IPhone 3G YouTube Quality Is Poor But Not Via WiFi. Why?

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by BruceEBonus, Jul 18, 2008.

  1. BruceEBonus macrumors 65816


    Sep 23, 2007
    Derbyshire, England
    Per the header then, readers. I apologise if this has been voiced before but I couldnae see it on any Search Forums. And its this:

    I'd always been impressed when stepping into the O2 or Apple showrooms and playing with the demo iPhones - how good and fast YouTube worked ... and even BBCiPlayer performed.. sharp .. fast .. . entertaining!.

    Ah. Then I bought a 3G iPhone and did the same at home.

    Fan-Dab-A-Dozy, readers. Just like the shops!. And then ... I went out the house. But no probs .. I have 3G right?. Wrong!.

    I tried via 3g only ... www.bbciplayer.co.uk and ... up flashes the message: "Only available via a WiFi connection" Eh?. Whats that all about?.

    Then I go on YouTube. Fine .. loads acceptably quick .. but whats this?

    The quality. Its blimmin' abominable. Pixelated and superlow resolution. IS this a conspiracy twixt O2 and Apple and YouTube?. Weird.

    So theres the question. Is it my phone?. Is it just the UK?. Why the low resolution movies?. Not much use if I cant view these things when out and about. I might as well by an iPod Touch if I cant use such a great feature.

    And dont get me started on battery life .. thats another topic.

    As things stand right now .. over next 4 days if things dont improve I'll be taking it back under the 14 day phone returns feature of both O2 and Apple.

    What a shame. And a bit of a con if its a WiFi preferred device ... humph! :mad:

    Cheers y'all!
  2. TEG macrumors 604


    Jan 21, 2002
    Langley, Washington
    The quality over any Cellular network is reduced, even 3G. They may fix this in a software update. Or you may have 3G connection, but not 3G speed so the quality was adjusted so videos would load in a timely fashion.

    Even us Yanks and Canucks have this problem.

  3. BruceEBonus thread starter macrumors 65816


    Sep 23, 2007
    Derbyshire, England
    Thanks for that. Not good though. To date I seem to be checking off more and more things that dont work like they really should have - like YouTube all blocky - appalling battery life - bbciplayer (a UK site that plays back stuff from the previous week) that needs a WiFi connection only. A crap camera. Maps that are a bit vague and often pointless re their 'purpose' - its all very well having GPS but not if you cant really utilise it fully. And web pages that don texactly load in superquick even with 3G.

    As things are I am seriously considering returngin it within the 2 weeks change of mind period = I had a N95 before it which was simply awful - but didnt pretend to be anything it wasnt. Id never have another N95 but am considering if my 'roaming' requirments-YouTube and net browsing needs might be better sorted with a mobile broadband USB stick and a new MacBook when they come out next month! Ok theyre not QUITE as portable as a iPHone but at least they work out cheaper over 18 months and do the job stated - and have a LONGER battery life! :rolleyes:
  4. t0mat0 macrumors 603


    Aug 29, 2006
    Reference movies. The phone is identified as going through 3G or wifi etc, and given the according quality video. otherwise you'd have horrendous lags and jerkiness.

    BBC iPlayer - wifi again for that same reason. You'd have people complaining they couldn't stream a file over 3G. Well duh! Course it's not really possible - as 3G isn't always top of the line HSDPA. They could open BBC iPlayer etc to HSDPA, but that would have to be as above, in part of recognition of the iphone's connection status.

    Maps ain't vague at all. A-GPS? Sounds trollish. HAve you tried the new Google search app taking in location of where you are? Or Twinkle - twitter with location? Apple is working on more functionality, and will roll it out soon enough. TomTom, gomite, Google, and Apple are all working on GPS related stuff, and that's just for satnav style things, not including any Location based service stuff.

    Each to their own I guess, but the iPhone isn't as bad as you make out!
  5. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2008
    The quality is lower because:

    1. 3G is slower, if it didn't reduce the quality it would buffer every 10 seconds
    2. It would cost the network providers a fortune.

    Sorry but I thought the answer why would be quite obvious :confused: Every other phone will be exactly the same. And out of all of the touch screen 3G phones, the iPhone is one of the best in terms of quality, and battery life.

    Again, mobile broadband is slow. Good luck watching youtube videos with it buffering every 5 seconds, and it has no where near the battery life of an iPhone.

    Please don't be thick.
  6. BruceEBonus thread starter macrumors 65816


    Sep 23, 2007
    Derbyshire, England
    Thanks for your 'considered' reply.

    Sadly not all of us on here are as 'educated' as yourself (having other things to do with their lives than pondering the technical minutae of EDGE/3G/HDSPA/WiFi connection speeds on mobile phones) so it might be worth considering this next time you feel the need to berate those who appear to fall short of your own high standards (ahem) :rolleyes:

    So here's the deal. I'll stop being "thick", if you start being a little less anal - and come to terms with the fact that the King's New Clothes (IE:iPhone 3G) may NOT be the all-singing, all-dancing wonder-toy that was earlier proclaimed.

    Cheers for your Help and Troubleshooting Advice, there! ;)
  7. Rovman macrumors regular

    May 4, 2006
    United Kingdom
    Mobile broadband isn't necessarily slow. My home internet connection is slow at only 1 meg (about 960kbps actual throughput) and youtube does fine on that over the wifi on the iphone. Now with my 3g here, i'm getting between the same as my home internet upto around 1300kbps and yet i have to view it at crap quality. Would be nice if their systems included a small quick speedchecker and streamed the content based on that, rather than just assuming 3g = slow. Some places in the UK already have 7.2meg 3g and that availability is increasing all the time.
  8. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    They've been 100% spot-on for me here for a week now.

    Like, showing the dot going right by crossover streets right as I cross them. Haven't had any deviations yet.
  9. deannnnn macrumors 68000


    Jun 4, 2007
    New York City & South Florida
    I decided to do a little YouTube test.
    (I'm on the AT&T 3G network in the US.)


    AT&T 3G:

    Quite a difference...
  10. Type121 macrumors regular

    Jul 5, 2004
    It's been stated elsewhere that the YouTube clips are only encoded in two quality levels, WiFi and Edge, based on the original iPhone's capabilities. Currently the YouTube site doesn't differentiate between 3G and Edge and lumps all non-WiFi users into the same category.
  11. deannnnn macrumors 68000


    Jun 4, 2007
    New York City & South Florida
    I've heard that too.
    I think it would make more sense to put WiFi & 3G in the same category but whatevaaaaaaa.
  12. Niiro13 macrumors 68000

    Feb 12, 2008
    Quite a shame too as I always thought the 2.0 firmware would report 3G to every application as Wi-Fi. Then again when I finally tried out YouTube over five bars 3G, the loading time was very slow...and that's with re low quality version.
  13. BruceEBonus thread starter macrumors 65816


    Sep 23, 2007
    Derbyshire, England
    Thanks for all the replies, folks. It does seem that sadly, dissent is growing regarding what was promised and what we're getting. I showed a work colleague tonight the 'features' of the 3G iPhone and its like this.

    SMS - No MMS No Cut And Paste now even second time around
    Calendar - Available on any average phone – so nothing to comment about
    Photos - Nice but nothing novel-most other phones have such a thing
    Camera - No improvement and 2mp not good enough these days – even second time around
    YouTube – Low resolution only when on 3G – and lets admit it – 3G was the whole point of getting the .. 3G iPhone.
    Stocks - Not something that’s in high demand or groundbreaking
    Maps - Not quite a satnav - albeit useful in principle but patchy reception and so not really enough to make you salivate a lot.
    Weather - You can check that on teletext before you go out … next …
    Clock- You can look at your watch
    Calculator - All phones have one
    Notes - Buy a notepad
    Settings - Not a feature
    iTunes - WiFi only friends. Again 3G is of no benefit here
    App Store - The best thing on it – but enough to switch to?.
    Phone - Great feature ... for a phone. But no different second time around
    eMail - most smartphones will do this tho the iPhone excels at sheer Mac compatibility
    Safari - fantastic browser .. the best .. again - patchy performance thro 3G.

    So all in all lets sit down .. then stand up… then sit down again and take a step back after walking forwards slightly – and realise that what exactly IS different the second time round.

    A better headphone socket?. A GPS?. 3G. Well the GPS is certainly a bonus but its just Google Maps – a bit quicker and more accurate.
    3G. Its O2 hit and miss around the UK and when it does kick in its not exactly groundbreaking speeds.

    But what really bugs me are the compromises we’re all supposed to accept. After all this fuss about the wonderful iPhone 3G what exactly IS different in reality – not in theory about this successor a year later?.

    The old’ un still texts, Calendars, Weathers, Photographs, Stocks, Maps, Tells The Time, Calculates – but when it comes to new stuff it fails pretty spectacularly in my opinion.

    When out and about I cannot view BBCiPlayer – iTunes – YouTube – Safari at the resolution or speeds that were inferred pre-launch. But the big downer is the battery life. Its pretty sad. And no amount of excuse-making by the zealots and iFan-Boys will work for me.

    I could have lived with one or the other (the 4 hours battery – the compromised applications) but not both. And it’s a sure bet that the more you use the phone over the coming months the battery life will worsen – not improve.

    Its no good saying “yes but you have to switch everything off – to extend the life” it kind of kills the whole point of having the thing in the first place. You see?.

    It seems then to get the most of the 3G iPhone – stay at home and use your home Wi-Fi or Wetherspoons/McDonald’s. But make sure you know where they are located – you could use the Google Maps for that!.

    If you think the battery is a bit sad – then simply don’t use the phone features. That way you can accept calls (if you get any) through the day. Sorted.

    Simply then – by staying at home to watch YouTube, BBCiPlayer and iTunes you’ve ‘solved’ the hassles there. Turn the phone connectivity off – and battery grief over!.

    You have to take a step back. Ask yourself – why did I go for a 3G iPhone. I wanted to see crisp YouTube vids on the move, get fast internet access, have GPS SatNav guidance, download stuff off iTunes – otherwise I may as well have bought a iPod Touch really and a PAYG phone for the calls. Or is there more to it than that?.

    As things stand I have about ten days lef tto decide to keep or cancel. Curently its gonna be the latter – yet the more I use it the more I like it. The SMS is just great. The emailing is so hassle free and the Safari interface is the best. YouTube is a neat idea even if it is crippled and these things alone sound and are superb. But these were on the iPhone version one and yet we’re now on version two and there really is nothing remarkable that you can say .. hey – look at the speed difference with 3G .. the only difference is the appalling battery life .. what a shame.

    So I dunno – one part of me wants to get rid .. the other .. keep .. it really IS a fantastic phone – but whether I can live with a half-day battery, a half-arsed YouTube and other compromised applications will be clearer in the next few days … to summarise then: The 3G iPhone is ‘work in progress’ not really the finished article. It’s a ‘could’a bin’ than a ‘here it is, Sir”. If a firmware upgrade sorts things and is imminent I’ll keep it now but its gonna take that wee bit more to convince me that its £35 a month and £159 over 18months of value – compared to the competition.

    Cheers aye!
  14. Riley-Freeman macrumors newbie

    Mar 15, 2010
    I am a new iPhone owner and I was wondering why the quality was so terrible and I google "iPhone video quality YouTube". This is the thread that came up. It's very disappointing for what is considered to be such a high end device struggles to do certain things.

    Anyway I just want to say some of the info here is incorret. I had a htc touch pro2 on CDMA in candace (TELUS) and the picture quality was PERFECT on rev a (which is slower that hspa). And it did NOT buffer every 10seconds or at all. The only time it would buffer is in low signal areas. It would load within 20-30seconds he entire video. So coming from that to this is extremely disappointing especially since apple started the whole YouTube app thing.

    I have a 3gs 32gb black in case this gets asked. It is on the new TELUS and bell network in Canada which is only hspa. There is no edge on their network
  15. msmanikandan macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2010
    I have found Solution to Watch HD Videos in Iphone 3G Internet

    If you want to watch HD YouTube Videos or High Quality Videos when using 3G Internet,then you're in right place

    iPhone will automatically change YouTube video quality according to your Internet connection,if you are in WiFi it will show high quality in case of 3G Internet it will show low quality for faster response and also for carrier charge

    This feature is not good for fast Internet users

    Here are the possible ways to watch HD YouTube videos in iPhone 3G Internet

    (1),Use Safari Browser

    1,Visit Youtube.com in your Safari

    2,Select Mobile Version If your not in Mobile Youtube view

    3,Select HD button on Safari and Click Play.

    (2),Use Truveo Video application
  16. gchhour macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2010
    I think its because since AT&T's 3G/Edge networks are already stressed out as is, the quality is degraded. If your on a Wi-Fi network you have more bandwidth to work with resulting in faster connections and a clearer video.
  17. Evgenyy macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2010

    Google stated themselves that Apple's youtube app can only access videos encoded for either Edge or Wi-Fi. That is why they developed a web app at m.youtube.com which now encodes videos in HTML5. You can switch HD on and off as well.

    Visit that link, add it to your home screen and never ever use the built-in app again :)
  18. nate1220 macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2009
  19. Dark Goob macrumors regular

    Dark Goob

    Jun 6, 2007
    Portland, OR
    Nah this cripe happens in the states also. You can bet yer Blarney Stone it's a damn conspiracy, the frakkin' bastards are hosing us. It's a con, to be sure, they've got us by the balls and are feeding gruel to the rat scallions in the galley. I say we go medieval on Cupertino. Gather up the pitchforks and torches, get some rope and pull up a how-to-tie-a-noose video on Youtube. Just make sure you're on WIFI when you watch it, lest the gallows fail in their dark and dastardly duty.
  20. Smokey Jim macrumors newbie

    Nov 16, 2010
    3G vs Wifi protocol

    Okay, from what I've researched and found out by my own experiments, here is the reason for these varying qualities:
    Youtube Native on the iPhone does *not* determine video quality based on aactual bandwidth, but on protocol. So if you have a low speed wifi (such as in my case) your iphone will *still* load a high quality video, just it will take a heck of a long time doing so. On the opposite side of the equation, if you're loading via 3G (which in my case is much, much faster than the DSL wifi) it will still load a low quality video.
    It's all about protocol, not actual availble bandwidth.
    To avoid this, open Youtube mobile in Safari instead of using the native app. Just tap the "HQ" button so it's red, and then it will load in proper quality. This can be done via Wifi or 3G, 3G+, 4G, etc
  21. gnychis macrumors 6502

    May 24, 2009
    yeah they don't care about your speed, all they're trying to do is cut back on the load of the network by showing poor quality over 3g

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