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Streaming video choppy

by KarenElissa / April 22, 2010 12:23 PM PDT

Up until recently I was able to stream video from the internet (hulu, cbs, netflix) more or less fine, not super high resolution, but not bad. Fairly recently (past month or so) every time I try and stream pretty much anything, the sound works fine, but the video is choppy and behind the sound. I can play a DVD fine and downloaded stuff also works fine.

I have an inspirion 1521 (2gb ram, running vista sp2). Internet should be plenty fast enough. Antivirus is up to date. I use firefox, but tested it and have the same problem in both chrome and ie. I can't think of anything that I changed when it stopped working.

So any help would be great! Thanks!

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If two different browsers
by Jimmy Greystone / April 23, 2010 1:24 AM PDT
In reply to: Streaming video choppy

If two different browsers give the same problem, then the problem doesn't lie with your system. Either you're on cable Internet and someone on the same neighborhood hub as you has recently discovered the world of file sharing, or the sites themselves are overloaded. There's also a possibility of things being throttled now that the FCC's attempts to reign in such behavior have been struck down. In any case, there's nothing you can do but hope for the best, because the problem isn't with your system.

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Check drivers
by mad_reaper / April 23, 2010 1:12 PM PDT
In reply to: Streaming video choppy

Check your history in Windows Update and see if a new video driver was recently installed. If so, you might try rolling back to the older driver to see if that helps.

It might be a video codec upgrade but I have no idea how you might figure that out.

If you have another computer, you might compare and contrast to see if the problem lies within the system or without.

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something with this computer
by KarenElissa / April 24, 2010 1:37 PM PDT
In reply to: Check drivers

It definitely seems to be something with this computer. I tried my 8 year old laptop, and while it wasn't a super viewing experience, it was better than this one. So that cuts out internet as the problem and narrows it down to something with my computer.

Drivers all seem to be up to date and none of them have been changed recently.

I tried looking for some info on video codecs, but I'm not having much luck there.

This is really driving me crazy. I'm having the same problem with both flash (hulu, cbs, and silverlight (netflix). But it isn't consistent. Hulu works a bit more often than the others, but not all the time. Until recently Netflix was a bit better, but now it rarely works. Cbs and rarely work. I can't imagine it is the sites though. They are big and popular enough that other people would be complaining and I've searched and haven't found anything.

Thanks for all the suggestions so far!

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Similart Problem with my computer
by brianclark / April 26, 2010 2:15 AM PDT

First, my set up.

AMD Opteron 180 (2.4) Socket 939
1.5 GB Ram
256 MB Video Card

I've used this system on both free WiFi internet and on my home Cable internet (wired) connection. I get the same results. Usually is slow, choppy, with "out of sync" sound. Hulu is better with only slight blocky picture. Netflix is the best, with almost perfect picture. I have on occasion had wonderful viewing on My guess is it's the time of day. I tend to watch in the evning. I'm thinking the internet or their server is just overloaded. Netflix scans your connection and delivers content appropriate for your bandwidth. I wish you had some choice like this on the other sites. I know Hulu does SD vs. HD, but I need somehting more like LD (low def) for those times when things are havning problems.

For reference my DVD quality MP4s (I know, define bitrate etc. I use handbrake on its "Normal" setting) play without problem. Infact, the computer doesn't start stutering until I try to play 4 at the same time.

Try streaming at different times of day and report the results. I for one would be interested.

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worse now
by KarenElissa / April 27, 2010 12:19 PM PDT

That used to be my experience more so too with CBS the worst and netflix the best, but within the past month or so, none of them will work very reliably.

It doesn't seem to be a time of day thing, I tried this morning at 5:30 and nothing worked, I've tried during the middle of the day, afternoon, evenings, weekends, it doesn't seem to make a difference.

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Choppy streaming videos
by blurrier / April 27, 2010 1:47 AM PDT
In reply to: Streaming video choppy

I've noticed that some sites have switched to the "new and improved" beta versions for their websites, and the videos are horrible!!! I've tried turning off my pop up blocker and firewall on this Mac, but that didn't help at these sites. And yet at other sites like National Geographic, TV Land, You Tube movies,etc. the videos stream nicely. I've noticed that when you pause a video at Hulu then hit play again, the audio is out of sync with the video so I rewind it 10 seconds and then it's back in sync. So much for "new and improved", eh? I've noticed that one of their videos in the series "Dangerous Drives" just won't play right. (the urban rescue one). It's extremely slow and jerky. I don't know why they don't pull it from their menu.
Try the Apple Quicktime HD gallery videos website and see if those videos are choppy for you. Stunning HD videos that stream nicely.(at least on this Powerbook G4)

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Safari Better? Cable speed has little effect
by brianclark / April 27, 2010 9:44 PM PDT
In reply to: Streaming video choppy

I read a comparison of Flash on several browsers and their CPU usage. Safari came out on top even when on a PC. I installed it recently and it seems a bit better. I don't see why as my CPU usage is still low no matter which browser I choose. Chrome is the worst for I really can't even use it.

On another note, I don't think it's internet speed either. I used to live in an apartment and me and my neighbor shared a 3mbit (the slowest one) and CBS was bad, Netflix was great. Now I live in a house with the 8mbit connection and it pretty much looks the same. These speeds come from doing a speed test, not from what the cable company sold me.

Just food for thought. If someone has an answer or consistently gets crystal clear, I would like to hear about your setup.

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Safari didn't help
by KarenElissa / April 28, 2010 11:32 AM PDT

I tested out safari and it wasn't any better than the other three.

I agree that the cable speed isn't the problem. I've upgraded my cable speed and it didn't change anything for awhile, and now has gotten worse than it was before. I too have done speed tests and they come out fine.

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Processor Speed and L2??
by brianclark / April 29, 2010 3:31 AM PDT
In reply to: Safari didn't help

I looked up the specs on the inspiron 1521 and the processessor could be from 256k to 1mb L2 and from 1.8 to 2.2 mghz processor. I don't think the processossor speed is the problem, although it's not helping, but the cach may be. I think you may be trying to outdo the machine. Flash does not use your video card and so everything is handled by the CPU. Newer versions of Flash are incorporating Hardware Accelleration, but you have to have a new compatable video card. Watching things like DVDs or MP4s does use your graphics card and will have different results. I don't know about Netflix (Silverlight) though. Having Vista doesn't help. I'm running XP so much more of my resourses are free. Two suggestions. 1) turn off your virus scanner. They can bog down the machine. 2) go to msconfig and turn everything off that looks like a program you recognize. You can look in the "directory" column if you are unsure. You can also search for each program and their are many internet sites that will say if you can turn them off or not.

I watched NCIS on last night and it was smooth. I suspect they were doing a lousy job of encoding their shows and as time goes on they are getting better.

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Chrome Beta
by brianclark / May 6, 2010 4:31 AM PDT
In reply to: Streaming video choppy

Google introduced native support for Flash with the latest Beta release. I downloaded and tried it yesterday for and it worked well. You might give it a try. You might also try Safari and change the "browser type" to ipad or iphone. You will get a list of HTML5 videos (H.264) for They seem to play a little better.

Good Luck.

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I have the same problem
by Tiffanyds85 / February 9, 2011 9:17 AM PST
In reply to: Streaming video choppy

About 2 days ago in the middle of watching an episode of 48 Hours online the video started acting weird. Ever since that moment I cannot watch a video on any website at any time of day without having a choppy video. The sound plays continuously without a problem but the video will never play smoothly. I have uninstalled and reinstalled every plug-in, add on, extension, and video player that i have but nothing seems to be working. I have cleaned, defragmented, and scanned the computer for viruses. Nothing is working. Somebody please help!!

I am using a Dell Latitude D620
Windows XP SP3
Firefox 3.6

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Hmm I wonder.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 9, 2011 9:23 AM PST

That sounds like the old XP DMA bug which will bite such a system.

You may want to check that out too.

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DMA is enabled
by Tiffanyds85 / February 9, 2011 12:17 PM PST
In reply to: Hmm I wonder.

I googled DMA and how to enable it, then took the steps to enable it and it was already enabled so I don't think that was the problem. It was a good guess though, I though you had solved my problem but no luck. Also I wanted to clarify that I am having this problem when steaming videos online. Continuous sound with choppy video??

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The problem with that is.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 9, 2011 12:28 PM PST
In reply to: DMA is enabled

XP is known to fib about this. This is why I always set it to PIO, OK it, then go back and set it to DMA. It's an old issue and not worth long discussions.

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