Netflix throttled to 3.1 Mbps on Unlimited Gold 30 plan! Not enough for HD!? What is going on?

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So I have the Unlimited Gold 30 plan, which should be streaming HD on NetFlix and 720p on YouTube/Twitch.  But according to the NetFlix Speedtest at fast.com I'm only getting 3.1Mbps which isn't the >5 needed for HD.  YouTube also cannot run 720p without buffering.  And yet at AT&T speedtest my download speed is a whopping 38Mbps!  So it seems Exede is over-throttling my account for video streaming, unless there is some other explanation for the problem.  Anyone have another explanation??
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Jose Dundee

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Posted 10 months ago

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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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A while back there were a number of people testing the throttled speeds applied to videos and the consensus for Silver was that "detected" videos were being throttled to 1.5 Mbps whereas for Gold that it was 3 Mbps. So 3.1 Mbps on Gold is pretty consistent with prior reports.

In general, those should be good for 480P and 720P respectively. Some confusion stems from a lack of consensus on the term HD - 720P is technically considered "semi-HD" while 1080P is considered full-HD - 1080P is generally good to go at 5 Mbps. If you're able to stream 720P, it's probably what you signed up for. SD, HD, UHD, etc. are oversimplifications of a complex topic (some say marketing buzzwords like unlimited, optimized, speed vs bandwidth, throttling vs prioritization, etc.) 

Regardless, the Viasat thresholds seem to be tuned for Netflix adpative streaming algorithms (per-title encoding optimization). There's also some evidence to suggest that Viasat may be hosting Netflix OCAs (open connect appliance's) giving them even greater flexibiity in properly detecting video streams (at least when I run the fast.com speed test it pulls the test data off of an OCA hosted by Viasat despite a Netflix owned domain name, but nobody's actually verified where actual Netflix streams are being served from - I can't since I don't have a Netflix account and makes little sense on a 12GB plan anyway)    

Googling around on YouTube's adpative streaming suggest's their algorithms may not be as efficient as those of Netflix per title optimization since Youtube has a larger content base to draw from  - even some on land-based providers complain of  excessive buffering at 720P or higher.

No real answers given here, just some speculation as to what may be happening since I'm heading out to Redbox for tonite's entertainment delivered at 45 MPH with a ping time of about 20 minutes each way - I'll just get the DVD quality version since I don't have a Bluray player  - I'm pretty sure it'll play smoothly ;)
(Edited)
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Jose Dundee

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Unfortunately I'm not able to stream 720p on YouTube or TwitchTV without unwatchable buffering issues.  Have people been saying this is a common/universal problem with Unlimited Gold as well?
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Jim16

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Put youtube streaming on the "AUTO" setting.
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Jim16

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3.1 is a good number for Gold plan, more than I thought it would be.  You should have no buffering with that.  Set your streaming service to AUTO and let them decide what your rate should be.  There doesn't seem to be a standard mbs speed for 480 and 720, etc.  forcing it to 720p may be to high if the streaming service thinks it should be 5mbs.  Auto is the way to go. Let the algorithms do their thing. 
(Edited)
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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That does appear to explain some of the anomalies folks are seeing in Netflix vs. YouTube  when compared against the Netflix view of the world in that first link above:



Appears Netflix is able to better optimize on a per-title basis based on that article. Netflix can probabably afford to do so on a per-title basis because their library is a much smaller one of paid content compared to YouTube's huge user submitted library. Interesting that  those appear to be suggestions when uploading to YouTube so you may be somewhat at the mercy of the amateur user base wanting to upload their latest cat videos in luxurious HD and whatever more generic optimization YouTube performs.

As we're frequently reminded, I guess, not everyone can tell the difference between SD and HD and apparently that applies to Netflix and YouTube -  queue up the debate... ;)
(Edited)
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Jim16

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Rique

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Yet another reason to love Freedom and to avoid so-called "unlimited". 
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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I will take my Freedom with 150GB and no video resolution penalty anyday.
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Rique

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"optithrottlemization" ;)
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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I will take my Liberty 12 and my Playon/Plex server any day. I just finished watching the Lost series. It sucked. Thankfully Friends is on Netflix.
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Rique

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PlayOn Cloud and then download at the office or the library or my son's (Comcast) house! :)

But with Freedom, we can stream from time to time... and we do like that benefit. There's a certain "freedom" to it. :)
(Edited)
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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Doesn't PlayOn Cloud charge for each video?  I like the concept of having them do the recording, but that could get very expensive when downloading a television series.
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Oliver

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can confirm, freedom account gets me 11-12Mbps and my unlimited silver just gets me 1.5Mbps
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Jim16

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Is that "streaming" speed?  Are both accounts at the same location and with the same equipment?
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Jose Dundee

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Netflix actually looks pretty good at 3 Mbps and I don't have major complaints.  However, per Netflix " To watch Netflix in HD, ensure you have an HD plan, then set your video quality setting to Auto or High. Titles will play in HD as long as you have a connection speed of 5.0 megabits per second or faster." So Exede really should be throttling at 5 or more Mbps for Netflix.  Youtube and TwitchTV at 480p are definitely suboptimal and chunky looking and I feel like I'm not getting what I paid for which is "streaming optimized for 720p".
(Edited)
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Jab

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RE: "...some evidence to suggest that Viasat may be hosting Netflix OCAs..."

Netflix and Viasat both use Amazon Web Services..."AWS enables Netflix to quickly deploy thousands of servers and terabytes of storage within minutes."

Viasat uses Amazon's awsdns service: Amazon Route 53

See Name Servers lists in this cite

Doing a nslookup via Google's DNS server:

C:\>nslookup -querytype=ns viasat.com
Server:  google-public-dns-a.google.com
Address:  8.8.8.8

Non-authoritative answer:
viasat.com      nameserver = ns-1217.awsdns-24.org
viasat.com      nameserver = ns-1953.awsdns-52.co.uk
viasat.com      nameserver = ns-304.awsdns-38.com
viasat.com      nameserver = ns-632.awsdns-15.net
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Jab

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2/11/2016 - Netflix finishes its massive migration to the Amazon cloud

Netflix operates its own content delivery network (CDN) called Open Connect. Netflix manages Open Connect from Amazon, but the storage boxes holding videos that stream to your house or mobile device are all located in data centers within Internet service providers' networks or at Internet exchange points, facilities where major network operators exchange traffic. Netflix distributes traffic directly to Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, and other big network operators at these exchange points.
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RE: "...Optimized to 360P/480P/720P/1080P..."

Most likely locked down to user's plan..with Cisco's equipment doing the enforcement at their AcceleNet data-processing centers.   Since satellite bandwidth is precious, I understand why this has to be done from a technical perspective.

Newbies are clueless about "shared bandwidth," and even cost differential between a cable system vs satellite infrastructure.  Without WiMAXX, and newest satellite tech, watching Netflix on shared bandwidth by many  would have been a pipe dream.
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Yeah, Accelenet technology/terminology has changed since 2012 - i'ts now simply called web acceleration technology. What were once called Accelenet servers were then referred to as cored nodes and may even be called IP Layer now - terminolgy does change but the idea remains the same and all indications I see are that one such Open Connect Appliance resides at the SLC core node and probably at the other cored nodes as well.
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Jab

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RE: "...Open Connect Appliance resides at the SLC core node..."

Backbone providers wanted to "milk" Netflix (et.al), a few years back....hence...

Salt Lake City Internet Exchange does not list Viasat, but maybe one of the
Peers at this Exchange Point is handling Viasat's traffic.  Most likely, their equipment is collated with a SLC data server farm, which is hooked to this exchange point.

Footnote - SLIX: "The install is comprised of supplying an SFP (1Gb) or SFP+ (10Gb) of your choice and arranging a cross connect to the SLIX switch in the meet-me-rooms at the facility. If you are in the XMission Data Center, the cross connect is free."
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Whatever you say doctor.
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Jab

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Hey, a little humor

30 January 2018 - How can you deliver our content if you don’t even know where your fibre runs?
...
...
That’s the point he makes. Microsoft’s distribution model has changed, he says. The company wants to use carriers "so everyone can use the services we’ve developed and will continue to develop over the coming years", he says. "What we’re needing is a better understanding of the infrastructure – the plumbing of these global networks."

Sometimes it’s at the metro level and sometimes right inside the facility that standards can slip. He picks two stories from his career in the telecoms industry before he joined Microsoft in 2013.

In one, the company had bought some metro fibre, and he was keen to see where it ran. Under a parking lot, he found: not ideal. The second story features a point of presence in a major city that his then company maintained.

"Except it went offline every Monday at 9am." He and his colleagues were mystified – "so we got a technician to sit in the room on Monday morning and wait," he recalls. You know how this is going to end, don’t you? The cleaners came in at 9am and unplugged the kit in order to switch on the vacuum cleaner.

And on top of all of those, there are the endless tales of fibres broken in the street by a bulldozer driver who paid no attention to those "Call before you dig" notices.
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johnny c

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As i have stated a few times before, the new modem, required for the unlimited plans is the best thing that Viasat has done for Viasat, not for you and me.  Big brother sits in your house next to your computer, between you and the dish, they have the control.

Now having stated the above, last night my download speed on the Silver 150 plan was 1..2 Mbps, yet i watched, 3 or 4 15 to 30 min jazz performances without buffering at 480.

The web pages load relatively well, so while i'm not totally happy, the end result is semi-satisfactory.  That coupled with not much of an alternative and i guess i'll be here for awhile longer.
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Jab

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Johnny C suggests "...Viasat has done for Viasat, not for you and me..."

I've been on Wildblue/Viasat since 2005, and after Viasat bought Wildblue, from those investors who were "not for you and me," but themselves, Viasat has been slowly bringing better Internet service to You and Me."  Further, Hughes had to clean up its act, due to Viasat's efforts, but it seems lately, Hughes is back to its old game of beam stuffing, or they have technical problems recently.

Satellite Internet has a fixed bandwidth, and unlike cable systems who through technological advances have increased their total bandwidth over the years greatly, a satellite based ISP (Viasat, Hughes, etc)  is limited.  Viasat upgraded from DOCSIS to WiMax with Viasat-1 bird.  WiMax also was installed on WB-1 satellite, and this made a big difference for these users, including myself.

Viasat's WiFi modem serves three main functions, which are receiving/transmitting sat transmissions and providing Ethernet/WiFi connections.  I'm sure the WiFi function was a design consideration, since many consumers ain't got the moo-laa to purchase a fine WiFi router like an ASUS ROG AC5300 for say $388.58.  As a side note, do recall that when cellphone sales took off, it was that "free cellphone" marketing since consumers ain't got the cash  Hence, if Viasat provided the best WiFi modem for sat users, do you think they would pay $700.00 upfront?

There is a difference between "shared" bandwidth and "dedicated" bandwidth on satellite providers.  For instance, a 1 Mbit/s outlink, 250 kbit/s return link will cost around $58,823.00 per annum, which does not include equipment cost. 

Yes, there have been slowdowns in service, but historically, service has gotten better.  I predict when VS-2 is operational, consumers within a year will be experiencing much better speeds after transferring of commercial aircraft to VS-2 is complete.
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Jim16

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"Big brother sits in your house next to your computer,"

What a way to live ones life.  So paranoid that you think everyone is out to screw you.  Sad.
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johnny c

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Definitely not my point of view, my comment is based on my experience, old modem speeds vs new modem speeds,  Really very obvious, but. i give honest opinions based on that experience,  if that is your take on my comment then while your welcome to it, your perception is off.

Now call it what you will, but when someone restricts my access, speed etc. then they are controlling/limiting my ability to do due something.

Speed limits on the highway are there for safety, speed limits on the Viasat is to control the usage of a limited resource and the modem is the major player in their ability to control (over-watch, oversight) big brother my access.

If my succinct explanation dosen't make this obvious to you then as they say " You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink"

:)
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You are welcome to join the rest of us in the flat earth society. I'll even buy you a tin foil hat.
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johnny c

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Cool and no doubt society refreshments will be served, Kool Aide i'm sure.