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Post Reply Lag, Freezing, Stuttering Etc.. (CAN YOU TRY...)
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42 / M / So Cal, USA
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Posted 2/9/14 , edited 2/9/14
I stand by my belief that much of lagging/freezing/stuttering issues experienced are heavily dependent on what time of day and what day of the week you watch your anime. Whether it's an issue of CR's servers being saturated or something along the many network hops being the bottleneck I can't really say, but I know that if I want to stream any video without issues I can do it really late at night, PST. If I try it at 6pm or so I am frequently in contention with not only other CR subscribers but whatever other online users streaming their netflix, hulu, whatever. This is consistent and while I haven't attempted any specific tests to see if it's CR's servers being at capacity or not, I know that bandwidth tests of other kinds will tell me that my internet connection is darn good and my PC is solid.

Occasionally the Crunchyroll stream just stops and then I have to reload the page to get it going again, but this is independent of the stuttering/freezing/lagging I experience. Like right now is a bloody lousy time to watch anything on CR, so I don't know why I'm bothering to try. Can't get a video to play for more than 5 seconds without stuttering, even if I pause and walk away for a few minutes. I don't know how much of the video is buffered, but at least on a PC it really isn't much.


I think what would really be valuable to me as a subscriber is if there was a way to see CR streaming server load graphs on a weekly basis. Sort of like seeing traffic maps when pulling up any map application on the PC or mobile device. By seeing when you can expect relatively bad "traffic" you can make a choice to suffer through a heavily loaded server/network or wait a few more hours until the loads die down for a smoother watching experience. This is certainly relatively easy information to gather from most of today's modern systems, whether it's a Cisco router showing bandwidth graphs or from a VMWare resource pool. I do it all the time in my alternate life as a Senior Systems Engineer dealing with our data center's hosted customers.

So what do you say, guys? Show us a one week snapshot of server and/or network loads so we can adjust our viewing habits a bit? I already have a decent idea of what the load averages are over teh course of a week, but maybe your graphs might show I'm completely wrong about it and maybe focus my personal troubleshooting on other things.
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Posted 2/21/14

otsohiru wrote:

Tried both version of the flash still having the issue. However, my problem started to occur when one of the hops my packets take increased alot! and started to dump packets out of the bucket. started 2/3 months ago been keeping an eye on it. Over the past few months so I know if I should bother to stream or not. Always when those cogentco hops start to dump packets/or jump in ms is when i'm having my streaming issues.


So, a couple stories and comments recently reminded me about this particular post.

Reference 1: http://news.slashdot.org/story/14/02/21/2041210/isp-fights-causing-netflix-packet-drops

Aside from CR, Netflix users have also been having trouble. Specifically, Netflix, hosted by Cogent, peering with Verizon.

Reference 2: http://ask.slashdot.org/story/05/10/05/2247207/internet-partitioning---cogent-vs-level-3

Cogent has a history of peering issues with other tier 1 providers whenever there's any sort of disagreement. You can look through the comments in the articles for more specific information on how things work.

Note 3: The quoted post

User specifically notes that whenever they have trouble, tracert is running through cogentco servers.

Note 4: I remember checking my own tracert after seeing that post, and also seeing it pass through cogentco servers.

I had -thought- that CR was hosted by a separate company than Cogent (ie: they weren't using the same providers as Netflix), but that may be wrong? Verifying some things, it looks like they're hosted by Akamai (who have their own history of CDN issues, particularly with pricing).


It seems likely that CR is getting caught in the struggle between Netflix and end-user ISPs, where the peering imbalance between Cogent and the ISPs causes massive packet loss. If the routes to Akamai are passing through Cogent then CR customers end up with the same problem.

If that's the case, then what options does CR have?

They don't want to host on Cogent themselves, as that just puts them right in the thick of the Netflix problem.

Smaller CDNs than Akamai may reduce their costs substantially (I've read several stories where Akamai can charge 2-3 times as much as competitors, and isn't too picky about keeping customers if they don't like it), but they're also likely to have more location issues (eg: fewer mirrors, which leads to more difficult traffic balancing).

CR can't influence the peering issue that determines how the packets get routed. At best, they can maybe choose server locations that minimize the risk of packets getting run through Cogent.

I think there was some mention by a mod somewhere that CR was trying to get more server locations? This may be related. If their particular location is close to a Cogent peering, and that peering has cheaper rates to get to various users' ISPs, then that increases the likelihood of packet loss because of how the data gets routed (ie: preference for close and cheap connections).

This also ties into the issue of the uselessness of checking things like speedtest.net. Speedtest will automatically choose a location close to you to minimize the issue of random internet traffic interfering with the test. However if the issue is -specifically- about internet traffic interfering with your data throughput, then those test results aren't any help.

This slightly relates to the idea of using different DNS providers. The naive idea would be that a different DNS provider might give you a different path to the server, and thus avoid the peering congestion. However that is mostly useless because the DNS provider merely provides a mapping between a requested URL and an IP number. Once you have the IP number then it's the job of all the routers in between you and the target to choose how best to get there.

At best, choosing a different DNS may end up choosing a different mirror server for the same requested URL simply due to the location of the DNS server, and that different address may lead to a different network path that coincidentally avoids the peering congestion. However I wouldn't count on that in any realistic manner.


So CR needs to add servers in a way that avoids Cogent peering (thus more servers closer to user ISPs), but doesn't drive their costs up to unreasonable levels (which is likely to happen very quickly with Akamai). They might be able to do that with a different CDN provider, but that itself is a rather difficult and time-consuming task. I would not be entirely surprised if they did go that route, though, given the amount of time they have been "working" on this issue.


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33 / M / Raleigh, NC
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Posted 2/22/14
Really? It doesn't matter what version of flash I am on. Crunchyroll videos ALWAYS STUTTER/FREEZE for me. If the problem is flash related it has to do with your player NOT a flash distribution.
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Posted 2/22/14 , edited 2/22/14

nechronius wrote:

I stand by my belief that much of lagging/freezing/stuttering issues experienced are heavily dependent on what time of day and what day of the week you watch your anime.

I agree. I believe there is something to this as well.


So what do you say, guys? Show us a one week snapshot of server and/or network loads so we can adjust our viewing habits a bit?

That's not likely to happen. But we could start a thread where we document our own usage, what times of day we found streaming be at its best/worst, and so on. If many contributed from various locations, we could help each other and redistribute sever loads ourselves. If that does nothing to alleviate freezing/lagging, then we punt.
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Posted 2/22/14
No matter what I try, when I try it, I can't watch anything on PC for more then 5 minutes with out it stuttering. I will pause and do something else in hope of a buffer and come back to watch five minutes before it happens again. Never have a problem watching on my phone or on my X-box no matter the time of day, only my PC. If anyone can send me to a virus free download/update link to let me watch it on my PC again you will be named Capt. Badass for the rest of your life.
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38 / M
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Posted 2/22/14 , edited 2/23/14
I thought maybe it was my computer or lack of updates. I tried a Naruto episode here and it stuttered and froze for way too long, then I went to [MOD EDIT: Removed illegal hosting site] and watched the same one and it streamed perfectly. Not bitching here, just need to know what I have to do to fix this. It doesn't matter what time of day I try it, same thing happens each time. Send me a message if you have a fix. Don't like the fact that my phone is better then my PC!
The Wise Wizard
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56 / M / U.S.A. (mid-south)
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Posted 2/23/14

HouseofKahler wrote:

No matter what I try, when I try it, I can't watch anything on PC for more then 5 minutes with out it stuttering. I will pause and do something else in hope of a buffer and come back to watch five minutes before it happens again. Never have a problem watching on my phone or on my X-box no matter the time of day, only my PC.

The Flash streams for the PC use a different content delivery network than the streams for devices (like the XBOX).

You might be tempted to say, "CR should use the other CDN for the Flash streams then", but for some other people that are having problems, the reverse is true; the Flash streams work and the device streams have problems.

Due to limitations caused by the way Adobe implements DRM for Flash streams, there isn't much of a buffer.

CR has stated previously they have plans for a new Flash player that will work in concert with changes to their CDN(s) to alleviate the problem, which if all goes as planned, should be implemented before the spring simulcasts start.

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31 / M / Tampa Bay, Florid...
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Posted 2/24/14 , edited 2/24/14
I have had on and off issues with it, but it has been an issue the entire day regardless of the hours, right up to now. I have plenty of bandwidth to use and Crunchyroll is the only one I have issues streaming with. It has nothing to do with my end, as I've tried everything available to me.
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28 / M / UK
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Posted 3/14/15
I don't think the end-user has much hope here. The CDNs are holding all the cards, they literally can control the flow of traffic and prioritise bandwidth as they see fit, even though (if what I read about US Net Neutrality is true) they're not really supposed to. I lose two thirds of incoming bandwidth from CR when it hits peak states sides, I'm in the UK and I can watch 1080p streams all day but when the sun rises and people start watching across the pond my guess is traffic priority changes.

Does anyone know if CR has any EU based mirrors. I guess it all comes down to cost in the end as does everything else. I wont rubbish the service they offer because for the cost, it's a pretty good deal. Hopefully things will get better, but if they don't I can live with it. It's a shame that US legislation and ISP/Content providers seem to be doing a good job of ruining the interwebs for a lot of people but I guess it was only a matter of time before something like this were to happen. Anyway that's off topic, sorry.

It would be great to have more control over the local buffer size in order to walk away and come back with the show loaded, that would allow me time at least to make brew!
Der Zoodirektor
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34 / M / Germany
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Posted 3/14/15
We have mirrors in Europe.
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28 / M / UK
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Posted 3/14/15 , edited 3/14/15
That's good to hear - Unfortunately for me then I haven't been able to watch anything from 21:30 (GMT). This makes me

I have gone through the FAQ, I have tried to blame my connection but it doesn't add up. I wouldn't even know what mirror I was connecting to to try and figure out the connection quality, routing and so on.

EDIT: To add, I can stream flawlessly on my mobile using the same internet connection. I have just tried this out of curiosity.
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