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Video Buffering - Playback -Download Problem


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#1 mego7

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 08:47 PM

Hello,

I have two laptop pcs and a desktop computer, all of which suddenly started experiencing crippling wait times for downloading and video playback. We first noticed it when trying to stream programs from Comedy Central and Hulu -- videos buffer every 8-10 seconds and even Youtube requires that we allow the entire video to load for uninterrupted playback. The specs are:

Both laptops running Windows Vista, the desktop is running XP.
The laptops work off of wifi and the desktop is hard connected to the modem.
Netgear Rangemax Router, less than six months old
Speedstream 5100 modem
AT&T Highspeed DSL

This problem occurs in both Chrome and IE 8.

I have
--uninstalled and reinstalled Flash 10.1
--changed the channel on the router
--hard connected the laptops to the modem, and experienced the same issues

So, I am fairly certain this is not a router/wireless issue, nor a hardware issue, since the problem ranges across three different three computers -- two Dells (Inspiron laptop and a desktop) and a HP Pavilion laptop.

Before I venture into the morass known as AT&T tech support, I wonder if there is anything I can be doing to resolve this issue or at least info that I can arm myself with before I try tech support? Any insight would be appreciated.

THANKS!

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#2 NpaMA

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 09:47 PM

Run a internet speedtest and what are you plan's speeds?


http://www.speedtest.net/

#3 mego7

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 10:56 PM

Speedtest results:
http://www.speedtest.net/result/927033574.png

And, in case it makes a difference,

Speedtest results while streaming video in another IE tab:
http://www.speedtest.net/result/927034500.png

I should note that a few hours ago, I was able to stream video (the same as the one played during Speedtest) without interruption.

Maybe it is time to call AT&T?

#4 mego7

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 11:05 PM

Speedtest 10 minutes later:
http://www.speedtest.net/result/927041447.png

#5 NpaMA

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 01:34 AM

That's pretty low. What are your advertised speeds?

By "a few hours earlier" is it a specific time? Like works ok midnight - 9am, then messes up 9am-midnight?

#6 mego7

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 07:56 AM

Yes, a few hours = streaming at 7pm, no problems. Streaming between 9pm-midnight, no can do.

The advertised speeds are:

Downstream Speed: Up to 1.5 Mbps
Upstream Speed: Up to 384 Kbps
IP Address: 1 Dynamic

I have had this DSL account for five years and haven't changed it. In looking up the plans from AT&T, this looks a lot slower than suits my needs. The current plan is advertised for the "casual internet user." But I've streamed video using all of the same hardware and same residence for the past two years.

THANKS!

#7 NpaMA

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 12:44 PM

That 9pm - midnight is a bit odd. As thats normally the "good" times for what I was thinking it may be.

It's worth a call to AT&T I guess, the speed tests you ran: Can you do one when you have no problems viewing the videos?

#8 mego7

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 10:32 AM

I did contact AT&T DSL Tech Support last night. I was anticipating an onerous and long phone conversation, but the call was quick. That's because the first-level guy I spoke with informed me after I described the issue that their "fiber optics went down" and that there have been "daily outages" in my area and that my service is on the "affected server." He instructed me to power cycle the modem every 3 to 4 hours (of course, it was 8pm at the time I called; I didn't stay up all night shutting down the modem), and then to call the next day for an update if the service continued to be slow/interrupted.

Now, I am somewhat suspicious that he was rebuffing me and reading from a script, but it at least points to the service as being at fault. Is this possible, or did I receive the company line? Could they really have outages? I live in Chicago and it seems that in a dense area like this an outage shouldn't last even two or three days...

Oh and after a check this morning -- no change. Same speeds.

Thanks!

#9 NpaMA

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 04:21 PM

Well about 1/2 and 1/2. If they have a fiber line down, yes it can make you have slow speeds. No, it won't get fixed by power cycling the modem.

It could take even a week or two for fiber lines to be replaced. It may not have happened in Chicago, the line could be one running anywhere. Heck, it *could* be as far as say Memphis, or so. All depends on how they're routing.

#10 mego7

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 12:04 PM

Well, on Thursday night there finally was *no* connecting to the internet whatsoever. Called AT&T again, they sent a tech out Friday morning, whom I know checked the line outside the building. He called me to say that there was "a problem at the main terminal" and a "loose connection" and that he fixed it and monitored it for 30 minutes. Wonderful.

Now it's Sunday and we're back to not being able to stream, download, and having interrupted service.

Thanks for the story, AT&T. Unless it truly is their fiber lines. Jeez.




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