Slingbox Pro or Network Issue

Discussion in 'IPTV and Internet Video Delivery' started by smiddy, Feb 6, 2008.

  1. Feb 6, 2008 #1 of 12
    smiddy

    smiddy Tain't ogre til its ogre

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    Hi, weirdness abound. I need to explain. I have a gigabit router and gigabit switch. When I watch via the slingbox software I get nasty popping/jumpy audio and video. the bit rate is 3.2 Mbps. I assume the Slingbox is 100 Mbps, so I should be seeing in the neighborhood of 70 Mbps, correct? Here's the odd poop too, between computers I can only get 3.2 Mbps too, which if all are Gig, the should get in the neighborhood of 700 Mbps, but I am not. So, I need some help either figuring out settings or troubleshooting the setup. Any initial thoughts to look at?
     
  2. Feb 7, 2008 #2 of 12
    funhouse69

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    From what you are saying that this happens both on your local network as well as remotely through the internet? Are your computers connected to the Gig Switch at Gig or lower if for some reason they are connecting at 10Mb then that could be an issue.

    The maximum you can get out of a connection is about 80% of it which would be 80Mb / Sec for a 100Mb Connection and 800Mb / Sec from a Gig connection however you will NEVER see a single computer be able to pump out anything more than around 300Mb/Sec over a network connection and this is from some of the fastest RAID systems due to internal limitations.

    I also have a Sling Box pro connected to an extensive Gig Network with several switches and Verizon FIOS. The maximum setting for the player is only 8Mb/Sec so you won't see anything more then that. When I connect locally and let the player do its thing it will sit at about 3 - 4Mb Sec so this actually sounds about right.

    If however you are only seeing that same amount of transfer between PC's on the network then there sounds like there is an issue for sure. This could be any number of things from a single bad network card in any connected device that is just flooding the network with garbage to a defective Switch or Router.

    My suggestion would be to take two computers and connect them to a single device only. So lets say pick the Gig Switch to start. Disconnect the Router from it and test with only those to PC's and see if that works. If so then keep adding devices until you experience the issue.

    How are you measuring bandwidth? Are you going by the player itself or do you have something that is showing the transfer speed between devices?

    As I mentioned it is possible that you have a defective device which might be the cause of all this. Another possibility is that the connection between the Router and the Switch might be an issue. I assume you are using a standard cable and not a Crossover Cable. Even though this should work I have seen issues when a Crossover isn't used that would be another test.

    Two last thoughts - 1) This could be caused by an IP Address Conflict as well. Make sure that no devices are sharing IP Addresses. 2) Make sure you have the latest firmware running on your Router and even the Switch if it us upgradeable.

    This is a good place to start - try that out and let me know what happens.
     
  3. Feb 7, 2008 #3 of 12
    smiddy

    smiddy Tain't ogre til its ogre

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    Perhaps I didn't give enough information. On the main PC I use I installed the Sling Player and according to it I am getting anywhere from 2.5 Mbps to 4 Mbps. Even at these speeds I am getting jump/jerky sound and video. I have yet to try via the internet since at work they have a firewall in place that won't allow it to work. I won't likely test that until I go on travel again, to answer your first question.
    I am attaching a diagram for discussion. The router port 1 is connected to the PC I use mostly, port 2 to the secondary and both of these are Netgear GA311 PCI cards. Port 3 is attached to the Slingbox Pro, I assume it is 100 BaseT, but I am uncertain based on the video/audio stream indicator in the Sling Player on the Main PC & Secondary PC (2.5 Mbps to 4 Mbps). The 4th port is connected to the Netgear GS108 Gigabit Switch (Dumb).
    Since writing the thread I had installed the Sling Player on the Secondary PC and there is no audio/video issues, it runs smoothly. This made me think it was something within the settings, but I mirrored the settings between the two PCs. My main PC is running XP Pro; the secondary PC is running XP Home. I can only assume at this point that there is something running in the background causing issues. Which will be a matter of turning off things until I find the culprit, I suspect.
    I was thinking 70% to be conservative a bit. at first glance I didn't consider the internals, but you are correct. The Main PC has 2 ATA-150 and a USB 2 HDDs. Then there is the PCI bus speeds too to consider. the secondary PC is using 3 ATA-300s.

    Agreed! Based on what you're getting and my two PCs they are working similarly. So it is likely some background process interfering or something else I have yet to consider.

    I wondered about this, but I have yet to start removing items to see what is fouling it up. Between Main PC and Secondary PC the best I can get is less that 1 %. I can however get multiple instances of this which increases overall throughput, but single instances are very slow, it seems.
    An interesting observation, if I put each NIC into Enable Large Frames I can not communicate between them, but I can go to the internet and browse. If I disable large frames I can talk to each PC again.

    Yep, I'll do this tonight...
    I was relying on the player and Task Manager. Is there another Windows Tool that does a better job?

    Yep, that is the next step for the network speed. I think there is something on the Main PC causing the issue...so I need to check that out.
    Thanks for the run down of things to do and look at. It helps to bounce these things off of someone else when this isn't my realm of expertise.
     
  4. Feb 8, 2008 #4 of 12
    funhouse69

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    There are several different applications out there that will show real time bandwidth utilization and some that will log it as well.

    For client PC's I would suggest checking out an application called WinBar it is a neat little tool bar that installs itself at the top of your screen and shows real time status of things like CPU & Memory utilization as well as a network transfer. You can download that here http://www.winbar.nl/ keep in mind that you have to enable the "DU Meter" in the settings. It is also worth noting that this shows the speed in Bytes and not Bits so you have to multiply everything by 8 to get it to true network speed. I know it is a pain but it is free :)

    Based on what you said it does sound like something on that system is causing the issue with the playback. The first few things I would look at are things like Virus Protection software as some of them are real resource hogs. From there as you said I would eliminate things one at a time and see what you get.

    I agree that throwing things out at different people can help even for someone that knows the stuff you just might be missing something.

    Keep me posted.
     
  5. Feb 9, 2008 #5 of 12
    smiddy

    smiddy Tain't ogre til its ogre

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    After unplugging stuff and nothing getting me anywhere, I powered everything down and brought them all back up and now I get 678 Mbps between two PCs, which is nearly two orders of magnitude better. Weird stuff I must say.

    Also, I have yet to figure out how the one machine is getting jumpy audio and the rest are not. Tonight I may play with it some more.
     
  6. Feb 9, 2008 #6 of 12
    hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    Of course, there could be a loose nut behind the keyboard.... :D

    My best guess, based on all this evidence, is operator error. :lol: :lol:

    Mine set up in 10 minutes and has worked out of the box since.
     
  7. smiddy

    smiddy Tain't ogre til its ogre

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    Yeah, you would! I had it working on th other PCs it was on my main one where the issue was, which I have solved. I had to remove the audio driver and reinstall it. Weird, but that is what worked.
     
  8. funhouse69

    funhouse69 Icon

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    Mine worked out of the box as well but that wasn't the question here. I'm glad that you got it working. Now you will have to see how cool it is remotely especially if you are lucky enough to have a decent amount of bandwidth both at your house and remotely of which I am. It is amazing and since I work the overnights it can be a life saver on slow nights.

    Enjoy!
     
  9. Greg Alsobrook

    Greg Alsobrook Lifetime Achiever

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    :lol:
     
  10. smiddy

    smiddy Tain't ogre til its ogre

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    Funny! !rolling you guys crack me up.
     
  11. Greg Alsobrook

    Greg Alsobrook Lifetime Achiever

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    that's what we're here for... :D
     
  12. smiddy

    smiddy Tain't ogre til its ogre

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    Just for me? Ah man...and I didn't get you guys anything. :D
     

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