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'Content not working' problem on BBC and elsewhere

Jan 15, 2013 11:56 AM

Tags: #youtube #not_working #bbc_iplayer #itv_player

Wonder if any kind and expert people could help here?

 

System: Lenovo laptop, Win XP SP3 32bit, all updates installed. Main browser Firefox with add-ons including Adblock and Ghostery. Broadband via TalkTalk (after they bought up the original ISP I signed up for!) via a BT Business Hub router, usually connecting wirelessly. Comodo firewall installed, no other 'security' stuff running..

 

Problems: started around 7/8/9ish Jan 2013 after working fine for ages. Not sure what triggered it - there were Windows, Acrobat and possibly a few other automatic updates going in around then, maybe also FireFox going to 18.

 

Problem is with on demand video:

BBC iPlayer - any show - spins for a bit then comes up "this content doesn't seem to be working"

Error code - EMP v.3.0.0.r617463_618125_4  Playlist URL : http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/playlist/p012msym/ Error code : 

CDNRedundancyManagerError [0] : null

BBC news website clips - any - spins for a bit then comes up "this content doesn't seem to be working"

Error code  - same as iPlayer

BBC radio player - says 'loading' for a bit then does nothing.

ITVplayer - plays an ad then 'resume' button comes up but it won't play, 'resume' just reappears.

Youtube - videos play but takes several seconds to start buffering, much slower than usual

 

BUT video playing via e.g. Guardian website seems to work fine.

 

I've tried googling CDNRedundancyManagerError and searching for any related problems, and then tried everything suggested, e.g. at

 

http://forums.adobe.com/message/4022210

http://ubuntuforums.org/archive/index.php/t-1939039.html

 

but nobody seems to have an answer and all made no difference:

 

- Broadband speed tests - these show around 2Mb/s as usual. Iplayer diagnostic showed the 'streaming 1' test at zero one time, but then it was around 2Mb/s like  the others on subsequent tests.

- Cleared Firefox browser cache and history

- Restarted FF in safe mode

- checked 'allow third party storage' is on in Flash settings. Also tried it with and without hardware acceleration (right click in Flash player and also in Firefox options).

- /etc/hosts file is original Windows one with no changes.

- uninstalled Flash and reinstalled current Flash 11.5 (freshly downloaded)

- Full clean uninstalled Flash as per Adobe instructions and reinstalled 11.5

- Clean uninstalled and tried Flash Beta 11.6

- Clean uninstalled then tried Flash 10.3

- Then put 11.5 back on

- Turned off firewall

- In firewall, whitelisted Firefox and plugin container

- Installed Chrome and tried that - exactly the same behaviour as Firefox.

- Connected laptop to router via ethernet cable not Wifi

- Tried another XP computer, connecting by wifi to the same router - same problem. Rarely use this machine so not sure how long it had the issue.

- Tried a Windows 7 laptop connecting by wifi to the same router - works properly no problems!

- On original laptop tried a system restore to a week ago when known working - system restore failed, 'no changes made to original system'.

 

So, I'm a bit flummoxed.

 

- Can't be the router as the Win7 laptop works OK.

- Can't be the ISP throttling streaming video as the Win7 laptop works OK.

- Can't be the Wifi on the XP machines as connecting by ethernet makes no difference.

- Unlikely(?) to be Flash as the Chrome version has same problems as Firefox, and also installing various versions made no difference.

- Not the firewall as turning it off makes no difference.

- Not the Firefox add-ons as (a) turning them off in safe mode makes no difference and (b) Chrome also affected

 

So what can it be? Any ideas anyone?

 

Thanks in advance for any help. Will respond quickly with further info or results of further tests. Cheers Pete

 
Replies 1 2 Previous Next
  • Chris Campbell
    9,456 posts
    May 4, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 15, 2013 12:25 PM   in reply to puzzledpete

    Thank you for the excellent detail.  You've done most of the troubleshooting steps that I'd normally recommend.  There's a couple of additional things to try:

     

    1. Play both of these YouTube links.  It'll be good to know if playback buffering is slow to start for both the HTML5 and Flash video players.

     

     

    2. Give Flash Player for IE a try.   Does it behave just like Chrome and Firefox?

     

    3. In the past, this error was caused by firewall restrictions.  Did both XP systems that you tested have a firewall installed?  I realize you disabled the firewall, do you think uninstalling would make any difference?

     

    4. If you haven't already, I'd recommend letting the BBC know by reporting this on their Technical Help page:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/help/about/technical_fault.shtml

     

    Chris

     
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  • Chris Campbell
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    Jan 15, 2013 2:53 PM   in reply to puzzledpete

    Since Win 7 works on the same router, I'm still leaning towards something else interfering on XP itself...

     

    Could you try starting WinXP in safe mode with networking to see if that changes anything?  Do you have a URL I can try this out with?  I've got a VM of Win XP that I think I can setup with a VPN to allow me to see BBC content.

     
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  • Chris Campbell
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    Jan 16, 2013 5:56 PM   in reply to puzzledpete

    I just played all links using XP and Flash Player 11.5, as expected, after using a VPN service in Gosport to spoof my IP.  Taking the system into your work is a good idea and would definitely pinpoint this to the system if it still fails.

     
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  • Chris Campbell
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    Jan 18, 2013 4:51 PM   in reply to puzzledpete

    Nice, glad you were able to narrow it down a bit more.  Good luck getting it solved!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 19, 2013 11:36 AM   in reply to puzzledpete

    Hi puzzledpete,

     

    I've been following this thread for the past couple of days, as I seem to have almost identical symptoms to you - particularly in terms of which sites' videos work and which don't. To your list of sites, I can add The Independent, whose videos work for me, and the Daily Telegraph, whose videos don't. Perhaps the only difference is that my errant machine is a desktop PC running Windows XP Pro, which means I can't really try it out in another location! As in your case, I've found that the videos concerned work fine on other PCs connected to the same network (i.e. a desktop running XP Home and a laptop running Windows 7) and that the problem occurs irrespective of the Web browser used.

     

    For me, there also seems to be an extra dimension to this problem. At about the same time the video problem started, I noticed that some of those sites were displaying the pages containing the videos much more slowly on that PC than on the other machines. In addition, those pages keep throwing up errors, as evidenced by the alerts at the bottom left in IE's status bar. Have you noticed this, too?

     

    To solve these two problems, I've tried just about everything you have - and more besides - but to no avail. As you seem to have narrowed the video problem down to the router or ISP, then it begs the question of how either of these could possibly affect different computers on the network in different ways. On my router at least, I don't see any IP address or port settings that could favour one PC over another. And at the ISP end, I'm not sure there's any mechanism that could selectively apply quality of service by internal IP address.

     

    I look forward to hearing any further thoughts you might have, and I'll certainly post here if I come up with anything.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 20, 2013 10:10 AM   in reply to puzzledpete

    Earlier on today, I was having problems with Brightcove-based videos (and general page-display slowness) on both the Independent site and our own local paper site - even on a "good" machine! To avoid confusion, I'll try again on a weekday, as some places do maintenance at the weekend.

     

    I'm interested in your remark about the networking stack, although I'm not particularly clued up about such things. Is it conceivable that a stack fault (or feature) in a given computer could manifest on one network but not on another?

     

    I, too, have been thinking dark thoughts about a clean reinstall ever since trying a Windows repair that failed to make a difference (like everything else). But that's got to be the very very last resort...

     

    In the meantime, I've sent an email to our ISP - so let's see what they have to say. I'm also investigating the possibility of some obscure kind of hardware/firmware glitch in my router affecting only certain connectors, although that's a pretty long shot as I've had both "good" and "bad" machines connected via Wi Fi.

     
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    Jan 21, 2013 9:43 AM   in reply to puzzledpete

    The one video I found today on the Independent site (about a guy grabbing a shark's tail) played OK on both "good" and "bad" PCs. I did get a Stack Overflow message in both cases, but it didn't seem to affect the video. I was unable to find any videos on the local paper site today.

     

    This is the reply I got from our ISP: "You are correct in assuming that we cannot put a profile on an internal IP address, this is only available to yourself, when you're logged into the computer at the property." So this confirms what we suspected! They go on to recommend a complete disk wipe followed by a Windows install - which is always code for "Sorry, but we haven't a clue"... I actually went halfway there at one point last week by performing a Windows repair on the "bad" PC. Of course, it didn't make any difference!

     

    With regard to firewalls, I'm using the standard Windows one on each machine. I presume this got reinstalled in its entirety when I did that Windows repair.

     

    My router is quite an old D-Link, with a separate ADSL modem attached. So that's another dead end, I'm afraid.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 25, 2013 4:14 AM   in reply to puzzledpete

    I haven't had any issues with email myself (MS Outlook) except occasionally when our ISP's mail server is playing up.

     

    I don't know the extent to which processes are related to services, but have you also checked out the services currently available on your machine, to see whether any of these might have a bearing on the problem, either by virtue of being off when they should be on or vice versa? I really ought to go through that exercise myself before resorting to the wipe/reinstall option.

     

    By the way, I've heard it said that even if you disable the Windows firewall, there are still some firewall elements lurking around. But could this just be an urban myth...?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 25, 2013 1:44 PM   in reply to puzzledpete

    something small, but have you tried disabling the adblock add-on.

     
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    Jan 26, 2013 5:33 AM   in reply to horgag

    Never had one of those, I'm afraid.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 5, 2013 10:02 AM   in reply to puzzledpete

    The BBC website uses Brightcove, I believe, so the problem lies in their software.  I'm having a similar problem with the New York Times website using Flash under Linux.  You do have one thing going for  you: Brightcove does, I believe, support your operating system.  Unfortunately they don't support Linux.

     

    So here's what to try.  In your browser, access the Brightcove debugging page at http://admin.brightcove.com/viewer/BrightcoveDebugger.html .  Then in another window open the page that's giving you trouble.  Go back to the Brightcove page and you should see a trace.  Copy it and send it to Brightcove Support (Brightcove Support <bc_support@brightcove.com>).  They might be able to help you.

     

    Paul

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 5, 2013 12:09 PM   in reply to P W Abrahams

    Hi Paul,

     

    If you reckon that the fault must lie in the Brightcove software, then how do you explain that the videos on a site such as the BBC work perfectly OK on some Windows systems but not at all on others?

     
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    Feb 5, 2013 12:53 PM   in reply to trebortas

    I can't explain why the BBC site works in some installations of Windows but not in others.   However, Brightcove does take responsibility for the BBC site working in Windows (unlike Linux), so they should be willing to figure out why it's not working there.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 5, 2013 1:03 PM   in reply to P W Abrahams

    As an experiment I brought up a webpage that was successfully using Flash and replaced the 11.2 version of libflashplayer.so by the 10.3 version.  The page immediately dropped its content.  I put back the 11.2 version and the content was restored.  (In neither case did the Brightcove page display.)

     

    My tentative conclusion is that the problem lies not in libflashplayer.so itself but in one of the supporting packages.  I believe that libflashplayer.so is the only module involved that comes directly from Adobe.  But I'm not sure of either of these things and would appreciate the opinions of others.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 5, 2013 2:37 PM   in reply to puzzledpete

    Pete--

     

    Looks like I'm wrong about BBC and Brightcove.  Every video on BBC gives me the message "This content doesn't seem to be working", but the Brightcove debugger shows nothing when I bring up a BBC video.

     

    I've had the experience now on a couple of Linux systems where I installed Linux and the NYTimes videos worked at first but then didn't.  I now have another newly installed Linux system where NYTImes and Brightcove are working.  If I can determine what action kills Brightcove, that will be a big clue.  Once Brightcove dies, I can't get it back.

     

    In fact, I just tried it on another new system.   Not only does NYTimes work there, but BBC does as well.  I wish I could catch the killer in the act.  But once a Linux has been contaminated, there seems to be no hope.

     

    If I can track down the killer in Linux, that might help with Windows and other systems also.

     

    If you feel like exploring this path, you can get a live version of Kubuntu from Kubuntu.org that you can run without actually installing it.  Once you get it to malfunction you can just drop it.

     

    I wonder if a new Windows installation would work when an older one doesn't.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 6, 2013 3:58 AM   in reply to P W Abrahams

    In my case, the BBC videos fail to work on our Windows XP Pro SP3 dual-core desktop system, but work OK on our Windows XP Home SP3 desktop and Windows 7 Starter notebook single-core systems. These all share the same router. I don't know whether the "Pro" and/or "dual-core" aspects could be of any significance.

     
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  • Chris Campbell
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    Mar 6, 2013 6:00 PM   in reply to puzzledpete

    Congratulations!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 7, 2013 12:19 PM   in reply to puzzledpete

    The Optimiser worked for me, too!

     

    In my case, it wasn't the lower MTU value that did the trick, as I first tried reducing this value directly in the registry and it had no effect. However, when I ran the Optimiser using the Optimal Settings button, it came up with a long list of proposed changes that it then applied. As the videos worked after that, I guess the culprit must have been one or more of those settings.

     

    It's interesting to speculate what might have caused those settings to go awry in the first place. But I don't really care as long as it doesn't happen again!

     
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  • Chris Campbell
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    Mar 7, 2013 12:39 PM   in reply to trebortas

    Thanks for posting.  I'll definitely keep this utility in mind for future issues.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 7, 2013 7:23 PM   in reply to Chris Campbell

    I've tried tweaking the MTU setting but it hasn't helped so far.  It's initially set to Automatic.   (I'm running Kubuntu 12.10.)   The SG Optimizer can't help me because it's a Windows program.  So I still can't view those videos.

     

    The fact that video worked on a newly installed system but eventually stopped working is, I'm sure, a clue -- but I don't know how to interpret it.

     
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