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#2493 - 02/22/14 11:46 PM Re: Erratic Netflix Performance [Re: i_am_jim]
i_am_jim Offline


Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 13
Here are two files. One is 30 minutes of Roku while watching. The delays during this sample period were greater than that in the video I uploaded previously. While watching, the stopping in the middle of the video the progress bar would stop in the middle of the catchup download for as long as 15 seconds.

The other is about 3 hours of trying to reach the Netflix site.


Attachments
192.168.1.8 roku.pp2 (139 downloads)
2-50-16-213-218 netflix.pp2 (132 downloads)



Edited by i_am_jim (02/22/14 11:48 PM)

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#2494 - 02/24/14 12:53 PM Re: Erratic Netflix Performance [Re: i_am_jim]
Gary Offline
PingPlotter Staff


Registered: 10/30/13
Posts: 179
Hey Jim,

Thank you for the additional details - this helps out quite a bit.

If you were experiencing buffering during the period that these results were taken from - I think we can pretty much rule out anything in your network being the cause of this issue at this point. Both traces you've submitted here look good, and neither show indication of any problems. The packet loss you're seeing in your trace to Netflix isn't anything that would cause you trouble here - the "Destination Unreachable" message you're getting there is a result of the last hop not responding to ICMP echo requests (something we discuss more in depth here - http://www.nessoft.com/kb/8). The hop right before it (#19), looks great.

That being said, this is something you'd now probably need to get in touch with your ISP, or Netflix (or both) about. The issue doesn't appear to be anything on your end - so it's something that they would need to investigate further. If you provide them the same data that you've provided here for us, it should allow them to start troubleshooting and begin narrowing down what could be causing this.

If you're looking for some best practices to employ when contacting them - please keep our Network Nirvana guide in mind (http://www.pingplotter.com/netnirvana) - as it goes over some of the best methods for making the process of navigating a customer service structure a bit faster, and more efficient.

Best wishes,

-Gary

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#2496 - 02/24/14 05:34 PM Re: Erratic Netflix Performance [Re: Gary]
i_am_jim Offline


Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 13
Originally Posted By: Gary
If you provide them the same data that you've provided here for us, it should allow them to start troubleshooting and begin narrowing down what could be causing this.

Thanks very much.

I think you have more confidence in Comcast than I do. But, aren't the *.pp2 files unique to PingPlotter? If so, I feel sure they won't be receptive to me asking them to learn a program to understand this problem.

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#2497 - 02/24/14 06:38 PM Re: Erratic Netflix Performance [Re: i_am_jim]
Gary Offline
PingPlotter Staff


Registered: 10/30/13
Posts: 179
Hey Jim,

Yes, the .pp2 files are unique to PingPlotter - however, an image will often suffice in these scenarios (and I'm sure the folks over at Comcast have seen more than a few examples of PingPlotter results by now). You'll find a few screenshots from your results attached to this message - which you're free to use when communicating this issue to your provider.

Something to remember as you prepare to reach out to Comcast - in addition to the screenshots/PingPlotter data; it's always a good practice to have a clear description of your issue ready, and be ready to communicate the impact this problem has been having on you. We have some more tips/tricks that can really help make this point in your process a bit easier (as well as faster and more productive) in our Roadmap to Network Nirvana (http://www.pingplotter.com/netnirvana).

Hopefully this has helped out!

-Gary


Attachments
ec2-50-16-213-218.compute-1.amazonaws.com.png

Roku.png



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#2502 - 02/28/14 09:54 PM Re: Erratic Netflix Performance [Re: Gary]
i_am_jim Offline


Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 13
I sent Comcast the two plots from your previous message, plus the screen capture of my speed test and a link to the video of the Roku/Netflix performance I sent you earlier.

A Comcast technical person called to say they were sending out a service technician because from his end it looked like there was a signal problem. I said the data I sent him indicated there was not a signal problem. He said "We don't use data from an outside party, only our own."

The service tech arrived today and said there was nothing wrong with the Comcast equipment, the problem must be with Netflix. Actually he said there was no problem at all, then said it was a Netflix problem. So, the non-problem is somebody else's. I explained to him I now have Netflix pointing at them and them pointing back at Netflix.

Later I spoke again with the Comcast technical person who had said they ignore all information except their own. He said since their signal and their modem were within specifications that's the only thing Comcast is responsible for. When I asked, "Doesn't Comcast have switching stations and don't they process signals at a higher level," he would not address these questions.

In summary, Comcast refuses to do anything. This is a consistent pattern. They always either deny there's a problem or point the finger at someone else (In this case they did both). For two years we had routine brief dropouts. They caused issues like our VOIP phone disconnecting suddenly or me hearing the other person but them not hearing me. These happened at the rate of a hundred to a thousand a day. Comcast refused to acknowledge there was a problem. After MANY calls to Comcast, in desperation I finally sent a letter to my councilman which she forwarded to Comcast. After that they sent a knowledgeable technician who isolated the problem to the box at the end of our street which services many houses.

Within the last six months we've replaced the TV DVR 5 times. I'd been swapping them myself. After the fourth replacement I called for them to send someone. The service tech came, said the problem was caused by my entertainment system and left. I bypassed my equipment and the problems continued. I had to wait a week. They promised not to send the same tech. The same guy showed up. When I demonstrated it couldn't be my equipment he installed a fifth DVR which has greatly improved the situation, though we still get audio dropouts.

So when you suggested I had to contact Comcast my heart sank. I'm not sure whether they're service people are incompetent in general or Comcast doesn't want to spend what it takes to make their equipment work properly or it's such a ponderous bureaucracy they're unable to get anything done or a combination of these. But, they're an exceptionally frustrating, non functional company, and given the amount of money I pay them it borders on criminal.



Edited by i_am_jim (02/28/14 09:56 PM)

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#2504 - 03/05/14 11:51 AM Re: Erratic Netflix Performance [Re: i_am_jim]
Gary Offline
PingPlotter Staff


Registered: 10/30/13
Posts: 179
Hey Jim,

Sorry to hear your experience with Comcast didn't prove successful.

To be honest; at this point, it's a very tough call on how to proceed. As we've discussed earlier in this thread - the PingPlotter results you've had thus far don't point to any sort of clear problem, and aren't correlated to the performance issues you've been encountering. This may be why Comcast is hesitant to accept any data other than their own. Something to note here as well: when providing PingPlotter data to an ISP, it can prove helpful to explain that it is traceroute/ping test data (albeit, presented in a different fashion than they may be used to).

A word of advice - you need to be *very* clear, and pointed when bringing these issues up to Comcast. At times, we've had a bit of trouble understanding what may have been happening here as well - and information that may have proved useful early on wasn't provided until much later (for example - the fact that a technician came out and isolated the problem to the box at the end of your street. Did anything ever come of this, or did Comcast advise on what action they would be taking to resolve it?)

Keeping your point short, clear, and easy to understand can greatly improve your chances of a resolution. In our experience, it's helpful to boil everything down to a short "summary" that contains all of the most pertinent information, which would typically include:

-A clear description of what problem you're encountering
-The problem's impact to you
-Objective data that supports, and specifically points toward the problem
-Any information from previous correspondence attempts (details on technicians that have visited, what they have advised, actions taken, etc).
-What you would accept as a resolution

It's very easy to go overboard with details (we're guilty of this from time to time here) - but you have to exercise caution, and keep your explanation concise. Try and avoid sending anything that will not specifically help your case, as it can potentially invalidate any other evidence you've provided. For instance, the video of the issue you're encountering with Netflix buffering doesn't specifically point to any problems - and to someone viewing it, it could be viewed as a normal, and expected occurrence. It's also helpful to let your ISP know what you would accept as a resolution - so they know what your goal in contacting them is, and can work toward achieving it with you.

Hopefully some of the information we've provided here has helped out - and hopefully you reach a resolution soon!

-Gary

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