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Super fast connection, super slow video streaming


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#1 Threequalseven

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 10:04 AM

I live in South Korea. The internet here is unbelievably fast. I've done 3 speed tests tonight, and the download speed averages between 20-40mbps, upload speed between 40-75mbps. However, when I try to watch streaming videos online, it's ridiculously slow. And it's not just one site. It seems to be all of them. Youtube, Comedy Central, BBC, and MSNBC have all been really slow. I notice it the most around 10:00-11:00pm here (only because that's when I come home from work), which is right at the same time most Americans are starting to go to work. Is it possible that the United States 9-5 workforce uses up so much bandwidth on their morning rounds through the internet that it could devastate my access to streaming video here?

A brief synopsis: The majority of videos I try loading require an obscenely long buffer time (upwards of 20 minutes for a 2 minute video). Not always, but usually. However, oftentimes YouTube will only buffer the first 20% or so of the video. So after I play it for a little bit, it inevitably catches up with the buffer and I have to wait again. Even video quality as low as 240p still sometimes takes an awfully long time to load.

Does anybody have any theories? I was able to watch the presidential debate earlier today live just fine (10am here, 7pm Denver time). Am I just trying to play videos at peak bandwidth times? Are there any ways around this? Could there be another explanation? This has been a rather consistent problem since I got internet a few weeks ago. It has definitely made my online video watching much more irritating, if not outright impossible. Thanks in advance!

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#2 Romeo29

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 12:25 PM

Americans use the Internet non-stop round the clock, so that's not the probable reason. I think your ISP is throttling your speed for videos sites. You should contact your ISP and complain.

#3 Threequalseven

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 12:15 AM

So you think my ISP is intentionally restricting video speeds? If this is the case, then I'm probably SOL because I can't really speak Korean. I tried watching a video this morning before work, however, and it seemed to load up just fine. Its just after work when it seems the worst.

#4 frankp316

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 12:00 PM

Are you on cable or dialup?

#5 Romeo29

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 08:12 PM

So you think my ISP is intentionally restricting video speeds? If this is the case, then I'm probably SOL because I can't really speak Korean. I tried watching a video this morning before work, however, and it seemed to load up just fine. Its just after work when it seems the worst.


Most of the ISP throttle speed. If you start to download more and more, they soon limit bandwidth and slow you down. The download tests are performed in a way to show max speed, so actual speed are different when you use sites and download stuff.

If you are using DSL, then check the ADSL contention ratio - how many people you are sharing one high speed line with. if contention ratio is high, and others are downloading stuff, then your speed may go down.

You can use a Korean friend to help you talk with the ISP.

#6 Threequalseven

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 09:41 AM

Well, my apartment building has 81 units, so perhaps I'm sharing my 40mbps with 81 other people. However, I don't think this is the case. If I'm just downloading a file, it's lightning fast. I can download an entire movie in roughly 10 minutes. It took around 3 to 4 hours with my high-speed connection back in the United States. So I really don't think it's on my end.

I have a theory that websites that stream video are compromising my buffer times. I'll pause a video for a couple seconds, and it will say "buffer full". But then later on it will still stop and require more buffering. Perhaps my internet connection is so fast that these websites calculate that I only need a few seconds to buffer, so they're trying to save their bandwidth by not letting me load the whole thing. But when the connection is inevitably slower than expected (with the over 6,000 miles distance from U.S. servers), my playback catches up to the buffer and it stops. That's just a theory. I'm completely open to more ideas.

#7 Threequalseven

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 09:43 AM

On second thought, I don't know if my theory holds water, because sometimes it takes a ridiculously long time to load a video on YouTube. The little gray bar often fills in slower than time itself (i.e. one second of time takes 2 or 3 seconds to load). Any more ideas?

Edited by Threequalseven, 11 October 2012 - 09:43 AM.





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