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Youtube The Internet

YouTube Issuing "Report Cards" On Carriers' Streaming Speeds 110

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the not-like-you-can-do-anything dept.
OakDragon (885217) writes In the shadow of the "Net Neutrality" debate, Google's YouTube has created a service to report on your carrier's usage and speed, summarizing the data in a "Lower/Standard/High Definition" graph. You may see the service offered when a video buffers or stutters. A message could display under the video asking "Experiencing interruptions? Find out why." Find your own provider's grade here.
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YouTube Issuing "Report Cards" On Carriers' Streaming Speeds

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  • by paiute (550198) on Monday July 07, 2014 @06:49PM (#47403961)
    How long until Comcast sends YouTube a bill for carrying the HD content?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Google would give them the finger and just continue rolling out Google Fiber. If people can't get their YouTube through Comcast, then Comcast is going to lose a lot of customers.
      • If people can't get their YouTube through Comcast, then Comcast is going to lose a lot of customers.

        To whom? Among the two wired broadband ISPs serving Fort Wayne, Indiana, Comcast was graded HD and Frontier was SD.

      • Google would give them the finger and just continue rolling out Google Fiber. If people can't get their YouTube through Comcast, then Comcast is going to lose a lot of customers.

        Google has no interest in rolling out fiber across the country, or even in just the major cities. They don't have the money or the political influence to become a major telco. They simply want more people to use more of their bandwidth-intensive services, and they're using their small fiber operations and this "report card" shit to pressure telcos into upgrading their networks and reducing their costs (both to the end user and to Google).

      • by EvilJoker (192907)

        The whole point of Google Fiber was to scare Comcast, etc into doing better. It's growing because the incumbents haven't changed their practices outside of those markets. They're still hoping to scare them by taking some big markets, and threatening bigger markets.

        Regardless, even if Google went full-speed ahead, it would take a long time to roll out to most major markets.

  • Dupe... (Score:5, Informative)

    by by (1706743) (1706744) on Monday July 07, 2014 @06:50PM (#47403965)

    Posted by samzenpus on Thursday May 29, 2014 @10:04PM from the how-do-you-stack-up? dept.

    http://tech.slashdot.org/story... [slashdot.org]

    • by Robadob (1800074)
      + the actual google page has been around for atleast 6 months, it was posted to HN that long ago.
      • by ray-auch (454705)

        And it still says "results not available for your location. Check back soon".

        Bit of transparency on where it is available and when it might be elsewhere would be nice - how many years is "soon" ?

    • by OakDragon (885217)
      Submitter here... let me apologize, it was submitted in ignorance. I just saw the story today.
      • by Darinbob (1142669)

        That's ok. What I don't understand is how you get a dupe accepted by the moderators. Can anyone submit anything and it gets onto the feed, or do you have to include special keywords?

        • by OakDragon (885217)

          Can anyone submit anything and it gets onto the feed, or do you have to include special keywords?

          Hah, I dunno! My last two submissions have been accepted, though. I don't have any special help that I know of.

        • By calling it an update. Previously, all I got was "check back soon"; now I get "Comcast rules, Frontier drools".
  • by otter42 (190544) on Monday July 07, 2014 @06:52PM (#47403969) Homepage Journal

    First, what gives with the goofy webpages that try to scroll like pages of a book? One of the wonderful things about a web page is for it to be long and easy to scroll through, instead of requiring me to scroll in order to get to the next text section. That makes it really awkward to go back and forth.

    Second, where can I search for other people's results? I want to switch to RCN in Boston, how does this webpage help me know how they're doing?

    • by mythosaz (572040)

      It's not intended to help you switch.

      It appears intended to send you running to your ISP to complain... ....so you can watch more YouTube, so they can deliver more ads and gather more data on you.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by viperidaenz (2515578)

      To change the location I believe you click the "Change Location" link next to where it has auto-detected your ISP/Location.

      No wonder you can't figure out how to scroll a web page...

    • by Anonymous Coward
      I imagine you would click on the "Compare providers in your area" button. I click that and it shows that AT&T DSL in my area is almost as good as Comcast cable (which is ridiculous and just goes to show how little bandwidth youtube actually needs).
    • Seems to require JavaScript. I see a white page. So I guess you should consider yourself lucky to see anything.

      The animated website I suppose is because of people like you who enable that horseshit.

      So I guess I take that lucky comment back. You got the internet you deserve. Quit yer bitchin.

    • by jwdb (526327)

      Second, where can I search for other people's results? I want to switch to RCN in Boston, how does this webpage help me know how they're doing?

      Manually set your area, and all ISPs in that area should pop up below the graph.

  • But I already know they're crap. I've seen their advertising, and that alone makes me want to beat up their executives.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    How about giving us our HD streams over HTTP instead of DASH. Then maybe it wouldn't buffer every time we tried to do a seek. It's sucked balls since October 2013 when you turned all the MP4 HTTP streams (type 37) into DASH video (137) and audio (140). And yeah, we haven't forgotten that you nuked all the >128kbps M4A audio in 141 too, limiting us to 128kbps.

    And every one of those problems is on Google's end, not the ISP's end.

    And as long as I'm pipe dreaming here, can we please shoot the UXtard resp

    • by sir-gold (949031) on Monday July 07, 2014 @08:57PM (#47404499)

      There is a plugin for firefox (no idea why it needs a plugin, but whatever) that allows you to access the "hidden" youtube settings. One of these settings allows you to disable dash entirely. There are also settings to disable auto-quality, and to set a default quality level.

      https://addons.mozilla.org/en-... [mozilla.org]

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        If you disable DASH, doesn't that mean you just can't get 1080p video and are stuck with 720p at best?

        I myself just drag-and-drop the youtube links into vlc and let it play them directly. VLC doesn't do DASH either, so according to this bug it is stuck at 720p. [videolan.org]

        But at least there are no ads and no autoplay and it is easy to resize, etc, etc.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      umm...dash is* http

      but sure, be pissed at google for the bitrates they provide

  • If you can interpret the graph of "Video consumptiion AND streaming quality" you're doing better than me, https://www.google.com/get/vid... [google.com]

    • Streaming quality is inversely related to video consumption. For example, at 2am when hardly anybody is online, you can get great streaming quality. I agree that it's confusing, since it should really be "Video consumption and streaming quality problem/contention level" or something.
  • by nimbius (983462) on Monday July 07, 2014 @07:22PM (#47404081) Homepage

    of the two major providers in my area, Time Warner is actually better (for youtube video quality) which i found rather shocking. That having been said, they do suck on a number of other levels.

    1. things like recursing your own DNS with unbound or other software will get you added to their redirector for "unwanted/malicious traffic." basically, you're robbing them of SRVFAIL ad revenue and they dont like it. Encrypting lots of traffic or using encrypted IRC also seems to trigger this shit, which is easily circumvented by not using their DNS.
    2. signup isn't mandatory if you handle your own DNS, but again if you dont then expect to never get to the internet. Signing up means downloading their software, creating an email address, agreeing (again) to the ToS despite signing it on installation. you also get to opt into their advertising.
    3. two words: bulk mail. You'll get at least 3 or 4 letters a month reminding you to upgrade to the bundle or a higher data rate. higher data rates arent required when you null-route advertising servers and use noscript/adblock.

    • by D'Sphitz (699604) on Monday July 07, 2014 @10:57PM (#47404949) Journal

      There's something fishy with these results. The Google report rates the connection from my small, local ISP at "Standard Definition", and then when I compare providers in my area apparently Comcast is "HD Verified". This just doesn't add up.

      The problem with this is that I have available, and pay for, fiber broadband advertised at 90mbps, and speedtest.net concludes that I am getting what I pay for (92 up/35 down). I have a Roku or other streaming media player in every room and it's not unusual to have multiple HD movies streaming at the same time in different rooms, in addition to tablets, xbox, and other internet activity.

      So I have to conclude that either Google isn't testing my actual connection as it appears to and is instead showing an average from my ISP, or the results are fixed and the big, shitty cable companies have "sponsored" their own "HD Verified" results. The latter seems more likely, I've had Comcast internet in this area before fiber became available and it doesn't compare, and even the cheapest packages at my ISP are pretty quick.

      • by tepples (727027)

        Google isn't testing my actual connection as it appears to and is instead showing an average from my ISP

        Bingo. The report card shows an aggregate of tests performed on YouTube users among your ISP's customers in that city.

  • by Bob9113 (14996) on Monday July 07, 2014 @07:31PM (#47404139) Homepage

    I'm not saying I think they know it now, or are intentionally moving in this direction, but consider the market forces involved: Is this, Netflix's similar effort, and ISP throttling, ultimately just foreplay to getting in bed together? They have the potential to really harm each other, and that has to get through to them eventually.

    Seems to me, barring common carrier or another path to true net neutrality, both sides have more to gain by colluding than by fighting. If big content and big ISPs work together, they could create a barrier to independent ISPs and content.

    • They are forcing ISPs to uphold their end of their deal with the customer, which is the good part.
      However, the ISPs will probably improve service speed for _only_ Youtube as a result.
      This creates a barrier to other video services.

    • Seems to me, barring common carrier or another path to true net neutrality, both sides have more to gain by colluding than by fighting.

      No, the ISPs have a lot to gain by blocking video traffic. They make tons of money on their television services and paid video-on-demand services. Every second that you're watching Hulu, YouTube, or Netflix is a second that you're not watching their paid services. They're terrified that their customer might find that they can get most of their entertainment from online s

      • They make tons of money on their television services and paid video-on-demand services. Every second that you're watching Hulu, YouTube, or Netflix is a second that you're not watching their paid services.

        I watch YouTube because none of the major channels happen to show the subject matter in which I'm interested. So how should the fans of a particular web show go about getting that show added to "their paid services"?

      • And that is why they should never have been allowed to become ISPs in the first place

  • by sir-gold (949031) on Monday July 07, 2014 @07:34PM (#47404153)

    Trying to click "your results" just gives me a popup saying "Results from your location are not available".
    It doesn't tell me what my "location" is, and it doesn't give me any option to change the location (since the "change location" link is on the results page that it refuses to show me)

    If the location auto detect fails, it should give the user an option to manually set the location (or browse other locations), instead of just refusing to give any results whatsoever.

    • Don't worry, Google will be improving the tool soon - they plan to do it right after they've updated Google Voice!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    They are essentially combining people who pay for minimal service with those who pay for top service. That doesn't work. I have no problem getting HD quality content at any time of the day from my ADSL provider. That same provider is ranked poor simply because the company offers a less service at a much lesser price (significantly less than competing cable internet providers).

    What I'm getting at is that it's not the ISP which is providing poor service in the case of 1.5mbps ADSL. If you notice in my case th

    • by tepples (727027)

      ADSL service isn't of good quality everywhere, but that isn't a failing of the provider in most cases. It's a problem line quality.

      Other than the provider (that is, the local phone company), who is responsible for line quality?

  • Some Problems (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DERoss (1919496) on Monday July 07, 2014 @07:38PM (#47404187)

    The vertical scale in the charts has no indices or any indication of what is measured. I see the statement to the right "Daily video activity is averaged
    over 30 days.", but it does not say what is really averaged. Is this MB/sec, percentage of available bandwidth, or what?

    In any case, the throughput of a broadband connection is not the only issue in moving large amounts of bytes. I am having a problem with software for an HP printer. Today, HP advised me to download the entire software package for that printer, approximately 1.4 GB. However, HP's server could not deliver event 300 KB/sec into my 15 MB/sec broadband connection. There are servers delivering video that cannot keep up with playback speeds.

    When I cannot get downloads a MB/sec rates, I generally blame the server at the other end and not my broadband provider. After all, I can immediately try a different download from a different source, and get my full 15 MB/sec.

    • by swillden (191260)

      When I cannot get downloads a MB/sec rates, I generally blame the server at the other end and not my broadband provider.

      When the server at the other end is YouTube, it's not the server at the other end. Google has enormous capacity, both computing and bandwidth, and is extensively peered. But people do tend to blame the server, which is why Google is trying to make clear that it's not YouTube that's sucking when you have problems watching videos.

      • by DERoss (1919496)

        I have never had a problem specifically with YouTube. However, my statement about blaming servers stands. YouTube is just not a target for such blame.

        • Re:Some Problems (Score:4, Insightful)

          by swillden (191260) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Monday July 07, 2014 @10:47PM (#47404917) Homepage Journal

          I'd say it's actually a little more complex than that. It depends not just on the source server but on every point between the source server and your machine. In the case of the Netflix/Comcast spat a while ago, for example, the problem wasn't Comcast's network, or Netflix, or the network between them, but Comcast's connection to the network between them -- so it was Comcast's fault, but not in a way that would show up with connections to other servers that took a different path.

          And regardless of whether or not *you* blame YouTube when it's slow, many users do, which is why Google is doing this.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      In any case, the throughput of a broadband connection is not the only issue in moving large amounts of bytes. I am having a problem with software for an HP printer. Today, HP advised me to download the entire software package for that printer, approximately 1.4 GB. However, HP's server could not deliver event 300 KB/sec into my 15 MB/sec broadband connection. There are servers delivering video that cannot keep up with playback speeds.

      Googles page very nicely explains that. They go through an elaborate if dumbed-down "tube" analogy to explain that poor throughput could be anywhere between and including your computer and their servers. Obviously, the implication is that it's the interface between their own very fast network and your (nominally) very fast connection, but you do have to take on faith that their network is very fast.

      When I cannot get downloads a MB/sec rates, I generally blame the server at the other end and not my broadband provider. After all, I can immediately try a different download from a different source, and get my full 15 MB/sec.

      That's exactly what your provider would like you to believe. It's why many of them will prioritize speedtes

    • It doesn't take in to account the net speeds that people have. So you might well have a provider who has no problem doing HD video from Youtube all day every day, on lines that can handle it. However they sell slower lines and some customers have that, so that skews things.

      Like say a phone company offers ADSL and IDSL for customers who are way out in the boonies, but VDSL for people in the city. Well those slow connections will bring down their stats, even if their network is quite fast and makes them look

  • I could not load the page linked to - probably because their bandwidth is swamped due to the publicity!

  • by Archfeld (6757) * <treboreel@live.com> on Monday July 07, 2014 @08:13PM (#47404329) Journal

    like user feedback... display test results from users of the listed ISP's in the area...

  • Great, but.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by countach (534280) on Monday July 07, 2014 @08:44PM (#47404461)

    I had a look at them a few days ago, and I had no idea how to interpret the graphs. If I'm tech savvy and I don't know what they mean, God help the average person.

    • The average person wouldn't comprehend that the graph has no meaning as presented. It falls under the "shit they don't know they don't know" category.

    • I think each segment corresponds to the number of attempts to view HD video over a given hour, divided into successful and unsuccessful attempts.
  • I'm issuing report cards on Youtube
    Current usability/UI C-
    Privacy policy/TOS F
    Search functionality D+
    Overall mobile support D
    WDTV app F-
    Funny cat videos B+
    Embedded advertising D-
    DMCA Understanding/Implementation D

    LOL, sorry for the poor formatting. it looked better but /. kept saying "Error: use less white space and junk characters." Very Youtubish.
  • The results aggregate data for all users of each provider. In Australia at least, many providers offer different types of access (e.g. cable, DSL, 4G wireless), making some of the results less than meaningful.

  • Yeah, don't think so.

    (If I mentions TOECDN I'm going to get modded down, so I will not mentions TOECDN).

  • This is all nice and all (transferring some data from A to B without stuttering), but what about my flying car?

  • the internet is a series of tubes after all. And data packets are gumballs.

The use of anthropomorphic terminology when dealing with computing systems is a symptom of professional immaturity. -- Edsger Dijkstra

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