Usually I run MyVitalAgent with the both the Transaction Time and Modem panes closed in order to conserve some screen real estate, as shown in Figure 2 below.
This is a snapshot taken a week or two ago, while downloading a movie file from BigPond Movies, just that an instant of highest download speed, at 15.2 Mbps (circled).
Notice the light blue bars, which indicate download speed, and immediately below are dark blue bars which indicate upload traffic occurring at the same time (as part of the same transaction, there's always some upload occurring for synchronisation purposes).
Figure 2 - only two panes open, while
downloading from BigPond Movies.
During the movie download I found that the BigPond Cable Extreme service didn't ever get close to the nominal 30 Mbps speed, but fluctuated from around 8 to 15 Mbps, which still isn't too bad. Indeed, the movie (nearly 1 GB in size) took only 9 or 10 minutes to download, which closely matches what was indicated on the download page. Not too bad, I suppose, but I'd have been much more impressed if the download had run at close to the 30 Mbps nominal speed of Cable Extreme and had only taken about five minutes.
Since presumably the movie files are stored on a BigPond server and not on that of some external provider, surely Telstra should be able to configure things for close to nominal movie download speed. I know from some performance testing I've done on Cable Extreme, that for some services (like transferring large e-mail attachments) it certainly can transfer data at very close to the nominal top speed, so why not for movie downloads?
As a personal comment: BigPond Movies also offers a get-DVDs-by-post service that I've trialled and found to be rather convenient and efficient with next-day delivery of DVDs -- at least in metropolitan areas -- and my own inclination would be to use this in preference, with movie downloads only on the odd occasion if at all. Another consideration, for movie buffs anyway, is that many DVDs come with extra features (such as deleted scenes and director's commentaries) that I don't think movie download service offers.
If you'd like to view a short
Flash video demonstration of MyVitalAgent
that I've just made, then click here. And note that in the bottom right corner
of this video there's a button which enables you to download an MP4 video to watch on your iPod (probably best to right-click the button and then select "Save Target As..." from the context menu).
How do you obtain your very own copy of MyVitalAgent? Please read on to find out.