Solved Using a switch causes local streaming buffer

September 25, 2011 at 15:20:42
Specs: Windows 7

Sorry, this is a long and confusing issue! About a week ago, without any change to my network settings, I began having a problem with streaming 1080p content from my media server to a router, wired to a switch that serves a few devices in my home theater (including a HTPC, my Boxee Box). Every 15 seconds movies have to buffer. After a while, I narrowed it down to the switch, since wiring the Boxee Box straight to the router caused the movies to run perfectly.

Logically, I thought the switch was the problem, since I really made no changes on my network/DD-WRTRouter other than running a Minecraft server (which shutting that down made no difference in network performance). I ordered a brand new gigabit switch, same problem. Pinging the BoxeeBox returns 0 packet loss whether it's connected to the switch or router, but movies still play perfectly fine when directly connected to the router. Different cables didn't help.

Ok, well, I thought maybe the other devices on that switch were causing some sort of conflict.. changed the BoxeeBox's static IP just in-case, unplugged every other device from the switch so that only the BoxeeBox and Router were connected to the switch. It worked fine! Yay! Tried a different cable, still worked fine. Great, I thought, so the problem was never my switch... plugged the old switch back in, then the problem returned. Ugh. Changed back to my new switch (each time power cycling all of the network devices) and the problem persisted, even with the SAME EXACT setup I just had a few minutes previously that worked fine. Tearing my hair out at this point.

Since that moment I still haven't been able to reproduce a perfect stream unless the BoxeeBox is directly connected to the router. This doesn't make ANY sense as I had this setup running perfectly fine since November 2010. I am COMPLETELY out of ideas other than running multiple ethernet wires to that drop or running all the other devices on wireless. I appreciate any help, thank you!!


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#1
September 26, 2011 at 06:25:28
✔ Best Answer
I would get DD-WRT off your router and use something like Tomato firmware. I don't know how easy that will be though. I've tried once to remove DD-WRT from a router and it was nigh impossible. They (the makers of DD-WRT) obviously have an issue with people removing their product.

If you can't easily remove it, then try updating the firmware to the most recent version and see if that doesn't help.

If that doesn't fix the issue, I'd try another router just to see if it is the DD-WRT firmware causing the problem. If another router works fine. I'd definitely get that DD-WRT off of there and if you can't, I'd toss that unit in the garbage and buy a replacement.

If none of the above fixes the issue, I would probably do what you mentioned, use the one network outlet for your BB and put the rest on wireless unless you could easily pull another network cable to that outlet. If you can, do so and then you can have one for your BB and the other for your switch. Wired is always so much better than wireless.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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#2
September 26, 2011 at 07:04:23
Hmm well the router is brand new as of several months ago, and it's a pretty nice model Netgear WNDR3700, so it's definitely not getting tossed lol... I've never tried Tomato, but DD-WRT has been good to me for years. I suppose it's worth a shot, I can backup my DD-WRT settings easily enough in case I want to switch back. Thanks for the suggestion!

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#3
September 26, 2011 at 08:21:55
I would suggest you set the nic in the boxee from autonegoicated to a static setting of gigabit and full duplex. This nic is the one common thing in all of your tests.

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#4
September 27, 2011 at 07:31:17
Never heard of that, I'll see if that's an option, thanks

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#5
September 27, 2011 at 07:51:45
You go to the nics properties and advanced will have settings for speed and duplex

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#6
September 27, 2011 at 08:23:32
Well the issue is it's a dedicated Boxee machine, so I don't have the typical control other than what the software allows, but I'll check :)

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#7
October 1, 2011 at 12:09:08
The problem did end up being the router, no matter which firmware or settings I run with it.

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