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Thread: Crackling, slurred sound when streaming videos..

  1. #1
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    Question Crackling, slurred sound when streaming videos..

    This past week I've had an annoying crackling sound that worsens to slowed sound whenever I watch TVcatchup, youtube or others. I've tried different screen sizes so no, not a compression issue. It doesn't effect music files on my computer.
    My download speed is 10-11 mbps, I'm up to date on Java and Flash........any ideas?

  2. #2
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    • Check all your relevant hardware drivers and make sure they are the latest version. This often means identifying the hardware (maker + model/product name/number) and going to the maker's site to find the driver: if the maker has software to inspect your computer and find out if you have the latest driver, use it. Do not trust the computer maker (different from the hardware device maker) to keep you updated on all the latest versions: however, there are rare cases where a computer maker might indicate that the latest hardware driver version is not compatible with the entire system software and you should stick to the earlier version: in that case, make sure you have your system backed up (in Windows, you can back up a system in two ways: a real backup + that System Restore functionality, which allows a quick restore of changes that do not work)
    • Operating systems usually let you see what it is going on with the processor. In Windows, it's the Task Manager. In the Processes tab, sort according to CPU usage and see if there is an app dominating the CPU. It could be something you do not expect.
    • Run a FULL SCAN of your computer security (anti-virus) software. Make sure it does not pick up any problems. I run two anti-viruses: I have Microsoft Security Essentials working all the time, but I also run Malwarebytes (free version).
    • Do a system file check. In Windows, go to a cmd window in administrator mode, and enter sfc /scannow at the prompt. You must show full 100% integrity. If you don't, you may need clean (re)install the system and reinstall your apps.
    • Bad web sites: many streaming sites are full of all sorts of nasty things: if not actual trojans and viruses, they try to get you to install spyware and other things. Are the sites you are visiting reputable? First sign of a bad one: they try to get you to install any executable and they do it deceitfully.
    • You indicate that there is no problem playing music (MP3?) files. This means the content is not coming in as a stream from the network?? Try using a media file downloader (usually an extension to the browser) to get the whole file to your computer, then play it from the computer itself: this takes the network out as a rate-limiting factor. If the media file plays well as you expect, the problem is in your network stream speed.
    • Despite your rated network speed, make sure your ISP is not throttling you. Check with Glasnost or something that tests your actual network speed. Try it at different times of day: is it better in the evening or at night than during the day? If your download speed is less than half of your rated speed, your ISP is not giving you what it should...I'd even call it theft, although you probably signed a term-of-service that permits this nonsense. Go to a forum to learn what others are saying about your ISP.
    Last edited by seniseven; 11-13-2012 at 11:23 PM.

  3. #3
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    Hi Seniseven
    Thanks for all this! I did find a malware called 'smitfraud' after a scan. I also did a Glastnos test too, this seems to say I'm not being throttled by my ISP... http://loki10.mpi-sws.mpg.de//bb//gl...37&details=yes
    I did the system file check as you described, still no issues and nothing seems to be dominating in the Task manager..CPU was showing only zeros!
    Files like WMV and WMA that are on my own computer play just fine, it's only things on the Internet that are an issue...does that rule out drivers?

  4. #4
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    Unexpected development..I've simply decided to watch youtube/TVcatchup in IE and so far so good. I was in Chrome all this time, this is ordinarily by far the fastest browser I use so I didn't expect this at all. I'll comment later about what goes on.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seawitch View Post
    Unexpected development..I've simply decided to watch youtube/TVcatchup in IE and so far so good. I was in Chrome all this time
    Not a Chrome user myself (except to do testing during development).

    Have only ever heard good things about it from its users.

    I recommend that you try a search like this one: http://is.gd/bYvtva

    In many cases, others have voiced your own problem in a forum, multiple solutions were offered, and the right one found. This forum often works that way too:

    It might take as little as looking at 10 result pages, trying all the offered solutions, and coming upon something that both fixes the problem and improves your experience.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seawitch View Post
    Files like WMV and WMA that are on my own computer play just fine, it's only things on the Internet that are an issue...does that rule out drivers?
    The only driver it would not rule out would be the hardware device that connects you to the network, but that is rarely a problem, although I believe there have been rare instances where it was. Just make sure you have the Ethernet (if you are using that) or wireless network devices with their latest drivers and you are okay. I cannot imagine a misconfiguration of those devices either.

    One thing to rule out hardware on ONE computer is to temporarily connect another computer in your location to the same router and see if the stream is the same in terms of low quality. If it works well, suspect the first computer to have a potential hardware device software/misconfiguration problem. If both computers show the low quality, the problem is on the other side of the router (network). This step-by-step elimination process is how many problems are traced/tracked down.

    Did you try the file downloader yet? This first downloads the streamed media that is causing you a problem to your computer. You then play it something like VLC media player to see its quality.

    Also: I do not know what your file type is, but you might try using VLC media player for everything, both as a standalone and as a plugin to your browsers. VLC MP has just about every codec under the sun (plays nearly every file type) and its developers are constantly improving it. Try configuring Chrome to make VLC plugin play that file type. If it's Adobe's stuff, that will be sufficient too.

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