Video Stops/Starts - Youtube, Quicktime, CNN, etc.

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by meagain, May 23, 2008.

  1. meagain macrumors 68030

    Nov 18, 2006
    Oddly, I lost the ability to watch videos properly on my White 24" 2.5gb memory, 2.16ghz C2D iMac. This happens with any source (Quicktime, youtube, CNN, etc). It starts, pauses, resumes. Constantly to where it's unwatchable. This happens both via Safari & FireFox.

    I have used Onyx to clean, rebooted, run disk utility (repair permissions) to no avail. My activity monitor doesn't show anything odd that I know of but "Kernel_Task" is the 3rd item from the top (190.59 real memory) which seems like a lot.

    I'm at a loss as to what happened as I've had this computer for a long time now unless it's that Kernel Task thing. I see "Zapping the Pram" as something one can do for issues but I've yet to try that - not knowing if it's the right thing to do.

    Does anyone have an idea? Should the Kernel Task be sucking up so much oomph? Should I try this Zap the Pram business? Thanks.
  2. donmei macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2007
    Have you tried downloading a video, then running from disk?

    I'd also run a download test to check the speed of my internet connection if I was you.

    I've had similar things happen and it usually is a problem with my ISP. I'm provisioned for 6mb/s but one day last month is dropped suddenly to about 800kb/s.

    I didnt really notice it except on video playback. But on vids it was a huge problem.

    So if the vid runs ok from disk or your download speed tests low, you may have a connectivity issue.

  3. Lunja macrumors 6502


    May 15, 2005
    Lincoln UK
    Everything to me would suggest that it's not the computer but your connection that's to blame.

    Have a check of the connection spped using a download tester, then check any cables from your Mac to the phone socket, and also check over the router if you have one.
  4. meagain thread starter macrumors 68030

    Nov 18, 2006
    Thanks. I forgot to mention this only happens on this iMac. I tried the same Youtube on my Air and there's no pauses at all - just smooth playback start to finish. I guess I'll try rebooting again?
  5. meagain thread starter macrumors 68030

    Nov 18, 2006
    Would there be any reason though that vids on my Air work fine but not my iMac re connection issues? I can't think of anything that would create a discrepancy? I rebooted and it's still behaving the same.

    Quicktime, Youtube, CNN video, Misc vids from sites. DVD and copied vids on my HD work fine. So yes, sounds like a connection issue BUT my Air is fine so I'm puzzled on that one. Unless something is running on my iMac causing a memory issue? Maybe?
  6. donmei macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2007

    Yes, the problem could have to do with your wireless connection to your router.

    The thing you should do is go here:

    see what speed you get from your iMac. Then try it from your Air. There should not be a significant difference in download speeds between the two.

    You generally need to see 1mb/s download speed to support things like CNN or Youtube video.

    Is your iMac connected wirelessly?
    There are known flakiness issue with Safari and wireless.

    If you are wireless, then test it with a wired connection to router. Even if you have to take the iMac to whereever the router is. Check the download speed. Is it better?

    If you are already connected wired, try swapping out cables. Also try using a different port on the router.

    Let me know what you find in all these cases. I'm sure we can figure this out.

  7. meagain thread starter macrumors 68030

    Nov 18, 2006
    Yes, everything is on wireless via an Airport Extreme.

    iMac: 1540 kbps down, 1442 up. Ping 18ms
    Air: 2880 down, 2550 up. Ping 40ms

    Hmmm.... I can't figure this one out. I wonder if I have my shareing messed up? I know I played around with it recently when I got the air. But I believe it was fine even after that. This happened out of the blue a couple days ago or 2 days ago after 1.5-2 years of flawlessness. I just can't figure out if it's the wireless, why one would work well, and the other not. I even went to see the session on the iPhone SDK via Quicktime and had issues.

    I'll move the iMac to where the router can reach tomorrow. It's a semi-big deal to do.
  8. meagain thread starter macrumors 68030

    Nov 18, 2006
    Odd. It's working now. I played around with the Airport Utility and Sharing in preferences and I'm still not sure what I did, but I seem to have done something right. :) So far, so good. I might be back though. :eek:

    Thanks very much for all the help.
  9. donmei macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2007
    If the problem comes back, plug the iMac into the airport using an ethernet cable. If it solves your problem, you KNOW it is the wireless connection.

    Just out of curiosity, even if the problem is solved, I'd run a download test again wirelessly, and maybe even wired if its not a hassle. just to know.

  10. meagain thread starter macrumors 68030

    Nov 18, 2006
    Will do. It's been working really well since that but I'll still investigate a bit further because when it happened, it was like dial up. :eek:
    Thanks Don!

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