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Study: 27% of Online Video Customers Experience Buffering Issues
by Karl Bode 07:39AM Thursday Apr 03 2014
A company named Conviva recently studied the 2013 streaming performance across 45 billion video streams, seen across more than 1.6 billion individual devices and on more than 400 premium media video players. According to their findings, streaming buffering decreased from 39.3% to 26.9% from year over year, though consumer expectations are almost outpacing those improvements-- with users switching away from content faster than ever before if they experience any buffering at all. According to the full report, 27% of online video views experienced buffering, 43% suffered from low-resolution, and about 5% never began to play.

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gatorkram
Need for Speed
Premium
join:2002-07-22
Winterville, NC
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Suddenlink

Wow

Those are some crazy stats. 45 billion video streams?

I watch video online every day, period.

Between twitch.tv, youtube, amazon, netflix, and uh, a few special sites I won't mention, I can't remember the last time I had an issue.

In that regard, I feel very lucky to have Suddenlink, they seem to be doing a good job.
--
What the heck is a GatorKram? »www.gatorkram.com

Goliath2k
Premium
join:2013-12-28
united state

Allow us to set our own Streaming Quality

Hopefully this will spur more companies to be like YouTube & Netflix and start allowing us to set our own stream quality.

That's one of the biggest reasons I don't use Amazon Prime videos -- they don't allow users to set their own streaming quality. As I understand it, their service tries to determine the "best quality" given the current connection speed.

What if I don't want to hog the household bandwidth for the "best quality"? What if I have monthly bandwidth limits (as we do on 4G, 6 GB/month)?

Smith6612
Premium,MVM
join:2008-02-01
North Tonawanda, NY
kudos:24
Reviews:
·Verizon Online DSL
·Frontier Communi..

Re: Allow us to set our own Streaming Quality

+1. Can't agree with you any more on this one. I've had more buffering and quality issues, on top of breakage caused by those stupid "Auto detection" players. I really just want to select the bitrate I want, and know I can play, and let it play smoothly. For example with YouTube, since they still let you select the quality, I use a Userscript to force the player to a specific quality.

The bandwidth cap issue isn't a concern for me YET, but that's another bonus.

alchav

join:2002-05-17
Saint George, UT
Reviews:
·ooma

1 edit
said by Goliath2k:

That's one of the biggest reasons I don't use Amazon Prime videos -- they don't allow users to set their own streaming quality. As I understand it, their service tries to determine the "best quality" given the current connection speed.

Nothing wrong with Amazon Prime, I think it has to do with the way you are connected. I have 15/15 Symmetrical Fiber, and my connections are hard wired Cat5. My Panasonic Blu-ray Player Streams Prime Video with no problem, and you do have an option to Stream HD or SD, and I only Stream HD with no Buffering to my Big Screen HDTV. I'd like to hear from those Wireless people and find out if most of them get a lot of Buffering.

Goliath2k
Premium
join:2013-12-28
united state

Re: Allow us to set our own Streaming Quality

Of course if you have a fiber-optic Internet connection Amazon Prime (and most of the Internet) is going to run at near maximum speed with little lag, buffering, or noticeable loss of quality.

As far as the local network goes -- using CAT5 vs. using Wireless doesn't really make an impact, as most American Internet connections couldn't even max out Wireless-G (54 Mbps), let alone Wireless-N (600 Mbps).

My concerns about are more addressed at those of us who don't have fiber/cable and who are on DSL/Wireless and would rather choose our streaming quality rather than have the content provider try to shove as much as they possibly can down our connections, which causes buffering and adverse performance.

Judging from some of the other comments on this thread, I'm not the only one who feels that way.

alchav

join:2002-05-17
Saint George, UT
Reviews:
·ooma

Re: Allow us to set our own Streaming Quality

I'm not big on Wireless, and you are talking about ideal conditions. The real world Wireless is not that forgiving. With Providers like Amazon and Netflix I see the future is Streaming Video in 4K+. It's just a matter of time and money that the Studios will Stream to your Home Theater any Movie you want. The only way to be set up is with Fiber and Hard Wire or Fiber all the way.

Goliath2k
Premium
join:2013-12-28
united state

Re: Allow us to set our own Streaming Quality

The future might be streaming in 4K but a lot of Americans are going to be left behind, as a lot of us can't even get DSL/Cable where we live, let alone fiber.

And you're right, the specs I quoted for Wireless-G and -N are ideal conditions, but look at Wireless-N, if the max speeds are 600 Mbps, say you're only running at 10% of the max speeds, that's still 60 Mbps, which is 4 times faster than even your fiber connection of 15 Mbps. So I still don't think that wireless is going to be your bottleneck, but that the upstream Internet connection will be.

Now, places like South Korea and other countries where they have gigabit Internet, yeah, those guys should run wired because no way wireless is going to keep up with that. Also, if you live in an apartment complex or crowded subdivision, then wireless might not be as good because of all the interference and cross-talk, but if you've got a good spread of land and know there aren't many wireless signals around, you should be fine.

I haven't kept up on the latency figures with wireless compared to wired but I believe they are pretty darned close, and besides, latency matters more for interactive Internet things, such as gaming, video chatting, and RDP, it's not as critical for streaming video.

alchav

join:2002-05-17
Saint George, UT
Reviews:
·ooma

Re: Allow us to set our own Streaming Quality

Now you are getting into the Science of Communication, and if you look it up Wired beats Wireless every time. I don't know where you live, if you give me a city I can tell you your chances of GigaBit Fiber. I live in ST George, Utah influenced by Google in Provo, we have Cable Systems Fiber. I use to live in Palm Desert, CA, and when I moved there in 2000 all they had was Dial-up Internet. I came from the Bay Area where we had DSL, and I thought most places would have this. I keep telling people if you want something you have to be pro-active.

Dial-up was not acceptable to me, especially living in a Community of 5000 homes, so I joined a group of fellow residents that felt the same way and within a year had both TWC and Verizon. Verizon saw our Community so lucrative that they put in FiOS, but the residents didn't jump at it too expensive. Just before I left I was influential in convincing the Association to sign a Contract with Verizon for their FiOS when the TWC Contract ended. This is why I tell people, if they want something bad enough they have to do more than just complain.

Goliath2k
Premium
join:2013-12-28
united state

Re: Allow us to set our own Streaming Quality

Oh! OK I think I see what's going on

You and I are talking about two different things -- you're talking about the WAN (wide area network) side of things (ISP) and I'm talking about the LAN (local area network) side of things (what happens once your ISP gets the Internet into your house).

I agree that for ISPs there's no way wired can beat wireless. The ideal situation is to be in one like you are, where fiber or high speed cable is offered. But my big point is, once that connection (which should be wired, like you said) gets into the house, unless it's gigabit fiber, and unless you're going to be doing something that's latency sensitive, once the Internet is inside your house, you're fine going wireless.

That's what my whole 10% figure was about, even if you're running cruddy wireless at only 10% of the max throughput (60 Mbps), that's still 4 times faster than your Internet connection coming in (15 Mbps).

Now of course one thing I didn't mention was if you needed to share/backup a lot of files over the LAN. In that case, go wired. Internal file sharing can easily max both wired and wireless connections, if you're doing a lot of file sharing and streaming just on the LAN alone, then wired's the way to go.

That's an interesting story how you got faster Internet. I'm not really in a community where I feel comfortable trying to mobilize the citizens as you have, but at least once a year, I make it a point to stop by the local cable office and ask if/when we're going to get serviced. Speaking of which, that reminds me, I need to stop by this year, in 2013 they said they weren't working on this area and that I should check back next year, well it's 2014, time to make my yearly pilgrimage out there!

Also, I talked to someone who was running for local office and he said he's in a similar situation as us for Internet, he has to use an aircard because no Cable/DSL. Our county tried to contract out a WISP a few years ago but that was a failed attempt and things fell apart quickly. Also, I just checked and unfortunately he lost his bid for re-election I wonder if the guy who beat him cares about Internet.

Things are improving though, Sprint did Network Vision so the 3G is a LOT better now, and they finally repaired the part that died on the tower. Also, our local library finally got fast WiFi (30+ Mbps), so for big downloads I'll just take the computer down there and read a book while things download.

alchav

join:2002-05-17
Saint George, UT
Reviews:
·ooma

Re: Allow us to set our own Streaming Quality

I retired from a Telco, PacBell which is AT&T now, so I know how they think. One person asking for upgrades will never make it up to the decision makers, but you get a Community or City involved and watch things happen. ISP's are Companies that want to make money and provide wanted services, and if a Community wants their Products you can bet they will provide them. I still don't know where you live, if it's a rural area that is not easily accessed there might be a problem.

As for LAN or connecting in your home, I still prefer Wired but there is certainly a place for Wireless. You give some convincing numbers, but in real life a Wireless connection is not going to be as consistent or have the Bandwidth of Wired. Even the Tech's here in our Community said that a lot of the people prefer to be connected Wireless for that clean look, but most of those start complaining of problems. I worked with some of the top companies in the Silicon Valley, and all of their Networks where Hard Wired I follow suite.

Goliath2k
Premium
join:2013-12-28
united state

Re: Allow us to set our own Streaming Quality

Good points -- I'm trying to get more involved with politics at the local level because you're right, it's going to take a whole lot more people other than me to get things happening. Politics at the national level is a lost cause, but there's still a lot of good to be done locally.

And I made the first step towards that -- today I just found out from a former co-worker who our local representative is, so that puts me one step closer towards faster internet.

keithps
Premium
join:2002-06-26
Soddy Daisy, TN

It's on the content companies

I have 100/100 fiber and I still get buffering sometimes, even with youtube, yet I can easily download a steam game at 10MB/s.
--
RIP Dad (10-28-1955 to 4-10-2010)

Mr Guy

@charter.com

Re: It's on the content companies

Because sometime buffering doesn't always have to do with internet speed.
silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA

Video

Never have a problem streaming video.
Gardener
Premium
join:2006-10-19
Burnaby, BC

Well, sometimes

The only time I see buffering is when I use clandestine methods to convince national media that I am a resident of their countries. That's time-of-day sensitive.
ocjosh

join:2013-03-19
united state

I got that too with FIOS 75/25

When I read the news site whose news content videos are provided by Akamai, I got stop and go all the time with Verizon FIOS with no other activities. And it's around 9-11 PM as well.

PapaMidnight

join:2009-01-13
Baltimore, MD

1 recommendation

Re: I got that too with FIOS 75/25

That's what a saturated peering arrangement and over 2 years of refusing to upgrade your links looks like.

Corehhi

join:2002-01-28
Bluffton, SC

Some of the problem is with Windows IE

There seems to be a lot of problems with IE 11 not streaming things right so I would bet a good percentage of problems would disappear if people used Chrome, Firefox or whatever.

I had a friend who asked for help with streaming and the problem seems to be all the shell extensions, one of them was screwing things up. Not sure which because I got rid of whatever my friend didn't use and problem was solved.

why60loss

join:2012-09-20

Time warner cable

They love to throttle youtube and other video pages.

Wireless 4G never has those issues, guess because one is like AOL and the other for the most part gets paid per GB.

Time warner cable sucks, glad I am no longer a paying customer.
masterbinky

join:2011-01-06
Carlsbad, NM

Business opportunity

All a company has to do is figure out what connections into an ISP is being oversaturated, and directly route it to another connection. Then I as a customer of that ISP, want a real best effort connection, pay that new company to route my traffic. It's like external load balancing for an ISP that wants it's customers to have poor service.