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Anyone else having slow HD downloads?

84412 Views 342 Replies Latest reply: Jul 30, 2010 8:46 AM by acopadis RSS
  • David Ivey Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 29, 2009 1:32 PM (in response to Dennis Langlois)
    I concur that the articles provided by iTunes Support are less than convincing and are out of date. I have found other more recent articles that talk about Time Warner admitting to throttling connections in certain areas as a test market as well as packet shaping. I just spoke with a Time Warner customer service rep and he flatly denied that they are throttling any connections for any reason. Here is the text of the on line chat:

    Brendan Pinto: I understand that you want to know if Road Runner throttles the iTunes connection. Am I correct?
    David: Yes, that is correct
    Brendan Pinto: David, Road Runner does not throttle any connection, not even peer to peer connections.
    Brendan Pinto: Is the internet speed fine otherwise?
    David: Brenden, I've read many stories where Time Warner has denied that it is throttling connections and I also have read stores where level 3 techs have confirmed that in fact they are throttling the connections - specifically HD content due to bandwidth issues. Please, I am only seeking the facts. Are you certain that Time Warner is not throttling my connections in anyway?
    Brendan Pinto: David, as per my knowledge, we do no such thing.
    David: but of course it is possible that throttling is occurring and you may not be aware of it - correct?
    Brendan Pinto: Unfortunately, I wouldn't be able to comment on that.
    Brendan Pinto: Is the internet speed fine otherwise?
    David: No, it has been hit and miss lately, but I believe that is due primarily to higher traffic volumes at different times. The big concern is service with the iTunes store. It took over 17 hours yesterday to download one movie and that is not acceptable
    David: again, Apple claims that the problem is due to ISP throttling which they claim is a major issue right now all over the country with various ISP providers
    Brendan Pinto:
    I understand your concern.
    Brendan Pinto: Please run a speed test to check the general speed.
    David: all I want are the facts. As a paying customer who pays a lot of money for service, I have the right to know the facts and if my connections are being throttled. If I found out later that they are then I am not going to be very happy with Time Warner.
    David: I just checked my speeds and they were in the 13mbps range which is good. But yeseterday when I checked they were running around 4mbps
    Brendan Pinto: Are you using a router?
    David: yes
    Brendan Pinto: Is it wired or wireless?
    David: I have reset it and the modem
    David: The router is wired to the modem and my apple tv is connected wirelessly
    David: it is all Apple equipment
    Brendan Pinto: David, the speed in wireless depends on the range and the distance of the computer from the router. It is also affected by other factors.
    Brendan Pinto: Speed tests are accurate when run on wired connections.
    David: yes, I am aware of that. But I've been using the ATV for well over one year and usually the HD movie downloads are ready to watch within 5 minutes of starting the download. Now they are taking 17 hours so something has definitely changed in the service - that is what i'm trying to figure out
    Brendan Pinto: Analyst has closed chat and left the room

    Note that the rep just suddenly disappeared without saying goodbye or anything - guess I ****** him off. But I am getting ****** because this is a classic case of the two responsible parties in this situation pointing the finger at each other and the customer is caught in between with no answers or help of any kind. At this point, I don't know who to believe if anyone at all.
    Mac Pro 2 x 3 GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • LB Jeffries Level 1 Level 1 (120 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 29, 2009 3:06 PM (in response to JCourtney)
    That's a good question.

    I know that it's not blocking or throttling iTunes on my desktop computer because iTunes downloads are maximizing my bandwidth (15Mbps) I can tell what speeds I'm getting because I have a utility called 'MenuMeters' and I can monitor my download speeds in realtime.

    Just to add - I know this isn't a hardware issue with my wireless on the Apple TV because when I sync music and or videos, etc. from my desktop to the Apple TV, the transfer rate to the Apple TV is averaging 30 Mbps - twice my download rate of my ISP. So, at least for me, this clearly isn't an issue with the hardware not maximizing what I'm working with. (I have an older Airport Extreme that only has up to 'G', not the one that has 'N')
    Mac Pro 2.66, Mac OS X (10.5.6), 9GB RAM
  • peterAndres Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 29, 2009 4:03 PM (in response to Dennis Langlois)
    Hey great, at least they say "they are working on it" that is an improvement.

    Rented Eagle Eye HD two nights ago - same story, hours and hours.
    Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • stoak Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 29, 2009 10:18 PM (in response to David Ivey)
    I live in Alaska and have a pretty small ISP. I know people who work there personally and they say they are not slowing anything. I have been having really slow download times from Itunes for the most part. All other downloads are fast. I am pretty sure the problem is apple's based on what everyone is saying.
    Macbook Pro 17", Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • Brian B Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 30, 2009 8:23 AM (in response to Kerry Key)
    Another "me too" post. Experiencing the issue with both types of network connections on my ATV. I'm in SW Missouri using 8Mbps Mediacom cable.

    I've discovered that hung downloads will pick up again at a fair download rate if I reboot my ATV. It's not an elegant solution but it's better than waiting the 10 hours before a movie is ready to play.

    I'm not having issues with any other types of network or internet traffic.
  • Maggot Level 2 Level 2 (185 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 30, 2009 11:19 PM (in response to Brian B)
    Count me in, unfortunately. Tried renting "Towelhead" -- downloaded 3% in about three hours. Eventually got tired of waiting so we tried a different movie. "Ghost Town" -- an HD download -- was ready to rent in less than a minute, which is usual. (We have a serious, 15MBPS + connection.)

    So the screw-ups are selective. Good thing for Apple we didn't have anybody over to watch a movie tonight. I've sold at least a half dozen of my friends and family on the ATV. Would be hard pressed to make a case for downloads like this one.

    (BTW, I rebooted several times during the process, but to no avail.)

    Better wake up, Apple. This is a serious, widespread problem.

    Message was edited by: Maggot
    iMac 2.4 Ghz Intel Core Duo, 24", Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • Jdalmul Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 30, 2009 11:50 PM (in response to Kerry Key)
    Same problem here in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, with a fast cable connection. It would be nice if Apple acknowledged problems instead of stonewalling its customers. We should have the option of canceling a rental if the wait time doesn't suit us.
    imac, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • lkrupp Level 4 Level 4 (3,080 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 31, 2009 6:17 AM (in response to Jdalmul)
    Jdalmul wrote:
    We should have the option of canceling a rental if the wait time doesn't suit us.

    Fantastic idea. Not gonna happen but a fantastic idea none the less.
    Aluminum 24" iMac (2.8Ghz Intel Penryn), Mac OS X (10.5.6), Apple TV 2.3 / Sharp Aquos 46" HDTV
  • Hans Van Riet1 Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 31, 2009 11:56 PM (in response to Kerry Key)
    Download speeds are horrible now. Utterly unusable. What's going on in the Akamai catacombs?
  • David Ivey Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 1, 2009 3:48 PM (in response to Kerry Key)
    An interesting development. This weekend I was at my parent's house who are on a different ISP than myself. They are on Charter and I am on Time Warner. While there my Dad wanted to rent two movies - one in standard definition and the other in HD. We started with the standard def first and the entire movie was downloaded and ready to play in just minutes. Prior to this rental, we had watched several movie trailers, most of them in HD, with absolutely no slow downs or hiccups at all. Then we rented the HD movie and it was ready to watch in about 2 minutes and it was completely downloaded within about 25 minutes from starting. Now here's the deal. They are on a slower service than I am - only about a 5Mgps speed comared to my 10 on Time Warner. We rented an HD movie last weekend as well and everything worked flawlessly.

    So, I am back now to the question of whether or not I am a victim of connection throttling from Time Warner. They have sworn to me that they do no do that - but I am hard pressed to draw any further conclusions at this point. I've been trying to use the on=line web tools to determine if my connection is being throttled, but I have still been uanable to connect due to the vast amount of traffic on their servers.
    Mac Pro 2 x 3 GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • peterAndres Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 2, 2009 1:38 PM (in response to Kerry Key)
    I have been having the same crappy downloads - it is all over not just Time Warner.
    I have had mixed results though. Sometimes it is fine, other times it is just horrible. Saturday morning for instance was okay for a movie I rented. HD. But I want my downloads awesome all the time.

    Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • Maggot Level 2 Level 2 (185 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 3, 2009 8:26 AM (in response to peterAndres)
    As I mentioned earlier in this thread, I had one of those "ready in ten hours" HD downloads on my 15M+ connection. Then I tried another HD movie, and it was ready in seconds.

    This seems -- seems -- to mirror another phenomenon I've noticed in the past few weeks. Many 30 second TV Show preview clips from the ITMS now load VERY slowly, and stall while playing; over the last few days, I've seen similar, stuttering behavior with 30 second MUSIC previews -- but, interestingly, it's almost always when previewing an older (i.e., not current hit) song.

    Is Apple's content delivery network so overloaded that it has prioritized certain streams? (BTW, HD trailers load instantly and never stutter...) In any event, it needs to be addressed.
    iMac 2.4 Ghz Intel Core Duo, 24", Mac OS X (10.5.1)
  • Rob Jennings Level 1 Level 1 (55 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 3, 2009 1:47 PM (in response to Maggot)
    I'm at the office right now on a different ISP. It's slightly slower, at approximately 3.2Mbps, than my home connection, which is consistently above 4Mbps.

    I haven't tested my AppleTV here yet, but right now I'm downloading a 49.9MB video podcast in iTunes and the time remaining is over 4 hours. That's ridiculous. Everything else is downloading reasonably.

    Do not let Apple tell you these problems are due to throttling. That may be the case for some people, but besides that, there is obviously something very wrong with iTunes content delivery.

    I don't think that they would be prioritizing streams, I think that it's a matter of servers being overloaded. When your iTunes or AppleTV request reaches the content delivery partner, and apparently there is more than one now, I'm sure they have a system that routes the request to one of the redundant servers hosting the content depending on your location and server load. Either that routing is not working properly or even more likely, there just aren't enough servers considering the popularity of the service.
    MacBook (13-inch, Aluminum, Late 2008) (2.0 Ghz), Mac OS X (10.5.6), iPhone 3G (White 16GB) / AppleTV (40GB)
  • Cody Aldoff Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 4, 2009 9:27 AM (in response to Kerry Key)
    I received an AppleTV back in the summer and understandably was unable to stream due to my extremely slow internet connection. This week I upped my connection speed to Road Runner Pro at 10mb/s and have been able to stream HD content off the web now. Last night I wanted to test out my apple tv with my new internet connection, only to find out that an HD movie would take 8 hours before it was ready. I purchased the same movie in standard definition and it would be ready in 4 hours. This was really disappointing.  I left it on to buffer for about 30 minutes and paused the download then resumed and it was ready to watch. Obviously the movie wasnt completely ready.  I've done my research and its clear that the problem is on Apple's end. Everyone with a good connection before christmas could stream with no problem, now EVERYONE is experiencing this. Apple needs to fix this fast to keep market share or throw in the towel for Apple TV. This saddens me because of the potential the service can offer. Please publically address this Apple and let us know you're working on a solution.
    IMac, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • David Ivey Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 4, 2009 10:11 AM (in response to Cody Aldoff)
    Couldn't help but notice that you are on Time Warner Road Runner Pro service for your internet connection (same as me). I am still not sure who is to blame for this continuing problem (Apple or Time Warner) as the variables involved continue to shift and change dynamically day to day. I see indications that point the problem being server/delivery related from Apple, and then I see clues that would suggest network/distribution issues from TW. Throw in to the mix all of the other factors that can drastically affect connection speeds (i.e. amount of people on line in your geographical location that share the same hub as you, hardware failures (modems, cables, etc.), possible server/delivery problems with Apple, and potential throttling actions being performed by TW. The various combinations possible for each individuals problems are vast.

    I checked my connections yesterday and i was consistently getting a measured connection speed to my ISP of around 13 Mbps and yet my connection on Apple TV was so slow I could not even watch movie trailers or movie previews which are usually near instant speeds. Yet this weekend while on a different ISP (at my parent's house) I downloaded two movies blazingly fast, watched trailers and previews with no problems at all, and enjoyed perfect service on their Apple TV. They have Charter Communications and have a 4 MBps connection speed.

    As I've noted in earlier posts, I've been in communication with Apple about this matter several times and they flat deny that the problem is from their end and blame the entire matter on internet throttling from the ISP. Time Warner has flat denied to me that they are doing anything like that. I'm still caught in the middle and not able to use my ATV. At this point, who do you believe?

    Message was edited by: David Ivey
    Mac Pro 2 x 3 GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
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