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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. squint0241's Avatar
      squint0241 -
      I agree...3G speeds are antiquated and overloaded at this point until the 4G networks are more established. Even then, a bog down will arise as everyone chases the transitions between technologies. I'm so glad I saved my money by not getting the iPad 3G and sticking with the Wi-Fi only version. Using 3G is painful unless you just want to check your email or do some casual web browsing. Streaming video content! Forget it... It's like a scratched DVD that skips and eventually you get tired of it and don't watch it. Best bet is to get a Wi-Fi portable modem (Sprint or Verizon) that let's you access at a higher 4G bandwidth for now and just tether your iPad to it. Just an opinion... Cheers and enjoy your Eye Pads
    1. kirkie1's Avatar
      kirkie1 -
      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.
      We have a lot of problems here in the UK (but no more than most countries)but it seems that on our networks (all support high speed 3G)everything is spred around, I have always had a reliable 3G signal even in the middle of nowhere.At least our networks agreed to all use the same frequencies so turning on data roaming means something here,and as 4 of our networks officially sell the iPhone I would imagine the iPad would not be any different,signal wise.
    1. shagster40's Avatar
      shagster40 -
      Leave me with my wifi model and mywi thank you.
    1. extremzocker's Avatar
      extremzocker -
      isnt that saying "our 3G network is too crappy to support the iDevice consumers that we wanted in the first place"? god im glad att isnt in the UK. but then again O2 isnt that great either.
    1. cypher7810's Avatar
      cypher7810 -
      I understand the bandwidth issues, but youtube over 3g is almost unwatchable. It is so pixelated it looks like crap, all because ATT cant handle the bandwidth. But when I watch youtube or stream netflix over my Sprint 3g mi fi card it looked great, and had no issues. Took a little longer to load, but didnt hitch or loose connection at all while watching a movie. This is why apple needs to get away from ATT because ATT is holding back the potential of their products. I have a Ipad 3g, but I will still just keep using my sprint card as I get quadruple the coverage area, and can use all functions of the ipad, without it downsizing quality for 3g use.
    1. madpoet's Avatar
      madpoet -
      Jailbreak + pdanet or mywi and the program limitations disappear. Doesn't help the bandwidth issue, but it's progress. I tried a palm pre with verizon mobile hotspot. It sucked. Very very slow and I dropped connection to the phone all the time.
    1. mj0528's Avatar
      mj0528 -
      Here the wifi is not far off from my 3g speeds. I get 2.5 to 3.5mbps dl. The upload is horrible but dl speeds are great! When I tether and do simple browsing, it's actually hard to notice the difference between the 2
    1. jwil736's Avatar
      jwil736 -
      For those of you that don't get it, there are two reasons why apple does this:
      1) If 3G was not capped on it's speed it would run down the battery. Apple does this so they will have control of how the iPhone performs and how long it performs for.
      2) as said before there is a network regulation on how much data can come from 1 certain tower which is why you may have 10 3G towers in a 5 mile radius or you may have 4 or 5.

      If your in a heavy populated area everyone (for the most part) is demanding a piece of the pie constantly.

      Solution:
      1. Jailbreak and use 3G unrestricted or an app that does the same feature.
      2. Wifi models, hopefully you have an iPhone and it's jailbroken, then you can run mywifi or a similar app to use your phone as a router.
    1. CZroe's Avatar
      CZroe -
      Quote Originally Posted by extremzocker View Post
      isnt that saying "our 3G network is too crappy to support the iDevice consumers that we wanted in the first place"? god im glad att isnt in the UK. but then again O2 isnt that great either.
      I bet you that the Youtube app downsamples the video on 3G with O2 also. Play the same video twice. Start it once from a WiFi connection and again from 3G. You will see.

      Quote Originally Posted by madpoet View Post
      Jailbreak + pdanet or mywi and the program limitations disappear. Doesn't help the bandwidth issue, but it's progress. I tried a palm pre with verizon mobile hotspot. It sucked. Very very slow and I dropped connection to the phone all the time.
      I tether on AT&T natively without MyFi, PDAnet (which I am a registered owner of) or Blacksn0w on 5.11.07. It was a bit difficult to set up but only because all the info out there is out-dated. Of course, it isn't going to get the iPad online unless Apple allows it to use Bluetooth or USB tethering.
    1. lcbj68c's Avatar
      lcbj68c -
      Does this mean that I wont be able to use my MLB.tv subscription on the Ipad using the 3g connection? If so, I may not purchase an Ipad. I really wanted to buy one because my wifi at work blocks mlb.tv and it's streaming video. I figured if I bought the 3g model that I would then be able to access the live streaming games using the 3g model. If I buy this and an error message comes up that says I must use a wifi connection, I'll be severly disappointed. 800 bucks disappointed.
    1. anekin007's Avatar
      anekin007 -
      Nexus one and other android devices runs clear youtube videos on AT&T. So blame it on apple. If your phone is jailbroken look into getting 3g unrestrictor. One of the first apps I got after jailbreak. iPhone videos on 3g is horrible.