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Keith_Beddoe
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Message 771 of 1,014

Re: Recent online gaming ping spikes when streaming Netflix


@He4DHuNt3r wrote:

This issue is also happening with EE & Plusnet & It's even affecting people with FTTP. 

 

BT's network has some sort of QoS enabled to give video/streaming content priority over everything else.

 


That is where the money is made, selling content, there is not much profit in just providing Internet connections, which is why faster connections are being promoted, so that more content can be sold. Latency does not affect streaming content.

Its possible that Cloud gaming  (Google Stadia) may help to overcome these issues, provided the upstream path has low latency. I would imagine this is going to be the future of gaming.

 

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Keith_Beddoe
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Message 772 of 1,014

Re: Recent online gaming ping spikes when streaming Netflix


@john9411 wrote:

@He4DHuNt3r 

I think that this has been mentioned in forum before.

It would explain why other ISPs may not have same problem and would suggest, perhaps logically for BT, that as BT TV is streamed over the net they would want to give it priority. I presume that BT cannot, or have not yet found a way, to prioritise BT TV alone so Netflx etc. are also affected.

It would also explain why changing ISP normally solves the problem.

Only problem I can see is that some time ago it was rumored that Sky TV was considering moving away from satellite to streaming (probably cheaper so typical Sky!!!). This being the case then one would assume that Sky would also adopt a priority system so moving to Sky may only be a short term solution.

 


Exactly. BT TV is delivered using multicast, so there is no impact on the upstream path, as no packet acknowledgement is needed. Netflix and other streaming services are delivered unicast, which impacts on the upstream path and delays any other outgoing requests to things like game servers. You will notice that BT TV usage does not affect latency.

If you are going to make changes on your router, then its the upload path that needs the attention, so that commands sent to a game server, are not delayed by TCP acknowledgements and content control information from streaming services.

Sky will eventually suffer from this problem if they abandon satellite distribution, which is not popular on housing estates, and not practical on flats (apartments)

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Keith_Beddoe
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Message 773 of 1,014

Re: Recent online gaming ping spikes when streaming Netflix

What is significant, is that on my 10Mb ADSL connection, ping tests reveal no change whether Netflix is running, but then again, network connectivity is better on ADSL anyway owing to its direct connection to the exchange equipment.

Maybe a warning to those on ADSL, who are thinking of upgrading to VDSL, you may be in for a surprise if you mainly want it for gaming. That would not apply to those who have a very slow (less than 1Mbs) ADSL.

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Stu_H
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Message 774 of 1,014

Re: Recent online gaming ping spikes when streaming Netflix

@Keith_Beddoe 

Do you know anything about Netflix Open Connect and it’s relationship with BT and how Netflix integrates with the ISP to serve its streaming service to the end user?

would this be a possible cause with recent issues even though it’s been around for a while?

it also seems to cover Amazon, YouTube Facebook and so on.

https://openconnect.netflix.com/en_gb/

 

 

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Keith_Beddoe
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Message 775 of 1,014

Re: Recent online gaming ping spikes when streaming Netflix

No idea as I am just a customer, but I do know that BT and other major ISPs have direct links to CDNs (Content Delivery Networks) like Google and Netflix.

Stu_H
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Message 776 of 1,014

Re: Recent online gaming ping spikes when streaming Netflix

Thanks Keith for the quick reply. 

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dubstepzombie
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Message 777 of 1,014

Re: Recent online gaming ping spikes when streaming Netflix

WARNING - if you value your sanity, time and money leave the broken BT network, don't waste your time trying to second guess the problem, the ISP side of BT is not fit for gaming, end of,  change ISP....

  1. 6984793-yellow-warning-triangle-sign-with-exclamation-mark-isolated-on-whte-background-.jpg
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Keith_Beddoe
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Message 778 of 1,014

Re: Recent online gaming ping spikes when streaming Netflix

Something else for people to consider.

When you are streaming content from a game server, you are seeing things in almost real time, as there is very little latency on the download path, especially if you have a fast connection.

The commands you are sending to the server, to control your actions, may not be reaching the server in time, due to latency on the upload path, which is also reflected in the ping times increasing.

Because multicast services like BT TV do not use the upload path, they do not cause latency.

Once you start streaming unicast content, even if its from your BT YouView box (Netflix etc), you are going to have an impact on the upload performance which will depend on what the content provider wants to do with the data, apart from the normal TCP overheads.

They  use it to control the encoding speed  to give the best quality to match the end user Internet speed or device. This is used extensively by the BBC Iplayer and Netflix, which is why it works on all devices, including mobiles.

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Grewer
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Message 779 of 1,014

Re: Recent online gaming ping spikes when streaming Netflix

@Keith_Beddoe 

The two-way nature of traffic utilised by unicast services like Netflix will certainly contribute to the utilisation of upload as well as download bandwidth.  However, this in itself should not cause latency increases such as those being experienced, unless the connection (upload or download) is nearing capacity. 

In my example, there is very little bandwidth usage (either upload or download) and therefore I am nowhere near my line's capacity.  To further this point other examples are provided on this forum where users of high capacity BT FTTP connections are experiencing the same issue.

If BT's network is nearing capacity somewhere upstream of the subscriber's connection then it could be that prioritisation rules are being applied which give priority to Netflix traffic (either upload or download) which could cause this latency.  My suspicion is that BT is artificially prioritising streaming services as this will provide a better experience to the larger proportion of its user base.

The fact that people contributing to this and other forums have seen improvement by moving to other ISPs that are not in the BT fold (e.g. Sky, Zen) seems to substantiate this theory.  Internet searches also find people experiencing the same issue with Plusnet and EE, both of which are BT by another name.  The only difference I have seen with Plusnet thus far is that their customer service appears substantially better than that provided by BT.

BT customers on ADSL also seem unaffected which indicates that perhaps the traffic prioritisation is less for those that put a lower demand on the network.  It also provides further evidence that this is not linked with the saturation of the connection between the home and the ISP.

Just my working theory at the moment.

Grewer
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Message 780 of 1,014

Re: Recent online gaming ping spikes when streaming Netflix

There's an interesting response post from "Josh" on the ISPReview article covering this very issue.  He indicates that BT is aware of this issue and was moved to a BT business profile which resolved his latency issue. 

I won't provide the link as I am not sure if it breaches the T&Cs of this forum but searching the internet for "ISPReview BT Netflix" will get you there.

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