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Buffering problems on iPlayer

MyWifesHusband
Hooked
Posts: 7
Registered: 24-02-2016

Buffering problems on iPlayer

Hi all,

 

I've been on Fibre Plus for 3 months or so - have been a bit disappointed by download speeds.  They tend to be 40Mb or so (over Wifi, not sure if this is maxing the Wifi), but occasionally much lower.  Had an email from PlusNet suggesting it was a bit low and there were a few things I could try and to log a line fault if they didn't help.  I've been too busy at work to deal though.

 

However, I am getting really fed up with buffering problems on iPlayer - tends to be my daughter watching CBeebies around 6-7pm (peak time I know), but with no other activity going on there really shouldn't be a problem.

 

Viewing on a Panasonic TV with a cat 5 connection to the Plusnet router.  Router is connected directly to the master socket, with only a phone plugged in.  There is another extension coming off it but that is not used.

 

Is this normal behaviour?  Down to the contention ratio/throttling?  If so I'm not very impressed, never used to have any problems with Demon with 10Mb download speeds!

 

 

I've just done a test with a laptop plugged into the router so no wifi:

 

Line speed is 65MB 

BT Wholesale speedtest gives: d/l 63.93 u/l 16.04 latency 22.88

Ookla speedtest gives 63 / 18, so broadly similar. (Ping 8ms)

 

So it would seem there isn't a problem with the line - so is it really just contention/traffic issues?  I really didn't expect to have them on Fibre Plus - I'm hardly a power user, the end result (glitchy iplayer) is not that different from using standard broadband!

 

O/T, running speedtest again on wifi gives d/l 42, u/l 17 - is it not achieving 65 because it's maxing out my wifi?  Doesn't worry me, but I don't understand why my TV (CAT5 connection) is buffering so much...

 

 

16 REPLIES
Andrue
Pro
Posts: 775
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Registered: 12-01-2015

Re: Buffering problems on iPlayer


MyWifesHusband wrote:

So it would seem there isn't a problem with the line - soT is it really just contention/traffic issues?

That's not a valid conclusion to draw based on the speed test results. Speed testers are normally subject to contention in the same way as everything else is. It is possible for an ISP to apply prioritisation to speed test protocols but I don't think Plusnet do that ordinarily. Since your speed test results show no signs of contention I wouldn't expect that to be an issue for you. It could be a problem with the specific path used by iPlayer as opposed to the path used by the speed tester but that would be affecting a lot of people and I think we'd be seeing a lot of complaints from other users.

PN do actually employ a form of traffic prioritisation sometimes. However it is specifically designed to protect the bandwidth required by critical applications. I would expect IPTV to be a fairly high priority so even if there were contention I'd think it the least likely to be affected.

Speed tests over wifi should be ignored unless you specifically want to test wifi. They tell you next to nothing about your actual connection. Wifi is just too variable and subject to too many problems - interference from neighbours being the main one these days.

Based on everything else you've posted I also struggle to understand why there's a problem with your TV but I'm wondering if there's some kind of compatibility issue between it and the PN router. Do you have any other devices that can iPlayer streams? Obviously you can play it on your computer(s) so try that and see how it goes. Do try and match the same resolution so that you're comparing like with like. Do you have another router you can try? Is it the same TV that you've had before you joined PN?

This might sound odd but there have been cases like this before. The Sony PS2 had issues with some routers so it's not impossible and frankly knowing how bad hardware manufacturers are at software it wouldn't surprise me. So many of them just don't see any value in software and consequently the quality suffers.

rongtw
Seasoned Hero
Posts: 6,973
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Registered: 01-12-2010

Re: Buffering problems on iPlayer

Yes i also have noticed that Iplayer has started to buffer more over the last few weeks , pc wired to asus router i just presumed BBC was having problems ,,,, my speed is 74/17

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Andrue
Pro
Posts: 775
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Registered: 12-01-2015

Re: Buffering problems on iPlayer

Interesting that we have a second complaint, then. It begins to look like an issue between PN and one of the BBC's CDNs.

 

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/foi/classes/disclosure_logs/digital_and_technology/RF1201-40419-iplayer-c...

(Warning: PDF)

rongtw
Seasoned Hero
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Re: Buffering problems on iPlayer

I have always had buffering on iplayer it has got worse recently though

channel 4 / 5 and ITV arnt so bad , even BBC news live stream buffers regularly Sad

Asus ROG Hero Vii Z97 , Intel i5 4690k ,ROG Asus Strix 1070,
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Corsair 750HXI Psu , Phanteks Enthoo pro case .
MyWifesHusband
Hooked
Posts: 7
Registered: 24-02-2016

Re: Buffering problems on iPlayer

Thanks for all the replies.  I am using the standard Plusnet router, TV is a Panasonic Plasma, couple of years old.  I used to have the odd issue on Demon at 10-12MB, thought fibre would cure it!

 

It's odd that it is always this sort of time of day, 5-7pm.  My Bluray player also has iPlayer so I will try that the next time I have an issue (and my laptop via a wired connection).

 

 

I have a spare router (TP-Link) but unfortunately I all but bricked it by accidentally switching off DHCP on it!

GeesRiK
Hooked
Posts: 8
Registered: 11-07-2016

Re: Buffering problems on iPlayer

I got the new One Hub router last week to replace my BT fibre and Plusnet router set up (saving on plugs!) and since then, iPlayer has buffered all the time I try to use it. 

 

Set up is Media PC, hardwired to new One Hub same CAT cable as before using Kodi and iPlayer AddOn. Worked flawlessly before the new One Hub, now buffers stops, jitters all the time. The only change is the One Hub router. If I try TV catch up or something similar, its fine, works. Really annoying as for live TV or even catch up, the picture quality is loads better through iplayer. If these keeps up, I might have to go back to the old set up. 

rongtw
Seasoned Hero
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Registered: 01-12-2010

Re: Buffering problems on iPlayer

Yes  still no better , would have thought PN may have had some input

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Community Veteran
Posts: 2,286
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Registered: 18-02-2013

Re: Buffering problems on iPlayer

I've not had any issue with Iplayer since re-joining Plusnet just over a month ago using a Hub-One.

I'm using beta mode as well on a PS3, much better!

MyWifesHusband
Hooked
Posts: 7
Registered: 24-02-2016

Re: Buffering problems on iPlayer

Still having problems with this at 6-7pm. Buffers and eventually times out using wired connection on TV. Does the same with Blu-ray player using wireless connection. Seemed to run ok on my tablet though.

 

My wife says it's the same every evening.

 

Just ran a speed test and got 1.94 Mbps down and 5.19 up.

 

 

This is driving me nuts as I have no way to troubleshoot. Is it the TV? Router? Hub/switch? Phone line? Broadband? Wireless?

SoFarSoGood
Rising Star
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Registered: 30-03-2013

Re: Buffering problems on iPlayer

Hi all

Just to say I am also getting buffering problems with iPlayer and not just evenings.

My connection throughput speeds have been all over the place recently so hope it settles down when I am changed from 40/20 package to 55/10 or maybe this has something to do with the buffering.

 

 

mjb
Dabbler
Posts: 19
Registered: 18-11-2010

Re: Buffering problems on iPlayer

I too have noticed frequent problems with BBC iPlayer buffering.

Doesn't seem to make any difference whether its the Beta version or regular, and switching to standard definition didn't help either.

 

I suspect that the problem is unique to iPlayer, and I haven't experienced anything like this level of difficulty from any other catch-up or streaming service. For example, Amazon instant video - watched an hour long HD show the other day with no buffering at all, but watched Dragon's Den yesterday on catch-up and suffered numerous buffering "spinning circles of doom" - although mostly only short duration before recovering.

 

For what its worth, I am usually get around 76mbps download, and an on a Hub One. It is quite irritating, although not to the point where I have tried to raise a ticket with Plusnet yet...

Mike

mtwbath
Dabbler
Posts: 22
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Registered: 10-09-2015

Re: Buffering problems on iPlayer

I "upgraded" to the hub one a month ago and since then iplayer just stops after every ~10 minutes ( It was perfectly OK for a year using HD streaming with the old router/modem set up). I have to turn off TV and re-start every time. Given this is the main use of my fibre broadband this is turning into an expensive downgrade

 

 

Still awaiting ticket reply from plusnet after 26 hours ............  after an hour on phone yesterday.....     

ahoyhoy
Dabbler
Posts: 17
Thanks: 2
Registered: 20-07-2016

Re: Buffering problems on iPlayer

You might want to take a look at this thread:

https://community.plus.net/t5/Fibre-Broadband/High-packet-loss-and-other-DNS-issues/td-p/1354749

Sounds similar in nature - packet loss at peak times, has been going on for about a month now

rongtw
Seasoned Hero
Posts: 6,973
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Registered: 01-12-2010

Re: Buffering problems on iPlayer

Iplayer and most other streams Just Buffer Sad   and have done for ages and i get 74/18 a lot of the problems lie with BBC servers and your browser .

But yes some of it is PN network , Most current problems are with their New Network Shocked

Asus ROG Hero Vii Z97 , Intel i5 4690k ,ROG Asus Strix 1070,
samsung 850evo 250gig , WD black 2 TB . Asus Phoebus sound ,
16 gig Avexir ram 2400 , water cooling Corsair H100i gtx ,
Corsair 750HXI Psu , Phanteks Enthoo pro case .