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"Not enough bandwidth...." BBC iPlayer

tbulford
Dabbler
Posts: 21
Thanks: 1
Registered: 27-09-2010

"Not enough bandwidth...." BBC iPlayer

Hello.
I'm getting sick to death of having serious issues streaming anything from BBC iPlayer. I know it's not their servers that are the problem. I have a terrible time especially when trying to stream any programmes on my computer, any time of the day. The stream is constantly interrupted, and sometimes I get the message that I've put in the subject.
The same problem persists when watching via my Wii, though to a lesser extent (presumably less bandwidth is needed).
As I have no problems with YouTube or other sites, I can only conclude that either Plusnet is unfairly shaping traffic to the BBC website, or that there is some weird technical glitch going on. Plusnet, please look into this for me. My Plusnet account username is the same as my username on this forum.
28 REPLIES
prichardson
Grafter
Posts: 1,503
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: "Not enough bandwidth...." BBC iPlayer

Given that you see no issues with other services, can you confirm the results from the iPlayer diagnostics page for us.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/diagnostics
tbulford
Dabbler
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Registered: 27-09-2010

Re: "Not enough bandwidth...." BBC iPlayer

Thank you for your reply. I should add that I'm a heavy Netflix user and often have to be careful not to go over my 60GB allowance!
Here are the results of the test:
Download Speed: 5570 kbps
Streaming Speed (1): 2701
Streaming Speed (2): 2587
Streaming Speed (3): 2581
I'm disappointed that the streaming speed is so low, especially given that it's so late at night. Regardless, BBC says 1500 kbps should be enough to stream at their highest non-HD quality, with 500 being the lowest.
During off-peak hours I get 7-8 mbps (download) on my line owing to my close proximity to the local exchange.
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,791
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Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: "Not enough bandwidth...." BBC iPlayer

You could download programmes and play from disk.

Community Veteran
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Registered: 31-08-2007

Re: "Not enough bandwidth...." BBC iPlayer

Those streaming speed results are pretty poor, I'd expect all the figures to be in the same ball park if there is no congestion or other issues, similar to
Download Speed: 6064 kbps
Streaming Speed (1): 6028
Streaming Speed (2): 5990
Streaming Speed (3): 6013
Community Veteran
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Registered: 23-09-2010

Re: "Not enough bandwidth...." BBC iPlayer

Never tried that test before. It shows my streaming speed higher than my download speed.
But they do agree with Anotherone in that they are in the same ball park.
Download Speed: 7199 kbps
Streaming Speed (1): 7484
Streaming Speed (2): 7456
Streaming Speed (3): 7476
tbulford
Dabbler
Posts: 21
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Registered: 27-09-2010

Re: "Not enough bandwidth...." BBC iPlayer

I've just tried the test again and I'm getting similar speeds to last night. Around the 2700 kbps mark, with a download speed of around 5 Mbps. Poor!
I also just ran a test on Speedtest.net and got a result 3.56 Mbps. This seemed too low so I tried again and got 5.15. Still poor given that I am a stone's throw away from the Lampeter exchange.
I could download and play from my HDD, but I don't pay a high price for my broadband (I'm in an area that has is not unbundled) to have to use up any of the limited space on my computer in order to watch a programme I won't want to keep.
I strongly suspect there is an issue in Lampeter with internet connectivity. Can you look into it, please?
prichardson
Grafter
Posts: 1,503
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: "Not enough bandwidth...." BBC iPlayer

Sorry, I had been out of office all day, but flagged for me to pickup once I got back in.
I had not spotted one of the original points you made. You note less problems on the Wii, this is due to the type of stream it uses, which is not the same as doing this from a computer.
Checking your account shows it is normal. Your speed profile is correct. I do note you have been connected over four days without a reconnect and the gateway you are connected to does not show anything different in usage graphing to any other (i.e, it's not seeing more transfer than other than may suggest contention). So all in the following questions exist.
1: Do you have the problems at all times of day?
2: Have you ever not had problems and when was this?
3: Please perform a speedtest on the following link during peak and then offpeak and let us know the results?
http://www.speedtester.bt.com/
4: Are you using wireless?
Ignore your Wii, lets focus on your PC here.
If using wireless, does it happen on Ethernet connection to the router?
Right now, we need to look at this as a possible peak capacity issue in the local area (i.e. a possible fault rather than traffic management or our network related). These questions can help use look at that.
tbulford
Dabbler
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Registered: 27-09-2010

Re: "Not enough bandwidth...." BBC iPlayer

Thank you for getting back to me, Phil.
I've run both tests on the page you linked to. I assume now is 'peak-time'. What time will off-peak be? After midnight? Anyhoo, below are the results:
FTTC Diagnostics
Download speed achieved during the test was - 6.42 Mbps
For your connection, the acceptable range of speeds  is 0.6 Mbps-7.15 Mbps.
Additional Information:
Your DSL Connection Rate :8.13 Mbps(DOWN-STREAM), 0.45 Mbps(UP-STREAM)
IP Profile for your line is - 7.15 Mbps
Speed Test (Beta)
Download Speed (Mbps): 6.87
Upload Speed (Mbps): 0.34
Ping Latency(ms): 43.25
EDIT: I should add, that this problem of streaming affects viewing at any time of the day. I'm going to do the iPlayer diagnostics on my netbook later, and also I'll give the ethernet thing a try.
tbulford
Dabbler
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Registered: 27-09-2010

Re: "Not enough bandwidth...." BBC iPlayer

OK. I get around 7 Mbps download and streaming on the netbook. So the problem lies with my main computer somehow. Any idea of what could be causing it? I shall try the tests in a different browser (I'm currently using Firefox).
I think this is an Adobe Flash issue as I have the same problems in three different browsers. Also, my CPU usage spikes when I play back flash video. My laptop (main computer) is aging and I had to get a cooling pad to help with heating issues. Sometimes flash video (never iPlayer, funnily enough) can cause my computer to overheat, inexplicably. Presumably because it is overworking the CPU. This problem with flash is recent, and as I've had no issues with speed (that I had noticed, at least) I assumed the problem was with iPlayer and/or Plusnet.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,366
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Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: "Not enough bandwidth...." BBC iPlayer

Quote from: P
You note less problems on the Wii, this is due to the type of stream it uses ...

*chuckles*
--
3Mb FTTC
https://portal.plus.net/my.html?action=data_transfer_speed
prichardson
Grafter
Posts: 1,503
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: "Not enough bandwidth...." BBC iPlayer

Quote from: godsell4
*chuckles*

Ohh dear, I might pay for that one in the office tomorrow Wink
Quote from: tbulford
I think this is an Adobe Flash issue as I have the same problems in three different browsers. Also, my CPU usage spikes when I play back flash video. My laptop (main computer) is aging and I had to get a cooling pad to help with heating issues. Sometimes flash video (never iPlayer, funnily enough) can cause my computer to overheat, inexplicably. Presumably because it is overworking the CPU. This problem with flash is recent, and as I've had no issues with speed (that I had noticed, at least) I assumed the problem was with iPlayer and/or Plusnet.

Ok, at least we have narrowed the issue down a little.
I'm not going to rule flash out as a cause, but the fact you are getting good speeds HTTP testing on the BBC and on the BT test, suggests this might be OK. The streaming tests do work differently though, as they do perform a stream associated with watching online TV, so flash does have to some processing differences.
However given the other descriptions, it may seem it.
You do suggestion/describe other issues. I gather from that the flash issues occur on other sites than iPlayer?
Community Veteran
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: "Not enough bandwidth...." BBC iPlayer

Oh Dear  Embarrassed Embarrassed
tbulford
Dabbler
Posts: 21
Thanks: 1
Registered: 27-09-2010

Re: "Not enough bandwidth...." BBC iPlayer

Phil, I get a lousy speed result from Speedtest.net which uses Flash, but a normal result from any other speed testing site that uses HTTP. I never used to have this problem. I've cleaned the vents of my laptop and cooling pad, which has, according to CoreTemp, reduced the temperature of my two CPUs by 5 degrees. Still no luck. And even though I do get CPU spikes when playing back Flash the load does level out, so that shouldn't be the cause either.
I've Googled the problem and there are a handful of mutterings about streaming problems on Adobe's site, but no resolution from Adobe who keep telling folks that it's probably their GPU.
I am somewhat tempted to try downgrading flash back to version 10, but I have a feeling some sites might insist I upgrade to the latest sodding version.
tbulford
Dabbler
Posts: 21
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Registered: 27-09-2010

Re: "Not enough bandwidth...." BBC iPlayer

Further trying to isolate the problem I've tried running HD flash files (FLVs) downloaded to my HDD through VLC. They run smoothly, so my computer is certainly capable of running flash.
EDIT: More information:
Just check out my stats on YouTube:
Your average video speed at this location from 18 Apr 2012 to 16 May 2012 was 2.58 Mbps.
I guess the thing to do now is to work out whether this is a flash problem or a Plusnet problem...
EDIT 2: Is it possible that flash streaming from my computer is somehow being picked up as web usage? My usage breakdown shows less streaming than I'd expect and more web use.