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YouTube/Amazon streaming buffering/stalling

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BirdDog
Assistant Professor

YouTube/Amazon streaming buffering/stalling

Amazon seems to be suffering the same problem as YouTube lately. Have run some tests and my observations are as follows. There's been a number of complaints here about it so thought I'd do a bit of investigating and discovered the same issue.

 

Streaming starts out fine but then about two minutes in it buffers and I get the "bandwidth may be too slow" popup error. I'm on Gen 4 with good speed, 20-30 Mbps much of the time, and during the times I tested this.

 

Been watching my bandwidth throughput meter when checking. The video initiates and loads the cache on the computer, or TV, for the first minute or two minutes of viewing but then the throughput drops to zero or near zero. Once the cache drains then the video stops/stalls and starts buffering again, the throughput goes up from zero starting to load the cache but by then it is too late as the server end (Amazon/YouTube) thinks either the connection has been lost or the bandwidth is too slow and the error appears.

 

The problem seems to be something in the communication between client and server when it comes to the caching and it is not refreshing/filling ahead of time to keep up with the stream. It appears to be a satellite system to the video server communication problem and has been going on for awhile now. I even tried increasing the cache size on my Chrome browser but that didn't help, just extended the time a bit until it times out, drops to zero caching download. It is like a "keep alive" or similar signal is not being communicated between the streaming server and HughesNet client.

 

If I test Netflix streaming during the same period, it works fine, cache is continually updating. So it really does seem to be a communication thing between the Amazon/YouTube servers and HughesNet. It used to work fine just like Netflix some time back, but has really gone bad the last few months or so.

No idea which side the problem is on but there defineitely is a problem.

 

Pretty sure it is not fixable on the user end, will probably take engineering looking into it and until enough people complain here it may not get looked at period. Get the same results with Video Data Saver and Web Acceleration turned off.

 

Perhaps someone on HughesNet side can check it out and see if they get the same result? It sure seems like there is a breakdown in the communication between the streaming servers and user end over the HughesNet system.

 

 

 

22 REPLIES 22
BirdDog
Assistant Professor

UPDATE:  Ran same tests just now and seems the buffering/stalling cache issue is mostly another prime time issue as everything works as it should now during the day. Really strange since my speed during prime time has been at least 10 Mbps which should be plenty to keep a consistant stream especially at 360p and lower. Strange how badly the caching acts during the evening time, especially when Netflix doesn't seem to suffer the same problem.

Hi BirdDog,

 

Thank you for testing this out and sharing your findings, that does sound intriguing. I tried it out myself on our Gen 5 system here. I started streaming a half hour show off Amazon and didn't see any buffering. I went for about 15 min before I stopped. Then I streamed a ~20 min vid off YouTube. I noticed 7 brief (<5 seconds) periods of buffering, first after 6 min in, then again around the 10-12 min period. After 12:30 until close to the very end the video streamed fine, but it buffered during the last 10 seconds. This was all done with VDS enabled. Not quite the same experience, but I can see if we have Amazon complaints trending.

 

 

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Slow performance? Click me!

bare65
Advanced Tutor

Something's not right..i've been trying to watch a 6 minute utube video for the past few days and still haven't been able to watch it in it's entirety....and this is at 144p resolution.

 

After 20 seconds, it starts to buffer, and then..nothing.

I get the little pop up notification as shown below in this screen shot...

Untitled.png

 

I've tried watching several other u-tube clips...and they all act in the same manner.

 

According to Testmy.net my download speed is 32 Mbps, and HN Speed Test has me at 41Mbps...

but you sure wouldn't know it after trying to stream a very short u-tube video....

I sure do hope the problem gets resolved quickly....

BirdDog
Assistant Professor

bare65, yep, and my point is that it isn't so much buffering as the caching process stops completely for a significant amount of time for some reason even when speed is good, especially at night during peak times. At least that is the case for me. All works fine during the day.

 

The spinning buffering wheel is just a symptom of the stream totally dying for some reason and not filling the cache. Today I started watching a YouTube TV show stream and it kept filling the cache until almost the end until I quit watching. At night, the stream starts and fills the cache for the first few minutes of video then completely dies like a switch is turned off. Sometimes if I'm able to pause then restart while stalled it will start downloading and filling the cache enough to play another minute or two until it completely dies again, repeating the cycle.

 

It is like a switch is allowing only a certain amount of the stream to be downloaded and cached at any given point in time. Very strange and not sure if Im explaining well enough what is happening. Not really anything to do with actual speed from what I see.

GabeU
Distinguished Professor IV

I sometimes find the same thing on Youtube, but it often varies from video to video.  Sometimes, regardless of the VDS being on or off, a 240p video buffers like nuts, while at the same time I can watch another vid in 1080p (with the VDS off), with the entire vid loading before I'm a quarter of the way into viewing it.  I assumed it was due to them being on different servers, as that was the only thing I could think of causing it.    


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

Hm, I didn't get any info regarding caching specifically, but I was informed that as opposed to Netflix and YouTube, Amazon uses progressive streaming (the others use adaptive). Apparently we also have an illustrated FAQ article about the differences between the two. 

 

I've pointed out to the testers that you all have even encountered buffering despite good speeds, no VDS, and low playback qualities selected. Let's see what happens next.

 

Can you all, if you haven't done so already, let me know whether the buffering persists in the evening and if it does so with and without VDS enabled? Let's try the 360p quality first. 

 

 

If you have a tech or billing question and need help, please start a new thread in the appropriate board. Unsolicited Private Messages may not get replies.

Slow performance? Click me!

GW
Advanced Tutor

I may as well report I tried to watch an embedded utube video Wednesday morning and it wouldn't even start. I saw nothing but the spinning wheel for the few seconds before terminal boredom set in and I moved on.

GabeU
Distinguished Professor IV

With this random video from their Trending list, I had no buffering with the VDS on or off, and with 360p and 480p.  7:08PM EST.  TMN speed 13.07Mbps.

 

Edit:  Lots of buffering in 360p and 480p, with VDS on AND off.  9:00PM EST.  TMN speed 8.72Mbps

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCO7BWbKipU


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

Tested YouTube last night and it worked fine, the stream never totally stopped like when I first checked. The cache constantly filled to the end.

 

Didn't try Amazon as from Liz's reply it sounds like a lost cause over satellite unless they change their streaming method.

 

Will try YouTube again tonight. Sunday evenings seem to be a high traffic period.

 

What still concerns me about when I made the OP is how the stream just totally stops, not a slowdown but a complete stop. Then it may or may not eventually kick back in. Not how it should act even if speed at the time is only 500 kbps.

GabeU
Distinguished Professor IV

Tested same Youtube video as listed in my post above.  8:50PM EST.  

 

It buffered for a second or two at about 25 seconds in at 360p, then was fine, and then it auto adjusted to 480p.  It then auto adjusted to 720p.  No buffering, save for the initial bit.  This was with the VDS on.  When I turned the VDS off, the video kicked up to 1080p after about thirty seconds and continued playing with no buffering.  

 

Tested speed was 12.6Mbps.  


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

Spoiler
I just watched this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IL4sMC_XBE
No buffering at all.
GabeU
Distinguished Professor IV

@GW

 

Worked perfectly for me, as well.  360p and 480p with no buffering at all.  Speed 30.8Mbps.  Loved the video, too.  😛  


Ryzen 5 3400G | MSI B450M Pro-M2 MAX | 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3000 | XPG SX8200 Pro 512GB NVMe | Windows 10 Pro
bare65
Advanced Tutor

@BirdDog

I concur..my own u-tube viewing issues are back to normal on this end too

HI folks, thanks for your feedback!

 

I can use this for now to escalate to our VDS devs. I'll let you know if we need more info. 

 

  Your cooperation, patience, and understanding are much appreciated.

 

 

If you have a tech or billing question and need help, please start a new thread in the appropriate board. Unsolicited Private Messages may not get replies.

Slow performance? Click me!

BirdDog
Assistant Professor

Thanks Liz. Like the others I haven't gotten it to repeat again since my original post, Murphy's Law strikes again. That wasn't the first time though, had been happening off and on for some time.

 

It isn't so much the buffering but insteadthe stream totally shutting off, or near off as it truly drops to dialup speed like 56k and lower, going to zero download speed.

 

Anyway, thanks for continuing to check into it. Not sure VDS is a factor though since when it was acting up I tried it both on and off with no difference.

While I'm not having any trouble watching You Tube or buffering, I've stopped watching videos during Anytime time period to save on my data.  I've downloaded a program called Free Video Downloader.  It lets you schedule videos any time you want.  I load up what I want to watch (in 720 and 1080!) and have them download between 3 and 7am.  Win-win 🙂  The only videos that don't seem to work is official music videos.  The company is aware of it and working on the issue.  Luckily for me, I watch very few music videos.

Gabe, the grandkids and I love this guy!    Got hoooked on Brave Wilderness when I saw their video of "Dingo Meets a Coyote".  We have a Desert Dingo so I'm always watching Dingo videos 🙂

Gen 5:  At 28% of data.  Tried Amazon, Grand Tour.  Same problem as seen above.  Severe pixelation, buffering, warning note pops up saying bandwidth is too low.  Download speeds up to 40mb., but jitter up to 300 - 1,000 and ping 600-800

 

My question, Is there a solution to this problem, or are we all waiting for Gen 6?

 

Date:  3/20/2018


@bare65wrote:

Something's not right..i've been trying to watch a 6 minute utube video for the past few days and still haven't been able to watch it in it's entirety....and this is at 144p resolution.

 

After 20 seconds, it starts to buffer, and then..nothing.

I get the little pop up notification as shown below in this screen shot...

Untitled.png

 

I've tried watching several other u-tube clips...and they all act in the same manner.

 

According to Testmy.net my download speed is 32 Mbps, and HN Speed Test has me at 41Mbps...

but you sure wouldn't know it after trying to stream a very short u-tube video....

I sure do hope the problem gets resolved quickly....


I have exactly the same problem, day and night. Installed Gen5 last Friday, got brand new in the box Windows 10 computer with 8 gb ram and 1 TB hard drive, nothing else installed as far as programs except Firefox browser. Speedtests test 25-31Mbps, yet cannot watch a 2 min youtube video at 240p. Cell phone hotspot is slightly better and it has a very poor signal out here.

GabeU
Distinguished Professor IV


@deserthavenwrote:

I have exactly the same problem, day and night. Installed Gen5 last Friday, got brand new in the box Windows 10 computer with 8 gb ram and 1 TB hard drive, nothing else installed as far as programs except Firefox browser. 

Make sure you go through and uninstall any bloatware it came with that you aren't going to use, and turn off live tiles in your Start Menu for things that you don't need to have current all the time.  

 

Also, make sure to go into the update settings and turn off "Delivery Optimization".  It's under Advanced Options and towards the bottom of the page.  Not turning this off could cause you to use a LOT of data that you don't want to use, as everybody and their brother, and their long lost 2nd cousin, Hector, could be drawing parts of their Windows 10 updates from your computer.  

 

You should install an ad blocker, like Adblock Plus or uBlock Origin, on your Firefox browser, too.  

 

Though unrelated to what this thread is about, those things may very well help to save you a lot of data.  


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