Information On Video Downloads
Please read the following information on video downloads using our systems
Many of our customers enjoy watching videos on their computers. These can range from short clips, as found on YouTube, to full length movies from sources such as NetFlix.
Videos also come in "flavors" = low resolution, medium resolution, high resolution and "HI-DEF" which is the highest resolution. The higher the resolution, the finer the detail that can be seen in the playback.
How is video delivered?
Videos are stored on servers and are available for anyone to download, either for free or for a pay-per-view. The video comes off of the server and is "streamed" to your computer, meaning you are watching it live as it comes down from the internet. If your connection is fast enough, you'll see your player storing it while the playback is following behind. There will be little to no jerkiness during playback.
If you see jerkiness or pausing during playback, several things can cause this, as follows:
- The server you are getting the video from may be slow or overloaded by others also requesting the same video. This happens to current, popular clips.
- Your connection to the internet may be too slow
- The video may be a huge, HI-DEF file. This can overload memory storage, both in your computer and / or in your router
- If you have multiple computers in your home, other people's activities can and will affect your ability to watch a video uninterrupted.
- Running multiple applications on your computer at the same time as the video download can cause jerkiness
Why do some videos smoothly download while others pause multiple times?
YouTube is a good example of why this happens. YouTube videos come from all sorts of places, like cell phone cameras, video recorders, movie clips and everything in-between. Because of this, the lower resolution videos, such as from cheap or old cell phones or video recorders, usually play back with little to no jerkiness. Higher resolution sources, such as professional quality cameras or HD recorders create very large files that take longer to download, and often cannot be downloaded faster than you can play it back, resulting in pauses.
NetFlix offers "instant video downloads", but this is not always the case. We called and talked to them about their requirements, and this is what they had to say:
"For normal, non-HD videos, the user must have a minimum 2.0 megabit internet connection, and for HD movies, the user must have a minimum 5.0 megabit connection"
Got a virus or lots of spyware on your computer? Expect pauses!
Does the time of day affect a video download?
Yes! Most definitely! If you come home from work and try to download a huge video file, you can expect it to pause several times during playback. Evenings are the busiest time of the day because you and a lot of other folks get home, settle in and start downloading at the same time.
What solutions are there?
The Pause Button to the rescue!
YouTube videos, among others, can be paused. The video will continue to download to your computer in the background during this time. After a short while, hitting the play button will result in a smooth playback of the video.
For larger videos, such as movies, starting the download before setting off for work in the morning will allow you to watch it when you return in the evening.
OnALot.com's Internet Connections
Our systems run at 5.2 megabits. You will not always get this speed for the following reasons:
- Our systems are shared, meaning other people are also online doing things such as surfing, playing games, downloading email and yes, watching videos.
- Your speed into our system will be affected by the quality of your connection. Quality is affected by weather, distance to the tower, and your computer's processor
- While your speed may be quite fast one moment, it may also be slower the next. Again, this is because our systems are shared systems with multiple users online at any given moment.
Can you get a faster internet connection?
We offer dedicated lines, and you can review our offerings HERE
What about video sharing networks or Bit Torrent programs?
These are not allowed on our systems.
Video sharing, or Peer to Peer (P2P) networks and Bit Torrent programs get the video from someone else's computer. You in turn then share it out to the next person. There are problems with this, as follows:
- Most of the video content is stolen or copyrighted material, and you can be sued for theft of service
- The computer you get the video from can have a virus, and guess what? You'll have one too!
- When your computer begins sharing the video out to anyone and everyone, it will use up all of our upload capacity, preventing others from surfing the web.
When asked, we will make our log files available to any law enforcement entity that requires them.
Video sharing is theft - don't do it!