An Anonymous Coward writes:
If life ever returns to normal, one thing no one will miss from the lockdown era is the 'TV goldfish'. For over a year, we've watched the disembodied, pixelated faces of contributors to live TV mouth their words out of sync with their audio, gulping away as if in a private fish tank. This isn't the exception for internet video, it's the norm.John Day is one of the internet's greybeard founding fathers. For a decade he has been advancing a set of improvements to the current mainstream internet protocols. His proposals – called RINA (Recursive Internetwork Architecture) – revisit and build on Louis Pouzin's founding concept of datagrams (data packets). Simplifying these features allowed the original inter-networking protocols (IP) to get out of the door in the 1980s and 1990s, and allowed for the rapid growth of the internet. But the current system we have – TCP/IP – is holding back new innovation.
If life ever returns to normal, one thing no one will miss from the lockdown era is the 'TV goldfish'. For over a year, we've watched the disembodied, pixelated faces of contributors to live TV mouth their words out of sync with their audio, gulping away as if in a private fish tank. This isn't the exception for internet video, it's the norm.
John Day is one of the internet's greybeard founding fathers. For a decade he has been advancing a set of improvements to the current mainstream internet protocols. His proposals – called RINA (Recursive Internetwork Architecture) – revisit and build on Louis Pouzin's founding concept of datagrams (data packets). Simplifying these features allowed the original inter-networking protocols (IP) to get out of the door in the 1980s and 1990s, and allowed for the rapid growth of the internet. But the current system we have – TCP/IP – is holding back new innovation.
See also: Internet outage illustrates lack of resilience at heart of critical services
The Guardian view on the internet outage: we need resilience, not just efficiency
For over a year, we've watched the disembodied, pixelated faces of contributors to live TV mouth their words out of sync with their audio, gulping away as if in a private fish tank. This isn't the exception for internet video, it's the norm.
Well, haven't seen that in many years. Seems something is wrong with his setup?
Agreed. Problems like that are the exception not the rule. Looks like a solution in search of a problem.
Most likely, the author has some fancy setup where their audio goes through about five different daisy chained boxes before it reaches his/her speakers, and with each box adding its own latency, the result is he/she has created their own fishbowl problem.
The author is probably also the same type who purchase $4,000/foot speaker wire with oxygen free gold wire because it provides a purer sound with more melodic highs and more bassy lows.
No, not at all. The author has some elaborate pet-project solution they've been working on for years and now has to invent a problem for it to solve.
Yeah, that's what I thought too. This might happen once in a great while, but I haven't experienced this in years. However, his writing style sounds British. Perhaps this is more of a problem in Right-pondia?
I've seen a few vids lately that weren't quite in sync, but my internet is slow enough to time with an hourglass. And it was unusual enough to notice, even with my shit access. So yeah, sounds like a personal problem...
started reading TFA but then gave up when I realized they had no idea at all.
its not about qos. qos to deliver ADS to us, better?
no, at least 2 thiings are wrong that need fixing:
- remove the infestation where 'tracking' is a 'thing'. that's problem 1. it causes cdn's to deliver 1 pixel 'images'. that's insane! its not for us, its for them, so that makes it all wrong.
- revisit the whole idea of 'producers provide data; consumers are allowed/encouraged to constrain/control/filter that data to their choosing'. yeah, I mean widespread adblockers and element hiders. only geeks 'edit' their viewed pages thru smart filters and the rest get pushed a bunch of toxic garbage that lessens the whole experience
qos is fine as it is. but making all pages require links and images that are NOT needed - that's insane. we allowed it and we were wrong in doing that.
ok, maybe one more thing needs changing:
- decentralized control, so that no powerful entities can take things down or pollute the data with their crap. this is all about security and removing the ability to detect fake messages (authentication if you want it) and mulitple redundant resources and paths so that things can't be 'taken down' as easily.
the economic problem (the ads model) is #1, though. that will never be fixed. we farked it up for good, I'm afraid.
The summary makes it sound like IP is broken... to me it's more in the higher layers.
If you can have an HTML5 audio-video solution that handles its own data in UDP, and doesn't cram a bunch of unwanted stuff onto the channel with your desired stream - that should be good enough.
If I recall correctly, we've had fairly solid audio-video capability for ~15 years now, at least if you had the best gear and connections 15 years ago - today just about everybody's in-home WiFi outperforms all but the best professional office connections from 2006.
Reworking the infrastructure will only dodge the problems with the current system temporarily, all the same crap is going to crawl into the new infrastructure in a short time and that brilliant improvement demonstrated at rollout will melt away to resemble what we have today.
There's that, but the bigger issue is the way that a few social media companies are effectively blocking off large portions of the internet behind paywalls and registration. One of the great things about the net when I first had an account decades back was that there was very little of that. For the most part, you could visit any site you liked and relatively few sites weren't completely accessible.
wow, that was short ... considering the scope of "the problem".i don't do much " looky-looky-talky" but am happy i can ring-up someone in the middle of the night half way across the globe and talk to them "for free" (monthly internet plan and computing device not included).also, "talking" to other players via bullets (sub 60ms ping) seems to work A-oh-kay.also, this, for me, work over a 30 barrels down and 10 barrels up of T1 lines (woah, remember those!), colloquial referred to as vdsl nowadays ...
Err no, it's not the norm. It happens very rarely, and when it does it's usually because of some problem at the codec. Audio and video tend to be sent on the same connection, so any issues at the TCP/UDP or below layers may lead to lost packets and thus missing audio/video frames, but that would not be out of sync.
Or, you know, you're trying to watch via a "SmartTV". I noticed that the built-in "smart" part of the TV I recently purchased, sucks all kinds of bad. Was mostly curious how good/bad it was and it is again, disconnected from the network. Took me a while to find the forget network option, buried under some serious menu hell.
They probably have a smart tv, and they probably left turned on all the "smart tv picture enhancement settings" (which are often on by default anyway) each of which adds latency to the video pixels from the stream making it to the LCD panel for display.
With the result that he/she consistently get "fish bowl" audio/video de-sync, but only because they caused it by being too stupid to turn off the extra video processing.
No, TCP/IP, UDP/IP, ICMP, none of those protocols are the problem. You don't even fucking know what TCP/IP is. You don't even fucking know what DHCP is or ARP. Don't even fucking get me started. Well you got me started.
The problem is called Skype. It's called Windows 10. Dump your fucking shit software stack. Get software that Just Works like GNU/Linux and XFCE.
Oh yeah and while we're at it, get a real internet connection. You want video calls? You need decent upstream. You need a router that isn't a shit consumer NAT that needs to be rebooted every day. You don't need a ton of bandwidth, 30mbit symmetric is plenty. You don't need 100mbit or gbit.
The solutions are out there, but you have to stop listening to marketers, and you have to tell the New York Times, WaPo, Slate, sometimes Salon, The Guardian, and Spike to take their incel shit (this is misandry, same as telling a woman she should get in the kitchen and make a sammich is misogyny, you are reducing the person to a sexual object and telling them to get back in their patriarchy assigned role) and RMS is transphobic shit and go fuck themselves if you want to find them.
" You don't need a ton of bandwidth, 30mbit symmetric is plenty. You don't need 100mbit or gbit."if the real world where like the internet, people would have four-wheel drive ferraris with rocket boasters and go shopping by driving inside walmart (or watnot), saying "grab 4 cans of baked beans" and a robot arm would extend from the hood and pack 'em beans, whilst being bombarded by advertisment that promises the next ferrari is even better and faster at picking stuff from the aisles ... whilst the rest just use a trolly and curse that the top shelf is "robot-arm-accesible-only" ... and getting higher (read: more bloated)...
The article is written for a general audience by Andrew Orlowski, [wikipedia.org] formerly of the Register. He famously coined the '00s phrase "linux crusties" to denigrate the FSF but would probably not unfairly slander RMS as you just did. On balance, it's Orlowski and not you with the opinion worth considering.
> The problem is called Skype. It's called Windows 10.
Yeah that's true, Win 95 (and DOS actually) was much better at sound... but so much worse in so many other ways.
> Dump your fucking shit software stack. Get software that Just Works like GNU/Linux and XFCE.
Which is the Linux audio software that works then, is it alsa, is it alsa but not the userspace bit, is it pulse audio or is it jack which was made because pulse was shit or is it pipewire which I don't think is done yet but was started because of jack shit... or something else ?
"Just works" audio on Linux ? Really ?
Fact is your sound stayed in sync with what it was supposed to be in sync with when each app hit the dedicated sound hardware direct without OS getting in the way, and it's _never_ consistently stayed in sync on any platform since. And it ain't an internet problem either because otherwise it would magically go away if you just downloaded and then worked offline like in the old days, and guess what - it doesn't.
Any of the above.
Alsa is old, but still works most of the time if you only want one output.
Pulse Audio works fine for regular desktop use.
Jack (which predates Pulse FYI) is excellent if you have a static studio setup and need low latency, network audio, or other kinds of specialised/professional audio setup.
Pipewire is still work-in-progress, but now pretty stable for general use. It's aimed to be a replacement for Pulse Audio, while also bringing some of the features of Jack to a more casual audience.
"Just works" audio on Linux ? Really ?
Compared to Windows? Abso-fucking-lutely!
Just the kind of masturbatory 2 minutes' hate I'd expect from fans of a has-been OS (Linux, not Windows) and its ecosystem dominated by purple-haired Ｊewish trannies who think writing good software is a "meritocracy" and that meritocracies are bad because Jews shriek with rage when they see somebody doing something better than they can.
The same hooknosed weasels are behind ideas like "equity" and "common core" in which the top performers are hampered or forced out, and the rest are held in line with codes of conduct. And, amusingly, the same purple-haired Ｊewish trannies who think Linux is totally righteous oversaw Linux being usurped by Ｊewish and Chinese corporate interests, and even Microsoft itself is biting off a huge piece of Linux because incompetent Ｊewish trannies in charge of Linux are sitting around selling out and circle-jerking each others' pronouns rather than maintaining a competitive OS.
In 5 years or so when Microsoft Linux is a dominant product, and casual users are running Linux with the Linux Subsystem for Windows, purple-haired Ｊewish trannies will shriek and infight and blame their own incompetence on the White man's colonialism.
-1 sad but you're probably right about the outcome
OP, are you legitimately antisemitic, sinophobic and transphobic, or are you just working by rote off a'bigot bingo' card today? You failed at bigot bingo because you forgot to include fat-shaming and alien anal-probing. Cheers!
I don't think TCP/IP is the problem here; I would rather focus my attention on the mildly rotten software environments most people use everyday.For as much as Windows 10 gets praised for being reasonably good, I can tell you it doesn't feel as nice as my Ubuntu distro.I know some of you will think I'm one more of these half-blind Linux zealots, but hear me: I use Windows 10 and Ubuntu 21.04 on two laptops both equipped with 16GB RAM, a SSD and a 10th gen i7. I swear Windows 10 consistently feels way more sluggish than Ubuntu. I regularly get a black screen for a coupe of seconds when switching between Teams and other running software.
TL;DR Fix your shitty software env before pissing on TCP/IP
>> I swear Windows 10 consistently feels way more sluggish than Ubuntu.
That's because Poettering isn't done yet.
Windows 10 praised? By who? With all of its phone-home, auto-update, and other mysterious background processes enabled by default, I would expect random interruptions and non-deterministic behavior to be par for the course.
I regularly get a black screen for a coupe of seconds when switching between Teams and other running software.
And you don't think the issue is teams? Plus Teams on ubuntu is even more flaky in my experience.
I use Teams a lot on Ubuntu, and only have minor problems. What's annoying, though, is that the Windows client has seen a lot of new and improved features over the past year. The Linux client hasn't been touched, and is way behind. That's really disappointing, when MS is supposed to be getting friendlier with Linux.
That seems to fit in with how Microsoft views Linux for the desktop. They are really pushing running Linux on top of Windows 10, and if you're doing that, well you can just use the Windows Teams client then.
You should also be able to use the web client too. That seems to work reasonably well by Teams standards, though I don't dabble in a lot of the more advanced features.
Never have I seen an article so poorly researched, so poorly presented, and so far off base that it's very difficult to even begin to point out where they went wrong.
1) The desync issue has NOTHING to do with the Internet and everything to do with how it was encoded and decoded on the origination and destination.2) What is he watching where the desync is so incredibly consistent?3) Net Neutrality is one of the foundational pillars of the Internet and allows anyone to communicate effectively. He's attempting to muddy the waters by confusing QoS and the concept that "every packet is equal". The two concepts are 100% compatible with each other. If it's a video packet with QoS - it's equal to every other video packet. What he's advocating for is paid prioritization: "I have money, so my packets are superior to pleb packets".4) The author has no understanding of how the Internet works. At all. It's to the point where I'm certain they didn't do any research of fact-finding or knowledge-seeking either. How is it that event the newest and most basic of Twitch streamers can figure this out, but this author couldn't?
Agreed. The videography might be crappy, but if you start with an assumption of a 100ms to 300ms latency, where's the problem? Zoom transmits video just fine. The vast majority of watchable television does not even have to be mixed and broadcast live.
And incredibly the editors here, ostensibly knowledgeable about computers above most anything else, saw fit to run it. Really makes you question the quality of all the non-technology stories on here.
We are trying to encourage a discussion - which this story has achieved. At the time of writing it has had more comments than any other story in the same day. If you don't like a story then skip it. Better still, send us a non-bot submission that you have written, please
Secondly, I live in a very rural area - this is a common experience for many people in this region although improvements are being regularly seen.
I know people who are still on dialup because that is all their system can handle in an anyway respectable manner. The inability of people to understand that not everyone has the same experiences as them is just astounding sometimes.
disembodied, pixelated faces of contributors to live TV
Woah! For a second there, I thought you were talking about NTSC.
NTSC was analog and thus could not glitch. If you ever saw glitching on NTSC broadcast, that would've occurred at a digital source before being broadcast in NTSC. Typically this would be some live, remote satellite feed from the field that was experiencing interference.
Dropping video frames in favor of audio is actually GOOD,
especially in something that's basically a "talking head" scenario
like most Zoom meetings. If you miss a few frames of somebody
just sitting there, or moving slightly it's no big loss. But if you ***
the audio *** *** confusing and annoying, *** un-usuable.
Binding the audio and video would keep things in sync, but
you'd have problems like losing a whole sentence just because somebody
moved. This is why Zoom has an option to use your phone for audio--precisely
become some people have better cel connections than Internet connections,
and it's the audio that matters. If it leads to Godzilla movie sync issues,
it's really not that bad.
I only wish digital broadcast TV would do this. On digital broadcasts,
blocks on the screen frequently correlate to loss of audio. Prioritized audio
with multiple layers of robustness could fix that, but it doesn't appear to have
been a consideration for broadcast TV, or if it was they didn't do it very well.
Blocks on the screen and skipping audio are caused by packet loss. Whatever interference caused it doesn't care if they are video or audio so using two streams wouldn't really help, since both streams would still experience packet loss.
True, but the emphasis should (for these types of things) ALWAYS be on audio, because the video is usually superfluous.
Also, making audio redundant is cheap. If the channels are bonded, redundancy
is too expensive. I think the difference in bandwidth is such that you could do a simple
tripling of the audio packets, use a "voting" system to throw out loss and not consume
too much bandwidth. I think the more sophisticated approach is to prioritize a low sampling
rate for redundancy. I think cel phone providers to this, which is why you sometimes
hear people transition to an echoey "robot voice" for a few seconds.
Asynchronous Transfer Mode [wikipedia.org] would've been a better choice for our current mix of real-time and delay-tolerant data streams. I'm a little sad it didn't catch on.
My understanding is that ATM is in widespread use, well at least it was some time ago (no updates for a while). It is/was used by the telephone carriers and TCP/IP also gets/got multiplexed into the streams. I would suspect that VoIP also gets translated to ATM.
The summary is mostly false; that issue is rare. TCP/IP is not broken, if used for its intended purpose. The issue is the proliferation of "stick everything in HTML", even when it is the wrong tool for the job (which is most of them). Before HTML started being used for video there was already a working protocol for streaming video: RTSP and RTP. File transfers, upload and download, predate HTML, and often still work using FTP; I used to use Microsoft's FTP server back when their web site had only a fraction of their available downloads.
Seems to me that this is a BS propaganda push for Google's (mostly) new protocol QUIC.
I too thought of QUIC as the answer to complaints about TCP. The headline is bad and wrong clickbait melodrama. (I didn't click on it and RTFA.) The Internet is most decidedly not broken. IP is okay, though it'd likely be better if everything finally moved to IPv6. If the Internet really was broken, audio and video merely being out of sync would be the least of the problems.
What's next? Headlines screaming that a new mutant fungus is eating silicon chips and all our computers will soon cease to function? Unless... you spray Dow Chemical Silicon Shield Fungicide on the chips! Or, or ... fire ants, yeah, that's it. Fire ants are eating the network cables! And ... because the sun was so quiet the past solar minimum, it's going to have one heck of a wild solar maximum like hasn't been seen in millions of years, and is going to knock out all our networks and the electricity grid too. We're doomed!
Day's solution isn't QUIC either. In fact, he hates QUIC too precisely because it is a kludge around a broken system that creates yet another stack issue.
His objection to the Internet technology is much more fundamental because his model of what the Internet should be is different than what the OSI eventually went with. I'd highly suggest reading his book or at least a summary of RINA. It has the potential to fix a number of problems with the Internet and reduce complexity, beyond just the relatable AV issues to stuff like BGP, buffer bloat, and other underlying problems while decentralizing it and increasing privacy. In fact, this article and summary are so badly written that I almost wonder if it is on purpose to make him sound like a kook or big tech shill.
I think many of the articles concerns are genuine, just there are already solutions in the works to address them.
Buffer bloat [wikipedia.org], address it in the router
QUIC [wikipedia.org], client and server push flow control into higher layers of network stack
I completely disagree with the idea that TCP/UDP/IP are the problem here. Most audio/video player implementation buffer the AV data before playing it. Their problem is their software, drivers, or hardware.
It is a combinations of a *lot* of things. But to put it in perspective if you drop 1 out of 1000 packets in TCP you can kiss 10% of your perf away instead of what you think it would be. 1 in 100 and you will see terrible perf.
My current refrain for most people is to look at their network gear for 'crappy webex'. Almost every time there are dropped packets. Most of the upper protocols back off into terrible routines or just turn into a stutter mess. TCP will back down the rate and outstanding packets *very* quickly, slaughtering perf.
They fix their dropped packet issue and everything starts working nicely for them. One dude it was his wireless nic card. Another it was his ISP. Another it was his router. There is only so much the software can do if the TCP stack has throttled you down to nothing. Just 'working around it' with QUIC/UDP is an interesting idea. But has not been proven to work yet and may have some of the same mistakes.
I used to have problems like you describe.Since I upgraded my connexion from ADSL to VDSL they have mostly stopped.