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Windows 7: Video buffering problem with most sites? Help Needed!

05 May 2018   #1
supashaka

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Video buffering problem with most sites? Help Needed!

My PC used to handle video fine without any problems. We mainly use BBC Iplayer. Then about a month ago video started buffering on video sites more slowly than usual (coincidentally after heavy rain). It would play for between 1-3 minutes for fine, and then pause to buffer for a minute or so, and it would do this continually, with the quality of the video changing to low and then changing back to HD. For some strange reason it didn't affect video sharing sites such as youtube/vimeo/dailymotion etc. We checked Prime video and the quality would change in a similar fashion, although the buffering was not as bad, it still had problems and didn't play smoothly. We've since had to start looking for shows on multiple unofficial websites, and the majority of them all buffer the same as Iplayer. For some reason the only websites I've found which buffer normally (apart from youtube) is 123movies.md,.the123movies.com and 123movies.cafe, I've absolutely no idea why. I've tried many many different sites, what is different about these 3? I'm hoping someone knows about the different types of video players different websites use? I've tried a different browser and that made no difference either.

I thought I would try testing if my spare cables would make a difference, but they didn't. Also when I unplugged and re-plugged the ehternet phone cable (connecting the router to the micro filter/BT phone socket) for some reason the PC wouldn't connect to the internet (the internet symbol showed a yellow exclamation mark instead of the PC symbol). I unplugged and re-plugged it again and at one point it even notified me that the ethernet cable wasn't plugged in! It took a few minutes after which it connected (without me doing anything).

But the buffering problem remained. Since then the problem has got a bit better occasionally (temporarily), and sometimes a lot worse, but it hasn't gone away.

I am with Origin Broadband and my average speeds are 9.3 Mbps, and in general since this problem has started the strange thing is that it hasn't affected the speeds recorded on speedtest.net, I do now get drastic drops to around 3 Mbps or even 1 Mbps occasionally but they only last a few moments-I re-do the tests and they are back to normal speeds, so I'm not sure if they're an error in the test.

The strangest thing is that it happens on PC, but not on other wireless devices connected such as tablets and the laptop. I'm hoping someone can help figure out what's going on, I've never experienced this before!

Here is the email thread between myself and the Origin Broadbrand tech support (It started with a phone call where I explained buffering had slowed to a crawl on all video sites I use apart from Youtube):

In order to look further into this matter, I need you to complete some testing when the connection is being effected to see if there is anything in the network that could be causing this issue.

In order to do this I need you to connect a laptop or computer directly the router with wireless turned off on it, after this I need you to run (initially) a speed test on Internet Speed Test and input your landline telephone number on the results. Then run a program called WinMTR ( http://winmtr.net/ ) this is a program that runs TraceRoute requests to a certain web page you request (say Google.co.uk) and for around 30 minutes.

When the connection next suffers from these issues I need you to run the program for 30 minutes to allow plenty of results to appear and then attach the logs in response to this email so that we can pass this to our networks team for further investigation.

ME: We got one more drop-out in internet connection today after speaking to you. I think there was actually a drop out earlier in the morning also which I forgot to mention. (BBC iplayer results:)
|------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| WinMTR statistics |
| Host - % | Sent | Recv | Best | Avrg | Wrst | Last |
|------------------------------------------------|------|------|------|------|------|------|
| router.asus.com - 0 | 7004 | 7004 | 0 | 0 | 1 | 0 |
| 145.255.247.211 - 2 | 6578 | 6471 | 16 | 24 | 672 | 44 |
| 10.0.250.21 - 1 | 6787 | 6732 | 16 | 25 | 666 | 17 |
| 172.18.0.65 - 3 | 6415 | 6267 | 16 | 37 | 449 | 19 |
| ldn-b3-link.telia.net - 7 | 5637 | 5294 | 0 | 26 | 205 | 19 |
| ldn-bb4-link.telia.net - 10 | 5074 | 4590 | 0 | 26 | 679 | 19 |
| ldn-b7-link.telia.net - 3 | 6404 | 6253 | 16 | 26 | 536 | 18 |
| ae-11.r02.londen03.uk.bb.gin.ntt.net - 1 | 6807 | 6757 | 17 | 25 | 669 | 20 |
| ae-25.r00.londen10.uk.bb.gin.ntt.net - 4 | 6246 | 6056 | 17 | 24 | 679 | 19 |
| 82.112.101.98 - 2 | 6615 | 6517 | 17 | 30 | 667 | 22 |
| tfm20-dist-3750e-b.ioko.net - 1 | 6749 | 6685 | 17 | 27 | 549 | 21 |
| No response from host - 100 | 1402 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 |
| No response from host - 100 | 1402 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 |
| No response from host - 100 | 1402 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 |
| No response from host - 100 | 1402 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 |
| No response from host - 100 | 1402 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 |
| No response from host - 100 | 1402 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 |
| No response from host - 100 | 1402 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 |
| No response from host - 100 | 1402 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 |
| No response from host - 100 | 1402 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 |
| No response from host - 100 | 1402 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 |
| No response from host - 100 | 1402 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 |
| No response from host - 100 | 1402 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 |
| No response from host - 100 | 1402 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 |
| No response from host - 100 | 1402 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 |
| No response from host - 100 | 1402 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 |
| No response from host - 100 | 1402 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 |
| No response from host - 100 | 1402 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 |
| No response from host - 100 | 1402 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 |
| No response from host - 100 | 1402 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 |
|________________________________________________|______|______|______|______|______|______|


WinMTR v0.92 GPL V2 by Appnor MSP - Fully Managed Hosting & Cloud Provider

Were these run when you were having issues with the service? Most of these results show only very small amounts of packet loss that shouldn't be enough to impact the service.



ME: unfortunately when each site would have problems, I would then run it but it would suddenly return to normal, so it wasn't easy to catch the worst of it. Before Fri we weren't ever getting these problems, if we did it was extremely rare. The same with the internet drop-outs, and even though the buffering problem has got slightly better, it is still a huge problem, this morning fmovies was refusing to buffer at all. We simply didn't have these problems until the heavy rainfall, I can continue to try to capture it but is there a better way to deal with this problem?

Could you monitor my line for dropouts? I'm extremely unhappy with the service as it is. Is there any other way to diagnose/ solve, as it seems like this is a way of diagnosing problems with specific websites, where as this is a general problem with all websites (except for youtube) which definitely wasn't happening before Friday. I can try to keep sending data if it's really the best way to get the bottom of it, but really want to know can you please monitor the line, look into other solutions etc.




If this was a general network issue it would normally be affecting youtube as well as the other streaming sites. That's the reason I requested these tests to try and find if there is any thing on the network could be causing your problems. The packet loss appears to start on the 2nd hop of the connection which is between your router and the network so we would need to complete a few other checks internally before we can escalate this further.

The first step we would like you to perform is a direct connection into the Openreach test port. The remaining troubleshooting steps are to replace any equipment, you have spare, possible. This includes any wiring or devices.



Me: I keep it plugged into the test socket always. I don't have any spare wirings etc. but the thing is, nothing of note changed on Fri, apart from the heavy rainfall which is why I suspect that to be the culprit. What is the next step?



Testing on your line is coming back clear and your sync speed is showing fine, I have reset your connection to get a new session to see if this has any impact on the service. I can see nothing that would be causing your issues and there is only small amounts of packet loss on the tests we have run. The only other thing to test would be the bandwidth usage within the property to ensure there is nothing using up your bandwidth. However if it was bandwidth this would also impact youtube as would any of the issues we are trying to rule out.


Me: So what is the best step going forward? It already seemed to me that reporting pachet loss was assuming the problem was with those specific websites and their servers, rather than a general problem. I am definitely experiencing this problem on all websites except youtube, despite the tested sites only showing small packet loss. if it was the rainfall causing the issues, how would you proceed? Would it be Openreach inspecting the copper wiring at the exchange etc?



I'm not assuming anything with the connection, the reason I asked to run the traceroutes was to try and get a better idea of what might be causing the issue as this would normally show if the issue is internal, on the network or with the website. I can raise this for Openreach to investigate further to see if they can see anything on their network causing the problems you are seeing. I will be in touch as soon as I get a response from them.



Whilst investigating your fault we are now seeing that the next step required is for an engineer to be in attendance.
Can you please confirm convenient times/days for an engineer to be raised.
Days: Mon - Fri
Times: AM(8am-1pm), PM(1pm-6pm)

Please also be aware that if the fault is found to be internal to your premises then the visit may result in being chargeable.


Me: I am available from Tue onwards, but I need to know what you have investigated and exactly what you have found since you're saying I could be charged, I want to make sure it doesn't happen. Please give me as much detail as possible, else I won't accept any charges, I have no reason to believe the fault is inside my property, and as I said nothing occurred/changed that I know of.



The checks we go through are to cover internal issues (such as connecting to the test socket) so it unlikely to be something internal as long as the checks we requested were all completed. This is simply to cover ourselves as internal faults are charged by Openreach. The checks we have done thus far point towards a potential network issue with Openreach however this covers everything from the exchange to the router and since the line tests pass Openreach have requested access to run further tests. If you have any further questions or want to go ahead with an appointment please let me know


Me: What were the checks you requested of me? I definitely always keep it connected to the test socket because that is how to get maximum speeds. I don't want to have to buy a brand new set of cables just so that Origin don't turn around and say it's my fault, nothing at all suggests that it's the cables, I've checked and we can't think of anything at all that happened inside the property which could have resulted, but we all noted there had been heavy rain the day the problem started.

Could you please give me full details of what has been investigated so far, and what has been found, as you are putting the cost on me I need to know exactly what the investigation points to.



The checks are all in this email chain. We ran the traceroutes (WinMTR tests) and these pointed towards the issue being between your router and the Openreach network. At that point I requested you complete internal checks on your setup and equipment, this included connecting to the test socket and replacing any cabling that could be causing the issues (Microfilter, ADSL cable). The internal equipment checks are important as the traceroute results show that the issue may be with the internal equipment and Openreach can't see any external problems on the line.




My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 May 2018   #2
Snick

Win 10 x64, Linux Lite, Win 7 x64, BlackArch, Kali, VMWare Workstation Player, OpenVPN
 
 

Hi supashaka,
I'm read through your post, and I'm surprised the Tech and Engineer didn't pick up on the heavy rain! Duh...
I'm assuming you don't have Central Air, or whole home AC.
Peruse: Conservation physics: Humidity buffering by absorbent materials in walls
Video in same: What is HUMIDITY BUFFERING? What does HUMIDITY BUFFERING mean?

Don't think this is your issue as you stated "after heavy rain", but, are your cooling fans working, do they increase in speed and correspondingly become louder?
Are you getting any high temps on your computer?
Open Hardware Monitor
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2018   #3
supashaka

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Snick View Post
Hi supashaka,
I'm read through your post, and I'm surprised the Tech and Engineer didn't pick up on the heavy rain! Duh...
I'm assuming you don't have Central Air, or whole home AC.
Peruse: Conservation physics: Humidity buffering by absorbent materials in walls
Video in same: What is HUMIDITY BUFFERING? What does HUMIDITY BUFFERING mean?

Don't think this is your issue as you stated "after heavy rain", but, are your cooling fans working, do they increase in speed and correspondingly become louder?
Are you getting any high temps on your computer?
Open Hardware Monitor
All the temps are between 32 and 43 degrees celcius. Strangely TMPN5 (under the motherboard temps) was 127 C rather alarmingly! Don't know why or what that is, but I doubt this is the source of the problem, nothing changed in my property and I didn't download/install anything etc. only the rain was of note. We have had problems with the exchange cabling being damaged by heavy rainfall in the past but the difference here is that it's only buffering on certain websites which is affected.

Any ideas as to why?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

05 May 2018   #4
Snick

Win 10 x64, Linux Lite, Win 7 x64, BlackArch, Kali, VMWare Workstation Player, OpenVPN
 
 

TMPINS, ignore it, there is no sensor, and controller inputs default value of 127C.
Scratching my head a little on this. Really gets me, in a positive way, when an issue is difficult to nail down, which is why I enjoy donating my time, research time, and hopefully resolving OPs issues on SevenForums.

Pausing the video and waiting for the video to load completely would be a temporary workaround. Yea, I know.....

Another thought or two, being that your System specs are sparse, what Anti-Virus and Firewall are you using? Have you tried temporarily disabling them on the websites when they are causing your issues. Or booting into safe mode. I wouldn't surf the Internet without them, but just a website or two that the videos are buffering on.
Download Process Explorer - Windows Sysinternals and leave it running while you run website video and see what processes are eating up resources. Much more info that Task Manager.
Back at you tomorrow.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 May 2018   #5
supashaka

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Snick View Post
Pausing the video and waiting for the video to load completely would be a temporary workaround. Yea, I know.....
I remember the days you could leave a video to buffer completely, but now players seem to buffer differently and it's no longer possible. I use avast free and turning it off makes no difference, but I wonder. I'm glad you're trying to help, could you tell me about the different types of internet video players and how they work, it seems that's really a key factor here. The internet speed isn't affected, all video sites aren't affected, what is different about those sites?

Netflix is another site which I tested and can now confirm is working fine and unaffected by these issues. Hope you can help!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 May 2018   #6
Snick

Win 10 x64, Linux Lite, Win 7 x64, BlackArch, Kali, VMWare Workstation Player, OpenVPN
 
 

Working on your request regarding specific video players, may take me a bit, as I'm studying for my upcoming CompTIA exams, however, the hyperlinked sites I included should suffice.

To help prevent buffering, you can lower the player resolution, which will correspondingly lower the needed bit-rate, i.e., you don't need the bandwidth throughput to stream without buffering. You will see the download progress supersede the play progress, i.e., the video is downloading faster than it is playing and no buffering. Buffering occurs when the video is playing faster than it is downloading, i.e. when the two meet, viola, buffering!

Here's some technical, excellent explanations, reading for you:

Streaming 101: The Basics – Codecs, Bandwidth, Data Rate and Resolution
What is the Optimal Bit-rate for Your Resolution?
Choosing a Video Player: Features and Specs for the Top Five

With the knowledge you attain perusing the info on these sites, and then a little Googling (Google is your friend) you'll have a firm grasp on streaming and video playback in general.

101 Google search tips and tricks you need to know about
60 Google Search Tips and Tricks
The 35 Best Google Search Tips and Tricks
41 Pro Google Search Tips for Research, Marketing, and Fun ...

Nic
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 May 2018   #7
badcrc

Windows 7 Pro x64 sp1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by supashaka View Post
We've since had to start looking for shows on multiple unofficial websites, and the majority of them all buffer the same as Iplayer. For some reason the only websites I've found which buffer normally (apart from youtube) is 123movies.md,.the123movies.com and 123movies.cafe, I've absolutely no idea why. I've tried many many different sites, what is different about these 3?
They - 123xxx - are pirate movie sites. These sites often install malware, and nowadays even run bitcoin miners (use punter's cpus to generate cryptocurrency). The pirate sites are probably lower bitrate than iPlayer, so less buffering, but visit at your own risk.

BTW, piracy discussion is prohibited under Forum rules. Their site - their rules etc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 May 2018   #8
Snick

Win 10 x64, Linux Lite, Win 7 x64, BlackArch, Kali, VMWare Workstation Player, OpenVPN
 
 

Yes, I'm aware of the pirated movie sites & their pitfalls.

I, as other members of SevenForums, don't recommend doing anything illegal, and, in fact, is prohibited in forum rules as you indicated & I am well aware!

Also, as you indicate in your last post, pirate sites are usually much lower in bit rate, which is most likely due to server jumping, to keep govt. officials from blocking/taking down their sites, for lack of the appropriate technical term, and that jumping prohibits/restricts throughput. If you run a VPN, you'll notice the lag, bit rate throughput on different servers available throughout the world. I use Open VPN sometimes, with boosted security encryption on SSL.

'bout the only remedy for bit rate deficiency, is to lower resolution of the video in the options of the player, which reduces the amount of data required to permit non-buffered streaming.

I use Avast Free, Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit, Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware, real-time, and regularly scan with Malwarebytes Free, ADWCleaner (tools.lib sold to Malwarebytes, but available for now on both sites), SuperAntiSpyware, and HitmanProx64, HitmanProx32. I also use VirusTotal to scan files, folder, download for malware.If you use Malwarebytes Premium, it includes Anti-Exploit & Anti-Ransomware, and will delete the stand-alone versions of them.

VirusTotal
online multi-AV scanner. If you download the app, it adds entry to right-click context menu. You can right-click on the file you wish to scan, and a couple click sends the file to them for analysis. Utilizes a plethora of AVs (around 50 but you can pretty much ignore the lesser-known AVs) to scan your uploaded files (there is a size limit). I highly recommend using it to scan anything you download!

BTW: If you use a BitTorrent client, I use and recommend Tixati, no spyware, no malware, etc. Never had an issue with unwanted crap from them and I download Linux distros, BlackArch, Kali, etc. quite often.

Nic
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 May 2018   #9
supashaka

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by badcrc View Post
BTW, piracy discussion is prohibited under Forum rules. Their site - their rules etc.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Snick View Post
Yes, I'm aware of the pirated movie sites & their pitfalls.

I, as other members of SevenForums, don't recommend doing anything illegal, and, in fact, is prohibited in forum rules as you indicated & I am well aware!
I needed to figure out how to diagnose and solve the problem when we couldn't use Iplayer any more so tested many different sites, this isn't a discussion on piracy lol. I use Avast free antivirus and Malware bytes free, it didn't show any infections etc.

The issue is only on my PC, there are no issues on laptop/tablets. I have started using my Playstation 3 for netflix without any problems at all. Netflix on my PC struggles with picture quality, seems I was premature in saying it was running without problems on PC!

Another thing I noticed is on PC whenever I run speed tests on speedtest.net the speed goes up and down way too much in a way that it didn't used to even if I do them one after the other, between 1 mbps and 9 mbps. But when I run speedtests on my laptop it stays at around 9mbps.

Can't figure it out, if it's a problem with my PC why did it coincide with the heavy rain and my internet connection repeatedly disconnecting that day...I realise it could just be a coincidence. But how do I fix it?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 May 2018   #10
Snick

Win 10 x64, Linux Lite, Win 7 x64, BlackArch, Kali, VMWare Workstation Player, OpenVPN
 
 

A few more System specs would help!
What keyboard and mouse are you using?
Have you run Network Troubleshooter on your PC
Click network icon, Troubleshoot problems
Here's a link:

Microsoft TechNet Windows 7: Troubleshooting Connections
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Video buffering problem with most sites? Help Needed!




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