By wireless streaming/playback I mean watching a video wirelessly with no transcoding, a simple 'press' and play.
Anyway, I was wondering if someone could help me resolve an issue I have and point me to a problem that is the source of the symptom. I would really appreciate it and have included as much diagnostic information as I can.
A symptom I'm having is when wirelessly playing 1080p BluRay compressed MKVs (playing them over direct wired connection from PC to router to WDTV Live is OK and wirelessly playing 720p plays fine too.) At certain parts or scenes of the movie (maybe 3-5 random scenes in total) the video would begin playing really slow (2-3x play speed) and the audio cuts out for several seconds or sometimes for the entire duration of the "frame-a-thon" until I hit the rew/ff button. I don't know if it's the WDTV Live, the wireless adapter, the wireless router or the wireless connection.
Here are the facts:
-WDTV Live with b-rad firmware .4.3.1 and PsychoTHC OSD Mod 6.3.1
-Netgear WNDA3100-NAR100 wifi adapter on WDTV Live
-Netgear WNDR3300-NAR100 wireless router w/ latest Netgear firmware V1.0.45_1.0.45WW (wireless mode: Up to 270mpbs @ 2.4Ghz; security: WPA2-PSK [AES]; AP mode on, 11n SSID enabled, 11g SSID disabled; QoS disabled, everything else is default)
Note: I also tested the router w/ the latest DD-WRT firmwares.
There seems to be no significant improvement or difference. I see no noticeable change. I stayed with the Netgear firmware because the problem seems to be less frequent, actually, and I have no connection or instability issues (not that I had these issues w/ the DD-WRT.)
In my entire house:
-There are no other devices connected to the router besides the directly wired computer hosting the video file and the wireless WDTV Live.
-There is only this one router, the one WNDA3100 wireless adapter, one wireless client (WDTV Live)
-There are no other wireless clients or devices that are in operation, not even microwaves or phones.
The WDTV Live is in the same room with the router and is only 2-3 horizontally feet away from the router that is behind a wooden bookcase whose side wall is about 1 inch think. Vertically they are the same.
WDTV Live <-----2-3 ft------> | 1" thick wood wall | router
·Is the N-Speed somehow "limited" or "crippled?"
---If so, how can I maximize the speed throughput?
·Is it wireless interference?
---If so, what can I do to decrease wireless traffic? I've tried using ONLY the 5ghz band but the symptom remains.
·Are the router's settings not optimal?
---If so, what settings do I change to solve the issue (or maximize speed throughput)?
·Is the router's AC power adapter defective or is it not good enough?
---If so, how would I know this?
---If so, will replacing the factory Netgear AC power adapter (12v 1.5A) to a better AC power adapter (12v 2.0A) solve the issue?
·Is the router itself defective?
·Is something wrong with the firmware that's causing this?
---If so, how would I know either of this?
What could be the cause of this symptom?
I would be grateful if these questions can be answered in descending order, if possible.
And if this matter can't be resolved, my alternative would be to replace the current router with another one. I'm thinking of the ASUS RT-N12 since it is cheap, has external antennas, and great reviews that I've read. I don't know if this would solve the problem I'm currently experiencing however.
Otherwise, my last option would be to settle for watching the videos from an attached wired USB drive, since in the future, I plan to migrate the streamer to the downstairs living room and unfortunately, a wired Ethernet cable/connection/network would be not be an option for me personally. However, as previously mentioned, I had no problems with the Ethernet wired connection. But before I resign I'd like to get the most out of the "wireless" method of watching videos, if I can.
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One thing I didn't see you didn't mention is the channel the wireless router is using. Try a program like Wirelessmon. The trial version is is usable for thirty days. It will show you the channel usage in your area and if you are using the default router channel, you may be getting some interference from other nearby routers and adapters. http://www.passmark.com/products/wirelessmonitor.htm Pick one of the least used channels. I use it with my laptop.
But I've seen the same problem at times with my wireless connection for streaming video to the WDTV. Ethernet is designed for discrete packets and can have dropouts at times. With data, not too noticeable. But with streaming it can be a PITA. I don't know how much buffering the WD has available, but I think the problems point to the router, it's settings and the adapter and it's settings.
I haven't have a lot of luck with N-routers, but still worth a try. I have a Edimax USB N adapter that works fine most of the time with my WDTV. My Netgear N router doesn't seem that easy to set up for the 5Ghz band. Works fine with the N adapter on the 2.5Ghz band. But I don't think bandwidth is necessarily the problem, more likely interrupts to the signal because the router has to resend the data a few too many times. I had mostly solid transfers, but with wired, never a problem.
If there is any way, use a wired connection the the router to the WD, even if you need to bore a couple of holes. Much easier to sort out.
I don't think the PS on either device is the problem.
You can play with the packet size on the router, but you need to set the adapter to use them also, if it can. I tried a lot of things, but never got a 100% perfect playback. But you may have better luck. I did notice that Xvids sent to the WD had no problems, only the HD MKVs. But there is a lot more data with the MKVs.
Anyway. Maybe some other members have some more specific ideas.
EDIT: Apparently, channels 1 and 11 are used by 2 other clients in my area. What are my alternate channels?
In regards to the router's settings, there isn't any much other settings I can tweak with using the latest NG firmware, other than the settings I previously mentioned. Besides, I can't find any settings that alter the "packets."
As for the wifi adapter settings, I'll have to plug it into my XP for the first time and see what kind of settings I can change. I assume that I download its latest OS drivers and then configure its properties via network connections window? I don't know if these altered changes within the wifi adapter itself would carry on over to the WDTV Live.
Last edited by Stealth3si; 19th Oct 2010 at 02:53.
You need a WiFi adapter to use WirelessMon. I just use a laptop. It will detect a wireless N connection, but not sure about a 5Ghz connection.
I messed around with the router settings also, but never made much progress or improvements. I also have a WiFi access point with about the same sort of problems with occasional dropped packets during streaming HD material. But I do have a lot of routers and access points around here. There is a tower with WiFi antennas a quarter mile away with about six high powered access points on it, so lots of background noise. Channels three, seven and nine seem to be good around here at present.
By packet size, I was referring to MTU. You can try reducing your MTU (Maximum Transmission Units) in the router. It's usually set at 1500 by default and sometimes lowering it to 1492 helps with fragmented packets. (Data is not continuously sent, it's in discrete packets. Too large and they may fragment, causing it to be sent again.) Sorry, I'm not that knowledgeable about all this. Most routers have settings for MTU.
Real world throughput of wireless-n is nowhere near the advertised "up to 270 Mb/s". Switch to a DLNA server. UDP has a lot less overhead than TCP. And Window's and Linux's SMB protocols (file sharing) also have a lot of overhead.
I tried it and the "stuttering" still persists.
Tversity and then switched to an haneWin NFS server for convenient purposes, which both solved my issue.
Last edited by Stealth3si; 20th Oct 2010 at 06:10.
-crud- wrong tab.