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Forum Thread: Problems playing videos

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TiMow Problems playing videos
Dedicated Contributor 3rd Mar, 2010 14:57
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User Since: 26th Jun, 2009
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Location: CH
This problem is related to watching online moving images (videos) from sources such as Google video search (often, but not solely, You Tube), TV broadcast sites (previously broadcast material), and recently included live online TV (Zattoo).

It has occurred from continuous live streaming, and not from downloaded images.

Symptoms are:

1) Video starts to play as normal.
2) After about 3-5 mins.(approx.) the picture starts to become a little jerky - small infrequent pauses, followed by a small jump to catch up.
3) As the video play continues, these jerks become more frequent with bigger pauses and jumps.
4) From this point, after (approx.) 4/5 mins from start, the picture can freeze for many seconds (sometimes totally), although soundtrack continues normally.
5) In extreme instances, controls such as pause, stop, close tab/window, become greatly delayed, even inoperable - in full screen this includes Esc, to reduce picture size.
6) This, on occasion, has necessitated a hard shutdown.
7) If, after a delay, it is possible to stop video and restart, these symptoms are still present (from beginning also).
8) After stopping and closing tab/window, the speed of operation of other aspects of computer is greatly reduced, until log off/log on (or full reboot), has occured.

In reference to Zattoo live internet TV - this could be run from both its own window opened from desktop shortcut, or from a browser. In both cases the previous full-sized window would reduce to about 1/4 size, (still showing full size square icon , top right), on start up.
I have in the meantime uninstalled this program, as it became unwatchable.

I am wondering if this is a flash problem, although I have the current, patched version (10.0.45.2), or possible memory space problem.

This is a non-urgent, and I believe a non-security threat issue, but I would welcome any thoughts, from anyone.
I apologise, in advance, as time constraints may prevent my immediate response to any replies.

Dell Inspiron 6400, Intel T2050, 1GB RAM, 2GB virtual, XP Pro (SP3).
Ff. 3.5.8 (Chrome 4.0 249 89).

TiMow

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Computing is not yet a perfect science - it still requires humans.

Anthony Wells RE: Problems playing videos
Expert Contributor 3rd Mar, 2010 16:52
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Hi TiMow ,

Sounds like a possible download buffering problem which may be influenced by ISP speed limits or a cache needing clean out :eg: browser , java ,etc.

Anthony

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TiMow RE: Problems playing videos
Dedicated Contributor 3rd Mar, 2010 18:33
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Evening Anthony,

Thanks for coming back on this one. I will try your suggestion.

Correct me if I`m wrong, but to clear cache in Ff., I have just performed the following: Tools > Options > Advanced (icon) > Network (tab) > Offline Storage > [Clear Now]. If this is correct, then the amount usable for offline storage is set at 50MB (I`m guessing default setting). Do you think I need to increase this?- seems Ok to me.

Back to using Chrome, (as secondary - trying out Sandboxie) as Secunia must have changed their rules as 4.0.249.89 is now showing green and clean (without updating). Looked for a similar clear cache option, but couldn`t find one. I haven`t experienced this problem on Chrome (down to non-use) - may try video out to see what happens.

I wasn`t aware of clearing out Java, until a Secunia Official reply indicated a similar course recently on another thread, but I can`t remember which one. I`ll have to search a bit, until I find it, as this is something I don`t have experience of.

Just one thing, though, with this Zattoo internet TV - I launched this in its own window, outside of a browser and still experienced this video jumping and subsequent locking, which made me think of flash problem, memory or even CPU speed.

But one step at a time.

TiMow

P.S. Chrome really doesn`t wait long before it logs you off the forum - just the time it took to type this. It`s much longer on Ff., and it remembers the password. Lost the lot - but fortunately had it copied. I can see why Fred went to great lengths to describe his "tricks"; just one thing about highlighting, Fred, - rather than drag the mouse from corner to corner - just click Select All on right mouse. (Ctrl + A).

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jeangeorge RE: Problems playing videos
Member 3rd Mar, 2010 18:39
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Hello Timow
Your problem is related to buffer overflow in memory and like Anthony said
it's a cache problem.
there is a program " Advanced system care " it's free from CNET.com or from
IOBIT.com
Surch for the utilities circle in the program and click on SMART RAM it will
free-up the cache memory of your computer & let you play movies again.

Hope this help

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John

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TiMow RE: Problems playing videos
Dedicated Contributor 3rd Mar, 2010 18:59
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Thanks for the info John,

Unfortunately, time dictates, that I cant follow this course of action now - will look tomorrow.

Have just cleared out Ff. offline storage cache, and run one of the "control" TV videos, that I`ve had problems with before.

After a slightly jerky start, it ran almost normally to beyond the point where the jamming started to occur, but I`ve just paused it, to type this, so still need to let it run further.

TiMow

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Anthony Wells RE: Problems playing videos
Expert Contributor 3rd Mar, 2010 19:01
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Last edited on 3rd Mar, 2010 19:05
Hi TiMow and John ,

Busy ATM , so

Chrome cache ;-

spanner->options->personalstuff->browsingdata- cleabr.... select as you wish

Ff:-

in adition to "advanced" , also see

optoins->privacy->clearhistorywhenclosingfirefox-> sattings -> select as you wish

I also use CCleaner to clear up junk , needs time to set up , save cookies etc.

Thanks John for your confirmation my "guess" (also thanks for the support on the Foxit thread and Nuance update) , your advice/software sounds good :)

Take care
Anthony

PS : Chrome seems a faster log out , as you say ; I get no "select all" on my rt click :) use à top left"click->selected bottom->hold down shift+leftclick ; works everywhere :)

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TiMow RE: Problems playing videos
Dedicated Contributor 3rd Mar, 2010 19:18
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Thanks for further update, Anthony.

Probably my last post for the evening.

Control video played on for a bit longer than before, but then exhibited same symptoms.

Had Task Mgr. running - CPU usage icon in tray went up to 100%, when problems started to occur, and stayed at that level for a couple of minutes after I stopped the video and closed the tab - which explains the slow running of everything else.

Have a good evening to you and John.

TiMow.

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jeangeorge RE: Problems playing videos
Member 3rd Mar, 2010 22:35
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@ Timow
Till tomorrow i wish you luck wiyh your problem

@ Anthony
I think our guesses ( Me And You) are justified by Timow himself when he confirmed the 100% of CPU usage .
About the Nuance reader it's more powerful then Foxit and i'm using it from about 2 weeks now .

Good hunting

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John

HP Pavilion DV6
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This user no longer exists RE: Problems playing videos
Member 4th Mar, 2010 08:51
Hi TiMow,

I was talking about the Java cache actually. You can find instructions for clearing that here: http://www.java.com/en/download/help/plugin_cache....

Try doing something similar with flash: http://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en...

Hope this helps.
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Anthony Wells RE: Problems playing videos
Expert Contributor 4th Mar, 2010 10:03
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Hello Emil and TiMow ,

To add to Emil's surgical method for cleaning up Java and Flash ; once you know what you are doing , you (or rather I) can , if you wish , set the blunt instrument of CCleaner to do the cleaning for you (me) .

Take care
Anthony

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TiMow RE: Problems playing videos
Dedicated Contributor 4th Mar, 2010 10:06
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Hello Emil,

Thanks for coming back with the link(s). I remembered reading about Java caches on one of your other replies, but had no idea where. You`ve saved me some search time.

on 3rd Mar, 2010 18:33, TiMow wrote:

I wasn`t aware of clearing out Java, until a Secunia Official reply indicated a similar course recently on another thread, but I can`t remember which one. I`ll have to search a bit, until I find it, as this is something I don`t have experience of.


I didn`t mean to imply that I was going to clear out Java itself - just omitted to type the word "cache" after Java.

Thanks for clarification.

TiMow

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Maurice Joyce RE: Problems playing videos
Handling Contributor 4th Mar, 2010 10:29
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I think this is what U are looking for?

CLEARING & ADJUSTING THE JAVA CACHE TO IMPROVE BROWSER SPEED
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Works On All Windows Platforms.

The Java Control Panel applet allows for the clearance of Java's temporary Internet cache and reset the default cache size to a more reasonable level.

Clearing The Cache.

1. Go to Start>Control Panel>Click on the JAVA Icon.

2.It will open displaying the GENERAL Tab. Look to the bottom & click on SETTINGS.

3. This will open TEMPORARY FILES SETTINGS. Look to the bottom & click on DELETE FILES. A box with two ticks will appear - Click OK (The clearance could take some time)- the box will disappear once cleaning is complete.

4. Immediately above the Delete Files button is a SLIDER. Move that to reduce the future cache amount between 100-200MB as opposed to the default of 1000MB.

5. Click OK twice to close JAVA.

Revised by MJJ January 2010















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Maurice

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TiMow RE: Problems playing videos
Dedicated Contributor 4th Mar, 2010 10:58
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Morning Anthony

Our posts must have crossed.

I remember you (and others) referring to CCleaner in the past - but have no personal experience of it.

Is it a downloadable program, as opposed to one that`s pre-installed - as I`ve never come across it on my computer; - or is it the same as Disk Cleanup from System Tools under Accessories?

If. at your leisure, you able to offer a bit more advice along the following lines, I would be very grateful:

1) Is the use of CCleaner an alternative to Emil`s suggested links, re. Java cache - and a little easier to perform?

2) Do I still need to consider clearing out the Java cache, as general good housekeeping?

3) How does using CCleaner interact with the action that John has also suggested - is it in addition, or instead of?

The way my day now looks means that I wont be able to have a "peaceful, uninterrupted moment", until much later (maybe even tomorrow) - so no panic.

It`s mainly for my wife`s and daughter`s benefit, as there`s a particular Swiss comedy program that they both enjoy (I`ve found a couple of 90 min. specials), but they wont have the opportunity to watch it until at least tomorrow evening.

This is almost a lot of fuss about nothing (as it`s a non-security issue), but I appreciate the help / advice from yourself, John and Emil.

TiMow

EDIT: Having had to re login and re-establish internet connection (cost me about 10 mins.), I now see M.J.`s reply re. clearing Java cache (thanks Maurice) - seems straight forward enough - so best to ignore point "2)" above, as I will follow Maurice`s instructions (but, unfortunately, later).

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Anthony Wells RE: Problems playing videos
Expert Contributor 4th Mar, 2010 11:51
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Last edited on 4th Mar, 2010 11:59
TiMow ,

You get to know what you can do with Java and Flash by following the advice/links posted by Emil and Maurice ; when you are up to speed , CCleaner will then clean out for you if you set it to so do . The set up is important for retaining cookies for example . and thus say , a favourite webpage's settings - this needs to co-ordinate with your browser settings . It is not that complicated but takes time and of course you can deselect any and all cleaning operations as you wish if you are unsure of yourself . CCleaner is the only tool I know of for dealing with Flash and it's own brand of cookies .

I have no experience of IOBIT and cannot comment , other than I've been told that i'ts good at it's job , whatever that is .

You'll need to do your homework on CCleaner and it's uses : these are links to the reviews on Gizmo's site :-

http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-file-cle...

http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-browser-...

It also has a basic Registry cleaner tool ; reasonably non-aggressive at default settings . Always a 50/50 debate about using/needing a Reg Cleaner (Free or not)!!

Keeping the family happy is good security , stops them trashing your computer :))

Anthony

EDIT: just got zapped in Chrome , had a copy :) Piriform being an Aussie company originally called their software CrapCleaner , but cleaned itself up :))

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wr RE: Problems playing videos
Contributor 4th Mar, 2010 16:55
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Hi all

Good to especially hear from you Maurice-hope your projects are coming along
well so you can spend more time here. Getting some good laughs.

@Anthony Wells thanks for NoSquint-even at default setting
seems to do a good job helping my old, tired eyes.

While on the subject of cookies & security CCleaner is not the only way to handle the Flash 'super cookie'. As far as I know this add-on is available
only for Firefox. I've used it for over a year now & it seems to do a
good job, not slowing down FF, or causing crashes, etc. Check
it out here:http://netticat.ath.cx/extensions.html

As with any add-on when setting it up carefully analyze ALL
options.

Regards, wr



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Anthony Wells RE: Problems playing videos
Expert Contributor 4th Mar, 2010 17:50
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Last edited on 4th Mar, 2010 17:51
Hello wr ,

Thank you for the link , nice site . I must admit that using CC so regularly (with my settings) , I had not looked elsewhere , but Better Privacy would look to be a good 'set and leave" option for Ff - will check it out .

Glad you find NoSquint helpful ; TidyRead is even easier to use if you want to isolate an article to read (with or without distraction) .

Take care
Anthony

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TiMow RE: Problems playing videos
Dedicated Contributor 4th Mar, 2010 18:14
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Evening all (morning/afternoon to wr - thanks for your input)

Progress so far:

Ref. Maurice - Java cache emptied as per instructions (1st. link from E.P. just backed up this procedure).

2nd link from E.P. re. Flash settings checked and everything seems OK, but I am unsure exactly what I need to change to alter (improve) my problem.

Ref. John - downloaded/installed A.S.C. and followed your instruction; - although on starting it instigated a full scan under "Maintain Windows" and highlighted and subsequently cleared out a lot of "dross" - which I guess can only help. There seems to be a lot of other useful stuff here to use - but need time to check it out.

Ref. Anthony - as of yet not had opportunity to check out CCleaner, and in view of input from wr will need more time to review benefits of both.

Have also run Disk Cleanup from System Tools in Accessories.

I rerun my control video from Swiss TV website, and unfortunately no improvement - actually jerkiness started occurring even sooner now. CPU usage up to 100% again. Sound continued for about 30 secs., even after STOP and tab closure.

Normally, when playing video, the stream of the video feed is slightly in front of the play position on the progress bar at the bottom of the screen - with the one I have been using, this is not the case (they seem to run together), so I will have to find another video from another site to compare.

Finally, the problem may be exasperated by the fact that, at the moment my router is really playing up - dropping out the internet and DSL connections - and even when it`s showing full connectivity, I`m not so sure it`s running as it should - but this is a whole other issue.

Thanks to you all for your help so far

TiMow

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wr RE: Problems playing videos
Contributor 4th Mar, 2010 18:24
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@TiMow

Just to clarify my post. I also use CCleaner-BetterPrivacy is
just for handling the Flash super cookie & other LSO.

J didn't mean to infer Better Privacy instead of CCleaner but in addition
to CCleaner.

Good luck on fixing problem with video replay.

Regards, wr


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jeangeorge RE: Problems playing videos
Member 4th Mar, 2010 20:04
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Hi All
@ Timow
Thanks for the ref. but you have to check for the other circles to discover what’s inside each.
To regain your CPU & Memory, click the circle of utilities and click Smart Memory.
While this is a little program, inside there is a big choice to maintain your system Up and running smoothly.
If you want to change your recording program and player, go googling for RealPlayer SP Or download-It from
http://download.com

Wish you luck

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John

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Anthony Wells RE: Problems playing videos
Expert Contributor 5th Mar, 2010 11:35
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Last edited on 5th Mar, 2010 11:40



Hello TiMow ,

The problem as you have now described it , occasionally happens to me .

I have concluded that it happens/varies within a site according to various factors such as HD quality , for example ; it varies with conditions that imply your ISP's download/streaming speed cannot keep up with the read speed and so the video pauses while the system buffers enough data to run (at least that'show it was described to me) . Some sites and/or individual videos "seem" to improve at times , but it is probably something you need to takeup with your ISP ; sometimes resetting my IP address via my modem can improve things .

Some one else may have another/other idea ; I have never had success with accelerators , always had browser stability problems with them .

Anthony

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TiMow RE: Problems playing videos
Dedicated Contributor 5th Mar, 2010 19:21
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Last edited on 5th Mar, 2010 19:42
Hello Anthony, and everyone else.

Thanks for your thoughts again.
This is not easily sorted out, as I think the cause of this problem is still not accurately determined.

This is where I`m at.

As I was not happy with some of the changes I made - things almost seemed worse than before - I`ve done a restore to a system checkpoint of yesterday (Thurs.) morning, which was prior to any changes.

I`ve since re-cleared out Java and Ff. offline storage caches.

I`ve still yet to re-install Advanced System Care (as recommended by John) - as I need to pay more attention to the automatic scan that it runs after install is completed; -- the 1st time round it found over 1000 adware/malware problems, and nearly 400 registry problems - which I "repaired" (removed) - I dont know if this is what you wrote about above as being non-aggressive registry cleaning?!

on 4th Mar, 2010 18:14, TiMow wrote:

Normally, when playing video, the stream of the video feed is slightly in front of the play position on the progress bar at the bottom of the screen - with the one I have been using, this is not the case (they seem to run together), so I will have to find another video from another site to compare.


The above quote was probably not an realistic assessment, as the progress bar was for a 90 min. sequence - so the difference between the stream point and play point would be hard to see. I also found a long Led Zep video on You Tube (thru Google video search) which lasted 7 (out of 10) mins before freezing and jumping - again CPU usage up to 100%. Also the bigger the picture size, the quicker and more profound is the problem (control and recovery).

Two interesting points relating to the 90 min "test video" I`ve been using from the Swiss TV website are:

1) Tried it on Chrome - with same results - I left it running, and when I returned a few minutes later, the picture had frozen, but on the bottom taskbar (where running programs are shown) was a second "block" with the Chrome ball icon, and written "Adobe Flash ...." - when I clicked this, it just went to the other open window with the frozen video, and then disappeared.

2) I found an earlier video special (Feb 2009) by the same comedienne on the same Swiss TV website, and when I played this, instead of loading onto the built in video player on the web page, it gave a dialogue line to click to play, and then opened another small Ff. window and started to play using Real Player - which I could then play in stand alone. This was all automatic / default, and I had no choice or control over this.

Using Real Player, there were no playback problems (although I only watched about 15 mins.) and reduced CPU usage. But there was no way I could play the original video outside of the web page built in player, on Real Player.

Both these points suggest to me the problem may still be related to flash, and am curious if this relates to the "flash super cookie" that wr wrote about - I hadn`t heard of that until then.

TiMow

EDIT: One thing, I forgot: Just by visiting the Swiss TV web page showing still pictures of some of the videos available in their library caused CPU usage to peak, reaching levels of 100%.

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wr RE: Problems playing videos
Contributor 5th Mar, 2010 20:44
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hi all

Didn't mean to be so confusing about Flash 'super cookie'.
Super cookie just means basically it stores more
info from your computer, including , but not limited to, equipment type,
personal info including passwords, etc. Plus it never
expires, is usually quite larger 4kb vs up to 100mb.

To me this is an invasion of privacy as you never know that the
super cookie is there or where & what info it's sending. Plus
neither does your browser, that's why browsers can't remove them
like most all cookies placed there to simplify revisiting websites.

http://blogs.howstuffworks.com/2009/08/11/super-co...

The above website gives more info & I think more links to research.

Regards, wr


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Anthony Wells RE: Problems playing videos
Expert Contributor 5th Mar, 2010 20:45
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TiMow ,

I don't what security systems you have loaded , but if something like ASC (of which I have no direct knowledge) shows 1000 item of "adware/malware" , I would look into that as a high priority . Whether the Reg cleaning is aggressive I have no idea , you would need to see what CCleaner found . 400 items is quite possible and not even high for "heavyweight" " software .

Nothing you report says much to change my mind about your ISP ADSL speed probable cause .

Chrome's own Task Manager is in "page icon->developer->task manager

Busy , gotta go .

Anthony


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Anthony Wells RE: Problems playing videos
Expert Contributor 6th Mar, 2010 11:28
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Bonjour TiMow ,

Two extra points to think about :-

Have you tried closing all programmes and exiting them with the tray icons - excluding your security software , of course ??

When was your last defrag and what software do you use ??

Anthony

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TiMow RE: Problems playing videos
Dedicated Contributor 6th Mar, 2010 13:11
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Last edited on 6th Mar, 2010 18:44
Thanks wr for clarification - will check out link provided.

Morning Anthony,

Re. your post of yesterday evening:

I use a full McAfee suite for security - Dell recommended and pre installed (normally 90 day trial, but I just paid for 3 years up front on ordering). In addition, I have Spybot S & D (run every few weeks or so, as it seems more tailored to IE, which I dont use), and PSI.

Re-installed Advanced System Care this morning and re-scanned - this time it found only 6 malware / adware problems, but 1377 registry problems. I think, despite doing a system restore yesterday, once the mal- and ad- wares had been removed yesterday, they were gone for good.

Part of the "Care" function it has, is a disk defrag., which also ran this morning. But my last one, previous to that was within the last couple of weeks, anyway, using the pre-installed from system tools (accessories).

Will try exiting the tray programs - although I keep them quite light - and its more background stuff - i.e. volume control, power options, printer, Google desktop and a couple of others.

As you point out, it could be an internet connection / speed problem, as my router isn`t always 100% - still trying to work out if its the software or kit itself, causing my continual dropping out. In view of these ongoing problems, I am reluctant to mess around too much with the settings and am not sure how to reset my IP address, anyway. What I do have showing, is that both the Primary and Secondary DNS, dont have full connectivity, when I run a check; and the following under the Ethernet heading:

"Some Ethernet interfaces of this Internet service have no activity. This could prevent the connection from being established".

This is the case, even when the indicator lights signify everything is "normal".
Ultimately, I may have to change the hardware and / or my ISP.

The problem could also be related to SF DRS (Swiss TV) web site, too, as just to display the images requires a high CPU usage - their video portal may be a bit over-elaborate - it uses a video wall similar, (but smaller) to Cooliris - which was also jumpy, for me, as I now recall.

What I will do, is to keep knocking away at cleaning out and streamlining my system, using the advice and recommendations I have received thus far. I probably haven`t done enough maintenance and housekeeping over the last 3 yrs., and now need a concentrated effort.

The learning continues.

Regards,
TiMow

EDIT: Reverted back to Ff. 3.6 and running it sandboxed, and with Smart Ram (from ASC) running simultaneously, playback (although not 100%) is much better.

--
Computing is not yet a perfect science - it still requires humans.
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