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BBCi News performance - PlusNet vs other ISPs?



 
 
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  #1  
Old May 10th 06, 08:27 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Roger Mills
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 368
Default BBCi News performance - PlusNet vs other ISPs?

As a PlusNet broadband (PAYG 1Mbps) customer, I have access to BBCi news
items via the PlusNet portal.

On the whole, the performance is abysmal. I would be interested in other
people's experiences - including both customers of PlusNet and other ISPs -
in order to try to determine whether:
* it's a general BBC problem experienced by all ISPs
* it's just a problem with PN's relay of BBCi
* it's peculiar to *my* individual connection

The problem manifests itself as follows:
Even short news items (say 2 minutes) rarely run from beginning to end
without interruption. Typically they will run for a minute or so and will
then freeze - displaying "Communicating", "Buffering" or "Loading". If I'm
lucky they'll get to 100% loaded, and carry on. When it's very bad, each
short 'run' may only contain one or two words - then a pause of several tens
of seconds - making it totally unwatchable. I suppose, on average, news
items take something like twice the stated duration. Another problem which
occurs frequently - particularly in longer items like PMQs (watched after
the event rather than live) - is that the video will freeze for a while but
the sound will carry on.

FWIW, I'm using Firefix as a regular browser - but the same thing happens
with IE. It makes no difference whether I use Real Player or Windows Media
Player. I'm using a wired connection to an ADSL router, and the PN bandwidth
speed test consistently returns results of 950 kbps or better. Browsing,
emails, text newsgroups all work perfectly ok - it's just this BBCi thing.

Is anyone else experiencing similar problems? If so, who is your ISP?
--
Cheers,
Roger
______
Email address maintained for newsgroup use only, and not regularly
monitored..
Messages sent to it may not be read for several weeks. PLEASE REPLY TO
NEWSGROUP!


  #2  
Old May 10th 06, 08:54 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Adrian Brentnall
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 43
Default BBCi News performance - PlusNet vs other ISPs?

HI Roger

On Wed, 10 May 2006 20:27:03 +0100, "Roger Mills"
wrote:

As a PlusNet broadband (PAYG 1Mbps) customer, I have access to BBCi news
items via the PlusNet portal.

On the whole, the performance is abysmal. I would be interested in other
people's experiences - including both customers of PlusNet and other ISPs -
in order to try to determine whether:
* it's a general BBC problem experienced by all ISPs
* it's just a problem with PN's relay of BBCi
* it's peculiar to *my* individual connection

The problem manifests itself as follows:
Even short news items (say 2 minutes) rarely run from beginning to end
without interruption. Typically they will run for a minute or so and will
then freeze - displaying "Communicating", "Buffering" or "Loading". If I'm
lucky they'll get to 100% loaded, and carry on. When it's very bad, each
short 'run' may only contain one or two words - then a pause of several tens
of seconds - making it totally unwatchable. I suppose, on average, news
items take something like twice the stated duration. Another problem which
occurs frequently - particularly in longer items like PMQs (watched after
the event rather than live) - is that the video will freeze for a while but
the sound will carry on.

FWIW, I'm using Firefix as a regular browser - but the same thing happens
with IE. It makes no difference whether I use Real Player or Windows Media
Player. I'm using a wired connection to an ADSL router, and the PN bandwidth
speed test consistently returns results of 950 kbps or better. Browsing,
emails, text newsgroups all work perfectly ok - it's just this BBCi thing.

Is anyone else experiencing similar problems? If so, who is your ISP?


Choking back for a moment the quip 'Crikey - BBCi ? - Plusnet can't
even manage an email service!' (based on the evidence of the past 24
hours).

Having said that - one the basis of a couple of quick tests - it all
seems to work OK here. Plusnet as an ISP (Though Lord alone knows
why!), Broadband connection, 1.7megs celoron PC with 253meg ram....

What a shame I actually want to read my email, rather than watch BBCi
on my PC g....

Adrian
Suffolk UK
======return email munged=================
take out the papers and the trash to reply
  #4  
Old May 11th 06, 03:23 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Martin²
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 848
Default BBCi News performance - PlusNet vs other ISPs?

I tried to watch BBC Working Lunch video, and it doesn't work, they seems to
have problem with Win Media.
Tried downloading Real player but it seems to take for ever...., so I given
up.
I am on 1Mb Plus.Net connection, but do not have any other problems.
Regards,
Martin



  #5  
Old May 11th 06, 10:27 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Allan
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 46
Default BBCi News performance - PlusNet vs other ISPs?


"Roger Mills" wrote in message
...
As a PlusNet broadband (PAYG 1Mbps) customer, I have access to BBCi news
items via the PlusNet portal.

On the whole, the performance is abysmal. I would be interested in other
people's experiences - including both customers of PlusNet and other
ISPs - in order to try to determine whether:
* it's a general BBC problem experienced by all ISPs
* it's just a problem with PN's relay of BBCi
* it's peculiar to *my* individual connection



All fine here on Plusnet 2Mb. I assume you mean the Member Centre Broadband
link to the BBC Player news service? (Doesn't mention BBCi) It shows
steady 224Kbps.

Is it any different on direct news.bbc.co.uk (Watch BBC news in video at
top)?

Allan


  #6  
Old May 11th 06, 12:44 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Roger Mills
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 368
Default BBCi News performance - PlusNet vs other ISPs?

In an earlier contribution to this discussion,
Allan wrote:

"Roger Mills" wrote in message
...
As a PlusNet broadband (PAYG 1Mbps) customer, I have access to BBCi
news items via the PlusNet portal.

On the whole, the performance is abysmal. I would be interested in
other people's experiences - including both customers of PlusNet and
other ISPs - in order to try to determine whether:
* it's a general BBC problem experienced by all ISPs
* it's just a problem with PN's relay of BBCi
* it's peculiar to *my* individual connection



All fine here on Plusnet 2Mb. I assume you mean the Member Centre
Broadband link to the BBC Player news service? (Doesn't mention
BBCi) It shows steady 224Kbps.

Yes, but mine *does* mention BBCi! The PN page in question (the one with
pictures of Ann Robinson & Anna Ford etc.) Says "Communities BBCi" at the
top, has a URL which begins https://portal.plus.net/bbci/broadband . . . and
has a bar which says "Launch BBCi player"

Are you looking at a different page?


Is it any different on direct news.bbc.co.uk (Watch BBC news in video
at top)?


I've just tried that - and it's much the same. For example, I've just
re-watched the Newsnight Martha Kearney/John Denham interview which has a
duration of 5 mins 57 secs. That stopped several times - sometimes
altogether, and sometimes with the video frozen but the sound continuing.
Although I didn't time it, I reckon it took about 8 minutes, including
interruptions, instead of 6.

Do you fancy seeing whether it runs continuously from start to finish with
no frozen video on your setup?
--
Cheers,
Roger
______
Email address maintained for newsgroup use only, and not regularly
monitored.. Messages sent to it may not be read for several weeks.
PLEASE REPLY TO NEWSGROUP!


  #7  
Old May 11th 06, 05:38 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Allan
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 46
Default BBCi News performance - PlusNet vs other ISPs?


"Roger Mills" wrote in message
...
In an earlier contribution to this discussion,
Allan wrote:

"Roger Mills" wrote in message
...
As a PlusNet broadband (PAYG 1Mbps) customer, I have access to BBCi
news items via the PlusNet portal.

On the whole, the performance is abysmal. I would be interested in
other people's experiences - including both customers of PlusNet and
other ISPs - in order to try to determine whether:
* it's a general BBC problem experienced by all ISPs
* it's just a problem with PN's relay of BBCi
* it's peculiar to *my* individual connection



All fine here on Plusnet 2Mb. I assume you mean the Member Centre
Broadband link to the BBC Player news service? (Doesn't mention
BBCi) It shows steady 224Kbps.

Yes, but mine *does* mention BBCi! The PN page in question (the one with
pictures of Ann Robinson & Anna Ford etc.) Says "Communities BBCi" at the
top, has a URL which begins https://portal.plus.net/bbci/broadband . . .
and has a bar which says "Launch BBCi player"

Are you looking at a different page?


Is it any different on direct news.bbc.co.uk (Watch BBC news in video
at top)?


I've just tried that - and it's much the same. For example, I've just
re-watched the Newsnight Martha Kearney/John Denham interview which has a
duration of 5 mins 57 secs. That stopped several times - sometimes
altogether, and sometimes with the video frozen but the sound continuing.
Although I didn't time it, I reckon it took about 8 minutes, including
interruptions, instead of 6.

Do you fancy seeing whether it runs continuously from start to finish with
no frozen video on your setup?
--
Cheers,
Roger
______
Email address maintained for newsgroup use only, and not regularly
monitored.. Messages sent to it may not be read for several weeks.
PLEASE REPLY TO NEWSGROUP!


Eventually found it....

Played 'as is' in original window (pic. roughly 3x2 in). Faultless,
beginning to end. Double size also seems OK. Then in Realplayer window,
dragged to 9x5, also fine.

Changed pref. to Win Mediaplayer and it hiccupped after 1 min - buffering.
Restarted and got to 4 1/2 min. Changed back to RP, which went OK again.

My Realplayer is v10.5, un-tweaked. I assume you've tried re-installing?
Does it ever work OK?

Allan


  #8  
Old May 11th 06, 07:51 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Roger Mills
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 368
Default BBCi News performance - PlusNet vs other ISPs?

In an earlier contribution to this discussion,
Allan wrote:



Eventually found it....

Played 'as is' in original window (pic. roughly 3x2 in). Faultless,
beginning to end. Double size also seems OK. Then in Realplayer
window, dragged to 9x5, also fine.

Changed pref. to Win Mediaplayer and it hiccupped after 1 min -
buffering. Restarted and got to 4 1/2 min. Changed back to RP, which
went OK again.
My Realplayer is v10.5, un-tweaked. I assume you've tried
re-installing? Does it ever work OK?

Allan


I don't think it's *ever* worked perfectly - but it seems to have got worse
of late.

I had v10.0 of RealPlayer. I've just upgraded to v10.5 but it hasn't made
any difference.
--
Cheers,
Roger
______
Email address maintained for newsgroup use only, and not regularly
monitored.. Messages sent to it may not be read for several weeks.
PLEASE REPLY TO NEWSGROUP!


  #9  
Old May 12th 06, 12:28 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
fred
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 47
Default BBCi News performance - PlusNet vs other ISPs?


"Roger Mills" wrote in message
...
In an earlier contribution to this discussion,
Allan wrote:



Eventually found it....

Played 'as is' in original window (pic. roughly 3x2 in). Faultless,
beginning to end. Double size also seems OK. Then in Realplayer
window, dragged to 9x5, also fine.

Changed pref. to Win Mediaplayer and it hiccupped after 1 min -
buffering. Restarted and got to 4 1/2 min. Changed back to RP, which
went OK again.
My Realplayer is v10.5, un-tweaked. I assume you've tried
re-installing? Does it ever work OK?

Allan


I don't think it's *ever* worked perfectly - but it seems to have got
worse of late.

I had v10.0 of RealPlayer. I've just upgraded to v10.5 but it hasn't made
any difference.
--
Cheers,
Roger
______
Email address maintained for newsgroup use only, and not regularly
monitored.. Messages sent to it may not be read for several weeks.
PLEASE REPLY TO NEWSGROUP!

Hi Roger
I had a very similar problem to the one you are having and I wondered if it
could be something to do with the integrated graphics chip on my pc. (Intel
Graphics Engine Mirage 2). So, i decided to treat myself to a graphics card
and as soon as I installed all the streaming problems stopped (apart from
very occasional buffering). Do you have a graphics card installed?
Fred.


  #10  
Old May 12th 06, 07:03 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Roger Mills
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 368
Default BBCi News performance - PlusNet vs other ISPs?

In an earlier contribution to this discussion,
fred wrote:


Hi Roger
I had a very similar problem to the one you are having and I wondered
if it could be something to do with the integrated graphics chip on
my pc. (Intel Graphics Engine Mirage 2). So, i decided to treat
myself to a graphics card and as soon as I installed all the
streaming problems stopped (apart from very occasional buffering). Do
you have a graphics card installed? Fred.


Yes, I've got a fairly decent NVIDIA card rather than an on-board chip.

However, I do sometimes find that graphics applications interfere with each
other. For example, when trying to run BBCi news last night, with Adobe
Photoshop also open, the 'news' frame was just solid bright green rather
than a moving image. It was ok again as soon as I closed Photoshop.

Since updating RealPlayer to v10.5, I've been experimenting with running it
full screen - which has the advantage that it has horizontal bars indicating
the state of the buffer at the bottom of the screen. If you're lucky!, the
buffer fills faster than it empties, so that you've always got a bit in
hand. If anything, it seemed to work a bit better like this.

Watching the way the buffers behave leads me to the conclusion that the
problems I have been experiencing are to do with hand-shaking between my PC
and the server which supplies the streaming video. I get a buffer full which
works fine until it empties - but something isn't waking up to the fact that
it needs to ask for a another bufferful before it quite empties. Does that
make sense?
--
Cheers,
Roger
______
Email address maintained for newsgroup use only, and not regularly
monitored.. Messages sent to it may not be read for several weeks.
PLEASE REPLY TO NEWSGROUP!


 




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