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Choppy 720p Streaming

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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January 30, 2011 2:52:26 AM

Hello, all,

I'm using a Cisco/Linksys E-1000, and I'm having a lot of trouble getting 720p content to stream properly. I've got my laptop set up to connect to my desktop's SMB shares, and when I stream them via Ethernet everything works fine. However, when I switch to wireless, streaming gets incredibly choppy (freezing, pixelation, random artifacts, etc.)

At first I thought it was a simple matter of a weak antenna, but the problem persists even when I'm less than a foot from the router, even though my laptop reads 100% signal strength. The change is noticeable immediately after switching to wireless, so it's not a heat issue. I've upgraded the firmware to the latest version, as well as tried it with and without encryption, MAC filter on and off, on multiple channels, and on all four connection modes (N, G, A/B, and Mixed). I've also tried it on my friend's Win7 laptop in addition to mine running Arch, so it's not a laptop problem.

Is the E-1000 simply not capable of moving that much data via wireless? I'm planning on building a home file/media server in the next week or so, so I'd love any help resolving this issue.

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Anonymous
a b D Laptop
January 30, 2011 8:40:33 AM

It's a fact that most problems with wireless routers are to do with wireless. Though you might experiment with MTU (download a free program called TCPOptimizer to help you might also consider the following:
Wireless is usually about half the speed of wired even with good wireless reception. You should try to optimise your reception and avoid interference.

1) raise the router above furniture level
2) Experiment with channels (some will work better or worse depending on your environment)
3) If you can detect strong neighbouring wifi, use a channel 5 stops away from strongest.
4) Relocate cordless phone base or video sender etc.
5) Be prepared to move the computer (or at least turn it so your body is not between the router signal and the wireless adapter's antenna.
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February 1, 2011 1:22:54 AM

Okay, here's a list of everything I've done so far:

* Moved the router above my desk
* Checked whether it was a heat issue by waiting for choppiness and touching the router; it wasn't
* Checked whether it occurred without fast-forwarding/rewinding video; it does
* Tried all security types (WPA2, WPA, WEP, and unsecured)
* Tried MAC filter on/off
* Tried all broadcast types (N, G, B, Mixed)
* Tried all channels (1-11); 10 was the best, but was still choppy right next to the router and was unusable in the living room.
* Upgraded firmware
* Tried w/ four laptops (Win7 ASUS i7, Win7 Acer C2D, Ubuntu ASUS Atom, Arch Lenovo i3)

None of these measures worked, and I can't think of anything else other than just buying a new router. Note that I don't live in a large place; I have a sub-1000 sq. ft. apartment, and nowhere in it does my signal strength (GUI and confirmed via command line) drop below 90%. I do have interference from about two dozen neighboring networks, but none of them go over 60%. iwlist reports that I'm getting 144 Mb/s--so that's 18 MB/s--in my kitchen, which is the point farthest from the router; is that not enough throughput for 720p? It must be, because I can watch 720p YouTube streams... I really am at my wit's end here.
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