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  • iPad Video Downsampled or Blocked over 3G


    Owners of new WiFi + 3G iPads are noticing that apps are displaying significantly downsampled video or none at all over 3G data connections. Users have found much poorer video quality on the YouTube app and that ABC's TV viewer completely blocks video when it doesn't detect a WiFi connection. AT&T is so far referring all questions to Apple, and Apple is silent.

    AT&T has been implicated in blocking or restricting video apps on the iPhone in times past: as one example, the SlingPlayer app was prevented from operating over 3G until it was "optimized." The current version uses adaptive sampling to adjust to varying network conditions. The earlier version of the app was limited to WiFi use only, supposedly due to terms of use violations. AT&T has never released an explanation of why the "optimized" version avoids those issues.

    AT&T was contacted by TechCrunch's MG Siegler earlier today, but the carrier neither acknowledged or denied responsibility, saying only "thatís something you need to ask Apple." Follow-up inquiries seeking further information were met with the helpful clarification "itís just a question for Apple." According to Electronista, ABC is claiming that the reason why streaming over 3G is prohibited is a result of licensing and digital rights issues, not carrier restrictions.

    Back in February, the US Federal Communications Commission reacted to the iPad announcement by expressing concern about wireless broadband congestion, saying that 3G networks were already "reminiscent of the congestion dialup users experienced following AOLís 1996 decision to allow unlimited internet use." As a result, the agency's director for scenario planning declare that " we must ensure that network congestion doesnít choke off a service that consumers clearly find so appealing or frustrate mobile broadbandís ability to keep us competitive in the global broadband economy."
    This article was originally published in forum thread: iPad Video Downsampled or Blocked over 3G started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 31 Comments
    1. whereswaldo's Avatar
      whereswaldo -
      Isn't it kinda obvious that you won't have as great a picture on 3G as you will on WiFi?
    1. MetallicaFan1991's Avatar
      MetallicaFan1991 -
      You get poor quality over 3G on the iPhone too. Just hurry up and jailbreak it! I want my 3GS Jailbreak
    1. doitchinkstyle's Avatar
      doitchinkstyle -
      i'm sure when cydia is available on the ipad, there will be an app to fix that.
    1. eortizr's Avatar
      eortizr -
      This is not news,,, the iphone has the same issue,, why the ipad will be different.

      I do not think it is AT&T restriction... cuz I have an Android phone in AT&T and I can view youtube in high quality just fine over 3g, But in the iphone it really sucks... The ball is on Apple's side...
    1. battlecrushr's Avatar
      battlecrushr -
      definately sucks,
      but a jailbreak could fix that
      MY3G or 3g unrestrictor
    1. lolcats1's Avatar
      lolcats1 -
      don't get all the fuss. my ipad nano works fine.
    1. Jailbreaking Help Center's Avatar
      Jailbreaking Help Center -
      Spirit will fix all these issues!!! And the wifi model+MyWi will fix those issues being you are always on WiFi.
    1. FerrariCUBU's Avatar
      FerrariCUBU -
      This is certainly a bummer, but as an owner of an iPad with 3G I'm not too worried about it. I wasn't planning on streaming any long videos over 3G to begin with.
    1. GixxerJJ's Avatar
      GixxerJJ -
      Jailbreak = no worries
    1. ty22's Avatar
      ty22 -
      I think its a GSM 3G weakness, because video on 3G is always blocky on my iPhone and on my Pre and other EVDO(3G) CDMA phones that play youtube are crystal clear(even better than an iPhone playing youtube over WIFI).
    1. CZroe's Avatar
      CZroe -
      People are such idiots. This has been the case all along. The difference is so dramatic and noticible that you can't miss it even on a tiny iPhone screen. If you never noticed the difference between Youtube over WiFi and Youtube over 3G/Edge on your iPhone before, you are BLIND.

      Quote Originally Posted by whereswaldo View Post
      Isn't it kinda obvious that you won't have as great a picture on 3G as you will on WiFi?
      "Obvious" only because everyone knows that they want to save bandwidth on cell networks. 7.2mbps is faster than many US broadband connections AT HOME.
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Quote Originally Posted by CZroe View Post

      "Obvious" only because everyone knows that they want to save bandwidth on cell networks. 7.2mbps is faster than many US broadband connections AT HOME.
      It has less to do with speed, and a whole lot more to do with overloading the network.

      Quote Originally Posted by lolcats1 View Post
      don't get all the fuss. my ipad nano works fine.
    1. Bluprint's Avatar
      Bluprint -
      Amazing
    1. adrian1480's Avatar
      adrian1480 -
      what did people really expect over 3G?
    1. NessLookAlike's Avatar
      NessLookAlike -
      Video downsampled over AT&T 3G? NO WAY, I'M SHOCKED.

      Quote Originally Posted by CZroe View Post
      People are such idiots. This has been the case all along. The difference is so dramatic and noticible that you can't miss it even on a tiny iPhone screen. If you never noticed the difference between Youtube over WiFi and Youtube over 3G/Edge on your iPhone before, you are BLIND.

      "Obvious" only because everyone knows that they want to save bandwidth on cell networks. 7.2mbps is faster than many US broadband connections AT HOME.
      This man speaks the truth. I used the free Speedtest app today while out and about, and AT&T 3G is EXACTLY the same speed as my home internet connection (320-340KB/s down, 30-36KB/s up). The ping is awful (2sec?) but hey, its just as fast as my wired connection, meaning once I trick the iPad with Tricker3G or whatever, I'll be doing real HD all the time, just like at home.
    1. eortizr's Avatar
      eortizr -
      Quote Originally Posted by adrian1480 View Post
      what did people really expect over 3G?
      3G is not the problem, Apple is...
    1. Happy Noodle Boy's Avatar
      Happy Noodle Boy -
      The problem is that we don't live in a magical fairy land where networks have unlimited bandwidth and everyone can max out they're connections everywhere without having to worry about the other 80-100 million people they have to share said services with.

      These limitations suck but are in place for a reason.
    1. terraphantm's Avatar
      terraphantm -
      Quote Originally Posted by NessLookAlike View Post
      Video downsampled over AT&T 3G? NO WAY, I'M SHOCKED.



      This man speaks the truth. I used the free Speedtest app today while out and about, and AT&T 3G is EXACTLY the same speed as my home internet connection (320-340KB/s down, 30-36KB/s up). The ping is awful (2sec?) but hey, its just as fast as my wired connection, meaning once I trick the iPad with Tricker3G or whatever, I'll be doing real HD all the time, just like at home.
      There are a lot of places where this isn't the case. Everytime I run a speed test in NY, I'm barely able to pull 100kbits/s (that is ~12KBytes/s)
    1. ziggie216's Avatar
      ziggie216 -
      VZW, problem sovled
    1. CZroe's Avatar
      CZroe -
      Quote Originally Posted by Happy Noodle Boy View Post
      The problem is that we don't live in a magical fairy land where networks have unlimited bandwidth and everyone can max out they're connections everywhere without having to worry about the other 80-100 million people they have to share said services with.

      These limitations suck but are in place for a reason.
      Yeah, so AT&T can continue over-promising and under-delivering. They could advertise lower speeds, cap per-user bandwidth, meet promised speeds, and upgrade network capacity once they can (right now it's a balance of 3G expansion vs. 3G capacity upgrades) but that wouldn't look good. Rather than invest in network capacity, they'd rather advertise the highest capable speed and restrict its use.... just like cable companies and other ISPs. Any future increses in capacity will only promote bigger promises, not less restrictions.

      You wanna know how I know? Inside info. All ISPs are guilty of "traffic shaping." The one I am intimately familiar with tells us to tell all customers that we do not when we absolutely do... the WORST kind (all unrecognized traffic has low priority; all speedtests and mainstream domains get higher priority; Bittorrent protocol is tampered with to slow it down to a crawl; VoIP services are affected and customers are told to sign up for our own secretly-prioritized telephone service; etc). What may be mainstream like, say, HD streaming and remote game services (streaming low-latency HD video to the user and input from the user) in the future may never get a chance due to this behavior. It kills new uses for bandwidth before the tech has a chance to exist or innovate just because it isn't already as popular as YouTube.

      Net neutrality. It's important.

      Quote Originally Posted by terraphantm View Post
      There are a lot of places where this isn't the case. Everytime I run a speed test in NY, I'm barely able to pull 100kbits/s (that is ~12KBytes/s)
      That's because the network is overloaded, not because the tech is incapable. Cable ISPs have the same problem. Mine refuses to buy more bandwidth and does this kind of traffic shaping so that they can continue selling less for more. Peak hours can slow dramatically. The ones that don't seem to are usually using SEVERE traffic-shaping or they grew a conscience and actually bought more bandwidth from a provider. The difference with cellphone networks is that it has a lot to do with how many users there are per tower and each tower doesn't multiply the available bandwidth... they form their own small microwave mesh networks on the back end with a single bandwidth source the frequency of which is determined by the cell company. This means that they can be overloaded per tower or per group of towers simply because they don't want to spend enough to add Internet bandwidth capacity per-tower.

      Note: My understanding of cell network tech is extrapolated but I believe it to be somewhat accurate.