back to article Virgin Media hit by MORE YouTube buffering glitches

Virgin Media has been battling another round of YouTube buffering glitches on its cable network. Register reader Michelle D’israeli flagged up the latest technical cockup with Google's video-sharing service. She told us that problems first appeared last Thursday (4 September). Subscribers moaned about YouTube being crippled …

  1. Martin-73 Silver badge

    Not on virgin but same symptoms recently

    I've had an issue with youtube videos freezing on 'buffering' after about 40 seconds. Nothing will make it play again short of a reload... then it will play through just fine. I wonder if this is the same issue caused by an upstream peering provider as the article says VM blamed earlier problems on this?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Depends on your provider??

      I've not noticed any streaming issues on BT so far

  2. Defiant


    Not just Youtube, it was affecting my NowTV too

  3. XVar

    Block the caching servers, problem solved.

    Since blocking VM's terrible YouTube caching servers I've not had a video buffer in over a year. I appreciate that they're trying to save on bandwidth costs but if they can't handle doing it seamlessly then they shouldn't do it at all.

    Guide here, basically involves adding a firewall rule to block 3 subnets used by the VM caching servers:

  4. Stuart 22 Silver badge

    You get what you pay for

    Which in Virgin's case is the eradication of several forests to junk mail me several times a week. If only they would spend that money in improving their service I might be interested. But my interest will come from expert people saying good things about the ISP. That's harder to buy than TV time (or buying islands in the Caribbean).

    Yea I know VM have moved on from dodgy Branson but the legacy persists.

    1. Ben Rose

      Re: You get what you pay for

      I think you'll find VM's issues existed long before Branson came along. They've been known a NTHell by many for a reason.

      For me the main issue is their P2P blocking, it appears to screw up many modern games such a FIFA and Payday 2. Reports on the forums fall on deaf ears.

      It's no longer a network I would recommend for gaming.

      1. Mark Allen

        Re: You get what you pay for

        What P2P blocking? Don't seem to get any issues here on the South Coast.

        The biggest problem VirginMedia seem to have is that different areas behave in totally different manners. Even within the same city. So a grip for one area of VM does not affect others. I haven't seen any You Tube issues here.

    2. dotdavid

      Re: You get what you pay for

      Branson has very little to do with them. AFAIK the existing cableco (NTL) merely bought the right to use the brand, and occasionally get Beardie in an advert or two.

      I think they were told to improve their customer service as a condition of the sale.

    3. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: You get what you pay for

      VM have the advantage that in many areas they offer the fastest home internet connection available.

      They seem to manage to cock something up like this about once a month, which is about par for the course for all of the home ISPs I've used over the years (except Be*, who _used_ to be fantastic).

      You get a semi-static IP (changes every few years), the bundled Superhub is crap, but can be put in modem only mode, and they charge you more if you don't get a phone line off them.

      So there you go, VM, not great, but not so bad I can be bothered to switch providers (and who is an alternative?)

      1. patrick_bateman

        Re: You get what you pay for


        I have moved to them from dsl2 to VDSL (ok so i am right next to the virgin media Hampshire HQ, before that it was cable&wirelss, before telewest....)

        and my area doesnt have cable

        BT wesbite says i have VDSL in my area, rang VM, they said we no longer support your street)

        straight to Plusnet, paying less for BB and line then at VM and getting 3 times more.

        projectfreetv works, no blocking like VM

        funniny thing was i rang VM to cancel, they just kinda of went, yeh ok, bye then... no why, can we help..... just ok, bye. (i was just expecting abit of a sales push thats all..)

        1. Tatsky

          Re: You get what you pay for

          This seems to be the way Virgin Media deal with disconnections these days. You phone up and ask to cancel and they say "yeah that's fine, bye" and don't offer you any incentives to stay at that point. I think this is to weed out the people who are angling for a better deal.

          Then 7-10 days later you will get a call from them asking if they can do anything to keep you.

          In my scenario I wanted to cancel my TV package because the cost was a rip off, and we mostly watched Netflix. I wanted the Phone package gone because we only ever had call centers and charities ringing us. 7-10 days later my father started getting calls from Virgin Media asking him why he was cancelling, and could they do anything to keep him. Turns out that because I signed up with Virgin Media when I lived with my dad, just before I moved into my house (8 years ago), they had his phone number on file for me rather than the one on my account, which I had with them for 8 years. Needless to say they never got through to me so I didn't get the sales patter.

      2. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

        Re: You get what you pay for


        "...VM, not great, but not so bad...". Yes, I agree. Nowhere near "five-nines" reliability, struggling indeed to reach "two-nines". Virgin email not allowing me to receive email one day last week, and also yesterday afternoon.

    4. Defiant

      Re: You get what you pay for

      Richard Branson is nonthing to do with Virgin Media. Branson just gets paid for the name but since Liberty LTD took over that may change

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    why not switch to https ?

    Surely that would bypass the caching servers.

  6. CaNsA

    Everyone is complaining about VirginMedia...

    ...and I'm just sat here watching videos.

    On VM cable here (Liverpool), not had a problem with youtube.

  7. Britt


    I've had a few streaming issues the last few nights at home, related?

  8. Crisp

    Use a proxy to get outside of the Virgin Network?

    Like a pirate on a VPN? I don't want my name added to a government watch list!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Use a proxy to get outside of the Virgin Network?

      "Like a pirate on a VPN? I don't want my name added to a government watch list!"

      Maybe not, but don't you think that the likes of GCHQ and NSA (and others) have identified and profiled regular, prolific, popular or controversial commentators on leading social, political and tech web sites? And you, on a web site like this.....weeelllllll........ you've probably had your inside leg measured without you so much as knowing.

  9. Blacklight

    Not just YouTube. Some selective things seem to happen. I use OpenDNS, and performance to their servers (resolution time) went to hell recently. Use Google/VM DNS and all ok.

    Diags from their end all showed ok, just "suspect routing" betwixt VM and OpenDNS...

    Seems to have recovered more recently, but still...

  10. damien c

    No Issues

    I had a issue with Youtube the other night, but then I realised that it was fine before I installed a certain Firefox add on and as soon as I removed it all the issues went a way.

    I wonder how many people don't realise that they may have stuff loaded on the pc or laptop, that is actually causing poor performance???

    I know I won't be using that add on in the future.

  11. Wang N Staines

    I was on Amazon streaming last night, it was the same.

  12. Neil 8

    Also the Google Play Store

    ... But perhaps they cache access to that too?

  13. MrT

    It's not relevant...

    ...but might slip in under the buffer glitch...

    Stewie's Genetically Perfect Pig

    Unless, of course, there is a way of linking a mutant GM pig to the network formerly known as Cable&Hopeless...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Actually there maybe more to it than just their proxy was broken, since the last big proxy issue ive been running with a load of ip blocks to ensure they dont get used... but ive also seen issues with delays (despite not using their proxy servers)...

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's a little bit of history repeating...

    It seems that NTL/Virgin Media/C&W never seem to get the caching thing right, remember back in t'day when they had those 'transparent' proxies that caused lots of problems and hardly worked?!

  16. POSitality

    Weird! Never had a problem with YouTube... others have commented. And I don't put that down to having fibre as we all know ISP Routers > All.

    Top tip though: OpenDNS (or anything but Virgin TBH) from Day One and you're shiny :)

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Remeber the slap on the wirsts from the ASA?

    "'Now from Virgin Media, you could say goodbye to buffering with superfast fibre-optic broadband' "

    Their defence was:

    "Virgin Media had defended the ad by stating that the term "buffering" had a less technical meaning for punters who, it claimed, often link it to service interruptions or delays in streaming content. The telco also stated that, by using the word "could", the advert was clearly "conditional"."

  18. system11

    It's still broken by the way.

    "We are aware of intermittent, local, issues with YouTube and have been working directly with affected customers via our forums and our partners at Google to investigate and resolve issues as soon as possible,"

    "local" to the entire of their UK subscriber base, presumably.

  19. toypets

    This buffering doesn't just happen at peak times it happens all the time!!! I'm so pissed!!!!!!

    I have no problems with Netflix only You Tube

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