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Is Gigabit ethernet necessary for streaming video to HTPC?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I am just wondering do you really NEED that much bandwidth to stream video over your home network. Is it a bit overkill?
post #2 of 18
No, you can stream on 100Mbit just fine.

Is it overkill? Considering that it's not that expensive compared to 100Mb, no it's not overkill. It means you can transfer large media files in less time. Good for ripping DVDs, HD-DVDs, BluRay movies from your HTPC to your media server.

These days, there's no good reason not to wire 1Gb instead of 100Mb.

Ozy
post #3 of 18
Depends on what you're doing with that bandwidth. To supply a single PC with a couple of HDTV streams, 100Mbit is fine. But if you have 3 HDHomeruns feeding several machines, Giga is probably the way to go.
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well I would have to replace my Verizon Fios Router with a different one, add a new LAN card to my PC (by removing something else) and buy a gigabit switch instead of just buying a 10/100 switch. So in my case its like $20 compared to close to $200est. Is it really worth all of that?
post #5 of 18
you don't have to replace the router, but you will need to buy a gig ethernet switch and nic. Just plug one of the gig eth switch ports into your router.

a 5 port gig eth switch is < $40. nic is less than $25.

switch:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16833122140

nic:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16833122133
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by archibael View Post

Depends on what you're doing with that bandwidth. To supply a single PC with a couple of HDTV streams, 100Mbit is fine. But if you have 3 HDHomeruns feeding several machines, Giga is probably the way to go.


I am just going to be streaming stuff from a large storage drive connected to my main computer in the bedroom to my living room HTPC.
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek K. View Post

you don't have to replace the router, but you will need to buy a gig ethernet switch and nic. Just plug one of the gig eth switch ports into your router.

a 5 port gig eth switch is < $40. nic is less than $25.

switch:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16833122140

nic:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16833122133


I didn't think of that but then I will need two switches because I need one in the living room as well(HTPC and Toshiba HD DVD player).
post #8 of 18
how many cables do you have run from your router to the living room? the hd-dvd player doesn't need gig eth.

however 2 gig eth switches would still cost less than a good router.
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Just one cable run from my router to the living room. I may just scratch this whole idea and just keep the drive in the living room. I could just get a long firewire cable and put the drive on the floor by my sub.

It would be nice to do all my ripping and such in the bedroom and then it would be away (more hidden).
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by TommyV View Post

I could just get a long firewire cable and put the drive on the floor by my sub.

I wouldn't put a drive too terribly close to a sub for risk of both vibration-induced and magnetic-induced damage. Subs tend not to be magnetically shielded as many speakers are.
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
Good point.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well I decided to just buy one Gigabit switch for now and only upgrade the rest if necessary. There was a D-Link 5 port gigabit switch for $26.99 at Fry's so at that price its a no brainer.
post #13 of 18
For those interested in replacing their switch - Check out the Linksys RV series. I was.

They just came out with a new model which is your firewall/router with gigahub built in.

Granted the router is not the bottleneck, but its one less people of equipment for those of us with lots of computers in the house.

And the firewall portion is Cisco based.

As for you original query, My inhouse PC's are all giga wired, the printers are on 100. And the laptops are on 54M.

I am able to use the laptops to watch streams off a Vista based Movie Server without any problems.

Dave B
post #14 of 18
I found gigabit NAS connected to gigabit switches have serious playback problems streaming DVD file structure movies to 100mb video players hooked to the same switch. The video keeps freezing alot like all the equipment is stuck negotiating speed on the switch. Connect everything to a 100mb switch & everything works. Any ideas why?
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunderBulldog View Post

I found gigabit NAS connected to gigabit switches have serious playback problems streaming DVD file structure movies to 100mb video players hooked to the same switch. The video keeps freezing alot like all the equipment is stuck negotiating speed on the switch. Connect everything to a 100mb switch & everything works. Any ideas why?

Could be that the players are terrified of your necromancy abilities.

...

But seriously, it sounds like the NAS you're using may have a faulty NIC, or the cabling isn't up to snuff for gigabit (or the switch is bad). Did you try a different gig switch and cables?
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunderBulldog View Post

I found gigabit NAS connected to gigabit switches have serious playback problems streaming DVD file structure movies to 100mb video players hooked to the same switch. The video keeps freezing alot like all the equipment is stuck negotiating speed on the switch. Connect everything to a 100mb switch & everything works. Any ideas why?

Congratulations on digging up an almost six year old thread! It took me a few posts down to realize I was in a time machine. I was wondering why the OP's computer didn't have Gbit standard.
post #17 of 18
Maybe he didn't want to create a new thread an searched instead smile.gif
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunderBulldog View Post

I found gigabit NAS connected to gigabit switches have serious playback problems streaming DVD file structure movies to 100mb video players hooked to the same switch. The video keeps freezing alot like all the equipment is stuck negotiating speed on the switch. Connect everything to a 100mb switch & everything works. Any ideas why?

It is because of the rate mismatch (10:1) , the data packets destined for the 100mbit port have to be buffered as the data is coming in faster than it can exit the switch, if the NAS decides to send a burst of data it can overflow this buffer and the switch starts to drop packets and the video freezes. The fix is to get a switch with more buffer memory per port and the ability to exert flow control on the GigE ports to halt the feed from the NAS.

Unfortunately these are features found in highend managed switches which costs 3-4x and up compared to the retail unmanaged switches.
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