Is there Lag when accessing Media on a Network? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 01-08-2012, 08:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys-
I'm trying to plan my HTPC build. I am using a Netgear WNDR3700 Router (I believe it's gigabit). I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to connect hardline/Cat5 from the HTPC to the router, or if I'm going to just have to do it wirelessly. I'm trying to decide if I need to build a Media Server or NAS, or just store all the media directly on the HTPC. I'll be doing the typical media (1080p, music, pictures, etc). I have 2 basic questions here-

1) If I have a NAS/Media Server connected via Cat5, is there lag when accessing & scrolling the catalog or media files? How about when you fast forward, rewind, pause, etc? Does the audio/video become out of sync?

2) Same question except when connected wirelessly... I know it depends on how well my connection to the router is (location, distance, interference, etc)- but generally, is there any issues with Lag when connected wireless?

Thanks for the help!
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post #2 of 13 Old 01-08-2012, 09:45 AM
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not sure about wireless.

I recently built an unraid server for my media. I was worried about lag..but have been pleasantly surprised how quick it is. This is a wired (cat5e) giga network.

Even streaming two movies at once from the unraid server has not caused any lag/stutter.
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post #3 of 13 Old 01-08-2012, 10:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Awesome- thanks for the reply. That helps me with the wired question... anyone else have experience on the wireless part?

I appreciate the input!
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post #4 of 13 Old 01-08-2012, 10:30 AM
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Wireless will never be as reliable and trouble free as wired. There are to many variables to account for, things like how good is your hardware, distance, obstacles, interference etc. and streaming media without hick ups required a steady connection which is almost impossible to get with wireless.
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post #5 of 13 Old 01-08-2012, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
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So is there any kind of lag in responsiveness between the time you hit a button on a remote, and when it actually reacts? Or is it as fast (or faster) than a PS3?
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post #6 of 13 Old 01-08-2012, 02:44 PM
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Response on wired lan is about the same as if the media was local. Any delay (if there is any) would be caused by the software/player you are using and not the network.
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post #7 of 13 Old 01-08-2012, 04:10 PM
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Ethernet over powerline is worth considering.

Jim Hillegass / JRiver Media Center
jriver.com or Owners Thread at AVSForum
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post #8 of 13 Old 01-08-2012, 04:35 PM - Thread Starter
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jriver-
Thanks for the reply. I've never heard of that before- can you elaborate on what that is exactly?
Thanks!
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post #9 of 13 Old 01-08-2012, 04:41 PM
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I could never get wireless to work all that well with 1080p material. SD or compressed HD material (like from iTunes) was fine, but full 1080p MKV's was stutter city for me. I seem to recall a full 1080 stream requires about 3-5 MBs. That is at least 40 Mbs for a single video stream. While 802.11n is theoretically capable of 150 Mbs, most setups will not come close to that.

For instance - I had an Apple Airport Extreme based network that extended the wireless network using two Airports (which reduces the available bandwidth). In spite of the routers reporting a a 75 Mbs link speed on average, my 40 Mbs RoadRunner connection was degraded to about 25 Mbs on the other side of the extended network. 1080 video would not play for more than a few seconds without stuttering.

I now have a hardwired CAT 6 gigabit network and I can run two 1080 movies and surf the web with absolutely no issues at all.

Forget wireless if you plan to run full 1080 material in my opinion.
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post #10 of 13 Old 01-08-2012, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eyal8r View Post

jriver-
Thanks for the reply. I've never heard of that before- can you elaborate on what that is exactly?
Thanks!

adapters that plug into your wall sockets and multiplex ethernet over the power line wiring in your house.

The big problem with that for me in Florida is lightning - the power line adapters will not operate through most surge arrestors, so using them would mean going "naked" with respect to power surge protection, something I will not consider.

For areas that have minimal lightning risk, it is an option
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post #11 of 13 Old 01-08-2012, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khollister View Post

I could never get wireless to work all that well with 1080p material.

thats your experience,
im streaming 1080p mkvs on 54G not N
without stuttering skips or problems
1 floor up
(on a WDtv live)
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post #12 of 13 Old 01-10-2012, 06:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eyal8r View Post

Hey guys-
1) If I have a NAS/Media Server connected via Cat5, is there lag when accessing & scrolling the catalog or media files? How about when you fast forward, rewind, pause, etc? Does the audio/video become out of sync?

I wouldn't expect to see any lag while browsing & scrolling through the catalog. Depending on the front end you choose, the audio/video content menus will most likely be stored on the HTPC as opposed to the NAS depending on how you choose to set it up. The only time you'd really pull anything from the NAS would be when you start to play a file.

As far as sync issues, any troubles I've had with sync can be resolved with a quick pause/play button combination after the rewind or fast forward.

FWIW, I built an HTPC that doubles as the NAS for my house. I figured if the file serving and playback at the same time is too much and causes stuttering, then I'd already have most of the parts needed to build separate systems. I went with an AMD Phenom II 480 and 8GB of RAM and have been really happy with the results.

I'm confused too.

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post #13 of 13 Old 01-10-2012, 08:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Gotcha. So you use your HTPC as a NAS as well? Do you backup your HTPC on the NAS side/drives too? That may be a solution for me, as I'm looking to build both (in time)...
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