New mini cannot sustain high quality video stream

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by gpezzino, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. gpezzino macrumors member

    Mar 27, 2008
    I just bought a brand new Mini, 4GB memory, i5 chip. Watched a live ball game on ESPN. I have a fast Internet connection able to sustain high quality video (whatever that means, it is what ESPN shows to indicate video stream quality at the bottom of the window). The video played well for about 10-15 minutes, then the quality deteriorated (from 5 to 3 bars). I thought I was having connection problems, but just to be sure, I started the same ball game on my iMac which is next door from the mini. Sure enough, the iMac displayed 5 bars while the mini continued with 3. I restarted the program on the mini, and it still came back with 3 bars. I kept playing the video simultaneously on both computers for about one hour and things remained the same - 5 bars on the iMac and 3 on the mini. The mini also felt a little warm, although I didn't think about measuring the temperature at that time.

    So everything seems to indicate that the mini wouldn't have enough processor or GPU muscle to sustain a prolonged high quality video stream. Is that possible? I thought the the i5 processor should not have this problem.

    Does anyone have any idea about this? Tanks!
  2. kappaknight macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2009
    Not familiar with ESPN's bars... unless you're talking about wifi bars. Which one of them is closer to the router at home?
  3. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    are you wireless or wired?

    if wireless welcome to the twilight zone.

    if wired the internet is most likely the problem.

    Basically wireless connections can be very different less then a foot away.

    the antennas are not in the exact same case.
  4. mobilehaathi macrumors G3


    Aug 19, 2008
    The Anthropocene
  5. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2011
    I am using a mid-range 2011 Mac mini 2.7GHz Dual-Core Intel i7 in bootcamp and with a couple tweaks I frequently record six HD Channels from SiliconDust HDHomeRun Prime and playback an additional HD show. The Mac mini does not break a sweat. In fact, I even power two WMC extenders.

    In fact, 9 to 5 Mac just had an article on how a MacBook Air can edit 4k video with the assistance of a Thunderbolt drive. The hardware is extremely similar to a Mac mini.

    Your issue is likely not a problem with the Mac mini, but WiFi or broadband provider.
  6. DrakkenWar macrumors 6502


    Nov 7, 2010
    San Antonio,Texas
    Completely Agree, I would be looking at connection issues.

    I have a core i5 here with 4 gigs of ram, hooked up to a 24 hdmi connection, a 22 dvi conversion display. I regularly push hd video, edit photos, create movies, rip with hand break, all the will with email open, things chung away beautifully. Actually to the point I sold of my dual G5 and iLamp G4. This mini is really does everything I need better than any mac I have ever owned.

    I am actually looking for another display around 24 or so to keep iphoto up for working with photo streams and creating home movies and what now. From what I have seen, it will handle it with barely breaking a sweat.

    Just my $0.02....

  7. jamesryanbell macrumors 68020


    Mar 17, 2009
    It's an ESPN thing. videos do the same thing in full screen mode. NOTHING ELSE does that. I don't know why, but only those two sites do it for me. Doesn't matter if I'm using the Air or the Mini.
  8. bwrairen macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2010
    I watch ESPN feeds on my 2011 i5 mini for hours every week. Never drops below full quality. The problem is not the mini.
  9. djc6 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 11, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    my brother the same problem with ESPN's site, but on his 20" early 2006 iMac. Using a wired connection instead of wireless fixed it for him, despite having full bars on his wireless connection via 4th gen time capsule.
  10. gpezzino thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 27, 2008
    Thank you all, but...


    thank you all for your replies. I, like you, thought that my issue was due to connection problems. However, my doubts stem from the fact that:

    1. The iMac and the Mini are both wired to the same router, a few feet apart from each other. So no wireless versus wired issue there.
    2. While the Mini could not show the stream with more than two bars of video quality, the iMac could show the same stream with full quality (four bars). Same show, same time, same router connection.

    The only difference between the two computers was that the Mini runs Safari while the iMas runs Chrome. That should not affect the video quality.

    I will run more tests over the week end and try to reproduce the issue to see if I can find any other patterns useful for troubleshooting.

  11. keeper macrumors 6502

    Apr 23, 2008
    I stream NHL Game Centre matches for over 2 hours and dont have any issues, base mini with 8 gig of ram....
  12. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2011
    The difference is likely the web browser and flash or HTML 5. Try installing chrome on your Mac mini. Do you know if ESPN is flash or HTML 5 on the Mac mini? Sorry. I don't really watch videos to trouble shoot.

    The hardware should not be an issue. It sounds like you've also eliminated the network connection as well. So software it is.
  13. gpezzino thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 27, 2008
    I agree, theoretically. But I have not made much progress in troubleshooting this issue. I installed Chrome on the mini, tried both with Chrome and Safari. Consistently, I cannot get streamed videos from ESPN to play back at top quality like I do on the iMac. Same router, same wired Internet connection, same video and same time.

    They use Flash, by the way.....
  14. djc6 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 11, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    Have you tried running a speed test on both to see if there is a discrepancy in network speed between the two machines? Here are some tests:

    I don't know who your ISP is, but Time Warner has speed tests on their website.
  15. agentphish macrumors 65816


    Sep 7, 2004
    I'm betting 100% of my money on Flash issues.

    Stupid flash.

    My air runs so much nicer on the internet w/o it.
  16. gpezzino thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 27, 2008
    I will test speed on both computer, but being that they are both connected by wire to the same router, I doubt that that is the culprit.

    I may agree with Flash being a suspect, but I do I get rid of it and still watch the video streams that require Flash....? I don't think it is an option.

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