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Lizard
18-08-2009, 09:08 PM
I have a wireless LAN setup at home. I have one main desktop computer which is wirelessly connected to my router (it's too far away for a convenient wired connection), and I now have a laptop wirelessly connecting with the router.

File sharing is on, and so I thought I would try playing a video on the laptop that was stored on the external HDD connected to the main desktop computer. It starts out alright, but after about 10 secs, it gets choppy and breaks up.

I'm guessing that this is due to one of the following:

The 54mbps throughput of 802.11G standard is not being achieved
The drive speed of the source/destination drive is not fast enough
The processor of the destination computer can't keep up
The cache memory is not big enough.

I'm bluffing on that last one (it just sounded plausible), and I'm pretty sure the T6500 Core 2 Duo 2.1GHz processor on the laptop can handle the video being received (also has ATI HD3470 256MB graphics onboard), so I'm guessing it's one of the first two.

Does anyone have any light to shine on this? It would be really cool to not have to copy stuff across when I want to view it on a different laptop, and just stream it on demand.

Cheers

Lizard

jwil1
18-08-2009, 09:16 PM
It'll be the wireless connection.

Best way to test it is to bring the laptop real close, connect it with an ethernet cable and see what happens when you try to stream then :)

You may be able to make it work better by making either the laptop or desktop wired via ethernet to the router.

Blam
18-08-2009, 09:21 PM
Its definetly the wireless.

What player are you using? Have you tried increasing the buffer?

nofam
18-08-2009, 09:33 PM
It's a tricky business IMHO - I have a WRT310N router that streams to my Thinkpad (probably about 8 metres) from a media server in another room (via ethernet) and it's still choppy; Thinkpad is dual core with 3Gb RAM.

Have never managed to get it to run smoothly. :o

Blam
18-08-2009, 09:36 PM
It's a tricky business IMHO - I have a WRT310N router that streams to my Thinkpad (probably about 8 metres) from a media server in another room (via ethernet) and it's still choppy; Thinkpad is dual core with 3Gb RAM.

Have never managed to get it to run smoothly. :o

Eh?

Choppy over ethernet!!!????

What player are you using?

beeswax34
18-08-2009, 09:43 PM
I'm with blam here. A powerful machine using an ethernet connection shouldn't even think about problems like that.

Have you tried something like VLC to play it? Any firewalls?

wainuitech
18-08-2009, 09:51 PM
Thats a good point Blam - Choppy over Ethernet and only 8 Mtrs away ???? Something's wrong.

One of the WHS in the workshop, which has movies,music, etc - by the time you take the length of cable to the first switch - 5 Mtrs, then the workshop to the Router in the Office - another 20-25 mtrs, then from router (wireless capable) to the lounge, connecting to another switch - 15 -18 Mtrs, across ( under) the lounge floor,10 Mtrs to the Media Center - NO Buffering/ Jitters/ choppiness -- all play fine.

IF I try to play anything, even music Via the wireless - it IS choppy, even if its only within a few Mtrs.

nofam
18-08-2009, 10:32 PM
Sorry, should've been clearer - Media Server is connected to WRT310 by ethernet (router with 4-port switch) which streams wirelessly to laptop. Router is under the bed across the hall from the lounge where the laptop is. I just play my DVD rips etc with VLC.

It's weird, because when I find 802.11n substantially faster to surf the net with than my old Belkin access point.

Keen to try anything you guys can suggest?

Erayd
18-08-2009, 10:34 PM
Connect *everything* via ethernet and take the wireless out of the loop completely. If everything works fine, then your problem is with the wifi (this is pretty likely). Once the problem has been isolated, we can concentrate on the issue rather than trying to debug everything at once.

When you say DVD rips, do you mean uncompressed 9.4GB images, or compressed somehow? If they're compressed, what did you use to do it, and with what settings?

nofam
18-08-2009, 10:45 PM
Connect *everything* via ethernet and take the wireless out of the loop completely. If everything works fine, then your problem is with the wifi (this is pretty likely). Once the problem has been isolated, we can concentrate on the issue rather than trying to debug everything at once.

When you say DVD rips, do you mean uncompressed 9.4GB images, or compressed somehow? If they're compressed, what did you use to do it, and with what settings?

Did that the day I got it Erayd, and it pretty much fixed it.

Have just learned to live with it, by copying the files down to the local device first, rather than streaming it over the share to the media server.

Most of the rips are xvid .avi files or more recently, h.264 mkv's. Doesn't seem to make any difference.

Just looking at VLC, is there any difference between open file (from another device on the LAN) and open network stream?

Blam
18-08-2009, 11:09 PM
Sorry, should've been clearer - Media Server is connected to WRT310 by ethernet (router with 4-port switch) which streams wirelessly to laptop. Router is under the bed across the hall from the lounge where the laptop is. I just play my DVD rips etc with VLC.

It's weird, because when I find 802.11n substantially faster to surf the net with than my old Belkin access point.

Keen to try anything you guys can suggest?

VLC>Preferences>Show settings set to "All">Input Codecs>Access Modules>File>Try increasing the caching value(600-1000?)

Erayd
18-08-2009, 11:14 PM
OK - if using ethernet fixes it, the the wireless is the problem. Try increasing the cache as Blam says, this will help smooth out the peaks and troughs in your wireless speed. Note that if your average speed isn't fast enough to keep up, it'll still skip.

nofam
19-08-2009, 08:08 AM
Cool - thanks guys; will try this tonight and see how I go! :thumbs:

Blam
19-08-2009, 08:38 AM
Just another thing you can try.....a while ago when I used the default firmware for routers, I had lots of streaming problems. As soon as I flashed on DDWRT/Tomato, most problems disappeared.

http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Installation#Linksys_WRT310N_v1.0

Try it out. If linksys supports it, you might want to save you current settings to a file so that you can restore your settings later. Might want to clear your NVRAM too after you've flash DDWRT on it.

You know-I used to stream Xvid/DviX compressed DVD Rips over wireless G over a distance of up to 7 metres(with quite a few walls) and it worked fine. After installing another client mode repeater, I've had even better wireless stability

Seeing as you have Wireless N here, it should be streaming compressed rips fine!

Blam

Chilling_Silence
19-08-2009, 09:06 AM
VLC>Preferences>Show settings set to "All">Input Codecs>Access Modules>File>Try increasing the caching value(600-1000?)

I previously left mine set at 3000ms -- Enough for any "major" spikes in traffic (When I was living with the parents, it was a common occurrence). On my own now it's quite happy at 1000ms :)