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Slow Picture and Video serving... Twonky or Connection?

Posted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:44 pm
by dashrendar
Hi all,

This is my first time posting and I'm kind of new on the media server front.

I currently have a DNS-323 firmware 1.08 with Twonky v5.1.3, a Netgear WNR3500 Gigabit Wireless-N router, and a PS3 Slim firmware 3.5. I have successfully streamed music from NAS to the PS3 and it's pretty cool. However, I have an issue with photos and video and I'm trying to pinpoint where the problem is.

Photo thumbnails load up very slowly and I can't view them until they're all loaded up. Most photos are JPG at 8 or 10 MP. I also have some scanned high resolution PNGs, so obviously bigger sizes.

I have AVI videos, which seem to stream, but not without audio loss and stuttering. I did a quick test--One of the AVI files is ~140MB. When I stream it to the PS3, it stutters. When I copy it to the PS3 and play it it plays perfectly fine, which leads me to believe that it's not a video format issue, but a transfer rate. The copying of this 140MB file took about 80 seconds, so that's about 1.75 Mbytes/s (or 14 MBps). My NAS is normally capable of transfer rates of up to 17-18 MBytes/sec.

I tried converting the AVI to MP4 and the size was reduced to 8835KB. I thought it would be able to stream this new video without a problem, but I was WRONG--The video still stuttered when it was streamed from the NAS. However, it played fine when it was copied to the PS3. The copying took about 10 seconds, so that's about 0.86 MBytes/s (or ~7 Mbps).

What is going on here? At first, I thought it was the connection and was contemplating getting an Ethernet bridge for the PS3 to up the bandwidth, but now I think it's Twonky. What do you guys think?

Re: Slow Picture and Video serving... Twonky or Connection?

Posted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:22 am
by DaemonBeetle
If the file copy was about 7 Mb/s then it suggests that that is the actual average bandwidth for the wireless link in your particular setup. In that case it's not surprising that you're having problems streaming.

I recently switched to using HomePlug AV adapters to connect my TV to my Twonky server. All the problems I had trying to stream 1080p went away and it's been smooth ever since. As a test you may want to use a long RJ45 cable to link your PS3 and the switch your NAS is connected to (which may be the one built into the router). If you're still getting stuttering you know it's a problem with the NAS/Twonky.

Re: Slow Picture and Video serving... Twonky or Connection?

Posted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:34 pm
by dashrendar
Thanks for the reply, DaemonBeetle.

I didn't get the actual average bandwidth comment, because--based on the first copying test--it was around 14 Mbps. Is that still not fast enough?

Good call on trying the wired connection to isolate the problem. I should try that before attempting to do anything else.

If it *did* turn out to be a transfer rate issue due to a lacking wireless connection, do you still recommend going with powerline ethernet or should I think about hooking up the PS3 to a Wireless-N bridge? What is better in your opinion? I heard mixed reports about powerline ethernet.

Re: Slow Picture and Video serving... Twonky or Connection?

Posted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:22 am
by DaemonBeetle
My personal experience is that the lower end HomePlug devices (including the "85 Mb/s" ones) aren't enough to stream 1080p media smoothly. HomePlug AV works fine for me, despite UK wiring standards ;) I can happily stream 1080p to the TV without problems while streaming audio to my SqueezePlayer on another HomePlug AV adapter.

That said, if you can just toss in a network cable that'll always be the cheapest, and best performing, solution. I can't do that without putting holes in a relatively recently decorated house - the better half would have more than a few harsh words were I to try that.