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30 Mbps and having trouble streaming Netflix

Last response: in Networking
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September 10, 2012 11:02:40 PM

Hello,

I have been having intermittent trouble streaming Netflix for a while now. I've had my cable company out to troubleshoot a few times over the summer. They have replaced hardware and recently upgraded me from 15 down to 30 down. Either way it only works well about every other day with some good weeks and some bad.

A lot of the time speed test results come back at full speed but sometimes they are even as low as ~1 down. Sometimes speedtest.net can't even connect or can't complete it's test.

I wired my house so I am trying to stream (and speed test) with a wired connection (laptop or PS3).

Is this something I should keep having my cable company try to fix or are my expectations too high?
September 11, 2012 3:35:00 PM

No one?

Here is a tl;dr version:
I have intermittent speed problems and Netflix streaming won't work for me about half the time. Is this normal or should I demand that my ISP fix it?
September 11, 2012 4:20:53 PM

<ignore double post>
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September 11, 2012 4:22:54 PM

If you have a Motorola modem bring up 192.168.100.1 in your browser and choose the 'signal' tab. This is an internal page on the modem that will show your signal strength. You want to see 0 or better for downstream, and mid 30's for upstream. If you see anything 45 or higher then your modem is having to shout to be heard and it's time to have the cable company investigate.
September 11, 2012 5:36:05 PM

ex_bubblehead said:
If you have a Motorola modem bring up 192.168.100.1 in your browser and choose the 'signal' tab. This is an internal page on the modem that will show your signal strength. You want to see 0 or better for downstream, and mid 30's for upstream. If you see anything 45 or higher then your modem is having to shout to be heard and it's time to have the cable company investigate.

When they upgraded my speed to 30 Mbps down and 3 up they switched my Surfboard 6120 out for an Arris Modem/Router combo. I think I found something analogous to what you are talking about though. In the admin software for this Arris box there is a tab labeled "HSD".

This is what it says under "RF Parameters" in that screen.

RF Parameters
Downstream
Interface Name .. Freq ................ Power ............. SNR .......... Modulation
Downstream 1 ... 681.000 MHz .. -3.20 dBmV .... 38.90 dB ... QAM256
Downstream 2 ... 663.000 MHz .. -4.20 dBmV .... 39.00 dB ... QAM256
Downstream 3 ... 669.000 MHz .. -3.50 dBmV .... 39.40 dB ... QAM256
Downstream 4 ... 675.000 MHz .. -3.50 dBmV .... 39.40 dB ... QAM256
Downstream 5 ... 639.000 MHz .. -3.50 dBmV .... 39.40 dB ... QAM256
Downstream 6 ... 645.000 MHz .. -3.70 dBmV .... 39.30 dB ... QAM256
Downstream 7 ... 651.000 MHz .. -4.10 dBmV .... 39.20 dB ... QAM256
Downstream 8 ... 657.000 MHz .. -4.40 dBmV .... 38.60 dB ... QAM256
Upstream
Interface Name .. Frequency ...... Power ....... Channel type .. Symbol Rate .. Modulation
Upstream 1 ....... 33.60 MHz ..... 43.50 dBmV .. ATDMA ....... 2560 kSym/s .. QAM64
Upstream 2 ....... 37.60 MHz ..... 43.40 dBmV .. TDMA ......... 2560 kSym/s .. QAM16
Upstream 3 ---
Upstream 4

I just ran a speed test with my laptop connected to the Arris box and Wifi turned off and I am getting < 1 Mbps down. :whistle: 
September 11, 2012 6:04:29 PM

Downstream look OK (close to 0). However, upstream is terrible. It should be ~10dB lower than what is shown. That's likely the source of your problem.

There are many things that could cause this situation:

Too many/wrong type splitters
Reversed splitters
Pinched/crimped coax
Staples in coax (happens when construction dweebs go crazy with a nail gun)
Badly installed fittings
Cable system problem.

Cable company really needs to check it out.
September 11, 2012 7:37:31 PM

ex_bubblehead said:
Downstream look OK (close to 0). However, upstream is terrible. It should be ~10dB lower than what is shown. That's likely the source of your problem.

There are many things that could cause this situation:

Too many/wrong type splitters
Reversed splitters
Pinched/crimped coax
Staples in coax (happens when construction dweebs go crazy with a nail gun)
Badly installed fittings
Cable system problem.

Cable company really needs to check it out.


Thanks for your input. I called them again and they have someone coming out here (again) on Thursday.

I did some reading on those numbers. According to this Upstream power levels in the 40s are normal. (http://homepage.ntlworld.com/robin.d.h.walker/cmtips/si...)

I dumped their Digital Cable TV service a while back because I was having intermittent problems with signal loss, so I have a tv filter on my line. They have replaced that a few times. Could that be a cause? Should I try to get them to remove that?

I'm guessing the same thing that caused HD tv to be spotty is causing my internet to be spotty, so that filter is probably a non factor.

Best solution

September 11, 2012 8:00:11 PM
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It's possible that upstream levels in the 40s are normal for an Arris, I'm not up on them, but if they use anything similar to what Motorola uses for a transmitter then it is too high (Moto's max at 52dB). Around here Cox aims for 32-35dB upstream.
September 13, 2012 1:40:44 PM

My speed is really solid right now and my power levels are different so I am recording them.


Interface Name .. Freq ................ Power .......... SNR ........... Modulation
Downstream 1 ... 681.000 MHz .. -1.90 dBmV .. 39.00 dB ... QAM256
Downstream 2 ... 663.000 MHz .. -2.70 dBmV .. 39.40 dB ... QAM256
Downstream 3 ... 669.000 MHz .. -2.20 dBmV .. 39.60 dB ... QAM256
Downstream 4 ... 675.000 MHz .. -2.20 dBmV .. 39.50 dB ... QAM256
Downstream 5 ... 639.000 MHz .. -2.00 dBmV .. 39.50 dB ... QAM256
Downstream 6 ... 645.000 MHz .. -2.30 dBmV .. 39.40 dB ... QAM256
Downstream 7 ... 651.000 MHz .. -2.80 dBmV .. 39.30 dB ... QAM256
Downstream 8 ... 657.000 MHz .. -3.10 dBmV .. 39.10 dB ... QAM256

Upstream
Interface Name .. Frequency ..... Power ............ Channel type ... Symbol Rate ... Modulation
Upstream 1 ........ 33.60 MHz .... 43.20 dBmV .. ATDMA ............ 2560 kSym/s .. QAM64
Upstream 2 ........ 37.60 MHz .... 43.10 dBmV .. TDMA .............. 2560 kSym/s .. QAM16
Upstream 3
Upstream 4
September 19, 2012 11:59:19 PM

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