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Omne666
Sep 20, 2010, 09:53 AM
Hi all....

Need some assistance. Im replacing my DVDs with BRays of the movies I really like and whilst Im successfully ripping them, on a streaming aTV, he movies suddenly begin pausing, firstly for a second or so, then this gets worse and worse until it pauses interminably. I can exit it and restart at some location, which works (sometimes), until a little later in different places, it happens again. The movies play fine if synced, but not as a stream from my iMac.

Screen shot attached of one of the movies in question...a quicktime grab of the info window. Hope this helps. BTW...the aTVs are all hardwired into the network, and the movies sit on an 2.16iMac on an external Drobo.



WiiDSmoker
Sep 20, 2010, 10:05 AM
Could be various reasons. Are you using Cat5, Cat5e, or Cat 6? Is your computer & router 10/100/1000?

Omne666
Sep 20, 2010, 10:09 AM
The cabling was in place when we moved into the place. It used to be an office and I was more then happy to 'modify' the existing stuff to my purposes. I'd say its cat5 (as some of it disappears into inaccesible ceiling and reappears at central location thats the best I can tell you. LOL...its blue! :), well, some is grey also:):)), and the switch box is a netgear 100/1000 8port.


Do more or less swittch boxes make things worse or better?? I was thinking of 'simplifying' the setup by reducing cable numbers but it means another switch box. Also, my internet in on one of the cables going from a netgear ADSL2+ modem to the switch box mentioned.

roidy
Sep 20, 2010, 10:17 AM
Do you have any purchased or free Apple HD content you can try, because Apple's HD content is twice the bitrate of the file you posted, so if an Apple HD file plays ok it will tell you it's the way you're encoding your files but if the Apple HD file also fails then it will point to a problem with your network.

WiiDSmoker
Sep 20, 2010, 10:26 AM
The cabling was in place when we moved into the place. It used to be an office and I was more then happy to 'modify' the existing stuff to my purposes. I'd say its cat5 (as some of it disappears into inaccesible ceiling and reappears at central location thats the best I can tell you. LOL...its blue! :), well, some is grey also:):)), and the switch box is a netgear 100/1000 8port.


Do more or less swittch boxes make things worse or better?? I was thinking of 'simplifying' the setup by reducing cable numbers but it means another switch box. Also, my internet in on one of the cables going from a netgear ADSL2+ modem to the switch box mentioned.

Knowing this; it's probably the cabling and the switch. Go to monoprice.com and get Cat6 cabling and then a good D-Link 10/100/1000 switch. Should solve all your issues.

Omne666
Sep 20, 2010, 10:28 AM
Ive only bought a couple of movies from the Apple store, and neither of them are HD. Actually all the movies I see in the store via the aTV, you cant buy the HD versions...just rent them. As this would put them on the aTVs own drive, it wouldn't show the issue.

Omne666
Sep 20, 2010, 10:34 AM
Knowing this; it's probably the cabling and the switch. Go to monoprice.com and get Cat6 cabling and then a good D-Link 10/100/1000 switch. Should solve all your issues.


Ugh! Thought you might say that. Problem is, the cabling goes through inaccessible ceiling areas. I assume it was put in before the ceilings were put up. Crawly space is like 18", and its hanging ceiling. No way to support even a kids weight up there. Where I do have access, a man hole, allows me access to those cables in the roof at that point only. Then they go though a hole in the plaster and branch off to my office, and two other bedrooms. Cant for the life of me figure how I'd replace it. (Though I would if I could)

BTW....the netgear switch is new. I put that in.

WiiDSmoker
Sep 20, 2010, 10:37 AM
Before re-cabling the entire house; I would get two CAT6s cord and run it directly from PC to switch to aTV.

Omne666
Sep 20, 2010, 10:44 AM
Now that sounds like an idea!!! Will do tomorrow.


You realise of course, if that IS the issue, I've then got to figure out how to replace cabling I can even see!! I really wish wireless steaming worked as good as the brochure says!! LOL

roidy
Sep 20, 2010, 10:45 AM
Ive only bought a couple of movies from the Apple store, and neither of them are HD. Actually all the movies I see in the store via the aTV, you cant buy the HD versions...just rent them. As this would put them on the aTVs own drive, it wouldn't show the issue.

Ok, I assume you have access to the US iTunes store on your computer? If so then go to the TV Shows section and from the TV Shows Quick Links select Free TV Episodes. From there you can download quite a few HD episodes and recaps, TV shows are encoded exactly the same as movies so these will do just to test weather or not it's your network or encoding.

Omne666
Sep 20, 2010, 10:54 AM
Ok, I assume you have access to the US iTunes store on your computer? If so then go to the TV Shows section and from the TV Shows Quick Links select Free TV Episodes. From there you can download quite a few HD episodes and recaps, TV shows are encoded exactly the same as movies so these will do just to test weather or not it's your network or encoding.

Heyyyy. This sucks! Im in Australia....and all the purchase-able stuff is only widescreen, not HD, movies and TV Shows. Man, Im so not happy now!

OK...checked around and yep...no HD content for us here in Oz. Sob! Im so despondent now.

roidy
Sep 20, 2010, 11:02 AM
That sucks.... don't know why I assumed you were from the US, sorry.

Try what WiiDSmoker suggested get a direct connection from your router to your AppleTV, I assume your ADSL modem also contains your router? If so then run a cable straight from the router to the ATV with out any switches inbetween. It dosn't need to be Cat6 cable, Cat5 will do as the AppleTV only has a base 100 ethernet port anyway.

Omne666
Sep 20, 2010, 11:14 AM
That sucks.... don't know why I assumed you were from the US, sorry.

Try what WiiDSmoker suggested get a direct connection from your router to your AppleTV, I assume your ADSL modem also contains your router? If so then run a cable straight from the router to the ATV with out any switches inbetween. It dosn't need to be Cat6 cable, Cat5 will do as the AppleTV only has a base 100 ethernet port anyway.

No issue dude. I wish I was in the US...then at least I could get HD content!!!!!!!

The routers not a crucial part of the network....its just there for the internet. The switch is what glues it all together. Im thinking....do you know any tools (mac based) that I can run on my laptop that will test the cable going back to the desktop?? That way, I can go from point to point with the laptop and test ALL cabling easily. Then I can make a judgement call on replacement or not.

roidy
Sep 20, 2010, 11:32 AM
Sorry no, I'm PC based myself. Dosn't OSX contain a network monitoring tool, I know that Windows Does.

Omne666
Sep 20, 2010, 11:44 AM
Sorry no, I'm PC based myself. Dosn't OSX contain a network monitoring tool, I know that Windows Does.

Just did a simple PING test, plugging my laptop into the network cable the aTVs in. Whats your verdict? Or isnt a PING test enough?

roidy
Sep 20, 2010, 11:57 AM
I'm no network expert but I don't think in this case a ping test will tell you much.

roidy
Sep 20, 2010, 12:00 PM
Just an off the wall suggestion here but is there anyway you could try the ATV streaming wirelessly, just to see what happens?

Omne666
Sep 20, 2010, 12:23 PM
Just an off the wall suggestion here but is there anyway you could try the ATV streaming wirelessly, just to see what happens?

Actually, one of the reasons why I was so excited when we bought this place was the existing networking. I'd previously had the aTVs wirelessly connected and the issue was even worse. Just about made me dump/hack the aTVs in frustration. So no need to go there. I already know the answer....worse! LOL

Same issues, but even greater intolerance. My other thought is maybe the Drobo?? It does like to let the HDDs to go to sleep.

roidy
Sep 20, 2010, 12:36 PM
My other thought is maybe the Drobo?? It does like to let the HDDs to go to sleep.

That should be easy to test by moving a movie to your Mac's internal hard drive and removing and re-adding to iTunes then stream it and see what happens.

santangelo
Sep 20, 2010, 12:43 PM
Actually, one of the reasons why I was so excited when we bought this place was the existing networking. I'd previously had the aTVs wirelessly connected and the issue was even worse. Just about made me dump/hack the aTVs in frustration. So no need to go there. I already know the answer....worse! LOL

Same issues, but even greater intolerance. My other thought is maybe the Drobo?? It does like to let the HDDs to go to sleep.

you have hit the nail on the head!!!

there will be nothing wrong with the wiring as if there was it just wouldn't work

i sent my Drobo back as they are crap!!!

just try streaming ur itunes library from your hard drive see if it stops

Omne666
Sep 20, 2010, 10:09 PM
you have hit the nail on the head!!!

there will be nothing wrong with the wiring as if there was it just wouldn't work

i sent my Drobo back as they are crap!!!

just try streaming ur itunes library from your hard drive see if it stops

Ive heard a lot of negatives on the Drobo...Ive had mine nearly 2years now and I must say, its performed flawlessly. However, having said that, perhaps it was the reason wireless aTV was giving me so much grief.

Im copying the HD movies I have to a WD Passbook external as well as one to my internal drive and will test them out that way. Hopefully that'll be it.

I tested my network speed via my PS3....its wired onto the same network. Came back as 14.3Mbps. That makes me a little more confident on the cablings integrity.

Omne666
Sep 21, 2010, 02:01 AM
Well, it aint the Drobo.....put the identical movie on to the internal HDD, removed the entry from iTunes, re added it to iTunes from the internal HDD, checked to see it was definitely linked to that one, and then tried it on the same aTV.....and same issue!

Guess Im back to running a cable direct from mac to aTV and seeing how that performs.

NightStorm
Sep 21, 2010, 07:05 AM
If you post the activity log from Handbrake for the encode in question, we may be able to find a solution.

Omne666
Sep 22, 2010, 05:48 AM
If you post the activity log from Handbrake for the encode in question, we may be able to find a solution.

Would love it if it were that easy, but all my non-DVD rips are giving me issues, and this one is probably the smaller of them all. They ALL play on the aTV if SYNCED, they all stutter eventually if streamed.

Also, Handbrake isnt my only encoder...im using mkvtools more now cause creating a mkv from the BRays is the easiest solution, and HB seems to take longer converting that to m4v.

Side issue: using HB, I ripped one at about 5500kbps (constant quality setting 15), and the aTV didnt want to know it....so the aTV has a bitrate limit of 5k?? I thought it could go much higher but is that with lower res movies? This one was 1680x720.

NightStorm
Sep 22, 2010, 07:10 AM
Would love it if it were that easy, but all my non-DVD rips are giving me issues, and this one is probably the smaller of them all. They ALL play on the aTV if SYNCED, they all stutter eventually if streamed.

Also, Handbrake isnt my only encoder...im using mkvtools more now cause creating a mkv from the BRays is the easiest solution, and HB seems to take longer converting that to m4v.

Side issue: using HB, I ripped one at about 5500kbps (constant quality setting 15), and the aTV didnt want to know it....so the aTV has a bitrate limit of 5k?? I thought it could go much higher but is that with lower res movies? This one was 1680x720.

5500kbps average, using a crazy RF value like 15 is sure to get you bitrate spikes that are higher and of longer duration than the AppleTV can handle. In testing, we've found that the AppleTV can handle short bitrate spikes upwards of 10,000kbps without issue. This would definitely cause AppleTV to pause during streaming, but without seeing the actual activity log it is anyone's guess.

You mention converting to MKV, so I assume you've hacked the AppleTV. Remember that the hacks are not able to take advantage of the hardware acceleration that Apple uses for playback, and Bluray video uses advanced h264 features that are not compatible with the AppleTV via streaming (and barely when synced).

williedigital
Sep 22, 2010, 07:33 AM
if you sync the movie to the appletv hard drive and get the network out of the picture, does it still stutter?

Omne666
Sep 22, 2010, 08:27 AM
No...no hacked aTVs.....played with ATVFlash a year ago, but it just didnt take with me. Personally that is.

I use MakeMKV to get the BRay to disc as a mkv, then either HB or MKVTools to take it down to 720p specs and m4v. The HB setting I got off here somewhere....
mixed-refs=1:b-adapt=2:b-pyramid=none:trellis=0:weightp=0:
vbv-maxrate=5500:vbv-bufsize=5500

And like I said, Im toying with the constant quality setting. Just trying to max the files to the best result for the aTV. ReRipping a file now using constant quality of 18, as the 15 like I said was rejected outright by the aTV like you mentioned.

BTW: does it make a difference B&W or Colour films with these settings?

Omne666
Sep 22, 2010, 08:32 AM
if you sync the movie to the appletv hard drive and get the network out of the picture, does it still stutter?

No...all the HD files work then...as long as they dont exceed aTVs maximum alowances. In which case the aTV completely rejects it...even to Sync it.

Yeah....I know....its not the Drobo as the Internal drive gave the same result, therefore it has to lay between the aTV and the Server iMac. And as I have multiple aTVs setup, and they all produce the same result, its either the cable from the iMac to the switch box, or the switch box itself. I cant see 4 separate cables all being an issue.

* Im really hoping its the switch box (though new) as the cable from the iMac to the switch box is one of those that I may find it extremely difficult to replace.

WiiDSmoker
Sep 22, 2010, 08:38 AM
No...all the HD files work then...as long as they dont exceed aTVs maximum alowances. In which case the aTV completely rejects it...even to Sync it.

Yeah....I know....its not the Drobo as the Internal drive gave the same result, therefore it has to lay between the aTV and the Server iMac. And as I have multiple aTVs setup, and they all produce the same result, its either the cable from the iMac to the switch box, or the switch box itself. I cant see 4 separate cables all being an issue.

* Im really hoping its the switch box (though new) as the cable from the iMac to the switch box is one of those that I may find it extremely difficult to replace.

So I was right in the initial posting :p

Omne666
Sep 22, 2010, 08:45 AM
Looks Like it! :)

Especially as the movie that started this whole discussion was well below the aTVs maximum allowance.

As a side issue....TV sizes...like their width by height, in modern plasma & LCD versions, are they all a standard proportion?? like width x height ratio is the same on a 32" as to a 50"??

Why I ask is I hate seeing black bars on the top and bottom of movies and was wondering if anyone considers cropping the sides of movies enough to fill the screen (without distortion) to be out right blasphemous??:o

I just hate the black bars.

NightStorm
Sep 22, 2010, 08:53 AM
No...no hacked aTVs.....played with ATVFlash a year ago, but it just didnt take with me. Personally that is.

I use MakeMKV to get the BRay to disc as a mkv, then either HB or MKVTools to take it down to 720p specs and m4v. The HB setting I got off here somewhere....
mixed-refs=1:b-adapt=2:b-pyramid=none:trellis=0:weightp=0:
vbv-maxrate=5500:vbv-bufsize=5500

And like I said, Im toying with the constant quality setting. Just trying to max the files to the best result for the aTV. ReRipping a file now using constant quality of 18, as the 15 like I said was rejected outright by the aTV like you mentioned.

BTW: does it make a difference B&W or Colour films with these settings?
Sorrry, I didn't realize MKVTools could remux into a mp4/m4v container. Anyways, enabling CABAC on a HD encode and attempting to stream has been known to cause problems. Dynaflash syncs all of his content, which is why the advanced string you posted works for him (and you) when you sync. For streaming, most people will use the start with the AppleTV preset (which uses less efficient CAVLC) and adjust the dimensions to 720p.

I'm really hoping streaming performance is greatly improved in the AppleTV v2 as I'd love to use the high profile preset (or a tweaked version of it) for all of my encodes since it should work on all of my devices.

Omne666
Sep 22, 2010, 09:02 AM
Damn....is that right? I have like 110Gb of HD movies so far...I wont be able to Sync many more. SO back to the std Apple TV settings then, adjusting the size accordingly on a per movie basis.

Still....looks like I have an issue in the network somewhere. Gotta run a cable from the aTV to the iMac and see if it clears the problem. The from the iMac to the switch box. (I really hope its not that cable :( )