What is the best way to configure a ASUS n66u to stream HD media?

Edgar

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Just bought an ASUS n66u. I thought it would solve my problem with streaming hd media but its kinda the same.

Been using plexconnect on my new Apple TV 3rd gen. My movies constantly buffer. All my movies are around 10gb mkv with 1080p and DTS audio. The audio gets transcoded to DD but the video stays the same. I believe the bitrate of video is 10mbit/s on average.

Is there a way to give priority to media on it? I thought the 5ghz frequency would help but it hasn't. Although this is a brand new router so I could be overlooking stuff. Any help appreciated. Also no there is no way to hardwire.

The router is downstairs with Apple TV about 25 feet away. Passes through one wall. This house was built in 2004. Not sure if any of this helps.

Any help appreciated. Thanks!

Edit: Old router was dlink dgl-4500 on stock firmware.
 

timta2

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If you haven't tried it yet, you could hardwire it and make sure that the wireless connection is the actual issue.

Usually 5GHz doesn't have as good range as 2.4GHz from what I've heard and seen in reviews. 5GHz shines mostly in areas with congested 2.4GHz use, other than that 2.4GHz is usually better.
 

Mackintire

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If you haven't tried it yet, you could hardwire it and make sure that the wireless connection is the actual issue.

Usually 5GHz doesn't have as good range as 2.4GHz from what I've heard and seen in reviews. 5GHz shines mostly in areas with congested 2.4GHz use, other than that 2.4GHz is usually better.

+1 do what timta2 suggests

If your signal strength is not perfect, try dropping the channel width to 20Mhz.

Not that it will fix this specific issue, but consider installing the merlin firmware on your router, just in case there's a factory bug stopping things up.
 

Edgar

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I live in a house so I don't think the 2.4 ghz freq is congested. I will switch over to it and see if I get better results. The range on this router is OUTSTANDING though. Much better than my old dlink. Full bars in the master bedroom where I would constantly drop connection.

I will look into merlin firmware as well.

Anything else I should try? Anyway to give priority to streaming above everything else?

Thanks for the suggestions btw!
 

Mackintire

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Yes... you can tweak the QOS on the router. I've posted links on it just a couple days ago somewhere around here.
 

TCM2

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The unscientific approach is giving me headaches.

If you changed APs and the new one still fails to transfer a measly 10Mbps payload, what makes you think it is actually the AP that's the problem? You mention realtime transcode from DTS to DD. What device is doing this and have you ruled out the WLAN as a problem already? Why not do this first before mucking around with the WLAN?

If you absolutely can't hardwire, why not try a bulk transfer. If you get something like 50Mbps netto rate, the WLAN is also unlikely to be the problem.
 
S

shade91

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I had the same problem with SoHo type hardware like the Asus RT-N66U. These devices in stock form often are going to struggle with something like HD even though they will market themselves all day long as being able to handle it. Often the OS that comes with it is garbage and slow. Your only saving grace will be an aftermarket OS like Merlin. Other than that, the only other surefire way is using enterprise-grade hardware (i.e. Unifi, Cisco, Aruba, etc). I can stream HD over those all day long without issue.
 

stevewm

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One important thing to keep in mind.. If your sending device and the receiving device are both on the same wireless network your transfer speed will be cut in half. Wireless is half duplex, only one device can talk at a time. If for example you only get 3MB/sec from a wired to wireless device normally, if you are going from a wireless device to another wireless device you will only be able to achieve 1.5MB/sec max. Adjusting QoS, etc.. is not going to help in this case. If there are other nearby APs on the same channel and actively being used, your speed will be reduced even further.

Optimal settings for a 2.4Ghz network should be fixed 20Mhz channel width, and you should be on one of the 3 non-overlapping channels (1, 6, or 11) that is not being used in your vicinity, if possible.

The 3rd gen Apple TV supports 5Ghz. Make sure this is enabled on your router. And to make sure the Apple TV is connecting to it, make the 5Ghz band a different SSID name so you can be absolutely sure its using the 5Ghz band. If your sending device is on 2.4Ghz and your receiving device (apple tv) is on the 5Ghz network you avoid the speed cut in half issue.

And as TCM2 said, what device is doing the transcoding? Are you sure this device has the power to do this? Plex's transcoding can be very CPU intensive depending on the formats its going to/from.
 

Edgar

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Apple tv is on the 5GHZ freq since I did change the SSID for both so they are different. On the 20mhz channel width as well.

My i7 930 is doing the transcoding of DTS to DD. The video is being remuxed off the MKV.
 

stevewm

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Is your computer wired or wireless? If wireless, which network is it on? 2.4 or 5Ghz?
Your 5Ghz network should be set to 40Mhz channel width.

You need to rule the wireless out as the issue... If at all possible, temporarily get the Apple TV and the computer wired in. If you still get issues, then your wireless is not the problem.
 

Edgar

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Computer is connected directly to the router. I will see if I have a cord long enough to get the appletv wired temporarily. I will change the channel width back to 40mhz for 5ghz frequency.

I also downloaded the merlin firmware. Gonna install that tonight.
 

TCM2

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One important thing to keep in mind.. If your sending device and the receiving device are both on the same wireless network your transfer speed will be cut in half. Wireless is half duplex, only one device can talk at a time. If for example you only get 3MB/sec from a wired to wireless device normally, if you are going from a wireless device to another wireless device you will only be able to achieve 1.5MB/sec max.

Uh, what? Sending and receiving device on the same wireless network is the standard case in wireless transfer. Why should the speed be halved if you have two devices talking to each other? It makes no sense.

How would a transfer "from a wired to wireless device normally" even look like? It would be a transfer via cable.
 

Mackintire

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Too many counter productive geniuses in this thread. The general info is correct, but the sum is confusing.

SO.... I 'm going to filter what has been said and suggested for the OP.

The merlin firmware is very similar to the factory firmware. Its just has significantly less bugs, adds openVPN and adds persistent storage space to the onboard memory.

If you have a good 5Ghz signal, use 5Ghz.

Try 20Mhz channel width first on 5Ghz and see how good it is. If that works well test using 40Mhz Channel width. (if 20Mhz mode is flaky, 40 will be much worse) If you have a excellent connection using 20Mhz channel width on 5Ghz, 40Mhz Channel width might be 1.8 times faster.

Wireless is a half-duplex protocol, only one device can talk at a time. If a device is transmitting on the 5Ghz side, no other device can transmit at the same time. If two devices try to talk at the same time they both transmit their data at 1/2 speed.

Your wireless should be using "WPA2 AES", if it is in any other mode including PSK/AES auto mode, change it to use "WPA2 AES"

I've transcoded MKVs at 1080p with DTS audio for AppleTV devices. A real annoying pain in the....**** If you do anything outside of the supported profiles and even sometimes if you choose a higher bit-rate the Apple TV will stutter and drop frames.

Since you're using AC3, assuming you have a 3rd Gen AppleTV you must use: H.264 Baseline profile level 3.0 or lower with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps per channel

If you have a second gen AppleTV, you shouldn't be using H.264 with 1080p as it can not render it smoothly in a MKV pakcage at any decent bitrate. Use 720p instead and it should work.

I'd connect that Apple TV directly via an ethernet cable and verify that the output that you're transcoding can even be played back smoothly on your appleTV device.
 
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Edgar

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Another thing to add is on the apple tv. If I pause the video and let it "buffer". The video plays smoothly. Up until it gets to the part where it is still downloading from the computer. Then it starts the constant buffer.

I setup the share on my computer with full control for everyone. On sharing and security. If that makes a difference.

Most, if not all the mkv's I have are h.264 profile 4.1.
 

TCM2

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Up until it gets to the part where it is still downloading from the computer.

Still not established whether that's "downloading" or "transcoding".

Just. Do. The. Test. Eliminate WLAN and check if it still buffers or verify that the WLAN can carry a lot more than 10-15Mbps netto (at least 3 times). Anything else is handwaving at this point.
 

Edgar

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So I flashed with latest Merlin. 5ghz still buffered. I actually disabled 5ghz and went back to 2.4ghz. The videos are playing like butter now. So 5ghz can't penetrate my walls?

Plexconnect sends the already transcoded file to the appletv so it is just downloading it. It is CPU intensive but my i7 930 handles it just fine.

Weird though. I was looking at the real time traffic monitor. 2.4ghz is like 3 times faster than 5ghz. The fudge? I thought 5ghz was supposed to be better?
 

elleana

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To the people asking OP to do wired tests - didnt he say wiring is not an option??
 

Mackintire

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Evidently his 5Ghz signal either wasn't strong enough (bidirectionally) or there's interference.
 

Edgar

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Yeah sorry. I cannot do the test. I don't have an ethernet cord long enough or a tv close enough. I would love to get my entire house wired but I just recently bought it. No wiring done anywhere. And to get it wired would be way to expensive for me.
 
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