Router/Home Multimedia Network help

whiskeyguy

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#1
Alright, so hopefully I know enough to ask the right questions. I wanted to know if there's a way to prioritize bandwidth through a router between two LAN-connected devices on a network (in this case a server and television)? They don't need to connect to the internet, just communicate between each other. Here's my situation:

I have a pretty basic Linksys Wireless-N Router. We have 4 laptops that at one point or another connect via wireless (along with two smart phones). We have a desktop computer that we never use connected via LAN, a windows home server connected via LAN (both directly to the router), and my Xbox 360 and HDTV which are both connected via LAN through a switch. Obviously there's a little bit of traffic on the network.

I stream movies from my home server to my television. Occasionally when there's a lot of network traffic, streaming will be interrupted, which is pretty annoying. Sometimes it will just hiccup or pause the video for a few seconds, but others it will drop the movie and you have to go back and find your location again. Hence why I'd like to prioritize bandwidth to the TV without drastically limiting it to other devices.
 
Aug 27, 2002
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#2
Not a networking guru by any stretch, but I know enough to be dangerous.

I think that what you are looking for is a router with QoS (quality of service) on it. With QoS, you could make your home server the top priority in those high traffic times. BUT, even with QoS, something is going to be the low-man on the totempole. Your just telling the router where you don't mind sacrificing bandwith during those periods.

Basic routers usually don't have QoS, but yours might. You may need to upgrate your router in order to accomplish what you want.

That is the only way that I know of to prioritize network traffic through the router.
 

whiskeyguy

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#3
I'm looking at the Admin page now and it does have a tab that says "QoS", but looks like it has limited options. The first is "WWM Support" (Enabled) with "No Acknowledgment" (Disabled). The second option is labeled as "Internet Access Priority" and allows you to prioritize based on applications, online games, MAC address, Ethernet Port, and Voice Device. Even though it says "Internet Access Priority", do you think if I prioritized the ethernet port to the TV it would help, even though it's not technically internet access?
 

Hog's Big Ben

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#4
Try cFosSpeed.

It just works. I didn't even have to tweak it. One machine on my network is usually saturating my connection with uploads and downloads, which would leave VoIP unusable and make for lots of buffering and stuttering on my HTPC or Xbox when they would stream from the machine sucking up all the bandwidth.

That program does traffic shaping based or prioritizing streaming, VoIP, and gaming and cutting back P2P and other downloads that aren't as critical. Like I said, it just works, with no dicking around with a million router QoS settings. If you have something like NetMeter installed where you can see uploads and downloads, you'll be able to watch cFosSpeed making adjustments on the fly. It's got a 30 day trial, so if it doesn't do shit for you, then delete it and we'll pretend none of this ever happened.
 

whiskeyguy

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#5
That Cfos definitely looks interesting, and I'll probably check out the free trial, but I wasn't looking at spending any money because I'm probably getting a new router at the end of the year when I move, at which point I'll get a high-end one designed for multimedia streaming.
 
Aug 27, 2002
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#6
I'm looking at the Admin page now and it does have a tab that says "QoS", but looks like it has limited options. The first is "WWM Support" (Enabled) with "No Acknowledgment" (Disabled). The second option is labeled as "Internet Access Priority" and allows you to prioritize based on applications, online games, MAC address, Ethernet Port, and Voice Device. Even though it says "Internet Access Priority", do you think if I prioritized the ethernet port to the TV it would help, even though it's not technically internet access?
I'm not really sure.

The lord hates cowards though. Give it a shot and see what happens.
 

Aero 1

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Mar 18, 2005
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#7
I have a pretty basic Linksys Wireless-N Router. We have 4 laptops that at one point or another connect via wireless (along with two smart phones). We have a desktop computer that we never use connected via LAN, a windows home server connected via LAN (both directly to the router), and my Xbox 360 and HDTV which are both connected via LAN through a switch. Obviously there's a little bit of traffic on the network.
thats cute. i have a total, let me count, (iMac, macbook, Win7 PC, HDhomerun, Drobo FS, TV, 3 Tivos, bluray player, xbox, wii, roku, 2 apple tv's, slingbox, slingcatcher, win 7 HTPC, Onkyo receiver, boxee box, 2 wireless N extenders, 2 switches, ipad, 2 iphones, chromebook, toshiba win 7 laptop) 30 devices on my network. and thats with a MOCA bridge from one router to another servicing 3 devices. ok, 31 if you want to count the second MOCA router bridged to the primary router.

everything works fine with no lag at all. i havent had the need to do QOS, and we do is a lot of streaming from netflix and the drobo all the time since we dont have cable.

its either your shitty router or the wiring. shitty old routers cant handle the demand of traffic intensive applications now a days.
 

whiskeyguy

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#8
thats cute. i have a total, let me count, (iMac, macbook, Win7 PC, HDhomerun, Drobo FS, TV, 3 Tivos, bluray player, xbox, wii, roku, 2 apple tv's, slingbox, slingcatcher, win 7 HTPC, Onkyo receiver, boxee box, 2 wireless N extenders, 2 switches, ipad, 2 iphones, chromebook, toshiba win 7 laptop) 30 devices on my network. and thats with a MOCA bridge from one router to another servicing 3 devices. ok, 31 if you want to count the second MOCA router bridged to the primary router.

everything works fine with no lag at all. i havent had the need to do QOS, and we do is a lot of streaming from netflix and the drobo all the time since we dont have cable.

its either your shitty router or the wiring. shitty old routers cant handle the demand of traffic intensive applications now a days.
Jesus Christ, do you live in a dorm?

What router do you use? The one we have is just a basic $80 Linksys from staples. The wiring from the router to the TV is a 100' RiteAv Cat6 cable... I just put that in about six months ago.

I'm going to give priority to the TV under the QoS settings, and see if that works. If not I'll give it to the server also.

Something else I was thinking... can two devices communicate over an ethernet switch without going through a router? I was thinking I could connect another switch to the router, and then connect the TV/Xbox and server to that switch. Would that deal with the traffic via the switch before it go to the router? Or could I get a cheap router and do the same thing?
 

Aero 1

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#9
Jesus Christ, do you live in a dorm?

What router do you use? The one we have is just a basic $80 Linksys from staples. The wiring from the router to the TV is a 100' RiteAv Cat6 cable... I just put that in about six months ago.

I'm going to give priority to the TV under the QoS settings, and see if that works. If not I'll give it to the server also.

Something else I was thinking... can two devices communicate over an ethernet switch without going through a router? I was thinking I could connect another switch to the router, and then connect the TV/Xbox and server to that switch. Would that deal with the traffic via the switch before it go to the router? Or could I get a cheap router and do the same thing?
nope, a house. lets just say i am in the technology field and i need those computers. the rest of the stuff is just basically everything now a days has internet connectivity.

i use the standard Actiontec router that verizon fios provides.

two devices can talk to each other with just a switch but it takes some configuration, you have to disable dhcp to those mac address, put it on the same subnet, bla bla bla, not worth it.
 

whiskeyguy

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#10
nope, a house. lets just say i am in the technology field and i need those computers. the rest of the stuff is just basically everything now a days has internet connectivity.

i use the standard Actiontec router that verizon fios provides.

two devices can talk to each other with just a switch but it takes some configuration, you have to disable dhcp to those mac address, put it on the same subnet, bla bla bla, not worth it.
Alright, well I'm trying this method with the QoS and I'm just going to stream movies to that TV for a day or so nonstop and see what happens. Later I'll start streaming to a few computers also and see if the network can handle it.

Yeah I get the number of devices being connected, I'm definitely heading that way. I've been "future-proofing" myself in my purchases lately. I plan on moving at the end of the year, and want every TV in my new place to be network-connected, either itself or through a 3rd party device like a gaming system... mainly so it can access my server but also for things like Netflix which I plan on getting (got a 5GB/Month cap on bandwidth where I am now, so I don't use that yet).
 

Party Rooster

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#13
Is your router a gigabit router? I finally got one and it seems even the stuff that's on old 10/100 connections has benefited from it. Might have just been the shitty ass router I was using though.
 

whiskeyguy

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#14
I'm not sure... actually now I'm thinking it could be the server itself. I was logged on via remote desktop and it just kinda locked up on me. I realized I had a couple large programs running that I wasn't using, so I closed those down.

Also there's a program called "demigrator.exe" that eats up CPU... supposedly it's what mirrors the two drives and it does it every hour or so. That has caused stuttering in video streaming for others and perhaps it causes my TV to disconnect completely because it isn't buffering the video as much. There are some guides on shutting it down at scheduled times so I might try that.
 

Party Rooster

Unleash The Beast
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#15
I suspect your router is redistributing your packets to the older and less fortunate devices on your network and is taxing the higher bandwidth ones more than they can produce. :icon_cool
 

whiskeyguy

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#16
I suspect your router is redistributing your packets to the older and less fortunate devices on your network and is taxing the higher bandwidth ones more than they can produce. :icon_cool
:icon_lol:

And look what happens, the entire system gets bogged down and stops working.
 

Sinn Fein

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#17
Is your router a gigabit router? I finally got one and it seems even the stuff that's on old 10/100 connections has benefited from it. Might have just been the shitty ass router I was using though.
I upgraded everything here to gigabit LAN and it made a dramatic difference across the board. I have a 5-port 10/100 switch and all non-gigabit devices are connected to that. Router and two other switches are gigabit LAN. All PC's are gigabit LAN wired and laptops are 802.11N wireless. Streaming from my Hava is dramatically improved since I made these changes, even though the Hava itself is only a 10/100 device. I think the gigabit router and other network gear just runs more efficiently and handles traffic better.