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Unreliable stream problem

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by jagman653, Apr 28, 2019.

  1. jagman653

    jagman653 Auditioning

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    I'm finding it very difficult to impossible to watch an Amazon Prime movie. Takes forever to get going, to the point that I just give up. My Spectrum cable service shows 450 Mbps download, but when my Sony Blueray does the initializing connection speed test it shows 12.5 Mpbs. Is that the best Amazon can deliver? Same results whether I use wired or wireless connection.

    When I try using my Samsug TV to do the streaming, it's the same or worse.

    any ideas as to what's
     
  2. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    I don't have a problem with Prime. I suspect the problem might be somewhere else in your system. Have you confirmed your internet speed? I also find that dedicated streaming devices work a lot better than disc players for streaming.
     
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  3. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    If your Internet speed is indeed 450Mbps download, and you have a strong wireless signal (or are hardwired via Ethernet from the BD player to your router), then the Amazon app on the BD player is the most like culprit. As John stated, dedicated streaming devices work much better than disc players for streaming. The apps on disc players do not get updated very often, if at all. A Roku Express is only $30, while the Roku Premiere 4K is $40 and includes a certified high speed HDMI cable -- making it almost the same value as the Express, which does not come with a cable. At those prices, it makes no sense to continue to use an old disc player for streaming.

    FYI, I own both Roku models I listed above, as well as an Apple TV 4K (which is a lot more expensive). All provide reliable streaming for Amazon Prime, as well as all other apps I stream, via our Comcast Xfinity Internet service. I don't bother with the built-in streaming apps on my Sony UHD or Panasonic BD disc players.
     
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  4. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Which seems a little odd, since most newer players have wi-fi capability for streaming and player firmware updates. Not sure why they wouldn't allow the streaming apps to update as they do on any other device (phones, tablets, etc.).
     
  5. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    I think the disc player manufacturers just don't bother writing updates, as that costs resources (and money) for something that is not the primary function of the device. Roku, Apple and other streaming box manufacturers, though, are in the business of selling streaming functionality only, and if that doesn't work properly then no one will buy their product.
     
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  6. jagman653

    jagman653 Auditioning

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    Thanks, John. Yes, I use Ookla SpeedTest. I always shows 420-450 Mbps download, 20 upload. However, I do sometimes have "connectivity" issues that rebooting the cable modem fixes. consequently, I reboot the modem before trying to use Amazon.

    I have noticed that if I fiddle around with it in the morning or afternoon, I can often get to work. However, when I try to watch a movie after dinner, no such luck. Makes me think it's a network traffic issue. No way of knowing whether it's at Amazon or Spectrum.
     
  7. jagman653

    jagman653 Auditioning

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    OK, I'll go get a Roku. I have the same problem when I try to stream with the TV, but it's several years old and might have equally poor firmware updating.
     
  8. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Producer
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    Where are you testing your speed? Are you plugging in a laptop using the same Ethernet cable that is plugged into the blu-ray player? Have you tried other streaming services, and if so, what are the results? You should have Vudu on both the Sony Blu-ray and Samsung TV, and that app does have a built-in speed test (found in the setup menu of the app) to determine what feed (SD, HDX, UHD) that your device can handle.
     
  9. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Producer
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    If you can find the Roku Streaming Stick or Streaming Stick+, go with that instead of the Premiere, unless you are using a universal remote and want to stay with one and only one remote. I say this only because I recently purchased the Roku Premiere, and although it is a great unit, I was a bit disappointed that Roku does not offer phone or chat support for the Premier (but does for the Stick). Support for their Premier is limited to email correspondence and website FAQ's. The Stick is also much easier to take with you if you travel.
     
  10. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    I always thought streaming was a total mess, but I'd only ever used my Panasonic BR players for it. Then one year on a Black Friday deal, I got a set-top Fire TV and it was a completely different deal. The Fire TV doesn't do all I want, so once Apple and Amazon made nice and Apple added Prime, I was good to go with Apple TVs. The Apple TV 4K is expensive, but for me it's worth it.
     
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  11. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Producer
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    I have found that the Fire TV devices are just plain horrible. Awful user interface, horrible support, and more closed system than Apple TV.
     
  12. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Actually, that does sound like a network issue. Internet service from cable TV providers are a shared service, so if you are having issues only in the evening (which would be peak utilization time), it's very likely that your neighborhood's network segment is oversubscribed and carrying too much traffic during those peak hours. If that's the case, a dedicated streaming device will not solve your issue (although I would still recommend using one instead of your disc player).
     
  13. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    It does sound like a network issue, though a better streaming device, in my opinion, can always help. If you're in an area where there are a lot of people streaming, especially families with kids, where there are several people streaming at the same time, it can really kill your speed.
     
  14. jagman653

    jagman653 Auditioning

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    I just took my laptop to the entertainment center and ran speed tests. It's well over 100 Mbps wireless and 350-450 Mbps wired.
     
  15. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    Was that in the evening, while you were having streaming problems?
     
  16. jagman653

    jagman653 Auditioning

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    BTW, I have a CAT5 cable pulled through the attic, total of about 70 feet. I've been told that should be adequate, but if Spectrum is reall pumping 450 Mbps, I sometimes wonder if I should have someone pull CAT6 through. I no longer go into the attic :-(
     
  17. jagman653

    jagman653 Auditioning

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    No, it was mid morning. I'll try it again this evening.
     
  18. xx Brian xx

    xx Brian xx Stunt Coordinator

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    What are you using for a modem and router? If it is the cable supplied equipment, that could be causing the issue. Also, how many smart devices and streaming devices are in the home. I run well over 50 smart devices and with the old modem and router I would lose speed as time went by and all the devices started to bottle neck. I finally bought a Motorola SB8200 (DOCSIS 3.1 Modem) and a new Eero mesh network. Since then I have not had any issues.

    Before you spend any money though, log in to the modem/router and check for any firmware updates.

    Another thing to check: Check to see if your router has QOS (Quality of service). If it does, enable it and put the blurry at the top so the router gives the bulk of the channel speed to the bluray.

    Brian
     
  19. Message #19 of 22 Apr 29, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
    Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    CAT5 cable should be fine for your application. It supports gigabit speed ethernet at a distance of up to 100 meters.
     
  20. jagman653

    jagman653 Auditioning

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    Well, tried the Roku Premier. Worked very poorly o it's going back to BestBuy. Guess I didn't read the specs so didn't know it was WIFi only. I gave up on WiFi in that location years ago because there's just too many strong competing signals. E.g., the neighbor house has a AT&T modem about 10 feet away. Moreover, the Roku doesn't pick up my 5G signal from the router, and neither signal from a closer range extender.

    While at BestBuy I also picked up a Arris SB6190 modem to replace the crummy one Spectrum gave me that frequently drops connections. Maybe that will help.

    BTW, we did get pretty good streaming with AT&T DSL. What's interesting is AT&T was only giving me something like 4 Mbps download. I'm inclined to think Spectrum, delivering 450 Mbps, is pumping too fast through their local infrastructure, thereby compromising connection reliability. Is that possible?
     

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