Old vs new generation and buffering

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Old vs new generation and buffering

Postby tafkam88 » Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:48 pm

Hello,

I have the last generation XDS with hard wired connection and I mostly use it for Netflix. Starting a couple of weeks ago, I seem to be getting the "loading please wait" message more and more often in the middle of watching something (has happened with various movies). Sometimes it happens every 10 minutes or so. I think all was ok until a few weeks ago.

I did a cold boot of the router, dsl modem and Roku but the issues persists. I did a speed test online and my download speed is 5 mbps.

I am thinking of getting one of the new generation ones as I read it has a different way of "buffering" but I do see some comments from people who say the new ones are actually worse in that regard?

I guess I could just send the new one back if it makes things worse, but from what I understand of the adaptive buffering this may be a plus for my situation.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Mike
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Re: Old vs new generation and buffering

Postby mikebdoss » Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:53 pm

tafkam88 wrote:Hello,

I have the last generation XDS with hard wired connection and I mostly use it for Netflix. Starting a couple of weeks ago, I seem to be getting the "loading please wait" message more and more often in the middle of watching something (has happened with various movies). Sometimes it happens every 10 minutes or so. I think all was ok until a few weeks ago.

I did a cold boot of the router, dsl modem and Roku but the issues persists. I did a speed test online and my download speed is 5 mbps.

I am thinking of getting one of the new generation ones as I read it has a different way of "buffering" but I do see some comments from people who say the new ones are actually worse in that regard?

I guess I could just send the new one back if it makes things worse, but from what I understand of the adaptive buffering this may be a plus for my situation.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.



Your Roku might be trying to connect to a slow/far away Netflix CDN server (or there may be internet traffic congestion between them, and you). Some users have had luck changing their DNS settings in their router to one of the public options (google or search this site for "open dns" or "google dns") and found relief.
Last edited by mikebdoss on Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Old vs new generation and buffering

Postby mkiker2089 » Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:21 pm

To answer your specific question about buffering, the Roku2 should not rebuffer during the movie. Instead you will see the quality drop and then pick back up.

As the above were saying however, you shouldn't have this problem with either Roku. they are very cleverly designed to prevent this and even people with slow internet get locked into a slow speed and don't rebuffer during the movie. There is either an issue with your internet connection, wireless interference, local (in your home) network load, or something else that I can't think of at the moment.

What are you going to do with your current Roku? Just being nosey and no I'm not trying to buy it. I'm giving mine to my brother.
-Marshall-

Nun sacciu, nun vidi, nun ceru e si ceru durmiv.
I know nothing, I see nothing, I wasn't there,
and if I was there, I was asleep.
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Re: Old vs new generation and buffering

Postby tafkam88 » Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:23 pm

Thanks for the replies so far: I guess that instability may be an issue as it really did not seem to be as noticeable a few months ago.



I will look in to that and the DNS thing, although I am a bit wary about messing with the DNS settings in the router. Would I run into any security issues for the three PCs that are hooked up to the same router as the Roku box?
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Re: Old vs new generation and buffering

Postby tafkam88 » Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:28 pm

mkiker2089 wrote:To answer your specific question about buffering, the Roku2 should not rebuffer during the movie. Instead you will see the quality drop and then pick back up.

As the above were saying however, you shouldn't have this problem with either Roku. they are very cleverly designed to prevent this and even people with slow internet get locked into a slow speed and don't rebuffer during the movie. There is either an issue with your internet connection, wireless interference, local (in your home) network load, or something else that I can't think of at the moment.

What are you going to do with your current Roku? Just being nosey and no I'm not trying to buy it. I'm giving mine to my brother.


Will probably just put it on Craigslist as I don't think there is anything wrong with it, as it could very well be a combination of my network internet connection, etc but if the new model will just degrade the picture quality a bit rather than having to rebuffer all the time than that is probably an easier solution than troubleshooting the issue as I am happy with the way the PC's perform.
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Re: Old vs new generation and buffering

Postby mkiker2089 » Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:33 pm

tafkam88 wrote:Thanks for the replies so far: I guess that instability may be an issue as it really did not seem to be as noticeable a few months ago.



I will look in to that and the DNS thing, although I am a bit wary about messing with the DNS settings in the router. Would I run into any security issues for the three PCs that are hooked up to the same router as the Roku box?


The DNS just tells places where you are so I don't see any real security issues. Depending on your ISP it may help, but it's a long shot at this point. I personally still think Netflix is to blame because people everywhere are reporting sporadic speeds lately. Most don't see it to the point that you have however and often those with a Roku won't notice if it happens during the movie as the buffer is fairly large.

First, try running several large speedtests on a PC and see if you see inconsistencies there. Second I would make sure no one runs any torrent programs because those fill router tables in a way that I don't understand but have caused slow downs with older routers even when they aren't running. A good test of that is to simply reboot the router between torrenting and running Netflix.

If you are going to sell your old one I'd do it soon. One can only speculate what saturation of the new device will do to prices of the old. As of this week Wal-Mart and Best Buy were still selling the old one for full price.

I've mentioned on here my dream of having an extra Roku and putting a TV in the bathroom. It's sort of just a joke but having a TV and a bubble bath could be nice.
-Marshall-

Nun sacciu, nun vidi, nun ceru e si ceru durmiv.
I know nothing, I see nothing, I wasn't there,
and if I was there, I was asleep.
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Re: Old vs new generation and buffering

Postby tafkam88 » Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:37 pm

mkiker2089 wrote:
tafkam88 wrote:Thanks for the replies so far: I guess that instability may be an issue as it really did not seem to be as noticeable a few months ago.



I will look in to that and the DNS thing, although I am a bit wary about messing with the DNS settings in the router. Would I run into any security issues for the three PCs that are hooked up to the same router as the Roku box?


The DNS just tells places where you are so I don't see any real security issues. Depending on your ISP it may help, but it's a long shot at this point. I personally still think Netflix is to blame because people everywhere are reporting sporadic speeds lately. Most don't see it to the point that you have however and often those with a Roku won't notice if it happens during the movie as the buffer is fairly large.

First, try running several large speedtests on a PC and see if you see inconsistencies there. Second I would make sure no one runs any torrent programs because those fill router tables in a way that I don't understand but have caused slow downs with older routers even when they aren't running. A good test of that is to simply reboot the router between torrenting and running Netflix.

If you are going to sell your old one I'd do it soon. One can only speculate what saturation of the new device will do to prices of the old. As of this week Wal-Mart and Best Buy were still selling the old one for full price.

I've mentioned on here my dream of having an extra Roku and putting a TV in the bathroom. It's sort of just a joke but having a TV and a bubble bath could be nice.


:D If the bathroom was big and nice enough you could put a recliner and a small fridge for beer and then not have to pause when you go to the bathroom.

Thanks again for the advice, I am turning the PC off and will try Netflix again tonight and see how it is, then probably order the new model in the morning.

Thanks again for everyone's reply and I hope you all have a good weekend.
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Re: Old vs new generation and buffering

Postby tafkam88 » Mon Aug 22, 2011 4:13 pm

Just an update since I have been using my new XS for a few days now. I use it primarily with Netflix and unlike my old model, I have yet to see any "please wait" messages with buffering going on right after something starts or in the middle of it, etc. I do notice that the video quality is grainy at first but then gets better in about 30 seconds. I take it this is the "adaptive streaming".

I like this much more than getting a better picture right off the bat but then having to get interrupted once the show starts. In some cases this was happening every 15 minutes or so. With the new model I have not noticed any picture degradation at all once it turns from fair to good after the initial start of the show.

On a different note, there was an issue with audio distortion when using an HDMI connection. There was some type of issue or incompatibility between the Roku and my Westinghouse TV, and other Westinghouse owners reported the same issue, so it was not just my set.

I am happy to report that this is no longer an issue with the R2, so getting the new model solved both of my issues and I am glad I made the purchase.
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Re: Old vs new generation and buffering

Postby nushmut » Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:04 pm

tafkam88 wrote:I do notice that the video quality is grainy at first but then gets better in about 30 seconds. I take it this is the "adaptive streaming".


Correct!
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DNS affects security as well as performance.

Postby Robert99 » Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:21 am

mkiker2089 wrote:The DNS just tells places where you are so I don't see any real security issues.

It's precisely because DNS tells you where places on the internet are, that it does have huge security implications.

For example, a crime gang could setup (or compromise a legitimate) DNS server, and program it to send some requests for banking sites to their own fraud/Pfishing (fake) banking site. Since this redirect happens at the actual URL translation level (controlled by the DNS process), even entering the URL directly into your web browser wouldn't protect you. And criminal gangs have done this sort of attack in the past, and this is just one fraud/security attack that can be facilitated by corrupting DNS results, which makes choosing your DNS server very important from a security standpoint! i.e. You don't want "the bad guys" controlling where you actually visit if/when you try to visit some "high security" site.

Now, that said, most of us are fairly confident that both google DNS and OpenDNS are run by people that understand these DNS security issues, and take active steps to protect your internet access when you use their DNS servers.

And since googleDNS/OpenDNS also happen to be the DNS servers we usually recommend people try (to help resolve streaming issues on the ROKU), you can be reasonably confident that trying those specific DNS servers is not likely to hurt your internet security. i.e. While all DNS (including the "default" DNS your ISP runs) have potentially very serious security issues, the specific DNS servers run by google and OpenDNS are probably in the higher security category to begin with. In fact, I personally use google DNS myself, in part because I trust google's DNS security more than I trust the DNS security of my own ISP!

FWIW: When I last tested this, I discovered that my ROKU streaming was about as good with googleDNS as with my ISP. That being the case, I currently am running with google, as I trust the security of google better than I trust my ISP to prevent hacking of its DNS servers. Of course, DNS is clearly a YMMV thing (depending upon location, ISP, etc.), so while googleDNS works well for me, it might not work as well for others.
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