Crackling/sound distortion on streaming video

January 26, 2010 at 08:12:34
Specs: Windows XP SP3, Intel Core 2 Duo @ 2.66 GH / 4GB Ram
I have no problems with sound on my PC, but when I watch streaming video, either in Firefox on IE, a lot of the videos, but not all, have a lot of crackling or distortion on them, especially noticable on louder parts of the videos.

Here is an example of a youtube video in which the sound crackles a lot when the video gets louder:

Is this just how the video is or is there something wrong with the sound on my PC? I do not have another machine to test these videos on.

It happens not only on Youtube but all online videos. I tried downloading a problematic Youtube video to see if it would play ok offline but it still has the crackling sound, playing offline in VLC or Windows Media Player.

All my volume setttings in the control panel are set to 50%, so it shouldn't be an issue. Both sound drivers and Flash installation are up to date.
Otherwise the sound on my PC is fine.

Please can someone help?

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January 26, 2010 at 12:21:00
Sounds like it could be an issue with your router having issues pushing enough bandwidth for the vid. It's kind of a stretch, but it could be it. The packets are obviously not getting to your computer the way they should. Are you using some kind of satellite internet connection? You might be having an issue with the real time protocol that streaming media uses (I think, it's been a while since N+). Hell, just try resetting the router.

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January 26, 2010 at 12:35:23
Hi, I am using a direct ethernet connection to a cable modem on a 20MB/s connection. My speeds are generally just under 20MB/s. I have reset the modem but to no avail.

Is there anything else I could try?

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January 26, 2010 at 12:59:21
I tried the video and it was fine but very loud compared to others on YouTube.
I don't suspect anything to do with internet connection because you said it was the same when playing a downloaded file offline.

It sounds like overload but I note you have volume at 50%. Just the same it might be worth lowering the level even further (just as an experiment) using the taskbar volume control options. Maybe your speakers are a bit sensitive.

Sound card is a possibility, although mostly (but not always) they play up on one channel only. Something of a mystery.

Did this just suddenly happen or was it after some change or other?

some other bloke...

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Related Solutions

January 26, 2010 at 13:05:45
Hi, I have tried experimenting with different volume levels using the taskbar volume control but it makes no difference. It is weird because a lot of streaming video works without any cracking or distortion. But that link I posted is particularly crackly during the louder parts.
This is somehing I noticed a while a go but I can't remember when it exactly. I'm just fed up with it now.
Could a software conflict cause this?

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January 26, 2010 at 14:29:17
No end of possibilities. Have you any headphones (or spare speakers) so you can see if it is the same with those?

As this seems to be related to "videos" it might be worth turning down hardware acceleration a notch or two - perhaps the video is affecting the sound. I expect you already know but it's:
Right click desktop > Properties > Settings tab > Advanced button > Troubleshoot tab.

Other than that see if anyone else has any ideas on here.

some other bloke...

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January 26, 2010 at 15:11:37
I have tried headphones and the problem is still there.
Reduing hardware acceleration makes no difference eiher. :(

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September 10, 2010 at 16:36:14
I am having the exact same issue. Mine comes up when I'm watching episodes of the Daily Show. I have optical audio connection from my computer to my Yamaha amp which routes to my 5.1 system.

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