Can't get any higher than 480P on Youtube without pauses

  • I seem to have the opposite question from everyone else on Youtube - I want to be able to play Youtube videos better.  I've got pfSense 2.0 RC3 installed on an ATT 6Mbps/768Kbps DSL connection with 5 static IPs and I run SMTP and Web servers over that connection.  I've done DSL speed tests and consistently get download numbers above 5Mbps.  I turned traffic shaping on to make SMTP traffic a lower priority than everything else, and gave streaming media a higher priority in the setup wizard.  I've found that I am play 480P Youtube videos without pauses, but can't with 720P.  Looking at the traffic graph it doesn't appear that even when watching 720P videos the bandwidth taken for playback is over 1.5Mbps which should be well within reason for my connection, but it doesn't keep up.  Looking at my WAN traffic graph even with any other activity on the connection I'm not coming anywhere close to the up or down capacity of the DSL when trying to play back 720P video.

    So either I'm completely missing something, or there is some cause for the slow connection to Youtube unrelated to the speed of my DSL.  The only other thing I can think of as being a remote possibility is that I have an internal caching DNS server which my internal PCs use - I implemented split DNS.  So the DNS server that my internal PCs use doesn't use my ISP's DNS servers at all and instead go directly against the root DNS servers, therefore if Youtube is doing any location optimization that requires the ISP to override name resolution for Youtube servers, then I'm not getting that, but otherwise my DNS shouldn't be the issue.  But this is just a guess.

    Anyone have a clue to give me?


  • It doesn't seem to be a DNS or Traffic Shaping problem after all.  The original machine I was noticing the problem on is a laptop (Thinkpad T43P) on a wireless connection (claiming 54Mbps speed at the time) and during playback I was only getting 1.5Mbps through the firewall.  Then I tried a different and faster machine with wired Ethernet and it was able to play back not only at 720P, but 1080P and the traffic went up to 5.5Mpbs through the firewall.  So then I tried sitting the T43P next to one of my wireless access points and wiring to it.  I was able to play back 720P, but despite having network throughput it was not able to keep up with playing back 1080P.  So then I switched back to wireless and was back down to 1.5Mpbs despite network status showing 100% signal on a 54Mbps wireless G connection.

    So traffic shaping appears to be working and it's a specific client PC problem.  I'll start chasing after updated drivers.

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