FTTC

BT Infinity is BT’s new broadband product that makes use of fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) to enable even faster speeds than available via normal DSL. In some cases 40Mbs download speeds are possible.

Of course if you are going to make best use of this and have a wireless network, if you use 802.11g then you may find this is not fast enough and want to get an 802.11n wireless router.

Another feature of FTTC is that unlike traditional UK ADSL that uses PPPoA, FTTC uses PPPoE so that a router like Apple’s Airport Extreme is now possible to use direct with the broadband connection. Before you would have needed to use a ADSL modem between your broadband connection and your wireless router.

My local exchange has just been upgraded to FTTC so looking forward to upgrading and trying it out.

There are also trials with FTTP (Fibre To The Premises) that can result in even faster 100Mb speeds. I can wish.

Downloading movies

iTunes Movies in the UK - hmmmm

Back in June 2008 when Apple put movies into the UK iTunes Store I had a go and didn’t have a huge success.

So my first proper attempt to get films off the iTunes Store was not a great success, ah well maybe next time.

So now over a year later, what’s the situation?

Well I am downloading a fair few movies from the iTunes Store now, buying and renting.

I do like how quick and easy it is, and sometimes how much cheaper it is too (and annoyed by how expensive it can be too).

I usually watch the movies via an iPod through the TV, as I still haven’t got round to buying an Apple TV, but then I still don’t have that HD TV to watch them on (and I am pretty sure I can’t easily connect an Apple TV to my current TV).

I will probably get an Apple TV if I get an HD TV as I would prefer to watch HD movies on an HD screen.

I was impressed with HD on the TV Shows and downloaded Lost in HD and the newest Doctor Who special in HD too.

So is everything working?

Well not really.

My ADSL is still way too slow, which means it takes hours to download a movie. Also I have a monthly bandwidth limit which means I usually plan my iTunes downloads overnight as Plusnet my ISP gives me a “free” download time between midnight and eight in the morning.

Also now and again iTunes fails to download the movie “properly”, so it downloads it again! As a result I have two versions in my iTunes library.

However despite a few minor issues I am pleased with movies and TV on the iTunes store and use it on a regular basis.

No iPlayer HD for me

I do like BBC iPlayer, I like the fact that I can catch up with old BBC programmes that I have missed that week or can catch up on series that I may have missed. I like the fact that I can watch BBC iPlayer on an iPod touch and that I can connect the iPod touch to my TV and watch that way.

However there are a few things I don’t like, some of this is down to BBC iPlayer, and a lot down to my poor ADSL connection.

I don’t like the fact that not everything on BBC is on BBC iPlayer. I know that ITV and Channel 4 content won’t be on iPlayer, but their versions are nothing like as good as iPlayer and as easy to use. They also don’t work as well on the Mac and there are no iPod players either. Of course though a lot of BBC content is on iPlayer, not all of it is. Films I understand, however why isn’t The Day Of The Triffids on iPlayer? It’s currently on BBC Four, however no triffids on iPlayer!

I don’t like the fact that some of the BBC content is on BBC iPlayer and is available through a web browser, however that same content is not available on the iPod. For example 12 of the 13 episodes of Robin Hood
are available on my iPod touch at the time of writing, however episode 13 is not available!

Why?

Well I know it’s probably a rights issue or something. The same thing happened with Outnumbered
series two, again with the final episode.

I have mentioned my slow ADSL connection before, as broadband has got more popular my connection has got slower and slower. I did once have nearly 4Mbps, today my speed is less than 1Mbps! The other problem is that BBC iPlayer is quite popular and so at peak times it is almost impossible to watch!

I was though quite intrigued to see that BBC HD is now on BBC iPlayer in HD!

So tried to watch Torchwood – Children of Earth on BBC iPlayer HD and got this message:

Well my  > 1Mbps connection is way too slow for this HD content, not even close!

I guess I could download it, but it’s large at 1.3GB.

Of course I then have the issue that my ADSL connection has a bandwidth cap, which is another problem I have with BBC iPlayer.

I do like BBC iPlayer, I have issues with some of the rights issues, however most of the problems I have with BBC iPlayer are mine and my ADSL connection.

Maybe I just ought to get Torchwood on Blu Ray instead of trying to watch it on BBC iPlayer HD.

Reached my bandwidth limit

Reached my bandwidth limit on my ADSL account with a day to spare!

I don’t normally get anywhere close to the cap on my ADSL connection, but some months I do get close.

The main culprit these days is the iTunes Store and BBC iPlayer. I seem to watch more video using these two services than anything else at the moment.

I do get a “free” window between midnight and 8am and I do try and schedule my video downloading during these times, otherwise I do find I use up all of my allocated bandwidth. Though sometimes you don’t want to wait!

Need more bandwidth…

My 2Mb ADSL is just not sufficient for my needs, it just ain’t fast enough!

Basically I seem to be able to do one thing and one thing only. As soon as  I try to do more than one thing everything grinds to a halt.

For example I was uploading a 20MB video file and at the same time watching Doctor Who on BBC iPlayer and both slow down… Same happens when downloading video from the iTunes Store or other bandwidth intensive activities.

Alas I can’t upgrade my bandwidth as I am too far from the exchange.

It is  worse during peak times when everyone else if using their internet.

No real solution, so I will just have to whinge and moan.

ADSL Fast!

I often post about how slow my ADSL connection is, however today after power cycling my router, I saw a nearly 100% increase in the download speed going from 1700Kbps to in excess of 3100Kbps (according to my router).

I am certainly noticing the difference when browsing and downloading files.

Fast!

ADSL Sloowwww’ish

My ADSL seems slow this morning, not sure why, maybe it’s just a preception rather than reality and may be down to specific sites.

Will see how it goes over the day before I mention it to my ISP.

ADSL Normal?

Well my ADSL speed and latency seems to be back to normal now. Pages are loading as they should and I seem to be getting quite good speeds as well.

Less annoyed now.

ADSL Connection Still Flaky…

Still very annoyed that my ADSL connection is still very flaky this morning. Sometimes pages load really quickly, then the next click to another page times out!

Very annoying.

ADSL Sloowwww

Today my ADSL internet connection was really really slow.

I initially thought it might be something at my end, but a quick check of my ISP’s status reports showed that they were having issues with a specific gateway (and it was the gateway I was connected to).

Despite turning off my router (as recommended by my ISP) intially my speeds remained poor and with little connectivity.

A few hours later it does seem back to normal. With such poor connectivity it makes me realise how dependent I am on my internet connection for everyday stuff, as well as entertainment and information.