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sbiller14

join:2004-08-10
Tampa, FL

DNS Issues with BHN?

Is there any way to troubleshoot issues with the Bright House Networks DNS Server? I'm having reliability issues with the primary and secondary DNS. You can see my results here --> »www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/sh ··· t=486712



When I switched to another DNS recommended by the benchmark the performance of my TiVo user interface improved drastically.

TIA,
Sam


BHNtechXpert
BHN Staff
Premium,VIP
join:2006-02-16
Saint Petersburg, FL
kudos:159
Sam let me investigate this a bit. I'm actually interested at multiple levels and also have your email. In the meantime can I ask an obvious question...what the heck is TiVO doing that would require that much network activity on each channel change? What do they do about phone based users?

sbiller14

join:2004-08-10
Tampa, FL
said by BHNtechXpert:

Sam let me investigate this a bit. I'm actually interested at multiple levels and also have your email. In the meantime can I ask an obvious question...what the heck is TiVO doing that would require that much network activity on each channel change? What do they do about phone based users?

That is a good question that I can't answer. This appears to be isolated to the high definition user interface on the Premiere box which requires an Ethernet connection.

My understanding from an interaction with some other users is that this sort of back and forth is not untypical of modern user interfaces.

Here are some stats provided by a user who has some very detailed logging available via a linux box used as a router.

Going into "My Shows" was a 2 stage conversation of 32 packets (including acks) taking 0.22 seconds.
Going into a folder was a 6 stage conversation of 61 packets taking 0.46 seconds.
Going into show details was a 4 stage conversation of 62 packets taking 0.64 seconds.
(I considered a gap of 0.05 seconds to indicate a stage where the TiVo was busy doing something else - for example, there were gaps of .015, 0.20, and 0.06 seconds in the show details conversation).


BHNtechXpert
BHN Staff
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join:2006-02-16
Saint Petersburg, FL
kudos:159

1 edit
reply to sbiller14
Sam I have several questions for you....

1) What version of software are you running on the TiVo?

2) Are you the only person affected by this? Be detailed please..

3) Does this happen at a specific time of day?

4) How did you change your DNS settings? In the TiVo or at your router?

5) When did this start?

6) What happens when you connect the Tivo directly to your modem, no router...just the TiVO with default DNS directly connected to the modem?

sbiller14

join:2004-08-10
Tampa, FL
said by BHNtechXpert:

Sam I have several questions for you....

1) What version of software are you running on the TiVo?

2) Are you the only person affected by this? Be detailed please..

3) Does this happen at a specific time of day?

4) How did you change your DNS settings? In the TiVo or at your router?

5) When did this start?

6) What happens when you connect the Tivo directly to your modem, no router...just the TiVO with default DNS directly connected to the modem?

1) Running the latest version of TiVo retail software - 20.x

2) I'm actually not sure (yet). I've asked a few other people I know on Bright House to run the benchmark to see if they are having similar results from a reliability perspective.

You'll notice that aaronwt in the TCF thread --> »www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/sh ··· t=486712, says that changing the DNS address can make a big difference. Clearly I don't have a lot of data on this but I will start gathering it.

I expect that if you or your colleague's run the GRC DNS Benchmark you should see similar results since we are all hitting the same DNS Servers.

3) I ran the benchmark at a couple of different times separated by hours. I can perform more testing if needed.

4) I changed the DNS settings at my Dlink DIR-655 router. It was originally pulling the roadrunner DNS addresses of 65.32.5.111 & 65.32.5.112. I than changed the DNS address in the router to 74.118.212.1 and 74.118.212.2 which I'm currently running. I didn't touch my TiVo boxes at all. I did have to reboot my PC to start using the new DNS settings.

5) I think this sluggish behavior with the TiVo is pretty normal for the HDUI when moving through My Shows, selecting programs, etc. It doesn't really bother me but it is noticeable. Not that I've changed my DNS (approx 2 days ago) my TiVo is very speedy at displaying program information. I was actually very surprised that this change made any difference.

6) I haven't tried this but I can give it a try tonight and let you know what happens.


BHNtechXpert
BHN Staff
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join:2006-02-16
Saint Petersburg, FL
kudos:159

2 edits
reply to sbiller14
I know you are going to hate this but I'm not concerned with GRC's benchmark for a multitude of reasons that span over a decade. Suffice it to say...not a lot of faith in his benchmarks.

Lets stay focused on the isssue with what we know. I'm going to reach out to TiVo later today and and see what's going on.

Also need you to make sure you are running the latest (most reliable) version of 655 firmware. That unit has been extremely buggy firmware wise over the years so just to be safe (yes I realize others are reporting similar issues).

Also how many of those are actually on BHN's network? Are you the only one?

For what it's worth...my TiVO is not having any issues like this....

sbiller14

join:2004-08-10
Tampa, FL
said by BHNtechXpert:

I know you are going to hate this but I'm not concerned with GRC's benchmark for a multitude of reasons that span over a decade. Suffice it to say...not a lot of faith in his benchmarks.

Lets stay focused on the isssue with what we know. I'm going to reach out to TiVo later today and and see what's going on.

Also need you to make sure you are running the latest (most reliable) version of 655 firmware. That unit has been extremely buggy firmware wise over the years so just to be safe (yes I realize others are reporting similar issues).

Also how many of those are actually on BHN's network? Are you the only one?

For what it's worth...my TiVO is not having any issues like this....

Hi Gary,

I will check the firmware version on the 655 and report back. I have purchased the new Asus router that I haven't installed yet as well.

A colleague of mine, also on BHN, ran a different benchmark recommended by Google last night called Namebench. His results are below. He is in Pinellas county. Notice the timeouts on the BHN results?



I really don't think this is a TiVo issue. Since you don't like GRC's DNS Benchmark do you have a recommended alternative? Do you like Namebench better?

Here is a link to Namebench --> »code.google.com/p/namebench/

Thanks,
Sam


BHNtechXpert
BHN Staff
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join:2006-02-16
Saint Petersburg, FL
kudos:159

2 edits
reply to sbiller14
Sam I don't see timeouts and if Google recommended it well....there's something in it for Google...just remember that. Google does nothing unless it benefits Google. As for the response times I'm not seeing these as being an issue. We're talking mere fractions of a second substantially faster than any human eye to brain to hand type stuff. I have sent it off to TiVo for a closer look.

Not to mention that their measurement of 115% is not at all accurate if you go by the numbers there. You see my point?

Google wants you to use their servers because it puts them in complete control of the data gleaned by your visiting any website not just those that go through theoir search engine....it's like having your cake...and eating it too.

sbiller14

join:2004-08-10
Tampa, FL
said by BHNtechXpert:

Sam I don't see timeouts and if Google recommended it well....there's something in it for Google...just remember that. Google does nothing unless it benefits Google. As for the response times I'm not seeing these as being an issue. We're talking mere fractions of a second substantially faster than any human eye to brain to hand type stuff. I have sent it off to TiVo for a closer look.

Not to mention that their measurement of 115% is not at all accurate if you go by the numbers there. You see my point?

Google wants you to use their servers because it puts them in complete control of the data gleaned by your visiting any website not just those that go through theoir search engine....it's like having your cake...and eating it too.

Gary,

Short of writing my own script to test the BHN DNS servers I really have no other way to test it. I'm very happy using alternative DNS servers right now. I really just wanted to bring what I perceived as an issue to your attention. A quick google search on "Bright House Networks DNS reliability" reveals that I'm not the only user with issues. I understand your point about Google wanting to point you to Google DNS. The GRC freeware benchmark is in no way affiliated with Google and it recommends an alternative to BHN as well and it flags BHN as unreliable.

Do you have an alternative benchmark you would like me to run? Is there something in my local network that would make one external DNS server more reliable than another?

Like I said, I don't have an issue using an alternative DNS server.

Thanks,
Sam


BHNtechXpert
BHN Staff
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join:2006-02-16
Saint Petersburg, FL
kudos:159
Sam,

No I don't have an alternate nor would be it be valid anyway as this seems to be very specific to TiVO. For years people complain about most provider DNS servers and in reality most complaints fall short of reality. Based on everything provided I see no issues with the DNS at all at this point. I'm more curious as to why TiVO is phoning home on every keystroke. That bothers me at multiple levels and this is where I'm going with this. It's entirely unnecessary and apparently is impactful to "some" TiVo users...myself not included as I have noticed nothing at all.

That said however I'm keeping an open mind on all of this but based on the information you have provided so far there is no DNS issue. The response times are exactly where I would expect them to be not that it has any bearing at all on this TivO issue.

If using alternate DNS servers makes you happy then by all means do so and in the meantime I'll continue to look into this.

sbiller14

join:2004-08-10
Tampa, FL
said by BHNtechXpert:

Sam,

No I don't have an alternate nor would be it be valid anyway as this seems to be very specific to TiVO. For years people complain about most provider DNS servers and in reality most complaints fall short of reality. Based on everything provided I see no issues with the DNS at all at this point. I'm more curious as to why TiVO is phoning home on every keystroke. That bothers me at multiple levels and this is where I'm going with this. It's entirely unnecessary and apparently is impactful to "some" TiVo users...myself not included as I have noticed nothing at all.

That said however I'm keeping an open mind on all of this but based on the information you have provided so far there is no DNS issue. The response times are exactly where I would expect them to be not that it has any bearing at all on this TivO issue.

If using alternate DNS servers makes you happy then by all means do so and in the meantime I'll continue to look into this.

I wouldn't have noticed it if I didn't change it. I found the experience perfectly acceptable while using the BHN DNS. I was SHOCKED when the TiVO become twice as responsive with the alternative DNS.


BHNtechXpert
BHN Staff
Premium,VIP
join:2006-02-16
Saint Petersburg, FL
kudos:159
said by sbiller14:

said by BHNtechXpert:

Sam,

No I don't have an alternate nor would be it be valid anyway as this seems to be very specific to TiVO. For years people complain about most provider DNS servers and in reality most complaints fall short of reality. Based on everything provided I see no issues with the DNS at all at this point. I'm more curious as to why TiVO is phoning home on every keystroke. That bothers me at multiple levels and this is where I'm going with this. It's entirely unnecessary and apparently is impactful to "some" TiVo users...myself not included as I have noticed nothing at all.

That said however I'm keeping an open mind on all of this but based on the information you have provided so far there is no DNS issue. The response times are exactly where I would expect them to be not that it has any bearing at all on this TivO issue.

If using alternate DNS servers makes you happy then by all means do so and in the meantime I'll continue to look into this.

I wouldn't have noticed it if I didn't change it. I found the experience perfectly acceptable while using the BHN DNS. I was SHOCKED when the TiVO become twice as responsive with the alternative DNS.

And that's why I want to find out exactly what they are doing...with a strong emphasis on the key stroke by key stroke data transfers...that is to say the least a concern at multiple levels.

sbiller14

join:2004-08-10
Tampa, FL
said by BHNtechXpert:

said by sbiller14:

said by BHNtechXpert:

Sam,

No I don't have an alternate nor would be it be valid anyway as this seems to be very specific to TiVO. For years people complain about most provider DNS servers and in reality most complaints fall short of reality. Based on everything provided I see no issues with the DNS at all at this point. I'm more curious as to why TiVO is phoning home on every keystroke. That bothers me at multiple levels and this is where I'm going with this. It's entirely unnecessary and apparently is impactful to "some" TiVo users...myself not included as I have noticed nothing at all.

That said however I'm keeping an open mind on all of this but based on the information you have provided so far there is no DNS issue. The response times are exactly where I would expect them to be not that it has any bearing at all on this TivO issue.

If using alternate DNS servers makes you happy then by all means do so and in the meantime I'll continue to look into this.

I wouldn't have noticed it if I didn't change it. I found the experience perfectly acceptable while using the BHN DNS. I was SHOCKED when the TiVO become twice as responsive with the alternative DNS.

And that's why I want to find out exactly what they are doing...with a strong emphasis on the key stroke by key stroke data transfers...that is to say the least a concern at multiple levels.

I believe its related to pulling content from their internet content providers. Its not really "keystroke-by-keystroke". What I mean by that is if you are just scrolling through the guide you probably wouldn't see a lot of internet activity since the TiVo probably cache's quite a bit of that. However, if you are scrolling through your My Shows list on the HDUI, for each show it pulls information from the internet on actors, show description, episode number, etc.

I believe TiVo made the design decision to not cache the show metadata associated with up to 2TB of shows. Instead it actively uses a high speed internet connect to access that data.

My conversation with some TiVo experts via other channels leads me to believe there are design trade-offs that TiVo has made between internet access and caching. Performance is certainly a key issue that TiVo has been working on in their 20.x software builds so I expect they will continue to optimize as new software is rolled out this year.

sbiller14

join:2004-08-10
Tampa, FL
reply to sbiller14
BTW, if you switch the user interface to the SDUI, you wouldn't see this activity on the internet connection. I wish I had an easy way to monitor the activity on the TiVo port so I could give you more specifics on the interaction.


BHNtechXpert
BHN Staff
Premium,VIP
join:2006-02-16
Saint Petersburg, FL
kudos:159
reply to sbiller14
Well one way they could that is to eliminate the use of domain names when they do these lookups assuming of course they are actually doing this to begin with. That of course would break other things but this is a decision they will need to make. I want to hear from TiVo first as to what's going on and then we will go from there.


BHNtechXpert
BHN Staff
Premium,VIP
join:2006-02-16
Saint Petersburg, FL
kudos:159
reply to sbiller14
So you are saying you only see this on the high resolution version of the interface?

sbiller14

join:2004-08-10
Tampa, FL
reply to BHNtechXpert
said by BHNtechXpert:

Well one way they could that is to eliminate the use of domain names when they do these lookups assuming of course they are actually doing this to begin with. That of course would break other things but this is a decision they will need to make. I want to hear from TiVo first as to what's going on and then we will go from there.

Agree. Apparently a lot of this info is served up by their CDN which I believe is Akamai. Akamai is probably on the hook for certain SLAs and I'm guessing they have the ability to load balance so using hard-coded IP addresses is probably not an option for them.

sbiller14

join:2004-08-10
Tampa, FL
reply to BHNtechXpert
said by BHNtechXpert:

So you are saying you only see this on the high resolution version of the interface?

Absolutely. the SDUI does very little with the internet. It does access it but its not nearly as dynamic as the HDUI.


BHNtechXpert
BHN Staff
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join:2006-02-16
Saint Petersburg, FL
kudos:159
reply to sbiller14
Interesting...alrighty...well at this point waiting to hear back from my contact at TiVo...let ya know how that goes.


BHNtechXpert
BHN Staff
Premium,VIP
join:2006-02-16
Saint Petersburg, FL
kudos:159
reply to sbiller14
Sam check your PM please...


BHNtechXpert
BHN Staff
Premium,VIP
join:2006-02-16
Saint Petersburg, FL
kudos:159
reply to sbiller14
Sam still haven't heard back from TiVo engineering but they did say to allow several days for a response.