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Is it Possible that Comcast is throttling HBO?
Posted by: space-time
Date: October 05, 2015 05:04PM
Sorry to bother you with this issue again. I hope I didn't bore you to death.

We start watching Game of Thrones last night, Season 1 finale, and within 30 seconds is starts buffering. again around 2 minute mark. It became clear that we could not watch like this.

So I got an idea. I put my iPhone (ATT) in Hotspot mode and disconnect Apple TV from Ethernet and connect to the phone. We watched about 20 minutes and everything was PERFECT, not even one single buffering.

I didn't want to consume my entire data plan (used around 500 MB for that 20 minute) so I stopped it. I tried to connect my Apple TV to my Apple router via WiFi rather than Ethernet to eliminate a bad network cable or defective Ethernet port. We continued watching and it was pretty good, but we still got one buffer towards the end of the movie. It was very late though (after midnight) so perhaps bandwidth usage in my neighborhood went down or maybe Comcast if not throttling so much after midnight.

Anyway, I will try to repeat the experiment sometimes, to see if Comcast is perhaps throttling HBO. I tried Netflix and that always streams fine on AppleTV. never buffers.

I know that Netflix paid Comcast a year or two ago, but then the FCC ruled that ISP cannot force companied like Netflix to pay for bandwidth (did I get that right?). Does Netflix still pay Comcast? maybe Comcast is holding HBO hostage?

Anything is possible I guess.
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Re: Is it Possible that Comcast is throttling HBO?
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: October 05, 2015 05:05PM
Of course.

[motherboard.vice.com]
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Re: Is it Possible that Comcast is throttling HBO?
Posted by: Speedy
Date: October 05, 2015 05:48PM
Fsck you and HBO and the FCC. Comcast rulz. We are your friendly local monopoly cable provider. Suck on that. And just try to unsubscribe from our service. All your bucks belong to us.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: Is it Possible that Comcast is throttling HBO?
Posted by: pdq
Date: October 05, 2015 05:59PM
Quote
cbelt3
Of course.

[motherboard.vice.com]

Pretty freekin incredible that Comcast would openly defy Net Neutrality rules...

Totally believable, of course - just surprising that they're apparently being so brazen about it.
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Re: Is it Possible that Comcast is throttling HBO?
Posted by: space-time
Date: October 05, 2015 06:50PM
I wonder if I can try one of these VPN companies to connect my AppleTV to a non-Comcast ISP? It should only cost a few bucks a month and I could find out if it works better than with Comcast. But, I need to be 100% sure this VPN does not use Comcast.
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Re: Is it Possible that Comcast is throttling HBO?
Posted by: michaelb
Date: October 05, 2015 06:54PM
Just one data point: I haven't seen any buffering on HBO with comcast and my ATV, including for game of thrones. I live in the country and don't have great connection speed either. Now, I do find that my ATV v2 will pretty much reset itself every time I use HBO, but that seems to only happen once, and then after that, it seems to run pretty smoothly. I am looking forward to the new ATV in the hope that it runs HBO more smoothly.
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Re: Is it Possible that Comcast is throttling HBO?
Posted by: michaelb
Date: October 05, 2015 06:56PM
I do connect through OpenDNS, but it would surprise me if that was related.
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Re: Is it Possible that Comcast is throttling HBO?
Posted by: pRICE cUBE
Date: October 05, 2015 08:28PM
I know people who use Open VPN through various providers. Open allows a router with DD-WRT and a certain config to allow all devices to be on VPN. I know someone who uses StrongVPN and was told that the tech helped them set up a DD-WRT router over one of those remote apps where someone else can control your desktop.



Ways to improve web conference image and sound quality. [forums.macresource.com]


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Re: Is it Possible that Comcast is throttling HBO?
Posted by: space-time
Date: October 05, 2015 08:38PM
I use OpenDNS. I have it set up in my router. I even entered the IP of OPEN DNS on my Apple TV.
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Re: Is it Possible that Comcast is throttling HBO?
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: October 06, 2015 04:24AM
It is Comcast way of telling you that if you can afford HBO, then you can afford to pay them more for a faster connection.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld

Growing older is mandatory. Growing up is optional.
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Re: Is it Possible that Comcast is throttling HBO?
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: October 06, 2015 08:01AM
Quote
space-time
I use OpenDNS. I have it set up in my router. I even entered the IP of OPEN DNS on my Apple TV.
Open DNS isn't a VPN, and won't affect throttline. Comcrap still handles the packets and can snarfle with them.
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Re: Is it Possible that Comcast is throttling HBO?
Posted by: space-time
Date: October 06, 2015 10:33AM
Quote
cbelt3
Quote
space-time
I use OpenDNS. I have it set up in my router. I even entered the IP of OPEN DNS on my Apple TV.
Open DNS isn't a VPN, and won't affect throttline. Comcrap still handles the packets and can snarfle with them.

That I understand very well. Maybe my response was not clear but I didn't mean that openDNS was VPN.
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Re: Is it Possible that Comcast is throttling HBO?
Posted by: bhaveshp
Date: October 06, 2015 11:52AM
Have you tried changing away from Open DNS & using the Comcast default DNS? Would suggest changing DNS on both your router & Apple TV and rebooting both.

This will either implicate / not any potential CDN issues with Open DNS. I know they've improved this but would be worth a test.

Background:
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Re: Is it Possible that Comcast is throttling HBO?
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: October 06, 2015 12:31PM
Possible? Yeah. Likely? Hell, yeah.



It is what it is.
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