What in god's name is Airtel doing with video streaming?

vebk

Mr. Advocate
[OP]
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Jan 8, 2005
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New Delhi
So I have been observing over the last week or so that video streaming has been pathetic on Airtel (except for conventional sites like youtube, vimeo, metacafe etc.). While watching the speed realtime on my firewall as well as on the rainmeter network speed meter, it seems 95% of video streaming sites like putlocker, vidsden etc. stream at a speed of 20-40 KB/s!!!! At best some sites go to around 100 KB/s, and these are the only ones that are watchable. I complained to Airtel and they apparently reset my profile in the backend, which led to slightly better speeds at least on speedtest.net etc. but no difference to video streaming. Moreover, a technician visited today, and he also saw that some things work beautifully (http / torrent downloads at 4-5 Mbps), while video streaming was pathetic. In fact sppedtest.net to Delhi servers was at 5-6Mbps, though to US servers it was around 1Mbps (and 400-500ms pings)!! Basically in the end he just threw his hands up and admitted that there's nothing he can really do about it, and it seems that Airtel's routing is shite, perhaps indicative of some particular routes especially to the U.S. being down / slow. He took a few websites and said he will try to figure out more and get back to me if there's anything they can do.The kicker is, when I try to view a video streaming from a site like filebox.com, it is pathetic (20-30KB/s) but if instead of streaming I choose to download the file from the same page itself, it downloads at 300-400KB/s !!! :disturbed: So AFAIK it probably isn't an issue with that particular server or even that route, but probably some traffic shaping etc. on Airtel's part to curb streaming speeds (?) According to the engineer, they used to do it some time ago, but not anymore...... MEanwhile form their backend they say that they can only guarantee speeds to Indian servers and not abroad.I am just p***ed off and ranting because at the end of the day despite a 4Mbps package, the experience on the ground is of a 512Kbps - 1Mbps package... :at-wits-end: anyone else having similar problems?
 

kreacher

Where is HD?
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Aug 21, 2006
389
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Yeah, I tried it and I get the same. Will try other sites like Gametrailers or Yahoo movies / Apple trainers and check what Airtel is up to.
 

raj2007

Chennai
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Feb 27, 2009
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sometimes the buffering will be worst even in reliance bb even with 1 mbps (360p). In that case i download the video thru IDM and watch it on later.
 


mukul

Regular
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Jan 6, 2011
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For me, even 1080p videos load without any buffer! :D No throttling for me here in Delhi... Even though I hate Airtel, their service is pretty good...
 

vebk

Mr. Advocate
[OP]
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Jan 8, 2005
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New Delhi
^ That's how it used to work for me. Even now youtube is fairly workable even with HD. But none of the other sites are. Ever since I have had 2Mbps (and then 4Mbps) packages, I have never had to load a video before viewing it or have it buffer in the middle. Now it's the norm rather than the exception that even a useless SD video will need buffering in the middle. Called the engineer again, and he says he's till trying to find out.
 

mukul

Regular
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Jan 6, 2011
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Try changing your DNS to openDNS one's... 202.67.222.222
 


vebk

Mr. Advocate
[OP]
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Jan 8, 2005
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New Delhi
I have tried both Google's DNS as well as Airtel's. Anyway, AFAI understand it, DNS shouldn't make any difference at all to the speed of streaming video.
 

mgcarley

Founder, Hayai Broadband
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Jun 22, 2009
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I have tried both Google's DNS as well as Airtel's. Anyway, AFAI understand it, DNS shouldn't make any difference at all to the speed of streaming video.

Actually, it can make a HUGE difference. Seriously huge.

In India, I would NOT recommend OpenDNS under any circumstances, because the actual DNS server is outside India, which means that the location you are streaming the video from will also not be in India. For streaming media, this is a bad thing, and considering that most ISPs have caches or links to the likes of Youtube and sites hosted by Akamai, such as Apple's (and if there's such a cache on your ISPs network, then the ISPs DNS will be the only DNS server that knows about it - this is by design), so the result is that your ISPs DNS servers are the most likely to give the best result.

Google's DNS service is a bit better, as it *does* have local servers (Mumbai and Chennai as I recall), but depending on your ISP they may still route to a location that is not optimal.

What I'm seeing for a couple of the specific sites you've mentioned is that yes, they are indeed streaming from abroad and yes, they both use a CDN to distribute the videos. Wherein may lie the problem: for me, I'm seeing putlocker as being in the Netherlands - this would probably lead to a reasonably good streaming result for me. Vidxden seems to give me the option of choosing which server is best - in India's case, you should choose London. Texas is about as bad as you can get, Washington D.C generally isn't a great deal better. That being said, I have not downloaded the software that these sites want me to download to stream for free, so I can't verify whether my results are good or not... If there's a way I can just watch a video in my browser, then I'll test.

(Disclaimer: I'm not an Airtel BB customer, but my ISP routes through them to some places, including the sites mentioned).

Out of interest: do sites like Livestation.com and apps like Winamp TV work for you guys?
 

mhsabir

Xclusive
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Oct 7, 2006
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Hmm.. I experienced contrary to the above, for the past 4-5 days streaming in BSNL was horrible, so I switched to openDNS & now its fine... Temporary glitch maybe??? Based on what you said now, I am planning to remove it if I face problems in future.
 

manu1991

Ancient Philospher
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Dec 9, 2006
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Delhi
Actually, it can make a HUGE difference. Seriously huge.

..................

For google I understand, but how would the DNS matter for sites like putlocker etc that the OP mentions. they have servers outside India only and the difference would only be in resolving the address(some milliseconds) but after that how would it matter?