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No Sky HD network connection since software update - No Sky On Demand

daveg6hni
Grafter
Posts: 149
Registered: 07-01-2009

No Sky HD network connection since software update - No Sky On Demand

About 4 weeks ago (Sept/Oct 2016) my Sky HD box received a software update, since then I have not been able to access Sky On Demand.

Having failed to resolve it by trying all the obvious things, turning things off and on again, new patch leads, static IP, I came across a post suggesting this was a known PN issue ?

The suggested fix was to switch the router off for 15 mins, but that did not work either,

I have noticed that some eBay pages don't load correctly first time, but not sure if the issues are connected ?

Otherwise everything else is working perfectly.

I tried giving the sky box an IP address which half worked, sky box said broadband = OK, but On Demand = Fail

PN FTTC / 33Mbps / Apple Airport Extreme Router / Sky HD Ethernet connection

17 REPLIES
Andrue
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Re: No Sky HD network connection since software update - No Sky On Demand

Not had any issues here. I don't use On Demand a huge amount but I'm using it right now and it's fine. I use a Billion 6300 router but a Google search suggests issues with On Demand and Apple Airport Extreme Routers dating back to 2013 but nothing recent.

I think if there was a general compatibility issue between Sky On Demand and Plusnet we'd be hearing more about it.

daveg6hni
Grafter
Posts: 149
Registered: 07-01-2009

Re: No Sky HD network connection since software update - No Sky On Demand

Hi, I know, but on the Sky Forum it's quite a big topic, several different posts too.

http://helpforum.sky.com/t5/On-Demand-Catch-Up-TV/Sky-On-Demand-not-working/m-p/2490171

It was working perfectly well with my Airport extreme since the service was first introduced, but not since the last update.

So not being able to resolve it via Sky forum I thought I would try the Plus Net forum instead.

 

Andrue
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Re: No Sky HD network connection since software update - No Sky On Demand

I see a comment there about a fix being static IP address. That makes me wonder if it's related to the problems affecting the new network. I already have a static IP address so I might be immune to that. Or maybe not even migrated yet. Either way my Sky box is fine. One other difference that has 'protected me' from previous Sky issues is that for years my box has been connected through a timer that cuts power at 3am. So my box gets a reboot every day.

 

The only issues I have are with some programmes being 'Not available' when I select them but that's Sky's crappy librarians.

daveg6hni
Grafter
Posts: 149
Registered: 07-01-2009

Re: No Sky HD network connection since software update - No Sky On Demand

Hi, I've always had a static IP as I have several IP CCTV cameras I can access remotely, but I do remember switching on the eco mode a few weeks ago and have thought no more about it, so I will switch that off again  just in case

More googling revealed suggestions about port mapping so I have added 3700 & 43115 to my NAT settings even though someone else said they should not be needed and I did not have them previously when t was working.

Another suggestion was to use OpenDNS as opposed to PN DNS and that is something else I changed a few weeks ago to try and stop eBay pages failing to load, So I have added them back and after I did another Planner Rebuild and power cycled the Skybox it did for a short while start downloading again but after downloading only 30% of a program it ground to a halt and then timed out and failed again Sad

So what could possibly allow it to download over 600 Mbytes of data before failing ? and it must mean the connection is correct ?

Under settings the sky box says

gateway = drm

DRM Enabled = true

Secure Channel = NOT ESTABLISHED(4)

The error code on the failed download is "Technical fault - 10(259) -  whatever that all means ?

Andrue
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Re: No Sky HD network connection since software update - No Sky On Demand

'Technical fault - 10(259)' looks to me like 'Technical fault - 10 (because of 259)'.

10 has been around forever and all anyone knows it means is 'I can't get the data'. I assume that with the advent of On Demand they append the network related code to the message.

Either way only Sky know what it means.

But for what it's worth I've never done anything special for my box. No OpenDNS, no port forwarding no nothing. Just plugged an Ethernet cable in and that was that.

Actually here's a slightly random thought: If you are using cable is the cable coming from a network hub? Mine is and this time last year it began to fail (unknown to me). The symptoms were random failures of my media player and On Demand and/or the Sky search facility refusing to work. It was only when it failed completely that I realised what was going on.

daveg6hni
Grafter
Posts: 149
Registered: 07-01-2009

Re: No Sky HD network connection since software update - No Sky On Demand

Yes, but I have tried it direct from the router using a new long cat5 cable as well as changing all the patch leads.

I have a 3com hub near and feeds the TV / Sky Box / FreeSat / Pioneer DVD, all of which are still working OK.

I still have the new long cat5 cable in position, so I might retry that this evening just to illuminate the hub which only comes on with the TV, so the sky box is usually only connected when I'm there and watching TV.

 

I still can't get my head around why it would very quickly download 30% last night and then grid to a halt ? so it is worth illuminating the 3Com hub.

Andrue
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Re: No Sky HD network connection since software update - No Sky On Demand


daveg6hni wrote:

I still can't get my head around why it would very quickly download 30% last night and then grid to a halt  so it is worth illuminating the 3Com hub

Me neither. It never ceases to amaze me how manufacturers can screw up such a well documented and common protocol. At the end of the day it's all just shifting packets of data around.

But yeah it's worth eliminating as much as possible. Until the issue I had last year I'd never have guessed that a network hub can operate 'partially' and intermittently.

But one thing I have learnt after three decades in IT is that coincidences can happen and nothing can lead you astray quite as well as an assumption.

daveg6hni
Grafter
Posts: 149
Registered: 07-01-2009

Re: No Sky HD network connection since software update - No Sky On Demand

OK, removing the 3Com hub has made a difference, I was able to download 3 programs without it failing, but only at about half the speed I normally do. Also navigating around the Catch-Up section it is timing out saying such things as no programs are available in this category or just a blank page, All of which suggests there is something else interfering with the connection. However, all speed tests from my PC suggest no issues with a solid 33Mbps download speed, 8.10ms latency and 0.2% packet loss according to my Sam Knows monthly report.

I have also changed the router DNS back to the OpenDNS settings and I intend to try a few other Open DNS alternatives to Plus Net as I think that is a definite area of concern.

Andrue
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Re: No Sky HD network connection since software update - No Sky On Demand


daveg6hni wrote:

I have also changed the router DNS back to the OpenDNS settings and I intend to try a few other Open DNS alternatives to Plus Net as I think that is a definite area of concern.


I'm not so sure about that. Remember that DNS is only used like you or I might use telephone book. It's entirely possible that the Sky box doesn't even use DNS. The IP address(es) that the service use might be hard coded into the box. Sky are an ISP so they can easily choose to allocate an address to On Demand 'for all time'. And they can issue box updates OTA to change it if they have to.

Now if I were writing a web based service (and I do for a living) personally I'd prefer to use DNS simply because that's what it's for. But in Sky's position - DNS may be a security risk so there's an argument for them not using it. Anyway when I say that it's 'used like a telephone book' I mean exactly that. I might occasionally look someone's number up more than once if I know they have a tendency to move around a bit but most of the time I use the last number because it's likely still correct.

DNS is the same. There's something called 'TTL' which is basically how long a given address can be assumed to still be valid. Now that varies across the internet from a couple of seconds to several hours or even days. And if Sky's On Demand service is using DNS at all I'm pretty sure that the TTL will be in hours or days.

And one thing's absolutely certain: In the same way that you don't keep checking the phone book during a call neither does a computer. Once the box has started downloading DNS is not going to be used again Wink

Andrue
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Re: No Sky HD network connection since software update - No Sky On Demand

(separated for clarity from technical waffle)

In your position I would try a different router. Routers have been known to have compatibility issues with various bits of kit. And anything media related is usually where such silliness shows. I'm still a little loathe to suggest a compatibility issue like that because I'd expect more such complaints but I'm proof that there's nothing about PN's network that is incompatible and we're running out of suspects Smiley

MrSilver
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Re: No Sky HD network connection since software update - No Sky On Demand

 


Andrue wrote:

daveg6hni wrote:

I have also changed the router DNS back to the OpenDNS settings and I intend to try a few other Open DNS alternatives to Plus Net as I think that is a definite area of concern.


I'm not so sure about that. Remember that DNS is only used like you or I might use telephone book. It's entirely possible that the Sky box doesn't even use DNS. The IP address(es) that the service use might be hard coded into the box. Sky are an ISP so they can easily choose to allocate an address to On Demand 'for all time'. And they can issue box updates OTA to change it if they have to.

 

 

 

This is how dns used to work but for things like sky on demand it's not. 

Sky server very little of their content to you and I, they put it out to a content distribution platform like Akamai. They can't serve all on demand from one big server farm. 

 

When you you do a dns lookup it goes back to sky auth dns who will look at what dns server is asking (usually) and will return the ip of the cache nearest you with the content you want on it.

 

so moving from day plus net dns to google dns can change where your content comes from

 

I halve sky q and on demand works ok as does sky go, but on different versions of sky firmware I've had to put a static ip on the box. 

Note : his is NOT a plus net static up, but it's the ip your sky box gets from the router in the house, I've had problems with it getting a dhcp allocated address from the hub so had to go into settings in sky menu to give it 192.168.1.100 say as an ip

 

if you can browse content and get partial downloads then this is not likely to be the problem,

 

does skygo work work for you as that bypasses any sky firmware issues

Andrue
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Re: No Sky HD network connection since software update - No Sky On Demand


MrSilver wrote:

This is how dns used to work but for things like sky on demand it's not. 

Hmmm. Whether it's coming from Sky's servers or if they have a deal with Akamai wouldn't really make any difference. The source(s) are still known ahead of time and reasonably unlikely to change. DNS' primary purpose is for looking up things that are unknown or likely to change.

 

They can't serve all on demand from one big server farm. 

Oh I think they could if they wanted Smiley

 

Sky started off hosting media. That was how they managed to create the market for satellite TV in the UK. They could offer a standard hosting and uplinking package to people. I believe their uplinking system is still the defacto standard in the UK. On demand content will require more bandwidth so it's possible Sky have done a deal with Akamai by now and of course stuff like iPlayer will always be coming from there but I'd be very interested if you have any links that suggest Sky has stopped hosting content.

When you you do a dns lookup it goes back to sky auth dns who will look at what dns server is asking (usually) and will return the ip of the cache nearest you with the content you want on it.

so moving from day plus net dns to google dns can change where your content comes from

It's possible but seems unlikely to me. There's not a lot of point doing that for a service that is (officially) only available in the UK. Akamai only have 19 global locations so it doesn't sound like there are multiple ones around the UK.

We just don't know. However for a service like On Demand I can't see DNS problems causing the kind of behaviour the OP is reporting. It may perform DNS lookups some of the time but I don't see any reason to expect them any more frequently than whenever the user launches On Demand or Catch Up.

I halve sky q and on demand works ok as does sky go, but on different versions of sky firmware I've had to put a static ip on the box. 

Well that's down to DHCP issues and has nothing to do with DNS and you're right that it doesn't sound a likely explanation. Still worth a try though. As per my earlier reply - never assume anything Smiley

MrSilver
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Re: No Sky HD network connection since software update - No Sky On Demand


Andrue wrote:

MrSilver wrote:

They can't serve all on demand from one big server farm. 

Oh I think they could if they wanted Smiley

 

Sky started off hosting media. That was how they managed to create the market for satellite TV in the UK. They could offer a standard hosting and uplinking package to people. I believe their uplinking system is still the defacto standard in the UK. On demand content will require more bandwidth so it's possible Sky have done a deal with Akamai by now and of course stuff like iPlayer will always be coming from there but I'd be very interested if you have any links that suggest Sky has stopped hosting content

https://www.akamai.com/us/en/multimedia/documents/case-study/akamai-sky-italia-content-delivery-case...

The one above was a sky italia study.

there are two things that i think you are mixing up.

sky built a broadcast market over satellite, thta sends all the channels to everyone at the same time, you dont get individual tv streams which is why they all start at fixed times.

 

sky on demand is ip based over the internet and so you can warch on demand etc.

if sky had just 500,000 customers (5% of their base) watching say football and other channels on their ipad at the weekend that would be 500,000x4mb/sec so 2,000,000mbit / 2 terait/sec. 

it would not be commercially viable for them to buy that much peering across the whole internet, so no they wouldnt host all on demand in house from one location, especially with their 4k content on the rise at 25mbit/sec - not all their live 4k content is over ip today not satellite yet so causes bigger peaks at kickoff.

it would also give a crappy service not having content close to the users, thats why youtube and netflix also do the same - distribute the content on content distribution networks close to the use (as does apple for ios updates, microsoft do etc) very few people host high bandwidth in their own data centre.

 

anyway, sorry to the op as that still doesnt help fix the problem but hope people fin it useful to see how it works.

daveg6hni
Grafter
Posts: 149
Registered: 07-01-2009

Re: No Sky HD network connection since software update - No Sky On Demand

Hi, well when it started playing up a month ago I could not download anything, I could not even use the advance search facility or anything. it just stopped connecting completely.
Yesterday was the first day I was able to download anything without it failing, but to be honest I only tried to download 3 programs and they were all BBC shows. I did not go to iPlayer, I used the advanced search to find and select them.
While they were downloading I was going through the iPlayer, ITV, Ch4, 5 listings, but they were not fully populated or just blank.
However, it has been connected for about 24 hrs now and the Secure Channel now says OK(0), also quickly surfing through the Catch Up listings they now appear pretty quickly with no blank pages.
Also as I right this I am downloading an episode of Blackadder off Gold and it is back to approx. 1% per second.
To get back to this point I have done the following some of which were probably unnecessary.
1. I removed the 4 port 3Com hub I was using and connected an Ethernet cable directly to router
2. Given the Sky Box a Static IP
3. Changed my DNS setting from Plus Net back to Open DNS
4. Mapper NAT ports 3700 and 43115
5. Rebuilt the planner and power cycled the sky box many times
The only definite improvement was when I removed the 3Com hub, as since then downloads have not failed after 30% but have completed. However, until I undo all the other changes I won't know if that was the only issue, but it is looking like I have a duff 3Com hub, even though all other devices connected to it had no issues !