I pay a premium for faster internet (30mbps), and even the lowest resolutions youtube videos freeze up and need to buffer multiple times. This problem has made youtube completely unwatchable for me. I know this is not a bandwidth issue on my end, because I can stream high-res videos from Vimeo and similar sites without a problem. Speed test shows my bandwidth at 5mbps/28mbps. I also know this is not a problem specific to my computer, because all computers in my house are experiencing this problem. Are there any test that I can run on my end to prove that they are throttling??? Thanks in advance!
I've noticed that many times videos that have low view counts load incredibly slow compared to popular ones. Try a video with a high view count in the millions and see if it persists.
Also, there are countless issues related to this through a "slow youtube" Google search. Maybe some of those suggested techniques may help.
Whilst this topic is solved I just want to add: I must admit I am addicted to youtube (sad I know) and for about 6 months last year my internet was appalling due to high utilization in my area.
Luckily I found Speedbit Video Accelerator. I *think* it basically multi-threads the buffering of the video. It works on many other video sites too.
It's not the greatest application ever and I have had problems with it now and again where it didn't realize I was watching a video but those times were rare. If you aren't being capped and it's something else like maybe the youtube servers or a flakey line this might help. It's not voodoo it def works, and it works quite well.