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Buffering slowly for the past 3-4 weeks?
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36 / M
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Posted 3/18/10
I didn't know if this was the right forum to put this in or not. Sorry if I chose wrong and mod feel free to move it. I was wondering if I was the only person who had run into this problem lately of buffering. Previously (up untill about a month and a half ago) once I started a video it would never pause or stop, just smooth sailing all the way through even on 720p vids. Many times I would even skip the op no problem. Now I have to allow it to start and then pause it or something in 720 like Gintama will only run for about 10-12 seconds without pausing. This is only recently too like I said about the past month and a half. I know it is not my computer (i5, 6 gigs ram, custom build, etc etc) nor is it my internet connection as I just tested it on speedtest.net and got a constant download speed of 14mbps with a peak at 145mbps, and upload speed of 2.2mbps. So I was wondering if anyone else was running into this lately?
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39 / M / USA
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Posted 3/19/10 , edited 3/19/10
You are definitely not alone, in fact I'm finding most videos almost totally unplayable...

I thought maybe pausing the video and restarting would help, but found it does not, (Plenty of bandwidth on my side, btw)

Longest I can get it to go without stopping is maybe 1 minute. Last week, every show I played eventually would just stop totally dead, and I'd have to refresh the page to restart the video...

Not a good way to attract paying customers (which I am...)
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Posted 3/19/10 , edited 3/19/10
I have to agree with Homerpez. This problem is discussed pretty widely on the site but no one seems to have a solution. I never used to report videos but I do now EVERY TIME one is buffering slowly.

I believe it is a bandwidth problem on CR's side during peak times and possibly a combination of another unidentified issue with Flash. The reason I believe this is that I only have trouble with popular videos during certain times of the day or night. Not only that, the same video will work fine if I watch it later. I have excellent bandwidth and never have a problem viewing Netfilx over wi-fi or via my Tivo which is connected directly to the router. Here is an example of my avg. speed over wi-fi:

With all that said I have tried one solution with some success:

Use a different browser. I have used Safari, Opera, and Chrome (all for Mac) on various occasions when a video is giving me trouble. Opera is what I usually use to watch CR or Hulu. Opera seems to have fewer problems with Flash on these two sites. Note that Chrome and Safari are basically the same browser, although Chrome is buggier since it is a Beta.
This works for Windows people too, I have heard back from some Windows users that experienced the same success as me with Opera.

I also feel that the Flash player is to blame. The videos on the iPhone/ipod app load faster and scrub without any problem. Whatever the issue I too must stress homerprez's other point: As a paying customer I'm unhappy about this, and while I remain loyal (I just renewed and upgraded from Anime to All-Acess) I would like to hear some definitive answers and see some permeant fixes.

edit: left out some letters/words.

Ronin
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Posted 3/19/10 , edited 3/19/10
You guys are probably right about the past 3-4 weeks. We noticed that there viewership was down during this time but were unsure why. This could narrow it down.

To potentially help us further, please provide results for the tests listed in Section 4 of the Video Help Guide.
http://www.crunchyroll.com/help?topic=video
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Posted 3/19/10 , edited 3/19/10
Here is all the info you asked for. Please hit me back in a message or in this thread to know it was received.

Speedtest.net- 110 mbps download, 2.10mbps upload
Pingtest.net- ping 47ms, jitter 3ms

Rig:
i5 750 quad 2.67ghz, 6gigs 1333mhz ram, Win 7, 377gb free, flash 10.0.45.2, firefox 3.6

-Ping response time: min 27ms max 31ms avg 28ms
-10 hops, 1 timeout (first one)

Ronin
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Posted 3/20/10

batou01 wrote:

Here is all the info you asked for. Please hit me back in a message or in this thread to know it was received.

Speedtest.net- 110 mbps download, 2.10mbps upload
Pingtest.net- ping 47ms, jitter 3ms

Rig:
i5 750 quad 2.67ghz, 6gigs 1333mhz ram, Win 7, 377gb free, flash 10.0.45.2, firefox 3.6

-Ping response time: min 27ms max 31ms avg 28ms
-10 hops, 1 timeout (first one)



Thanks for the information. If possible I would like to see the full nslookup/ping/tracert results since that would give us a better idea of your network setup and tell us what specific server you are streaming from. If you don't want it listed publicly, you can PM it to me.
http://www.crunchyroll.com/newprivatemessage?recipients=BasouKazuma

Knowing the server addresses will let us test the servers ourselves to see if there are speed issues.
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39 / M / USA
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Posted 3/20/10 , edited 3/20/10
I just tried the test, and at the moment all numbers are in the "everything's fine" range.

I did try a couple of the fixes listed on the "Video Playback Problems" guide, and noticed that playback seemed to work a little better after that - but it may be a coincidence since everything was already set up according to the guide (I just re-did it to see what would happen).

I think I'll wait until I'm having the problem again (it's still sporadic), and send what a "non-working" traceroute/ping looks like.

Also... for what it's worth... these problems were even worse before I updated to Flash 10.1 BETA 3 (Windows 7 64). Playback was actually impossible a lot of the time before that, which matches the "drop-off" in viewership 3-4 weeks ago or so (or at least, that's what gave me the thought to update it). I'm not sure which is to blame. I'll keep you posted...
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Posted 3/20/10
I sent the network data via PM.

System I use most often to view CR:
MacBook Pro 2.8Ghz Core 2 Duo, 4GB 1067 MHz DDR3,
OS X 10.6.2,
Flash: MAC 10,1,51,66 (Beta) not running Debug mode
Browser: Opera 10.5.0 (Beta) - fewer problems on CR with this beta than Opera 10. Also use Safari 4.0.5

I'll also point out that I've had fewer instances of buffering problems since I switched to Flash 10 Beta and Opera 10.5

Thanks for continuing to check out these issues.
Ronin
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Posted 3/20/10
I suppose my instructions weren't clear, I'm not asking you guys to try and fix anything yourselves. We just need the results of those tests so that we can potentially fix any problems on our end or have our ISP fix them; so please follow the instructions below (word for word) and then paste all of the results for us.

For computers with Windows installed:


For Apple computers with Mac OSX installed:


For computers with Linux installed:
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39 / M / USA
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Posted 3/20/10 , edited 3/20/10
Pinging a116.vi5g5.akafms.net [24.24.52.28] with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 24.24.52.28: bytes=32 time=27ms TTL=120
Reply from 24.24.52.28: bytes=32 time=15ms TTL=120
Reply from 24.24.52.28: bytes=32 time=28ms TTL=120
Reply from 24.24.52.28: bytes=32 time=29ms TTL=120

Ping statistics for 24.24.52.28:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 15ms, Maximum = 29ms, Average = 24ms

Tracing route to a116.vi5g5.akafms.net [24.24.52.28]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 (This is my router <1ms)
2 10 ms 14 ms 10 ms cable1-0.rochnywbs-ar401.nyroc.rr.com [67.246.22
4.1]
3 24 ms 13 ms 11 ms gig3-2.rochnywbs-rtr01.nyroc.rr.com [24.93.0.185
]
4 10 ms 8 ms 15 ms srp5-0.rochnymth-rtr03.nyroc.rr.com [24.93.3.161
]
5 11 ms 11 ms 15 ms xe-4-1-0-0.rochnyei-rtr000.nyroc.rr.com [24.92.2
24.10]
6 24 ms 10 ms 12 ms ae3-0.rochnyei-rtr001.nyroc.rr.com [24.24.21.217
]
7 24 ms 15 ms 30 ms ae10-0.syrcnycsr-rtr03.nyroc.rr.com [24.24.21.22
0]
8 15 ms 28 ms 15 ms syrny-aka-cache-01.akamai.com [24.24.29.102]
9 53 ms 25 ms 13 ms a24-24-52-28.deploy.akamaitechnologies.com [24.2
4.52.28]

Trace complete.



With the numbers above, latst Gintama episode (720p) still stutters when it plays, sometimes stopping dead to buffer. For the speed test, I even chose a server on the other side of the country to give it a challenge.

Hopefully something there helps.

Perhaps too many viewers at this hour?
Ronin
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Posted 3/20/10
From the results that people sent, here's what I found so far.

My Current Speed: http://www.speedtest.net/result/755788552.png
Browser: Firefox 3.6
Version of Flash: 10.1.51.95
Current Server Address: 72.246.19.114
Server's Distance from me: 500 miles
Observations: Streams without stopping
Connection Tests:



Server Address #1: 67.148.147.143
Server's Distance from me: 100-200 miles
Base Observations: Noticed it stopping to buffer a few times 2 min. into a 720P video when it didn't stop to buffer anytime up to that point.
Connection Tests:


Server Address #2: 65.126.84.28
Server's Distance from me: 1400 miles
Base Observations: Video stopped to buffer a little bit.
Connection Tests:


Server Address #3: 24.24.52.28
Server's Distance from me: 250 miles
Base Observations: Had some buffering issues a minute or so into a 720P video but not after that.
Connection Tests:
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Posted 3/21/10
Interesting. Are all the servers on the west coast?
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Posted 3/21/10

Endosanity wrote:

Interesting. Are all the servers on the west coast?



If so I wonder how well a sort of fund raiser or donation type thing (Like ANN recently did) would work in order for CR to purchase space on a server farm (or hardened data center) somewhere on the east coast or at least one centrally located. I know of at least two in my local area (southeast US) that could be used. I think one is even a tier 3 (possibly a tier 4 I don't remember though) since I would expect one would have to be pretty secure in order to house copyrighted files like the videos CR hosts. I know I'd donate at least $40-$50 for a semi local server to reduce buffer time and lag through decreasing # of hops as well as less server stress since traffic would be decreased with a more geographically distributed server selection.
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Posted 3/21/10 , edited 3/21/10
I'm sorry if this has been addressed elsewhere, but... has it been considered that the problem might not be the internet connection, but the how the actual I/O seems to be handled on the server itself?

As I read your tests, BasouKazuma, I compared them to mine, and it looks like I shouldn't have had any hiccups at all - but I did. The pings are all fast enough and none got lost, and nothing seems to be a problem on the traceroute either. There's clearly more than enough bandwidth. The one thing that's left is how the data is being handled on the server itself, before it ever hits the web at all... all the network speed in the world won't help if it's connecting to an overtaxed server box...

I'm no IT specialist or anything... just kind of a hunch, figured it would be worth it to ask.
Ronin
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Posted 3/22/10
Our CDN (Content Delivery Network) provides servers all over the world so that all users stream from a server that is relatively close to them. I'm on the East Coast and I think most of the people in this thread are from the Eastern part of the USA which is why the servers are relatively close to me. I'm aware that given your results, you guys should not be experiencing any problems with streaming the videos since even I experienced some problems on these servers. So this is something we'll need to look into much further and could be due to any number of issues.
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