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Amazon Unbox Very Slow - Is There A Problem?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by mbcook, Sep 18, 2007.

  1. mbcook

    mbcook Nice Guy

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    Jun 1, 2003
    I find that downloads like Amazon Unbox (recently made quite obvious with the pilots NBC put up) and other video downloads (like The Onion) seem to take way longer than I think they should on my TiVo. I've seen my connection (cable) at over 500KBps (yes, B). I know not everything is the same speed but...

    So it seems to have taken nearly a day or so (lets guess 18 hours) for each of the 1 hour (well, actually 42 min) pilots. Based on a 1 gig file (about the right size, IIRC) that comes out to about 15KBps. It took 3 days of basically non-stop downloading to get the 4 pilots that I downloaded.

    Does anyone know about how fast things download for them in Unbox and such? Can someone think of a way I can find out what is going on and if there is anything I can do to improve this? I don't know enough about network monitoring to know what to do (I'd use WireShark but I know that is the wrong tool).

    The base causing this question is when I first got my S3 (shortly after they were released) I had a ton of trouble getting it to use my home network (wired Ethernet). That problem went away after a while (I don't get messages about it, things seem to work). I believe a software updated fixed it, but I always have this little nagging worry about it and the slow download speed on video makes me wonder if it is having problems.

    I don't expect 500KBps, but most sites seem to give at least 50KBps.

    For Unbox, does anyone know if TiVo connects to the normal servers (like a PC would) or if it goes to a special TiVo server? In other words if I downloaded a show on my PC would that speed be comparable to what I should get on my TiVo (something I haven't tried)?
     
  2. RoyK

    RoyK New Member

    2,935
    1
    Oct 22, 2004
    SW VA
    I had the same experience with my first Unbox download. I contacted my ISP and they had me reset my modem. The speed went up dramatically. I don't know whether this is your problem or not.

    Why not go to http://www.speedtest.net/ and test your connection speed. If it is slow, reset your modem and test again. If its still slow call your ISP and ask why you aren't getting what you are paying for.
     
  3. CCourtney

    CCourtney Member

    485
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    Mar 28, 2006
    El Dorado...
    While the speed did not approach my testing speed of ~6Mbps download speed. They all come in at close to 1hr each or around 2.1Mbps download rate.

    CCourtney
     
  4. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    19,687
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    Jan 31, 2002
    Northern...
    All mine download in 10 to 15 minutes for the NBC pilots.
     
  5. mbcook

    mbcook Nice Guy

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    Jun 1, 2003
    Weird. That's more along the lines of what I would expect. I wonder if something fishy is going on. I'll have to investigate further tonight when I'm home.
     
  6. CCourtney

    CCourtney Member

    485
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    Mar 28, 2006
    El Dorado...
    Aaron,

    Out of curiosity:

    What time and day did you download them?
    What's your Broadband Source and Speed?

    There was a number of complaints that it was taking 2-3hrs to download the day after they became available on Amazon. I think the system was being overloaded with requests.

    CCourtney
     
  7. philwojo

    philwojo Member

    149
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    May 16, 2004
    Sw burbs of...
    I think mine downloaded quickly but I can't say that I watched them.

    But I did download a movie from Unbox 2 weeks ago and it was almost a 2hr movie, it took like 5 hours to download.

    I only have DSL rated for 1.5Mbps max, but I am wireless from my modem to the Tivo. Just seem that it shouldn't take that long to download that movie.

    Phil
     
  8. mbcook

    mbcook Nice Guy

    175
    0
    Jun 1, 2003
    That's what I though. Like I said, I had some issues with the network when I first got the box so I'm rather suspicious of it.
     
  9. sinanju

    sinanju Active Member

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    50
    Jan 3, 2005
    I've been downloading Unbox content at the rate of 30 minutes per hour of recording.
     
  10. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    19,687
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    Jan 31, 2002
    Northern...
    I have a 30mbs connection. I downloaded them in the evening.
     
  11. mbcook

    mbcook Nice Guy

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    Jun 1, 2003
    See, this is kind of what I was worried about. Does anyone have a good idea of a way to see what is going on?
     
  12. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    19,687
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    Jan 31, 2002
    Northern...
    It's downloading slower this evening. I'm downloading the Life pilot and after 3 minutes it's only showing 6 minutes of the show has downloaded. At that rate it will take around 22 minutes to download the 44 minute pilot.

    I am downloading to two TiVoHD boxes concurrently so maybe that is slowing it down for me.
     
  13. CCourtney

    CCourtney Member

    485
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    Mar 28, 2006
    El Dorado...
    I downloaded Bionic Woman again last night (~9:20pm CST) and it was 23mins to download (5.6Mbps - fairly close to peaking out on my Cable Modem Service which tests at ~6Mbps)

    I think a lot depends on the traffic on Amazon Unbox and then it's limited by your broadband connection, which I would have to assume had a lot more traffic than normal when they first released the free pilot episodes.

    CCourtney
     
  14. mbcook

    mbcook Nice Guy

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    Jun 1, 2003
    I agree, but this isn't the first time this has happened. I notice the same thing on the only TiVo Cast I subscribe to: The Onion. While the episodes are only 2 or 3 minutes long they take quite a while to download also.

    I've got to figure out a way to monitor what's going on.
     
  15. TivoK2

    TivoK2 New Member

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    Oct 12, 2002
    Maple Grove, MN
    From the time you first select to Download how long is it taking for your Now Playing List to show the title (with blue recording icon) - does it show up immediately or does it need to network connect first in order to know it should start Downloading?
     
  16. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    19,687
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    Jan 31, 2002
    Northern...
    Mine usually starts in 5 minutes. Sometimes it can take a few minutes longer for mine to start.
     
  17. mbcook

    mbcook Nice Guy

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    Jun 1, 2003
    It would show up pretty fast, it just takes forever to complete.

    I sniffed it last night while it did a standard connect, and I didn't see anything that stood out like lots of retransmits.

    I'll have to see what it does when it downloads a program, to see if things are the same. Maybe this is just a slow connection between my local Comcast and the servers for video downloads.
     
  18. demon

    demon BURNINATOR

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    Nov 15, 2006
    Western SD
    While you may have excellent speed over your cablemodem, it sounds to me like Amazon may be having troubles with bad routes to some of their CDN distribution nodes, causing poor transfer performance to *some* customers. I personally get decent performance when downloading shows via Unbox (sub-1-hour for the NBC pilots on Unbox). Unfortunately I'm not sure, without suggesting the use of some packet-sniffing tools, how to determine what IP to try diagnostic measures on, as the IPs will likely vary widely depending on the node you're hitting from your specific location.
     
  19. TivoK2

    TivoK2 New Member

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    Oct 12, 2002
    Maple Grove, MN
    Maybe I wasn't being patient enough (to wait for one of the '...4 attempts that occur an hour to synch') but after forcing the connection I saw that the download showed up in my NPL.

    The 45 minute program took about 25 minutes to complete download.
     
  20. amigan_99

    amigan_99 New Member

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    Jul 8, 2007
    I see the same thing - unbox speed is horrible. I can download to my home PC wireless or wired at 1.5Mbps. In almost 7 hours of downloading Letters from Iwo Jima - only 1hr 5 minutes of video had been downloaded. This is my first try. I am not impressed.
     

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