticed this lately. Ive always post about this in the past, as and when it affects me. I believe it to be heavy network management. I don't know its that of PN or the site/server I'm streaming from. As a customer you don't know its just word of mouth.
frank39
Grafter
Posts: 118
Registered: 19-03-2009

Re: problems video streaming

Thanks for the checklist.  I have a 12M connection and the streaming ran for up to an hour so the setup must(?) be OK.  I also fancy network management as the culprit,  but who's doing it? Hence my post.
jafreer
Rising Star
Posts: 823
Thanks: 46
Registered: 13-10-2012

Re: problems video streaming

Hi Frank,
I have the Sony SMP-N100 and have had similar experiences to you in the past. Initially, the thing would just buffer constantly. To cut a long story short, it was related to the wireless channel my router was on. I changed my router to Channel 1 and it performed a lot better. Weird thing was that other devices worked fine for streaming on the original wireless channel, it was only the Sony that didn't like it.
Even though changing to wireless channel 1 helped a lot, I still had some glitches, occasional buffering etc.
I tried with a wired connection instead (via a homeplug) and the thing has run perfectly ever since. I also have a PS3 that was somewhat temperamental on wireless. I put that through the same homeplug (via a cheap hub), and it has been perfect ever since.
I have come to the conclusion that the Sony products can be a bit flaky on wireless. I have never looked back since making them wired. Quite a lot of internet forums report similar issues with the Sony products.
My router is a Netgear DG834 and it performs flawlessy on wireless for all my other devices, so I think the Sony products have an issue.
Not sure if that helps, but try a different wireless channel. And if all else fails, consider wired connections.
frank39
Grafter
Posts: 118
Registered: 19-03-2009

Re: problems video streaming

Thanks for the suggestion.  The channel was one thing that changed (from 2 to 11) when I updated the router firmware.  I've changed it back to 1 and we'll see what happens.  Trouble is, there are so few decent films available for streaming which is why the SMP hasn't been used much recently.  I'm see no explanation for the huge reduction in the choice of streaming films compared with those on DVD.
frank39
Grafter
Posts: 118
Registered: 19-03-2009

Re: problems video streaming

Just tried it on last night's film and got about 10 minutes free from buffering.  So - it was the channel selection or reduced traffic daytime on the Sony server.  It was a good tip, thank you very much.
frank39
Grafter
Posts: 118
Registered: 19-03-2009

Re: problems video streaming

Spoke too soon.  I put the wireless channel back to 11 and the film still streamed OK, so it looks as though it is time of day dependent.  I therefore conclude that, in my case, the problem arises in network or server management, but it is no clearer if it is PN or Sony or something between.
Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 10,540
Registered: 18-07-2007

Re: problems video streaming

If you can, I'd recommend getting something like inSSIDer (http://www.metageek.net/products/inssider/) or if you have a smartphone (probably better as it's more portable) you could get an app like wifi analyzer for android (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.farproc.wifi.analyzer&hl=en) - I'm sure alternatives for iOS exist but I'm afraid I can't name any off the top of my head.
This will scan the area around for wireless networks and show you which channels are busiest - you should move your wifi to the least occupied channel for the best performance as wifi networks do conflict with each other. That's why all this business to change channels has been suggested, it's just this will show you for sure which would be the best channel to move to.
Hope that helps Smiley
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,972
Thanks: 367
Fixes: 16
Registered: 10-06-2010

Re: problems video streaming

Does inSSIDer actually show which channels are busiest, or just which have the most networks on? These are not necessarily the same, depending on how heavily each network is used.
Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 10,540
Registered: 18-07-2007

Re: problems video streaming

I'm not sure to be honest, though I'd say that's a secondary issue that would hopefully only need investigating if either all channels are busy in the given area or the network is moved to a quieter channel but still doesn't improve much? Good question though.
frank39
Grafter
Posts: 118
Registered: 19-03-2009

Re: problems video streaming

Thanks for the guidance, Matt.  I had already done all those things, which is why I was on Channel 11.  Where I live I don't have many competing signals, just my own second access point (on channel 8 eight) and Inssider shows how clear I am at each end of the house.
For the record, you can't run a wifi analyser on iOS because the Jobs empire won't let you have access to the data, or so those who know tell me.  I use one of my Windows notebooks to check the signals around the house.  
Is there any bandwidth management applied by Plusnet that could throttle my streaming at peak times? I remember ages ago finding a coloured diagram showing how you applied priority for different types of data at different times of day to some account packages.
To ejs, the channels I am using have no competing signals that are more than -80dB when my signals are greater than -20.  Inssider shows signal strength, channel, security type, MAC, rate, router vendor and network type.
Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 10,540
Registered: 18-07-2007

Re: problems video streaming

Hi there,
Well streaming isn't limited ratewise in any way, and it's in gold at all times on Value so shouldn't be slowed down - you can see that here: http://www.plus.net/support/broadband/speed_guide/traffic_management.shtml and here: http://www.plus.net/support/broadband/speed_guide/broadband_experience.shtml
Perhaps this is the coloured diagram you mean? (choose the products you want to compare in the dropdowns): http://usergroup.plus.net/prodcomp1.php
Hope that helps some, and sorry I can't add anything new :/
frank39
Grafter
Posts: 118
Registered: 19-03-2009

Re: problems video streaming

Thanks Matt, I guess that wraps it up.  It's not the channel and it's not Plusnet.  It must have been lots of traffic on Sony's servers - people escaping Nadine Dorries on TV.  It won't be the first time that Sony have fallen down on server capacity.  A few years ago, there were endless problems in online gaming on the Playstation Network from the same cause, or so the younger members of my family tell me.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,139
Thanks: 4
Registered: 20-07-2007

Re: problems video streaming

I used to own a N100 and while streaming over wi-fi was usually very good I had noticed and reported that the traffic was being classified as “Web” rather than “Streaming “ (see http://community.plus.net/forum/index.php/topic,100591.0.html).
Bob
jafreer
Rising Star
Posts: 823
Thanks: 46
Registered: 13-10-2012

Re: problems video streaming

Frank,
You mentioned that there is not a lot of decent stuff to stream for the Sony box. One thing I did that opened a whole new world was to install Serviio (google it) DLNA server on my PC. It not only allows you to stream any PC video files to your Sony box, but it also allows you to watch online content. So, for example, you can set up live streams for, say, NASA TV, and watch it live on your Sony SMP-N100. There is a lot of other online content out there, you just have to find it. The Serviio forums are a good place to start. Now you are not limited to Sony's own streaming offering.