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bcs001
Freshman

Streaming Video Constant Buffering

I know this has been addressed in a variety of previous posts but I haven’t really seen a good explanation. Using Netflix or Amazon Prime in the evenings, the stream stops to buffer every few minutes. My download speeds using Speedtest.net seem to be good so why is there excessive buffering?
Is there Hughes network congestion even with good download speed?
I have video saver turned off and Netflix video quality at the lowest setting.
Is there anything I can do to improve this?

Thanks,
Bruce.
1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION
GabeU
Distinguished Professor IV


@bcs001 wrote:
I am considering setting up a home network PC based server that possibly could be used as the recording device and then fed to my Smart TV thru an Ethernet connection.  

If your smart TV or some other connected media device, such as a Blu Ray player, has a USB port, you may be able to watch the downloaded items via USB flash drive or external HDD/SSD as well.  This is what I do.  I've got all of my PlayOn Cloud files written to a 1TB external SSD.  Though I dind't know it until I tried, my smart TV has a built in file playing app which plays the .mp4 format of the PlayOn Cloud files, as does my Blu Ray player. 

 

I also write the files to DVDs and/or Blu Rays for more permanent storage.


Ryzen 5 3400G | MSI B450M Pro-M2 MAX | 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3000 | XPG SX8200 Pro 512GB NVMe | Windows 10 Pro

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16 REPLIES 16
maratsade
Distinguished Professor IV

Sadly, yes, even with good speed, congestion on the beam (loads of people all using the service) especially during prime time, will choke streaming. 

GabeU
Distinguished Professor IV


@bcs001 wrote:
Is there anything I can do to improve this? 

Unfortunately, with your overall speed being adequate, it's not likely that there's much that can be done, as the primary cause is almost assuredly the combination of the high latency and system congestion, the former of which is inherent to geostationary satellite internet, and the latter of which is due to high system usage.  

 

Though there is no guarantee that this will help, one thing more you can try is either rebooting or power cycling your HughesNet modem.

 

--- To reboot the modem, go to this modem page and click Reboot near the top.  If you're connected via WiFi you'll likely temporarily lose your connection while the modem is rebooting.  After the reboot, it would be best to wait a few minutes to try your activity again.  This gives the modem time to be fully back up and ready. 

 

--- To power cycle the modem, which is like a reboot, but a bit more extensive, unplug the HughesNet modem from the power outlet, wait for at least 30 seconds, then plug it back in.  After waiting for at least five minutes, try your activity again.  When power cycling the modem, it may also be best to first turn off your connected devices, then turn them back on after the five minute wait period.  

 

What the above can do is set your connection a different "channel", at least temporarily, and this new "channel" can sometimes be cleaner, so to speak.  If it is, you may experience less buffering.  As alluded to, though, the effect may only be temporary, as the channel you're assigned to at the time can fill back up with more people and/or dynamically change.  For reference, the "channel" I'm referring to is the last four digits of your "IPGW Gateway Association State" string, seen here.  

 

On mine....

 

Capture.PNG  

 

Again, there's no guarantee with this, but it may be worth a try.


Ryzen 5 3400G | MSI B450M Pro-M2 MAX | 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3000 | XPG SX8200 Pro 512GB NVMe | Windows 10 Pro

Just to be clear: Congestion causes latency in addition to the inherent kind (~5-600mS due to the round trip distance the signal takes on satellite) as the system plays 'catch-up' to service the demand. There is also some long-delay weirdness in the order of 1-minute gaps taking place on the internet backbone that it outside of HughesNet's control, which doesn't help the matter.

 

The streaming protocol requires a lot of handshaking with the streaming server. Under severe latency conditions, it often gets delayed past what the server expects and times out. The default result is to force a 'buffering' display until it finally re-syncs.

 

Bottom line: When you see buffering, 9 times out of 10 it's latency and nothing to do with speed.


* Disclaimer: I am a HughesNet customer and not a HughesNet employee. All of my comments are my own and do not necessarily represent HughesNet in any way.
bcs001
Freshman

Thanks for the detailed explanations guys.....that really help me understand what’s going on. When I had ViaSat service I was experiencing buffering because of speed issues (less than .25 down in the evenings GS) which is what made me change to Hughes. While the Hughes speeds are consistently high, I’m assuming my still slow internet performance is mainly a function of this same latency and network congestion that is affecting the streaming. Unfortunately where I’m located, satellite is my only option for now so I will have to learn to tolerate it.
Thanks again.


@bcs001 wrote:
Unfortunately where I’m located, satellite is my only option for now so I will have to learn to tolerate it.
Thanks again.

Yup, it's the best we can do with what's available.

Thank you for understanding.


* Disclaimer: I am a HughesNet customer and not a HughesNet employee. All of my comments are my own and do not necessarily represent HughesNet in any way.
maratsade
Distinguished Professor IV

Some of us use PlayOn Cloud, an app available for Android and iOS. It lets you download stuff from several providers (Hulu, Prime, Netflix, and more). Each download costs 25 cents. The app works like a virtual DVR -- it records from the cloud (using no data), and then you download the recordings (this uses data) as MP4 files. You can keep the files forever.  There is zero buffering because you're watching a recording. 

I’ve seen that discussed here and started to look into so options for using the PC based software version. I am considering setting up a home network PC based server that possibly could be used as the recording device and then fed to my Smart TV thru an Ethernet connection. I haven’t figured out if this could be a viable option but any recommendations from the experts here would be much appreciated.

Some of us here have also set up Plex Media Servers for movies, TV shows and music.

 

I don't use PlayOn, but I have built a pretty good library from ripped CDs, SA-CDs (I'm a sucker for 5.1/Quad), DVDs and Blu-Rays that I down-convert to flac, dts wav, 480p, and 720p (respectively) to save disk space. The TV has a pretty good connection using the 5GHz Wifi and the server's wired by ethernet cable, so am able to just use the house LAN.

 

If PlayOn just gives you a standard mkv or mp4 file, I'm sure Plex would have no problem serving it.


* Disclaimer: I am a HughesNet customer and not a HughesNet employee. All of my comments are my own and do not necessarily represent HughesNet in any way.
maratsade
Distinguished Professor IV

"I’ve seen that discussed here and started to look into so options for using the PC based software version."

 

Be aware that, unless things have changed, the PC client uses data both to record and to download. At least it used to be this way, which is why I switched to the cloud version, which only uses data to download. I also had other problems with the PC app; it kept disconnecting and it was a royal pain.  I have had no problems with the cloud app. 

GabeU
Distinguished Professor IV


@bcs001 wrote:
I am considering setting up a home network PC based server that possibly could be used as the recording device and then fed to my Smart TV thru an Ethernet connection.  

If your smart TV or some other connected media device, such as a Blu Ray player, has a USB port, you may be able to watch the downloaded items via USB flash drive or external HDD/SSD as well.  This is what I do.  I've got all of my PlayOn Cloud files written to a 1TB external SSD.  Though I dind't know it until I tried, my smart TV has a built in file playing app which plays the .mp4 format of the PlayOn Cloud files, as does my Blu Ray player. 

 

I also write the files to DVDs and/or Blu Rays for more permanent storage.


Ryzen 5 3400G | MSI B450M Pro-M2 MAX | 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3000 | XPG SX8200 Pro 512GB NVMe | Windows 10 Pro

Great suggestion. I signed up with PlayOn Cloud for a trial service and found it to be a very good solution that gives me unbuffered HD video and by downloading the cloud files at work, saves my data as well.
I set up the app on my phone, que’d all my recording to the cloud, downloaded and set up the Playin Cloud Downloader on my work PC and set it up to automatically download to my PC between 12am and 5am so as not to interrupt any business hours. Then I bring my external USB HDD to work and transfer all the downloads to play at home thru the USB on the TV.
With this service all you pay is the cost of each download which if you buy their larger packages will only cost 13-20 cents per.
Even if I can’t get the downloads from work, you can set up downloads to home overnight and they would be available the next morning.
The only downside is you have to plan ahead a few hours or overnight before watching a stream.
Thanks GabeU.
maratsade
Distinguished Professor IV

PlayOn Cloud rocks. I've been using it for quite a while now, and since it keeps recordings for 7 days (I have the free option with the 7-day limit), I don't have to plan too much, just set up the recording and download it during bonus times (or elsewhere where it won't affect my data), and watch whenever.  Great product. 

GabeU
Distinguished Professor IV

@bcs001 

 

That's great to hear!  I'm glad it's working well for you.  

 

It definitely makes it a lot easier than trying to stream the traditional way.  🙂

 

Keep an eye out for the Anytime Credits sales emails too, as they often have really good ones in which you don't end up having to buy a ton of them to get a great per credit price.  They're sometimes as low as 10 cents per.


Ryzen 5 3400G | MSI B450M Pro-M2 MAX | 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3000 | XPG SX8200 Pro 512GB NVMe | Windows 10 Pro
GailWasiskiMile
Sophomore

I had the same problem..which I have solved..kind of!
I installed a separate wifi router..and turned off wifi in the Hughes modem. I can now stream amazon prime through my smart tv and through Roku. Amazon prime still does not work with the Amazon firestick tho.
maratsade
Distinguished Professor IV

That's great. I hope other people try this and share how it works for them. 

 

GailWasiskiMile wrote:
I had the same problem..which I have solved..kind of!
I installed a separate wifi router..and turned off wifi in the Hughes modem. I can now stream amazon prime through my smart tv and through Roku. Amazon prime still does not work with the Amazon firestick tho.

 

That great this worked for you and maybe it will be a solution for some others. I’m actually running in this configuration and unfortunately didn’t improve anything but it does give me better control of my wired and wireless network. I run wired to my TV where I was streaming video.