Might not be Possible to Stream During LNFZ on My Beam

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I thought I would follow in the footsteps of some  of you regarding movie downloads during the LNFZ. So I bought PlayOn which has some nice features.
After a week of trying, I still have not successfully downloaded any movies during my LNFZ.
I set up PlayOn to download a movie last night. Everything started as it should have. The recording froze at the 1-1/2 minute point and completely aborted at the 3 minute point.
My beam is 328. I am beginning to suspect that the d/l rates are very slow during sections of the LNFZ, causing my d/l to kick out. I am not willing to get up at that time to test this theory.
If this is the cause, I am not upset. I never expected the Liberty 12 plan to provide VS2 speeds. I am just trying to determine the limits of Liberty 12.
Those Liberty 12 users on uncontested uncongested beams may be just plain lucky.
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M.E.M.

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Posted 1 year ago

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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Free zone periods have historically been swamped on beam 329 - until the Liberty plan's came along it was pretty unusable from 12:00 AM - 3:00 AM. As more started adopting the 3:00 - 6:00 free zone periods offered by Liberty it became bogged down also.

If I had an iPhone, iPad or Android device, I'd probably take a flyer on the Playon Cloud option (get $25 worth of credits), get their mobile app and let them record things in the cloud and then download the supposedly mp4 files once they became available (either during the free zone or offsite at the library or McDonalds - if I understand how PlayOn Cloud works - at 25 cents per recording it's better than burning my priority data or struggling with Free Zone inconsistencies I guess.
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Andy Schack

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Thumbs up to what Old Labs said. 

Your beam is a very congested beam. 

Andy
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M E.M. Couple questions. 1) Is the Video Deoptimizer checked or unchecked for your account? If checked, make sure it is "unchecked". 2) start Playon when you get up in the morning. Go to settings, run a speed check. What does it say? Low, Medium, or what. 3) is the computer you are recordering on hooked via an ethernet cable or wifi?

I guarantee you my beam is more congested than yours, as I am on THE most congested beam there is but I download Netflix and Amazon in the middle of the night with no resolution issues. You should be able to do the same!
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M.E.M.

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VeteranSatUser,

Video deoptimizer is unchecked.
My pc is connected by ethernet.

Also, I heard back from PlayOn a little while ago. They reviewed my log files and said my cpu was topping out during recording.

They said to lower the resolution to medium and try again.
I will do that.
I will additionally shut down my four HD IP cameras to free up more cpu.
I'll try to download again at 3:15 am this morning.
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If you are banging your CPU that hard in the middle of the night, something is going on. Sure you don't have bitcoin data mining!
(Edited)
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M.E.M.

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I don't know what Bitcoin data mining is. I trust Kaspersky and the paid version of Malwarebytes to keep me safe.
I have been running Kaspersky and Malwarebytes daily scans starting at around 2:00 AM.
I will disable these scans and try again.
My Bandwidth test from within PlayOn settings has always indicated Max whenever I have noticed.
The red "X" is back frequently on my ethernet connected PC, indicated loss of internet. I have installed a new ethernet cable and have changed router ports. This has not helped with connectivity. I have PC Doctor which tests hardware on the PC and everything is OK, including the network adapter. I recently bought a reconditioned Asus RT-AC3200, and that is when the red "X" started. So I am waiting for a new Asus RT-AC3200 to arrive which will help determine whether the router is part of the problem.
I will keep on eliminating things until I find a culprit.
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Bitcoin data mining.. it was a joke :).
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That would be something if your whole problem was due to low speeds during the LNFZ.  I get pretty dang good speeds during the free zone, so its never been an issue for me.

One inconvenience I have had with Playon is that recordings will automatically fail if you have an interruption to your internet connection or if it gets too slow.  This usually isn't an issue for me, unless there is severe weather outside.

Here is my only real complaint about Playon.  If you have a hundred or so videos waiting to be captured and your internet signal gets interrupted, then Playon will try each video and fail each video until your internet connection comes back online.  

There is no way to automatically restart those failed records at once.  This means if 100 recordings fail, you have to go back and restart all of them one at a time.  It isn't fun.   The only exception is if you are capturing a television series.  You do have the ability to add an entire season at once to your que.
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I think you really need to try recording a show during the day or while you are awake.  Will it eat some data, yes.  But you need to see what is going on and why it won't work (since you say you won't be up at 3 to observe).
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What he said. When I first started using Playon, I recorded a 30 minute show during the day to see how it worked. Once I knew it worked, I then started scheduling recordings.
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M.E.M.

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Thanks for your interest.
I bought a new reconditioned Asus RT-3200 router just before buying PlayOn.
I get constant internet disconnects on my ethernet connected PC with this new router. I do not get these constant internet disconnects when the Viasat modem is directly connected to my pc.
As Stephen said above, internet disconnects abort his recordings.
My solution so far---buy an new (not reconditioned) Asus RT-AC1900 from Amazon which has shipped but not arrived yet. I am in no great hurry as watching videos never was a high priority for me. I bought PlayOn because I was bored.
My plan tonight is to repeat a recording but with the router bi-passed. If this works and if it is repeatable, then I will know what then problem is.
It is easy to get thrown off track when you buy new equipment and then ASSUME it cannot possibly be part of the problem.
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Did you verify the reconditioned modem has the latest firmware?
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M.E.M.

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I have has success two days in a row recording during the LNFZ by bi-passing my new refurbished Asus RT-AC3200. A new new Asus RT-AC3200 is scheduled to be delivered today.
I got up at 3:00 AM last night to see how the recording was going. I closed all applications except PlayOn (but Kaspersky and Malwarebytes were still running in the background).

Here is what my cpu usage was during the first few minutes of the recording:

which is high, considering nothing else is running (except Kaspersky and Malwarebytes).

Here is my network speed per task manager during the recording:



and here are the running processes:



Anyone have suggestions on how to improve my setup?

Thanks.
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Haven't really been following your PlayOn saga but...
 
Does PlayOn have any video performance settings that can be tweaked? In particular the ability to enable/disable GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) hardware acceleration? Requires a GPU supporting it, but worth checking to see if it would decrease CPU usage when enabled.
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Playon is burning 66% of the CPU in that example. That might be normal. I need to see how much mine is burning.
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Just a side note on CPUs. My previous laptop had an AMD cpu. I computer geek suggested I get one that has an Intel i5 or above. Night and day difference.

Andy
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Andy,
My pc is a Windows 7 Home Premium HP desktop that I bought during 2010.
There are two cpu's which are AMD Athlon II 240 processors with a speed of 2.8 GHz. The RAM is 9 GB.
Are you saying these cpu processors can be replaced with two Intel i5, i7, or i9 processors?

Also, VeteranSatUser,
There are two entries at the top of Task Manager process table from MediaMallServer (PlayOn). They add up to 76% cpu, not just the 66% you referenced. And nothing else is running that I can think of deleting.
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You would need a new motherboard to support the Intel chips. Basically a new computer.

Your computer is older, but should meet your needs. I wouldn't worry about the CPU utilization if it is working now. Did you take out the visible.mmt file? You don't want that active all the time, that will eat processing speed.
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What VetSat said. 

I didn't replace my cpu I replaced my laptop....bought a HP Elitebook. I used to do a lot of video conversion and editing and when I bought the laptop with the i5 the speed difference was very noticeable. 

When I bought a new computer for the store a few months ago I made sure it had and Intel chip....ran rings around the previous one that had the AMD chip. 

Andy
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I think you are overthinking this whole CPU usage thing.  My Playon/Plex server is from sometime around the year 2010 and is running Windows 7.  Thats all I know about it.  I don't know how much ram it has and I don't know what processor it has.  

All I know is it records video nicely and I have a 4 TB usb drive connected to it with about 2 TB of content.

If it records video and it works, that is all that matters.
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I have mine working again. Not with Netflix because I have an alternative, but Amazon. Provided Viasat is running fast enough (that appears to be 1.5Mb to 2Mb+ per second), I get a good quality 720p recording with no buffering. So it allows me to watch Amazon content now too.

Appreciate your help and guidance Stephen when it came to PkayOn with Plex. IMHO your best contribution to the site. Not, as for 30 days of heartwarming facts...stick to tales from Al Bundy.
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Well, since curious minds might want to know, I just walked into my office room. 

My video server is the following:

Dell Latitude E6400
2 GB of ram
Intel Core 2 Duo CPU P8800 @ 2.66 GHz.

Windows 7 Pro - 32 bit


I have no clue what my CPU usage is and I don't really care.  This machine has one purpose in life and one purpose in life only.  To serve me up with video.  Tonight I watched a few episodes of Married With Children and a couple of episodes of M*A*S*H.  Its time to go to bed.
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Speaking of M A S.H., while the series is good, the original movie is a classic.

We are the pros from Dover.
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You guys talking about PlayOn Cloud got me to looking more into it. Back when they were working on getting it up and going I helped them out financially and got a bunch of recording credits but have never used them. I went ahead and chose one of the plans that gives you permanent storage....something like 4.99/mon. Actually works pretty cool. I would strongly suggest Viasat customers take advantage of this. Once the recording was done, it downloaded at about 1meg/sec. 

As far as file size goes. I downloaded an episode of Blue Bloods and it was roughly 370megs. 

Andy
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So it records high speed in the cloud, then is that where it plays from? Wouldn't buffering still be a factor during primetime congestion?

As far as file size, that is about right.
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It records (server to server) and stores in the cloud and you can then download for playing locally. You schedule recordings to occur in the cloud with their mobile app. Download when most beneficial (e.g. Free zone, off peak, etc.)

Each recording is 25 cents and you purchase credits in bulk. Recordings are available for 7 days after recording. However, you can subscribe to a plan that provides permanent storage.  To try it you need only purchase the recording credits if you can live with the 7 day period limitation (appears they are downloaded in mp4 format).

https://www.playon.tv/faq?tab=cloud
(Edited)
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Exactly. Since it records on their server, you don't have to worry about scheduling. After it is through with the recording, you get an email with a download link. They are in mp4 format which means you can easily transfer them to a thumb drive and then plug it into one of the usb ports on your tv or bluray player and watch them from there. 

Also, since it is recording to THEIR server, the video isn't subjected to the 360p vid quality that the Bronze plan is shackled with. 

BTW, recorded a full movie last night and just downloaded it. The file size was 967mb.

Andy
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The only drawback is you don't get unlimited recordings.  I think it costs something like 25 cents a recording.  That is not a bad price for movies,  but if you are downloading a series of TV shows, it can get very expensive.

If it wasn't for the 25 cents a recording charge, I would be using Playon Cloud too.
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To ME...25 cents is chump change.....not that I'm loaded but look at what you get for a quarter. For what most people pay for a cup of coffee, you can cloud record a whole season....and that season is certainly going to last longer than that coffee. 

Here's a link to their cloud subscription page.(https://www.playon.tv/offers/cloud/storage/  )   I got the 4.99/mon plan. It gives you 100g storage and 20 recording credits per month. I doubt I'll even use the 20/mon, let alone the hundreds I've already got in my acct. 

VetSat, I did want to add that you cannot initiate cloud recordings via your computer or laptop. For some reason you have to do it with the mobile app. You CAN however download the recordings to any device you want. 

Andy
(Edited)
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Stephen saves his quarters for when he's on the road...

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Hey Andy - PlayOn sent me a survey, and one of the questions was "Would you like to be able to access PlayOn Cloud from your PC" (or something to that effect). I answered "Yes", because that would only make the service better, IMO.

So maybe they're considering going that route. That'd be pretty sweet.
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Yes, it would. Seems like it would have been a "given" thing to do. Simply have a setting where you can set it to either record to the cloud OR your pc. 

Andy
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I'm confused. Andy, are you saying that you can download an entire season of a show for 25 cents?
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Oh... that's not how I took it. What I thought they were saying was would I like to be able to search for and initiate cloud recordings from my PC as well as my Phone, and I was all like, "Hell yes, because searching on my phone gets to be a pain!"

Otherwise, if you had the option to record to your PC, wouldn't that just be PlayOn? 
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Sophie, what I mean is that IF they make it to where you could record to the cloud rather than your pc then they would have to have some kind of toggle that you would set in either "record to pc" or "record to cloud". 

Stephen, No, each episode would be 25 cents....that's why I said a whole season would cost about the same as a cup of overpriced coffee. I just recorded and downloaded the rest of season 8 of Blue Bloods. 22 episode which means it would cost $5.50. 

Andy
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Sophie, what I mean is that IF they make it to where you could record to the cloud rather than your pc then they would have to have some kind of toggle that you would set in either "record to pc" or "record to cloud". 

Stephen, No, each episode would be 25 cents....that's why I said a whole season would cost about the same as a cup of overpriced coffee. I just recorded and downloaded the rest of season 8 of Blue Bloods. 22 episode which means it would cost $5.50. 

Andy
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Andy, gotcha! That makes perfect sense.
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Not necessarily, the distinction between cloud based apps and web based apps is as blurred now as it was when I was developing both starting circa February 2002 - they're just named differently now. PlayOns applications are technically what would be cloud based apps targeting the native operating system and web enabled (either through HTML or web services). It's typically a choice based on developer resources when targeting multiple operating systems at the native OS level.

The could provide a Windows 10 Playon Cloud app through the Windows Store just as they do for iOS and Google. Similarly they could just as easily use a web based (i.e. browser based) approach for the scheduling portions of PlayOn Cloud. It's really just a matter of what developer resources they may or may not have at their disposal. 

The cloud app themselves appear not to do any recording but just schedule recording in the cloud. The desktop application is a stand alone recorder but yes the online scheduling capability could also be incorporated there just as easily.   
(Edited)
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I couldn't wrap my brain around why cloud because seems to me you are downloading twice. But then as Andy correctly pointed out, the cloud ensure a "clean non-buffered recording". That in turn provides a file that can bypass the video resolution downgrader. That's brilliant! I know I could bypass it with a VPN, but that could still lead to video degradation and buffering.

As many regulars on here know, I am 110% against any video throttling (Viasat is well aware of my position too). So I am all about "gaming the system" to achieve desired results.
(Edited)