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BBC Player insufficient bandwith, good speed test

peterowen1946
Team Player
Message 14 of 14

So, yesterday evening, I retired to the PC in my den with half  bottle of red to watch France v Scotland (KO 20:00)using BBC Player (over wifi) while others enjoyed terrestrial TV of lesser consequence 😊

 

Unfortunately, the reception stuttered from the get-go so I checked the line speed which, at a pretty consistent > 65Mbps, should have been more than enough to produce a good picture.

 

Being determined, I persevered with this increasingly disrupted reception until half time by which time the problem was getting worse with the Player regularly giving up and reporting insufficient bandwith - this while line speed test remained as reported above 😢

 

Eventually gave up and adjourned to the kitchen to watch Scotland snatch a win in the last seconds on terrestrial TV 🙄

 

No idea why this should have been happening but, I'd be interested to know if the problem is local to me/us or if others had anything like a similar experience or, indeed, if anyone can throw any light on the cause 🤔

 

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13 REPLIES 13

Message 1 of 14

Hi Pete,


Thanks for the update, hope you get to the bottom of it

Chris

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Message 2 of 14

You're right but given the recorded and reported speeds and signal strength I was struggling to understand what could be happening and I'm happy to say that, having set up a LAN connection using a recently purchased USB adapter and powerline, with one or two exceptions speed is consistently  >70Mbps and I've even had >100 for a moment 😲

 

What has remained, however, is the problem with streaming on my PC with my newly acquired Sky Go access now producing problems way beyond BBC iPlayer's while other devices seem to work just fine 😢

 

What I've now found out, however, is that it is quite probably a local caching problem more to do with the way Windows 10, Edge, Chrome etc on my Intel (m3) Compute Stick use the latter's SSD memory 🤦‍♂️

 

Now just need to better understand and, maybe, find out how to address and eliminate that problem 🤞

 

Thank for all the inputs 👍

 

Pete

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Message 3 of 14

You cannot realistically consider congestion issues at a network level before eliminating the weak links in your local setup, of which wifi will always be the main one. 

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Message 4 of 14

Yes and no 🙀 

 

I'm trying to build up a better overall picture to put this one really bad event in its proper context  and, as I've said previously, my instincts are now pointing to possible congestion at a higher levels in the process which could be communications or service provider related or both ie not just at the link level.

 

What I need and am now looking for is a more general performance monitoring facility which would capture relevant information in a continuum - possibly sampling basis - or, less usefully, in specified testing windows; if you know of any such facilities or apps, please let me know. 

 

At the moment, performance is "solid" though link speed is actually down at 56/17Mbps against the consistent ~70/~18Mbps of old using the same phone and Ookla test over wifi with NetSpot indicating a signal strength of ~52dBm which, guess what, just dropped to ~62dBm while I was typing with the cursor freezing momentarily 😲

 

Just checked signal strength over about five minutes and, this drop has happened three times - is this normal - router is Sagecom 🙄

 

P🤓

 

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Message 5 of 14

Hi peterowen1946,

 

Do you experience the iplayer streaming issues on more than one device?

Chris

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Message 6 of 14

No problem.  Your line tests confirm my testing albeit done over wifi.

I have no directly wired LAN connections for my PC but, I do have Devolo powerline adapters for extending wifi to a blind spot and and a TV  - that said, on the evening in question there was no actual demand for the LAN.

While we haven't actually experienced any similarly serious problems in recent times, we do occasionally find ourselves cursing our broadband for slow performance which I'm now inclined to think is some kind of congestion at higher levels than that of the link itself.

These problems range from sites which are just slow to respond to times when internet just seems to absent itself only to re-appear when "retry" is pressed.

In this regard, TalkTalk seems to have a significant number of social media detractors in our area who swear by Sky or BT or, indeed, whoever they've just been converted 🙄

No hard evidence, of course, but, there's now enough technical smoke to have me thinking about giving someone else a try when my current contract ends - especially with the price increases involved 🙄

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Michelle-TalkTalk
Support Team
Message 7 of 14

Hi peter,

 

I'm sorry for the delay. I've run a test on the line which hasn't detected a fault, the sync speed looks good and the connection looks stable. Just to confirm, does this also happen if you connect wired? Are you using any powerline adapters?

 

Thanks

 

Message 8 of 14

@peterowen1946 To check whether it is a wifi issue try a direct ethernet connection. Are your PC software and BBC iPlayer versions up to date? I have always found the service remarkably robust compared to others. 

Message 9 of 14

Hi Pete,

 

Another, perhaps more pertinent point (I should have mentioned earlier), is that I also have a mobile broadband system with Three installed in my home with an external aerial mounted on the roof (for the many times that TT used to go down!) but the speeds this system gives varies wildly according to high demand / peak times from 5Mbps to 15Mbps.

I get exactly the same problems with iplayer whether logged in through WiFi with TT or with Three, which is why I suggested the problem may be with iplayer.

I use all the other streaming services, Netflix, Amazon Prime, All 4, ITV Hub etc. etc. without any issues on either network, even on the lower speeds.

I may start harassing iplayer Tech Support now I know others have the same problems - get my License fee moneys' worth!!

Andy

Message 10 of 14

No idea where my previous attempt at a fuller reply has gone 😢 but, in summary: all tests of wifi show speeds around 65Mbps which compare favourably with the router sync speed of 80/20Mbps.

Router channels are set to auto and signal strength in my "den" is consistently around 50GHz in the 2.4GHz band.

Given another response here, I'm now drawn to the suspicion - if not conclusion - that this is not so much a link speed/capacity problem but, something at a higher level either in TT's network or that of the streaming service provider.

Sadly, I cannot re-create the situation past so, unless there's some way of assessing performance to individual service providers in a continuum, we'll just have to wait until the next time hoping it never happens 🤞

 

Thanks for your response.

 

Pete

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Message 11 of 14

Thanks - like you, it's nice to know that it's not just me 👍

Trouble now is that so many of these sorts of problems turn out to be right-when-tested and there just don't seem to be any obvious ways of tracking real network performance either at the basic level of a fairly static page or, far more importantly, over the duration of a streaming session.

Totally unacceptable in any other management discipline but, this is technology so ....😊

 

Pete

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AndyPM
Chatterbox
Message 12 of 14

Hi,

 

Not sure that this will be of any help to you but I have always found BBC iplayer to be a real pain in the rear.

I have not had any trouble at all with any other streaming service, even when I had speeds of less than 5Mbps, but even now with speeds in excess of 70Mbps I find iplayer still stutters and occasionally displays the buffering "Disc of Doom".

Which leads me to suspect this may be more of an iplayer fault. It's reassuring to know that someone else experiences the same problems - thought it was only me and my set-up.

 

Not much help, but perhaps a little solace!!

Andy

Skynet_TX
Community Star
Message 13 of 14

Hi @peterowen1946,

 

It would be interesting to run a speed test on a device in your 'den' to see how the actual throughput speed compares to the sync speed shown on your router.

 

Also if you have any 'wired' devices it would be good to check the speed test results on one of those.

 

If your wired speed test results are good, then it may be that you are suffering from Wi-Fi interference (e.g. a neighbours router may be broadcasting on the same channel as your router).

 

There are a few things you could try to see if it is Wi-Fi interference causing the problems.

 

Split the SSID's on the router, this will allow you to give the 2.4GHz and 5GHz network bands different names, so your Wi-Fi devices will then see those two networks separately, you can then try connecting to one or the other to see if one gives a more reliable connection than the other. Doing this in itself won’t fix the problem, but it makes it easier to troubleshoot as you can easily see what device is using what band.

 

Change the channels that your router broadcasts the Wi-Fi signal on, you can use free smartphone Apps like this to see what channels are being used within range of your smartphone, you can then change your router to use channels that are less congested.

 

If trying the above makes no difference then it may indicate an issue with the router, the staff here would be able to help with that.

 

There will also be a limit as to how far a strong Wi-Fi signal will travel, so if your den is a long distance from the router then this could also be contributing to the issue, i.e. Wi-Fi speed test results may be much better if you are closer to the router, but will always reduce as you get further away.