Need some streaming reliability

Discussion in 'Home Theater PC (HTPC) & Media Servers' started by fmw, Jun 15, 2013.

  1. fmw Audioholic Samurai

    fmw
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    I'm new to video streaming. I have two WiFi capable blu ray players and a Netflix account. When I stream a movie, I often get some fits and starts. By that I mean the movie might stop and start over or start and then do some downloading and finally work normally. Sometimes it seem like the units disconnect and then reconnect themselves. Happens with both BD players. I'm wondering if the problem is with Netflix or is it common to BD players connected by WiFi? Would a Roku or similar device clean up this reliability issue?<!-- google_ad_section_end -->
    fmw,
  2. Adam Audioholic Jedi

    Adam
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    I don't think that's an issue common to wireless BD players. I'm wondering if it's the speed of your internet connection. What download speeds do you get? Have you tried Netflix over a wired connection?

    Also, what is the speed of your wireless transmitter (i.e. 802.11n, 802.11g)?
    Adam,
  3. fmw Audioholic Samurai

    fmw
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    While I do have a wired ethernet in the house, There are switches in only two rooms and neither one is close to either BD player. I have watched a movie on one of the computers on the network and it worked fine. But the BD players have worked fine as well part of the time. I use Hughes Gen4 satellite. My download speed varies from a low of about 3mbps to a high of 10mbps. It is fast enough to get HD resolution. It is possible that there could be some occasional glitches in the speed delivery but the cache should take care of that. The router that handles WiFi is a commercial router and is really pretty good. The satellite modem is attached directly to it so the BD players aren't involved with the wired ethernet at all. I was tending to blame either the service or the quality of WiFi delivered by the BD players. Perhaps I'm wrong.
    fmw,
  4. Irvrobinson Audioholic Ninja

    Irvrobinson
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    I had the same problem. In the end a Roku resulted in perfect streaming.
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  5. afterlife2 Audioholic Spartan

    afterlife2
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    I agree with Irv. about the Roku, although the newer Sony BD players have better connections then when I had my older Sony 580.
  6. TLS Guy Audioholic Overlord

    TLS Guy
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    What is your make of BD player?

    I have had no trouble streaming, and do lot of it, except once.

    I had a Sony unit in the lower level and it is a long way from the router in the studio mechanical chase. The Sony streamed intermittently, the Panasonic unit I replaced it with does fine.

    It my be you need a signal booster between your router and your devices, if they are a long way apart.

    At Eagan I can stream from the Panasonic Plasma but I don't because I want the sound to run through the system, so I stream from an identical Panasonic BD player and my Sony Google TV player which I love. The router is not far from the streaming devices so there are no problems.

    In the Studio I stream from my HTPC which I just love, as everything loads in an instant. It has proved to be one of my favorite DIY projects.

    For audio streaming in the studio, I often use my Audio Work Station and I can record programs to hard disc via WaveLab and the RME DAC on that unit.

    So for the moment I fairly covered, but I'm about to do an interesting streaming option for my HTPC with my eldest son. He is finishing up the software at present and we will be doing an instal via VPN in 15 minutes or so. Then I should be covered for everything. I'm starting to love the Internet for AV and I just can't wait for the 1 and 5Gig Internet. Until then I think I'm covered.

    For me devices like ROKU are far too proprietary and restrictive. To me the Internet is becoming like a magic carpet. I'm having a blast.

    So be patient and work it through. It will open a hold new world. My wife is also a great enthusiast of all this, since I started pushing the boundaries last fall. It really took the sting out of our long harsh winter.
  7. Grador Audioholic Field Marshall

    Grador
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    Your internet connection is borderline for streaming HD content, but this doesn't sound like a connection speed issue. Everything you've described sounds like a wifi signal strength problem. A roku could possibly fix your issue, as it seems that they have a well implemented wifi radio while many other consumer electronics do not.

    Alternately, you say you have wired in other parts of the house, you could get a wireless access point and plug it into the wired outlet closest to your bluray player. If I'm correct and you're having signal strength issues this could solve the issue with two advantages over the roku: less clutter in the HT setup and better signal strength for all wireless devices you have in that part of the house.
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  8. fmw Audioholic Samurai

    fmw
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    My Cradlepoint router has an access point built in and signal strength in the family room is 5 bars on my laptop. I have an excellent hot spot, actually. My laptop doesn't skip a beat. I had an HTPC connected by WiFi in the past. I found it fussy to use and given the fact that I have two workstations about 30 feet away, I rarely used it. I think I'll give the media streamer a try. I love my Squeezebox for streaming music.
    fmw,
  9. TLS Guy Audioholic Overlord

    TLS Guy
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    I agree 100% with that advice. I too think his problem is most likely a signal strength issue in the house.

    Most sites will automatically adjust his streaming bit rate to his Internet connection speed.

    By his report his Internet speed varies from marginal to adequate.
  10. TLS Guy Audioholic Overlord

    TLS Guy
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    From that description it sounds as if you have adequate signal strength. However you still could have a data bottle neck due to your set up. Can you test your speed at the location you have your BD player. I would get as much data as you can before changing devices. As I say, I have zero trouble streaming from my $80 Panasonic BD players, and one I know to be in a marginal signal area, by testing with my laptop.
  11. fmw Audioholic Samurai

    fmw
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    I have a cheap Samsung player in the bedroom and a better Panasonic one (BDP-220) in the home theater. In fact the Panasonic has these problems less often but it can't seem to remember how to log into the hot spot, causing me to have to put in the password each time I use it. I've used Squeezeboxes for years for streaming music from my NAS both on the home theater and the 2 channel system. They are rock solid reliable. The BD players are certainly not. I'll do some shopping for streaming devices.
    fmw,
  12. fmw Audioholic Samurai

    fmw
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    It may be a signal strength problem but because of the hot spot. The BD players may be weak. I think the internet speed is OK. I do get HD. It may be 720HD - I don't know - but it is not bad at all. I haven't seen Netflix dial down the resolution at any time. A month ago I was on 3G mobile and streaming was simply out of the question.
    fmw,
  13. TLS Guy Audioholic Overlord

    TLS Guy
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    I recommend this Sony device, if you want another streaming solution. This device will do everything ROKU will and more. It has Google Chrome built in, so you can open up an Internet Browser on your TV. The remote by the way is an absolute masterpiece of ergonomics.

    I really think devices like ROKU are limiting. I looked at that and similar devices and rejected them as not suitable for purpose.
  14. Irvrobinson Audioholic Ninja

    Irvrobinson
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    The Roku 2 is half the price, and I've never wanted to open a browser on my TV. If anyone is having streaming problems I wouldn't depend on any Sony device for streaming, not without a money-back guarantee. Three different Sony BD players in my house have the same streaming issues as FMV, the Roku just works.
  15. Irvrobinson Audioholic Ninja

    Irvrobinson
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    I don't know what the root cause is, but I suspect a weak implementation of the streaming protocol, or perhaps just inadequate buffering due to a cheap implementation.
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  16. Grador Audioholic Field Marshall

    Grador
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    I'd put money on antenna design to go along with low buffering.
  17. Irvrobinson Audioholic Ninja

    Irvrobinson
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    Not in my case. I used CAT5 to cable the BD players directly to the router, and I also tested the direct to the modem case, and the Sonys still wouldn't stream properly. And to think I used to be such a Sony fan-boy.
  18. fmw Audioholic Samurai

    fmw
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    Wow, the Sony device looks very cool on the surface. I found another one that is similar or claims to be so. I did have an HTPC years ago as I mentioned - wireless keyboard and mouse. It was always easier to walk a few steps to the office to get behind a proper computer when I needed to get on the web. The 25" screen on my desk is fine when you're sitting 3 feet away. I do have a backup I5 system that is doing nothing at the moment but I've been through that. Like Irv, I don't need web surfing at the home theater. I would buy that sort of thing just for coolness. If it doesn't stream as reliably as the Roku, then it isn't for me.
    fmw,
  19. TLS Guy Audioholic Overlord

    TLS Guy
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    I know nothing of the other device.

    All I know is that contrary to Irvrobinson's justified suspicions about Sony, that device I linked you to does stream perfectly. I have now watched whole Opera's on Met Player without a hiccup.

    The remote is the real deal. One way up it is a remote, the other way up it is a excellent keyboard. There is a built in gravity switch that always disables the underside and activates the top side, so you never get conflict on the two sides.

    Of course you need to open a browser on your TV. There a tons of sites out there you can not stream from ROKU box. With a ROKU you can only stream what they want you to. There are tons of interesting sites you can stream from a browser you can't stream from ROKU like devices. I would NEVER buy a box were the manufacturer determined what I could stream. A device like that is close to useless to me.

    Now I can stream from anywhere. My son did several hours of programming for me today and loaded a program that opens up a VPN tunnel instantly so I can now stream from sites that lock out US IP addresses.

    Now I am set to watch the BBC Prom season that starts next month. So I can watch opening and closing night as well as every Thursday, Friday and Sunday TV broadcasts, live or for a week on iPlayer.

    I can hear the other four days of broadcasts on the radio iPlayer live or archived for a week.

    You can get BBC radio on iPlayer in the US, but quality is limited to 180 kbs AAC3. From the UK I can stream 320 kbs AAC3, which is DVD quality and better than the best analog FM broadcast. I have been using this set up this evening and I'm over the moon with it. The best Father's day present I have ever had.

    I tried the available commercial solutions and they were hopeless. This DIY program is the real deal.

    Bottom line do not limit yourself to a lousy device like ROKU, that is for the plebs.
  20. Irvrobinson Audioholic Ninja

    Irvrobinson
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    A pleb? JHC, TLS Guy, you really should try to control your emotions. We're talking about a four square inch, $80 device that can be replaced in minutes, and if you're having streaming problems it actually seems to work. Yes, it is more limiting than some web-browser based system, but many of us don't go past Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, and Vudu, when we're on our HT systems and not a laptop or tablet. I'm sure that's because we have limited intellects and a narrow view of the available content, but being rude to mental weaklings like us is not cool.
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