Question for those who use Twonky media Server to Stream your HD DVD or Blu-Ray

Discussion in 'AnyDVD HD (Blu-ray issues)' started by HighDefPro, May 14, 2008.

  1. HighDefPro

    HighDefPro Active Member

    While i try and grab it down from my ps3 It doesn't run smoothly. it stalls approximately every 2-3 seconds. Is there a way I can fix this? Im connected wireless right now throughout my whole house. If i used a LAN would it make a difference? I dont have any cat5 cable to test it out.

    Thanks for info!
     
  2. Rusty257

    Rusty257 Well-Known Member

    PM'd U

    never tried wireless but i have heard and read people with issues streaming HD over wireless.
     
  3. jbrisbin

    jbrisbin Well-Known Member

    Stalling every few seconds is exactly the kind of behavior you would expect to see from a bandwidth-starved wireless connection.

    It is definitely worth spending a few bucks on a 25-foot cable to test this.

    Wires are bad for WAF but good for the picture.
     
  4. Rusty257

    Rusty257 Well-Known Member

    yeah, what he said.
     
  5. PrincipalityFusion

    PrincipalityFusion Well-Known Member

    That's not totally true. I've found that you can stream Blu Ray, although it's not technically "streaming" as you are using SMB (simple file sharing) and get a pleasant experience. There are a couple things that will hinder this however:
    1) Weak connection -- as you mentioned.
    2) Interference -- when downloading files and such, you would never notice this. However, it is very noticeable when watching high definition, not so much standard dvd. Even 802.11n (2.4Ghz) is sensitive to interference from other networks or other RF sources such as cordless phones, microwave ovens, and such.

    I'm using wireless connections in my server/client setup and can watch bluray movies with very little jitters in the entire movie. I noticed that you have to have at least a connection rate of about 230 to 280 from your router to the client to get a viewable high definition signal. One setting that i changed that i didn't expect to do anything that surprised me is to change the beacon interval from 100 (default) to 500. This will increase the beacon interval so that the router spends that much more time transmitting data and less time sending data notices. This has the effect of increasing throughput which is the primary consideration for streaming movies.

    Two settings you might be tempted to change, but do NOT change these settings:
    1)Fragmentation -- in some cases, breaking up the data frame into multiple packets allows the signal to be more responsive, but creates more overhead for the client that has to process the greater amount of packets. This effectively decreases the throughput and remember we don't want to do anything that decreases throughput.
    2)RTS -- Request to send -- This setting allows mobile clients to connect better as things like the signal strength, etc are updated to the client. this setting is good if you like to walk around with a laptop alot. The laptop is able to respond better as it encounters areas of different signal strength as the signal status is updated more frequently. Again, for our purposes, this increases overhead and "lets say it all together -- decreases throughput -- and that's bad for high def streaming.

    What to do is leave these settings at default or set them as high as your router will allow.

    The best thing to do is get a 5Ghz router and adapter if you can find both (use the same brand as much as possible). Outside of that, you can have an enjoyable experience using 802.11N(2.4Ghz), but just know there are some things that may impact the experience that you can't do much about unless you want to live out in the country.
     
  6. scmeis1

    scmeis1 Well-Known Member


    There is no N standard yet. It is still in IEEE stage of standardizing. It can be 2.4 or 5.0ghz, only the modulation is set. There is also alot more things you have to take into account with wireless. I am a wireless enterprise designer and its not as simple as just what you described. Halogen bulbs can interfere, microwave ovens, thickness of walls, type of wall material, overlap of other bands in the same frequency range, etc etc.
     
  7. PrincipalityFusion

    PrincipalityFusion Well-Known Member

    I wasn't trying to oversimplify the issues. The post that i was referring to was making it sound like wireless was a no-go for high definition and i was just adding my opinion that it was. Without being an "expert", i was just stating some simple things that i do to improve the likelyhood that i'll be able to get a usable signal for high definition. I'm aware that the standard is still in draft status, but many manufacturers (DLink is the brand i use) have added features/settings in the routers firmware that can boost or hurt the signal depending on how you set them. I was just stating some of the settings that can be changed to help the situation and make watching high definition using wireless. Whether it's a standard or not i don't care, its available to the consumer and offers enough raw bandwith (outside of the obsticles that you mentioned) to stream high definition video. All the things that you mentioned, i have in my house, as do most people probably, and i still get a decent signal. It's just those odd times when there is alot of activity in my neighborhood that i get some stutter in high definition playback (but no stutter in standard definition).

    So if you are lucky enough to not live in an extrememly active RF area and your walls aren't made of steel or concrete, you should be able to get a useable signal for high definition and most definitely for standard definition.
     
  8. HighDefPro

    HighDefPro Active Member

    well I used a cat 5 from my router to my computer and it was better but still not perfect. Next I got another cat 5 and hooked up my ps3 to the router and it is now working perfectly!
     
  9. jbrisbin

    jbrisbin Well-Known Member

    I did not realize you were dealing with two independent wireless links. Since the computer and the PS3 talk through the wireless router, not directly to each other, they are contending for the same over-the-air bandwidth. Each packet of each image must go over the air twice. This makes the situation much worse than when one of the two is hardwired.

    The point that I would make is that running HD wirelessly is hard. Since high frequency radio waves propagate in novel and unexpected ways, if you don't have professional setup equipment, your success (or failure) is as much luck as skill.

    And because interference is a major contributor to failures, once you get it working satisfactorily today, you never know if it will work tomorrow when your neighbor starts using his new wireless phone set, or baby monitor or wireless camera or any of the hundreds of other devices that share these relatively unregulated chunks of spectrum.

    Today's wireless protocols do an amazing job of recovering from errors and trying to reduce the impact of future ones. However, the nature of the errors are that some packets are missed, delayed and then retried before finally reaching the destination.

    This is not conducive to good playback of media multiplexed for playback from direct access media. A spinning disc has different failure modes than a lossy network connection.

    Good streaming protocols and media multiplexed for them are much more tolerant of the kinds of errors that wireless networks tend to inject into the stream. Wired networks and hardware have similar issues, but at a couple of orders of magnitude lower rates.

    You will also find that higher bandwidth connections (wired or wireless) make more of a difference than you would expect. Even with 25-40Mb stream rates, gigabit Ethernet performs better than 100Mb Ethernet, even though the efficiency of 100Mb Ethernet on a switched network is more than adequate for the full HD rate.

    I believe that the reason stems from the track cache that virtually all drives (certainly the ones used in computers) feature. While playback is nominally 25-40Mb continuous, the software that reads it does not read it continuously. Instead, it implicitly expects to find it in the drive's cache from which it can be read at a rate several times greater than that at which it came from the media. So, the software reads in bursts at rates that most network hardware cannot match.

    At best, this makes network playback fragile and even low levels of errors will disrupt playback. Faster networks tend to deal with these errors better because the excess capacity allows more time to detect the errors and retry than there is on slower hardware that is more congested.

    For wireless networks, only Wireless N (802.11n) operating under favorable conditions can hope to do as well or better than 100Mb Ethernet.

    Of the earlier wireless standards, A (802.11a) operates with better performance in a marginally less used bit of spectrum and so performs better (which is why it is used on the XBox 360).

    Wireless can work for HD, even slow wireless. Even the best wireless will not work under some circumstances. If you find yourself hanging aluminum foil from the antennas, you know it is not going to work for you.