Network, Internet, Airplay and Bluetooth issues
First, my apologies for posting this as a new thread. I'm a newbie, so if this belongs elsewhere please let me know (or just move it). However, I wanted to get this info out in hopes that it might help others.
Using a network switch to create a VLAN for my receiver solved my networking, Bluetooth and AirPlay issues.
For years (literally) I have dealt with network, Internet, Airplay and Bluetooth drops. All unexpectedly and unexplainable (I thought). This has happened with three brands of AVR, two different Internet providers and multiple routers, switches, etc. Two recent occurrences got me thinking that It was me, not them. First, searching this forum I saw that many people are having these issues. One person solved theirs by isolating their receiver behind a second router. This gave me a clue that the current generation of AVR is susceptible to extraneous network traffic. Secondly, recently I was sitting at my computer using my Bluetooth mouse/keyboard and playing music on my Denon AVR-X5200W using Bluetooth from my Amazon Echo. Suddenly, my mouse, keyboard and Echo all disconnected at their same time! OK, so now I know it's me and not them. Something on my network is sending out who-knows-what that screws everything up.
I should also add that on three separate occasions I have sent my receivers (Onkyo, Intergra and Denon) in for service for this problem and in every case was told that they could not duplicate the problem. Again, it's me, not them. So I tried to trace the culprits using Wireshark, sniffing packets, examining dumps, etc. Not fun and, as it turns out, not useful (to me anyway). But as of last week, I have solved the problem (95% sure) - have played network connected, Internet and Bluetooth music sources through my current AVR (the aforementioned Denon) with not drops! Here's what I did:
The Solution (only works with a hard-wired network connection)
1) Purchase a network switch that supports the creation of a VLAN. I bought a Netgear GS108E for $45, but any should work.
2) Connect your receiver and network connection to the switch. Connect other devices to the switch if you're replacing one with a VLAN capable one.
3) Use the switch's configuration software to create a VLAN and assign ONLY the ports that connect to your AVR and router. If there are other devices plugged into the switch, assign them to a different VLAN. Be sure to assign the router port to both VLANs, otherwise your other devices will not have Internet access.
4) Reset your AVR to factory settings. Save your current AVR settings if you can and re-load them after the reset. This will rid your receiver of any gremlins caused by the spurious network traffic.
5) Fire everything up and, hopefully, enjoy troublefree streaming!
I've attached a diagram of what my VLAN looks like on my GS108E. Note that I have my Router on Port 1 and AVR on Port 2. I also have a SmartThings hub that controls my receiver using HTTP, so I put it on Port 3 and assigned it to both VLANs as well, just like the router on Port 1.
I hope this is helpful to someone else out there. Let me know if I was unclear anywhere above and I will try to clarify.