So Apple released some stuff yesterday…

Most of the attention seems to be on the iPhone X (you have to say it as 10, which is great but a) what happens to 9 and b) what happens to 10 in two years! ). THis post isn’t really about the iPhone X or 8 as in my opinion, they were run of the mill updates, some stuff is nice, like the dual camera orientation and buffs but meh to the rest..

The interesting stuff:

Apple TV 4K

Weirdly the Apple TV hasn’t gotten much limelight from what I’m seeing from general browsing. Apart from the appalling lack of storage (max 64GB), it looks good! Maybe not good enough to have Roku quaking in their boots but it looks decent with everything you would want:

Specs:

Video Output

2160p

Dolby Vision and HDR10

Processor

A10X Fusion chip with 64-bit architecture

 

Networking

Gigabit Ethernet

802.11ac Wi‑Fi with MIMO; simultaneous dual band (2.4GHz and 5GHz)

Bluetooth 5.0

 

Ports

HDMI 2.0a

Gigabit Ethernet

IR receiver

 

Audio Output

Up to Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 surround sound

Apple Watch Series 3

Anyway, moving on, the other interesting product is the Apple watch which adds LTE support. So now its a truly standalone device and with some Airpods sounds pretty cool depending on how long the battery is going to last in actual use. Plus it actually beats a lot of Android competitors as it’s claimed you can actually go swimming with it! The thing I like most, however, is that Apple has taken an old school technology such as having the same mobile number on multiple SIMs and are pushing it to be mainstream. Operators usually try and stick you on a business account if you want this type of functionality and even then its a fight.

EE refers to the SIM as an eSIM and there doesn’t appear to be a slot on the marketing pictures of the device so I suspect it’s a virtual SIM that’ll link to the Apple watch based on the IMEI  that links back to a SIM identifier that also goes out to your phone’s SIM / IMEI.

Hopefully, network support will be fast and furious! I’m with Three in the UK and it looks like only EE will be offering it from the start. Not a major issue, I like EE but usually put off by their pricing/caps. I might still be tempted however once some real world reviews are out!

Apple Watch 3
Apple Watch 3

UK centric broadband information and diagnostic help.

Have you turned it off and on again?

Only kidding…

One of the major gripes users have is the speed of their broadband. Bare in mind i’m mostly talking about the OpenReach network of ADSL which is typically copper  all the way to the exchange or Fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) which has a shorter run of copper from the green box into the house (voice is still copper all the way back btw).

When talking about the speed of your broadband there are two big differences to be aware of.

Sync:

The speed which will usually be looked at first by your ISP first and primarily is the synchronisation speed (sync). This is the speed at which your modem / router can connect to the equipment in the telephone exchange (Central Office for our American friends) or at the green box in the street (PCP). This is the maximum speed at which data can pass down the line and shouldn’t vary too much on each reboot of your modem / router.

Things that can effect the speed are:

  • Attenuation.
  •  REIN,
  • SHINE,
  • extension wiring (further attenuation),
  • equipment  issues,
  • bridge taps,
  • poor cable shielding,
  • engineer mistakes,
  • capped profile settings on the exchange,
  • There are other causes but these are some of the most common for example.

To check your sync rate, this will involve logging onto your home router (Seek ISP support or router support for instructions) and checking the status page for connection info.

Throughput:

The next speed we’re interested in is the throughput speed. A good metaphor for this would be a water pipe. If the sync mentioned above is the pipe its self, throughput it was water going through it.

Lets pretend the pressure on this water pipe isn’t changeable for the sake of our metaphor 😉 

This is tricky to diagnose as as the issue can lie on the customers side as much as is can with the ISP or beyond depending on the endpoints of the testing and everything inbetween.

Various things that can effect this:

  • Fault with the sync speed (knock on effect)
  • Server on the other side not providing you with data fast enough
  • Congestion on a network (not necessarily the ISP’s).
  • Downloading on your connection while running speedtests (congesting your part of the network to give you slower, skewed results).
  • Connection to the router such as via wireless .

Continue reading “UK centric broadband information and diagnostic help.”