Anyway, here is the interesting bit. Come 11 o'clock pm, all of a sudden, everything runs like clockwork - my video pic runs in real time, and the serious chatting can begin. Not at approximately 11 o'clock, not 5 to 11, not 5 past 11, NO - at EXACTLY 11 o'clock. Every time. Without fail. (At least as far as my testing has gone) I know it is always the same time because I watch the clock. (To be absolutely honest on my pc it occurs while the clock shows 23:00 but somewhere between 23:00 and 23:01)
I've run speed checks. It varies, at worst I get a speed check of 120.6kbps and at best 2.4mbps. But there seems to be no correlation between this and the video speed. The cable company has given the all clear. I've done signal strength tests - they were the same before and after 11.00pm. Microsoft have no idea. I've scanned for adware and spyware, malware, you name it. I've run it with firewalls on, and firewalls off. I've added more memory. I've used msconfig to disable some useless background programs. I've tried changing the clock on the computer. I've uninstalled live msn and re-installed 7.5.
One thing you'll be asking - I'm not sure what time the following morning it all grinds to a halt again. At the weekend, it is okay during the day. But it then gradually slows down around 6-7pm, and is again completely unusable.
I don't know where to go with this anymore. But the clue has to be in the dramatic change at 11.00pm. I have tried asking the cable company if some automated computer is running some program using all the bandwidth and shuts off at 11pm but they haven't been able to tell me anything. Other possible clues, it all started to go wrong round about the time I installed live messenger, but also when I installed a new webcam, but I've tried changing both to no avail.
Can anyone help?