iPad 3G video downscaled, blocked over AT&T network | iLounge News


iPad 3G video downscaled, blocked over AT&T network


In our early testing, iLounge has learned that some video delivery applications act differently over the 3G network than they do on Wi-Fi. The iPad’s built-in YouTube application strips both standard and HD videos to a dramatically lower resolution over the cellular data connection, something that iTunes Store video previews notably do not do, instead staying at a higher quality and consuming a greater amount of data. Other third-party applications, such as the ABC Player, refuse to work at all over the cellular connection, producing a notification pop-up that states, “Please connect to a Wi-Fi network to use this application. Cellular networks are not supported at this time.”


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I never expected to use 3G for video viewing. I bought an iPad with 3G so that I could access the Internet without relying on the availability, functionality and free use of public wi-fi hotspots. I expect to be able to see text and images on the 3G connection, not videos. Go figure.

Posted by Lillian on May 1, 2010 at 6:36 PM (CDT)


AT&T doesn’t turn off these apps over 3G, the developer sets that themselves when they compile and submit the app. The Netflix app of course will downsample, because that’s what Netflix streaming will do automatically based on the bandwidth capability. If 3G isn’t running as slow as your DSL/Cable at home, you’re gonna get lower quality video - same as what the YouTube app does.

Posted by Doc on May 1, 2010 at 6:59 PM (CDT)


Shoulda been “If 3G isn’t running as FAST as your DSL/Cable…”

Posted by Doc on May 1, 2010 at 6:59 PM (CDT)


Correction: 6 MB/minute, not second.

Posted by marinelayer on May 1, 2010 at 10:45 PM (CDT)


Buy a Palm Pre.  The screen is like it’s HD and the internet is great.  No problems with Sprint, videos, etc.

Posted by P.J. on May 2, 2010 at 1:38 AM (CDT)


I’m glad the simple physics behind the limited 3g network have finally bit apple in the ass. It’s a company for narrow minded chaunces alright.

Posted by John on May 2, 2010 at 5:25 AM (CDT)


When will you folks wake up, Apple is the cause of all the problems, their OS is designed to screw everyone unless they purchase the most expensive version, or additional equipment they produce, That is call “Free Enterprise” and “Screw You, the customer”

Posted by Monkeyman on May 2, 2010 at 7:50 AM (CDT)


Heh. Dumb. Will make a nice paperweight.

Posted by ranch111 on May 2, 2010 at 10:11 AM (CDT)


I’m so glad I didn’t buy the 3G. My WiFi & MiFi work great together.

Posted by Victor on May 2, 2010 at 10:45 AM (CDT)


Seems like an ABC app issue. Other streaming apps such as NetFlix, green box, and TWiT video streaming apps work fine over 3G. Even choosing video MP4 links from safari work fine. I think AT&T and Apple are somewhat innocent this time. ^_^

Posted by Rodney on May 2, 2010 at 12:50 PM (CDT)


I’ve seen a often missed theme here. The people who have the best performance from there iPhone are the ones running a JB version. This says one thing, the AT&T network is not the primary problem, limitations by Apple are.

Posted by LightShadow on May 2, 2010 at 1:42 PM (CDT)


Apple married AT&T who was willing to cave in to Apple’s demands, Verizon would not.  You want an Iphone or I-Pad welcome to AT&T and stop complaining about it. You get what you accept.

Posted by Geek on May 2, 2010 at 1:53 PM (CDT)


Speaking of Mifi;

“Bell Novatel MiFi 2372 “battery may swell”… customers asked to discontinue use”

Posted by Kevin Taylor on May 2, 2010 at 6:55 PM (CDT)


Just checked Rogers for Novatel Mifi 2372, when you click on the product you get a page that says;

Unfortunately, the phone you are looking for is not available for purchase on http://www.rogers.com.

Posted by Kevin Taylor on May 2, 2010 at 8:02 PM (CDT)


The abc app is providing that message and restriction, not apple or the iPad. It’s not a stock network or iPad message, the app developer put this in place. Regardless of how good or bad the AT&T network is, the restriction is not AT&T doing.

Posted by Gregh on May 2, 2010 at 10:15 PM (CDT)


First prize: a free ipad 3G
Second prize: two free ipad 3Gs

Seriously, who buys generation one of anything Apple. They design in secret. It is only after generation one is sold that they have a clue what the public wants.

Posted by Abdul Jones on May 3, 2010 at 3:51 AM (CDT)


@35 et al: It may not be AT&T implementing the limitation through some sort of network feedback/throttle, but based on the information presented (thanks for the reply Jesse), letting AT&T off the hook is naive.

Apple has NO direct reason to limit bandwidth usage. It degrades performance on their devices and they don’t supply bandwidth, so it’s completely against their self interest to put these sorts of app blocks in place. HOWEVER, it is in the interest of AT&T who got a sweetheart promotion from Apple in the form of the “hey, why don’t you sign up for this totally reasonable iPad data plan!” in everybody in the US’s signup (and since we only have US iPads at this point, who do you think the iPad was “optimized” for).

There are technological hurdles (and ethical hurdles) for being able to throttle traffic on an app by app basis at the network level (Hey! Why are you inspecting every single packet I send to see what I’m up to?!?), so it would appear AT&T simply got Apple to do the dirty work for them, and Apple complied since they’re too much in love with the money AT&T sends them every month for all the subscribers Apple sent their way.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on May 3, 2010 at 6:37 AM (CDT)


Also, once you convince Apple to hamstring network performance for you at the app and/or device level, you’ve got a double win. Not only will those dang iPad users with their “best internet experience” not clog your antiquated network by actually using the internet, if they should prove so resourceful to sign up with Verizon or another carrier, it won’t do them any good since performance will be equally hamstrung.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on May 3, 2010 at 6:40 AM (CDT)


#25 - can’t you get best of both worlds w/ Palm Pre Plus on Verizon if you use the PPP as a wifi hotspot for the iPad WiFi to jump onto?  No extra charge (beyond voice & data charges for PPP).  Thinking of getting wife PPP for Mother’s Day.

Posted by Paul on May 3, 2010 at 9:12 AM (CDT)


ABC can now stream HD video over 3G but not YouTube. Anyone know a fix.

Posted by Robert on May 4, 2010 at 7:26 AM (CDT)

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