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Old 09.10.2012, 10:53 AM
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Lido Lido is offline
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Join Date: 02.10.2003
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Red face NFL Game Pass performance - BT Vision

Folks

This might help some of you who have a set-top box like BT Vision+ and are having Game Pass performance problems.

Most of you will know there are some tips here for improving performance:
http://gamepassuk.support.nfl.com/Vi...CLID=205437205

Using an ethernet cable connection, I ran a speed test (using http://www.speedtest.net/ on my MacBook Pro (7 years old) using a BT Broadband Homehub 2 and was getting around 2.4Mbps download speeds. The article says that an optimum speed is 5Mbps for the highest quality Game Pass feed.

What I hadn't considered previously was the other devices that were also plugged into my router via ethernet. One is a Nintendo Wii which occasionally pings the internet for updates, the other is the BT Vision+ box. I unplugged the BT Vision+ box and ran another speed test. The result? 4Mbps!

It turns out the BT Vision box takes a huge chunk of my bandwidth even if I'm not recording or streaming anything, presumably this is to keep things up to date and to enable the "pause live TV" function. I'm guessing Sky+ boxes do similar "damage" to your bandwidth.

The resulting performance in Game Pass is superb. Very smooth and a great picture. I have my laptop plugged into my HDTV using a DVI to HDMI cable from Amazon. It works a treat. I have found it is smoother if you select a fixed quality rather than using "best performance". I fix mine at 1,600 Kbps which provides a great balance between picture quality and performance.

An additional quirky thing I also found that might help some of you. I used Activity Monitor on my Apple MacBook Pro to monitor the CPU usage when Game Pass was running. Remember mine is 7 years old so CPU isn't as good as modern equivalents. I found that Game Pass over ethernet (with wifi disabled) used 80-90% of my CPU. Game Pass over wifi used 50% CPU. Incredibly, performance is better over wifi than ethernet. I know this will upset some of you techies... I can't explain it, but I can tell you that it's true and worth a try if you find your CPU is peaking using a cabled connection.

I know some people think that their performance problems are at the Game Pass end, rather than in their homes, but these 2 examples show that there are lots of little things that you can do at home that will provide an improvement. I can honestly say that Game Pass on my TV (via laptop) is now "TV quality".

I hope this helps some of you get more enjoyment from your Game Pass experience.

Last edited by Lido; 09.10.2012 at 10:57 AM.
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