Home media networking question - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 11 Old 07-05-2013, 09:47 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
meeklo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
My current setup consists of an Apple Time Capsule as our wireless router. I have an external hard drive with all my movies and TV shows on it connected to the Time Capsule via USB. Sometimes when I playback the video on a Mac Mini or another computer altogether (via the Wi-Fi) the picture can get all pixelated and freeze. I then usually have to transfer my files off the external HD onto whatever computer I'm watching them on so they play smoothly. Is there any "smoother" way to set this up?

Some more details:

The Time Capsule's memory is too small for me to transfer all my videos to it. (Although I am open to buying a new bigger 3TB one if that will solve my issues.)

I watch the videos using VLC. The formats are usually AVI, MP4, and MKV.

I watch on a 2009 Mac Mini hooked up to a TV, a (not the newest but last years model) MacBook Air, a 2 year old Gateway PC, and a late 2012 iMac.

I'm guessing the problem is streaming off a USB device over Wi-Fi, I'm just not 100% certain on the speeds. What is the speed of USB 2.0, Wi-Fi 802.11n, and average playback speeds of the above formats (I know this depends on how it was created).
meeklo is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 11 Old 07-06-2013, 03:04 AM
Advanced Member
 
Alx330's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 863
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Liked: 45
If you have a Mac Mini hooked up to a TV why connect the USB drive to a TC at all, just plug it into the Mini. Might even perform better if streaming to other devices, especially if you install a UPnP/DLNA server on the Mac Mini like TVMobili or Serviio as DLNA works best for wireless links. The PC's and Macs would have to access media through a UPnP/DLNA client though, in VLC View --> Playlist -->Local Network -->Universal Plug’n Play or in XBMC for instance (go to videos/files add source browse UPnP, add server).

Buying a new TC is not a good idea, buying a Synology DS112J NAS and sticking your HDD inside is. TC's are very limited devices and do not perform as well as a proper NAS for streaming media, also Synology comes with DLNA server built in.

Another option is buy powerline adapters which send network over wireless, tend to be faster than wireless links.
Alx330 is offline  
post #3 of 11 Old 07-06-2013, 07:20 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
meeklo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Since that Mac Mini is a couple of year old (2009), would it be better just to get an external that can connect via Thunderbolt to my new iMac and share it that way?

I have almost 3TB of media, I definitely think some kind of a server may be necessary too.
meeklo is offline  
post #4 of 11 Old 07-06-2013, 08:20 AM
Advanced Member
 
Alx330's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 863
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Liked: 45
Quote:
Since that Mac Mini is a couple of year old (2009), would it be better just to get an external that can connect via Thunderbolt to my new iMac and share it that way?

No that would be utter overkill, the USB2 link is not the problem. It's a combination of the TC, wireless, Samba/AFP (network protocol). Installing a DLNA server on Mac Mini should give it the necessary speed boost but if it doesn't then the wireless simply isn't good enough.

You can get Thunderbolt drive and hook it up to your iMac if you really want but it's completely unnecessary.
Alx330 is offline  
post #5 of 11 Old 07-08-2013, 05:33 AM
Senior Member
 
Pvr4Craig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Near Toronto, Canada
Posts: 317
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
Liked: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alx330 View Post

...DLNA works best for wireless links. ...

What is your source for this? I've never seen anything that suggests that DLNA is somehow optimized for wireless.

Craig
Pvr4Craig is offline  
post #6 of 11 Old 07-08-2013, 05:38 AM
Advanced Member
 
DotJun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 906
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 44 Post(s)
Liked: 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by meeklo View Post

Since that Mac Mini is a couple of year old (2009), would it be better just to get an external that can connect via Thunderbolt to my new iMac and share it that way?

I have almost 3TB of media, I definitely think some kind of a server may be necessary too.
Your problem lies in your wireless network vs your files bitrate.
DotJun is offline  
post #7 of 11 Old 07-09-2013, 01:07 AM
Advanced Member
 
Alx330's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 863
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Liked: 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pvr4Craig View Post

What is your source for this? I've never seen anything that suggests that DLNA is somehow optimized for wireless.

Craig

In terms of network protocols transfer speed DLNA is the fastest which makes it ideal for wireless where transfer speeds are often an issue.

Samba/SMB has a lot of overhead which can impact wireless media streaming, NFS is also faster than Samba so a better fit for wireless but not many people have access to that. So if your files are stuttering over wireless then simply changing to DLNA can give it the extra boost needed. It cant work miracles if your files are beyond your wireless network speed then there's nothing that can be done.
Alx330 is offline  
post #8 of 11 Old 07-12-2013, 10:59 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
meeklo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
So either install a server on the Mac Mini and connect the hard drive to it

Or put an internal hard drive into a DLNA powered bay and connect it to the Time Capsule (or Mac Mini?)
meeklo is offline  
post #9 of 11 Old 07-13-2013, 07:37 AM
Advanced Member
 
Alx330's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 863
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Liked: 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by meeklo View Post

So either install a server on the Mac Mini and connect the hard drive to it

Or put an internal hard drive into a DLNA powered bay and connect it to the Time Capsule (or Mac Mini?)

Yes, Mac Mini seems the best approach really if thats what you use primarily to watch media. Also simply try it before spending money on anything else.


With Time Capsule as a router you would need a NAS with DLNA server plugged into it, see anything from Synology.

The Time Capsule itself although a NAS cannot function as a DLNA server as Apple do not support the technology, hell they don't even support their own iTunes Homesharing on the thing.
Alx330 is offline  
post #10 of 11 Old 07-13-2013, 09:01 AM
Senior Member
 
Pvr4Craig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Near Toronto, Canada
Posts: 317
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
Liked: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alx330 View Post

In terms of network protocols transfer speed DLNA is the fastest which makes it ideal for wireless where transfer speeds are often an issue.

Samba/SMB has a lot of overhead which can impact wireless media streaming, NFS is also faster than Samba so a better fit for wireless but not many people have access to that. So if your files are stuttering over wireless then simply changing to DLNA can give it the extra boost needed. It cant work miracles if your files are beyond your wireless network speed then there's nothing that can be done.

Again, what is your source for this?

I am not a network guy but my understanding is that DLNA is a set of protocols focused on interoperability between devices. I've been following this stuff for years and I've never seen any study that concludes that it provides a lower-overhead transfer of the media files than other alternatives. I seriously doubt that the choice of protocol could have a noticeable impact. Wireless is at the mercy of the everything else in the electromagnetic spectrum in that specific location. I think that is far more likely to be the source of the OP's problem.

However, I could be wrong; that's why I'd like to see your source.

Craig
Pvr4Craig is offline  
post #11 of 11 Old 07-13-2013, 10:49 AM
AVS Special Member
 
halfelite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,183
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 21 Post(s)
Liked: 59
It does offer lower overhead as dlna/upnp are basically http streams. But the deference is small and the lower overhead still does not make up for wireless latency which is were the issue is.
halfelite is offline  
Reply Networking, Media Servers & Content Streaming

Tags
Synology Ds112j 1 Bay Nas Server For Home Users
Gear in this thread - Ds112j by PriceGrabber.com

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off