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463 posts

Ultimate Geek


# 175885 15-Jul-2015 06:36
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The results are out
http://ispspeedindex.netflix.com/results/new-zealand/graph

My reading of the trend (not the ranking)
- bigpipe have mostly recovered from the network issues they deny they had in May.
- Spark made more significant improvements as did Trustpower.
- voda showing a minor dip which hopefully won't become a trend
- Snap and Orcon the solid performers.
Callplus..... Find another provider, but you knew that already.

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Uber Geek


  # 1343441 15-Jul-2015 07:48
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Or.....

It's a mostly meaningless result that, with some variation, simply shows which ISPs have a larger proportion of customers in higher speed technologies .i.e. Ufb, cable, vdsl. And/or using better cpe


Mr Snotty
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  # 1343452 15-Jul-2015 08:22
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NonprayingMantis: Or.....

It's a mostly meaningless result that, with some variation, simply shows which ISPs have a larger proportion of customers in higher speed technologies .i.e. Ufb, cable, vdsl. And/or using better cpe



Spark have your regular home user and the highest proportion of customers on ASAM's where Voda have a big chunk of Cable customers in Wellington and Christchurch. It'll be interesting to see if you factored those two out what the results would actually be.




 
 
 
 


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  # 1343498 15-Jul-2015 09:33
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This isn't even my final form.

Those results don't reflect the most recent round of Netflix performance improvements Spark has made. You can expect better over the next 2 months of Netflix performance reporting for us. (Due to the lag between data and reporting results)

Cheers - N





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Please note all comments are the product of my own brain and don't necessarily represent the position or opinions of my employer, previous employers, colleagues, friends or pets.




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Ultimate Geek


  # 1343499 15-Jul-2015 09:33
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Agree the rank is meaningless. Hence I was only commenting on the trend. Maybe I should have made that clear in my post. Oh wait, I did.

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  # 1352702 27-Jul-2015 17:06
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I understand that this is only useful for looking at trends. What I don't understand is why my Netflix connection speed is so slow???

I'm on Spark VDSL and speedtest is consistently 20-21 mbps. Netflix say only 5 mbps is required for streaming 1080p. Why do I struggle to get over 480p a lot of the time. Short periods of 720p or 1080p but never able to maintain.

Where is the blockage??? Somewhere within Spark's network, NZ's link to USA, Netflix server itself?

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  # 1352761 27-Jul-2015 18:10
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Boris50: I understand that this is only useful for looking at trends. What I don't understand is why my Netflix connection speed is so slow???

I'm on Spark VDSL and speedtest is consistently 20-21 mbps. Netflix say only 5 mbps is required for streaming 1080p. Why do I struggle to get over 480p a lot of the time. Short periods of 720p or 1080p but never able to maintain.

Where is the blockage??? Somewhere within Spark's network, NZ's link to USA, Netflix server itself?


If you're using an unblocking service then I'll look at them first followed by your WiFi.




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  # 1352957 27-Jul-2015 23:07
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Boris50: I understand that this is only useful for looking at trends. What I don't understand is why my Netflix connection speed is so slow???

I'm on Spark VDSL and speedtest is consistently 20-21 mbps. Netflix say only 5 mbps is required for streaming 1080p. Why do I struggle to get over 480p a lot of the time. Short periods of 720p or 1080p but never able to maintain.

Where is the blockage??? Somewhere within Spark's network, NZ's link to USA, Netflix server itself?


You're a new user here, so I apologise if this bamboozles you, but a couple of questions...

- Do you have a static IP assigned?
- Can you find out what IP address(es) you are actually getting the video content served from?

Cheers - N




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Please note all comments are the product of my own brain and don't necessarily represent the position or opinions of my employer, previous employers, colleagues, friends or pets.


 
 
 
 


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  # 1353227 28-Jul-2015 11:13
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I access Netflix through an Oppo Bluray player hard wired to Spark supplied router. Don't use a static IP and while not completely bamboozled I don't know how to find out where the content is being served from. I may be wrong but I suspect this question alludes to the problem. I'm using Unotelly DNS to access USA content. My understanding of the process was this only supplies location details and the video stream doesn't pass through their servers.

BUT, does the use of a blocking service mean that any measures put in place by your local ISP to improve Netflix performance are bypassed? eg. Netflix Open Connect Appliance or Netflix servers on their local infrastructure? Does Spark utilise either of these? Does setting Unotelly region to NZ alter this?

It's unfortunate if you have to chose between content and video quality. I can't have a foot in each camp as the Oppo is my only device that provides 5.1 DD+ audio.

I'm only speculating based on very little knowledge though, even Wannabe Geek is a gross exaggeration!

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  # 1353232 28-Jul-2015 11:19
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Boris50: I access Netflix through an Oppo Bluray player hard wired to Spark supplied router. Don't use a static IP and while not completely bamboozled I don't know how to find out where the content is being served from. I may be wrong but I suspect this question alludes to the problem. I'm using Unotelly DNS to access USA content. My understanding of the process was this only supplies location details and the video stream doesn't pass through their servers.

BUT, does the use of a blocking service mean that any measures put in place by your local ISP to improve Netflix performance are bypassed? eg. Netflix Open Connect Appliance or Netflix servers on their local infrastructure? Does Spark utilise either of these? Does setting Unotelly region to NZ alter this?

It's unfortunate if you have to chose between content and video quality. I can't have a foot in each camp as the Oppo is my only device that provides 5.1 DD+ audio.

I'm only speculating based on very little knowledge though, even Wannabe Geek is a gross exaggeration!


I believe due to contractual conditions I am unable to confirm whether or not Spark has any OCA appliances spread around our network, however that information could be easily deduced by someone familiar with some of the troubleshooting and tech features of Netflix, especially in their browser clients.

I'm also genuinely unable to make a comment on the behaviour of the Netflix mapping algorithm in cases where customers are utilising geoblock and region workarounds (through Unotelly, or VPNs, or magic beans or whatever).

Cheers - N





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Please note all comments are the product of my own brain and don't necessarily represent the position or opinions of my employer, previous employers, colleagues, friends or pets.


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  # 1353234 28-Jul-2015 11:21
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Talkiet:
Boris50: I access Netflix through an Oppo Bluray player hard wired to Spark supplied router. Don't use a static IP and while not completely bamboozled I don't know how to find out where the content is being served from. I may be wrong but I suspect this question alludes to the problem. I'm using Unotelly DNS to access USA content. My understanding of the process was this only supplies location details and the video stream doesn't pass through their servers.

BUT, does the use of a blocking service mean that any measures put in place by your local ISP to improve Netflix performance are bypassed? eg. Netflix Open Connect Appliance or Netflix servers on their local infrastructure? Does Spark utilise either of these? Does setting Unotelly region to NZ alter this?

It's unfortunate if you have to chose between content and video quality. I can't have a foot in each camp as the Oppo is my only device that provides 5.1 DD+ audio.

I'm only speculating based on very little knowledge though, even Wannabe Geek is a gross exaggeration!


I believe due to contractual conditions I am unable to confirm whether or not Spark has any OCA appliances spread around our network, however that information could be easily deduced by someone familiar with some of the troubleshooting and tech features of Netflix, especially in their browser clients.

I'm also genuinely unable to make a comment on the behaviour of the Netflix mapping algorithm in cases where customers are utilising geoblock and region workarounds (through Unotelly, or VPNs, or magic beans or whatever).

Cheers - N



that's pretty odd.  VF and other ISPs have confirmed that they have one.

And if you didn't have one, there would be no contract stopping you from confirming it.....
i.e. the fact that you have some kind of contractual obligation means a contract must exist.  :P



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  # 1353241 28-Jul-2015 11:25
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NonprayingMantis:
Talkiet:[snip]
I believe due to contractual conditions I am unable to confirm whether or not Spark has any OCA appliances spread around our network, [snip]


that's pretty odd.  VF and other ISPs have confirmed that they have one.

And if you didn't have one, there would be no contract stopping you from confirming it.....
i.e. the fact that you have some kind of contractual obligation means a contract must exist.  :P


Chuckle... I can't be bothered going and reading documents (that may or may not exist!) to figure out what I can or can't say so I chose a wimpy way out :-)

Anyway, if we did, we wouldn't have one, we'd have a whole heap of them, with redundant connections to our core network, spread around the country to give the best possible performance !

Cheers - N





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Please note all comments are the product of my own brain and don't necessarily represent the position or opinions of my employer, previous employers, colleagues, friends or pets.


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  # 1353523 28-Jul-2015 15:55
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Ha ha, reading between the lines of what has and hasn't been said it's hard not to conclude that my suspicions are largely correct. Spark has taken measures to improve Netflix performance, but has also made a conscious effort to exclude customers utilising geoblocking. I'm sure that Spark representatives on this site have made assurances before that they have no interest in how customers use their connection. I sincerely hope this is true and that Spark executives are not making a moral judgement on whether geoblocking is legal, or favouring one VOD service over another.

It only takes a few minutes to change out the Unotelly DNS. I can simply watch Netflix in peak time and switch with and without relatively quickly. If Spark DNS gives significantly improved performance then either I smell a rat or there is another technical reason that no-one has explained. I would actually be surprised if Spark was not trying to benefit all customers, but "genuinely unable to make a comment on the behaviour of the Netflix mapping algorithm" isn't very reassuring!

I'm not overly concerned, more a little bemused by the evasive answer. Just be upfront, do I still get the benefit of OCA appliances if I use a geoblocker? If not, is there a technical reason it's not possible or did Spark choose to set it up that way? Am I completely barking up the wrong tree and making a complete dick of myself (eminently possible!) or do I need to find a less conflicted ISP?

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  # 1353530 28-Jul-2015 16:09
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Boris50: Ha ha, reading between the lines of what has and hasn't been said it's hard not to conclude that my suspicions are largely correct. Spark has taken measures to improve Netflix performance, but has also made a conscious effort to exclude customers utilising geoblocking.


You are utterly, 100% completely totally wrong on the highlighted point above.

I'm sure that Spark representatives on this site have made assurances before that they have no interest in how customers use their connection. I sincerely hope this is true and that Spark executives are not making a moral judgement on whether geoblocking is legal, or favouring one VOD service over another.

It only takes a few minutes to change out the Unotelly DNS. I can simply watch Netflix in peak time and switch with and without relatively quickly. If Spark DNS gives significantly improved performance then either I smell a rat or there is another technical reason that no-one has explained. I would actually be surprised if Spark was not trying to benefit all customers, but "genuinely unable to make a comment on the behaviour of the Netflix mapping algorithm" isn't very reassuring!

I'm not overly concerned, more a little bemused by the evasive answer. Just be upfront, do I still get the benefit of OCA appliances if I use a geoblocker? If not, is there a technical reason it's not possible or did Spark choose to set it up that way? Am I completely barking up the wrong tree and making a complete dick of myself (eminently possible!) or do I need to find a less conflicted ISP?


My comment was because I am not a Netflix user and the behaviour of where customers are served from when the content is outside of the local jurisdiction is determined by Netflix, not the ISP.

For the avoidance of doubt, Spark has NEVER made any attempt at an engineering level to negatively impact ANY streaming video sites, and this includes Netflix being used with region unblockers.

Cheers - N





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Please note all comments are the product of my own brain and don't necessarily represent the position or opinions of my employer, previous employers, colleagues, friends or pets.


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  # 1353565 28-Jul-2015 16:44
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Brilliant news, thanks for taking the time to respond to my concerns.

Still baffled by what's throttling performance though. Ultimately I guess it probably comes down to geoblocking; can't have your cake and eat it too. Damn!

Or maybe just the whole VOD process has a long way to go from start to finish. Netflix speed index of less than 3.5 mbps is terrible. Not picking on anyone, that's most ISP's in most countries.

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  # 1354322 29-Jul-2015 12:22
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Just to wrap this up, my findings after a bit of quick testing are below if anyone cares. Probably well known to all genuine Geeks anyway, but may be of use to anyone with limited knowledge like me that stumbles onto this site.

Also an apology to Spark for suggesting there my be some skulduggery going on behind the scenes, and to N in particular for the assistance.


Viewing same Netflix show for all setups in peak time:

 - No geoblocker, Spark DNS - moves almost immediately to 1080p and stays there continuously.

 - Use geoblocker, Unotelly DNS, region set to NZ - takes maybe 20-30 seconds to rise to 1080p and stays there continuously.

 - Use geoblocker, Unotelly DNS, but region set to USA - rises slowly to 720p and stays there reasonably well but drops to 480p occasionally.


So to me the issue seems to be where the content is streamed from, not the use of geoblocking per se. I think that was suggested above. Makes sense I suppose. Spark's delivery of NZ content is excellent.


Lesson for me, set Unotelly Netflix region to NZ whenever the show is available here. Accept that access to overseas content comes with a compromise.


Cheers, B

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