Router advice needed. Should I upgrade for DLNA streaming and my new components? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 11-27-2012, 11:23 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm expanding my home network and home theater but still have a rather old Linksys WTR54G router, and would like to know if I might benefit from buying a newer, perhaps more robust router.

Here's my setup:
Cable internet
64-bit laptop running Win7
XBox 360
iPod Touch
A Sony BDP S790 Blu-Ray Player (arriving today)
and a WDTV Live Hub Media Center (not here yet, but purchasing soon)
and a DLNA server (probably Serviio) which I will be setting up once these new items arrive, or at least once the Blu-Ray player gets here.

I've always run everything wired, finding that wifi speeds are considerably slower for streaming, downloading, uploading, etc., and intend to keep everything wired.

I find that there can be a lag or some choppiness and even a/v sync issues when streaming from the laptop to the TV via the 360, as well as occasional lag when streaming Netflix via the 360 if I'm utilizing bandwidth in other areas (such as running torrents). I also need to reset the router quite often as it seems to get easily gummed up.
I'm unsure, though, if these issues are the fault of the router or due to the limitations of my network card(s).

I'm new to streaming and this will also be my first BR player, so I'm pretty much in the dark here. I see a lot of mention of having a capable router if one hopes to stream smoothly, and ultimately I'm worried that my old Linksys isn't going to cut the mustard with these new devices. Sometimes I need to reset the router just to get my iPod to connect to the network (I think that's when the computer is burdened with a lot of read/writes).

In a nutshell, should I really expect an improvement with a newer router? I also just learned about dual band routers, but I'm thinking that only applies to wireless (really not sure).

Any feedback would be much appreciated. And if you need more details about my setup, just let me know. Thank you very much.
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post #2 of 10 Old 11-27-2012, 11:48 PM
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The router should be fine if you are running a wired network. I see little need for a DLNA server in your setup, just do network shares. DNLA is total crap and should be put out of our misery. I'm running a rather large network that worked fine using older equipment, I just updated my router because the WiFi was borderline poor, got better speed on my Ipad but nothing else changed. I had absolutely no issue streaming BD rips from my computer to any of my media streamers, or doing two Sd streams at once. Two BD streams broke up a bit.

What do you plan on streaming from your BD player? The online extras? if you are like most people those will get old very fast, I have nto enabled that option for years. It's not a bandwidth hog at any rate. I would think you will use your Wd for stuff like Netflix, the quality will be better via that than the BD player. If you are just streaming Netlfix , VuDu or Amazon or the like just about any setup will work.
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post #3 of 10 Old 11-28-2012, 05:36 AM
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UPnP/DLNA is sometimes a necessity when using wireless especially if you have poor wireless, samba network shares incur a speed hit that make weak wireless unusable. Though I agree wired would be a lot better but if thats not practical then using UPnP/DLNA over wireless is recommended.

I would highly recommend dumping the Linksys WTR54G it is a piece of crap in my experience. Get an Apple Airport Extreme, it is a decent quality wireless router and not too difficult to set up.

Alternatively get a 4 pack of Powerline 500mbps adapters, these send the ethernet over the power lines of the house and should fair better than wireless.
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post #4 of 10 Old 11-28-2012, 08:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you both.
I guess I forgot to mention an important element: The idea is to stream my pc contents to the TV via the Blu-Ray player (and the WD TV Live Hub Media Center, if I choose to buy it). The Sony handles a lot of file types, and so does the WD, but neither is all inclusive. Additionally, from what I've read so far (and I admit I'm a bit confused) certain file types will only play from certain storage (on either the Sony or the WD). In other words, I might be able to play mkv and mp4 from an attached USB drive, but not wmv or avi...just for example. Or I might be able to play other file types that I've burned as data to DVD-Rom that won't play via a connected USB drive, and yet other file types that will play only via DLNA streaming from my computers, etc. And with the WD, perhaps certain files will play only if stored on its own internal HDD. I dunno.
That's why I figured I'd need to run DLNA--in order to play more file types (and to be able to transcode on-the-fly, when and if needed).
Matt, you mentioned network sharing...I assume you mean in order to access content from both pcs as well as all external hdds on my laptop. I do that already with mapped drives. But am I missing something? Is there some way that network sharing can allow me to play all my files through either the Sony or the WD onto my TV, without the need for DLNA? This is an old widescreen Sony Wega tube tv, 36" I think--beautiful picture even though it only handles 720p/1080i, to my eyes better than the plasmas and lcds I've looked at, and due to its age, there's no networking (but it does have HDMI). Does that factor in?

I agree, Matt, that the online extras are no big deal, but it's good to know they're not a bandwidth hog. Also thanks a lot for letting me know I'll get better quality with Netflix streaming on the WD as opposed to the BD player. Netflix streaming IS one of the things I'm doing, and I might venture into VuDu and Amazon.
And can you tell me what's lousy about DLNA?
I'm currently using a bit of software called PS3 Media Server, in order to get my XBOX 360 to play all my files onto the tv. It's not bad, but with these new buys, I'm hoping to use the XBOX less. It puts out a lot of heat, and more importantly the GUI sucks in my opinion.

Axl330, wired connectivity is practical for me. My lan connection gives me 100Mbps, but wireless only gives me 50 something. Now, even though my Comcast line speed is something like 10Mbps, which theoretically shouldn't even come close to meeting the lan or wifi specs, I do in fact get about half the data transfer rate when moving files around via wifi. So it's for that reason that I've always gone wired. The only wireless device I'm using other than my iPod Touch is a Canon printer, and that's just fine--little demand there.
I like both your suggestions, but they're way more than I'm looking to spend. If I need a new router at all, I'm looking in the $40 ballpark. Found a couple on Amazon, both of which are dual band, but I don't know if I even have anything that can utilize the 5ghz, and if that only applies to wifi, which I probably won't end up using anyway.
With more and more devices, I do have the need for more ethernet ports on a router. Mine has 4, and I'm probably going to need 6 for the time being. In the future, who knows.

To recap, in case I've made this overly complicated:
Want to be able to play just about every video file type under the sun from my home network devices, and have them show on the TV. And to free up HDD space, I'll be offloading a lot of this stuff to DVD-Roms, and some to USB flash drives.
Curious why DLNA gets a bad rap, and if there is actually an alternative for me, such as the network shares (which I'd really need explained to me, because I can't picture how that applies to being able to watch this stuff on the TV, unless that's something that can be setup in the BD player or the WD...but even if that's the case, since I don't think every file type is supported by either of these new devices, I'm still assuming I'll need to run DLNA).
And with this new info in mind, do I really need a new router at all? If I do, is there one out there that will meet my needs, as well as have 6 or more ethernet ports.
Again, if more info is needed, please ask.

Really appreciate the responses and the help!
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post #5 of 10 Old 11-28-2012, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik Cacciatore View Post

.
To recap, in case I've made this overly complicated:
Want to be able to play just about every video file type under the sun from my home network devices, and have them show on the TV. And to free up HDD space, I'll be offloading a lot of this stuff to DVD-Roms, and some to USB flash drives.
Curious why DLNA gets a bad rap, and if there is actually an alternative for me, such as the network shares (which I'd really need explained to me, because I can't picture how that applies to being able to watch this stuff on the TV, unless that's something that can be setup in the BD player or the WD...but even if that's the case, since I don't think every file type is supported by either of these new devices, I'm still assuming I'll need to run DLNA).
And with this new info in mind, do I really need a new router at all? If I do, is there one out there that will meet my needs, as well as have 6 or more ethernet ports.
Again, if more info is needed, please ask.
Really appreciate the responses and the help!


Put all your video on a network share on your network..

Plug in a Dune B1/D1/H1 to your TV and point it at the network share.

Done.

It'll play everything, in its native format, without transcoding or crappy DLNA.

The WD will do the same as the dune assuming you don't need certain high end playback (BR ISO with full menus, or HD/7.1 audio)

But you'll want better than a wireless connection if you plan to stream HD stuff (this is true no matter what solution you use). If you can't do wired then try 500mb Powerline, or MOCA.
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post #6 of 10 Old 11-28-2012, 10:21 AM - Thread Starter
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WOW, I think I'm in love. That looks truly amazing--just read up on it on their website. But man, not a cheap item--and rightly so for all that it offers.
You said the WD can do the same, minus BR ISO with full menus, or HD/7.1 audio. The HD Master Audio/7.1 is not needed at the moment. I have an old receiver, a Sony DA33ES, and a 5.1 setup with fairly entry level B&W speakers all around. But I have begun looking at some modern receivers for the future when budget will allow, so I'm not sure I want to exclude this capability. All this certainly adds up though.
This might not be in my budget at the current time, so let me ask, are you fairly certain the WD will be able to play the same variety of file types without transcoding or DLNA? I've got all the containers here--avi, wmv, flv, mkv, mp4, mpeg2, mpeg4, vob, maybe even m2ts from ripped BDs via torrent, and will definitely need support for the various HD codecs, h.264/avc, etc (I say "etc" because I'm not the tech guru you guys are, and don't fully understand all the various codecs and containers). I get the feeling the Dune has a great GUI, and is probably generally smoother and more responsive overall, but if most of its features, at least as far as the above mentioned file support, playlists, flac, and music and movie cover art can be had with the WD, well, that may be the best I can afford.
Also, I'm curious about BR ISOs with full menus...I see that mentioned a lot; that one needs to have onboard storage space or externally connected storage space of 1gig in order to get full menu playback. What's the big deal about having the menus? Just a matter of preference, or would I really be missing out on something? I'm new to BD--heck, my BD player hasn't even arrived yet, so please excuse my ignorance.
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post #7 of 10 Old 11-28-2012, 09:57 PM
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I have a Wd in my mix,I have a number of streamers, and it will play anything i throw at it. True I don't have a lot of odd ball formats but with network sharing setup all content is playable WITHOUT crappy DLNA. At this point I'm looking to add a second and possibly third WD to my network.
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post #8 of 10 Old 11-29-2012, 07:12 AM
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If you want to go Wireless you should consider AC Dual Band Routers. If you keep an eye @ Gadgetar you will be able to find good Price. Alternatives are Power line Adapters, they are expensive, but can stream HD contents without any problem across different rooms, etc
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post #9 of 10 Old 12-03-2012, 11:32 AM
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hey guys!! this is a very interesting thread as it is completely related to my problem.

@eric:- in my opinion any router with gigabit ports will do the trick for you as you are running on wired connection and if you go with WD HUB you wont be missing anything on the BR ISO with menus part. they are just a space killer. The only disadvantage for you can be the lack of support for 7.1 master audio if you are serious about upgrading your speaker setup. just my 2cents.

@gurus:- i have a somewhat similar problem to OP here. i am in the market for a NAS and a media streamer (which can play all major formats) which i will connect to my av receiver and projector. While searching for these products i came across WD LIVE HUB which can act as a NAS, media player and media server.( if i am not wrong) Now the only thing stopping me from buying WD is its lack of wifi adaptor. Is there a similar device in the same price range that meets my requirement. or an external solution like a usb dongle for the WD, if yes, what will be the transfer speeds over wifi in the home network as it would be majorly used as NAS. My home network has a CISCO LINKSYS EA4500 router which supports speeds upto 450 mbps but i would be getting 300mbps because of the laptop wifi adaptor limitation. and also can would i be able to connect a 2 TB usb hard disk to WD live HUB in the future to increase NAS capacity?
i am a very general user and would be focusing on only playing movies and watching photos on the projector. i wont be using any of the online streaming services.

so what is better for me:-
1) buying a combo nas + media player like WD HUB?
2) buying a media streaming box(like roku etc) and a 1 TB hard drive and connecting it to my router's usb port?

any and every help would be highly appreciated..
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post #10 of 10 Old 12-03-2012, 11:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the thoughts, varunsonu!
That's what I'll look at now for a router.
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