Netflix issues

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by TiVoStephen, Dec 15, 2008.

  1. Jan 8, 2010 #821 of 992
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    The answer to your question may be different for Netflix streaming rather than other TiVo network operations (TTG and MRV) which probably are the context for what you mention reading elsewhere. There are lots of technical details and a full understanding of them is not available to us. What bicker and szurlo described above are just examples.

    I recommend you "just run ethernet". Many posters have reported advantages for wired connections in all phases of TiVo operation. One of the complexities is that even if the TiVo itself is a bottleneck, it can still be less of a bottleneck when running with wired rather than wireless internet. In other words the "bottleneck" model is too simplistic.
     
  2. Jan 8, 2010 #822 of 992
    flaminiom

    flaminiom New Member

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    I understand the technologies, and I'm trying to not frame this as wireless vs wired. Perhaps there is no answer to my question, or perhaps I misread something somewhere.

    My question is whether the Tivo has a hardware/software bottleneck when using the wireless adapter that prevents it from fully utilizing whatever the wireless link may allow. For the sake of the discussion, lets say I want 6 Mb/sec and the wifi link is capable of sustaining this. Could the wireless adapter support this, or would I have to do Ethernet as there may be limitations imposed by the USB and overhead to run the adapter.

    Thx
     
  3. Jan 8, 2010 #823 of 992
    szurlo

    szurlo Member

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    Sorry, I misunderstood what information you were actually in search of. I cant imagine that the issue could be the Tivo itself, since if we are to suggest that something internal to the tivo is maxing out the data xfer rate at less than say, 6mbs on the motherboard side of the USB port, then Tivo manufacturing and selling an 802.11g adapter would seem to be pointless. Was the 802.11b adapter a USB1.0 device maybe? USB 1.0 was what, 12mbs? I imagine that once you added overhead it would be possible that a best case 802.11b connection could actually saturate a USB 1.0 connection.
     
  4. Jan 8, 2010 #824 of 992
    CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

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    In practice, you do not get 6.0 Mbs out of TiVo wireless-b. In general you do out of wireless-g. You get even more speed out of using the TiVo brand adapter for wireless-g because your TiVo can off-load some of the CPU tasks onto its own adapter.

    In general, the bottleneck is the TiVo and not the network, but wireless-b requires enough work out of the TiVo to slow it down under your 6Mbs threshold for most folks.
     
  5. Jan 8, 2010 #825 of 992
    cjv2

    cjv2 New Member

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    "The early Series2 units, models starting with 110/130/140, have USB1.1 hardware, while all other systems have USB2.0."

    From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TiVo. Yeah, I know wikipedia isn't authoritative for anything, but I ran into it and thought it might be of interest.
     
  6. Jan 8, 2010 #826 of 992
    mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    Maximum theoretical USB 2.0 throughput is 480 Mbps. In the real world no one ever sees that, but I have to believe that data throughput from TiVo's wireless adapter into TiVo greatly exceeds the maximum possible throughput of an 802.11b connection. Not the bottleneck.

    I used to try to use 802.11g. With a popular Linksys router, the best connection to an internet speed test site that I could get to my PC in a room with the router some 6 to 8 feet of open space away from it was 5 Mbps and change, whereas I was paying for 15 Mbps cable internet service. When I replaced it with a Cat5e cable, I started seeing that 15 Mbps that I was expecting. I don't know why the wireless performance I was getting was so poor; perhaps the condo complex I was living in was a high noise environment. Whatever.

    YMMV--there are probably some environments where an 11g connection will work well enough for stable streaming video and the chances that it will greatly increase if you go to 802.11n, replacing your TiVo adapter with a bridge. However, if you can run a cable to your router, I'd advise doing it. If you do it and you're still having problems, you can at least eliminate LAN connection speed and quality as a factor.
     
  7. Jan 8, 2010 #827 of 992
    szurlo

    szurlo Member

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    I don't think the OP really has a "problem". He is just trying to find out if there is some known limitation to the Tivo/USB Wi-Fi adapter combination that results is less than "normal" throughput so he can determine if there is any point in upgrading to the "g" adapter.
     
  8. Jan 8, 2010 #828 of 992
    morac

    morac Cat God TCF Club

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    The TiVo HD is capable of network speeds greater than 802.11b (~6 mbps in real-life) so in your case the 802.11b is the bottleneck. That said Netflix requires less than 6 mbps so 802.11b may be "good enough" for Netflix depending on your environment.

    Wireless network bandwidth is shared, not just by devices on your network, but by devices on other networks that use the same channel as your network does. So if you have a neighbor downloading a large file on his network and you try stream network and you are on the same channel, you are likely to run into problems. You'll have similar problems if you try to download on a laptop while streaming Netflix.

    I'll mention that 802.11g and 802.11n increase the available bandwidth but only if you completely switch over to them. If you still have a 802.11b device on your network you lose the majority of the benefits of upgrading to g or n.
     
  9. Jan 8, 2010 #829 of 992
    bicker

    bicker bUU

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    I've actually (hard-wire) bridged a 'n' router to a 'g' router, just to try to better capitalize on the best performance of each.... that'll work right?
     
  10. Jan 8, 2010 #830 of 992
    morac

    morac Cat God TCF Club

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    I haven't kept up on the n standard, but in the g standard in order to be backwards compatible with b, the standard needed to listen for b broadcast requests. This would slightly degrade performance if there were no b devices broadcasting and severely degrade performance if there. That's why I turned of b support on my g router.

    I'm not sure if n has the same issues, but unless it's using a different frequency than g/b I would guess that it does.


    As for your case, I think it depends on how far apart the n and g routers are. Considering I can pull in g signals from the next block over it might not make a difference. The easiest way to test is to take a g device and an n device and have them both transfer at the maximum speed and then see if the speeds on the n device are better or worse with the g router hooked up or not.
     
  11. Jan 8, 2010 #831 of 992
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    So does your question relate to the thread topic (Netflix that is)?
     
  12. pl1

    pl1 Well-Known Member

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    Well, for anyone who says that you must not use any bandwidth if you want to watch Netflix on TiVo, and while that may be true with Tivo, it appears that the Samsung Blu-Ray player sets aside the bandwidth it needs when it needs it. In my case, I can see when it uses 4 Mbps for the movie, and leaves the rest for downloading, in my case 8 Mbps out of a total of 12 Mbps. Very similar to what goes on with VOIP when you set your router for highest priority.

    I've been downloading a video at 12 Mbps for an hour or so, and watching a Netflix movie at the same time with no interruptions at all. I can see the bandwidth meter on Newsbin go from 12 Mbps to 8 Mbps, probably whenever the Samsung demands the bandwidth. Either way, they co-exist perfectly, which I can not say about the S3 with Netflix.
     
  13. morac

    morac Cat God TCF Club

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    It's not that you can't, it's that you have to be careful if you do (especially with TiVo) unless you have some kind of QOS set up on your router. Most consumer routers don't support QOS.
     
  14. pl1

    pl1 Well-Known Member

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    My router does have that ability (it's just a $50 Linksys) but I only have that set for my voip phone. Never tried setting it up for TiVo. But, I'm guessing that the Samsung player is controlling available bandwidth on it's own.

    Edit: What I meant, was, to me it appears that the bandwidth issue is TiVo specific, not Netflix specific.
     
  15. jonra

    jonra New Member

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    I'm on a wired, cat5, off a router & a couple switches. netflix & multi room works great on all 3 TivoHDs. We're able to get great to very good quality on HD & SD. We're on comcast internet.
     
  16. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    Uh, FWIW, my relatively inexpensive Netgear router supported QOS. I had no idea what to do with it, but I did see the settings there.
     
  17. pdhenry

    pdhenry Ruthless

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    QOS settings on a router allocate upstream bandwidth, not downstream. Coordinating what various remote data sources do would be more involved.
     
  18. pl1

    pl1 Well-Known Member

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    Not disputing what you say, but when I am on the phone, I thought I remembered my download speed being slowed down a bit as well. Is it?
    Here is what my Linksys says:

     
  19. szurlo

    szurlo Member

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    Notice those descriptions use the phrase "You may specify priority for all traffic from a device on your network".

    Also, if you look at the very top of the Linksys QoS setup screen you'll see where you specify the upstream bandwidth your ISP provides. There is no place to specify downstream (or at least not on mine). I guess it's possible that you'd see your downloads slow down a bit though, possibly due to acknowledgments from your machine back up to the download source taking a backseat to your upstream VOIP traffic. So upstream QoS could indirectly affect downstream traffic.
     
  20. pl1

    pl1 Well-Known Member

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    What I notice, is that as soon as I pick up the phone, my DL speed slows down a little. I just assumed that the terminal adapter was making room for what it needed. No big deal, either way. Just curious.
     

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