Disappointed New Customer

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  • Updated 3 months ago
My Viasat system was installed friday and today (sunday) I'm already disappointed. I also have DSL, where I get close to 3 mbps download and 0.7 mbps upload. As expected, my Viasat unlimited Silver plan gets much better nominal speeds (eg 30 mbps up and 4 down). However actual performance (eg on Youtube) is actually worse than DSL! I can usually watch YT at 720p and often 1080p without interruptions, but on Viasat I get brief interruptions even at 480p. And when I livestream on YT, the upload resolution is also worse than dsl (which is only 0.7 mbps upload). So, despite being nominally 10 times faster (and of course more expensive) Viasat is actually worse than dsl! It seems the key problem is that Viasat artificially limits speeds on any one device to slightly less than 480p. Amazingly I can watch YT on three different simultaneous devices each at 480p with no more frequent interruptions than on 1 device! I'm used to a fixed cost per gB, but Viasat uses a completely different model: everything is downgraded to 480p. I don't need to watch YT at 480 on three different devices - I need to stream at 720 on 1 device! It all seems a bit of a scam: what use is 30 mbps and unlimited data if one cannot even watch on 1 device at 480p?
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Paul Adams

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Posted 3 months ago

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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Unfortunately, that's exactly what you signed up for with a Silver Plan: "Video streaming at DVD-quality definition, typically 480p"

Explained in further detail at https://www.exede.com/documents/master/unlimited-data-policy.pdf

Detected video streams are throttled to a "speed" that is typically (actually minimally is the consensus here) needed to support a plan's specified video quality. The speed influences the content providers decision on what quality will be delivered.

Lots of discussions can be found here - but the only way Viasat can deliver an unlimited data plan is to limit the activity which typically consumes the most data - video streaming. You can get around it by using a VPN but you'll simply burn through your priority data threshold faster - also covered in that link above.   

 

(Edited)
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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The general consensus is the video resolution downgrader works fair at best. If you stream a lot, I am afraid you will to keep your DSL. While it might be slower, its low latency and consistent speed will deliver a better, buffer free stream. On the Silver "unlimited" plan, you cant even get HD video.
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wm4bama, Champion

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Have you changed the option default (On) for Video Data Extender to (Off)?  Check it by going to your Dashboard at:

https://my.exede.net/AtlasCommunitiesLanding?startURL=%2Fdashboard

Log into your account and after it loads look at that option in the Current data usage Panel and set it to Off..  See  if that helps your video quality.

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Jim16

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Unlimited plans CAN NOT have the video extender turned off.  Silver is going to stream at about 1-1.5 Mbps, always.  Paul, do a speed test using this....www.fast.com
That will show your streaming speed.  Let us know.

This is my streaming speed with the extender turned off.  ( my plan allows that)

(Edited)
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Paul Adams

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I tried fast.com - it doesn't work, claims I'm not connected to internet (which I am, either by Viasat or by dsl). If I use speedtest.net with Viasat I get 18.6 up and 1.0 down. With speedof.me and Viasat I get 8 up and 4 down - but these numbers very and are often better. With dsl and speedtest I get 3 up 0.7 down, consistent. I got Viasat not to downstream videos but to upstream (livestream) to Youtube and I'm flabbergasted that it's even worse than using DSL! I don't need to download I need to upload! 
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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Try speedtest.via-satellite.net  

That's a speed test we currently recommend. It's a stripped down speed test but should give an accurate speed read out. Fast.com is sort of Netflix's "Insurance policy" against cable internet to provide a speed test so that they can't be blamed if something isn't streaming. While we are on the topic of speed test sites (did some reading up for a future blog post) I would take the moment to advise against speedtest.net as one there's a ton of graphics and ads that will make it a bandwidth hog and secondly is that it doesn't really account for a satellite connection so it'll say a 11mbps connection with a high ping is "bad" because it stacks it against DSL and Cable. 
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Paul Adams

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I tried that speed test: all I get is "This text is replaced by the Flash movie."
Actually I've no complaints about the speedtest.net results for my viasat system: the results are much better than when I use DSL (though the former are very variable and the latter always the same). I also get good (fast) results using speedof.me.  I've not even a complaint about the poor results on actual YT streaming - I was warned I might "typically" get only 480p (though I hoped that meant sometimes better, not "always slightly worse"). Mt gripe is when I try to livestream to YT - that's why I got the Viasat system. It actually seems slightly worse than my DSL (which has an upload speed of only 0.7 mbps). 

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Bradley

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11Mbps with a high ping is bad. What else a speed test compare speeds with? Airlines? Compared to dsl, cable, and fiber, (sometimes even lte), satellite is at the bottom. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. Just means comparatively, it’s the lesser of other options.
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Bev, Champion

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With Unlimited Plans, the Video Data Extender CANNOT be turned off. Unlimited Silver is Video at 480 MAX resolution and it is stated in the plan. "DVD Resolution, Typically 480" That is what you are signed up for. If you want 720, you will need to upgrade to a Gold or Platinum plan.

You can call 855-463-9333 to see if a plan that will give you 720 resolution (HD) is available in your area.

As for uploading a live stream, upload will always be between 1 an 3 Mbps and, satellite internet has an inherent latency of 600 to 800 ms, meaning there will always be a delay in live streams, either sending or receiving them. That's the laws of physics, nothing anyone or any plan can do about that.

You are getting exactly what you signed up for, 480 video resolution, perhaps a bit lower from some services, at certain times. YouTube for example, mostly it's 480 but, during prime time it's usually 360 and, lower than that if you have multiple browser tabs open.


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Andy Schack

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Interesting. I've never considered what the video presets would do for UPloading....especially live streaming. I'll have to keep this in mind if a potential customer asks me about how the system will work if they are a regular live streamer. 
Sorry I don't have a solution for your problem but at least I won't be mis-selling the service. 

Andy
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Paul Adams

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well, it appears that these "video presets" are bad for livestream UPloading - no better than my poor DSL service. I told the rep that sold me the Viasat system that I wanted it for livestreaming, and he said it would be way better than my dsl, which it isn't. Most people don't livestream/upload and presumably that's why no-one else seems to complain. 
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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No rep is qualified to make that statement.. who is to say how good (or bad) your DSL is.

There are no absolutes with satellite internet,
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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I think that's sort of a variation of why there's no good way to determine what "a lot" of streaming is. Everyone has a different definition. 
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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with that said, The DSL comparison would have to be by download speed
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Andy Schack

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Let me interject here for a moment. Paul is exactly right, it has NOTHING to do with what video quality your plan is preset to. For one reason or another, some VS2 beams (like mine) does NOT perform well with Youtube. I don't think I have watched a SINGLE video on Youtube where it didn't buffer at LEAST one time...the download progress bar barely keeps ahead of the play bar. I can switch to my VS1 system and Youtube plays flawlessly. To take it a step further, I can download a video from some other website like Facebook and it downloads at about 600kbps-2mbps. I have NEVER downloaded a video from Youtube faster than 80kbps. Now once again, I can switch to my VS1 system and the SAME video will download off Youtube at 1-2.5mbps. There is something about the way Viasat treats Youtube traffic on VS2 that is causing this issue. 

You will also notice that it takes a looooong time to download a song off Amazon Music with VS2. Once again, I can switch to my VS1 system and it downloads much, much faster. To give you an idea of how slow it downloads a song off Amazon.....a 3:20 song takes over 1 1/2 min.....that's slow.

I've already sent out emails, MULTIPLE emails about this and have gotten no response. So the way I handle it now, if a customer comes in and inquires about getting internet I tell them upfront that there are issues with Youtube......the videos WILL play but NOT without the occasional brief buffer. 

Andy
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Paul Adams

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Using the VPN doesn't seem to make a significant difference to the YT upload/livestream - still poor. But I'm still exploring and will report further. I'm still hoping Viasat will be better than dsl.
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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By using a VPN, you also defeat the acceleration technology that Viasat uses to help deliver faster speeds. Now if you are getting 30Mbps down and with a VPN that drops to 5Mbps, you are still going to get faster streaming than what Viasat willl give you. But with upload streaming, I am not sure what, if any difference a VPN would make since you already start with low upload speed to begin with.
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Video detection isn't used on upload streaming but it would have evaded the web acceleration if any - as noted by VeteranSatUser your simply starting at a low bar with upload speeds and VPN would probable further exacerbate things - rarely do I ever see above 1 Mbps despite a 3 Mbps claim. 1 Mbps would be barely enough to live stream at 480p on a stable, reliable quality connection with low latency and you'd need to drop the quality even lower or use a very high efficiency encoder on satellite - with comparable speeds on DSL and Satellite that latency alone is going to result in worse performance as it impacts at the packet level.
(Edited)
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Paul Adams

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Indeed, I'm not seeing significant difference in quality for uoloading/livestreaming between Viasat with or without vpn, or compared to DSL. And of course dsl is far more reliable - Viasat goes out even with a bit of rain or cloud. I wish I had known that before I committed to this $2500 silver "unlimited" plan. And I hope Viasat lets everyone know ahead that they are no good for livestreaming (as they already let potential gamers know). Thanks everyone for the input - I should have joined this forum before I signed on!
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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Yea. High latency and inconsistent upload speed is always a challenge with satellite internet. The focus is on download speed since that is what people use. Are little dishes are low powered transmitters too. They would have to he bigger with more power to boost upload speeds.

Sorry you find this out too late.