Problems streaming video

  • 4
  • Problem
  • Updated 4 months ago
  • Acknowledged
I just recently got the """Unlimited""" Silver 25 plan. Happy with the service except no matter what settings I change on anything, Netflix,Hulu, Amazon ect. will NOT stay on a consistent resolution. It's constantly changing. Up and down, up and down. Netflix is the worst. Doesnt matter if i have one tv or multiple streaming. We stream quite a bit and I'm totally okay with having 480p. Hell yeah I'd choose 4k if it was truly unlimited but 480p is fine! Saves data. I've had a technician come back out because I did have a lose pole and my service was dropping from the wind. I also noticed and told the tech guy that my Cable Attenuation was right around 20dB. He ultimately said that it and everything was normal and within the "acceptable range". My cable length is 50 foot or under. Tech guy was a nice guy, knew what he was doin. Said he'd been doing it for 20 years. Have no complaints there. I just feel like something still isn't quite right. After the tech guy left, I put on some Netflix and it went to doing the same thing. Up and down, up and down. CONSTANTLY. Doesnt matter what time it is either. It's never streamed right once. So I called tech support and ended up talking with a guy from tier 2 tech support. He talked with me for a bit about the issue, collecting details. Said something definitely wasn't right. He put me on hold to call one of their engineers he said. He got back on and said they found something wrong within those new unlimited plans. He didn't say what for sure. He then told me he would call me back a few hours later to give me an update. He actually did call me back 3 or so hours later. Told me they hadn't got it fixed yet. He offered me 30 dollars credit on my bill for finding a problem. Told me he would email me when they got it fixed. Still haven't heard back. Feel like it may never be solved. Very frustrating for the price! I feel helpless! Please help me!
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Ethan Farrell

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Posted 5 months ago

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Old Labs

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Well at least you received an acknowledgement that a problem exists and is being fixed hopefully - don't expect a quick resolution if that's the case since it would need to be vetted, tested and rolled out to Viasat's servers and/or to all the modems as a firmware update. Perhaps someone here can verify whether the software version you have listed  on that WiFI modem is the latest version.  

For some familiar with TMoblie's BingeOn controversy this is deja vu all over again as described by the EFF

It's almost like one could substitute "Unlimited Silver" for TMobile in the following EFF quote and be correct:

Our last finding is that T-Mobile’s video “optimization” doesn’t actually alter or enhance the video stream for delivery to a mobile device over a mobile network in any way.This means T-Mobile’s “optimization” consists entirely of throttling the video stream’s throughput down to 1.5Mbps. If the video is more than 480p and the server sending the video doesn’t have a way to reduce or adapt the bitrate of the video as it’s being streamed, the result is stuttering and uneven streaming—exactly the opposite of the experience T-Mobile claims their “optimization” will have.
Changing resolutions while streaming would be another symptom when you've got the content provider set for auto resolution.

The only real fix I see is to raise the throttling rate on detected video streams to arbitraily account for the other variables that impact the content provider's adaptive streaming algortihms (e.g. the ubiquitous congestion argument). In fact some 480P (really just a vertical resolution that says nothing about horizontal resolution) actually requires more than 1.5 Mbps for optimum quality if I believe Netflix statistics.

FWIW, it's been discovered that if you use fast.com (Netflix) for a speed test you'll see what speed you're getting for detected video streams with then current network conditions.

All of this applies equally to the other non-unlimited plans having the Video Data Saver option enabled - on those and like BingeOn you can at least disable it and the only real debate is whether it should be an opt-in feature - currently it's opt-out.
(Edited)
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Jim16, Champion

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Sounds like these new "unlimited" plans still need a few tweaks.  There are enough posts here that may indicate switching to an unlimited plan and replacing your old modem to the new modem decreases your non video streaming speed and that may have an impact on your streaming to. I'm sure this will be worked out, but it does appear to be a real issue and not imaginary. 
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Ethan Farrell

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Thanks for the feedback guys. Makes a lot of sense. I felt a lot of relief when the tier 2 guy told me there was definitely a problem. Was starting to think I was over expecting. Hopefully they get it solved soon! I wish they could just shut off my throttle till it is fixed. I'm not ever planning on streaming over 480p anyways. Can't wait to see how it will be when ViaSat 2 takes on some of these current customers. So you guys don't think my Cable Attenuation is a problem? Thanks.
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Judge and Jury

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I also noticed and told the tech guy that my Cable Attenuation was right around 20dB. He ultimately said that it and everything was normal and within the "acceptable range". My cable length is 50 foot or under.
That technician is an idiot, plain and simple.   He said a 20db coax loss was within range?  Your cable has a catastrophic problem and needs either new connectors on the ends (because someone screwed up putting them on) or it needs to be replaced entirely.  
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CEH Satellites

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I've put many of these in and in my experience, is that if you are under 50 feet of cable from the dish to modem your Cable Attenuation should be around 1 or under. there might be cooper clad cable or bad ground block or bad connector or many barrels in the line. and yes that is too high.
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Judge and Jury

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I use LMR-400-75

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Ethan Farrell

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Thank you for the input. I don't understand why he wouldn't have fixed it for good since he's been to my house twice within 30 days of my initial install. What exactly happens when ones cable attenuation is that high?
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CEH Satellites

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From the Web.

What is Attenuation? In a nutshell, attenuation is the loss of transmission signal strength measured in decibels (dB). As attenuation increases, the more distorted and unintelligible the transmission (e.g. a phone call or email you’re trying to send) becomes

Think of it Like This:

When you are chatting with a friend on a busy street you can hear them clearly. Now if you tried to talk to that friend from across the street, the street traffic and background noise (attenuation) would make that conversation inaudible

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Lakita Lucas

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Same here we can’t even operate our Direct TV operations like On-Demand and rewinding back to the beginning of the program you might turn to! I’m so pissed cause I went from perfectly working service from SuddenLink to this excede/viasat service which is very crappy especially for a tech family with 2 PS4’s in the house, laptops, desktop, and services like Netflix and Hulu. I have not been able to utilize features they claim are available with the DIrect TV services and when I call both providers Direct & Viasat, both are telling me that their equipment is working fine and there are no problems that they can see on their ends, but I still can’t watch OnDemand or use the rewind features cause it’s saying my speed is too slow when we have the silver package already and I refuse to go to the 30, 5 more than the 25 we’re on now, for $50 more just for it to still be doing the same thing. I feel like I got took fast with these companies and their services and I’m currently seeking legal counsel on what I can do because this internet is garbage! Oh yeah they did all this testing on the router, had direct tv tech come out for everyone to tell me the same thing “oh it’s the other service’s problem”, “oh no not our service it’s theirs”! Blame game back and fourth and still no solution because I still can’t utiize all the services I’m paying to have and no one cares! Just as long as they get their money! No wonder the sorry internet providers (excede) have you pay within 3 days of connection instead of waiting a month like all the rest of the service providers!
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Jim16, Champion

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Your Silver plan has a limit on your video streaming.  1-1.5mbs. On demand streaming with Directv may be an issue with those speeds unless you can adjust the steaming rate on Directv. 
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Jim16, Champion

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Interesting.  I also use the Roku. Thanks.  I think .15Mbs translates into 1.2mbs.  If I am correct about that conversion, then you are getting the correct speed for Siver.
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Ethan Farrell

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Well .15 only gets me 240p as you can see above....
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Jim16, Champion

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Yes, the service has a different definition of 480p than other services.  That is why they are streaming at 240p based on your speed. They may require 2mbs for 480p.  
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Jim16, Champion

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Below are the internet download speed recommendations per stream for playing TV shows and movies through Netflix.

  • 0.5 Megabits per second - Required broadband connection speed

  • 1.5 Megabits per second - Recommended broadband connection speed

  • 3.0 Megabits per second - Recommended for SD quality

  • 5.0 Megabits per second - Recommended for HD quality

  • 25 Megabits per second - Recommended for Ultra HD quality

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Ethan Farrell

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I get that but as I said before, it doesn't just stick to 240p. It constantly jumps up and down. All the way from 144p - 720p. Back and forth. It's not consistent. ViaSat has admitted to a problem concerning this issue of mine. They said they are working on it. It's a problem within the Unlimited plans. So hopefully they will get it solved soon. I only reached out on here with my issue so that maybe I could learn more about it and talk with others with the same issue. With my Silver 25 plan. I pay for 480p standard definition streaming on any service. 480p may take different bandwith on different services but regardless It's still the same resolution no matter the service I'm watching it on. 480p is 480p.
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Ethan Farrell

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Well if it makes ya feel any better. I can't really use my Sling account(at least not at 480p). Just wait it out for them to fix these throttle issues in our plans. And when ViaSat 2 takes on current customers. Hopefully it will all be solved and better. I plan on calling and getting a monthly bill credit till this problem they did admit to is solved. Cause yes we aren't getting what were currently paying for. I feel your frustration!!!
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Ethan Farrell

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Yeah I knew and expected services like sling and directv now not to work. Due to normal latency with satellite internet. That's totally fine with me. I don't ever plan on gaming online either. But hey, figured I had nothin to lose at least trying sling.
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Jim16, Champion

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If Sling has adaptive streaming there should be no issue streaming them, once your issue is fixed. Most streaming services adapt to a persons internet speed and should handle 1mbs or even less with no problem. The issue in some cases is the person has the streaming rate on too high on their account, like Netflix. You can set Netflix to HD streaming and it will never work on the silver plan. Auto is the correct setting on those services that allow a users input.
(Edited)
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Ethan Farrell

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Correct. I've messed around with every setting there is, including the overall resolution of my roku device itself. I've even tried setting the roku to 480p on my television and it still constantly jumps around.
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Jim16, Champion

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There was a big discussion a while back on adjusting the rates on the Roku.  Roku states that option does not do that and is something for a tech to play with, or something.   Anyway, setting a streaming service to 480p will be an issue for you because 480p means different speeds for different services. There seems to be no standard mbs for 480p, 720p, etc.  That's why Auto is the way to go and let the algorithms handle your speed. 
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Ethan Farrell

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Makes sense. I am currently on Auto on every service I use.
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Old Labs

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FWIW, .15 mbps is the same as .15 Mbps and capitalization on the m signifies nothing other than personal preference  - the difference in capitalization is on the b/B - lowercase is bit, uppercase is byte.

However IMHO, it's beginning to sound more like the $30 credit was more an effort to get rid of you (hopefully I'm wrong) - suffice it to say there is nothing Viasat can do to guarantee the quality of video that a content provider chooses to deliver - Viasat can only attempt to influence the decision made by the content provider through an arbitrary maximum throttling cap, which is going to fluctuate at or below that limit based on then current network conditions (always subject to change).

Viasat would do well to just drop the marketing mumbo-jumbo of small screen quality, DVD quality, HD quality and typical vertical resolutions in favor of truth in advertising or transparency which would be a better differentiation vs. today's competition -  transfer rates for detected video streams will be throttled to a maximum of x.x Mbps depending on the unlimited planed plan.

Even the unlimited data policy specifically states:

 "Video streaming quality may vary and is not guaranteed."
 
which is just a round about way of saying you're getting what you pay for.
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Old Labs

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For the 240P shown probably, but seems a bit low since Netflix shows an average of about .235 Mbps (or 235 kbps) for 240P

But I can;t tell the difference between 240P and 1080P - let the debate begin and his screen capture is showing in  luxurious 1920 x 1080 for me ;)  
(Edited)
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Jim16, Champion

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They sell eyeglasses Old Labs. :)
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Old Labs

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I'm wearing them - appears I have to tilt the head upward a bit for the progressive bifocals to kick in - I should have opted for the HD vision glasses I saw on TV.
(Edited)
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Jim16, Champion

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Old Labs

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Thanks for now I've just lowered my chair until I can locate a box.