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Windows 7: Streaming video over wired network

13 Jan 2010   #1

Windows 7
 
 
Streaming video over wired network

I am having problems streaming video across my network to play in Windows 7 Media Center, the video will pause and then after a period (1-10 seconds) restart playing catch up to the audio.

The video files, mainly Divx .avi, but also .dvr-ms and .wtv, are stored on a NAS and played on a Windows 7 Media Center machine, the network looks like this, n/w speeds in brackets).

NAS(Gb) <-> Belkin Switch(Gb) <-> ZyXel Switch(Gb) <-> Windows 7(100Mb)

File copies run at about 10-11Mb/s from the NAS to the Windows 7 machines so I think it might be some sort of buffering problem. I have increased the default buffer time in wmp12 to 60 seconds from the system default, which has reduced the incidence of the problem, but significantly increases the start of playback.

This was a clean install of Windows 7 32-bit over an existing XP system. All drivers were loaded from the Windows 7 install disks and the system is fully patched.

Anybody got any ideas?

Thanks

Steve


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

13 Jan 2010   #2

Windows 7
 
 

Despite the switches and the NAS supporting Gb Ethernet, the Windows 7 machines only supports Fast Ethernet, thus the whole network is throttled to 100Mbps. This is probably where the problem is. You only real solution is to get a Gigabit card for the Windows 7 machine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2010   #3

 

Of course there are likely other bottlenecks that are not capable of even reaching 10Mbps on many systems (which should be adequate for streaming media over Ethernet on a LAN). Remember that all the common forms of Media are compressed when sent and uncompressed when played (unless you are using an uncompressed format like AVI or similar) so your 10/100 network cards and routers should be fine as long as they fully support the streaming protocols (which typically just requires the latest nic driver package or in the case of routers the latest firmware upgrade). Check with the manufacturers.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


14 Jan 2010   #4

Windows 7
 
 

I'm having a similar problem between two computers that talk over my wireless g network. I pretty certain that everything is up to date and the only application running on any computer on the network is WMP on one system. I get choppy playback of MP3 files which play just fine from the local drive on the same system.

Any suggestions? Or do you need more information?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2010   #5

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by BlueCat57 View Post
I'm having a similar problem between two computers that talk over my wireless g network. I pretty certain that everything is up to date and the only application running on any computer on the network is WMP on one system. I get choppy playback of MP3 files which play just fine from the local drive on the same system.

Any suggestions? Or do you need more information?
You should start a new thread as not to confuse responses to your problem with responses to the thread creator's problem.

Hijacking is not polite.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2010   #6

Windows 7
 
 

Just wanted to add that I have been running this network for several years with basically the same hardware and MCE2005 instead of W7MC, so I am reasonably certain that it is not at the route of the problem. I fact when first installed the Windows 7 system was not exhibiting the problem either. Obviously sonething has changed but I can't identify anything specific with the h/w.

S
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2010   #7

 

PoBear, can you please provide as much and as accurate as possible your hardware spec.'s?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jan 2010   #8

Windows 7
 
 
Not a Hijacker

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by surfasb View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by BlueCat57 View Post
I'm having a similar problem between two computers that talk over my wireless g network. I pretty certain that everything is up to date and the only application running on any computer on the network is WMP on one system. I get choppy playback of MP3 files which play just fine from the local drive on the same system.

Any suggestions? Or do you need more information?
You should start a new thread as not to confuse responses to your problem with responses to the thread creator's problem.

Hijacking is not polite.
To begin with I did start a new thread in another forum.

Secondly, PoBear and I have similar problems. We have begun to experience choppy playback over our home network after upgrading to Windows 7 with little or no hardware change.

Based on the responses so far, the problem does not appear to be with the computing power of any of the systems involved since all are relatively new and are running all other applications fine under Windows 7. (A guess, but logical since if there were other problems they would have been included in the description of the problem.)

As I am writing this I am beginning to suspect the network cards involved. Both of mine are at least 3 years old, although I know that one was discontinued by the manufacturer late last year, so I'm guessing that while the cards might be the source of the problem it is just one of many possibilities.

Since I have tried the only obvious software fix which is fiddling with the buffer size and that didn't help, what I believe PoBear and I are looking for here are some suggestions of other software and hardware tests to try.

If hardware is suspected then instead of asking for a complete listing of all hardware a more useful request would be: What or How much of X do you have? Since I'm guessing that you suspect one particular item of hardware.

If there are other software fixes or tests then please guide us there.

If there is a way to test the communication speed between the two computers that might help resolve this issue. Or maybe it has to do with the way that the transmission packets are handled. Or maybe the network security can take up so much processing time that is causes choppiness.

I appreciate the help that those in these forums offer at no cost and the quick and helpful replies that are given, but am a bit thin skinned and offended at being called a hijacker.

I am new to this particular forum but am involved on several other sites and hope that I am able to contribute to the resolution of other people's problems as well as my own. Many times all that is needed is a point in the right direction or the opportunity to talk about the problem. Thanks for that opportunity.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jan 2010   #9

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by BlueCat57 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by surfasb View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by BlueCat57 View Post
I'm having a similar problem between two computers that talk over my wireless g network. I pretty certain that everything is up to date and the only application running on any computer on the network is WMP on one system. I get choppy playback of MP3 files which play just fine from the local drive on the same system.

Any suggestions? Or do you need more information?
You should start a new thread as not to confuse responses to your problem with responses to the thread creator's problem.

Hijacking is not polite.
To begin with I did start a new thread in another forum.

Secondly, PoBear and I have similar problems. We have begun to experience choppy playback over our home network after upgrading to Windows 7 with little or no hardware change.

Based on the responses so far, the problem does not appear to be with the computing power of any of the systems involved since all are relatively new and are running all other applications fine under Windows 7. (A guess, but logical since if there were other problems they would have been included in the description of the problem.)

As I am writing this I am beginning to suspect the network cards involved. Both of mine are at least 3 years old, although I know that one was discontinued by the manufacturer late last year, so I'm guessing that while the cards might be the source of the problem it is just one of many possibilities.

Since I have tried the only obvious software fix which is fiddling with the buffer size and that didn't help, what I believe PoBear and I are looking for here are some suggestions of other software and hardware tests to try.

If hardware is suspected then instead of asking for a complete listing of all hardware a more useful request would be: What or How much of X do you have? Since I'm guessing that you suspect one particular item of hardware.

If there are other software fixes or tests then please guide us there.

If there is a way to test the communication speed between the two computers that might help resolve this issue. Or maybe it has to do with the way that the transmission packets are handled. Or maybe the network security can take up so much processing time that is causes choppiness.

I appreciate the help that those in these forums offer at no cost and the quick and helpful replies that are given, but am a bit thin skinned and offended at being called a hijacker.

I am new to this particular forum but am involved on several other sites and hope that I am able to contribute to the resolution of other people's problems as well as my own. Many times all that is needed is a point in the right direction or the opportunity to talk about the problem. Thanks for that opportunity.
Please provide your hardware spec's in your profile so we can judge how much 'x' you have.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jan 2010   #10

Windows 7
 
 

PoBear - In Windows Media Player there is an option under Tools-Options-Performance tab to "Drop frames to keep audio and video synchronized." I could not find a similar option in Windows Media Center but it might be there.

In playing around in Windows Media Center I noticed that playback was regularly interrupted for buffering. However that is the first time I've used WMC so I have no reference point for performance on this system and unfortunately I'm doing several things at once right now on my system (virus scan kicked in while I was in WMC, I've got two tabs open in IE8, and WMP is open and idle) so that is just an observation not a test.

Playback of MP3s seemed to be less choppy this morning eventhough I turned sound enhancements on and my network and home environment are essentially the same as yesterday afternoon when I first posted.

Sometimes the solution to a problem is to throw "cheap" hardware at it. If it fixes it you just move on. I suspect that an upgrade to "N" might solve my problem just as a Gigabit card might solve yours. Although the hardware specifications on both our systems say that we have more bandwidth than necessary to do what we want without choppiness or other playback problems, who knows what goes on with the software and hardware interactions in a system at any given point in the day.

I hope that you resolve your issue. It can be frustrating to upgrade and end up spending time resolving petty issues instead of enjoying your new setup.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Streaming video over wired network




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