Network - Wireless & Wired Connections

Help & troubleshooting for network issues, including connecting your device to your home Wi-Fi network, connecting to public networks, troubleshooting wireless issues & ethernet connections, and optimizing streaming performance.
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bosljeff
Level 7

Re: FAQ: Networking 101 and your Roku Player

Me again. I have Road Runner Lite through Time Warner Cable which is 1.5 Mbps and speedtest.net confirms this speed. I have always had this and have had between 4 and 4HD dots with roku. Was I just lucking out? According to the below and from the manual, I need at least 4 Mbps to get the same results...

Is this as simple as upping my internet speed to their faster service?

"celving" wrote:
"trevord" wrote:
"devrdander" wrote:
How fast does my connection need to be to get X dots in quality?

Bandwidth Requirements:
1 dot is 0.5Mbps
2 dots is 1.0Mbps
3 dots is 1.6Mbps
4 dots is 2.2Mbps

The manual says I need 4.0Mbps for best quality, which is at odds with the above #s. Does that mean my broadband connection needs to be 4Mbps but only 2.2Mbps is needed for Roku and the rest is needed as overhead for my regular Internet traffic?

devrdander's answer is misleading. The encoding rates quoted in that answer are average bit rates for the stream. The instantaneous bit rate at any given time can be significantly higher. For example, the bit rate when there is lots of action or jump cuts will be significantly above average.

The minimum bandwidth required to actually play a stream is a function of the individual movie and the amount of RAM on the Roku box. 4.0 Mbps should indeed be sufficient to get you the 2.2 Mbps stream. 2.2 Mbps, however, is not sufficient.
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kc8pql
Level 8

Re: FAQ: Networking 101 and your Roku Player

"bosljeff" wrote:

Is this as simple as upping my internet speed to their faster service?

Maybe. 1.5Mbps service is minimum for reasonable quality. I had 1.5 DSL and got 3 dots most of the time, sometimes 2 and occasionally 4. I upgraded to 3Mbps service (the fastest I can get here) and now everything is 4 dots every time. If I force the 2.6 Mbps stream, HD plays without problems after maybe a 90-120 second initial buffering.

Should also probably note that the speeds in the post above are for the old "Main Stream" The new VC-1 encodes are smaller. 4 dots is now 1.5Mbps. HD is 2.6 or 3.5.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
No, I don't work for Roku.
Netflix Player N1000X, XDS 2100X (premature death by lightning)
Roku2 XD 3050X, Roku2 XS 3100R, Roku2 4210R
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bosljeff
Level 7

Re: FAQ: Networking 101 and your Roku Player

"kc8pql" wrote:
"bosljeff" wrote:

Is this as simple as upping my internet speed to their faster service?

Maybe. 1.5Mbps service is minimum for reasonable quality. I had 1.5 DSL and got 3 dots most of the time, sometimes 2 and occasionally 4. I upgraded to 3Mbps service (the fastest I can get here) and now everything is 4 dots every time. If I force the 2.6 Mbps stream, HD plays without problems after maybe a 90-120 second initial buffering.

Should also probably note that the speeds in the post above are for the old "Main Stream" The new VC-1 encodes are smaller. 4 dots is now 1.5Mbps. HD is 2.6 or 3.5.


Apparently I have been lucking out with the 1.5Mbps since December...I upped my service to 10Mbps and all is cured. What an idiot I am... :shock:
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daaliya
Level 7

Re: FAQ: Networking 101 and your Roku Player

What is a good fax machine for Internet phone line (VoIP) ? I have internet phone line (VoIP). I tried two different fax machines, as recommend by the dealer. They do not work. I called the companies (Sharp and brother). They said that these are analog machines and they do not work on VOIP. Do you know any fax machines that would work ? Thanks
_________________
keyword research ~ keyword tool ~ keyword tracking ~ affiliate elite
I need help
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davedave
Level 7

My DNS experiences

I'm in Los Angeles using Time Warner cable.

I compared using the default TWC DNS server to OpenDNS and a SpeakEasy DNS server.

TWC sends me to a CDN in Chicago
OpenDNS sends me to a CDN in San Jose
SpeakEasy sends me to a CDN here in Los Angeles

So SpeakEasy wins!

My favorite solution would be for Roku to update their software so it is not dependent on DNS for locating the nearest/best CDN.


My test script:


*********************
*** using TWC dns
*********************

C:\>nslookup cdn.netflix.com. 76.85.229.110
Server: dns-redirect-lb-01.peakview.rr.com
Address: 76.85.229.110

Non-authoritative answer:
Name: netflix.vo.llnwd.net
Addresses: 208.111.168.6, 208.111.168.7
Aliases: cdn.netflix.com

C:\>tracert 208.111.168.7

Tracing route to cdn-208-111-168-7.ord.llnw.net [208.111.168.7]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

<<deleted>>
5 26 ms 35 ms 14 ms ae-5-0.cr0.lax00.tbone.rr.com [66.109.6.102]
6 20 ms 32 ms 18 ms ae-0-0.pr0.lax10.tbone.rr.com [66.109.6.133]
7 30 ms 25 ms 29 ms tge7-2.fr3.lax.llnw.net [69.28.144.245]
8 26 ms 259 ms 22 ms ve6.fr4.lax.llnw.net [69.28.171.206]
9 47 ms 49 ms 53 ms tge1-3.fr3.sjc.llnw.net [69.28.171.118]
10 32 ms 25 ms 31 ms ve5.fr4.sjc.llnw.net [69.28.171.210]
11 76 ms 87 ms 84 ms tge1-1.fr3.ord.llnw.net [69.28.171.65]
12 85 ms 76 ms 79 ms ve6.fr4.ord.llnw.net [69.28.172.42]
13 * * 75 ms cdn-208-111-168-7.ord.llnw.net [208.111.168.7]

Trace complete.



*********************
*** using OpenDNS
*********************

C:\>nslookup cdn.netflix.com. 208.67.220.220
Server: resolver2.opendns.com
Address: 208.67.220.220

Non-authoritative answer:
Name: netflix.vo.llnwd.net
Addresses: 208.111.148.6, 208.111.148.7
Aliases: cdn.netflix.com


C:\>tracert 208.111.148.6

Tracing route to cdn-208-111-148-6.sjc.llnw.net [208.111.148.6]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

<<deleted>>
5 96 ms 17 ms 15 ms ae-5-0.cr0.lax00.tbone.rr.com [66.109.6.102]
6 39 ms 31 ms 19 ms ae-0-0.pr0.lax10.tbone.rr.com [66.109.6.133]
7 21 ms 48 ms 23 ms tge11-2.fr3.lax.llnw.net [69.28.144.149]
8 20 ms 28 ms 18 ms ve6.fr4.lax.llnw.net [69.28.171.206]
9 31 ms 44 ms 53 ms tge1-3.fr3.sjc.llnw.net [69.28.171.118]
10 30 ms 27 ms 51 ms cdn-208-111-148-6.sjc.llnw.net [208.111.148.6]

Trace complete.



*********************
*** using SpeakEasy
*********************

C:\>nslookup cdn.netflix.com. 64.81.45.2
Server: dns.lax1.speakeasy.net
Address: 64.81.45.2

Non-authoritative answer:
Name: netflix.vo.llnwd.net
Addresses: 68.142.79.70, 68.142.79.69
Aliases: cdn.netflix.com


C:\>tracert 68.142.79.70

Tracing route to cdn-68-142-79-70.lax.llnw.net [68.142.79.70]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

<<deleted>>
5 16 ms 17 ms 16 ms ae-5-0.cr0.lax00.tbone.rr.com [66.109.6.102]
6 28 ms 18 ms 32 ms ae-0-0.pr0.lax10.tbone.rr.com [66.109.6.133]
7 20 ms 24 ms 24 ms tge11-2.fr3.lax.llnw.net [69.28.144.149]
8 22 ms 40 ms 18 ms ve6.fr4.lax.llnw.net [69.28.171.206]
9 17 ms 18 ms 37 ms cdn-68-142-79-70.lax.llnw.net [68.142.79.70]

Trace complete.
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eri3k
Level 7

Re: My DNS experiences

"davedave" wrote:
TWC sends me to a CDN in Chicago
OpenDNS sends me to a CDN in San Jose
SpeakEasy sends me to a CDN here in Los Angeles

Technically the servers you were routed to are all part of one CDN operated by Limelight Networks:


"davedave" wrote:
My favorite solution would be for Roku to update their software so it is not dependent on DNS for locating the nearest/best CDN.

I'm curious how you envision your player finding the closest Limelight content delivery server without relying on DNS. (I assure you I am not being sarcastic or trying to be jerk. I am honestly curious to hear if you have a better solution. Smiley Happy )

This is not really a Roku problem but rather a Limelight problem. Notice that the seventh hop in all of your routes is a Limelight edge server. Everything past that point is on the Limelight network. Since Limelight knows the resource you are requesting, your IP address, and the BGP route from the edge server back to your ISP's network there is no reason for them to route your request all the way across the country if the requested resource is available at a closer location. Such static routing on their own network would imply that Limelight does not perform even basic load balancing.

The whole reason for paying a premium to put content on a CDN is because the CDN is supposed to transparently route the user's request for content to the appropriate caching server based on the user's location. The user (or the user's device) should not have to query each URL on multiple geographically distributed DNS servers then perform speed tests or traceroutes to each resulting IP address in order to find the best location. That is the sign of a very crappy CDN that is fundamentally not doing its job.

In short, I don't understand why Roku should be responsible for covering Limelight's inability to manage their own network.
Ever dream of controlling your Roku player through a series of tubes? [url=http://forums.rokulabs.com/viewtopic.php?p=134125#134125:27yxzvgn]Now you can![/url:27yxzvgn]
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davedave
Level 7

Re: My DNS experiences

"eri3k" wrote:
"davedave" wrote:
TWC sends me to a CDN in Chicago
OpenDNS sends me to a CDN in San Jose
SpeakEasy sends me to a CDN here in Los Angeles

Technically the servers you were routed to are all part of one CDN operated by Limelight Networks:


"davedave" wrote:
My favorite solution would be for Roku to update their software so it is not dependent on DNS for locating the nearest/best CDN.

I'm curious how you envision your player finding the closest Limelight content delivery server without relying on DNS. (I assure you I am not being sarcastic or trying to be jerk. I am honestly curious to hear if you have a better solution. Smiley Happy )



Let's start with my guess on how it works now...

1) Via DHCP, my Roku box is handed the IP address of a DNS server, which has [usually] been provided by my ISP.
2) The Roku box contacts this DNS server to determine the IP address of cdn.netflix.com
3) The DNS server responds with whatever is currently in its cache.
4) The Roku box contacts the supplied IP address and requests a stream.

The problem is that in (3), my DNS server (be it TWC, OpenDNS, SpeakEasy, etc) may have cached an IP address that is not geographically close to my Roku box, but instead geographically close the DNS server I'm using. The limelight DNS servers tell the ISP's DNS servers the IP address of the limelight CDN network closest to the ISP's DNS server. Not sure what else it could do as the limelight DNS servers have no knowledge about the location of the devices that will be querying the ISP DNS servers.

For TWC: It appears that the TWC DNS server is in Denver, so that may explain the selection of Chicago over the closer Los Angeles and San Jose.

OpenDNS: My guess is that OpenDNS attempts to be smart and requests limelight DNS servers from various points around the country and then caches all these responses. When a request comes in from my Roku box to the OpenDNS server, OpenDNS attempts to guess which of the limelight CDN IP addresses is closest to me (based on knowledge of my IP address) and give me that. Either OpenDNS doesn't have any DNS servers closer to me than to San Jose (and hence the limelight DNS servers will never send OpenDNS the IP for the limelight servers in Los Angeles) or OpenDNS has guessed my location incorrectly.

SpeakEasy: The SpeakEasy DNS server I tested against is based in Los Angeles. So when it requested the CDN IP address from the limelight DNS servers, limelight told it the IP address of the LA based CDN. Which is why it worked nicely.

Assuming the above is [mostly] correct, Roku/Netflix/Amazon/Limelight have three choices
(A) ask every internet user to reconfigure their routers so it uses a DNS server that is geographically close to them
(B) contact every ISP and somehow convince them to place DNS servers geographically close to all their users and/or increase the smarts of their DNS servers to answer with CDN IP addresses that are closer to their customer.
or
(C) stop relying on DNS to determine the closest CDN server.

The answer so far in the forums has been to do (A) or (B).

To do (C), Roku/Netflix/Amazon/Limelight could...
(C1) set up a server that can be contacted by the roku box, say via NearestCDNLocator.roku.com (or whatever). The IP address(es) of this server resolved via standard DNS tech. This server would take the client IP address of the roku box (or its router/cable/dsl modem) and determine the CDN that is closest to that IP address and tell the roku box to acquire content from that IP address. Thereby bypassing all the problems with DNS caching from non-local ISP DNS servers. Basically, Roku/etc would be building THEIR OWN cache-less DNS system for the CDN servers -- bypassing any issues with users routers/ISPs.
(C2) the roku box somehow retrieves a list of ALL CDN IP addresses and checks ping times and/or hop counts to ALL the limelight servers and picks the best one.
(C3) the roku box allows the user to select their preferred CDN location from a dropdown list. If it is unavailable, it defaults to some other selection method.

Maybe I'm completely misunderstanding how all this works.
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eri3k
Level 7

Re: FAQ: Networking 101 and your Roku Player

You are pretty much right about how the current process works. OpenDNS uses split-horizon DNS which enables it to resolve different IP addresses at each of its caching locations even though every user enters the same two DNS server addresses. (See it in action by checking cdn.netflix.com here. Can you find the problem with some of these Limelight entries?)

Your C1 has the same problems as the current DNS-driven system, namely that an IP address alone does not give you a location. That is especially true when you are talking about large multi-region ISPs shuffling blocks of dynamically assigned IP addresses among geographically distant users. The other two proposals would probably work, but they still require Roku to do what is essentially Limelight's job. And it looks like Limelight could very easily break the system in the process performing routine network maintenance and leave Roku holding the bag.

My proposal is for Limelight to use its edge servers to look at incoming requests and determine whether the content can be served from that location:


With this system there is no need to ensure that every DNS server resolves the IP address of the closest CDS or examine the requester's IP address to find out where the player is located; the point where the request enters the Limelight network provides all the necessary location information. Users would be bounced to farther location only if the nearest location: 1) does not have the content they requested, or 2) is overloaded.

This is what Limelight should already be doing. The fact that they are not should make their customers (Netflix and Amazon) royally pissed. The end user should not have to deal with any of this crap. The fact that we do is a very, very bad sign.
Ever dream of controlling your Roku player through a series of tubes? [url=http://forums.rokulabs.com/viewtopic.php?p=134125#134125:27yxzvgn]Now you can![/url:27yxzvgn]
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davedave
Level 7

Re: FAQ: Networking 101 and your Roku Player

"eri3k" wrote:
Your C1 has the same problems as the current DNS-driven system, namely that an IP address alone does not give you a location. That is especially true when you are talking about large multi-region ISPs shuffling blocks of dynamically assigned IP addresses among geographically distant users.


I think you are right. The IP address won't determine location 100% of the time. How about a modified (C1b) where roku asks the user to enter a zip code and this is passed to NearestCDNLocator.roku.com?
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eri3k
Level 7

Re: FAQ: Networking 101 and your Roku Player

"davedave" wrote:
I think you are right. The IP address won't determine location 100% of the time. How about a modified (C1b) where roku asks the user to enter a zip code and this is passed to NearestCDNLocator.roku.com?

That sounds like it would work, but I stand by my assertion that Limelight has both the ability and responsibility to fix this issue.
Ever dream of controlling your Roku player through a series of tubes? [url=http://forums.rokulabs.com/viewtopic.php?p=134125#134125:27yxzvgn]Now you can![/url:27yxzvgn]
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