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693 posts

Ultimate Geek


# 143842 29-Apr-2014 11:15
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As I’ve posted elsewhere at other times, I have struggled to get steady Netflix performance at home via an Apple TV, cabled directly to a Linksys E4200 router connected to VF’s 130Mb/s cable plan. I use Getflix for DNS masking on the ATV only, and whilst testing Getflix servers around the world regularly for months, I discovered that their Auckland based DNS server consistently produces the worst, ie most sluggish, results. Changing to a Sydney server and things are rosier, all be it with 2-3 bouts of buffering during an evening. I assume this discrepancy is a VF routing thing, but like I say in the thread title…

I took our ATV to Tauranga this past week to plug in at the in-laws and take them for a tour. I was not expecting miracles having to use WiFi on their bog standard Xtra ADSL connection. Wanting to test my VF routing theory however, I pointed the ATV DNS at the Getflix Auckland server and everything Netflix was lightning fast. Super quick to get into Netflix, speedy to browse, and no buffering whatsoever whilst watching movies every night. All told, a completely different experience to what I get at home on supposedly one of the fastest plans on the market.

Back at home yesterday afternoon and I’m plugging in the ATV again. Pointing it back at the Sydney Getflix server I find I cannot access Netflix at all. It starts to load then bumps me straight back to the main ATV menu screen after a lengthy delay. I try the second Sydney server and at least get to the main Netflix screen after a good 20-30 seconds of waiting, but the images don’t load and browsing is painfully slow. I try servers in Perth and Singapore with similar results. So just for S’s and G’s I try the Auckland DNS server again and low and behold, everything is lightning fast, ie: as fast as Tauranga, and faster than ever before at home. I play an episode of Star Wars Clone Wars and two from Long Way Round. Zero buffering, excellent quality. What it will be like tonight I have no idea... 

I’m not in the telecoms industry so this stuff just weirds me out. If only to keep peace with the wife I wish these things were more explainable, more predictable, and just more stable.

As an aside, I have previously stated I would be leaving VF for another provider. After costing up wiring for VDSL with a monitored house alarm along with other upheavals required, I’m staying put for now. Fibre will eventually stop 120m from our house just to rub it in… On the plus side, I’m able to download games from Steam at around 11MB/s, and that’s over WiFi. That's 8GB of Batman Arkham Asylum downloaded in less than 15 mins. 

And one more anomaly I get. Watching the West Wing (as we do every night we’re home, including last night with our new found Netflix responsiveness), I always, without fail, get buffering at exactly 2:30. Every. Single. Episode. Not on any other program or movie does this happen. Another hair goes grey every time... 

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1828 posts

Uber Geek
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  # 1033104 29-Apr-2014 11:27
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Welcome to the wonderful world wide web where random crap happens for random reasons randomly wink

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