Why is facetime so choppy?

eclipse01

macrumors 68030
Original poster
May 16, 2011
2,522
271
Eau Claire, WI
I use it (or try to) very often with my g/f and we both have cable high speed internet, speed test on both our phones give us about 14mb down.

yet facetime lags horribly bad?

why?
 

Shrink

macrumors G3
Feb 26, 2011
8,931
1,606
New England, USA
I use it (or try to) very often with my g/f and we both have cable high speed internet, speed test on both our phones give us about 14mb down.

yet facetime lags horribly bad?

why?
I FaceTime the UK almost every day. Being an idiot myself, my only suggestion would be to try a re-boot just before placing the call. My friend has to do that often for us to make connection - but once we do it's smooth, with no lag.

Forgive me if that was dopey advice. He and I have come to the conclusion that there must be some bugs in FT, but we haven't figured it out yet.

BTW, although am pretty much a techno-moron - he is EXTREMELY sophisticated, and we are still having trouble figuring out the glitches.

Sorry if I'm not helping, but a pre-call reboot can't hurt.:D
 

iceterminal

macrumors 68000
May 25, 2008
1,870
27
Dallas Tx.
I use facetime every day at least once with my wife and the only time we have lag or choppiness is when the bandwidth fluctuates.
Even though we're both on extreme high speed networks, it still happens.

I also facetime with friends in the UK and Germany, and have the same issues from time to time.

I suggest this. YOU: go to a different location and try again. If it works, then you can look at something on your end throttling that type of date.
If it doesn't have your lady do the same thing.

Usually it comes down to the internet connection.
 

rjohnstone

macrumors 68040
Dec 28, 2007
3,543
3,605
PHX, AZ.
How fast is your upload speed?
Cable is typically great for download speeds, but upload speeds are usually pretty pathetic.
Remember... Facetime is two-way communication.
So you being able to SEND a video stream is dependent upon your upload speed.

Also, some cable companies will give you bursts of high speed data and then drop you down to half the burst speed for a majority of your use.

So your speed test result could be off by as much as 50%.
 

iceterminal

macrumors 68000
May 25, 2008
1,870
27
Dallas Tx.
How fast is your upload speed?
Cable is typically great for download speeds, but upload speeds are usually pretty pathetic.
Remember... Facetime is two-way communication.
So you being able to SEND a video stream is dependent upon your upload speed.

Also, some cable companies will give you bursts of high speed data and then drop you down to half the burst speed for a majority of your use.

So your speed test result could be off by as much as 50%.
Correct, I forgot to mention that the connection is sending AND receiving simultaneously. When you do speed testing, its not a valid test as its only testing one direction at a time.
 

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,905
1,182
Washington DC
Also, some cable companies will give you bursts of high speed data and then drop you down to half the burst speed for a majority of your use.

So your speed test result could be off by as much as 50%.
This is my guess. Just because you got a fantastic 10-second test doesn't mean you get that same speed for the next 10 minutes.
 

eclipse01

macrumors 68030
Original poster
May 16, 2011
2,522
271
Eau Claire, WI
you guys are right, I figured it could have been upload but wasn't too sure.

upload is about a steady 1.5 if not worse
 

ericrwalker

macrumors 68030
Oct 8, 2008
2,812
3
Albany, NY
I use facetime, 2 or 3 times a week. Most of the time it's very clear and not choppy at all. Usually I am on my 4S at work 10Mbps down 10Mbps up, and my wife/daughter are at home on an iPhone 4 with 10Mbps down and 1Mbps up.
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,554
1,871
Has she tested her connection? Mine is very smooth with the people I've used it with. I have fios which has ok download but really good upload speeds. Usually 15/15
 

macbookman83

macrumors 6502
Jan 23, 2011
420
0
New York
It depends and both parties Wifi connection, anything else that may be downloaded or uploaded in either location and the phones cache.

I usually close all apps and respring before a facetime call but on average I dont have many probelms.
 

eclipse01

macrumors 68030
Original poster
May 16, 2011
2,522
271
Eau Claire, WI
Has she tested her connection? Mine is very smooth with the people I've used it with. I have fios which has ok download but really good upload speeds. Usually 15/15
we have the same service in two different houses

about 14 down and 1.5-2.00 up
 

pilot1226

macrumors 6502a
Mar 18, 2010
595
13
USA
I would suggest trying to restart your wireless access points/routers. Sometimes if there are things competing for bandwidth it'll create a detrimental effect.

So if you're downloading a bunch of free TV episodes on your Mac/PC, and you've got multiple connections for things like your Television, AppleTV, Wii/XBox/PS3, Roku Box, etc, you're all competing with bandwidth.

There's only so much you'll be able to sustain, and typically the upload speed on cable is capped around 2 megs on any provider (some are more or less, and there are variants, for example my basic ISP internet service is 2 megs capped upload, but I can upgrade to another tier of service for another $10 per month and I think it jumps to 5 megs up and something crazy like 30 megs down.

I'd also see if this issue is happening over EVERY wifi spot you're using. This could narrow down the cause to either your router or the other person you're FT'ing with. Next time you're both in the same location, use the same router and FT and see how it works. If it's bad, might point to your router.
 
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