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Terrible Lag, Staff induces lack of condifence.
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Posted 7/14/13 , edited 7/14/13
For the past 3 weeks I have seen several people complaining about the same issue I experience. Some, not all, anime lags terribly. For example, every episode of Gintama takes 1-2 minutes to start the first 30-5 seconds only to stop again. I find it increasingly frustrating that it can take upwards to an hour to be able to watching a 20 minute anime.

1. 1-2 minutes to start
2. Play first 30-45 seconds
3. wait for 5 minutes
4. play 1-2 minutes
5. Repeat 3-4.

Furthermore, it's impossible to open a video and wait an hour to allow it to buffer as Crunchyroll does not allow full video buffering. At most I found I can "buffer" up to 2-3 minutes if I'm lucky.

Crunchyroll's first response is always to try changing your DNS, however this does not seem to resolve the issue for most. It's curious how Crunchyroll canbe the only video site having issues with DNS when youtube or other streaming sites operate without any issue whatsoever.

Using a network analyzer I can see that I receive information from Crunchyroll at just under 1024MB/s when the videos play. During the first 1-2 minutes or each 5 minute waiting period, Crunchyroll is sending data at a mere -16KB/s. Once again, this issue is not present with other steaming services.

It concerns me when I quote CR's "King of Customers", Bjaker, saying "(Praying for a day when all streams are clear and smooth!)" I can only assume this as a CR representative unofficially admitting there is a serious issue with their streaming technology. http://www.crunchyroll.com/forumtopic-811355/some-shows-slow-some-not.

I suggest CR find a way to quickly remedy these issues or at the very least stop stress testing your new CDN in production as Bjaker has stated. "About 25% of our content is now being served from the new CDN as we do stress tests / etc." I assume this 25% on the new CDN could explain why some - not all - anime is plagued by the lag. I cannot fathom why CR has decided to continue causing issues in production for this long. In my line of work our heads would roll if we allowed this to continue for a second day let alone several weeks! Our clients would be having a feast!

To restate my example, I have had Gintama Episode 258 playing in a different window as I typed this. It has played total of a minute the whole time.
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Posted 7/14/13
1. Where are you watching from?
2. What's your connection speed? (cable or whathaveyou)
3. What quality of video are you watching at? If you are trying 1080p, try watching it at SD and see if it loads faster <- that is usually my trouble with videos lagging.

Badmouthing CR like you did really isn't the best way to get help with your problem...
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Posted 7/14/13
I'm not bad mouthing, but this is happening to me to, I expected it from my computer because it's pretty crappy but it happens when I watch through my ps3 as well. I can load netflix videos fast but CR it cuts off after 10 seconds or so
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Posted 7/15/13 , edited 7/15/13
I appreciate your willingness to assist, however I've already done the basic connection troubleshooting and am confident the issues is on CR's end.

You can largely rule out an end-user connection issue by the sole fact that the issues only occur with CR but no other streaming server AND it affects multiple people the same way. Further evidence is the fact that it does not affect all anime in 720/1080p, but some. If this were an end-user issue then it would affect all. Once again, any support offered is not addressing the actual issue here. It's not end-user but rather a server/streaming issue on CR's side. This is confirmed by Bjaker as I mentioned in my original post. Please feel free to provide evidence to the contrary, however I have taken all of CRs and others' recommendations from the past year with no resolution. This is not an end-user problem.

Why should I watch in SD when I pay for HD? That makes no sense. You don't sell a service or product you cannot deliver, nor would you pay for a service and expect not to use it. If no one provides criticism in this world then nothing would get fixed or ever improve. Yes, before these streaming issues became the norm, CR was great and still is great for the anime that works. However no one should be expected to pay for 100% for 60% of a functional service. When the staff states they are praying the streaming issues will one day be resolved then yes, it does induce a lack of confidence. I believe that I and others have a legitimate complaint that needs to be addressed in a timely manner.

After checking again, I do not see where this forum section states it is only for positive feedback only.

feed·back
/ˈfēdˌbak/
Noun

Information about reactions to a product, a person's performance of a task, etc., used as a basis for improvement.
Dutch Moderator
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Posted 7/15/13 , edited 7/15/13
It would also help us pinpoint the issue a bit more precisely if you could answer a few of the questions asked.


1. Where are you watching from?
2. What's your connection speed? (cable or whathaveyou)

Are you on a wired or wireless network connection and in case of wireless, how far away are you from the source?
What are your computer's specifications or are you streaming on a Game console?
Have you tried streaming on another computer?

It is very easy to point the finger at known issues.

1. 1-2 minutes to start
2. Play first 30-45 seconds
3. wait for 5 minutes
4. play 1-2 minutes
5. Repeat 3-4.

But looking at these symptoms the issue might also be more of a local one.
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Posted 7/15/13


But looking at these symptoms the issue might also be more of a local one.


No. God, please. It's not the local one. Just try the search function, all the same *** symptoms everwhere

Dutch Moderator
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Posted 7/15/13 , edited 7/15/13
Once again, please come with information about the configurations you are running on.
Currently there's only one device in my house which has problems when it comes to streaming HD content and that is my 4 year old Intel Atom netbook.

On all other devices the only true streaming issue I have is that it occasionally has to buffer for a few seconds in the middle of an episode if I happen to watch it at 1080.
And I am streaming from the Netherlands, even on the archaic workstation I have at the office I can stream without any major problems.

As for the site, as a forum mod I happen to use the search function multiple times a day and I truly have no issues with the speed of that either.

I'm not saying there's nothing wrong, but to narrow down where the problems may lie we need more information than "It doesn't work" or "It's running slow"
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Posted 7/15/13
I appreciate the continued offers for assistance. I mean, really, you guys are pleasantly persistent in wanting to help! That's a good sign of a strong online community.

Please understand that I posted in the feedback as I'm giving feedback. I did not post it in help/support for a reason. I'm confident in my ability to research and troubleshoot and went well beyond what the average user would. This is what I do for a living, I work on large corporate networks in conjunction with our hosting center. I'm confident that this same issue people are experiencing and complaining about is not end-user related. My career is in networking. It is what I do 5-6 days of the week (7 if I'm on call).

Typically one of the first things we ask when troubleshooting is "What changed?". The only changes on my end involved windows updates, and yes I even rolled those back to see if those were the issues. Windows Updates can do some screwing things. No new software/hardware, ISP and network remained the same, no degradation in my internet server service, etc. CR got a new CDN. That's a huge, drastic change!

I have already placed my sub on a 3 month hold to allow ample time for CR time to sort out their streaming issues. I will check back then to see if they have worked out all the hiccups with their new CDN.
Guardian of A/M/P
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Posted 7/15/13

thannik wrote:

[Stuff I wrote. It's a "Feedback" not a "Help" post.]


I like you. I like you very much. "LAWL"


I honestly didn't have much problem with the CR service ever since I first signed up when they first went legal- almost 4 years. Although, I've been reading posts like these for almost the last two years. If what you hypothesize is the problem, one of which isn't too apparent to user subscribers like me, I do hope the crunchyroll staff step up its game because users like me can and may read into this and also get a bit turned off because it's a possibility that such could become a problem with user subscribers like me.

I'm just putting out my experience with this service for the last couple of years.
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Posted 7/15/13
I'm in agreement with thannik here as I, also, work in IT and spend a fair bit of time troubleshooting technical issues. And, yes, I understand CR's need to eliminate user-side issues form the equation but if multiple people from multiple ISP in multiple countries all list the same problems, I sort of doubt that the problem is DNS-based or on the user's end.

Heck, if it is DNS based then this is still CR's problem as a streaming service that only works with one DNS setting worldwide is not really user-viable.

Again, as someone of a technical nature I tend to only ask for assistance once a problem comes beyond my ability to fix or troubleshoot.

Back in late April I reported having the (fairly common) Xbox skipping issue giving fairly details information on the problem I was having and stating that other Xbox streams worked fine and other CR streams didn't skip.
It wasn't until late June that I was able to lug my Xbox to the office (Spring is busy work period) and confirm that the exact same thing happened on a totally different ISP with totally different DNS and a way faster bandwidth. And it was only at that point that it looked like any progress was being made.

OK, maybe this could just be a pet peeve born from too many support calls made to external supplier or our central infrastructure team at work.
But, seriously, how much information does one have to submit from self-investigation that clearly points to an issue not being user-side before people stop saying "please check your settings"?

i do appreciate the work that gets done and I do appreciate that improvements are happening. But, please, "change your DNS" really shouldn't be the constant initial reaction than it is. Or, at least, not without a clear indicator about what it is that you are testing for. Otherwise it just looks like a fob-off, even if I know that it probably isn't.
(Example: if I ask people to do the classic standby of "try turning it off and on again", i always say exactly why I'm getting them to do something so simple and what the various outcomes could imply.)
1mirg 
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Posted 7/17/13

@zendude I do hope the crunchyroll staff step up its game because users like me can and may read into this and also get a bit turned off because it's a possibility that such could become a problem with user subscribers like me.

(the staff might not like me saying this, in the least) But, there is already a decline of activity from older crunchyroll accounts I know of here.
Bjaker 
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Posted 7/17/13 , edited 7/17/13


Hi!

So, you do know that my title is a joke in reference to the show which is my profile?
Also, my remark was to a day when there are 0 streaming issues at all which ultimately means no emails for me to answer.
I apologize of my intended jovial manner was offputting, but I just want to note that things are being worked on.

Thanks for your feedback.
-Baker



Hey!

So, I understand that you like to chat, but again the Help forums are for helping people.
You're not adding anything to this discussion.

Do not post in Help if you're not helping.

Thanks,
-Baker



This has nothing to do with the original post.

Please do not post in the Help section unless you're trying to Help.

Best,
-Baker

Bjaker 
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Posted 7/17/13


This is what I'm reacting to - I like you. I like you very much. "LAWL"

Regards,
-Baker
Guardian of A/M/P
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Posted 7/17/13 , edited 7/17/13

Bjaker wrote:

Hey!

So, I understand that you like to chat, but again the Help forums are for helping people.
You're not adding anything to this discussion.

Do not post in Help if you're not helping.

Thanks,
-Baker


I read "Suggestion/Feedback" not "Help" as so mentioned by the original poster, and that was my feedback and impression of the video problems at my side of being the customer.

Plus, I was just saying about my experience with the service here, which isn't so bittersweet as some might've expressed on these part. I see no reason being refuted for that.
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Posted 7/18/13
I think it would be best to wait till the whole CDN and network maintenance has been sorted out and someone from CR alerts us that they have completed whatever they were trying to do before any more troubleshooting on this issue since it could be related and further troubleshooting without it being completed seems moot.

It might be better to have a section on the front page that alerts users that you are doing network maintenance and it may cause some connection instability or delayed playback on videos so that people don't come and right away assume that there is a problem when there may not even be.

Either way, I've seen improvements. I can stream 1080P now on a lot of shows at random times through out the day and I used to get lagged playback. I'll try to start taking note of what shows and times of days I have issues from now on.

Are a majority of the people experiencing the playback issues international customers?
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