AVS Forum banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All, I am looking for help and recommendations with my Home Network.


I am good at building computers, but have lots to learn about networking. I hope some of you will take the time to read this post and make some suggestions. Since my layout is rather large and confusing I am trying to include as much info as possible in this post. Thanks in advance for any help.


Here is a rundown of the layout.

My whole house is wired in Cat 6. Everything is wired, no wireless. All equipment runs to the 24 port switch.


Location - Hall Closet:

AT&T Uverse Gateway Made by 2-Wire, Model Number 3800 HGV-B. We have 24 Mbps Internet Service.

Netgear JGS 524 Unmanaged 24 port Gigabit switch.

42 Terabyte Server running Windows 7 64 Bit Professional. ( Details Below )

QTY> 3 Silicon Dust HD Home Run Dual Tuners for a total of 6 ATSC Tuners.


Location - Home Theater:

Home Theater PC running Windows 7 64 Bit Professional

XBOX 360


Location - Den:

XBOX 360


Location - Office:

QTY>2 PC Running Windows 7 64 Bit Professional


Location - Master Bed Room:

XBOX 360

Popcorn Hour C200


Location - Kids Room:

QTY>2 PC Running Windows 7 64 Bit Professional

XBOX 360

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

All the equipment above works fine. The problem I am having is fine tuning the network for more bandwidth and higher speeds. The 42TB server is where I have the bottle neck.

All the straight up PC's have no problems and do not seem to contribute to the problem as they do not use or stream from the Server. The 4 XBOX 360 units do not contribute to the problem if they are just being used for online gaming.


The Home Theater PC, Popcorn Hour C-200 and all 4 XBOX 360 units do stream from the server. The server is the main Windows Media Center PC. It holds all our DVD' , Blu-Rays, Music, Pictures as well as has the 3 HD Home Run Dual Tuners configured in Windows Media Center.


We have 4 Television sets in the house. If I am only using one of the above units as a media center extender I have no issues. When adding a second unit, if both are streaming High Definition Content, 50% of the time there is no problem. It depends on the Content and Audio. Once the third unit is started you get Screens freezing, Stuttering, Loss of Audio, Loss of Picture, etc... If I shut down one unit immediately the last two will recover and continue normal operation. Otherwise they will crash and you need to either reboot or go out to the main menu and start again. The first one to crash when multiple units are running is always the PopCorn Hour C-200 if it is streaming a Blu-Ray.


Here are the specs of the 42TB Server:


Windows Professional 64 Bit Running Media Center, Intel S3210SHLX Server Mother Board, Intel XEON E3110 Wolfdale 3.0GHZ Dual Core, 8 Gig of GEIL Memory, QTY- 21 - 2TB SATA Drives, QTY- 2 - SUPERMICRO AOC-SAT2-MV8 64-bit PCI-X 133MHz SATA II (3.0Gb/s) Controller Cards, Sony Optiarc Slim 8X DVD±R Burner Black SATA Model AD-7590S-01.


The Intel Board has two onboard Gigabit Ethernet Ports ( I am only using one ) I am using the onboard video and no sound. This unit stays in a air conditioned closet. All units have static IP's.


OK, Here are my questions about the server and network.

1. What would be the optimal settings in Windows 7 Professional for the network and each unit for maximum speed and bandwidth?

2. Can I Team up the Two Onboard Ethernet ports on the Server to act as one? ( I think the two ports are different. They are both listed as Intel Gigabit ports, but have different model numbers. One is Intel 82541 and the other is Intel 82566.

3. Can I add more Ethernet Ports to the Server Board?

4. Would a higher end managed switch make a difference?

5. Should I upgrade the server to Windows 7 64 Bit Ultimate to get NFS file sharing? ( This may work much better for the Popcorn Hour than Using SAMBA )

6. What kind of tests should I run to help find out how to fix this?


If you need more info , Just ask. Please remember Networking is not my strong suit. Please explain it to me as simply as possible.

Thanks for any help,

Chris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,276 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Venomnusss /forum/post/20879359


Hi All, I am looking for help and recommendations with my Home Network.


I am good at building computers, but have lots to learn about networking. I hope some of you will take the time to read this post and make some suggestions. Since my layout is rather large and confusing I am trying to include as much info as possible in this post. Thanks in advance for any help.


Here is a rundown of the layout.

My whole house is wired in Cat 6. Everything is wired, no wireless. All equipment runs to the 24 port switch.


Location - Hall Closet:

AT&T Uverse Gateway Made by 2-Wire, Model Number 3800 HGV-B. We have 24 Mbps Internet Service.

Netgear JGS 524 Unmanaged 24 port Gigabit switch.

42 Terabyte Server running Windows 7 64 Bit Professional. ( Details Below )

QTY> 3 Silicon Dust HD Home Run Dual Tuners for a total of 6 ATSC Tuners.


Location - Home Theater:

Home Theater PC running Windows 7 64 Bit Professional

XBOX 360


Location - Den:

XBOX 360


Location - Office:

QTY>2 PC Running Windows 7 64 Bit Professional


Location - Master Bed Room:

XBOX 360

Popcorn Hour C200


Location - Kids Room:

QTY>2 PC Running Windows 7 64 Bit Professional

XBOX 360

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

All the equipment above works fine. The problem I am having is fine tuning the network for more bandwidth and higher speeds. The 42TB server is where I have the bottle neck.

All the straight up PC's have no problems and do not seem to contribute to the problem as they do not use or stream from the Server. The 4 XBOX 360 units do not contribute to the problem if they are just being used for online gaming.


The Home Theater PC, Popcorn Hour C-200 and all 4 XBOX 360 units do stream from the server. The server is the main Windows Media Center PC. It holds all our DVD' , Blu-Rays, Music, Pictures as well as has the 3 HD Home Run Dual Tuners configured in Windows Media Center.


We have 4 Television sets in the house. If I am only using one of the above units as a media center extender I have no issues. When adding a second unit, if both are streaming High Definition Content, 50% of the time there is no problem. It depends on the Content and Audio. Once the third unit is started you get Screens freezing, Stuttering, Loss of Audio, Loss of Picture, etc... If I shut down one unit immediately the last two will recover and continue normal operation. Otherwise they will crash and you need to either reboot or go out to the main menu and start again. The first one to crash when multiple units are running is always the PopCorn Hour C-200 if it is streaming a Blu-Ray.


Here are the specs of the 42TB Server:


Windows Professional 64 Bit Running Media Center, Intel S3210SHLX Server Mother Board, Intel XEON E3110 Wolfdale 3.0GHZ Dual Core, 8 Gig of GEIL Memory, QTY- 21 - 2TB SATA Drives, QTY- 2 - SUPERMICRO AOC-SAT2-MV8 64-bit PCI-X 133MHz SATA II (3.0Gb/s) Controller Cards, Sony Optiarc Slim 8X DVD±R Burner Black SATA Model AD-7590S-01.


The Intel Board has two onboard Gigabit Ethernet Ports ( I am only using one ) I am using the onboard video and no sound. This unit stays in a air conditioned closet. All units have static IP's.


OK, Here are my questions about the server and network.

1. What would be the optimal settings in Windows 7 Professional for the network and each unit for maximum speed and bandwidth?

2. Can I Team up the Two Onboard Ethernet ports on the Server to act as one? ( I think the two ports are different. They are both listed as Intel Gigabit ports, but have different model numbers. One is Intel 82541 and the other is Intel 82566.

3. Can I add more Ethernet Ports to the Server Board?

4. Would a higher end managed switch make a difference?

5. Should I upgrade the server to Windows 7 64 Bit Ultimate to get NFS file sharing? ( This may work much better for the Popcorn Hour than Using SAMBA )

6. What kind of tests should I run to help find out how to fix this?


If you need more info , Just ask. Please remember Networking is not my strong suit. Please explain it to me as simply as possible.

Thanks for any help,

Chris

Great info and lots of detail. Lets step back as you made an assumption you have a network problem when in fact you have no evidence of the such from your description.


Your problem if I understand is a stuttering/playback problem when using multiple units. I would agree you have some sort of bottleneck which could be the server or the network or both but we you dont know yet.


You need to load your server as you describe and start doing some debugging in the task monitor. You would start by watching the CPU load and network throughput. you can add columns to the MS task manager to show you network tx/interval in bytes and rx/interval in bytes?


the MS resource monitor will give you more clues. are you be limited by CPU, by IO, by network bandwidth?


Since you're running MCE and extenders you really should visit the HTPC section here where all the MCE users hang out. I just dont know how these 360's work as extenders and what kind of resource requirements they place on the server.


With a device like the PCH C-200. Last winter I had 13 streams running at the same time off my unraid with 5 BD streams no issues. a device like C-200 is just requesting files and the unraid is just serving them.


in the MCE scenario the server has a much larger role and I would not be surprised to find out you've maxxed out something in your server. 6 tuners, the software and from what I understand there is some potential transcoding for MCE extenders all of which could easily result in server loades that could result in some glitches.


and yes if the need arises you can load balance a couple of Gig-E's on a server and do lots of cool tricks with a managed switch if need be but thats all a big maybe at this point. you have some investigating to do. I'd be surprised if the single GigE is fully utilized. Windows task manager will give you the clues.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=26


and then there are whole forums devoted to MCE too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_w_smith /forum/post/20879388


Great info and lots of detail. Lets step back as you made an assumption you have a network problem when in fact you have no evidence of the such from your description.


Your problem if I understand is a stuttering/playback problem when using multiple units. I would agree you have some sort of bottleneck which could be the server or the network or both but we you dont know yet.


You need to load your server as you describe and start doing some debugging in the task monitor. You would start by watching the CPU load and network throughput. you can add columns to the MS task manager to show you network tx/interval in bytes and rx/interval in bytes?


the MS resource monitor will give you more clues. are you be limited by CPU, by IO, by network bandwidth?


Since you're running MCE and extenders you really should visit the HTPC section here where all the MCE users hang out. I just dont know how these 360's work as extenders and what kind of resource requirements they place on the server.


With a device like the PCH C-200. Last winter I had 13 streams running at the same time off my unraid with 5 BD streams no issues. a device like C-200 is just requesting files and the unraid is just serving them.


in the MCE scenario the server has a much larger role and I would not be surprised to find out you've maxxed out something in your server. 6 tuners, the software and from what I understand there is some potential transcoding for MCE extenders all of which could easily result in server loades that could result in some glitches.


and yes if the need arises you can load balance a couple of Gig-E's on a server and do lots of cool tricks with a managed switch if need be but thats all a big maybe at this point. you have some investigating to do. I'd be surprised if the single GigE is fully utilized. Windows task manager will give you the clues.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=26


and then there are whole forums devoted to MCE too.

Thanks for the response!


Last night after I posted this on another forum, I had gotten a private message from someone that had the same problem only on a smaller home network.

His biggest problem was also the Popcorn Hour C-200 while streaming Blu-Ray iso. files from the server. He said he fixed his whole network by using the program SG TP Optimizer. It can be found here: http://www.speedguide.net/downloads.php


I ran it late last night and rebooted the server. The Intel server board takes quite some time to reboot so I went to bed.


This morning I read your post and started to use Windows Resource Monitor in the server. As I started adding running units to the server I expected something to freeze or crash to crash, but it didn't.

I went back to the SG TP Optimizer and returned the server to the prior settings from yesterday and rebooted.

The server went back to not being able to have more than two units running without crashing the units. I then used the SG TP Optimizer to change the settings back to optimal and rebooted. Once again everything performed flawlessly. Now I started using Windows Resource Monitor to monitor what was going on.


I first started the PopCorn Hour C-200 and streamed a Blu-Ray iso. with DTS bit streaming. It worked perfect. This unit is the only one that does not use Windows Media Center through the server. It just streams the files directly.


I then turned on the Home theater PC and through Media Center streamed a Blu-Ray iso. with DTS bit streaming.


All the rest listed were all using Media Center through the server.

An XBOX 360 Streaming Live 1080i Television with Dolby Digital

Another Xbox Streaming Hulu through Playon

Two more XBOX 360 units one with live TV and the other streaming CBS.com Late Show through Playon.

The last two units were running but not selected through the AV receiver.


That is 6 devices running off the server. We would never use more than 4. We only have 4 TV's.


While watching Windows Resource Monitor on the server, I saw the following:


The network almost reached 200mbps and probably can go lots higher if needed.


The disk transfer speeds were exactly in the proper range.


The CPU reached 98% a few times. I would say this is the weak spot. Since I was home alone today while testing, I could only do one thing at a time. If more family members were home and everyone was starting and stopping the units, changing programs to watch etc.... I think the CPU would have topped out and something would have crashed. I think if I ran all 6 units using Playon then it definitely would have crashed. The transcoding in Playon is CPU intensive.


I am currently running the Intel XEON Wolfdale E-3110 3.0GHZ Dual Core.

I just ordered the Intel Core 2 Q9550 Quad Core 2.83GHZ. That should fix the CPU from hitting 100% It will be here by Friday.


The Popcorn Hour still glitches from time to time , but that is mostly due to widely known problems with the unit and or firmware. DTS can make that unit freak out.


If you can think of anything else I should be doing, Please let me know. Also let me know what you think of my Egyptian Tomb Home theater. The link is below.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnythan /forum/post/20881126


What was using all that CPU? Simply streaming files over the network shouldn't use much juice from that CPU.


I would use both ethernet ports. Also, what kind of disks are you using in that server?

The Playon Software is the CPU hog.

It uses lots of CPU to transcode whatever incoming content you are getting from the internet so the XBOX 360 can play it through Media Center.

With just one Windows Media Center Extender using Playon through the server, CPU usage is around 25%
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top