Problem Streaming Video through a wireless G Network


Jan 14, 2005
Okay HardForum, I need your help troubleshooting the bottleneck in my network.

The Basic problem is this; I am getting choppy video streaming from server to my wireless
laptop in the next room. Media player Classic is pretty bad, VCL player clears it up a
little, but still pauses to buffer a couple of times for a 350 MB file that is less than an hour in length.

Can I fix this w/o using a wired connection?
What are the limitations of Wireless G networks?
What/where is the bottleneck in the network?

A more detailed description:

Here is my setup.
Linksys WRT300N v1.1 running DD-WRT v24-sp2 (10/10/09) mega.

Stream From:
Windows XP Desktop
Intel P4 3.4GHZ
2GB Ram
5400RPM Hard drive
10/100Mbps Realtek RTL8139 NIC
(no wireless card)

Stream To:
Windows XP laptop
Intel Core 2 Duo 1.4GHZ
2GB Ram
NVIDIA Geforce 8400M GS
Hard Drive 4500RPM
Dell Wireless 1390 WLan Mini-Card (wireless G)
I don't have a wireless N adapter for the laptop

Here is an example to illustrate what I am seeing on my end. I am streaming a 349 MB
video file from my server to my laptop with a run time of 48 minutes 12 second. With
Media Player Classic I see stuttering(frame jumps) and stoppage(video stops for .5-1.5s)
right away during the introduction. With VCL player I see 3-4 stoppages due to buffering
interspersed throughout the duration of the video. (More so in the evening see below)

Apartment Diagram:

I live in an apartment complex with a lot of Channel saturation in the Wireless G
spectrum. Using inSSIDer I could see 53 individual AP. When I setup my router I picked
the least saturated channel in regards to # of AP on a channel, the surrounding channels
interference and the relative signal strength of each AP. I ended up choosing Channel 2
(yes I know each channel does over lap each other).

inSSIDer Channel Graph:

See inSSIDer Access Points Table for more information:
# of AP on a given Channel
Channel 1: 13
Channel 2: 3 (including me)
Channel 3: 0
Channel 4: 2
Channel 5: 1
Channel 6: 14
Channel 7: 0
Channel 8: 4
Channel 9: 1
Channel 10: 1
Channel 11: 13

How accurate is the Dell Wireless WLAN Card Utility in regard to the "Speed" it reports?
The Utility will sometimes report Speeds of 11 Mbps(see picture) and right now I am
getting 36Mbps with being less than 4 feet from my router. I see this actively decreasing
around 6pm-9pm when everyone gets home and is on the internet obviously, causing
more interference. I do see more trouble streaming during these “peak” hours.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Dell Wireless WLAN Card Utility:

BroadCom Chip info:

inSSIDer Signal/Time Graph (Note my network is the Bold Red Line):

inSSIDer Access Points Table:


Limp Gawd
Sep 16, 2010
1st up, I`d have said the 5400rpm drive in the WinXP box with the realtek 8139 NIC, then I saw the chart with the Channel saturation. Surely channel 3 would be better for you with only 2x users either side!?

1st off, skip that realtek card, I`d use a decent quality Intel for replacement, done this myself recently and saw quite a noticeable increse in throughput.

2nd, maybe try running a cable to rule out the wireless side of things (if it`s still somewhat choppy it`s the server side hardware, if it cures it it`s almost certainly the popularity of wireless G in your area).

That is quite some use of the limited bandwidth allocated for wireless G, if you want to be naughty, set your location (Router GUI) to one other than yours and see if you can sneak onto one of the channels not normally available to you to see if that helps, not recomended though.

Lastly it`s time to upgrade the antennae on your router or better still, upgrade your router to a dual band one with wireless G and N if your laptop supports N that is.

Sorry just re-read your post, you don`t have N capability on your laptop.

Looks like your only options are, in order of cost (cheapest 1st(maybe))

1) run a cable (kinda defeats the whole point of having a latop though)
2) use directional antennae on your router (again you`d be kinda limited to where you can use it)

I have just noticed that there is one signal stronger than yours in the graph, "Looksea" are you closer to that AP than you are to your own or is he likely using DDWRT or similar with the RF output jacked up for the same reasons you`re experiencing?
Last edited:


Dec 22, 2002
That is a lot of interference! I couldn't stream 720p over Wireless G Linksys WRT54GL router from my computer to PS3 with each device in a corner of a 12x18 room with a quarter of that interference. Even now wired it has stuttered while downloading a large file.

A high quality N router with QoS is gonna be necessary. But with all that interference, wired may be the only way.