back to article Long-suffering Virgin Media victims see no end to vid PURGATORY

Here on the networks desk at Vulture Central our inbox runneth over with complaints from fed-up Virgin Media customers who feel that they are being roundly ignored by the telco, which is yet to fix a network peering problem with a mysterious third party. The major buffering glitch is causing havoc with punters who are …


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  1. Big_Ted

    What makes it even worst is

    If I try to watch something from BBC iPlayer it buffers and shows really bad pixelation.

    I then enable Unblock-US VPN service and go for Netflix USA (or any other country) or Youtube etc and get perfect HD streaming no problem.

    This is really crazy and means that to watch iPlayer I have to use my 3G broadband connection to get a good picture and no buffering.

    VM really need to sort this out or they will lose a lot of people to other services. Thankfully I have not been inconvenienced enough to want to switch but if I do start to see buffering I will deffinately go elsewhere.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What makes it even worst is

      +1 Also using my 3G mobile to stream HD video now as it does not work on VM.

      On a side note I did a speedtest on my mobile and the upload was 3.5 times faster than my VM fibre connection!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What makes it even worst is

      If you have VM if you have their TV service isn't it easier to watch iPlayer via the TV?

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. jimborae

    The ill informed may think that Virgin Media dont want you watching BBC iPlayer in HD for fear of clogging up the network.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's paranoid conspiracy talk there Mr jimborae...

      ...and just because you're paranoid, it doesn't mean that you're wrong...

      AC...well, obviously...

    2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      And another paranoid proposition

      If they wanted to drive you onto watching Virgin cable video instead of third-party Internet online media, this might be how they'd do it.

      In the debate over online network neutrality - which in Britain we simply don't have - one of the use cases of a non-neutrality policy is for a video supply company to be able to throttle or block Internet video supplied by third parties. I think it wasn't even secret, it was in people's business plans.

      1. Danny 14

        Re: And another paranoid proposition

        Actually its a better way to drive people to alternative connections.

        4mb ADSL that works is better than 100mb cable that doesnt work.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      >The ill informed may think that Virgin Media dont want you watching BBC iPlayer in HD for fear of clogging up the network.

      I was under the impression that iPlayer was exempt from VM's traffic control - ie, it doesn't count towards your download quota in peak times.

      1. ed2020

        @AC, 16 November 12:06 GMT.

        You were under the wrong impression. All traffic counts towards your download quota.

      2. Cynical user

        Virgin TV OnDemand

        Remember of course, Virgin have two different versions of iPlayer/OnDemand

        TiVo connects to the standard online iPlayer and streams the same content as at via a dedicated 10Mb line

        V/V+ content is specially encoded by the broadcasters for VM and stored on the local headend.. then delivered to your box as a conventional TV channel.

        (One of many reasons I'm quite happy with V+ and specifically don't want TiVo)

  4. Chris 171

    Not just video

    I stream audio at 192k for a majority of the day - guaranteed glitches at least 3/4 times an hour on a 20meg connection.

    Wondering if it might have anything to do with them prioritising thier own streaming services?

    Either way VM, you shout about having the best network....

    Make it so!

    1. I think so I am?
      Thumb Up

      Re: Not just video

      You know they will have Patrick Stuart in their next TV ad.

      We supply light speed broadband - "May it SO!"

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Not just video


        Brent: Christ! WTF?!!! WHY DID YOU JUST SHOOT ME IN THE KNEE YOU F****ER!


        Brent: OH S*** THE OTHER LEG AS WELL??? FFS, STOP IT!

        VM: Data capped.

  5. HP Cynic


    Once my TalkTalk contract ends I was going to make the leap to Virgin after coming to believe they were now one of the good ones.

    1. DJ Smiley

      There is no good ones, only varying levels of bad.

      For what its worth, every time I've had a problem with VM (which has been 3 times in about 5 years) they've been rather prompt and nice about fixing it.

      The time I phoned up and said I felt I was paying too much, and wished they'd do me a better deal.... well they did, 3x the broadband speed with a free modem upgrade (doing it via the site was asking £50 which I laughed at).

      Cue screaming over their terrible super hub, but I always planned to run it as a modem (I basically did with the old one via DMZ). My only issue is sometimes I hit their limiting hard, and they break xbox live when they limit it (The core xbox live service works fine, but *some* games which appear to use p2p connections get limited, making that unplayable).

      1. Chris007

        @DJ Smiley

        There are good ISPs out there. You have to look and be prepared *not* to pay peanuts.

        I use BE via Andrews and Arnold. Never have any lags and can easily watch 4 Sky Go streams (@ the full 2.9mb/s per stream) during the evening. They offer support that is teccie based and you can even chat to the owner on IRC. No throttling of any protocol. check them out at

        I don't work for A&A - just a very satisfied customer for the last 10 years.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If you are looking to stream video or play 3D multiplayer games online, Virgin should be your last choice due to the jitter on their network.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        At the time of this post.

        Xbox 360 no1 online: check (playing Halo4 online, no reported issues)

        Xbox 360 no2 online: check (playing Halo4 online, no reported issues)

        This PC online: check (downloading a couple of rar files and streaming a video from livestream, no issues)

        Laptop online: check (browsing, no issues reported)

        All this on a 20 Mb VM connection.

  6. EddieD

    Go to the top..

    Reposting with my pre-espresso spelling errors removed...

    Go to the top...

    Send mail to good old Mr Neil Berkett - mark it Private and Confidential, so theoretically it can only be looked at by people directly authorised by Mr B - and let him know your frank and honest views.

    It probably won't achieve anything, but at least you will get your complaint registered.

    It does make those ads that the ASA was so riled about seem doubly ironic.

    I really must get round to having a BT line installed - how much does it cost these days?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      BT Line install

      The cost is free if you ask them nicely (they don't publicise the free reinstallation but it is always available).

      1. Steven Batchelor

        Re: BT Line install

        Yes free maybe, but a few months down the line you have a problem and they charge you £99.00 for the repair... I know am taking them to ombudsman over it. The engineer blatantly lied in his report over the fault and made up the rest...

  7. Miek

    I think that this is all deliberate, VM haven't got the bandwidth to provide what they've offered so they try to dissuade their users from trying to use youtube and iPlayer by placing a cap on the amount of traffic allowed to enter their network from those popular services.

  8. Lee Dowling Silver badge

    Last week, I watched an hour's program on iPlayer about cells, nothing unusual.

    Earlier this week, I watched Bruce Almighty on iPlayer from start to finish, nothing unusual.

    Yesterday, I caught up with a lot of the comedies I'd missed last weekend on iPlayer - and some in HD - nothing unusual (one stream took a little while to buffer, but F5'd and it worked fine).

    On Virgin Media, with their Superhub (modem mode), on their lowest Internet tariff. So it's either not as clear-cut as a particular peer not working, or they are having problems related to their local back-ends and leased lines, not the main connectivity.

    That said, they should really name-and-shame in order to sort it out. You're an ISP. If people can't connect to the largest UK Internet service, you're dead in the water. Sort it out.

    1. The BigYin

      Came here to say something similar. Just lucky (for now) I guess.

    2. DJ Smiley

      Up vote for you - I'm in same position - I download rarely, but if I do, I *do* get limited - and its all "legal" downloading; I work with archiveteam.

      If I haven't downloaded recently, I seemingly never have any issues. (never == 3 issues in about 5 years, all resolved quickly).

      1. Badvok

        Just to clarify, the peering issue is only during the evening peak period (7pm - 11pm ish), for the rest of the day there is no issue so if you aren't having an issue is it perhaps because you aren't hitting that peak period? If you aren't getting the issue even during the peak period then you are very lucky.

        1. Lee Dowling Silver badge

          Guess which time ALL of the above downloads were referring to?

  9. Richard 81

    Noticed this too

    Ironically, my connection seems a hell of a lot slower since the "bye bye to buffering" upgrade.

    1. Thomas 4
      IT Angle

      Re: Noticed this too

      My connection seems a hell of a lot faster since my "bye bye to Virgin Media" upgrade.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Noticed this too

      Mine too - so i downgraded to 60Mb.

      It's better now...

  10. VinceH


    I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who spins his mouse round and around the buffering "hourglass".

  11. nordwars
    Thumb Down

    I experience this on VM "National Broadband" (ADSL)

    I have the problem on a daily basis. Although my ADSL connection is fast for normal downloads, and gaming pings are acceptable, youtube buffers big time (haven't really tried other video streaming services). So it's apparently not restricted to fibre optic customers.

    It's such a PITA to change providers though that I am battling on.

  12. Nifty Bronze badge
    Thumb Down

    I think I know what is going on

    Bargaining is in progress - this is exactly why VM is being so cagey about it.

    There was an excellent chapter in this book about where Internet meets Humans:

    "Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet"

    ...about the annual conference in the U.S. where the real horse-trading about Peering takes place.

    Read it and see if you agree!


    The book was serialised in "Book of the Week" on BBC Radio 4 which is where I heard it. sadly no longer available on the iPlayer.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I think I know what is going on

      What week was it? I might have access to another service that I can get at the archive.

  13. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. squilookle
    Thumb Down

    I'm not the biggest fan of VM (In fact I can't stand them and I'm only with them because previous experience of other ISPs suggests the BT line to my house is made up of cotton wool), but I've been using Netflix with no issues.I haven't tried YouTube or iPlayer recently.

    The point of this rant though, is that if I did experience these problems, and I'm sure others who are experiencing the problems are in the same boat, then I would have nowhere else to go, as the other ISPs can't supply a HD stream (or a low resolution stream for that matter) without lots of buffering at all.

    So one of two things needs to happen. VM need to be treat like a monopoly in the areas where they effectively are and have their arm twisted to give the service their customers are paying for, or BT need to pull their finger out and finish this fibre optic roll out before the rest of the world discovers something twice as fast again, and we get left behind, again.

  15. RobE

    Was going to look at virgin but wont bother

    Was thinking Virgin were one of the better providers however after having heard they were awful from a relative and now having read this I won't even consider them - sky it is :)

    1. ZillaOfManilla

      Re: Was going to look at virgin but wont bother

      I think you needed this icon for your post!

    2. PeterM42

      Re: Was going to look at virgin but wont bother

      SKY!?!?!? - my girlfriend had Sky until they kept putting the price up, then tried charging her for services she did not have or want.

      DON'T DO IT! get a FREESAT box and someone else's phone/internet service (unless of course you are desperate for Sky's excess of sport channels.

  16. Mystic Megabyte


    Any company that has gambling ads on it's home page should be avoided, they are greedy immoral scumbags.

    1. Thomas 4

      Re: scum

      Don't be too harsh. You'd probably get faster internet with gambling companies.

      1. Ilgaz

        Re: scum

        Ask cisco, they always go high end along with porn guys. They run the most reliable part of internet since the start.

        That card deck and nude lady must load fast or customer goes to another site.

        If I owned a company needing ultra secure and reliable web, ex xxx and gambling personnel would be my first choice with no visitors at work policy ;-)

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I get this problem a lot. I have always then run a test, seen high performance, done a and seen great performance and thought it was YouTube or iPlayer servers under too much load as I don't download enough to be bandwidth throttled. What a fool I have been.

    This, with Virgin's non-Superhub [I need a solution to this] has severely diminished my view of the Virgin brand.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Numptie

      Most ISPs have great throughput on I wonder why...

  18. Paul Webb


    It took me an extra 14 minutes to watch an hour long show on iPlayer last night. Still, at least it gave me time to put their relentless junkmail in the recycling.

  19. RobE

    Orange are the same

    Avoid Orange as well - awful network

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: Orange are the same

      When I switched from Virgin ADSL to Orange (now EE, if you believe the stupid mailshot I got earlier in the week), the improvement was dramatic. Everybody in the house commented how much better they were finding it.

      After about 3 months, the throughput started dropping, and even though I upgraded the line to ADSL2+ (which was strange, because when I switched, I'm sure I was sold 'the fastest service available from your exchange', but still had to upgrade to 2+ later), it is pretty poor. Pretty much any streaming service I have tried stutters, and not always at the times of day you would expect it to.

      I must go back in my firewall throughput logs to see where it really dropped.

  20. RonWheeler


    Do / can they cache a lot of this stuff? i'd have thought that since they can provide iplayer on their set top boxes they could provede cache based access to iplayer with a bit of redirection jiggery-pokery. Harder to do with youtube, but i'd have thought it would pay them to at least cache popular vids.

    1. Ilgaz

      Re: Cache?

      You mean the squid way of caching? Not sure if it would work for drm.

      If they do squid, they should remind the massive potential privacy issues which squid authors themselves state in its man page.

      Squid is perfect for corporate, even home.creates miracles especially for system updates, facebook , youtube but once it runs at isp level, it is very open to abuse or even black hats.

  21. a well wisher

    U sane ?

    Oh so thats why we haven't seen the "say bye bye to buffering " ads lately

    At least Richard doesn't have to rely on VM for his net connection on his island - but what about our island ?

  22. The New Turtle

    Re: Orange are the same

    Yes they are. When that started off I thought it seemed pretty good, and the grey line at the bottom of the youtube screen showed that data was loading in OK, albeit slowly. This is just what I see with my Orange connection, and frequently get buffering issues with youtube. I had assumed it to be a YT problem because it doesn't usually happen with Vimeo, but that may not be the case.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bypass their proxy server? I'm sure there's plenty of bandwidth, it's just going via a terrible transparent proxy.

  24. El Presidente

    Good connection but

    iPlayer is unusable via the PS3, even for SD content.

    I've resorted to downloading the few programmes I've missed.

  25. Jop


    As usual the lack of information from VM to its customers is lacking. They won't answer if they redirect/proxy/cache/shape/fiddle with youtube or other streaming traffic. In fact they won't supply any information to their suffering customers.

    On top of that they are stalling for time by asking customers to traceroute to youtube which they know is pointless as the videos are served from a different location to the actual website. They have asked customers to run wireshark now to sniff traffic, which is usually the domain of network professionals.

    Its like one big joke....that is not funny.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Mushrooms

      Looks like Virgin have changed over to Giff Gaff's business model.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Mushrooms

        At least Giff Gaff are cheap, and in my experience have half decent customer service.

        Though with the Wireshark request, it does seem that VM have moved beyond their old bored call centre employee half a world away reading through a "Reboot the modem" script.

  26. ScottishYorkshireMan
    Thumb Up

    Can't fault my connection

    I use iPlayer, netflix across a multitude of devices. Haven't seen any buffering lately, certainly nothing in last 3 months. Regularly watch feature films on my xbox as I can get full 1080p from that where I can't from any other device as no one else seems to broadcast 1080p.

    So, I guess I am lucky, VM have been great in my area (West Lothian).

  27. Bruno Girin

    Junk mail

    That's because they spend all their money sending junk mail to us punters who dare still be with a different provider. The amount of marketting I get through my letter box from VM is ridiculous: more than my bank and all utility suppliers combined.

    1. Pete B
      Thumb Down

      Re: Junk mail

      Indeed - I get at least two a month from them throguh the door - we're not even in a VM cabled area!

      1. Phil W

        Re: Junk mail

        At least you're getting junk mail for a service you don't have.

        I get 1 or 2 of those a week, and I'm actually with Virgin Media, nice to see my monthly fee being put to good use marketing a service to me that I already have.

  28. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    I'm just glad

    no one mentioned their long suffering outsourced call center.......... Aiiiiiiiiiii I just did

    2 hrs last weekend trying to get my broadband sorted while being transfered from agent to agent until 1 agent said I was'nt even paying for broadband and put me through to the scottish section.

    Who saw where the problem was, and said "we'll get an engineer out for a fix tomorrow and have a refund"

    But VM are still s**t.. its just they are less shit than the other ISP options in the area

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Was switching, won't bother

    I've had some minor gripes with Sky and had been considering the total package switch this weekend. Since Virgin won't even answer el reg what chance would I have with Virgin? TV, phone and broadband package switch to Virgin cancelled. Just wish there was a better alternative, BT have ripped me off in the past so they're not an option.

  30. Ilgaz

    When such thing happens on any network

    I always think of a spying setup choked.

  31. Greem

    All fine and dandy here...

    ...except I experienced dreadful network performance a couple of years which went on for months. As someone who works on Da Intarwebz and has some experience of networking I was able to show that the uplink from the cable head end was saturated from 6pm to 12pm, and the problem arrived when the local University term started.

    After a few fruitless "please provide us with ping tests" and "go to" conversations with VM CS I contacted @virginmedia on Twitter. BOOM - open, honest, frank and clear explanation of the problem, entirely agreeing with me.

    It still took several weeks to be resolved, but that's network provisioning for you. And I did quite nicely out of my complaint, ta very much. Haven't had a single problem since.

  32. Alexandicity

    Which VM network is this issue on?

    Is this on VM's Fibre/Cable network, or their ADSL one? Or both? I was about to sign up for VM Fibre, but clearly if they can't deliver one of the most basic functions of a high-speed network, what's the point?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Which VM network is this issue on?

      Defo happening on a lot of fibre connections, mine included.

  33. Matt Bridge-Wilkinson

    Say goodbye to buffering? Should surely be "Welcome back buffering!"

    I have had numerous issues with VM over the last couple of years, when it works its brilliant but when its broken it usually takes them weeks to find or resolve the issue. I even started to think they have a "improve connection" button on the helpline. Whenever I called them with an outage or fault and they did their line tests it would all magically improve as soon as they did it and then fail shortly after.

    I came really close to jumping many times in the past year. Then miraculously they fixed it and all was brilliant, my 20meg broadband was fantastic.

    Recently I made the mistake of taking the free upgrade to 60meg. Ever since then youtube is impossible to use unless i drop it to the lowest quality setting. Lovefilm is unusable and Netflix is ok when I use a US DNS.

    They are clearly selling something they can't deliver. Say goodbye to buffering? Should surely be "Welcome back buffering!"

    1. Flubjub

      Re: Say goodbye to buffering? Should surely be "Welcome back buffering!"

      Ditto. 60Mb my arse. I've seen that speed once, for around 6 seconds. At about 4am.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So if it is clear that the thottling is...

    ....protocol specific or a matter of bad network routing then tunnel through their network, VPN servers are cheap in Romania who additionally haven't caved in to the media industry

  35. Anonymous Coward

    Say goodbye to buffering? Say goodbye to Virgin Media

    When I lived at my mothers, we had Cabletel who became NTL, and all was well.

    Since they became Virgin Media it went downhill - the internet would randomly drop, the Pace digital receiver was slow and buggy, the TV service was like watching a video through a bathroom window and their offshored customer service was dire.

    When I moved out I vowed to never use them. I'm with PlusNet who have a great customer service dept, and their fibre broadband gives me 40mb without issues or extended buffering.

    We do get their marketing junk through the letterbox constantly, but it goes in the postage envelopes of the other marketing junk. Somewhere out there a credit card company employee is reading about the delights of the (mostly broken constantly rebooting from what I hear) VM TiVo box.

  36. Luke Wells

    Had enough - Time to leave VM

    What is the point of me paying for 50Meg cable broadband if it cant even stream low quality youtube videos without constantly pausing and buffering.

    My mobile phone, with its significantly inferior quoted speed has no such problems with youtube, so in theory I could cancel my 50meg virgin broadband and pay an extra £10 a month to my mobile phone provider to upgrade to unlimited* data

    *unlimited does not mean unlimited as far as data usage is concerned as OFCOM doesn't own a dictionary.

  37. Alexander Hanff 1

    It is probably the Detica DPI kit they installed to make sure none of you are evil pirates, fucking with your streaming content to make sure it is "legal"...

  38. jcuk

    Used to have VM

    I used to be a VM advocate, I had their 30MB from when it was telewest 512K. Fantastic until SuperCrapHub came along.

    Now all I hear is complaints.

    I moved out of a cable area, went with BT, couldn't believe it. Their quoted speed met expectations, I never have buffering, Had to call their customer service a few times, completely effortless and very reminiscent of vodafone's fantastic service.

    All very shocking as I used to view VM as a great brand synonymous with great customer service and unquestionably quick, reliable internet connectivity.

    As per the news article, it really sounds like VM have gone the way of TalkTalk. Oh well, pint anyone?

  39. Ally 1

    I have occasional problems streaming, but nothing critical. I do find it funny when I'm downloading a big file like a ame upgrade. It can sit at 48mbs for a couple of minutes then drop off to slower than dial up for 10 minutes and then keep repeating the same pattern

  40. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    So lets look at the main UK players

    BT. Phorn. F**k them. F**k them forever. Not to be trusted. Slimy s**mbags.

    Virgin Media. See BT

    Talk Talk. Have all your pages access sent to China for your "safety".

    Sky. Proprietor R. Murdoch and Jimmy boy. I would rather tuck into a meal of my sweat and toenail clippings before I hand them a penny.

    According to the conservative back bench MP that wanted to age vet *all* web sites accessible in the UK (mostly because she could not work out how to make the parental controls work) there are around 450 ISP's in the UK, That leaves 445 outside the biggest 5.

    Maybe an ISP only covers *your* area but so what? This situation *only* changes when an ISP starts loosing *cash* from fewer subscribers. As a working hypothesis *most* companies do what they can get away with.

  41. K.A.T

    They are still NTHell you know

    A quick CTRL+F search on this page for 'NTL' had four hits but not in the context I now write.

    I was using Telewest in '99 (brilliant; paid for 512K but received 2Mbit)

    Since 2001 till present I have been an NTHell user (sorry Virgin Media users; All those crappy Richard Branson adverts mean nothing - it is still the same company as before, they only bought the naming

    Just to give you an idea of how bad their customer database and records are - I know of at least 5 people (myself included) who have walked away from debts between addresses; expecting it to catch up at the next one only to never pay a penny towards it. I even know of one friend who was advised by a Virgin cold caller that (upon stating the suspeneded service/outstanding bill) they could use another person living at the property to open another A/C in the other persons name. It worked, they got back online - no debt was ever chased.

    Now I only bring this up to illustrate what a terrible mess the company is in. So why do I stil use them? Because quite frankly ADSL (and the con that is the BT quarterly line rental) can go and suck my balls. Fibre will always be faster and current pricing offers far better deals in terms of speed & D/L allowance.

    All the commentards above moaning about the slow throughput to a couple of specific sites (a very nominal percentage of the WWW in total) need to STFU and be grateful how good things are today versus just 10 years ago.

    Give me a list of pissing and moaning people and I will glady go round their homes, confiscate all of thier external storage devices and replace it with a big stack of floppy disc's instead. I bet after one day of 20K transfer speeds and pulled hair - they might just humble a little.

    P.S. I had noticed some problems with buffering YouTube before reading this article. Since i discovered quite often a different upload of the same video would buffer fine; I just assumed it was their issues and not VM's.

  42. WaxMan works fine as it is not buffered, unfortunately all those embedded links don't use the https site, on a 60Mbs connections I spent 35 mins last night buffering a 1min 34sec 1080p clip, by the time it was ready for playing I had completely forgotten about it. 3 Months now is taking the pee.

  43. Flubjub

    Just one of the reasons I'm leaving VM..

    And not just video buffering.. they used to be the best of a bad lot locally.. But ever since I was "upgraded" to 60Meg from 20, and given a "super hub", my connection has gone to shit. Friend of mine who's on a 10Meg ADSL line just down the road gets consistently higher connection speeds and lower pings to servers we're both connecting to.

    The other reason being that I lose internet connection every time it rains heavily. According to the disinterested and surly engineer who came out to look at it, the street cabinet is not sealed from the elements properly, and water gets in. Could he fix it? Like hell he could. And apparently replacement will take months. In winter. When it rains a lot. Fantastic. Time to depart.

  44. takuhii

    I'm with TalkTalk and the service has been shocking this week, wonder if they share the same Peer Partner :/

  45. This Side Up

    There but for fortune

    The previous occupants of my house were on Cable Corp (leter Telewest then VM) but they told me it would take seven days to provide service - something that would take 2 minutes on a terminal. So I reverted the connection to BT. Now I get about two junk mail shots a week from VM which go straight into the recycle bin.

  46. Terry 6 Silver badge

    VM's OTHER issue

    Long before this buffering problem VM was already working towards a potential Guiness Book of Records thread about the failures of its Superhub with V36 firmware.

    And that has been going on since July, with no end in sight.

  47. James 100

    Peddling the "fibre" lie

    "Fibre will always be faster"

    Yes, I'm sure it would - but Virgin don't offer that, they just lie about the nature of their coaxial copper wire service. (Sadly, rather than correct them, the other operators have decided to join them, calling BT's fibre-to-the-cabinet VDSL offering "fibre" too.) BT are genuinely offering a fibre service - 'FTTP' - at 330 Mbps downstream, in a handful of areas; Virgin aren't, as far as I know.

    In theory, Virgin's 8-way bonded EuroDOCSIS 3 could share 400 Mbps downstream and about 200 downstream across that network segment (a street or bigger), while BT's VDSL2 could deliver 100 Mbps in each direction. In reality, on either system you're constrained by the network backbone and peering/transit - which, with Virgin, seems to be a major bottleneck now.

    When I was still on Virgin's 50 Mbps service, Sky Anytime took a while to start play, then still sometimes had to stop and rebuffer; the instant I moved to Entanet's VDSL service (sync at about 66 Mbps), on-demand content started in seconds and never stopped to buffer. Now, Virgin have been talking about their 100 (and later 120) Mbps rollout for years now - but if they can't fill up a 50 Mbps pipe, what use is a 100/120 one?!

  48. Bradley Hardleigh-Hadderchance

    If it's any consolation

    and I imagine it's been mentioned, but Talk Talk aren't any better. Something happened a little while back with the buffering business on youtube and it just hasn't been right since. Well, in plain English, it actually does NOT buffer any more.

    I have researched it. There seems to be no answer. What has worked for others does not work for me.

    And many are just left with it as it is and have given up trying to fix it. It's not broke our end obviously.

    I'm running it on all kinds of stuff: VMs, VPNs, Linux, Windows, not really knowing what I am doing, just experimenting, but I can fire up a browser and type in '' into the URI bar. I mean, you would kind of expect it not to run so smoothly on a VM running off a usb stick, but Debian on VBox running with only 3 percent space left on it, works smoother than some other installs I have...

    I tell a lie, some videos do buffer. But never the one you really really wanna watch at the time.

    I've tried IceWeasel, Midori, FF, Opera, Chromium, even blessed IE - same behaviour or lack of.

    Sometimes I just wanna ah zig a zag ah!

    iPlayer does tend to buffer better recently on Linux, but it's still hit and miss when you get that boxing compression. I mean, I got a steady 10Mbps now they have upgraded my line, but something is not right somewhere in streaming land. And other streaming services are so hit and miss that very often they don't even work at all. Maybe I'm just unlucky.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If it's any consolation

      All that bollocks has no bearing what so ever on the fact Virgin Media has screwed up youtube for their customers, hence this el reg article and flame breathing angry VM customers. Might need some buffering tablets for the verbal diarrhoea

      Somewhere in a parallel universe....

    2. Moeluk

      Re: If it's any consolation

      We're on Utility Warehouse (using Talktalk's service) and I had the exact same issue. However setting the MTU to 1500 instead of the 1432 it's set on as default. Try fiddling around with it and see what happens.

  49. PeterM42

    No fix for their SuperKRUD either......

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