Author Topic: powerline ethernet adapters  (Read 5106 times)

October 17, 2009, 01:54:40 PM
Read 5106 times

jetfixr

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Does anyone have any experience using powerline adapters for streaming AV?  I am looking at going this route because I have found my wireless-G setup with my TiVo/xbox360 to be lacking.  It keeps up most of the time but when I am trying to stream HD content, it just doesn't seem up to the task.  In theory they are suppose to go 200Mbps but I think that is a very optimistic figure.  I think with a solid 20-25 Mbps I would be happy.  I also noticed that WD has a compatibility list for wireless router, I can understand the wireless cards, because of driver issues, but on the router side of things, shouldn't it be just like a transparent ethernet connection?

October 17, 2009, 02:41:16 PM
Reply #1

matt314159

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Hey jet, I tried powerline adapters at my house one time and they sucked big time. I guess if the power is out of phase from the main room you have it in, or something like that it totally kills the connection quality.

But since we're both interested in network streaming HD, let me tell you about what I just got set up yesterday.  

I found a seller on fleabay selling Netgear WNR834B Wireless "N" routers for $20 each.   the WNR834B is a pretty stinky router if you use stock firmware, BUT you can VERY easily load DD-WRT on it and it turns them into very respectable routers. After tax and shipping, it cost me $58 for two of them.  

I loaded DD-WRT on them both, and set one up as the main router, and one of them as a client bridge.  Just in case you're not aware of what a bridge is, the 2nd router I bought goes in the living room by the TV, connects to the router in the bedroom wirelessly, and then activates all the LAN ports on the back as if it were a wired connection.  So I just plug my WDTV Live into a Lan port on the back of the bridge.  I also connect my Dish DVR through the same bridge.  

After a little tweaking (with DD-WRT you can set QOS settings as well as tweak the transmitting power, etc), I've got it holding a solid connection between the router and bridge at 243mb/s (don't let that fool you, actual transfer is much less).  I have gotten speeds I'm pretty sure will be very reliable in sustaining 1080p MKV streaming up to 25 or 30mbps.   I've only played about a half hour of one 1080p MKV file to test it, but it seemed to go without a hitch.  

TO do a visual analysis of the speed, I hooked a hard drive up to the Live, which shared the hard drive onto the network.  Then I went to my desktop PC and dragged a 10 gigabyte file over to the Live network share to get a sustained data transfer going that would max out the connection.  Then I went into DD-WRT on the router and looked at the bandwidth graph.  

Here's what I got with WPA2 Personal, AES Security:


It appears that WPA2 takes about 10% overhead, which I'm not that fond of, since I want the fastest throughput possible, but I think I'll be able to live with it. When I did a test w/o security on the wireless, it transferred around 60mbs.

Sorry to hijack a powerline ethernet adapter thread with this, But I wanted to let you know about the alternative I went with.    I previously had been using a pair of WRT54G routers in the same manner (router/bridge) but much like you experienced, it just didn't have the throughput I needed for HD streaming.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2009, 02:51:53 PM by matt314159 »

October 17, 2009, 04:34:10 PM
Reply #2

jetfixr

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Hey no worries, I wouldn't consider it a hi-jack at all.  We are pretty much looking for the same thing, a way to stream massive hi-def mkv files without so much as a glitch.  I am running DD-WRT on one of my wireless-G routers and I love the way it handles QoS, the stock QoS function that linksys uses is useless. And I just don't think my wireless-g stuff has the type of bandwidth I am looking for.  I will most likely have to step up to wireless-N or worse yet, get off of my lazy but and run some cat-5.  Thanks for the info. 

October 17, 2009, 05:12:02 PM
Reply #3

matt314159

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tonight is going to be a time to test it, I plan on watching a 1080p DTS mkv movie (Clear and PResent Danger) wirelessly and see if it can hold up.  I think the film is 12GB.   I'm pretty sure it will be fine because most of my movies, even the 1080p MKV's don't have bitrates much higher than 15-20mbps and I was able to sustain 50+, and most of the quick drops never went below 40mbps.

My next option if this didn't work was going to be get a gigabit router and run ethernet cable through the attic and down the wall.  But the wall the TV is on is an exterior wall with sloping roof that make it almost impossible to get there from the attic;  Right now I'm happy with my $60 solution that didn't involve an attic crawl.    If it doesn't meet my needs it will be my next step though.

October 17, 2009, 06:17:05 PM
Reply #4

jetfixr

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good deal....... let us know.  BTW is the does the WDTV live have 100Mbps adapter, or is it a gigabit adapter?  Can't seem to find this spec anywhere.  If I decide to go the Cat-5 route I could use a external hard drive and use it as a file server as well.  File transfers would be real fast if it has a gigabit adapter in it.

October 17, 2009, 08:48:07 PM
Reply #5

matt314159

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IIRC, it's only a 100mbps port, not gigabit.  But I figure heck, if I have to go that route, might as well future-proof things :)

October 18, 2009, 12:43:42 AM
Reply #6

matt314159

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Well I'm disappointed to report that my attempt to play Patriot Games tonight failed with the N router/bridge setup.  

The movie is abut 2 hrs long.  I played the first 1hr, 50 minutes or so without a hitch.  Right when it gets to the big boat chase, it cuts up and does the drop sound/stuttery video thing.  I stopped it, started it again, got it going, and after jsut a few seconds, same thing happens.   After five start/stops I turned the move off.  

I've gotta admit I'm kind of pissed off, because I don't see any reason for it to have any problems keeping up with the data rate.  The average bitrate of the film is only 12mbps, and looking at the bandwidth section on my router the part that's throwing it into fits is only around 19mbps.  If I can sustain >40mbps on file transfer, I wonder what I'm doing wrong.

anyway now I really am hijacking your thread so I'll sum it up by saying my initial plan was flawed and i'm gonna have to work out some kinks if I want to try to continue to use this setup.

*edit*...last time I promise.  Maybe it's the video file I'm trying to play.  I just tried playing the end of the movie on my Quad Core Q9400 (2.66ghz per core) w/ 8gb ram, coreAVC codec which uses hardware accelleration on my Nvidia 8600GT video card, and that section has choppy video and audio on my computer as well, and I have NEVER had a problem playing ANY file on this PC.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2009, 12:53:03 AM by matt314159 »

October 18, 2009, 08:27:49 PM
Reply #7

partake

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So this dual WNR834B setup should still be good.  It'll be more helpful if you can test a few more 1080p files.

October 18, 2009, 08:42:50 PM
Reply #8

matt314159

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So this dual WNR834B setup should still be good.  It'll be more helpful if you can test a few more 1080p files.
I'll try that in the next night or so.   My main content is 720p, since I can't see the difference from 15 feet away on my 42" LCD, but i've got a few more to try. The 720p stuff has worked out flawlessly.   

Today I brought the WDTV live in and ran the same file transfer test, but jacked directly into the router, and I was still only getting 60-65mbps on the transfer speed.  I think the 100mbps lan port on the WDTV might be holding it back, so I'm looking at trying one of the USB "N" dongles on it to see if that gives me more of a bump.  But the ports in my router are all 100 though, not gigabit so there will still be that hard cap there.   

October 20, 2009, 11:18:09 PM
Reply #9

matt314159

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SUCCESS!   ;D

Back to stock firmware for now until I get kinks worked out of b.rad's homebrew, but I played Public Enemies 1080p tonight w/o a single hitch. Not a dropped frame, not a blip int he audio.  It played the entire movie perfectly from start to finish. 

if you're curious here's the encoding info: 

Code: [Select]
General
Complete name                    : Public.Enemies.NL.1080p.BluRay.x264-Monstie.mkv
Format                           : Matroska
File size                        : 11.6 GiB
Duration                         : 2h 20mn
Overall bit rate                 : 11.8 Mbps
Encoded date                     : UTC 2009-10-14 09:21:47
Writing application              : mkvmerge v2.9.8 ('C'est le bon') built on Aug 24 2009 17:34:03
Writing library                  : libebml v0.7.7 + libmatroska v0.8.1

Video
ID                               : 1
Format                           : AVC
Format/Info                      : Advanced Video Codec
Format profile                   : High@L4.1
Format settings, CABAC           : Yes
Format settings, ReFrames        : 5 frames
Muxing mode                      : Container profile=Unknown@4.1
Codec ID                         : V_MPEG4/ISO/AVC
Duration                         : 2h 19mn
Bit rate                         : 9 428 Kbps
Nominal bit rate                 : 9 662 Kbps
Width                            : 1 920 pixels
Height                           : 800 pixels
Display aspect ratio             : 2.40:1
Frame rate                       : 23.976 fps
Resolution                       : 24 bits
Colorimetry                      : 4:2:0
Scan type                        : Progressive
Bits/(Pixel*Frame)               : 0.256
Stream size                      : 9.21 GiB (80%)
Writing library                  : x264 core 77 r1281M 39f6499
Encoding settings                : cabac=1 / ref=5 / deblock=1:0:0 / analyse=0x3:0x133 / me=umh / subme=7 / psy=1 / psy_rd=1.0:0.0 / mixed_ref=1 / me_range=16 / chroma_me=1 / trellis=1 / 8x8dct=1 / cqm=0 / deadzone=21,11 / chroma_qp_offset=-2 / threads=6 / nr=0 / decimate=1 / mbaff=0 / constrained_intra=0 / bframes=3 / b_pyramid=1 / b_adapt=1 / b_bias=0 / direct=1 / wpredb=1 / keyint=250 / keyint_min=25 / scenecut=40 / rc=2pass / mbtree=0 / bitrate=9662 / ratetol=1.0 / qcomp=0.60 / qpmin=10 / qpmax=51 / qpstep=4 / cplxblur=20.0 / qblur=0.5 / ip_ratio=1.40 / pb_ratio=1.30 / aq=1:1.00 / pulldown=0 / nal_hrd=0
Language                         : English

Audio #1
ID                               : 2
Format                           : AC-3
Format/Info                      : Audio Coding 3
Codec ID                         : A_AC3
Duration                         : 2h 20mn
Bit rate mode                    : Constant
Bit rate                         : 640 Kbps
Channel(s)                       : 6 channels
Channel positions                : Front: L C R, Surround: L R, LFE
Sampling rate                    : 48.0 KHz
Stream size                      : 641 MiB (5%)
Title                            : AC3
Language                         : English

I know it sounds like a no brainer when the average bitrate is only 11mbps or so but I could never get my G routers to sustain that kind of throughput.   

October 20, 2009, 11:43:34 PM
Reply #10

3dxr

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Does anyone have any experience using powerline adapters for streaming AV? 
yes I have with Zyxel power line adapters
power lines are very unpredictable enviroment in flat I have 10Mbytes/s from Flat_A to Flat_B was result different
sometimes was devices linked sometimes not.

you can try Zyxel PL 100/tested but exist also PLA 400(not tested by me)
This device is good in flat if you dont like WIFI its small and nice

but ..... its speed is highly dependent what is on same power circuit - for example Power saving lights from china distoring transmission also SAT receiver was a problem if was in same power socket.


You need buy test and return this is best way for all enviroments / testing is nescessary do min 48h
for example in my house was also problem when my neighbour was at home and doing something speed was lower.


October 21, 2009, 05:51:42 AM
Reply #11

partake

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So this is using the two Netgear router setup and SMB shares?  I suspect once the NFS share is enabled on the wdtv live, you should have even higher throughput.


SUCCESS!   ;D

I know it sounds like a no brainer when the average bitrate is only 11mbps or so but I could never get my G routers to sustain that kind of throughput.   

October 21, 2009, 06:31:22 AM
Reply #12

matt314159

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So this is using the two Netgear router setup and SMB shares?  I suspect once the NFS share is enabled on the wdtv
live, you should have even higher throughput.
Yup, two netgear "N" routers, DD-WRT, and CIFS/SMB shares.  Once I read up more I might try NFS but I don't know what all that takes.  Right now it's windows 7, Right-Click, "share"...for me.