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Old 05-01-2012, 02:43 PM   #1
sbiller
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TiVo Premiere Sluggish? Check your DNS.

Another TiVo user prompted me privately to check my DNS which was configured to my default ISP (Bright House Networks). Using GRC's fanatastic DNS Benchmark Freeware tool, I discovered that my default DNS was unreliable. I reconfigured my DIR-655 router to use Sunbelt Software's DNS and voila, my Premiere user interface (HDUI) speed had a tremendous improvement. My waits for filling in program information when navigating My Shows improved significantly.

GRC's Freeware DNS Benchmark download page --> http://www.grc.com/dns/benchmark.htm

Below is a snapshot of my DNS Benchmark results. I encourage you'll to give it a shot. You'll see that Sunbelt Software was one of only a few DNS' providers that had all green results running the Benchmark.


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Old 05-01-2012, 05:29 PM   #2
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Yes changing the DNS address can make a big difference with the streaming services.
Although for most people it's probably easiest just to use the DNS Ips from either Open DNS or Google. i used to test mine every few weeks and change them to the fastest ones. but now I just use the Google DNS Ip addresses. i can't use OpenDNS because it blocks me from accessing one of my domains for some reason.
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Old 05-01-2012, 06:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronwt
Yes changing the DNS address can make a big difference with the streaming services.
Although for most people it's probably easiest just to use the DNS Ips from either Open DNS or Google. i used to test mine every few weeks and change them to the fastest ones. but now I just use the Google DNS Ip addresses. i can't use OpenDNS because it blocks me from accessing one of my domains for some reason.
Using a third party DNS can actually slow your streaming services.

http://apcmag.com/why-using-google-d...a-bad-idea.htm
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Old 05-01-2012, 06:34 PM   #4
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Using a third party DNS can actually slow your streaming services.

http://apcmag.com/why-using-google-d...a-bad-idea.htm
yeah, if you live in Australia and use an US based DNS server
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Old 05-01-2012, 06:52 PM   #5
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yeah, if you live in Australia and use an US based DNS server
Or live on the east coast and use a west coast DNS.
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:05 PM   #6
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Or live on the east coast and use a west coast DNS.
OpenDNS and Google's DNS have gotten quite good at geolocation over the last few years. So it shouldn't be much of an issue anymore using those services.
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:22 PM   #7
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OpenDNS and Google's DNS have gotten quite good at geolocation over the last few years. So it shouldn't be much of an issue anymore using those services.
Very true. For example, I used to have major problems with YouTube when using OpenDNS. This hasn't been a problem at all for me in quite a while.
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:45 AM   #8
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I'm on Day 3 of using my new DNS configuration. I'm still shocked at how much faster my TiVo Premiere and Premiere Elite/XL4 are in populating show data. Its radically different. One of these days I'll create a video to demonstrate the improvement.
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:09 PM   #9
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hmm, I had to do that for my PC because of the slow ATT default to google, good point about changing it for TiVo too.
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:55 PM   #10
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You should just need to change it on the router.
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Old 05-27-2012, 01:38 PM   #11
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what sort of speeds are people getting for "good" servers?

basically my ISP's (comcast) servers look "OK" to meusing the gibson tool, but seems level 3's are a little bit better.

Poling around on the net there's all these other snippets that it's best to just use your ISP. So I figure if comcast is "good enough" I might as well just use it.

Also in another thread someone mentioned that their router is caching so it's best to use your router in that case rather than pass the DNS server addresses along. How do I tell if my router is caching? (I think it's not since it's slower then the DNS server its supposed to be using according to the gibson tool)

also- when there's 2 dns servers- is the second only a fallback if the first falls?
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Old 05-27-2012, 02:35 PM   #12
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If the DNS requests when using your router come back in no more than a few milliseconds, then it's caching. For me, the test came back and said my current DNS server, which is my router, was much faster at responding to requests than any other server. Since the test gives more weight to caching results, my router was listed as the best DNS server.
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Old 05-27-2012, 02:51 PM   #13
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I don't think my router does any DNS caching of its own (DLINK DIR-825 with stock firmware) - I have it setup as a relay such that it acts as DNS server on my LAN but just relays requests to the configured DNS IPs.
I doubt TiVo units do any DNS caching on their own so all requests are forwarded to DNS servers. Router DNS caching certainly sounds like it would help given the large number of DNS requests the HDUI makes.
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Old 05-27-2012, 04:36 PM   #14
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I doubt the stock firmware on any consumer router does caching. Personally I use TomatoUSB. That only works on Linksys routers, but there are other firmware that run on other routers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...Major_projects
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Old 05-27-2012, 05:33 PM   #15
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I guess as an alternative to custom firmware one could setup your own DNS server on the LAN assuming you are OK with running a server 24/7. I tried my best to stick to HDUI for several weeks after DNS optimization but eventually went back to SDUI again as it's still so much faster and has less bugs/annoyances, so now I don't really care about DNS much optimization as SDUI doesn't need it.
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Old 05-27-2012, 05:36 PM   #16
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Quote:
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I doubt the stock firmware on any consumer router does caching. Personally I use TomatoUSB. That only works on Linksys routers, but there are other firmware that run on other routers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...Major_projects
too much effort- lol.

But seriously I would but currently im using a actiontec moca router and the open source things dont work with the moca which is the reason I'm using the router in the first place.
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Old 05-27-2012, 05:43 PM   #17
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I guess as an alternative to custom firmware one could setup your own DNS server on the LAN assuming you are OK with running a server 24/7. I tried my best to stick to HDUI for several weeks after DNS optimization but eventually went back to SDUI again as it's still so much faster and has less bugs/annoyances, so now I don't really care about DNS much optimization as SDUI doesn't need it.
can a 'human' set up a dns server themselves?
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Old 05-27-2012, 06:41 PM   #18
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can a 'human' set up a dns server themselves?
If a 'human' can figure out how to run a Linux box, then yes.
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Old 05-27-2012, 10:23 PM   #19
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If a 'human' can figure out how to run a Linux box, then yes.
sorry no luck there.

lol.

I do have a windows home server though...

I think my best bet is just to try and figure out how to have my router pass along the address of a good DNS server instead of just telling everything to use 192.16.1.1
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Old 05-27-2012, 11:26 PM   #20
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My NetGear router's "Basic Settings" has an option to use the ISP's DNS servers, or specific ones. It still passes itself to DHCP clients, but uses the specified servers for resolution.

I changed it from Google DNS to Time Warner's a while back, with impressive improvement. (Turns out that Google DNS performs very poorly in my area.) Then I ran DNSBench and switched again to OpenDNS.

I need to run additional tests to see if the in-home systems see a significant difference between resolving to the router's DNS or directly to OpenDNS.
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Old 05-28-2012, 11:46 AM   #21
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I have an apple airport extreme. What do I need and how do I do it on this?
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Old 05-29-2012, 02:17 PM   #22
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I have an apple airport extreme. What do I need and how do I do it on this?
Just use the airport utility to change the dns settings.
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Old 06-02-2012, 09:25 PM   #23
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So I want to test this, what parts should I expect to see run faster after making the change so I can analyse them?
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Old 06-02-2012, 10:52 PM   #24
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So I want to test this, what parts should I expect to see run faster after making the change so I can analyse them?
It generally can provide a noticeable difference in anything requiring a two-way interaction with TiVo's servers.

For example,

Going into "My Shows" is a 2 stage conversation of 32 packets (including acks) taking 0.22 seconds.
Going into a folder is a 6 stage conversation of 61 packets taking 0.46 seconds.
Going into show details is a 4 stage conversation of 62 packets taking 0.64 seconds.

I noticed an improvement in Netflix performance as well from the perspective of navigating the Netflix UI.

Per some other users, Akamai servers handle a lot of the time critical interaction with the TiVo (images and web data). Every delay in interacting with Akamai can impact user experience.
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Old 06-03-2012, 12:24 PM   #25
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I use DD-WRT, which appears to do caching. Would there be any benefit at all to change my router's DNS servers? I've been using Google's public DNS for a couple years, but there are quicker ones for my location based on the DNS Benchmark results.
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Old 06-03-2012, 02:23 PM   #26
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I use DD-WRT, which appears to do caching. Would there be any benefit at all to change my router's DNS servers? I've been using Google's public DNS for a couple years, but there are quicker ones for my location based on the DNS Benchmark results.
I haven't tried changing DNS servers lately. The benefit would depend on how good or how bad your ISP's DNS servers are. Do you think Google's servers have helped you significantly? Did you not enter them into your router? That's simpler than entering them into each client.

I'm pretty sure DD-WRT does do DNS caching if DNSMasq is enabled. Some people recommend that you enter (Services tab, Additional DNSMasq Options) cache-size=2000 (or 2048 or 4096 or whatever) and no-negcache. By default the cache size is only 150, and I guess negative DNS results are cached even though it may be likely that a subsequent search will get a hit.
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Old 06-03-2012, 02:46 PM   #27
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I haven't tried changing DNS servers lately. The benefit would depend on how good or how bad your ISP's DNS servers are. Do you think Google's servers have helped you significantly? Did you not enter them into your router? That's simpler than entering them into each client.

I'm pretty sure DD-WRT does do DNS caching if DNSMasq is enabled. Some people recommend that you enter (Services tab, Additional DNSMasq Options) cache-size=2000 (or 2048 or 4096 or whatever) and no-negcache. By default the cache size is only 150, and I guess negative DNS results are cached even though it may be likely that a subsequent search will get a hit.
Yes, I set the Google DNS servers directly on the router. When I did this a couple years ago I thought I saw a noticeable improvement (in internet browser speed via laptop), but maybe it was all in my head.

I guess I'm just wondering what the likelihood of a noticeable Tivo UI speed bump I'd get from changing my router DNS servers to something that DNS Benchmark rates as faster than the Google servers (since my router already has that info cached).

I'll look into the Additional DNSMasq Options setting you mentioned. Thanks.
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Old 06-03-2012, 06:42 PM   #28
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I guess I'm just wondering what the likelihood of a noticeable Tivo UI speed bump I'd get from changing my router DNS servers to something that DNS Benchmark rates as faster than the Google servers (since my router already has that info cached).
The initial DNS request will be whatever number of milliseconds faster. Subsequent requests will be from the cache and only be a few milliseconds each. So you'd basically save whatever the difference between the fastest server and Google's servers, which probably isn't more than a few hundreds of a second. It would be better, but you wouldn't likely notice the difference.
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Old 06-03-2012, 09:31 PM   #29
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It generally can provide a noticeable difference in anything requiring a two-way interaction with TiVo's servers.

For example,

Going into "My Shows" is a 2 stage conversation of 32 packets (including acks) taking 0.22 seconds.
Going into a folder is a 6 stage conversation of 61 packets taking 0.46 seconds.
Going into show details is a 4 stage conversation of 62 packets taking 0.64 seconds.

I noticed an improvement in Netflix performance as well from the perspective of navigating the Netflix UI.

Per some other users, Akamai servers handle a lot of the time critical interaction with the TiVo (images and web data). Every delay in interacting with Akamai can impact user experience.
That's very interesting. But, I'm puzzled as to why the Premiere would need to communicate with the mothership at all if I just want to see what's in My Shows?
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Old 06-03-2012, 10:27 PM   #30
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That's very interesting. But, I'm puzzled as to why the Premiere would need to communicate with the mothership at all if I just want to see what's in My Shows?
For HDUI some information to the right of each show such as Season/Episode numbers are collected from mothership, as of course is information in the Discovery Bar at the top. That's why I always thought HDUI was bad design by construction with over-dependency on internet connection.
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