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Choppy Playback on NHL TV

New Here ,
Jan 19, 2019 Jan 19, 2019

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Hi

I have 40mbps download speed, but only 0.67mbps or at best 1mbps is getting to Flash Player.  NHL TV said contact my provider, Vodafone, who said contact Adobe but I can't even find a chat option on Adobe for this, can you please help?

I have latest Flash player version installed a couple of days ago, everything else works fine in HD e.g. youtube, BBC iplayer.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jan 19, 2019 Jan 19, 2019

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YouTube and iPlayer do not use Flash, haven't done for years. Just in case you didn't know.

This is the only place to get any kind of support for Flash Player. Adobe don't offer chat or phone support for free products.

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New Here ,
Jan 19, 2019 Jan 19, 2019

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I just gave examples of non Flash player sites that actually do work, it's a Flash issue, not computer, download speed etc.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jan 19, 2019 Jan 19, 2019

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Got it, a comparison. Thanks.

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Advisor ,
Jan 19, 2019 Jan 19, 2019

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Flash is not able to throttle any kind of network flow, so the issue is somwhere else, browser, anti-virus or simply your actual providers who throttle some ports. is the video you are watching in live?

did you try with other browsers? what's the browser you are using?

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New Here ,
Jan 19, 2019 Jan 19, 2019

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I don't watch live games, they're all recorded.  It's either 0.67mbps or 1mbps on Firefox, Edge, Chrome, Internet Explorer.  I normally watch on Firefox.  It's on laptop, and the issue is there on 3 different houses' internet providers.  I've had the same antivirus for quite some time, even when the playback was fine.

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Advisor ,
Jan 19, 2019 Jan 19, 2019

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did you try with another computer?

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New Here ,
Jan 20, 2019 Jan 20, 2019

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I could try to get a lend of one to see but it might be a few days, have you any suggestions what I can try please?  Now in Firefox the screen stays blank but the audio plays until I use full screen mode.  And Firefox is the only browser that NHL TV is watchable on as the stats on NHL TV refresh every 10 seconds.  Apart from Firefox, other browsers freeze every 10 seconds for a second or 2, then the picture speeds up to catch up, so it's not watchable.  Others have this issue too but the NHL TV forum is no longer available to see about my current poor quality picture issue.

I should probably point out that the problem is the video quality is "blocky" as opposed to choppy.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jan 20, 2019 Jan 20, 2019

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Is there any way for you to find out from your fellow fans if it's working for ANYONE at all using the current version of Flash, or not? I wonder if it just has stopped working (perhaps due to recent changes in Flash, perhaps for other reasons). NHL don't have long to get a replacement system running, since Flash is closing down soon, maybe they are focussed on getting their new system going rather than keeping the old one running.

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New Here ,
Jan 20, 2019 Jan 20, 2019

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I don't know anyone who currently has NHL TV, and the forum that used to be there from NHL to share issues and get help is gone.  It's really not watchable.  Is there anything I can try with Flash settings or something?

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Adobe Employee ,
Jan 22, 2019 Jan 22, 2019

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YouTube has a great explanation of how video gets to you:

Google Video Quality Report

The ability to transmit 40Mbs between your house and your ISP doesn't mean much, if congestion along the route from your ISP to the video service provider that you care about means that you can only receive 0.67 Mbps.  Nothing you do in Flash Player is going to fix a problem that's 300 miles from your house.

Your options at that point, particularly if you're seeing rock-solid throughput to your ISP, but terrible throughput on some video services and not others, is to either complain to the ISP about the bottleneck (they may be able to optimize their routing or invest in better peering with the ISPs where the bottleneck occurs), or you'll need to look at alternate ISPs with better peering to the services that you care about.  Many ISPs offer free trial periods.

I had a really similar experience about a year ago -- I got super excited when one of the national ISPs rolled out 1 Gbps fiber to my neighborhood.  Once I got it installed, I saw that I had a solid 1Gbps connection on speedtest.net, but I couldn't get a 320p YouTube video to play without stuttering.   I could consistently play great 4K video streams on my 50Mbs cable connection.  I saw similar issues on other services, and for all practical purposes, my 50Mbps cable connection grossly outperformed my 1Gbps fiber connection in all of the practical applications that were important.  That fiber ISP spent hundreds of dollars having third-party contractors wire up my house, and I couldn't mail their gear back to them fast enough.

You can usually check out the Google video quality report and broadbandreports.net and come away with a good feel for who the better ISPs in your area are.  How your ISP is peered is crucial to a good experience, but that's hard to explain in the marketing aimed at consumers.

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New Here ,
Jan 23, 2019 Jan 23, 2019

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Thank you for the info, I only get 3.6mbps that way.  I need to phone the provider tomorrow and update them with the info, they claimined 40mbps, but I need consistent 3mbps for NHL TV, who phoned me again, and said the same as you.  I'll let you know how I get on.

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New Here ,
Jan 24, 2019 Jan 24, 2019

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So... Vodafone aren't going to do much.  They said that per speedtest.net I'm getting 37Mbps, which is above the minimum 35Mbps they stated, but they said another site they use is https://www.thinkbroadband.com/speedtest which gave 19Mbps which they will look into. 

However, testmy.net has been giving me between 2.9 and 4Mbps.  But Vodafone won't acknowledge this as it's not one of the above 2 sites they use for speed testing.  Is there any way to convince Vodafone that I'm only getting a maximum of 4Mbps?  From their perspective, I'm getting 37Mbps.

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Adobe Employee ,
Jan 24, 2019 Jan 24, 2019

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Yeah, that's pretty typical.  The heart of this issue is that the specific route that traffic from your ISP to NHL.com takes is congested.  The route traffic takes from you to speedtest.net is different.

This is why Content Distribution Networks exist.  If you geographically distribute servers and route people to the nearest one, you minimize the chances that a route from a random user at a random ISP will run into congestion on the way to your video server, by minimizing the number of networks "hops" that that traffic needs to make.

The better a network is peered (how well they're interconnected to all of the major network providers on the Internet), the lower your chances of running into congested routes.  That costs money (typically way less than it does to put wires on poles) and speaks to an ISP's core business strategy, so it's unlikely that the first-tier support folks would be empowered to do anything about that.  They *might* be able to talk to their network operations staff about it -- it's possible that it's just a poorly configured route that they could change -- but as a consumer, you're more likely to get results by finding a different vendor that meets your needs.  You might try non-support channels as well, like twitter/facebook/etc., but you'll probably need to walk with your feet.

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Adobe Employee ,
Jan 24, 2019 Jan 24, 2019

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One thing you *might* try is to pick up a cheap VPN service.  If the connection to from your ISP to the VPN provider is adequately fast, you'd then be routing through their network, which might not hit the same congested route as your ISP is taking.  You can play around with having your traffic exit from the VPN provider's physical locations, to see if you can find a route that performs better.  It might cost you another $5-10/mo, but many offer free trials, and if it works great over VPN, that's a great confirmation that it's a congestion issue at the ISP.

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