Tips & Advice

Posts: 12,079
Registered: ‎26-08-2011

Youtube mythbuster

[ Edited ]

Here is a bitly link for sharing the page 



Since late June or early July 2012 there are many blackberry users reporting problems connecting to youtube, or buffering then not playing. I've never had a BB myself so I'm not really sure what to suggest other than trying for the latest blackberry youtube download or you can try the xenozu player (this buffers the whole clip and then plays once it's downloaded). Hope one of these works, please leave a comment if they do (or don't). Thanks. mgb2



 There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding around how youtube works on giffgaff, and indeed over the mobile network as a whole. I am writing this guide to give some facts and even help to people who are struggling to get youtube to work.
 Firstly, I must say this a guide only and is by no means 100% accurate for any specific phones or operating systems other
than those I have tested. The points I make about signal however, apply regardless of your phone type.


 To the best of my knowledge, all youtube content is now in H.264 / 3gp / Mpeg4* format... Adobe Flashplayer is no longer used.

If you have trouble with an app on your phone, try using via your browser.

If you still have problems playing youtube videos it is worth looking through your phone settings to see if it has the proxy settings enabled. The proxy is (or can be written IP Address  Port 8080). Often by removing these it will allow video to stream.

 The first thing to understand about signal is that there are no agreed minimum standards set by the International
Telecommunications Union for the definition of what actually constitutes 3G signal. The ITU guideline for 3G is a minimum of
384Kbps download speed, delivered to a moving vehicle and 2Mbps to stationary users, however, as there is no agreed standard the various networks have widely different services.


It should be said at this point that 2G GPRS & 2.5G EDGE (General Packet Radio System / Enhanced Date rate for GSM Evolution) has a maximum download speed of 238k, so theoretically is just about enough to support one user with one stream. This falls down however when anyone else is trying to use the signal and is therefore unlikley to work at all.


For any video to reliably stream to a mobile phone you need a minimum of 3G signal and ideally 3G+ known as HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access). Currently in the UK the O2 network is running HSDPA at 7.2Mbps max speed and is slowly in the process of upgrading this to 14.4Mb.


I have recently been testing signal with 2 different phones and 2 networks as I live in rural Devon, which according to O2
coverage maps actually gets no 3G at all. This area is in the middle of a triangle of 3 towns with masts all between 6 & 7
miles away. At home all I receive is a basic 2G signal with speeds around 150k - 190k down & 60k to 90k up.

 Using my Samsung Europa (£50 phone, 600mhz ArmV6 processor) running Android 2.2 with its stock browser, one of these towns gave a signal of 3G at 192K down, 61k up with ping of 145ms. This was barely able to buffer and play a 3 minute youtube video in around 6 mins, so basically didn't work on any meaningful level. The second town gave vastly improved results; an HSDPA signal with 2.73Mb down & 289k up, oddly with a slower ping of 170ms. This played any number of streams with a quick 4 or 5 second buffer completely glitch free.
 Both towns were checked on the 3 network with an HTC Desire S and the slower town (3G) gave 1.6Mb down & 218kb up and the quicker town (HSDPA) gave 5.4Mb down & 2.6Mb up.


You need Android 2.2 for Flash to play with a strong signal, there are arguments that ArmV6 processors are not enough and
that you need ArmV7 spec. My £50 phone runs ArmV6 at 600mhz and performed well with an HSDPA signal and youtube, however I am still struggling with Flash. This is not an absolute minimum spec for streaming video to work reliably but anything a lot lower really won't cope with Flash. There is the alternative option of using the Skyfire browser which converts flash to HTML5 for phones that don't support Flash but again you need a reasonable processor to do it.

Remember, the best, most powerful phone, is only as good as the signal it receives.

I hope this gives you some ideas that help and I would definetely like to hear the experiences of iPhone, Blackberry and Windows users with a plan to give further guidelines in the future... Any Windows or BB users please feel free to PM me.


EDIT: Disturbing read from O2

Whilst this discussion is over 2 years old it demonstrates how different levels of contract receive different levels of service. O2 are currently upgrading their network to HSDPA running at 14.2Mbps, nowhere on the O2 website can I find any reference to any level of gauranteed service, which would seem to mean there are no certainties and that these old issues are still occuring if you happen to not be in or near the bigger cities across the country.


Here is a link to OFCOM's mast locator which will give you information about your local transmitters:

the OFCOM maps appear to be more accurate than O2 coverage maps (which are calculated mathematically & seem less reliable),


 iphone specific links and info here;

 Following the ios5.1 upgrade, anybody having youtube trouble is first advised to re-enter the giffgaff settings manually...

username: giffgaff
password: password

the upgrade has caused a conflict with the 2020 settings profile and doing a manual entry should work... otherwise;


A great site for BBC iplayer (and iphone youtube advice) from Sloz;  

I never use the inbuilt app on my iPhone, quite happy using on safari. Also gives you 2 stream quality options. Also mediaburner app , you can stream or download the video. If your using an iPhone and your 3g speed is on the slow slide don't use the YouTube app that comes with the phone, it will detect your speed and give a poor quality stream, much better to use the mobile site in safari click hq. and pause the stream until the progress bar advances for a minute or even two . I think it's preferable to wait a minute or 2 to view a great quality stream, than view an awful quality one after 10 second. Here are some alternative iphone youtube apps from sloz (thanks mate)...


Speedbit hd


Android set-up; I like gaffer by bitbrit (download here) or search google play for the giffgaffAPN by paul shirley.


* Moving Pictures Expert Group standard 4




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Registered: ‎21-07-2010

Re: Youtube mythbuster

[ Edited ]

Very good post, it seems you've done your homework on the subject.  Your findings give a good account of what a lot of people agree with, in that signal pays a great part in the use of Youtube, especially when they were able to play it with the same handset, but on a different network.  I hope you get a good response with your thread and maybe accumulate more information.  Good luck.

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Posts: 12,079
Registered: ‎26-08-2011

Re: Youtube mythbuster

Cheers rayhoo


any iphone & windows users care to add to this?

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Registered: ‎22-06-2011

Re: Youtube mythbuster

Thanks mgb2 I will now stop trying to fiddle with my phone in the hope one day of making youtube work :smileysad:  I need a new phone, been looking for a while now but I am in a rubbish 3g signal area so I'm guessing now that it won't matter what I buy: no 3g=no youtube?

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Re: Youtube mythbuster

Dont think its as black and white as this speed will stream and this speed wont. Depends as well on the phone.
Posts: 12,079
Registered: ‎26-08-2011

Re: Youtube mythbuster

[ Edited ]

sloz wrote:
Dont think its as black and white as this speed will stream and this speed wont. Depends as well on the phone.

"Firstly, I must say this a guide only and is by no means 100% accurate for any specific phones or operating systems other
than those I have tested. The points I make about signal however, apply regardless of your phone type."


Its a guide as i said. Its a bit of a grey area sloz but

how about some useful input mate?

your speeds & location & opsys etc


I mentioned other networks & phones but you're happy to ignore that and simply pooh pooh the post


"Remember the best, most powerful phone is only as good as the signal it receives."

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Registered: ‎20-04-2011

Re: Youtube mythbuster

Nice information thanks.
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Re: Youtube mythbuster

Thanks for that, very useful :smileyhappy:

Please mark the best answer when you're sorted :smileyhappy: to help others find it.
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Re: Youtube mythbuster

nice guide m8.
just to add a couple of things though, you dont need flash player for youtube.
also, it doesnt matter what browser u use. Opera mini etc realy speeds up browsing but wont affect how well u get youtube.

I actualy found giffgaff coz i got a new phone with youtube app on it n was looking for a network that would let me stream youtube (its amazing the rare tunes u can get on youtube n i wanted that)
i was asking on a forum+someone suggested gg :-) rest is history :-)
n id say around 1mb/s download speed is fine for youtube :-)
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Registered: ‎21-04-2011

Re: Youtube mythbuster

cHEERS mATT FOR GIVING ME (takes caps lock off) an interesting read matie. My i4 cannot get a good signal in the house upstairs or downstairs and i live less than half a mile from Grantham town centre. If i walk 20 meters down my road (we are on a hill) then i can get 1 bar on the 3g network, which is enough to get youtube streaming fine. I am using the Rebel Express to unlock my iphone as i cant call t-mobile.. (Owe them a few hundred pennies as i went over my mins, why didnt they cap it then.. losers).

So maybe using this rebel sim or indeed Gevey is fading my signal somewhat as i was sitting next to a mate earlier who is also on giffgaff and she had 2 bars 3g and i only had a 2g signal. I even held my iphone NOT in its "special" place so i didnt loose signal and she touched those parts and i still never even came close to licking her 3G region. I only had EDGE once and that was in Leeds, But like i say if i travel a short way, a few car lengths down the hill i get 3g, i can stream youtube to my hearts content if i lay in the park in town, until the police move me on.. Any spare change mister? I have an i4 to support!

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