Annoying issues with my video streaming set up :(

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by spydr, Feb 8, 2010.

  1. spydr macrumors 6502


    Jul 25, 2005
    The set up:
    iMac (early 2009) ethernet connection to TimeCapsule
    iMac is running Medialink
    TimeCapsule has a folder with MP4 movies of varying bitrates/quality
    TimeCapsule is the internet router
    PS3, connected through 802.11g wifi for internet and media access
    Macbook air, connected through 802.11n for internet and media access

    What works:
    Netflix streaming in my PS3 works splendidly, including all HD content (720p) at data rates of around 5 MBPS

    What does not:
    Streaming movies from Airport disk to PS3 is awfully jerky and stuttering for all decent quality rips (i.e. 1.5MPBS and more). Low quality rips, 700KBPS or below, play alright as far as I can tell.
    Thought perhaps PS3 is not playing well with the all mac set up, but streaming the content to my macbook air is also the same way. Unusable.

    I do not understand why despite having faster connections on both ends (802.11n to n), I can't stream playable content at 1.5 MBPS on my network (points to some upload issue with TimeCapsule?)

    On the other hand, despite slower wifi, PS3 is able to pull content from the internet via the same TimeCapsule, even HD movies, and plays them smoothly.

    If anyone can solve my counterintuitive conundrum, I will be quite relieved! Thanks!!
  2. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    This may not be your problem, but I've had annoying stuttering when trying to play a video over wireless if I didn't have a decent buffer on the other end.

    Easy enough to test; fire up either Mplayer OSX Extended and set its buffer to something hefty (say, 50MB), or VLC and set its buffer to "Large" (I forget the exact option) and test--if it plays smoothly all the way through, then the problem isn't throughput. If so, then apparently the Airport is so inefficient reading data off its disk due to the embedded processor that it can't handle that much throughput.

    My guess, if this is the same for you, is that the Mac and PS3 are treating local-network files as if they were on local storage, so not buffering much of it; when there's a brief hiccup on the read end due to network latency or whatever, then you get stuttering. If you explicitly set a big-enough buffer, or when they know they're playing off a long-distance network connection and so buffer without being told, they play fine.

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